Playing Tourist: The best hotel bars in Waikiki

Metro-SamanthaHeadshotLately, life for me means school all day and work at night, leaving little

time to enjoy Oahu and all it has to offer. This weekend, I had the luxury of a day off from the hustle and bustle of my busy schedule, leading to me playing tourist in Waikiki. My adventure started at The Modern Honolulu and ended on Kaimana Beach, with many stops along the way.

On my journey, I learned that there are some bars in Waikiki that, despite the high prices, are well worth it. So go ahead and take a break from your busy schedule to feign visitor. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. The Modern’s Sunset Pool bar

The atmosphere at The Modern deserves five stars for its mock beach setup, pool equipped with foam floats, and day beds; it has a luxurious feel that relaxes you completely. Most importantly, the bar located near the pool has a daily happy hour from 4 to 7 p.m. Best drink: Bloody Mary

The bar makes its own Bloody Mary mix, which is the right amount of spicy and tangy. Topped with a lime and light ice, it’s the perfect drink to sip while floating in the pool.

2. Tapa Bar

With its maze of shops and restaurants, The Hilton Hawaiian Village can be disorienting. So when I entered the property, I was a little overwhelmed. But when I finally found my way to Tapa Bar, I discovered a quaint venue with just a few tables and a small stage for live nighttime entertainment. My favorite part was being able to order Round Table Pizza, also located in the Hilton, and have it delivered to the bar.

Best drink: Li Hing Mui Margarita

There is nothing li hing mui doesn’t make better, so when I saw that the margarita had the fruit attached to its name, I had to order it. There’s also passion fruit puree fused in with the Sauza tequila, which adds a little sweetness to the tang.

3. Shore Bird Restaurant & Bar

I heard about Shore Bird through a friend who works at the beachside restaurant; he told me it would be busy, but I was not prepared for the packed tables or the sound of chatter. Still, the atmosphere was nice, and the view of the ocean was a huge plus.

Best drink: Mudslide

An alcoholic shake? Yes, please! This was the first drink my eyes landed on because it has vodka, Kahlua, Bailey’s and ice cream. The shake was blended well, and the vodka wasn’t overpowering — a huge plus. I thought I was drinking a regular milkshake … until I stood up, of course.