Friday, June 17, 2011

The Waikiki Edition: Lifestyle Hotel & Surfboards Wall

The Surfboard Wall at the Waikiki Edition's lobby.
(all images: TheHopefulTraveler, except where noted)
What is a lifestyle hotel?

According to Hospitality Trends, "Lifestyle hotels are the next generation of boutique hotels. Driven by the chains, they borrow the best elements of boutiques -- small, intimate and modern -- and throw in advantages only a chain can offer, like loyalty perks, consistency and economies of scale. As a result, lifestyle hotels are generally more affordable and accessible than boutiques -- and soon to be ubiquitous. Virtually every major hotel group is vying for a piece of the action. Marriott has Edition Hotels. Lifestyle hotels by definition must evolve with the changing tastes of travelers."

Upon entry to the intimate lobby of The Waikiki Edition hotel, one realizes the designers wanted to create a unique and captivating world. Soothing to upbeat music pumped into the lobby and shades of beach-washed white and wood accents greet the senses of the hotel visitor. Hotel associates are dressed in grey and white with valets sporting dressy button-down sweater vests, white long sleeve shirts and shorts. The front desk associates wore a similar ensemble with the female associates adorned with long sleeve grey sweaters and white slim-fitting sportswear. This is in stark contrast to the aloha attire donned as uniforms at other Hawaii hotels.

Above: front desk and lobby entrance.
Below: Bookcase which rotates to reveal the Lobby Bar.

During the check-in process the front desk associate introduced me to the conveniences of the hotel such as dining including an option to have the mini-fridge cleared to make way for one's personal use. At the same time one of the bellman, also dressed in a sweater vest, brought out a tray with a hot towel and welcome drink of lemonade. This is a personal touch that if characteristic of my stay would definitely make the hotel a favorite of mine.

The obvious and unusual element dominating the lobby is the surfboard installation by artist/surfer Herbie Fletcher made of over 100 boards broken in half. The surfboards were collected from some of best pipeline surfers including Mick Fanning, Christian Fletcher, Nathan Fletcher, Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, Joel Parkinson and Kelly Slater. The installation has become a popular photo stop by guests. At the other end is the large lobby bookcase which in one piece rotates to reveal a passage leading to the hidden Lobby Bar behind it. The bookcase alone seems alive with several digital photo frames dotting its shelves.

A refreshing complimentary welcome drink served at check-in.
The concierge desk is located nearby where I noticed guests making inquiries being offered the personal use of iPads. One should note that the lobby is located on the ground level and that the second level is the first floor and so on.

The hotel's only parking option is valet at $28 per night. Visitors to the hotel's restaurant, bar or club are offered validation. Otherwise there is self-parking across Hobron Lane. It's important to know that this parking is not affiliated with the hotel. Because of this be sure you make it clear if you are visiting the hotel for a few hours or staying as as a guest overnight or for a few days to be sure you are charged the correct parking rate. Those who visit for a few hours of dining or clubbing are charged a flat $7 rate at this lot for 10 hours. Always make a reality check as parking rates, especially anywhere in Honolulu can change regularly. One of the harsh truths about Honolulu is that parking is often scarce and when not free is awfully expensive.

Upon entering Hobron Lane from Ala Moana Blvd, the valet parking and hotel is on the right and self-parking on the left, entrances to both located mid-block. Guests who self-park can enter the hotel through second level pedestrian bridge. After entering the hotel, take the elevators to the ground floor. Those choosing to cross the street at ground level must do so at one of the designate crosswalks at either end of Hobron Lane. Hotel check-in time is 3pm and check-out at 12pm.

This is one in a series of posts about the Waikiki Edition. Click HERE to view the full series of posts.

The bellmen and valets at the Waikiki Edition.
(image: J Heckathorn/Hawaii Magazine)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...