Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach
Both of Waikiki’s Outrigger hotels are a good value, but this one is a little bigger and a little quieter. It’s right on the beach, just north of the main resort cluster, and though a short walk to the middle of the action, far enough to feel out of the fray. The hotel itself is a quintessential Hawaiian family resort—big and friendly, with an unmistakable good-time vibe, old-school Polynesian decor throughout, and any number of activities on offer. The pool is set back from the beach and nothing fancy (no waterslides, no swim-up bar, and up against a giant wall), but it’s large enough for a serious game of Marco Polo, and there are plenty of lounge chairs to go around. Perhaps the best reason to stay here is the beach—a fairly narrow but sparkling white strand with more elbow room than its sister beaches; the rocky bottom may have something to do with that, but it’s a good place to learn to surf and a great place to catnap in the sun. One warning: the hotel lobby may feel overly commercial to some, what with a row of gift shops and a hard-to-miss timeshare desk, but it’s easy enough to ignore, if you wish.
By Deborah Dunn, AFAR Contributor
2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA