Luana Waikiki Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Suites and studios include full kitchens
  • Quieter part of Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki's main drag
  • Pleasant pool deck
  • Free high-speed Wi-Fi in all rooms, the lobby, and the pool area
  • Well-equipped fitness center

Cons

  • Limited service: no concierge; no bell staff
  • Further from Waikiki action than most other Waikiki hotels
  • Five- to 10-minute walk from the beach

Bottom Line

About a 10-minute walk from central Waikiki, but this Outrigger is still the best midrange condo-hotel in Waikiki -- clean, comfortable, across a park from the beach, and studios and suites have full kitchens (no stovetops in standard rooms). Service is minimal, but features include a lovely little pool deck.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A midsize condo-hotel; five to ten minutes removed from the bustling heart of Waikiki

Outrigger Luana Waikiki
Outrigger Luana Waikiki

Located in a suburban-like section of Waikiki, Outrigger Luana Waikiki is essentially a generic-looking 16-floor apartment complex that doubles as a hotel. All of its 213 suites and studios are individually owned, but for most of the year the units are leased out to guests by the Outrigger management company. But unlike other condo-hotels, Outrigger does an excellent job maintaining consistency across its units as well as just keeping the property looking good.

But you don't get much in terms of amenities or service. In the small lobby, the front desk is usually manned by one casually dressed clerk, if anyone at all. Guests make themselves similarly scarce -- the pool deck is often empty. Luana is a fine place to crash, but you'll probably do most of your eating, drinking, shopping, sunning, and surfing elsewhere.

 Location

Right on Waikiki's main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, but it's five to ten minutes by foot to the heart of the action. It's also inland a bit -- five to ten minutes across a park to the beach.

The location isn't ideal. In some sense, you get the worst of both worlds: You're a tad removed from both the beach and the best shopping and dining, yet you're still right on the busiest road in Waikiki. The immediate area feels a lot like a suburban thoroughfare. Next door is an Aloha gas station; across the street, a small city green. In front of the building, traffic whizzes by before slowing a few blocks later, when Kalakaua Avenue narrows and congests.

It's a five- to 10-minute walk or quick cab ride to the more popular stretch of Kalakaua in the heart of Waikiki -- a touristy milelong lane of shops, restaurants, and high-rise hotels that runs along Oahu's southeast coast. Waikiki offers a curious blend of mainland creature comforts and local flavor. On the sidewalks, Japanese tourists intermingle with tanned locals, surfboards under their arms, on their way to the beach to catch a few waves after work. On both sides of the street, high-end retailers -- Tiffany, Cartier, even an Apple store -- are interspersed with indoor malls and streetside vendors hawking cheap seashell jewelry and Obama bobbleheads. Seemingly every midmarket chain restaurant can be found here -- Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Tony Roma's -- along with more than a handful of Starbucks and fast-food joints. And towering above it all: 40-story, thousand-room hotels like the Hyatt Regency and Princess Kaiulani dotting the landscape like pins in a cushion.

  • Cheap and easy to get around Waikiki via the bus (appropriately nicknamed "The Bus") -- $2.25 per person to go any distance
  • Honolulu International Airport is a 20- to 25-minute cab ride
  • Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay, and Diamond Head Crater -- three of the most popular tourist sites outside Waikiki -- are all within 30 minutes by car
  • Parking costs $18 per day; that's pretty cheap for Waikiki

 Beach

Across the park -- albeit a big one -- from Fort DeRussy Beach, the closest subsection of Waikiki Beach

Loosely speaking, the entire 1.5-mile stretch of sand alongside Kalakaua Avenue is known as Waikiki Beach. In reality, it's more like three separate beaches, the borders of which vary depending on whom you ask. Outrigger Luana Waikiki is located across the park -- effectively, three city blocks -- from the Fort DeRussy section, which is far less crowded than its more famous neighbor to the southeast, Queen's Beach. The water is shallow, warm, and calm, making Fort DeRussy a decent place to swim, especially for kids.

  • Public beach
  • Ocean bottom is rocky, unlike neighboring Queen's Beach
  • Lifeguards monitor the beach throughout the day
  • Free towels provided by the hotel
  • Umbrellas and lounge chairs must be rented from one of the many Star Beach Boys stands
  • Water sports equipment, like surfboards and boogie boards, are available for rental at the Star Beach Boys stands

 Rooms

Comfortable, but no-frills, apartment-style vacationing in studios and one- and two-bedroom suites with fully equipped kitchens. Standard rooms -- a studio minus the kitchenettes -- are also available.

