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.
Hawaiian Hospitality Awaits You Here
Wondering where to stay in Waikiki? If you’re looking for gracious old Hawaiian hospitality, you’ll find it at the beachfront Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. Yes there are several other Outrigger properties in Waikiki but for me, this one truly captures the feel and style of Waikiki in days gone by. The moment that you arrive at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort and pull up under the port cochere, designed to look like a Hawaiian thatched building- replete with an outrigger canoe hanging inside of it, you are greeted warmly with true aloha. Celebrating 70 years of hospitality which began with only one small Waikiki hotel owned by the Kelley family, the Outrigger Hotel and Resorts brand portfolio now has properties in Hawaii, Guam, Mauritius, Maldives, Fiji, and Thailand. What makes the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach so special, is quite frankly, its commitment to providing the guest a direct connection to Hawaiian culture, artifacts, Hawaiian music, masterworks of Hawaiian art, and Hawaiian craft experiences. Take a look at the weekly Guest Activities calendar with its offerings of complementary classes and even a Hawaiian Vow renewal each Monday and Thursday on the beach, and you’ll find something interesting to try. Learn lei making, strum a song on an ukulele, create a Hawaiian style greeting card, or make a bookmark using a Hawaiian word or a traditional saying that you will learn the meaning of during your class. Outriggers’ commitment to Hawaiian hospitality doesn’t end there. You will likely be greeted at some time during your stay by a most beautiful lady named Luana Mailtand, Director of Cultural Events & Activities at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort. So important is the sharing of the Hawaiian culture at the hotel, that Luana now has a new venue in the hotel called Hale No’eau. When you sign up for the Hawaiian activities, you’ll be meeting here. Sharing Hawaiian music is important to Outrigger. One of the best places in Waikiki to hear Hawaiian artists is the Kani Ka Pila Grille. To me the true measure of a venue in Waikiki is if locals come to listen; and come here they do. You’ll be able to listen to many of Hawaii’s finest musicians right here at the hotel. The menu at Kani Ka Pila Grille has been refreshed so enjoy pupu (heavy appetizers), sip a beautifully-crafted tropical drink, watch hula dancers come up from the crowd to dance along with the dulcet tones of the singers and musicians, and your heart will be filled with aloha. If the musicians are playing in the unique tunings and pickings of Hawaiian Slack Key style, you are definitely in for a treat. Waikiki beachfront restaurants can be pricey. You are paying for the meal but also for the view on prime real estate. What’s great about the reasonable price for oceanfront dining at the Reef Bar & Market Grill is that you get the view, and you get to select your piece of steak, fish or fowl, sausage, chops, or vegetables. Choose from specialty rubs for your protein and then head to the huge open-flame grill and cook it to your liking. Grill-masters are there to assist you, so your grilling will be fun. Tip: While your food cooks, order your drink, and then head over the incredible salad bar, which is included with your meal.
Here are a few other notes on this great hotel to share with you:
-Outrigger believes in the Hawaiian concept of ohana or “family” which traditionally extends to the community, so they sponsor several events as part of that commitment: The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, Slack Key Festival and Duke‘s OceanFest.
-Stay in the Voyager 47 Club Lounge level ocean front and ocean view rooms and suites, and you can wander down to this private oceanfront club to enjoy fresh Kona coffee and an expanded continental breakfast, and then return at sunset for pupu and evening beverages. The Voyager 47 Club Lounge also has a concierge who can make suggestions for your day on Oahu, and they will kindly pack up a snack box to take with you on your adventure.
-The pool area of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort now has cabanas for rent, bottle service available, and updated food and beverage offerings. Catch the last of summer right now, or come in fall when Hawaii cools off from the summer heat. Come visit and create some lasting memories of real Hawaiian hospitality; your Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort experience is waiting to welcome you with aloha.