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“Chic Boutique Waikiki Hotel - Fabulous yet noisy”

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The Modern Honolulu
Ranked #5 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
27 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Chic Boutique Waikiki Hotel - Fabulous yet noisy”
Reviewed 27 February 2013

I've stayed at The Modern two times for business and while I love the hotel, actually prefer staying at their adjoining sister hotel The Ilikai simply because it is the quieter of the two properties. While The Modern is chic and beautifully designed, I had to switch rooms two times because of the unbearable noise from traffic and even then, was not happy with the noise level. It was challenging trying to fall asleep (even though the bed and pillows were fabulous - see below). The location of the hotel is perfect. Centrally located and in the beginning of Waikiki, it's a good "launching pad." There are wonderful beaches a five minute walk from the property, great shopping (Ala Moana Shopping Center) and eating establishments minutes away by foot or car, as well as great nightlife. The rooms are moderate in size and come with a mini fridge. The desk is very large with comfortable seating - perfect for the serious business person. The bed is very comfy with high thread count sheets, but beware of getting injured from the sharp corners of the frames. Iron Chef Morimoto's restaurant (Morimotos) is one of the highlights on the property and I've enjoyed delicious/reasonably priced leisurely breakfast, lunches and dinner there enjoying the view of the harbor. The "lounge" poolside is a wonderful place to enjoy outdoor meetings as it is covered and has comfortable seating. The hotel's ambience may appeal more to singles or couples rather than families. If you are looking for a place to host a small conference, The Modern has wonderful facilities including intimate seminar rooms, "ballrooms" that have moving doors and my favorite - a rooftop lanai perfect for yoga. As a conference organizer, I found the staff to be very professional and highly accommodating. The hotel is ultra chic and you can be assured the staff is warm and hospitable.

Room Tip: Insure you receive a quiet room upon booking - I believe the ocean views are the most quiet.
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled on business
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2 Thank Lee Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 February 2013

Just back from 7 days at the Modern Honolulu. Loved this fabulously decorated, hip hotel! But service was very disappointing. For a 4 star hotel, it was more like a 2 star experience. (I found out from other frequent Waikiki travellers that it's known for poor service and a bit of an attitude).

The rooms were incredible. (Ensure you don't book near the back of the hotel, i.e. north of the elevators on EITHER side of the building. You wake at 2:00 - 5:00 due to the garbage trucks. I was lucky as a large conference moved out so they moved me to the SOUTH of the elevators after a very long night without sleep. Afterwards slept to the ocean surf - couldn't get better).The pools are beautiful (sun hits them around 12:00 so you have the morning to hit the beach which is a very short walk from the marine.) As for location, the hotel is perfectly located a 15-20 minute beach walk from the buzz of the Waikiki strip and 10 minutes from the Ala Moana Shopping Mall and the locals park/beach (a great place for a morning run).

What the Hotel doesn't offer is any consistently in service - the front desk was always ''on' but very slow in responding to inquiries, ie. requests for ipads, etc, but the pool/bar staff appeared to be very poorly managed. Each day the service levels would be on and off. ie. they didn't walk the pool area to get drinks. You often had to track them down for orders. If you ordered a paper with breakfast forget ever getting it. Often the staff appeared not to care about the guest experience.

So don't go for the service. Instead, get a great room rate on the beach side of the hotel, and then enjoy Waikiki, the beach, and the Modern's pools.

