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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, August 25, 2006

Bit of Miami vibe in Waikiki

By Derek Paiva
Advertiser Entertainment Writer

"South Beach" revelers enjoy the view of Waikiki Beach from the Hyatt Regency's third-floor pool deck.

Photos by ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Fresh air and hip sounds accompany the twice-monthly pool party.

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Where: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Resort & Spa's third-floor pool deck and Ciao Mein restaurant

When: 9 p.m.-2 a.m. second and fourth Fridays of every month

Cover: $15 ($5 guest list closes at 11 p.m.)

Under 21 OK? No.

Age of crowd: 20s-30s

What to wear: The requested dress code (capris, pastels, linens) or very dressy

The soundtrack: "Ain't No Other Man" — Christina Aguilera; "London Bridge" — Fergie; "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira; "Poison" — Bell, Biv, Divoe; "Dancing Queen" — ABBA

VIP services: Booth or table for entire night ($150), cabana with bottle service for up to six people ($300). Both include express entry and seating. Visit www.skylinetwo.com for information.

Official drink: The "butt heavy" — a Flash- and Matty-created blend of Alizι original Gold Passion and Red Bull over ice.

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Dancers groove to the diverse mix of mash-up, classic and new-school music.

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South Beach is a colorful slice of once-scruffy ocean-kissing Miami real estate first made famous and fashionable by a couple of overly stylish undercover cops on a little '80s TV show you may have heard of called "Miami Vice."

By day, its azure sea and sky, golden sands, palm trees and beachfront hotels still serve as background for fashion and film shoots. By night, its pricey, velvet-roped club and bar scene is all about keeping its numerous parties exclusive and dressy, while loosely fun and at least partially outdoors.

South Beach also is the name of a summery, upscale pool party at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki — the latest creation from after-hours tastemakers Flash Hansen, Matty Boy Hazelgrove and Partymasters' Justin Yoshino — aiming to bottle the late-night vibe of the Miami locale with a quarter wedge of lime twice monthly.

Does the trio pull it off? Though the guys are still fine-tuning the party and feeling out their way-roomier-than-Skyline environs, I'd say yes. South Beach seemed off to a promising start a couple of Fridays back.

On a warm, slightly humid night, the Hyatt's third-floor pool deck buzzed with coolly dressed twenty- and thirtysomethings. A good number were even heeding the hosts' requested "South Beach style" dress code of capris, pastels and linens. The rest kept their fashions on the casually elegant tip of Skyline dressy.

If patrons weren't inside Ciao Mein grooving to mash-ups, classics and new-school on the decks, they could imbibe on the outdoor deck or chill poolside on deck chairs. For folks willing to spend a bit more to enjoy the night air in style, a handful of VIP cabanas came with bottle service.

A couple of bikini-clad models frolicked in the pool with surfboards and beachballs, while barely dressed go-go dancers lit by blue and white spotlights worked platforms on the perimeter. Cool blue lighting and torchlights completed the outdoor ambience.

"How am I doing? ... I'm crazy from this heat," said Chris Halford, 28, sporting a white linen shirt, jeans and loafers. A pair of sunglasses rested casually on the third button of his slightly unbuttoned shirt.

"We have parties like this in Manhattan, but it's not the same," said Halford. "You can dress the part there. But you don't have this scenery."

His gaze turned toward a view of Kuhio Beach and the sound of police cars whizzing by on Kalakaua Avenue, before he walked back into Ciao Mein in search of "some finely dressed girls" he'd met in the Hyatt's port cochere.

The beautiful and stylish kept arriving beyond midnight. But by 1 a.m., much of the crowd had moved indoors to dance, leaving the deck's far-end loungers ideal spots for quiet conversation.

"We're in Hawai'i! Why wouldn't you want to be outside if you could? Why wouldn't you want to look out on Waikiki Beach if you could?" Hansen said about the after-dark party he simply wanted to take outdoors ... preferably with a pool deck and view. "It's Skyline ... just dressed down a little bit, but still elegant and classy."

Reach Derek Paiva at dpaiva@honoluluadvertiser.com.