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Reviewed 25 June 2018

The hotel is clean and “modern” and basically does what a hotel should do, with exception of the few minor criticisms as listed further below. Location is also good.

However, I am only awarding two stars for this hotel due to the following two issues:

1) My wife and I arrived at The Modern having travelled from Las Vegas early in the morning after a six hour flight, plus the travel to and waiting at the airport etc, followed by a two-hour long queue to pick-up a rental car at Honolulu airport. We were both tired and wanted to get to our room and relax. We checked in the hotel at the reception desk, where after registration, we were immediately escorted to the Concierge desk to discuss ‘excursions and things to do on Oahu’ during our stay. After a few minutes, it became very clear that there was an ulterior motive behind this chat, this being to get you to attend a two-hour long Time-Share presentation. The presentation included a so-called breakfast, which required you to pay $20 per person up-front in case you failed to attend. I found this underhand approach totally unacceptable and therefore refused. I do not go on vacation to have this done to me. If for some reason I did want a Time Share property, I would never do this in such a high pressure selling presentation.

2) Resort Fee’s of $30 per day (plus tax). As a Brit, I loathe the American practice of applying so-called “Resort Fee’s”. Luckily for me, this is not legal in Europe. The room price that you pay when booking should be total / final price that you pay. This is just another scam to get your money.

Now for the minor issues that I found with this hotel:

The mattresses on the beds sit on wooden bases which are much larger than the mattress. These bases also have sharp 90 degree corners. My wife got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and hit her shin on one of these corners hurting her leg and waking me up in the process. The beds were not particularly comfortable either.

The shower, which is over the bath, has a cheap plastic curtain which as you run the hot water wants to wrap itself around your body. At first, my wife thought that I was larking about.

The sound from the corridor areas is easily transmitted into the room.

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
7  Thank Paul F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 June 2018 via mobile

Just wrapped up a 5 night stay at the modern Honolulu. Overall we really enjoyed the facilities: the rooms decor is modern and clean, room is spacious and outdoor balconies offer nice views.

Every time we approached the front desk for anything they appeared to be understaffed with lots of people waiting and only two guest service agents working. Front desk staff was not impressive, no recognition for Expedia VIP program status, no offers for additional assistance, even when we stopped to ask for an umbrella the line at the front desk was four people deep and they were out of umbrellas to lend. When we checked in Wednesday morning there was a gentleman behind the front desk who had obviously just shown up for his shift and was still in process of dressing in his uniform and was not ready to be in front of house yet, not a great look.

Positive experience with room service staff and friendly valets. The pool areas are a lot of the reason we chose this hotel, however the water in the larger pool was so cloudy, the ocean water on the island is significantly clearer which made me feel a little gross getting into the pool. Cool food and beverage options on property with the grove and the study as well. Would consider staying again but only if the price is right.

Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Alicia A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 June 2018

I was looking for a cool, 'non chain' type spot for our first trip to Honolulu. Seems like there's lots of Hilton-ish type chains that just don't have much personality, and that's where we really likes our choice of The Modern. It's not small but still has a boutique feel, the rooms are relatively basic but very nice and comfortable, and we really liked the pool bar (any place with a 9am happy hour gets a thumbs up from us!) and adult-only pool on the 2nd floor. Apart from a fairly slow check-in process, I heard due from a new system, it was all good and Gena there went over & above to print and deliver some urgent documents for me. I'm definitely stay here next time we're in town.

Stayed: June 2018
Thank stingley23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 June 2018

In December 2013 we stayed at The Modern when we got engaged and booked again for the last leg of our honeymoon in early April.

When we made the booking several months earlier, we said it was for a honeymoon and when we arrived there was a little surprise waiting for us which was nice.

However, there were a few things which concerned us to change our TA rating from our last stay as it has deteriorated since unfortunately.

- The room was located next to the lift well - they did state that the lift is turned off a certain time in the evening but as we had a young child we didn't want to get disturbed - also its not just the elevators that cause noise i.e. people talking with their luggage when coming in and out.
When we asked for an alternate down the hall it was a downgraded room with less space so didn't take it.

- The room was tired i.e. the carpet was unclean with a largish dark mark on it and other general wear and tear due to lack of maintenance

- My credit card was charged extra to our room AFTER we had checked out (it was the wrong room in the end) - had to chase up with international phone call to get the refund processed

- We ate at all the on site restaurants and while the food was OK found on several occasions that the service was a bit arrogant.
In one case where we had breakfast near the pool we were charged $5 for a little jug of milk for the baby, this was not on the menu - this cost the same as an espresso coffee and when I queried the waitress about that, they said that was policy and couldn't reverse it.

In the other restaurant (Grove), the waiter asked if we would like bread as a side which should be normal for any higher class of restaurant - instead we found that we got the bill we were charged for that.
Also the "suggested" gratuity for this was higher than any other place we dined through our 3-week Hawaiian stay i.e. started at 18% and went to 22%.
Whats next - charging for salt / pepper, ketchup, butter or even water?
If you are going to charge for add-ons which should be complementary, then state it up front and don't assume that by bringing it out.
We deducted it from the gratuity, which I know goes against etiquette, but concluded it was service related in the end.
Ironically, if the service was better then we would have tipped accordingly - as had done elsewhere.

- The downstairs bar which used to be busy and a great vibe had only several people there - even on a Saturday night

Have heard on the grapevine that new management / owners have taken over a couple of years ago, which may have explained this.
Other people we know who have stayed in the last couple of years that we recommended from our 2013 stay have also mentioned similar drop which we found surprising compared to our stay back then, but now tend to agree.
A bit of a shame, as for us the location was good and not on the main strip and closer to Ala Moana shopping mall.

Stayed: April 2018
4  Thank booyak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2018

Loved this hotel. Stylish, fresh. Our room was on the 11th floor and despite the distant traffic and some noise from surrounding hotels at night, it was very quiet and kept very clean & tidy (thanks Jenet – great work) Great location – easy enough to walk to Ala Moana shopping centre and in the other direction, to Waikiki shopping district. There’s an ABC store across the road (diagonally) from the hotel. Most tours pick up and drop off around the corner.

A highlight was the Friday night fireworks – we had a table at the restaurant with a great view. Dinner & cocktails really added to it. Staff were friendly and efficient.

Only one issue – we are tea drinkers and had to request a hot water jug (which we did prior to checking in) and ceramic mugs for our room. And while coffee drinkers are catered for in room we had to purchase our own tea bags and fresh milk.

Oh, and to those that complained about getting stuck with the concierge after check in (for a time share sell?) - be firm and just don't. We made it VERY clear we were too tired right now, our room was ready and we'd get back to him (never did).

  • Stayed: May 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank ellen467
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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