A stop in Honolulu is always part of the winter itinerary -- my in-laws have a holiday home there -- and Jacopo's arrival has made it even more of a must. Hawaii also made great sense in my slowly moving him through the time zones plan: Mexico is two hours behind New York, Los Angeles another hour, and then Hawaii another two behind Los Angeles. The adjustment of just a couple of hours every five days or so is quite gentle rather than going to Asia direct.
While in Honolulu, I went to check out the Edition Hotel in Waikiki for a couple of my outlets. The resort is the latest boutique endeavor by a major hotel group, in this case Marriott, looking to create a more design-forward brand that still has the service of a more grown-up spot. I have to say I was impressed: my room was very comfy and had the extras I had requested in advance (extra pillows and towels for us and a baby bed for Jacopo -- you'd be surprised how many hotels forget to put the crib in the room despite prior correspondence), the TV, lighting, temperature etc. were incredibly user-friendly, but the design was still fresh and the atmosphere of the place felt chic rather than chain-like. The man in charge of the aesthetic is actually Ian Schrager, the bad boy hotelier behind properties like the Delano and Royalton, and I was surprised that he had gone into a partnership with a bigger chain. The relationship seems quite smooth from the outside -- Schrager's touch is apparent but in a subtle way, and the service is truly excellent. The group has plans for properties in Istanbul, Mexico City and Barcelona among other destinations.
I really liked the two pool areas and spa, and I thought the lobby bar felt stylish without being too much of a scene. Some guests have commented that the property doesn't have enough of a sense of place, but -- and maybe this is the just the jaded New Yorker in me speaking -- I don't need nor do I want constant leis and "Alohas" to make me feel like I am in Hawaii. Vintage surf photos and a view of the Pacific is good enough.
My one caveat is that I think Morimoto, the onsite restaurant, needs some work. The atmosphere is fun and I thought the design had a SoBe-cool feel to it but the food was a little disappointing for the price. Having said that when a property is new and there is a lot of traffic of both locals and guests it can take a little time for a place to get its legs.