“Hawaii has so much Aloha, so much love, that I can’t think of any other place I’d rather be,” says Oliver Cajala of The Modern Honolulu (1775 Ala Moana Blvd. Tel: 808-943-5800. www.themodernhonolulu.com), the understatedly chic Oahu hotel that stands out as one of the island’s most urbane escapes.
“We aspire to be uncommon,” says Cajala. “So many of the hotels here are decorated with kitschy Hawaiiana, so we want to offer something different.”
Not that The Modern is entirely free of local iconography. While dominated by soothing beiges and taupes, the lobby décor comes alive with pops of color via a wall sculpture behind the front desk; crafted by artist Herbie Fletcher, its composed of actual surfboards that have been cracked in action, each signed by the professional surfer who rode it. The restful guest suites, with their gauzy white curtains, are visually punctuated by a rack of vibrantly hued sarongs that just beg you to get naked and turn yourself into a hula-hipped art exhibition.