Top 15 Cool and Unusual Hotels in Honolulu 2022

A beautiful and buzzing city and gateway to the famously dreamy island chain, Honolulu is on many a traveler’s bucket list. It’s located on Oahu, one of the most visited islands in Hawaii and boasts many alluring reasons to kick back and stay for a while.

Dine in the pan-Asian alleys of Chinatown, take a stroll along the breezy cosmopolitan harborfront, explore the world’s largest open-air shopping center at Ala Moana, browse museums, hike the mist-shrouded forested hiking trails, relax and watch the sunset on the world-famous Waikīkī Beach and then party the night away at one of the city’s lively clubs. 

Now found yourself an awesome place to stay which will really sum up the spirit of the fun-loving city, so from creative boutiques to the grand and modern, here are the best cool and unusual hotels in Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii (in no particular order)

1. The Laylow, Autograph Collection – a fun, trendy and very Instagrammable retro-chic hotel that offers modern stylings in a hip environment

The Laylow, Autograph Collection - a trendy 1960s hotel The Laylow, Autograph Collection - a trendy 1960s hotel1 The Laylow, Autograph Collection - a trendy 1960s hotel2

Set in a lush garden, this Waikiki hotel is perfectly designed with a mid-century modern aesthetic, guiding its guests to step back in time to the elegance of 1960’s Hawaii, yet with a sultry vibe.

Because no trip to paradise should cramp your style, you will find low-key, tropical furnishings and lanai’s in all rooms, complimented by high-end technology and Insta-famous monstera wallpaper.

Guests can spend time in the sunshine in the saltwater pool, which features lounge seating, teak accents, and lush greenery.

The Laylow’s signature restaurant, the ‘Hideout’, serves modern Hapa Hawaiian cuisine sourced from local farms and the ocean, as well as a wide array of artisan cocktails.

2. The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club – a cool, hip and fun surf-themed boutique hotel perfect for partying Millenials and Gen Zs

The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club - a charming boutique hotel The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club - a charming boutique hotel2

The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club - a charming boutique hotel1

This vibrant new hotel, which takes cues from vintage 1960s Hawaii, awaits guests with a truly boutique experience, which radiates through all of its 112 bungalows and suites.

The visitors feel the energy of Waikiki at this quirky hotel, courtesy of its handcrafted design elements, surf-culture throwbacks, and modern touches.

From the mid-century-inspired coffee tables, to the carefully curated artwork, to the historical nods woven into each room, the Waikiki heritage comes alive and exhibits the true meaning of ‘Aloha’.

The open-space feel and stylish décor contribute to the Surfjack’s sense of curiosity, which serves to inspire adventure amongst its guests. The recipient of many prestigious accolades, this swell little respite is the perfect spot for those searching for the ‘endless summer’.

3. Espacio The Jewel of Waikiki – a chic and modern design hotel just steps from the sands of Waikiki Beach

ESPACIO THE JEWEL OF WAIKIKI - easily one of the coolest hotels to stay in Honolulu perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs ESPACIO THE JEWEL OF WAIKIKI - easily one of the coolest hotels to stay in Honolulu perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs1 ESPACIO THE JEWEL OF WAIKIKI - easily one of the coolest hotels to stay in Honolulu perfect for Millennials and Gen Zs2

Here we have the ultimate oceanfront retreat, rising from deep in the heart of Waikiki to provide incomparable privacy across nine full-floor suites, within an exclusive haven.

This one-of-a-kind sanctuary can only be described as ‘The Jewel of Waikiki’, due to its elite world-class status and many prestigious awards.

The Moroccan metal latticework, and the lavish details from Italian marble finishes, are thoughtfully curated to define a stay unlike any other.

Opulence, rejuvenation, and tranquillity combined with expansive ocean views and balcony jacuzzis, make this hotel the dream vacation home. Its approach to hospitality is inspired by Omotenashi, delivering to the guests’ every want, with personalized services that are second to none.

4. Shoreline Hotel Waikiki – a colourful and exotic tropicool boutique hotel set in Waikiki one of the most popular places to stay in the city

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This 135-room hotel blends a daytime atmosphere of warm, bright and airy, with a night-time vibe of cool and electric, taking inspiration from the striking beauty of the Hawaiian landscape and Waikiki energy throughout.

This tropical boutique hotel boasts a colourful lobby, comfy accommodations and a rooftop pool, and gives a Hawaii vacation a modern and eclectic twist.

The on-site lobby-level restaurant, Heavenly Island Lifestyle, serves a fully-equipped menu featuring local, sustainably-sourced ingredients, giving guests a chance to enjoy the true taste of Hawaii.

