Photography by Michael Pascual
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach located on the fashionable Kalakaua Avenue sits directly across the street from one of the most legendary strips of sand in all the Hawaiian Islands, Waikiki Beach. Situated where the city meets the sand, guests could not ask for a more prime location to spend their sun-soaked vacation in one of the most popular destinations on this planet. Residing on the land of Queen Liliʻuokalani’s beachside cottage, the resort celebrated its grand opening on May 8, 2018, a date that has forever changed the Waikiki Beach hotel scene.
A five-year project that yielded perfection from inception, ‘Alohilani Resort had been transformed through a $125 million redevelopment from the previous Pacific Beach Hotel into what is now a 4½ star resort that has set the highest of standards for its guests. Acclaimed design firm Rockwell Group was the mastermind behind the resort’s dramatic lobby features, restaurants, amenities, infinity pool and deck as well as all guest rooms and suites. Architectural firm Pacific Asia Design Group enhanced the grand and refined space with elegant touches that pays homage to Hawaii’s rich cultural heritage. Surrounded by awe-inspiring views of the crystal-clear blue and green ocean, Diamond Head and Waikiki, ‘Alohilani is a modern oasis that offers a refreshing balance of energy and relaxation in a lively, urban location.
It all starts as you enter the Alohilani lobby, an anomaly in its own right. Featuring soaring ceilings and tall wooden pillars, the design is dominated by natural materials like wood, stone and straw, setting the stage for the warmest of welcomes. The real showstopper though is the gigantic, two-story, 280,000-gallon oceanarium which holds 600 indigenous Hawaiian reef fishes, from 44 different species. Twice daily at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm an ‘Alohilani scuba diver feeds the fish and will frequently interact with guests so they can learn about the wonders of the Hawaiian undersea.
The hotel’s all-new 839 guest rooms and suites feature private lanais, or verandas, which offer panoramic ocean, Diamond Head, and city views. An airy, guest room experience inspired by Oahu’s serene landscape pairs rich natural woods with a calmness inducing blend of whites and beiges combined with spatterings of blues and greens. A multitude of room options are available at Alohiliani ranging from the standard room to the luxurious Beachside suite which offers magnificent, unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki Beach. For the ultimate stay look no further than the stylish one-bedroom suites with elegant living rooms accented with large-scale black and white photography, a dining area, a wet bar plus a sleek bathroom with dual vanities, a wet room with a rain shower and a soaking tub. All guest rooms and suites feature Malie Organics’ Koke’e scented bath products as well as a custom blended coffee program for those early mornings hoping to catch that infamous Waikiki sunrise.
For the ultimate in relaxation, an afternoon at the Alohiliani fifth-floor pool deck certainly fits the bill. Fully equipped with loungers along a heated saltwater infinity pool guests can bask the day away in the warm Hawaiian sunshine. The pool deck also includes the Swell Bar, cabanas perched atop reflecting pools, tiered day beds, custom teak furniture, driftwood sculptures, lanterns, and fire pits.
For those looking for a little self-care during their time on property a visit to Fit Waikiki and Spa U’ilani is just what the doctor ordered. Featuring a state-of-the-art fitness center with a movement studio for daily classes and Fitness on Demand virtual classes as well as two rooftop full-size clay tennis courts, batting cages and training turf, amenities one would never expect to find from a hotel exercise program. As if those world-class amenities were not enough the hotel also includes sunset yoga and TRX classes overlooking the ocean as well as three spa treatment rooms, including a couple’s room for massages, body treatments and facials.
The culinary program at Alohalani is as fast-rate as one could expect from a hotel of this stature showcasing four dining experiences, two of which are the brainchild of world-renowned Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. Morimoto Asia is an integration of Chef Morimoto’s Western and traditional Asian ingredients showcasing a fusion-inspired menu with items ranging from Shrimp Pad Thai to Peking Duck to a mouthwatering selection of tantalizing dishes using the infamous A5 Wagyu beef.
