Once the Pacific Beach Hotel, a Waikiki landmark since the late ’60s, a $115 million renovation has given the old building a well-deserved facelift and the much anticipated launch of Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach. The lobby greets you with grand allure—sculptures and large wooden pillars are strewn about the lobby alongside white-marble countertops that complement its stylish chairs and couches.
The cozy O Bar, situated inside the lobby, serves guests pupu (appetizers) and drinks, with or without alcohol, next to the only remaining design choice of the old Pacific Beach Hotel, the 280,000-gallon tank teeming with over 500 fish. The two-story aquarium, dubbed the Oceanarium, will have over 1,000 fish, eagle rays and various species of eels.
Although the resort is still technically in its soft-launch phase until March, all 839 rooms in both the Seascape Tower and Beachside Tower are ready for reservations. Many of the amenities for guests, such as the rooftop tennis courts, gym and spa, are completely operational and ready for use. And most importantly, the pool and bar are open for business, where a spacious infinity pool looks down on Kalakaua Avenue and makes for the ideal spot to watch the sunset and sip a drink.
Across the pool deck, past an assortment of inviting couches, seats and recliners, are the private cabanas. Available to the public, a cabana will run you $225 for a full day, and $175 for a half day, but they’re worth every penny. Shaded and highly Instagrammable, these private pieces of poolside luxury are the perfect place to relax. Also included in the cabana package is a cooler, TV and lounge chair, half submerged in the resort’s shallow mirror pool.
For fine dining, the resort’s premier restaurant, Morimoto Asia Waikiki, is set to open Feb. 15 and will include Pan-Asian flavors crafted by “Iron Chef” Masaharu Morimoto. The restaurant also marks a return to Honolulu for Morimoto, whose only other Oahu restaurant, once located in The Modern Honolulu, closed in 2016. Downstairs from Morimoto Asia Waikiki is Momosan by Morimoto, a more casual beer garden and noodle shop that is slated to open in March.
And of course, the rooms, which start at $284 a night. Matching the overall feeling of Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach, each room is furnished in a modern minimalistic design. The wooden flooring and furniture, paired with off-white beddings and carpets, gives the room a subtly artistic atmosphere. What’s overtly lavish, however, are the views. The Diamond Head Ocean View suite stares directly at Hawaii’s most recognized landmark with unrivaled clarity. Those looking for a little more blue in their life will have their attention directed toward the ocean view rooms and suites, which, from their private lanai (patio), make it easy to gaze out at the Pacific from this fashionably modern hotel.
2490 Kalakaua Ave., Waikiki, (808) 922-1233, alohilaniresort.com.