Higher Ground

April 2, 2012 | By Waikiki Magazine Team

Pie in the sky at The Modern Honolulu’s penthouse

Ever wonder where the likes of P-Diddy dwells when he’s in Waikiki shooting (as a guest star) on Hawaii Five-0? Or where Christina Aguilera and her entourage come for a little R&R before the launch of her next multi-platinum selling album? Maybe where the Russian heads of state stayed when in town for APEC?

The Modern Honolulu—the newest hotel on the island—boasts a penthouse suite that suits the ultra-modern hotel, as well as its hip and jet-setting clientele. Let’s start with the square footage; a whopping 1,500 square feet of interior space nearly doubled with a 1,400-square-foot lanai that overlooks the marina, Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head crater to the east, plus downtown Honolulu and the Wai‘anae mountain range to the west. It’s impossible to not feel like you’re on top of the Islands when settling into a plush lounge chair with a bottle of Veuve here.

Don’t have an extra $7,000 (the hotel calls this rate “highly negotiable”) to spend on a crash pad for the night? No worries: The Modern has been using this pied-a-terre almost exclusively as a private affair or event space, perfect for cocktail parties, reunions, bridal or engagement parties and the like. However, it’s still marketed and offered to high-rollers for whom money is no object.

Yet, in a space this posh, lanai living doesn’t have to stop at aperitifs. A 12-person, al fresco dining table (with space for a few dozen more upon request) can be styled for an intimate, exclusive dining experience that brings the hotel’s executive chef to your beck and call with a customized menu and full wait staff/bar service. There’s nothing like dining on fresh ‘ahi within eyeshot of both the waters where the fish may have been caught, and the Honolulu Fish Auction where it was purchased. Convenient!

Inside, minimalist chic decor is a breath of fresh air in hotel design; wide plank wooden flooring runs throughout, with white-washed built-in cabinets, tables and end pieces. Elegantly modern soft lighting emanates from lamps and chandeliers, while there’s no shortage of flat-screen TVs throughout. Bookshelves are replete with beautiful printed volumes and tasteful works of art. In essence, there’s enough here to evoke that beachy feel, but still plenty of room for the guest to make it their own.

A walk-in kitchen gives families or those bringing in their own bevy of food a place to store everything. And the corner suite bedroom offers limitless blue sky and ocean views. (Although the penthouse is merely one bedroom, there’s the option of securing the neighboring suite for a second or even third bedroom.)

No need for air-conditioning here (though it’s there if you need it); open the sliding doors and you’re in your own trade wind heaven, the colorful sails in Waikiki Harbor glistening below you. Congratulations! You’re truly above the rainbows of Hawai‘i.

The Modern Honolulu
1775 Ala Moana Blvd. [D:3 Waikiki Map]
(808) 943-5800

Photos courtesy of The Modern Honolulu