Six of the best: Honolulu boutique hotels

THE WAIKIKI PARC HOTEL

The smaller, trendier sister property of Honolulu's classic Halekulani Hotel offers the same Waikiki Beach location, but with sleek urban appeal. An LED-lit entranceway leads into an ultra-modern lobby with soaring ceilings, bright leather couches and bold abstract art. Guest rooms are minimalist but well-outfitted; each room has its own private terrace with ocean, city or mountain views. Be sure to check out Nobu Waikiki, the hotel's adjoining restaurant, for its award-winning sashimi and cocktails. Rooms from  $300 a night. Seewww.waikikiparc.com/

THE MODERN HONOLULU

Everything about The Modern Honolulu oozes cool, from its "hidden" happy-hour lounge tucked behind a rotating bookcase in the lobby, to the colourful ukuleles in every room. Super-soft Frette linens, Terrazzo marble baths and contemporary hanging light fixtures make guest suites feel like a luxe urban retreat, but with beach views. The hotel also boasts an impressive, two-level pool deck: on the bottom, there's the buzzy, family-friendly Sunrise pool, and on the top is the adults-only Sunset pool, flanked by palm trees and 100,000 kilos of local sand. The hotel's signature restaurant, Morimoto, is helmed by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto himself and serves up an innovative take on the classic Hawaiian poke bowl. Rooms from  $366 a night. See  http://www.themodernhonolulu.com/

HOTEL RENEW BY ASTON

Urbanites will feel right at home at the ultra-hip Hotel Renew, situated on the quieter end of Waikiki Beach towards Diamond Head. It only has 72 guest rooms, all tastefully furnished with chic dark wood furniture, bold linens and local artwork. (Keurig coffee machines and mood lighting are icing on the cake). Rooms aside, there's plenty to like about the property: it's pet-friendly, eco-friendly and the service is outstanding, from the chilled pineapple juice upon arrival to the 24/7 mobile concierge. Rooms from  $235 a night. See http://www.hotelrenew.com/

LOTUS HONOLULU AT DIAMOND HEAD

There's an inviting intimacy about the Lotus Honolulu, from its warmly lit lobby, furnished to appear like a traditional Hawaiian home, to its zen location on the outskirts of Waikiki. Guest rooms are cosy with a classic Hawaiian feel of cherrywood details, orchid print settees and rugs. All feature private lanais with views over Diamond Head. The health and wellness programme is excellent: there are free yoga classes at nearby Kapiolani Park each morning, complimentary mountain bikes for guests and even a fitness concierge. Reward yourself with a tipple during the free happy hour, held in the lobby each afternoon from 3pm-5pm.  Rooms from  $235 a night. See http://www.lotushonoluluhotel.com/

VIVE HOTEL WAIKIKI

The Vive Hotel lobby is the living room you wish you had: comfy, oversized couches, cool black-and-white prints hanging from brightly painted walls and an eclectic mix of vintage and modern furniture. Lobby aside, there's a lot to like about Vive: it's got minimalist, New York-style guest rooms, free-wifi, free breakfast and free beach equipment rentals. Be warned  there are no bars or restaurants onsite, but with a prime Kuhio Avenue location, you're right in the middle of the action, anyway. Waikiki Beach is an easy five minutes' walk away. Rooms from $207 a night. See http://vivehotelwaikiki.com/

AQUA BAMBOO WAIKIKI

Though it's smack bang in the heart of chaotic Waikiki, there's something oddly calming about the Aqua Bamboo. Perhaps it's the aromatherapy candles that greet you upon check-in, or the tranquil Balinese tropical garden, in which there's even a saltwater pool with a waterfall. Whatever it is, the entire property feels like an Eastern-inspired island hideaway. An added bonus for budget travelers or families with kids: studios and suites offer either kitchenettes or full kitchens. Rooms from $152 a night. See http://www.aquabamboo.com/

The writer stayed at her own expense. 

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