Retro vibe intact at refurbed Queen Kapiolani

The newly refurbished Queen Kapiolani Hotel in Waikiki exudes a cool, casual vibe. Open, airy and light-filled, the lobby of this recently renovated property welcomes guests with a fresh ambience enhanced with ocean breezes and bright Hawaiian artwork.

On my visit in October, during the hotel's grand reopening following a $35 million renovation, I was immediately enveloped by the fun, friendly surf culture. The expansive, vibrant space features a comfortable seating area surrounded by wall displays that include a variety of island-inspired murals, vintage travel posters and classic surfboards.

The hotel exhibits contemporary and vintage artwork throughout, with guestrooms and hallways that showcase 1960s advertisements, whimsical surf images and Hawaiiana prints. The hotel is also home to the Royal Art Gallery, which displays a collection of works that include vintage portraits of Hawaiian royalty and paintings that celebrate Oahu's history.