Located at street level just steps from the sand, Momosan beckons both locals and tourists alike with intoxicating scents of Asian-inspired dishes drifting to the beach. The fun and casual dining experience puts noodles front and center and features signature Morimoto sake and beer selections. This all-day dining restaurant serves small plates and appetizers, Chef Morimoto’s unique take on a local favorite garlic shrimp, original salads, classic izakaya-style rice dishes as well as yakitori and flavor-forward ramen dishes.
SWELL Bar at the seascape pool deck serves handcrafted craft cocktails and an all-day menu featuring Oahu light bite favorites. With scenic city and ocean views, SWELL Bar is an escape that invites the most relaxing of atmospheres equipped with private cabanas and lounge areas with fire pits. A Waikiki Beach hotspot with one of the most impressive cocktail menus in Honolulu, SWELL Bar is a place to see and be seen.
Anchored by the two-story Oceanarium teeming with tropical marine life, O Bar is the resort’s panoramic gathering place from meetings during the day to cherished time with family, or for a night out with friends. O Bar offers ocean-inspired craft cocktails, beer, wine, and live music to enjoy the awe-inspiring Hawaiian undersea.
Alohilani Resort recently announced its commitment to achieving its PAS 2060 carbon-neutral certification, a statement showing the hotel’s unbridled love for its motherland. The resort has also engaged DEKRA for verification services and has partnered with the Hawaiian Legacy Reforestation Initiative (HLRI). This builds upon ‘Alohilani Resort’s sustainability initiatives, including its commitment to plant 100,000 indigenous trees in its Legacy Forest, and its use of renewable electricity throughout the hotel. This initiative is at the forefront of Alohilani’s sustainability and eco-friendly mantra, it is vital for them to not only reduce their carbon footprint but also to educate their guests in these processes hoping for a greater future.
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach is a breath of fresh air on the ever-evolving island of Oahu. With a resume complete with a jaw-dropping beachfront property, world-class amenities, culinary excellence and the most inspirational of sustainability efforts this surely is the hotel of the future. Only a 5-to-10-minute walk from many of the island’s hot spots such as the International Marketplace, world-renowned restaurants, shops, and miles of white sandy beach, one thing is certain, a stay here surely will not disappoint.
A New Waterfront Recreation & Lifestyle Venue Will Feature World’s Largest Deep-Water Standing Wave, Exceptional Dining and Signature Events
Wai Kai, set within Hoakalei Resort in Ewa Beach on West Oahu, recently announced its grand opening date set for February 10, 2023. The highly anticipated development is the first of its kind in Hawaii, known as the birthplace of modern surfing, and is poised to become an active year-round destination that inspires locals and visitors to connect to the water, land, and rich Hawaiian culture. Located 35 minutes from Honolulu overlooking the turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean, amenities include the world’s largest deep-water standing surf wave, the 52-acre Wai Kai Lagoon for water sports, three delectable restaurants, sprawling event lawn with waterfront fire pits, waterman’s club, and a unique retail shop.
The Line Up at Wai Kai will serve as a dynamic social and recreational activity hub of water sports and activities headlined by the Wai Kai Wave in a sun-kissed setting with cool ocean breezes. Powered by citywave®, the technology creates authentic surfing conditions with perfect endless and adjustable waves ranging from two to six feet for all skill levels. The 100-foot-wide adjustable wave allows up to three surfers at a time with an additional 30 in the barefoot zone and emulates famous natural standing river waves like the Oahu North Shore’s famous Waimea River Sand Bar. The Wai Kai Wave was created in collaboration with Oahu’s-own Shane Beschen, X Games Gold Medalist, and a former world No. 2 ranked surfer. Shane and other former and current professional surfers will be available for hands-on instruction and training sessions.
The Wai Kai Wave overlooks the Wai Kai Lagoon, a serene, protected area for stand-up paddling, kayaking, outrigger canoeing, peddle boats and piloted electric boat cruises. Aquabanas and sun loungers will line a sandy beach area near the water. An optional monthly membership will be available for frequent visitors with preferred rates and access to special events and programming. Major surfing and waterman competitions are being planned for the Wai Kai Wave and Wai Kai Lagoon.
