From Indagare member Ann Cochran, Washington, D.C.
“In late December, we held a wedding rehearsal dinner at the sophisticated new Waikiki Edition, the first realization of an Ian Schrager/Bill Marriott partnership, in Honolulu on Oahu. The hotel is cool and hip with only a touch of Hawaiiana; not that there’s anything wrong with that when you are from the East Coast, but it does set the hotel apart (behind the reception desk, there was a large installation of champion surfers’ broken boards). In the rooms, there are spots of color in the otherwise white-and-wood sanctuaries: a few sarongs on pegs near the door, below a brightly colored ukulele on a shelf.
“Our event, for 30, was held in the Sun Suite, which is an expansive living room-type space that opens up to an equally spacious terrace. There is a large tented area on the terrace, under which they set up one long, elegant table for dinner. The special events staff were magnificent: creative, caring, attentive, flexible. No question was too small, no request too bothersome. I was convinced that my happiness was their mission from the moment we connected to the end of the event. The evening was pure magic, beginning with special drinks (they created mocktails with passion fruit juice) and an awe-inspiring sunset. The terrace overlooks a marina for extra visual impact. The menu that executive chef Kaleo Adams (who returned to his native Hawaii from what must have been a wonderful experience at the Ritz Carlton San Francisco) designed for us was Italian, to honor the groom’s heritage. It was delicious and interesting, from a bountiful array of appetizers and perfect cheeses and honey, to lasagna cooked and served in little cast iron pots, to the grand finale: a panna cotta with citrus and roasted macadamias that no one could stop talking about. Guests included my 10-month-old grandson, for whom the chef pureed a selection of colorful fruits and vegetables served in ramekins.
“We are from Washington, D.C. and it was unsettling to plan an important and expensive dinner at a new hotel—thousands of miles from home—that I could not visit until the day before, but the dedicated people at the Edition outdid themselves, exceeding expectations in every way. We were thrilled, and so were our guests.”