As the first tiki bar in Asia, 29th in Asia’s Best 50 Bars 2016 and The Word on Rum in Hong Kong, Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge embodies the spirit of tiki culture with a delectable mix of modern Polynesian and island inspired drinks nestled in the heart of the city. Named after a Polynesian greeting meaning “kiss kiss”, Honi Honi Cocktail Lounge is a haven of elegance and design, serving up the freshest cocktails concocted by seasoned drink connoisseur and partner Max Traverse. Matching Max’s unique style and sophisticated service, Honi Honi brings back a time when a bartender could concoct exactly the right tipple for clientele he would know by name.
In addition to what is arguably the largest collection of rums in Asia with over 200+ varieties, the menu includes the usual tiki cocktail characters paying tribute to the Founder of tiki culture, Don the Beachcomber and to new Honi Honi creations such as the Maori Spring Punch, Tropical Storm or Max’s personal favourite the Honi Honi Kiss.
As a haven in the heart of the city, the interior was designed around my re-invention of the classic tiki concept represents a sophisticated Polynesian interpretation of tropical beach escapism. This new “tiki chic” concept is a visual feast of colours, tropical patterns, timber and the innovative use of bamboo, the oldest building material in Asia. The furnishings are elegant and with retro accents evoking a touch of the South Pacific Islands. The outdoor terrace, is an oasis garden of lush greenery and sculpted furniture. Opening out directly from the main bar and lounge, the terrace is fenced with bamboo stalks and luxurious tropical plants. A series of semicircular settings allow for private VIP table bookings in a relax and comfortable atmosphere.
As a nightlight hotspot, Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge attracts acts from international guest DJs, being named by Forbes as one of the Top 100 “The Global Party” venues together with “The World’s Elite Partying for a Noble Cause”. Even the Wall Street Journal calls it “The World’s Finest Locations” and part of “The Social Event of the Decade” by The Telegraph. Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge is leading the way to Tiki and beyond.
Max Traverse is a veteran in the highend cocktail scene with over 18 years of experience at destinations in Hong Kong, France and England. Coming to Hong Kong in 2012, Max spearheaded the opening of Le Boudoir and was Bar Manager there for a few years. Later in the summer of 2012, Max created the first tiki bar in Hong Kong that strictly adheres to his high standard of hospitality and service: Honi Honi Tiki Cocktail Lounge.
Honi Honi quickly earned the reputation as one of Hong Kong’s favourite and most popular drinking destinations. Recently winning 29th place in Asia’s Best 50 Bars 2016, Best Team in The Bar Awards Hong Kong 2016, it was named a “Bar to Watch” by The World’s 50 Best Bars in 2013 and Sassy’s “Favourite Girls Night Out” 2014 and 2015, HKClubbing’s Best Bar in Hong Kong 2015 and the #1 Best Tiki Bar in 2015 by The Spirits Business, among others for the past five years.
Known as “The Word on Rum” in Hong Kong, Max brought the first Hong Kong Rum Festival to Asia and it is in its current fourth year. Each year the festival brings together world renowned connoisseurs and rum brand ambassadors to share their experiences, partake in rum and grow the local love and the knowledge of rum in Asia.
Recognizing the growing bar scene trends in Wan Chai and riding on the local popularity and success of Honi Honi, he set out to push the tiki concept further with the invention of “tiki chic” thus creating Mahalo Tiki Lounge. As an upscale Polynesian tiki bar and lounge, located in the Penthouse of QRE Plaza. Mahalo’s retro tiki vibe of the 1970s is juxtaposed against an island escape set amongst the sweeping panoramic views of Hong Kong island.
Utilizing his extensive international experience, Max began his hospitality career serving European royalty and celebrities at top five star establishments including Trianon Palace (Versailles, France), The Village Montana (Tignes, France), Golf Plaza (Ste Maxime, France) and the renowned Miramar Beach Hotel (Cannes, France).
His passion for mixing drinks brought him to London, then a burgeoning capital of cocktail innovation and the original birthplace of lounge culture. He continued to hone his skills and penchant for combining interesting flavours at some of the city’s most esteemed venues – Monte’s Club, The Library Bar (Lanesborough Hotel), The Cuckoo Club (Piccadilly) and the Hoxton Pony, to name but a few.
Throughout his career, Max has been continually evolving his career by participating in international mixology competitions. Proud moments have included placing top ten out of several tens of thousands in the Stolichnaya Vodka Cocktail Competition in 2007 and representing Greater China in the Angostura Global Cocktail Contest in 2012.
In 1934, Don the Beachcomber opened a Polynesian-themed restaurant in Hollywood serving tropical rum punches and exotic cuisine with décor featuring carved Tiki masks, flaming torches, flower leis and bright fabrics. Thus began Tiki, spreading like wildfire into music and cinema, particularly after American soldiers brought home stories and souvenirs from Oceania in 1945. Maybe Tiki is a way for modern man to forget his woes amongst misty rum drinks. Maybe it provides a connection to man’s inner tribal roots. What’s certain is Tiki is back and its long storied history will continue here at the Honi Honi Cocktail Lounge.