129 Paoakalani Ave, Waikiki
This is a small hotel that is sexy, urban and chic—not typical Waikiki. The color scheme is dark, rich, warm and inviting. Literally everything was designed especially for them, and every place you look there is something unusual, from the lobby washroom sinks (we’ll let you be surprised) to the koi pond fountain. They are not on the beach, but oceanview rooms can still be quite nice because they directly face the water, and the beach is one block away.
Rooms do not have a fridge—we feel this is a necessity in Waikiki. Rooms are small, but storage has been carefully designed to make the most of the space. Though this place still works for us as an intimate hotel experience close to the beach, it lost its Real Gem rating for this edition because you no longer have access to a pool or gym. A continental breakfast is included, and they have a nightly happy hour in the lobby. Rooms (240–307 sq. ft.) are $389–$489. Hope you got a better deal.