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The hotel is that rectangular building in the background.
Photo Credit: guyonthego

The Modern Honolulu

1775 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, Hawaii 96815
Not applicable
808-943-5800 Not applicable
February 2015 All year
$200-399 Honolulu Hawaii
Website Lodging Luxury Hotels
First review
The Modern Honolulu is an upscale, full-service hotel located in Honolulu. It’s about 1.5 miles from the heart of Waikiki Beach and the main shops and restaurants in the city. To walk to this area from the hotel takes about 20 minutes or a few minutes via a cab. The Modern is also about 30 minutes by car from the Honolulu International Airport. The building was constructed in 1964 but was gutted and essentially rebuilt around 2006. It changed from a Marriott Edition hotel to the Modern in 2012. The hotel has 17 floors and 350 rooms and suites.

While the Modern does not front the beach, it is within a five minute walk. There is an outdoor pool and also a sand area with a decorative fountain for those who don’t care to trek to the beach. The hotel has a trendy lunch and dinner restaurant as well as a more basic food service offered poolside. A happening bar/night club is across from the front desk and is cleverly designed behind a bookshelf in a speakeasy type layout. There also is an outdoor bar beside the pool. Additional facilities include a small workout room and a spa. Room service is offered on a 24 hour basis. Parking at the hotel is either valet, or there is a self parking lot across the street. It’s a non-smoking property with smoking limited to the valet area in front of the hotel.

The Modern has a tony, hip and urban loft feel. The hotel’s style reflects a contemporary design and the club edge of its restaurant and bars. The standard rooms are modern and comfortable, but a little on the small side. Also, the neighbors could be heard through the walls on the first stay in 2010 when it was a Marriott Edition but not on the second stay in 2015. The sound was not oppressive but it was noticeable. The hotel shined from a service perspective on both visits. The staff was quick to respond to requests and provide help or suggestions. They were consistently pleasant and professional, including the parking valets. The hotel’s amenities and level of service do not come cheap so expect a higher rate. The room charge for a basic city view room on the second stay for one night was $350. If you have a car, you can save some money by self-parking it across the street in the garage.

Even though the room on the second visit was on the 17th floor, city traffic noise was still noticeable. If you are noise sensitive, it pays to pay up and get a quieter pool view. The room on the second stay was very clean and in good order. Bathroom facilities worked properly, and the bed was comfortable. In keeping with many contemporary upscale hotels, there were no box springs in the bed. Room temperature started off cool, got a bit stuffy during the night and was comfortable in the morning, so the AC was not ideal but was acceptable. A nice perk was a large wraparound balcony with plenty of space to unwind and a partial view of the ocean. Margherita pizza and French fries were ordered from room service. The pizza was quite ordinary and expensive at $20, but the fries were very good and came with a really tasty horseradish type dipping sauce.

If you are planning a trip to Honolulu, Waikiki Beach is the place to stay because it is home to the main shops, restaurants and clubs that will likely be of interest. There are enough hotel options in Waikiki to satisfy a variety of tastes and budgets. If you want the beach at your doorstep and want to be around the main nightlife on Ala Moana Blvd., then the Modern would not be a good choice. However, if you want some (but not too much) separation from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and prefer a higher end hotel, the Modern should be considered. Having stayed there twice over five years, the hotel has been kept up-to-date as far as facilities, and service standards continue to be excellent. While it’s not a good choice for the budget traveler, the Modern works well for a person seeking nicer accommodations and a refined travel experience. Another benefit of staying here is the hotel’s active social calendar.
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