Review by Shelley Seale, 2019.
A refreshing, tiki-style Mid Century Modern vibe hits you the second you walk into The Laylow. Fun and retro, stylish and whimsical — this hotel brings plenty of unique, personal touches and a casual, “at home” feel that instantly envelope you.
The Laylow is slightly off the beaten path, yet in the midst of everything Waikiki has to offer. Waikiki Beach is a five-minute walk, and all the shopping, dining and entertainment of the area can be found within a short walk (or ride the complimentary cruiser bikes that the hotel provides!)
Style and personality virtually ooze from every pore of The Laylow. The design aesthetic incorporates the clean, classic lines of the mid century era, while putting a 1970s, Don Ho, Hawaiian tiki-bar spin on it. The second-floor open-air lanai serves as reception, lobby, concierge and bar/restaurant area, with cool ocean breezes flowing through. A collection of classic hula dancer dolls greets you at check-in, and The Laylow’s striking blue and pink palm tree signature motif is placed strategically among the whites, warm natural textiles, and pops of orange throughout the hotel.
Service & facilities 9/10
Staff are engaging, casual, and attentive. Everything feels like team spirit here, in a low-key way. The main common area on the second floor serves as the lobby, with casual settees and wicker swing chairs for lounging. On one side are the coffee and cocktail bars and restaurant; and on the other side you’ll find the swimming pool, surrounded by cabanas and large lounging chairs. Adjoining the pool is a fully-equiped fitness room. Cruiser bicycles are available on loan, and fun touches like daily shave ice and poolside drink samplers are served. Regular cultural events also take place, including free ukulele lessons three times a week — just bring your own personal ukulele from your room and join!
Each of the 251 guest rooms welcomes with calming white walls and neutral flooring as the perfect backdrop for the furniture, made of warm woods, rattan, industrial metal and rich textiles. The Laylow signature tropical motif adorns some walls, while pops of original art and vintage photography are on others. The gorgeous shelving units are filled with books about Hawaiian living and style, along with high-tech, pairing entertainment systems. Bathrooms are well-stocked with fantastic-smelling lemongrass and ginger toiletries, thick bathrobes and towels, and deep-brown faux-wood walled showers with multi-function rain showerheads. The daily destination fee of $29 (£23) includes a nice “E Como Mai” welcome basket with local snacks and two pairs of Laylow rubber sandals.
Food & drink 9/10
The Hideout at The Laylow continues the retro-modern décor in a restaurant and bar space. The menu starts with modern Hawaiian breakfast featuring omelettes, benedicts, pancakes and a la carte items, with the coffee bar serving Stumptown products. The lunch and dinner menus offer everything from burgers and tacos (with Chef Bryan Byard’s Hawaiian spin on ingredients, such as squid, pineapple and local seafood), to classic Hawaiian staples including Kalua pork and Ahi poke. A full pupu (appetizer) menu delights with guacamame dip (a combination of avocado and edamame), chicken satay, Kalua egg rolls and poke tacos. A slightly limited menu is available in-room, poolside, and as takeaway picnics. Nightly live music happens in the open-air Hideout every night, as well as during weekend brunch.
Value for money 10/10
Double rooms from $319 (£250) in low season; and from $349 (£274) in high. The hotel welcomes one dog guest per room weighing up to a maximum of 50 pounds (25 kilograms), with a one-time, non-refundable fee of $150 (£118). The hotel offers valet parking at $39 (£30) per day. Breakfast is not included but available at the restaurant from $10 (£7) and up.
Access for guests with disabilities?
Yes, with elevator access to all floors and rooms that are mobility accessible and roll-in showers. Hearing accessible rooms are also available, with visual alarms and notifications for door and phone.
Yes, the hotel accepts all guests. Cribs are available upon request, and many rooms have daybeds that would work for children. The hotel offers free ukulele lessons and lei making and these activities are also open to children; and the concierge can set up family activity packages and suggestions.
2299 Kuhio Avenue
Honolulu, Hawaii 96815, United States
Phone: (1)(808) 922-6600
X Small group
X Hen do
X Stag do
X Room only
Bed and breakfast
X Fitness Centre
X Room service