One Formidable and Foolproof Date-Night Blueprint, Right This Way

And don't you dare call it a staycation

By Diane Rommel

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19 September 2016

“Staycations” have ruined staycations.

Everything about a “staycation” is sad. The concept, like the word, is a degradation of the vacation.

Having said that, sometimes you need a mini-break. Call it an extended date night. A hometown jaunt. Hell, just call it checking into a glam hotel and checking out from all your responsibilities for the weekend — without going through airport security.

Win-win. Bring a friend. She’ll like this one.

THE HOTEL
The one-time Monaco has been fabulously reworked as the Hotel Marker, which somehow manages to feel modern without sacrificing the architectural satisfactions of its historic building. Book into a suite, which may well be bigger than your apartment, and is both well-decorated — the jewel-tone palette for once doesn’t flirt with feminine — and well-appointed: You won’t need to bring anything but a change of clothes. Plan ahead and book an in-room spa treatment (our choice: the Calm Mind Massage) for a faster transition from work to play.

PRE-DINNER DRINKS
The venerable Owl Tree is our choice for neighborhood drinks. A couple minutes’ walk up the hill from the Marker, it’s the ideal place to grab a seat, order a mai tai and enjoy the mahogany darkness. (It is really dark. But very fun.)

THE MEAL
Just a couple blocks from the Owl Tree, Liholiho Yacht Club is our neighborhood dinner standout — a position we share with Bon App, which named it one of the year’s best new restaurants. Don’t forget to make a reservation a week out, and once you’re there, order wisely and well: we’d happily have the twice-cooked pork belly (with pineapple) again.

AN INTERLUDE
Separate-but-related-to Liholiho, the new-ish Louie’s Gen-Gen Room is worth a visit post-meal for a relaxing moment — and their menu is separate, so you’re again on terra incognita, with an entirely new world of Japanese spirits to explore.

THE MAIN SHOW
It’s worth booking your weekend around a show at the six-week-old Black Cat, with its (literally) jazzy downstairs performance space. It’s a throwback to the neighborhood’s more glamorous days. Here’s hoping it’s a new wave that lasts.

Liholiho Yacht Club storefront image by Zach Hilty via Facebook

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