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“A yacht on land.”

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The Modern Honolulu
Ranked #7 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 10, 2012

This was the last hotel we stayed at during our recent trip to Maui and Oahu. We stay at the Ritz in Maui and Turtle Bay up on the north shore. I think I really would have liked this hotel when I was in my mid 20's, but now as I am getting older (early 30's) I find that I enjoy less hustle and bustle of the city and a more relaxing environment in the country. With that said the hotel was exactly what I expected and as what earlier reviews have indicated. Nice accommodations, friendly staff and beautiful common areas. It is a little posh but not overdone. If a hotel could be a yacht and the staff were your first mates and cabin boys then this would be the place.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Twisted C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,645 - 3,651 of 4,077 reviews

Reviewed February 10, 2012

Stayed altogether 10 nights at The Modern Honolulu during my Hawaii trip in January-February 2012 and can't fault it. Hotel feels new and is in a good location. Close to beach and Waikiki's nightlife and still away from the worst noise. Service was excellent. Stayed both times in a room with balcony and a great view over the pool area, the harbor and the Hilton lagoon - plus the sea in the background. Could actually see the Hilton fireworks from the room. Pool area is nice and pool beds are comfy. You can also take the towels to the beach. Room was big and had a great bed and a big flat screen tv. There is a safe and good wifi at no charge plus an empty fridge which is great for storing your own wine or water (two complimentary bottles each day plus ice if needed). There is also a ukulele in the room! Cleaning was excellent and there was lots of towels and good bath amenities. The bath room is a bit odd since it doesn't really offer any privacy from the rest of the room. I had a late flight and was allowed to check out at 1 pm and use the shower in the spa for a late afternoon shower. All for free. Front desk helped print documents also at no charge. There is valet parking at a charge and bell hops to help with the luggage (don't forget to tip). But I managed to park on the street nearby for free every day. Honolulu Star Advertiser and Wall Street Journal can be picked up on every floor in the morning. Daily cleaning and turn down service. Excellent hotel for the price we paid (not much more than 100 US a night because of a special sale with Expedia VIP).

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Rueskov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2012

The Modern aspires to be a luxury hotel, but can't quite figure out how to do it.

During my stay, it seemed that they didn't have room ready for check-in by 3pm and in fact, some guests were kept waiting until after 5pm. The hotel offers a turn-down service, but missed my room two of the four nights I was there (and no, there wasn't a Do Not Disturb on my door).

Rooms are okay. I wouldn't say that they are great and certainly not luxurious. Instead they are rather stark (mostly white) and not particularly large. Bathrooms are a little odd - if you are there with someone, make sure that you are very comfortable with them as the bathroom offers little privacy.

Staff are pretty friendly. But, I would expect that as a luxury property (or at least laying claim to that) staff would remember guests names, valet would know that you are checking in, advance email or phone call to guests like I experience with other properties.

Location is just ok. Not a place to go if you want to hang out on the beach although its about a five minute walk to the beach fronting the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Recent construction on Ala Moana Blvd makes getting into and out of the hotel a real pain if you try to do it after about 6:30 pm. This road work is expected to continue for several more months if not another year.

Lobby Bar is nice and service there is good, although drinks are on the expensive side. Morimotos? Expensive and the service is so so. If you go, make sure that you have a couple of drinks as the service can be very slow.

Overall, I think that they aspire to be a luxury hotel, but just don't know how. For a luxury experience, I'd recommend the Halekulani or The Kahala.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled on business
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2  Thank Joe A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2012

Can't wait to go back!

In the chaos of Waikiki, it's great to find a beautiful haven that is walkable to the action but not consumed by it. The Modern is a tasteful hotel that seems intent on providing a relaxing experience- we found ourselves lingering at our own hotel more than we have on any other vacation. The staff was universally warm and welcoming: we were treated better than at any hotel in recent memory.

The hotel seems intent on creating a unique experience- the first thing we noticed in our room was little ukeleles you could (theoretically) strum on your balcony. The views from both rooms we had were stunning. It is perfectly located, just a few steps from the beach and perched on the beautiful Marina. When you are lying on one of the comfortable beds by the pool, you will feel worlds away.

The hotel also offers free internet in its rooms, which is a token of how this hotel extends itself (especially in a time when so many hotels are getting cheap)

Tip: The music Tuesday nights at the bar by the pool is lovely, as are the special cocktails on the menu- the Coco Breeze (?) was a favorite in our group!

Room Tip: Doubtful there are any bad rooms here! One of our rooms had a comfy balcony, the other did- opt for...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank wonderlilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 9, 2012

I stayed at The Modern for 3 nights in general and was very impressed with the hotel and the staff. My stay got off to a great start after 22 hours of flying to be given an upgrade to a suite for free. Followed by some great cocktails at the lobby bar.

