There’s a swanky new spot in Waikiki, and you’re going to want to dive in!
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club, located at 412 Lewers St. just four blocks from the beach, is shaking up what we thought we knew about pool bars.
The pool area, and indeed the entire hotel, is artfully designed at the intersection of old and new Hawaii, so guests can enjoy the spirit of ‘60s beach culture, fused with modern aesthetics. Think Don Draper meets Tori Richards.
The cocktails menu at The Swim Club and the hotel’s restaurant Mahina & Sun’s was concocted by mixology maven Alicia Yamachika, who has had her hand in the bar menus of other Honolulu hotspots, including Pint + Jigger, Nobu and Livestock Tavern — among others.
As soon as I walked up to the poolside bar, I knew I had found a good thing. The menu offerings were hand-lettered on Monstera leaves and colorful cocktail napkins matched the retro vibe. The first thing I noticed on the menu was that many cocktails offered an alcohol base that was created here in Hawaii — Pau Maui Vodka, Ocean Vodka, etc. It was a great touch!
I settled on Carter Got Punched, a mix of Ko Hana Hawaiian Agricole Rum, Smith & Cross Navy Strength Rum, Campari (aperitif made with various fruit), citrus, Falernum sweet syrup and orange bitters. On the first sip, the only thing I noticed was how delightfully strong it was. But the warm alcohol sensation is quickly followed by tangy citrus and sweet orange flavor.
Next, I went with Inigo Montoya, made with Reyka Vodka, Fever-Tree tonic water, Cocchi Americano (Italian aperitif wine), citrus, celery bitters and lemongrass. It was potentially the most refreshing drink I’ve ever tasted. The added celery bitters was my favorite part because it’s so unexpected, yet delicious.
Soon, you’ll be able to grab a bite poolside from Mahina & Sun’s, the latest creation from Ed Kenney, adding to his already impressive collection of restaurants (town, Kaimuki Superette, Mud Hen Water), that just opened Thursday. (Things are currently in sneak-peek mode, with grab ‘n go breakfast and dinner available only. Eventually, there will be sit-down breakfast, poolside lunch, evening poolside and room service.)
Coming up, The Swim Club will offer a calendar of pool-side entertainment — from DJs spinning vinyl to film screenings — along with the copious amounts of cocktails, beer and wine.
No detail has been overlooked at this swell little spot — it’s like they’ve crafted it so that you’ll never have to leave, and I may not.