Hospitality Design - March 2011 - 97
For the Waikiki Edition, the first of the highly anticipated new brand conceived by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International, Yabu Pushelberg wanted to create a chill place that didn’t look designed. “Everybody’s had too much design in the world today,” says Glenn Pushelberg. “We want it to be easy, easy, easy. We want people to wear their flip-flops and shorts.” Housed in the former Yacht Harbor Tower, next door to where the original Hawaii 5.0 series was filmed, the duo incorporated their own romantic notions of Hawaiian paradise; “which isn’t what you really find right now in Honolulu,” says George Yabu. “But we strived for that romanticism of what Waikiki once was 30 years ago, when it’s all happy-happy, surfing, and hula dancing.” Guests strolling into the living room-like lobby immediately get a taste of the laidback vibe: whitewashed walls and an organic shaped registration desk contrast dark wood floors; a sculpture by ’60s surf star Herbie Fletcher is comprised of bits of surfboards from his buddies; and a bookcase, complete with vintage surfer videos, rotates open at about 4 p.m. to reveal another bar to chill at.
Left: The white-on-white guestroom is like “a decompression zone.” Above: The lobby bar.