While Waikiki is well known for the 3 B’s – beach, bikini’s and boards – it’s easy to forget there is more to Honolulu than the cheap happy hours and beer soaked bars. There is an elegant side to Waikiki where you can sip your Martini or swizzle your highball in style – just remember to leave your thongs behind.
Located in the upmarket Halekulani Hotel would you expect anything less than this classy lounge bar? Dim lighting, dark wood and live jazz nightly, this is the type of establishment where you wouldn’t bat an eyelid when James Bond strides in – maybe that’s why there’s a cocktail named after him! First impressions say elitist 1940’s millionaires club, but the service and relaxing atmosphere says otherwise. Saying that, bring your A Game and wear something gorgeous – beachwear does not have a place here!!
If you were to arrive at 5pm you would be forgiven for thinking you were lost, but at 6pm every day the bookshelf rotates to reveal a hidden sophisticated bar – and there’s not a lot of studying going on! This stylish lobby bar flips the idea of a Study on its head with its minimalist feel, mood lighting & ottomans and armchairs that hold you hostage – there is no escaping their comfortable clutch. Now here’s a place to pull an all-nighter even if you aren’t studying – cocktail in hand!
This beachfront bar is where custom made fire pits meet 101 good quality rums from all around the world. The breezy oceanfront views of Waikiki Beach just complement the outstanding drinks and it doesn’t have to be rum! With an amazing selection of aloha cocktails, jugs of Sangria, wine or local beer, this cocktail lounge is more than just a pretty ocean view. Why not go all out and hire an open-air VIP Poolside Cabana to watch the sunset, and dance the night away on Waikiki’s only beachfront nightclub (Fri & Sat nights). Not a night owl? Take High Tea to the next level with their famous “Spiked Tea” served daily from 1-4pm.
Sitting sexily 19 Floors high, this rooftop beauty offers an upmarket lounge area to sip your cocktails while gazing over the clear turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean and views of Diamond Head. Arguably one of the hippest party spots in Honolulu, the views and afternoon cocktails give way to live DJ’s every weekend with a fantastic atmosphere, so bring your party shoes. For those not wanting to dance the night away under the stars there is also a rooftop restaurant with top notch food served with sunset views on the side.
Now we can’t talk tropical Hawaii without mentioning a Mai Tai and this stylish spot does not disappoint. Freshly squeezed, locally grown pineapples have never tasted so good and what better place to sip away than right on Waikiki Beach surrounded by the pink walls of the iconic Royal Hawaiian. The Mai Tai reinvents relaxation with hints of elegance and undertones of romance. It’s the real deal too, with an award winning happy hour and a rich history, being the first place to serve the Mai Tai back in 1953. Here’s a tip – ask for your tropical cocktail to be served in a freshly cut Maui Gold pineapple!!
Whether you go to one, or go to all, just remember ‘Pau Hana’ – a Hawaiian expression translating to ‘work is finished’ and often interchanged with the words Happy Hour!!