Stay at this Refreshed Retro-Chic Waikiki Hotel

White Sands Hotel debuted a new look but it still has a vintage vibe

White Sands Hotel Waikiki

Courtesy of White Sands Hotel

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White Sands Hotel

431 Nohonani St, Honolulu, HI 96815-2622, USA
Phone +1 808-924-7263

A Hawaiian retro classic—the White Sands Hotel in Honolulu's Waikiki—just got a 21st-century upgrade. The hotel, originally built in the 1950s, unveiled a property-wide redesign earlier this month that encompasses remodeled guestrooms, new amenities, and a brand new restaurant and bar concept.

White Sands proudly celebrates the bamboo bar culture of the 1960s and ’70s. From the moment guests walk in through its bamboo-lined entry, White Sands Hotel feels like stepping back in time to an era of playful hospitality that celebrates Hawaii’s Polynesian culture. In the heart of Waikiki, the hotel’s 94 rooms are centered around a courtyard pool with a cascading waterfall, grotto-style hot tub, koi pond, and lush gardens surrounded by orange fringed umbrellas and plush loungers.

“With a come-as-you-are mentality and a design that doesn’t take itself too seriously, White Sands Hotel is ready to welcome back dreamers looking for an escape from their everyday routine,” said Ben Rafter, the CEO of Springboard Hospitality, which manages the hotel.

The refresh, although new, embodies vintage Hawaii vibes and offers guests an irreverent take on what it was like to be in Hawaii during the Jet Age. Honolulu-based design firm the Vanguard Theory was in charge of the new look, anchored in midcentury modern design with a tropical finesse. Rooms feature a cheerful palette of bright yellow, olive green, and cyan blue, with vibrant wallpaper and textiles to accent, along with local artwork. All rooms have a private lanai, microwaves, mini-fridges, and a blue-tiled wet bar with a collection of tropical mugs.

White Sands Hotel Waikiki kitchenette

Courtesy of White Sands Hotel

White Sands Hotel room

Courtesy of White Sands Hotel

White Sands Hotel pool bar

Courtesy of White Sands Hotel

Retro details are found throughout the hotel, like blue, curly cord landline telephones and vintage cigarette machines that now dispense locally made artwork. Impressively, White Sands Hotel is now the most energy-efficient hotel in Waikiki, generating almost all its energy from solar power. 

Also new is an open-air restaurant and bar, Hey Day. From the team behind Chinatown hotspot Fête, the restaurant is led by Chef Robynne Maii and serves farm-to-table American cuisine with a Hawaiian twist. There is a poolside bar with hanging chairs and craft cocktails. 

When guests are ready for a day at the beach, which is just two blocks away, they can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, boogie boards, and a Go-Pro camera to document their adventures.

Room rates start at $179 per night. To book, visit the hotel's website

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Stay at this Refreshed Retro-Chic Waikiki Hotel