Hotel Spotlight

Everything's Going Swimmingly at Alohilani on the Waikiki Waterfront

by Jeralyn Gerba

Oahu, Hawaii
Modern, $$

Vacation is getting serious at Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, a big, sophisticated beachfront hotel on Hawaii's most famous stretch of sand. Sleek David Rockwell design, dining orchestrated by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, a prime Waikiki Beach location, and a whopping 839 rooms equals a hotel that makes quite a splash. This is not a thatched-roof bungalow housing laid-back surfers. Send this link to your boss: This should be where next year's company off-site happens (hint, hint). Just look at the a group check-in lounge, various meeting rooms, pool deck, and triple ballroom. A three-story Oceanarium gives guests a look under the sea while they sip cocktails and stay dry in the lobby.

At a Glance

Vibe: They call it Aloha Chic — a more buttoned-up version of beachy — an urban sensibility with a little sand between its toes.

Standout Detail: Has to to be the 280,000-gallon saltwater fish tank Oceanarium that is home to spectacular coral reef and over a thousand indigenous marine life species.

This Place Is Perfect For: Families who don't want to compromise on style, big groups looking to upgrade their off-sites, and brides who want to make their destination wedding practically painless.

Rooms: There are 839 rooms done up in sleek, bright, light woods with organic edging, natural materials, lots of light, Malie Organics toiletries, and either two queens or one king-size bed. Six one-bedroom suites have dining nooks, wet bars, and unobstructed views of Diamond Head. 

On Site: Most notable is the 5th-floor pool deck overlooking the ocean with a saltwater infinity pool, bar, tiered day beds, sofas, and driftwood sculptures. There's also a kid's club and separate kiddie pool, a fitness center overlooking the Oceanarium, retail shops, a spa, a business center, and a  20,000-square-feet of event space. In a tucked-away area, five private cabanas (rentable in advance) overlook a reflecting pool. 

Food + Drink: Lychee, the breakfast buffet, emphasizes locally grown produce. Swell, the pool bar, runs day and night. In the lobby is that enormous fish tank. Another draw is Morimoto Asia, a fancy outfit on the second floor. At street level, Momosan from chef Morimoto focuses on playful izakaya foods (yakitori, gyoza) in a tropical beer garden. 

Book It

Spend the night. .

What to Do Nearby

You have touched down at the birthplace of surfing, flower leis, poke, and the pineapple trend — Hawaii is basically an Instagram dreamscape. When in Honolulu, it's all about surfing, catching some sun, eating shaved ice, and doing it again. , , , , and old-school all feature local cuisine and ingredients and should be on your dining list. Get your colorful frozen water from or . Besides the usual fun-in-the-sun on iconic Waikiki Beach, Oahu has an expansive nature preserve, incredible hiking up Diamond Head, movies on the beach, a huge farmer's market, and tons of waterfalls waiting to be explored.

Keep Exploring Hawaii

A Hawaiian Vacation for All of Life's Big Occasions
Popupla's Guide to the Big Island
Popupla's Guide to Kauai

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