"MEETING ROOMS BY DAY BECOME TRENDY CLUBS AT NITE" Top 5 Page for this destination Honolulu Nightlife Tip by thinking

Honolulu Nightlife: 73 reviews and 157 photos

Hotels are pushing aside banquet tables to make room for nightclubs and lounges for hip, young partygoers.

An increasing number of Waikiki hotels are finding that it makes business sense to make over their meeting rooms and restaurants into trendy late-night clubs, especially on weekends.

If successful, these nightspots can rack up millions in annual sales, padding a hotel's food and beverage profits without requiring a larger wait-staff.

And a happening place lures locals and visitors, creating a buzz for the property at very little cost. All you need are a few low comfy couches, tables, candles, some strobes, a bar and a DJ.

The sudden embrace of the party life comes as a major change for many Waikiki hotels, which have grown accustomed to offering only Hawaiian-themed entertainment -- hula dancers at sunset, luaus with a Polynesian show.

But as more Mainland visitors make up Waikiki's tourist mix, there's an increased clamor for Waikiki to offer the choices of hot spots like San Diego's Gas Light district or New York City's Soho.

The reinvention of Waikiki into something that could cater to both the young and old, family and single vacationers is a work in progress. It started with the street performers on Kalakaua Avenue, street festivals and movies on the beach.

New restaurants, sidewalk cafes and pool-side bars kicked up the momentum a notch and now nightclubs are set to complete the scene.

Dress Code: On a Friday or Saturday night, nightclubs that pop up on Kalakaua Avenue include

Skyline at the Sheraton Waikiki,

Club 25 and Maharaja Ultra Lounge at the Waikiki Beach Marriott,

Feng Shui at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki and the

Wonder Lounge at The W Honolulu.

"We are trying to revive Waikiki," said Keith Mallini, general manager of the Hanohano Room at the Sheraton Waikiki.
At the Hanohano Room, Mallini put in coffee tables and sofas to create the sleek Cobalt Lounge, a place for patrons to relax after work with a drink. The room is home to Skyline, a party that happens every first and third Saturday of the month.

The restaurant does about 200 dinners a night. The goal is to increase its pre-dinner pupu crowd from 20 to about 60 people daily and the late-night dance crowd from about 30 people to 100 customers.

Peter Shaindlin, chief operating officer of Halekulani Corp., said most people believe nightlife in Waikiki is dominated by shows popular with tourists. The Halekulani offers Hawaiian music at its House Without A Key and soon will offer jazz at its remodeled Lewers Lounge. Shaindlin is dressing up the lounge to create a warm, intimate and exclusive feel.

"Lewers Lounge kept an extremely low profile in the past and focused on hotel guests and didn't seek an outside audience at all," Shaindlin said. "It's been successful because it's part of the legacy of Halekulani."

Shaindlin has ambitious plans for the lounge, saying he wants it to become "the most impressive upscale jazz venue west of Manhattan."

The Wonder Lounge at The W was the first to successfully position itself not just as a trendy upscale bar with music, but as the place to be seen in Waikiki. The entertainment was secondary to the people-watching.

"It's an image of being and being seen at The W," said Teri Orton, general manager.

Directions: WAKIKI AREA
Theme: Nightclub

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Feb 21, 2005
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