We bid summer a fond farewell on the lush tropical isle of O’ahu, spending a few precious days soaking in the sun and letting it set the pace of our schedule-free days luxuriating in the lush tropical surroundings.

Honolulu, Hawaii

The Modern hotel was ideal for our days in paradise being slightly removed from the bustling crush of Waikiki, but still within a short stroll to shops, restaurants, and the ubiquitous ABC store for all our island necessities and sundries.  The boutique hotel was intimate and tranquil, striking a perfect balance between calm efficiency and understated luxury. Enveloped by pale bleached wood walls, soft-hued decor, and a gentle lull of music outdoors, I felt thoroughly and completely at ease.

The Modern Hotel, Honolulu

We spent our days mainly lounging by the pool, so we ended up having several meals in the hotel, but with the likes of Morimoto just steps away, we had no reason to complain. The Modern’s breakfast burrito and blueberry pancakes were standouts as were Morimoto’s lunch sets, which you can take out for enjoyment poolside.

Morimoto, The Modern Hotel

We walked by a small wedding on the beach with this view as backdrop … Continue reading below for more on food and a hike up Diamond Head.

Waikiki beach

We ventured out in the evenings to a few culinary destinations that we thoroughly enjoyed: {1-4} Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, the crispiest tonkatsu; {5-11} Alan Wong’s haute Hawaiian regional cuisine, apparently frequented by POTUS when he is in town; {12-14} Ramen Nakamura, no frills delicious ramen; {15-16} Duke’s Waikiki, a quintessential Hawaiian sunset watching spot with delicious blended drinks and a sinfully good “Hula pie” dessert; and not pictured, Sicilian squid ink pasta at Taormina.

Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin, Ramen Nakamura, Alan Wong

Waikiki beach, Hawaii

Having traveled to Honolulu thrice before, we had visited all the usual main attractions, but had yet to climb to the top of Diamond Head.  So one morning, we got up as early as we can manage and made the trek albeit at a leisurely pace.  Happily, we were rewarded with spectacular views of the city and the wide blue-green expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

Pacific Ocean

Hawaii

Diamond Head, Hawaii

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