When booking a stay at a tropical resort, most people opt for a recognizable, big-name hotel chain. Even when jetting off to a new faraway land, these types of accommodations offer a bit of familiarity as a kind of home away from home. Guests know what to expect, since there is a certain standard shared by all members of a hotel family. But sometimes these standards are just a bit too… standard.
Enter the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, Waikiki’s newest getaway, which opened just two months ago. In addition to being a four-star hotel, the Surfjack strays from the mainstream to deliver unique, high-quality accommodations that recall the spirit of ‘60s beach culture while also incorporating contemporary Hawaiian elements.
The hotel contains 112 vintage-inspired bungalows and one- or two-bedroom suites, all adorned with reed ceilings, batten walls, handcrafted furniture, eclectic artwork (from local artists), private lanais, and custom-tile bathrooms. Coffee blended and roasted especially for Surfjack and snacks sourced from the islands are provided to guests upon arrival, and even the toiletries are handmade from the North Shore. Although the hotel offers modern amenities like high-speed WiFi and smart TVs, the rooms also include classic board games and books for guests seeking a bit of old-school entertainment.
Additional entertainment can be found in activities like riding waves with a local surf historian, foraging for food with a local botanist, or exploring Honolulu’s mid-century modern design with an expert architect.
But what about our favorite activity, eating? The Surfjack also introduced a new restaurant, Mahina & Sun’s, led by acclaimed chef Ed Kenney — owner of three other Honolulu restaurants: Mud Hen Water, Kaimuki Superette, and Town. Opening at from 7 a.m. to midnight every day, the offerings at Mahina include homegrown cooking with progressive flavors made with organic and locally-sourced ingredients. Specifically, dishes like Shinsato pork pâté with pickles and mango mustard; a butter lettuce salad with radish and avocado dressing (click here for a similar recipe you can make at home!); ahi tuna with 12-grain salad, pickled mushroom, and seaweed salsa verde; grilled octopus and watercress salad with potatoes, green olive, and ricotta; and classics like a burger and a couple pizza options. The cocktail menu features a lineup of Mahina & Sun’s originals, as well as some tropical favorites.
The Swim Club also offers a calendar of poolside entertainment from DJs to movie screenings to creative workshops. Or, guests can opt to simply relax in one of the private cabanas for hire, while utilizing complimentary Swim Club tote bags and beach towels.
Whichever way you choose to enjoy your vacation at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, you can be assured it will be a unique and enjoyable experience with which few large chains can compare.