Dining is set to be an integral part of the Wai Kai experience. A dual-concept restaurant presented by Michelin-awarded Chef Todd Humphries of Kitchen Door Napa sits at the heart of the expansive property. The signature restaurant, the Plaza Grill, is situated on the upper level featuring a full-service dining room with lanai seating and unobstructed lagoon views. Contemporary yet casual, it will showcase a globally diverse menu, driven by local and seasonal ingredients. The second concept, the Boardwalk Café, will offer an interactive and intuitive counter-service restaurant concept on the ground level featuring an all-day menu of eclectic yet traditional favorites. Other restaurants include The LookOut Bar and Restaurant, which will fuse fresh and healthy cuisine with front-row views of the surf action, and Foam Coffee & Bar just off the boardwalk.
Hawaii-based Events International has partnered with Wai Kai to curate a robust schedule of unique, interactive, and engaging events and experiences for all ages. The company will work closely with corporate clients, destination management companies and the team at The LineUp at Wai Kai to coordinate memorable group functions and catered events ranging from intimate gatherings to full buyouts. Venues include a 61,200-square-foot Event Lawn, Fire Pit Terrace and Promenade along the adjacent Wai Kai Lagoon, a 12,600-square-foot Surfside Lawn at the Wai Kai Wave, and a variety of other function spaces.
What would a trip to the tropical islands of Hawaii be without being one with nature fully experiencing the raw Jurassic landscape that has made this destination so famous? For the ultimate day trip highlighting the best of the island of Oahu look no further than the iconic Kualoa Ranch.
With not one, but two listings on the US Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places since the 1970s, Kualoa Ranch Private Nature Reserve is owned and managed by the eighth-generation descendants of Dr. Gerritt P. Judd. Kualoa’s mission is to enrich people’s lives by preserving its sacred lands and celebrating its history. Established in 1850, Kualoa’s company vision is to be a role model as stewards of these amazing 4000 acres named Kualoa, Hakipu’u and Ka’a’awa.
Their goal is to protect and enhance the natural beauty of these lands while developing sustainable recreational, agricultural and aquacultural enterprises that are compatible with the environment. All tours and commercial activities enable Kualoa to keep the lands undeveloped so that future generations will be able to enjoy them as well. They truly care about and strive to educate all visitors … kama’aina, military and malihini … about traditional Hawaiian values, reverence for our natural environment, respect for the host Hawaiian culture and most importantly, the sacred history of Kualoa.
UTV Raptor tour
Multi-passenger UTV Raptor vehicles are a great way to see Kualoa up close and personal! Led by professional tour guides, you will drive your Raptor into the remote areas of Kaaawa “Jurassic” Valley as well as the lush Hakipu’u rain forests where surprises await. Your guide will lead you deep into scenic valleys and remote areas, often rambling through dirt roads, dusty trails and crossing seasonal streams.
Jurassic Valley Zip Line
This amazing “Jurassic Valley” Zipline Tour crisscrosses the beautiful Ka’a’awa Valley with 7 exciting tandem stations, a suspension bridge & 3 mini-hiking nature trails. Get ready for a thrill ride of a lifetime as ziplines range from 200 feet up to a quarter of a mile in length! Guests will learn about Hawaiian traditions and zip through native flora and fauna. And if your surroundings look familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen Ka’a’awa Valley in one of the 200+ movies & tv shows like Jurassic Park, Jurassic World & Jumanji that have been filmed at Kualoa over the years.
Secret Island Beach Adventure
Secret Beach, the ultimate Aloha Day showcasing the best of the island of Oahu. Enjoy all types of water equipment such as kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, catamarans, glass bottom boats & more. The Secret Island Beach Adventure is an ideal place to relax and spend the day with family and friends while enjoying water sports and beach games. Make sure to bring your reef-safe sunscreen, swimsuit, water shoes, towel, shades, and a camera for a fun-filled beach day basking in the warm Hawaiian sunshine.