HalekulaniHotel in Oahu
No stock furnishings or assembly-line art in sight. Every element – from what you see to the essence of Aloha that you feel – is original; authentic to or custom-designed to enhance the experience that is The Modern Honolulu.
Behind the cool curves of the reception desk, color pops from Herbie Fletcher’s installation, an amalgamation of surfboards broken-in-action and signed by their riders, some of the most legendary names in the sport. Fletcher himself is a local surf hero-turned-artist.
The installation’s chromatic explosion feels larger than life, considering the context. Setting the tone for all of THE Modern Honolulu’s spaces, the lobby framework is at once organic and linear – yet almost exclusively dominated by white. A walk through the resort’s interiors evidences every nuance of the shade: bone, cream, greige, putty, ecru, soaped-oak.
But there are surprises. Like Fletch’s installation. Yves Klein’s blue glass tiles embellishing the Sunset Pool. Hand-painted wall coverings – black palm fronds brushed onto beige linen – leading to the spa and in the ballroom. A lounge marked by books, memorabilia and dynamic digital images – all on the subject of surfing. Swaths of greenery inside and out as leafy botanicals, orchids and bougainvillea bloom against teak, Brazilian ipe, and the blue sky. Color-saturated sarongs in each guestroom and suite – each accommodation a continuation of the color study at hand.
The Modern Honolulu introduces cosmopolitan chic to Hawaii. Gourmet pleasures, vibrant nightlife, intimate pool settings, exhilarating spa treatments. Located just steps away from one of Hawaii’s most famous beaches, Waikiki Beach, The Modern Honolulu is a Hawaiian Urban Resort where innovative design meets personalized, friendly service.
Enjoy one of our 353 stylish guestrooms with private terraces or one of our exquisite culinary pursuits such as our award-winning Morimoto Waikiki, the best Honolulu restaurant. Pamper yourself at our calming Waikiki spa with our full range of spa services including sea salt exfoliation, massage, and other relaxing treatments. Also, the Sunrise Pool or the Sunset Pool offers an exquisite and exclusive place to take a dip or just enjoy Honolulu’s ocean and landscaped Hawaiian gardens by Deborah Nevins.
Oahu is one of 8 Hawaiian islands located in the Pacific Ocean, about halfway between California and Japan. Although Oahu is only the third-largest island in the group, it houses 70% of the state’s population, mostly in the ever-growing city and county of Honolulu that has nearly hit 1m residents. Oahu is thought of as paradise, with it’s mix of spectacular, exotic scenery and the fantastic weather. Waikiki means “spouting waters”, is the state’s tourism mecca and the place where Duke Kahanamoku helped to relaunch surfing a century ago. During summer (June-Sept), swells vary in height from 2-8ft (0.6-2.5m) and on very rare occasions, can get huge like in 1917, when Duke caught a 35ft (11+m) wave for a distance of 1.25 miles (2 km). Stretching from Duke Beach near the Hilton Hawaiian Village to the Duke statue on Kuhio Beach, hundreds if not thousands of all kinds of waveriders are in the surf almost every day of the year, enjoying the fun, user-friendly conditions. Further afield there are some really good waves on the windward coast and a growing number of spots from Ewa Beach down south to the wild west coast where Makaha has already forged a famous reputation for everything from beginner curls to monstrous swells.
