A nod to Waikiki of the 1960’s- think Beach boys vibe, cool aesthetics and a design reflective of the golden era of surf and sun. We check into Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club.
First Impression/ Look and Feel upon arrival 10/10
When we arrived, after a long flight with teens, we were pretty excited to see a real coffee machine and a barista making an expresso. For coffee aficionados who understand the difficulty of getting a good coffee in the US, the aroma of the fresh beans was enough to win me over. And it only got better in this lovely boutique hotel. The vintage 1960’s beach culture design has a vintage beach and hip feel to it.
The theme of 1960’s continues throughout the hotel, seamlessly taking you on a journey. The rooms were comfortable and well presented. Being back from the famous Waikiki beach meant no views, but no crowds either. It was quiet, lay back bungalow style rooms.
In a boutique hotel, you do expect better service, but Surfjacks was exceptional. It felt like we were staying with friends, they knew our names, nothing was too much trouble. We joined them at a staff gathering one night and the bar staff remembered our what we drank, how we liked it. Very cool. Staff who genuinely seemed to enjoy working there too.
Mahina and Sun’s Restaurant with Oahu born Chef Ed Kenney, (one of the pioneers of the field-to- fork movement in Hawaii) served up delicious salads for lunch, and options that you would normally see in a high end hatted restaurant. Our only complaint was there not enough options as we nearly ate there every day, it was so good. However given the local produce philosophy and simplicity of presentation, it was understandable so we reluctantly ventured out of the hotel to eat some days. The focus on local, organic produce and sustainable seafood was perfect and the teens had a week of healthy eating, unusual in the normally fast food heaven of the USA.
Facilities/ events and experiences 9/10
The facilities are typical, in that there is a good pool, and a bar, and a restaurant. What is unique about surf jacks though is all the extras they schedule in during the month. – this includes nightly live music, retro bikes for loan, Pilates at sunset, flower crown making to name a few surprises.
Value for money 9.5/10
Hawaii accommodation is not cheap. At Surfjacks you get so much more than a generic chain 5 star hotel. The entire look and feel of a vintage 1960’s beach club, together with exceptional food offering, service makes this a standout. With local art, hand made wallpaper and the immersion of local craft and history, makes it feel like an authentic Honolulu experience.
Overall rating 9.5/10
Its very hard to fault Surfjacks experience, as it is so much more than just a hotel stay. You can also explore and access the Surf jack’s exclusive off-the- track experiences – like paddling out with a local surf historian, foraging for edibles with a local botanist. You can go on a hike through Oahu’s lush landscape, get an introduction to local street art, or having an architect guide you to some of Honolulu’s mid-century modern design.