Hawaii: Cosmopolitan and Chic
As the largest city between Los Angeles and Sydney, Honolulu is the best place in the tropical Pacific for an urban island honeymoon. another reason to visit is Waikiki Beach — possibly the world’s most celebrated strand — which is smack dab in the middle of the Hawaiian capital with Diamond Head as its backdrop.
In addition to posh hotels, Honolulu offers a ton of activities. Learn how to surf at Waikiki — widely celebrated as one of the places where the sport was born. Explore ancient Hawaiian history at the Bishop museum and tour the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. tour cool neighborhoods like Chinatown, the Arts District and Kaka’ako, shop at the high-end stores in Ala Moana and experience the celebrated eateries along King Street. Favorites include Chiang Mai’s luscious Thai food, Alan Wong’s award-winning Hawaiian cuisine and the Japanese fare at Imanas Tei.
Photo courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority
Hawaii’s smaller cities and towns are excellent complements to your tropical getaway. On the Big island, one of the last strongholds of royal Hawaii, Kona is renowned for its coffee. On the opposite coast, Hilo is the gateway to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the world’s most active lava flow. Old Hawaii lives on in Lahaina, the old whaling port on Maui’s west coast. Kehei, also on Maui, offers the state’s sunniest climate and loads of seaside bars, clubs and cafés.
Designer boutique hotels abound in Honolulu, especially in and around Waikiki Beach. The Modern Honolulu is such a luxury hideaway overlooking Ala Wai yacht harbor. Sleek, white minimalism is the primary design vibe, and all of the rooms have private furnished terraces with beach or city views. and both sandals or stilettos are the dress code of choice. Kick back by the rooftop sunset pool or unwind with a lomi lomi massage in the hotel spa. Masaharu Morimoto, the original Iron Chef, helms the hotel’s eponymous restaurant (room rates start at $280 a night; themodernhonolulu.com).
Photo courtesy of The Modern Honolulu