Oahu is Hawaii to the rest of the world – Waikiki, hula girls and Hawaii-5-0, the long-running cop show whose opening shot tantalizingly offered up a perfect vision of an empty grinding left thought to be Ala Moana Bowl (or Rockpile or Sunset reversed!). But it is really the “7 Mile Miracle” otherwise known as the North Shore where the modern heart of Hawaiian surfing resides. Pipe, Sunset, Waimea – a truly terrifying triumvirate of Pacific wave-power, ably supported by a glut of equally forceful and photogenic breaks, spooned onto the coastline like thick cream. This in turn attracts the cream of the crop from across the surfing world, focused on rising to the challenge these awesome waves throw down. West of Haleiwa, through Mokuleia, a few spots are ridden when the wind dies or goes some flavour of S, otherwise it is a bit of mess in NE-E trades. These cross-shore winds attract the wind/kite crew, but it is generally low crowds and hassle, offering intermediates some respite from the intensity of the North Shore proper. The reefs can be sharp and shallow at low tide and the outside nature of some of the breaks mean sightings of tiger and hammerhead sharks are way too common. Lefts and rights near the Pu’uiki Beach Park will run off way outside, depending on swell angle and kind winds. Mokuleia Beach Park is an easy check from the campground when N-NE pulses make the right hold up enough to connect between the rolling outside wall and the inside racetrack section over the coral. A mile west and there are more similar corners at Army Beach, which will conjure some lefts in NW swell under 8ft and hopefully S winds, otherwise the windy rigs will be flying all over the place. From here out to Kaena Point is hiking territory with trails into the Waianae Mountains and a taste of Hawaii au natural! ¬¬¬ The cityscape of Honolulu and Diamond Head provide the perfect backdrop for a gentle surf among the tourist throngs of what has always been referred to as Town. The trampled sands of downtown Waikiki are home to the unique cadre of legendary Beach Boys that have taught generations of Hawaiians and introduced hundreds of thousands of tourists to the full gamut of waveriding options, gently infused with plenty of aloha spirit. Incredibly, surfing on Oahu is not just about Town and there is a lot more Country than just the North Shore. The South Shore map extends a fair way up the windward coast, passing the body-bashing shoredumpers of Sandy Beach and Makapu’u up to Kailua on a coast just waiting for Kona winds to airbrush the constant E trade wind swell into something sweet. This coast deserves it’s own in-depth zone as there are plenty of bona fide surf spots, but it’s the constant onshore trade winds that rip into the waves and also create a swell source that is often at odds to the prevailing groundswell. With Kona winds and a bit of NE swell, the eastside breaks can magically transform, but it is the large local contingent who are the beneficiaries and visitors rarely take the time out to explore this beautiful, windswept coast. Heading north of Kailua, the main spots to check are Crouching Lion, a fast ledgy right barrel; Pounders is a bodyboard/bodysurf/bodybreak spot at Laie Beach Park; PCC stands for Polynesian Cultural Center a huge tourist attraction that also exhibits a screaming, shallow left bowl; Goat Island or Mokuauia has plenty of longer left sections off the south side and picks up winter swell from the NW as well as the trades windswell; 7th Hole should be called 18th as it is the last regularly ridden left reef before the Kam Highway takes you back around to the North Shore. All these windward breaks will be better on kona W to S winds and while crowds will be lower than elsewhere, the local crew will be keen to get their fill on this fairly fickle stretch. The South Shore zone also includes all the leeward Westside breaks from Barbers Point on the SW tip of the island up past majestic Makaha to Kaena Point, where constant offshores meet both summer and winter swells, giving the tight-knit community plenty of opportunity to impart their wave-riding knowledge and traditions.
When to Go
Oahu is ultra-consistent because surf can come from all over the Pacific. North Pacific swells deliver the highest waves (8-20ft/2.5-6m) with mid-to-long 10-18 second wave periods mostly from Oct – May. From April to Nov, NE trade-wind swell ranges from 4-12ft (1.2-4m) with short 5-8 sec periods. Common between April and October, South Pacific swells travel great distances with very long 14-22 sec wave periods, but small wave heights (1-4 ft/0.3-1.2m). These S swells translate into very energetic waves when they hit south-facing coastlines. Waves from kona storms associated with fronts passing just north of Hawaii are very steep with moderate heights (10-15ft/3-5m) and short to medium 8-10 sec periods. Kona storm waves have the greatest impact on south and west-facing coasts. Waves from hurricanes and tropical storms (June-November) can reach extreme heights (10-35ft/3-8m) and occur mostly on east, south and west-facing shores. Tides are semi-diurnal with daily inequality and hardly ever reach 2ft (0.6m) on spring tides.
( Source: Stormrider Guide )