Nature meets neon at this gracious property, which further boasts ocean, mountain, and city skyline views across all its private balconies.

5. Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger – Waikiki’s favorite new lifestyle hotel which is one of the best places to stay in Honolulu

Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger - a colorful, kitsch, and fun party hotel Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger - a colorful, kitsch, and fun party hotel1 Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger - a colorful, kitsch, and fun party hotel2

The Beachcomber is Hawaii’s original craft hotel, which has taken inspiration from local influencers and artists to create an imaginative island vibe.

In the stylish, island-inspired rooms and luxury suites, guests feel the true spirit of aloha, alongside custom furnishings and chic artwork.

The unique personality of the hotel, the perfect balance of luxury and comfort, and the fantastic ocean adventures on offer, make this awe-inspiring hotel a rather memorable retreat for families, friends, and couples alike.

Whether waking up to a Kona coffee at the Hawaiian Aroma Caffe, or venturing out to the artisan eateries of the local area, this Honolulu Beach Resort truly captures the spirit of Waikiki.

6. Queen Kapiolani Hotel – a unique and Insta-worthy upscale boutique hotel located steps away from majestic sandy beaches

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This indoor/outdoor oasis situates itself along a full city block, with unobstructed views of Diamond Head, overlooking the infamous Kapiolai Park.

The hotel’s amenities are thoughtful expressions of the Hawaii lifestyle and its natural environment. Guests can wake up to majestic Waikiki views, before stepping onto their personal lanai’s to enjoy the beautiful sunrise.

The main lobby, Kapahulu Terrace, and third floor Outdoor Living Room and pool area have all been graciously designed with a feeling of ‘welcome’ at every turn.

The spirit of the golden age of Waikiki permeates the scenic pool area, where guests can take a break from surfing and relax.

7. Hotel LaCroix Waikiki – a fun, whimsical but stylish hotel that offers a taste of  cool “Waikiki Life”

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Guests may invigorate their mind, body and spirit at this Waikiki property. Hotel LaCroix features natural elements that symbolize this gorgeous island, with real European marble in all washrooms, volcanic state flooring throughout, and hardwood flooring across each of its 192 rooms.

The hotel elevates the guest experience through unrivalled service, and the warmest aloha welcome, in a seamless fusion of urban energy and natural beauty.

This newly-enhanced boutique hotel is nestled between two Waikiki parks, boasting lush green space and swaying palm trees, mere steps from the ocean, and at the gateway to the many adventures on offer in this charming beach town.

8. Hotel Renew – a sleek and trendy oceanside premier boutique hotel which offers sophisticated serenity throughout its 72 rooms

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This dog-friendly oceanside escape appeals to the active traveller who yearns for an off-the-beaten-path retreat, in which to relax.

The peaceful guestrooms are the ideal spot to find your zen, and all feature modern tropical designer details, exercise equipment, state-of-the-art amenities, and stunning Pacific Ocean views.

Moreover, illy espresso and coffee machines are placed in each room, serving the smoothest high-quality coffee. For those who happen to pass by on a Saturday, complimentary yoga experiences are offered in the park with trained instructors.

The textured white oak and mid-century furnishings which ornate the rooms, create dreamlike spaces to recharge and rest. This Honolulu hotel is the perfect sanctuary for the discerning heart

  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Renew

9. Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach – a unique, grand and contemporary resort that offers stunning ocean views

Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach - an unique resort Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach - an unique resort1 Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach - an unique resort2

For those seeking a refreshing blend of a lively, urban location with a modern oasis of serenity, Alohilani Resort provides an unsurpassed experience.

Located in the heart of Waikiki, this gorgeous, tranquil resort offers two restaurants, conceived by internationally acclaimed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Guests at this resort enter with great anticipation, and leave wanting to return, with a great affinity for the island’s people and culture, and always refer to Alohilani as a fresh, welcoming, and relaxing home away from home.

Boasting an open-air lobby, and private cabanas surrounding a saltwater infinity pool, Alohilani is where visitors turn moments into memories.

10. The Modern Honolulu By Diamond Resorts – one of the most chic and Instagrammable hotels in Honolulu

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The Modern Honolulu lives up to its name. This sophisticated, sleek hotel boasts a special vibe, ideal for the urban traveller who likes to mix business with pleasure.

With a vibrant night scene, intimate pool settings, delicious gourmet pleasures and two sprawling swimming pools on offer, guests are treated to endless opportunities for relaxation.

