Iconic: a much overused term that is, in this case, wholly fitting. (Photo by Sam Moody)
Stab Recommends: Staying At The Surfjack In Waikiki
The lighter side of the rock.
The juxtaposition between the North and South shores of Oahu represents a significant proportion of its charm.
The North Shore's big: big waves, big trucks, big men, whilst the South Shore's 60s pastels, beautifully tapered waves and mixtures of fruit and hard liquor decorated with little straw umbrellas. The beauty of any Hawaiian stint is that the two shores are only 45 minutes apart, so you'd be mad not to indulge in both. When our nerves need a break from the anxieties of surfing the seven mile miracle, we don the frangipani shirts and hit the bars and sushi joints of Waikiki. And, we stay at the Surfjack.
It's all in the details.
You don't want for much at the Surfjack. The rooms are stylish and comfortable, without being over the top; nothing worse than a hotel room where you feel constantly in danger of breaking something. There's a myriad of places to throw back a few cocktails, including the pool and the deck and the resident eatery Mahina and Sun's. Speaking of Mahina and Sun's, it's the love child of distinguished local chef Ed Kennedy, and, well, it's divine. Local's the flavour, with a touch of modern zest. Anyone that's been to the islands before knows that local in Hawaii means fresh out the drink and jacked full of flavour. In short, Hawaiian food's awesome, and so is Mahina and Sun's.
Now that's a deck.
Waikiki's many things: dated, kinda corny, malls, but to be honest that's all part of it. The fact that there's fun waves in "town" is just the cherry on top of the pie. Next time you pack the coffin after six months of Wim Hoffing your lungs to their peak capacity to deal with the very real horror of getting caught inside at Sunset, we implore you to treat yourself to a few days in Waikiki. Preferably at the end of the trip. And if you can somehow organise your jaunt to coincide with it going flat on the North Shore, then all the better.
Yeah, us too really.