Sleek design has its place. But in Honolulu, land of Polynesian charm and turbo charged Pacific vistas, the best perches are often the ones that have been around for decades, updated but maintaining the midcentury glamour of an Elvis film. For decades, The Halekulani has reigned as Grand Dame of Waikiki (Erroll Flynn, Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell were all guests) her hospitality and “tropical modernist” decor delivering a sense of place that blows contemporary corporate-crafted “island ambiance” out of the water.
I loved the bungalow-feeling decor: billowing linen drapes rippling through the airy, breezeways, wooden slatted shutters and rattan furniture in the rooms.
But, it’s the understated sophistication that keeps guests coming back for decades. In an age of ripped jeans and rude cell phone use in public spaces, The Halekulani insists upon no excessive noise by the pool and “beach elegant” attire for it’s four restaurants.
Each morning I woke up to a stunning view of Diamond Head. Then, after breakfast, we discovered a new beach a day-Makapuu, Lanikai, Kailua- which are all only about 25 minutes away.