We’re going to let you in on a little secret. There’s a way to stay in Waikiki without all the crowds. Yes, that’s right. Notoriously busy almost 24 hours a day, Waikiki’s main drag can sometimes be, well, a bit of a drag, if you’re not into busy streets, crowded restaurants and lots, and lots, of shops.

Located inside the Ala Wai Boat Harbour, overlooking Kahanamoku Lagoon, the Prince Waikiki might not be right on Waikiki beach, but you’ll still get water views, without the chaos of downtown Waikiki. In actual fact, it’s only two kilometres away from Waikiki’s white sand, with the trolley bus service, the local buses or taxis a quick 5-10 minute drive.

Fresh from a multi-million dollar eight month renovation, the Prince is also one of the more chic properties in the area. Walk in the lobby and look up, to a stunning installation by Kaili Chun composed of hundreds of copper fish-shaped pieces suspended from the ceiling. Resembling a school of fish swimming in the sun, it’s one of the handmade pieces in the hotel that make up a very modern, yet distinctly Hawaiian design that tells the story of the area, at the mouth of the estuary, as a meeting place.

The hotel rooms, which all have a water view, are light and bright, with big floor to ceiling windows that open onto the harbour. The wallpaper features a hand drawn flower, little notes are delivered each night, along with a local sweet, that provide explanations about local stories and the art in the hotel. The Prince has successfully injected personality into its property, with delicate touches that make all the difference.

A rather big difference was the addition of a stunning infinity pool, halfway up the high rise, that’s often the scene for filming of Hawaii Five-O. Then there’s the open-plan business centre, with brand new Mac computers and a library of Hawaiian literature and art books curated by Kaili Chun, and a range of dining options. The 100 Sails Restaurant & Bar is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a popular Sunday Brunch and live music nights. The buffet-style restaurant keeps its spread fresh and full of flavour – don’t miss the taro Malasada, a purple version of the popular sugar-covered Hawaiian doughnut.

You’ll need a hearty breakfast if you’re heading out on the Prince Waikiki shuttle, which runs all day on a loop around Waikiki. The very first stop is Ala Moana, the famous sprawling outdoor shopping mall that is actually only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Trust us, that shuttle will come in handy after you’ve shopped up a storm!

Lisa was the guest of Prince Waikiki