For me the highlight of my stay was the poolside bar and the great service we received from all of the staff

  • Stayed: January 2012
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1  Thank fourstardust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

Stayed at the Modern Honolulu with my family for just over a week in January. I understand the hotel was completely refurbished about a year ago and it has a very clean, new feel to it. It's facilities lean more to the boutique side (i.e. small). Staff at the front desk were reasonably efficient. Concierge was pleasant and helpful.

I have read other reviewers write that service was patchy or inconsistent. We found it the same.

Our first day we had breakfast in the hotel restaurant and found the menu selection small, the service ok, but we decided not to do that again.

By accident we found out that it was possibly to eat breakfast outside near the pool. For six days straight we had breakfast at the pool and on the seventh it all went to hell in a handbasket. We sat down and were ignored (ie not given menus). When we finally asked for menus, the staff member was flipant to say the least. Two of us ordered and about fifteen minutes later four more people in our party arrived and eventually ordered. The mistakes, delays and shockingly bad service were laughable. I have to say though that in the end, the manager did his best to correct everything and did not charge for anything we had during breakfast.

While I would rather they got it right the first time, I can't complain with how they handled the situation in the end.

We (my family and I) always tip...the gauling thing is that now it is not apprecaited or accepted as a reward for a job well done, it is now expected. Our expectations however extend that when we tip, the next time we visit, the service should be excellent.

They have a "main pool" and a "zen" splash pool, which is ankle deep (not for swimming). On the day we arrived the splash pool was closed in the late afternoon and evening for a function, which was OK because the other "main" pool was available. However on one of the days the Main pool was closed from 4pm for a function. This was not acceptable. When there is only one proper pool, it is not reasonable to close it for a private function.

We went to the hotels Restaurant on the first and last night of our stay the food was expensive, but excellent. The service on the first night was very poor (and we had a US$100.00 tip whacked on the bill because we were more than six people). On the second occaision the service was excellent (so we didn't mind paying the tip).

The rooms were quite expensive, but we would stay there again.

While this property is a little distant from Waikiki Shopping it is very close to Ala Moana shopping centre.

One of the best things about Honolulu is the shopping. The prices and the variety.

I would stay at the Modern again, as I like to stay in newer hotels and most others are aging.

I have stayed at the Westin Moana Surfrider (rooms are small but well appointed) and Sheraton (Big hotel, old hotel - would not do it again).

Room Tip: A room ending in "10" or "11" is a one bedroom suite facing the water which has...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Mixologist80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2012

We arrived at the hotel around 10pm after 18 hours of travel. As tired as we were we could have slept even on a park bench, however, when we arrived we were treated with an upgrade to an ocean/city view room which was lovely. It lived up to the 4.5 star rating. The room was very modern and the ukelalie on the wall was a nice decorative touch. If we went back to Honolulu, we would definitely stay there. The staff was extremely friendly and addressed you by name. You usually don't get that anymore. Don't let the price scare you. We booked it online and got a great deal. It's in a good location too. Not far from Waikiki Beach (within walking distance) and the Waikiki Trolley stops almost in front of the hotel which will take you all over Waikiki, Diamond Head and Honolulu. It's not directly on the beach. There is a small harbor adjacent to it. The beach, however, is close enough to walk to in about 3 minutes.

Room Tip: If you are pleasant when you come in, they will most likely give you a complimentary upgrade to a hi...
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Laurie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Modern Honolulu

Address: 1775 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1603
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#2 Family Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#5 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: $236 - $466 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Modern Honolulu 4.5*
Number of rooms: 353
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Perfectly situated, THE MODERN HONOLULU stands at the epicenter between the world renowned Hawaiian experience of Waikiki Beach, the blossoming Kaka’ako arts district, and Honolulu’s downtown cosmopolitan scene. We are the hub of contemporary culture and creativity in Honolulu. Our boutique luxury is as refined as it is relaxed. An empowered team delivers THE MODERN HONOLULU experience -- alluring, personalized and innovative – surrounded by an award winning design concept that creates an urban chic beach aesthetic. LATHER spa features treatments developed around the purest products in the world -- natural, organic, and sustainable. Local and house-made culinary menus are offered for poolside and in-room dining, complemented by RAVISH Restaurant which blends our Island’s bounty with Asian flavors and South American tastes creating a true Pacific Rim experience. Two stylish pools overlook the ocean for daytime fun while a vibrant scene at The Study lobby bar is the spot for an evening rendezvous. It’s no wonder Thrillist magazine called us “The best boutique hotel in Hawaii.” ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Modern Honolulu Hotel Honolulu
The Modern Honolulu Hawaii

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