Room Tip: South of the elevators on the east side of the building is best. The back side - North side is very...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
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3 Thank BladechickVancouver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

This is not a 'family' hotel, but my family loved it. It's a Schrager, with all that that means. Beautiful design, attention to every smallest detail, a decorative symphony of white, off white, ivory, cream, light wood tones and...white. We stayed with two teenagers, who were blown away by the look and feel of the public spaces and their rooms. The staff were simply extraordinary. Young, beautiful, and committed to our happiness. Their uniforms are the best I've seen at a tropical resort. And the morning coffee served in the lobby bar is the ONLY drinkable coffee we found on the island.
The location is ideal - a short stroll from shopping mecca Ala Moana Centre, and a brief $9 cab ride from the flesh pits of Waikiki. Best of both worlds. In-hotel dining is casual by the pool or an extreme sport at iron chef Morimoto's sleek coral crowned restaurant. Lots of good economical dining options in the nearby area - we loved the Chart House. A surfeit of car hire options just a block away. Really, the Modern is perfectly situated.
Any gripes at all? Perhaps the beds and pillows were just tooooo soft and inviting!

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
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2 Thank Wil G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Stayed here for 5 days during a 10-day vacation, and the food and staff were even better and friendlier than the last time we were here. My friend and I enjoyed the pool and the night life they have to offer, and the general ambiance is very relaxing yet hip enough to keep things interesting. I would recommend this place for couples and couples rather than families.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank purple5188
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

First time I've been back to Honolulu in about a decade, its really built up around this end of Waikiki from what I remember. Hotel was very nice, good food and drinks in the lounges, but avoid getting a corner unit on the NW corner. Traffic noise from the street is pretty relentless.

Room Tip: corner suites are nice, but those on the north side will be noisy
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled on business
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1 Thank rickap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 25 February 2013

We stayed here in February 2013 and were very impressed! The hotel has a great design aesthetic with lots of white and clean lines. This hotel is clearly aimed at couples/groups of friends instead of families. The pools are relaxing and not too loud, and the poolside drinks are delicious- try the blended coconut mojito! The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, and the concierge provided us with excellent dinner reservations. The restaurant at the hotel, Morimoto, was wonderful as well. I agree with the reviewer who said the hotel is noisy- there is quite a bit of street noise and noise from the club. I would recommend earplugs if you're a light sleeper. The hotel is on the harbor, not the beach, but it's a very short walk to the beach. It is further away from the main Waikiki area but that was ok with us since we weren't looking to stay in a touristy area. Overall, it's a great hotel and I would stay here again!

Room Tip: Try to stay on a higher floor to avoid noise from the club/pool bar at night.
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Kirsten D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Helmond, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
57 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 February 2013

We were pleasantly surprised with the Modern in Honolulu. We spend 2 nights here ending our Hawaii Honeymoon before we went back home. We were looking for a hotel were we could just chill a little. Check-in was quick and sufficient. We got a free upgrade to a partial ocean view room on the 16th floor. The room had a nice balcony although it was way to windy to sit there.
The bed was lovely. Just a little low, what could be a problem for older people to get in/out of bed.
The bathroom is small but has a good lay out. I just missed out on a decent hairdryer, but that's my complaint to almost every hotel we stayed in. They are just way to small.

We loved the bar and restaurant area at the Sunrise pool and spend quite some time there. Very attentfull service from friendly young staff.

The only dissapointment for us was that we couldn't have a late check out. The hotel was fully booked and they needed our room. Our flight home was at midnight and we had to be out of the room at 1 pm. They let us use the spa for a quick shower at the end of the day and we could use all the facilities down the pool area exept for the complementary WIFI, which we think should always be accessable at any time for any guests.
We had to pay 10 dollars to get access again.

Location: is a bit far from Waikiki Beach but on the other hand, it gives you a good exercise to walk there which we enjoyed in the morning. And you don't really need to leave the hotel because you can easily spend a few days here just to relax.

We tried the Morimoto restaurant on our last evening but did not like it very much. Although it looks very trendy and nice, it was cold, crowded and loud insite. The mainly Japanese food was of good quality but not to our taste very much.

Room Tip: The nightclub is open from thursday to sunday. We stayed on the other days so did not have any noise...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Brigitte-Ramon
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

Property: The Modern Honolulu
Address: 1775 Ala Moana Boulevard, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1603
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu > Waikiki
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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