"If there were a short list of awards that we were interested in … this is certainly there," said Waikiki Edition General Manager Michael Rock. "It is tremendous."
The Conde Nast nod, destined to be seen ’round the traveling world, will convey that guests can "expect a great experience. … You don’t get this kind of recognition without earning it," he said. Hotel officials were buoyed by the news at yesterday’s team-building event and will be eagerly watching future bookings. "I’m excited, I’m giddy," he chuckled.
The hotel is among 124 around the world that Conde Nast chose, and the spa is one of only 21 selected. The Waikiki Edition is also on the magazine’s Hot List of hotels that cost less than $300 a night (kamaaina rates start at $199 a night). The range of rack rates on the list goes from a fairly cheap $75 to an unimaginable $2,040 a night. Is anyone among your circle of friends willing to drop a month’s mortgage or rent for one night’s accommodation in Marrakech? (It is uber-palatial, though.)
No new Hawaii restaurants fit Conde Nast’s definition of "hot" this time around, which is not to say that Conde Nast didn’t take note of any Hawaii eateries. Morimoto Waikiki, located in the Edition, got slapped right in the pride of its namesake.
"The only misfire is at Morimoto restaurant, one of the hotel’s centerpieces," the magazine wrote. "The kitchen seems a bit overwhelmed at being the it place on the beach, and the quality of the sushi needs an upgrade."
The restaurant is the Hawaii outpost for Masaharu Morimoto, the "Iron Chef," karaoke-singing, hakama-wearing, "Hawaii Five-0" cameo-making celebrity. He has slung sushi and cooked in his eponymous Waikiki eatery several times since its opening, often for charity benefits.
Morimoto’s is separately owned and operated, and the Waikiki Edition does not have a hotel restaurant in the traditional sense.
The hotel has a kitchen and handles food service for its guests’ in-room dining and around the property, such as at the pool area, lobby bar or in the passageway, according to publicist Karisa Ramolete Hayashi.
Hotel chef Kaleo Adams "is a Maui boy" who sources food from the Kapiolani Community College farmers market every Saturday and deals directly with the farmers, she said. Pasta dishes served from the hotel kitchen are prepared not with dry pasta from a box, but with handmade pasta, mixed, kneaded and rolled on premises. The kitchen hand-made 3,000 ravioli from scratch for a recent banquet — probably not something the staff is keen to repeat often.
Perusing the hotel’s website, gazing at the pictures and reading about the spa and the rest of its amenities serve as a bit of a miniature mental vacation, desk-bound though one might be.
Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Advertiser. Reach her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.