The Waikiki Edition


A Deluxe Oceanview One Bedroom Suite
A Deluxe OceanView One Bedroom Suite overlooks the ocean, pools and yacht harbor.

Waikiki has proven to be a good launch city for the new Edition brand. It stands out from other hotels in the area with the sort of buzz and vibe one would expect from veteran hip hotelier Ian Schrager, who partnered with Marriott International to launch Edition hotels all over the world.

Luxury Travel Advisor visited the hotel a month after it opened, and found that even though the hotel isn’t right on the beach, it still feels quite special. The pool scene has been choreographed to serve as a sleek and elite retreat (think teak wood, daybeds and softly lit candles in the evening as a bountiful bar sits just feet away). Good to know: Another pool has great sunrise views and its own food and beverage service. Note: The Waikiki Edition actually overlooks the city’s scenic yacht harbor and hence is front and center to some spectacular sunsets. It’s also close to Duke Kahanamoku Beach, a man-made recreational area that’s part of the Hilton Hawaiian Village just next door.

The hotel’s general manager, Michael Rock, ensures that Edition taps into its luxury sibling within the Marriott International family, Ritz-Carlton, to deliver a high level of service to guests; the staff, in fact, was trained for three weeks prior to the hotel’s opening by Ritz colleagues. We found the service to be of a high level while being relaxed and intuitive.

The Waikiki Edition also has a hip scene indoors, thanks to its Morimoto Waikiki restaurant, which is run by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto. During our visit, the place was buzzing with locals and visitors. We’re told the signature dishes include a raw tuna pizza with anchovy aioli and jalapeno, and the Morimoto Sashimi—a terrine of seared toro, smoked salmon, barbecued eel, tuna and hamachi. How can you possibly pass up any of that?

Contact Chef Concierge Walt Tomiyama ([email protected]; 808-943-5899) to book the best table; we suggest doing so two weeks out.

Most exciting at the hotel is the “reveal” of the lobby bar. During the day, it’s hidden behind a large bookcase, which, as the hour nears 4 p.m., is pushed back to expose a spacious chic lounge serving drinks and light fare. If you want to keep the party going, there’s always the Crazybox nightclub with a VIP section that has a separate entrance.

While the the hotel doesn’t reveal the names of its celebrity guests, it’s public knowledge that singer Christina Aguilera spent the night in the 17th-floor Penthouse Suite, whose 1,400-square-foot wraparound terrace affords views of the yacht harbor and the Pacific. The Penthouse also comes with private butler service. Other goodies include Frette linens, down comforters, flat-screen TVs and a separate bathtub and shower. (Note: Most guest rooms at the hotel have showers only). There’s also a full DVD and CD library and in-room fully stocked wet bar.

Families traveling together should opt for the Deluxe Ocean View with Terrace rooms; these are 375 square feet in size and have sofa beds. Another option is an Oceanview One Bedroom Suite—all 26 of them interconnect with a double/double guest bedroom. The 665-square-foot Deluxe Oceanview One Bedroom Suite has two full bathrooms, a separate bedroom and sofa bed in the living room.

Note: The hotel accepts pets as long as your furry friend isn’t over 25 pounds.

Luxury travel advisors in need of assistance can reach out to Director of Leisure Sales Rose Kemna ([email protected]; 808-943-5810) or Senior Sales Manager Laidinha Buono ([email protected]; 619-818-2825).

So, aside from providing intuitive service, what can the Edition staff do for you? We hear that Chef Concierge Tomiyama fulfilled a guest’s request for a fabulous local dining experience with style. He arranged a series of evenings at personally recommended restaurants with the chef and owner greeting the guest at each venue, and customized a special menu evening. On the last day, Tomiyama arranged for Edition’s executive chef to escort the guest to the Honolulu Fish Auction to pick and bid on the choicest catch. Later that evening, he had a special sunset dinner prepared in his suite.

Tomiyama can also arrange for a personal shopping service at Louis Vuitton and private car for shopping excursions to the nearby Ala Moana Center, acclaimed as the largest outdoor luxury shopping mall in the world, as well as the Luxury Row boutiques on Kalakaua Avenue.

Golf, anyone? Tomiyama has contacts at the Ko Olina Golf Club, rated as one of the top resort courses in the U.S., and the Luana Hills Country Club.

The hotel’s The Spa at Waikiki has four treatment rooms, plus manicure/pedicure stations, with balconies and a full range of luxurious spa services. Reserve treatments two weeks out; for special requests, ask for Spa Supervisor Drashell Schmidt ([email protected]; 808-943-5882). She can also assist in arranging private group treatments and parties in the spa’s Sun Suite, which overlooks the yacht marina. Note: We hear that the Intraceuticals Oxygen Facials are ideal for pre-bridal parties.

The Penthouse Terrace
The Penthouse Terrace is 1,500 square feet large, with more space than the inside of the suite.

Have a client who may have jetlag after a long flight? Suggest the Elemental Facial, “designed to help skin find its equilibrium.” We like that it includes a head, neck and shoulder massage targeting specific acupressure points. Another option is the Elemental Bliss Full Body Treatment; we suggest Melissa as the esthetician of choice for that.

Note: Those 16 and above can enjoy spa treatments; children can book nail services.

We expect the Edition to fill up for special events, in particular the Honolulu Film Festival in October and the NFL Pro Bowl and Sony Open Golf Pro-Am in January. For the summer high season (May through August), book one to two months out; for the “festive” season, reserve 60 to 90 days ahead.

The hotel is a half-hour drive from Honolulu International Airport; for private transfers, we recommend Carey Limousines, whose fleet includes Mercedes E-Classes, Mercedes Hybrids, Range Rovers and Lincoln Town Cars.

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