The hip accommodations feature views of the ocean or city, and come decked out with custom furniture, teak window screens, huge showers, and terrazzo countertops.

All that Oahu has to offer, be that luxury shopping, gorgeous beaches, serene nature, is blended to create a feeling of great vibes and luxury.

The study-in-white design, topped with sleek minimalism, extends into every room and suite, which beautifully absorb natural sunlight from outside.

11. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach Hotel – one of the most distinctive luxury aparthotels in Honolulu that features a cool infinity pool which is perfect for longer stays

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach Hotel - one of the most distinctive aparthotels in Honolulu The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach Hotel - one of the most distinctive aparthotels in Honolulu1 The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach Hotel - one of the most distinctive aparthotels in Honolulu2

A luxury experience awaits at this stunning hotel, which boasts the highest infinity pool in Waikiki. Each of the vacation rentals feature an ocean view, with separate living spaces, high-end enough to transform your vacation into an immersion in Honolulu’s vibrant culture.

Looking out over the magical point where the cerulean sky and ocean meet, surrounded by fragrant flowers and lush greenery, this hotel truly offers a one-of-a-kind experience.

In terms of dining, this hotel celebrates local flavours, blended with renowned eating experiences from around the globe.

La Vie restaurant serves Modern French cuisine, whilst the 16-seat sushi restaurant offers an oriental twist, and gourmet foods and wine are offered at Dean & De Luca. There really is an option for everybody here at the Ritz-Carlton Residences.

12. Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani – an elegant and upscale place to stay in Honolulu that provides contemporary amenities

Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani - an elegant and upscale place to stay in Honolulu Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani - an elegant and upscale place to stay in Honolulu1 Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani - an elegant and upscale place to stay in Honolulu2

Refined simplicity is a core feature of this sanctuary of serenity, tucked neatly into the centre of Waikiki. Known for impeccable attention to detail and a warm, personalized service, it is no surprise that this hotel was recognized by Conde Nast Traveller’s 2021 Readers Choice Awards.

Here, guests are treated to a sparkling wine welcome, and $25 per day of resort credit. On the 8th floor, the Urban Escape boasts its very own private haven, with exclusive amenity features including an infinity lap pool, lounge, and hot tub, all in the sanctuary of a private relaxation garden.

The elegant guestrooms and suites boast well-appointed furnishings in colour palettes of white, beige, grey, and blue, topped off with inspiring views of the Pacific.

13. Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel – an exotic beachfront hotel that overlooks one of the most renowned beaches in the world

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A quirky blend of calm swimming areas for families on one side, and a surfers’ haven on the other, the Aston offers stunning amenities and views for all its visitors.

The hotel is situated just a short stroll to Kapahulu Avenue, where guests can enjoy the finest unique eateries of the region. The 645 guestrooms are decorated in a vibrant, tropical style, most of which offer a private lanai and breath-taking ocean views.

On one side of the hotel, Diamond Head rises majestically, whilst on the other, the legendary Waikiki Beach stretches out before your eyes.

The Tiki’s Grill & Bar on the 3rd floor is a perfect hangout spot with an authentic Hawaiian atmosphere, boasting live entertainment, an outdoor sunset terrace, and locally sourced delicacies.

14. Prince Waikiki – a top-ranked ocean-themed hotel where pets are welcome

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The Prince Waikiki boasts a beautifully artful design, and a luxurious vibe which radiates into all of the contemporary accommodations onsite.

The thoughtfully designed rooms all face the harbour and ocean, and offer those kind of sweeping views which turn a trip into a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Mesmerizing sunsets can be enjoyed from the signature 5th-floor pool deck, which compliments the saltwater pools and personalized poolside service.

Award-winning local dining experiences are on offer, with fresh island cuisine and refreshing poolside cocktails really adding the signature Hawaii ambiance to your stay.

Guests can also explore the largest collection of bespoke, contemporary art, created by Hawaii artists in Waikiki.

15. White Sands Hotel  – the perfect little oasis where guests can have the ultimate relaxing stay

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Boasting renovated rooms with lanais and cool island colours, each of the refreshing accommodations embody the inspiring spirit of Waikiki.

Guests can run their fingers over the many island-inspired textures, get lost in the vibrant colour palette, or kick back under swaying palms.

Surrounded by verdant mountains, crystalline waters, and rugged hiking areas, there is so much to explore on the periphery of the hotel, before falling into the rhythm of the island and the tropical fever that captivated the world.

Understated elegance is blended perfectly with the vibrant Hawaiian style, offering visitors the chance to experience the essence of old Waikiki without sacrificing the convenience and comfort of modern times.

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