Fodor's Expert Review Shoreline Waikiki
342 Seaside Ave., Honolulu, Hawaii, 96815, USA See on Map
Situated right on the bustling Seaside Avenue in Waikiki, this 14-story, 1970s-era modernist boutique hotel was renovated by architect Anthony Laurino to blend island chic and modern style. The bold colors and artwork throughout the hotel are invigorating and offer a unique twist to the modern hotel. Each of the 135 rooms—including a handful of junior suites—comes equipped with state-of-the-art amenities like iPhone docks, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Skip the small rooftop pool, and walk to the beach instead.
To get rid of those pesky resort fees (and find some really great deals), book directly with the hotel.
The vibe that begins in the lobby--neon, bright, bold, fun, funky, chic--carries right up to the rooms with vibrant colors on the furniture, carpets, and walls. Snacks and kukui nut leis painted with bright colors await guests in their rooms, as does free Wi-Fi, a mini fridge, and small private lanai. Guests can choose between single queen, single king, two doubles, or a junior suite, just don’t expect stunning ocean views from your lanai.
The bathrooms are a bit cramped, but the cute styling continues here with sculpted “aloha” towel bars and bright, island shower curtains (a detail rarely seen in hotels anymore). The tub shower, sink, and mirror vanity are a bit outdated, but the decor helps to make up for it.
Upon stepping in the door, the bright colors of the hotel slap you in the face and make you feel happy.The lobby is full of bold color combinations that cover the furnishings, carpeting, and paint, with intricate white paper sculptures creating interesting artwork to look at. The reception desk is unobtrusive, and the little boutique kiosk is just as fun as the rest of the lobby. A shelf with coffee, infused waters, and newspapers sits next to the elevators.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Valet parking is your only option at a cost of $30, but it is secured. There are nearby public parking options, so you might try there for a better deal (the hotel often fills up on parking, too).
The rectangular rooftop pool is quite small, as is the sun deck surrounding it. There are only a few loungers and chairs around it, but it looks chic and is a good option if you need a quick cool down.
Heavenly Island Restaurant is located just off the hotel lobby, and serves up locally inspired breakfast, lunch, and dinner fare that’s just as bright and refreshing a the hotel, itself.
Fresh mojitos, mimosas, and sangrias make the cocktail menu at Heavenly Island stand out, along with a selection of beer and wine.
Waikiki and surrounding areas are easily reachable from the airport by cab or rideshare. There is plenty to do in these areas without ever leaving (walking, biking, taking the bus, or hailing a car), so a rental car is only necessary if you want to explore other parts of the island.
If you’re in or around the Ala Moana Center, the Hawaiian take on the gastropub is not to be missed. At The Brilliant Ox (11-min drive), guests will find an all day menu with incredible shared bites, lunch specials that include amazing ingredients on a bun, and a vibrant brunch menu. Late night hours on the weekend make it a great spot to linger and enjoy their handcrafted cocktails and beer menu while grazing through their menu.
Venture outside of your ramen comfort zone at Agu Ramen (6-min walk) by adding their signature “hot mess” – a heavy dose of parmesan – to your bowl. No really, it works! Their offerings include classic ramen bowls, options for vegans and vegetarians, and a ridiculously unctuous curry that will have you thinking about it for days. They also have a great happy hour at their multiple locations that includes 50% off appetizers and draft beers.
Though MAC 24/7 (6-min drive) is definitely a great place to grab a meal, especially breakfast, it’s their cocktails that we really love. Fruity cocktails like the Frozen Mo’o and Lava Lava Rocks fill that island cocktails craving.
Even if you’re not staying at The Modern, you’ll want to sneak behind the bookcases in their lobby to grab a drink at The Study (5-min drive). It may look small from the outside, but this bar with yummy cocktails, incredible live music that gives way to a DJ, and diverse crowd is large and inviting. Alas, you will definitely not get any studying done.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The hotel has recently been redone, incorporating a “nature meets neon” concept that is a lot of fun. The wide variety of perks include regular weekly events like (non-alcoholic) happy hour, yoga, live music, and more, depending on the day. The hotel is comfy and convenient, but more than anything, it’s downright cute and very hard not to love.