I recently spent 6 days on Oahu for my first trip to Hawaii and stayed at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. It’s not just on any beach but the world famous Waikiki Beach! Being on the beach really sets this place apart. (as odd as that sounds since I was in Hawaii.) But I learned that most hotels in Waikiki and Honolulu are not right on the beach. There are a lot within a block or two of the water but being directly on the beach was very nice. I’m not the only one who enjoyed their stay here, on TripAdvisor it is ranked as the #4 hotel out of 85 in Honolulu! Let me share with you my thoughts on the Outrigger Reef on the Beach!
I stayed in a partial ocean view room with 1 king bed in the Ocean Tower (they also have Diamond Head and Pacific Towers). I found the room to be a perfect amount of space for two people. The room was VERY clean and decorated well with a very nice bathroom. The bed was incredibly comfortable but what made it extraordinary were the pillows. I love soft feathered pillows and these were perfect and there were plenty of them. It made getting out of bed difficult but I wasn’t in Hawaii to sleep the day away! I also got to see a few of the other rooms in the resort and those were excellent as well. I saw an Ocean View room and an Ocean Front room. The Ocean Front room I saw was on the corner and had such a beautiful view of the ocean and Diamond Head ! From what I saw you would be very happy in any one of their rooms. They have many different room categories so you are sure to find one that fits your needs. All rooms have a balcony or lanai except for the “moderate” room category which can be a great deal if you don’t care about a balcony.
I don’t think you could pick a better a location. Obviously it is right on the beach (it’s in the name) but it’s location to shops and restaurants was so much fun. You could walk to pretty much anything you would want. The Outrigger Beachwalk (on Lewers St.) has some great shopping and my favorite restaurant in the area, the Yard House! They’ve done a great job renovating the area and making it beautiful. If you haven’t been to Waikiki in awhile, it’s time to go back!
Like I said being on the beach in Waikiki is great because the majority of hotels are not on the beach. The section of beach right outside the resort can get a bit narrow due to the tide but the great thing about Hawaii is that all of the beaches are public so you have the freedom to walk up and down the beach and hangout wherever you want. You can reserve chairs with an umbrella at the resort which are a hot commodity so make sure you get your reservations in early! The water is a gorgeous blue color and you have a reef not to far out from the beach so the swim area is protected and calm. It also makes for great snorkeling in the area and you’ll probably be able to find some turtles swimming around you! While I was there (8/8-8/14) the water temperature was PERFECT and I could stay in it all day. Some areas are rockier than others so be careful when you first get in. I also envied the people who brought rafts to layout on…it looked so peaceful and picture perfect. You can’t beat hanging out in the water or on the beach in Hawaii while seeing the Honolulu skyline to one side and Diamond Head on the other!
Outrigger Reef on the Beach has a few different restaurants right on property which is so nice and convenient. Obviously there are a lot of places to eat in Honolulu and I do encourage you to get out and experience the food and nightlife but my favorite place at the resort was Kani Ka Pila Grill. It is right next to the pool and it is an open air bar but then it has all outdoor seating. The menu has enough items on it to satisfy everyone in your family and the food was excellent. They had GREAT burgers…I believe they use Boars Head meat (the brand not an actual boars head). Plus, they have live entertainment there every night. The music that they bring in is all award-winning musicians and if you haven’t won an award you don’t play there. Oh and I can’t forget to mention Vino – the best bartender in Waikiki…great guy!
As I mentioned above Kani Ka Pila Grill is right off the pool which is convenient for when you are laying out because you can quickly order drinks or food and have it delivered to you. It is a salt water pool so if your kids want to swim and open their eyes under water, I recommend getting them some goggles. I didn’t find it to be overwhelmingly salty but I imagine it would sting a little if you opened your eyes a lot. The pool is in the center of the hotel so it is not on the ocean but it still feels very tropical and relaxing because you have palm trees around you. The pool also has 3 hot tubs which was very much needed after a day of surfing and paddle boarding…my muscles were a little sore! There are a lot of chairs to choose from and I never had any problems finding a chair and the hotel was full. I’ve seen bigger pools in other destinations but you need to remember you are in more of a city setting than you are in Riviera Maya or other neighbor islands but you aren’t in Waikiki just to hang out at the pool when you have so much to do in Oahu and you are right on the beach! With that being said, I did find myself at the pool a lot because it was very relaxing and the bar wasn’t too far away!
I found the service to be very accommodating and most importantly very friendly. I never encountered a staff member who didn’t greet me with a smile and an Aloha. I rented a car so I used their valet service everyday and that worked out well. Parking there is a bit expensive at $30/day but it was nice to know exactly where the car was instead of trying find parking elsewhere everyday.
Overall my stay at Outrigger Reef on the Beach was fantastic and I would recommend it to anyone. Besides everything I mentioned above they also have shops where you can buy souvenirs and trinkets but they also have a “general” type store where you can buy snacks and toiletries if you didn’t want to run out to an ABC Store. Next time you are looking to take a Hawaiian vacation take a look at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach and tell them that Sean sent you…actually they will probably look at you like you are crazy but give it a try anyways
- Sean from Delta Vacations
*I was hosted by Outrigger Reef on the Beach but all opinions are honest and my own.