Waikiki Beach got a much-needed kick in the board shorts when the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club opened in Honolulu. No kitschy leis and corny luaus here, no sir. This 112-room boutique hotel sits just a few blocks from the beach and has a laser-sharp focus on 21st-century art, design, fashion, and food. Majority owner Sean Williams is a California native who spent his family vacations in Oahu; his way of giving back was to tap the local talent. The floor of the swimming pool has text designed by Hawaii-based graphic artist Matthew Tapia. The in-house restaurant, Mahina & Sun’s, sees chef Ed Kenney of Town toying with healthier offerings like avocado tacos and white tuna with 12-grain salad. Guest room walls are hung with the densely illustrated surf prints of Kris Goto and stunning beach photography of Contrast magazine co-founder Mark Kushimi. And twin concept shops Olive Boutique (for women) and Oliver (for men) sell the kind of beach gear you won’t be ashamed to wear post-vacation. Rates start at $199/night.
412 Lewers St., Honolulu, HI; 808-923-8882.