One-bedroom suite's kitchen
One-bedroom suite's kitchen

Spacious and comfortable, the studios and suites at Luana -- most of which have full kitchens -- are well suited to families or small groups on long stays. All the units are individually owned, but Outrigger works hard to maintain consistency with respect to decor and amenities. To be sure, these guest rooms won't win any design awards -- though I did grow to love (or at least chuckle at) the hula-lady and surfer-dude lamps flanking my bed -- but for the price, you get a lot more here than you would at most other Waikiki hotels.

  • Standard rooms and studio suites start at a comfortable 340 square feet, but if you pull out the sofa bed the space becomes a snug fit; one- and two-bedroom suites have a separate living room and more space for the pullout sofa bed.
  • Studios and suites come with a full kitchen -- full-size fridge/freezer; oven and stovetop; microwave; cooking utensils, dishes, glasses, and silverware. Suites also have a dishwasher and more counter space.
  • No kitchen in the standard rooms; just a quasi-kitchen area with a mini-fridge, cutlery, silverware, dishware, and a coffeemaker with free coffee
  • Beds aren't "springy," but the Simmons Beautyrest Alexandria mattress was a bit soft and "foamy" -- sort of like couch cushions; pillows have a polyester-fiber filling and sheets are a cotton/polyester blend.
  • Bathrooms are similarly low-frills: hotel-brand bath products; just a walk-in shower (no tub) in the studios and standard rooms; weak water pressure
  • Small balcony in every room
  • Loud AC unit
  • Ample closet space with an electronic safe large enough for a laptop
  • Alarm clock includes an iPod hookup
  • Free Wi-Fi in all rooms, as well as at the pool deck and in the lobby
  • As of 2009, the hotel is replacing the 24-inch Sony Trinitron flat-pannel TVs with LG flat-screen TVs. Cable stations include about 70 channels; that's about 50 more channels than at most hotels in Waikiki.

 Features

All the Waikiki hotel basics -- pool; gym; day spa; business center; lobby shop -- not bad for a condominium

Great lounge chairs at the pool
Great lounge chairs at the pool

 Family

Large rooms and a clean pool -- little else for families

The pool
The pool

Like most condo-hotels, the in-room kitchens are a great way for families to save some cash. But this is largely a condo, not a resort, so there is no kids' club or organized activities.

  • All rooms and suites have either a queen bed and a pullout sofa or two queens; cribs are available and rollaway beds cost $20 per night.
  • Small pool

 Cleanliness

Clean, overall, and well-kept since its 2005 renovation

Guest rooms are independently owned condo units, but Outrigger provides housekeeping services (not daily), and the property is well maintained. It would be an overstatement to say that the Luana still looks fresh, but it's certainly holding up well. Like most other hotel rooms in Waikiki, you might spot a stain on the floor, some bird droppings on the balcony, or some nicks and scratches in the furniture.

 Food

On-site Protea Cafe offers a light and healthy fare

Kitchen in the a One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
Kitchen in the a One Bedroom Ocean View Suite

The on-site Protea Cafe -- open only for breakfast and lunch -- serves healthy fare and creative cocktails in an intimate setting. The contemporary menu includes thin-curst pizzas, grilled panini sandwiches, and specialty smoothies. Breakfast favorites include the Amazon Acai Bown and the the Hawaiian sweet bread French toast with warm raspberries. The restaurant also provides room service (service charge and gratiutity additional).

The hotel is about a five- to 10-minute walk from the heart of Waikiki -- where dining options abound -- but in the immediate vicinity of the hotel you can find some great affordable restaurants. For lunch or dinner, you can head to Cheeseburger Waikiki, a burger joint with quirky signage and waitresses who wear hula skirts. For breakfast, there's Eggs 'n Things -- it's a Waikiki institution, so expect to wait at least 30 to 45 minutes for a table no matter what time or day.

Of course, you can also use the kitchen in the studios or suites and save some cash by eating in. The ABC convenience store across the street sells some breakfast essentials and microwavable meals. The closest grocery store, Food Pantry, is about a half-mile away.

 Bottom Line

About a 10-minute walk from central Waikiki, but this Outrigger is still the best midrange condo-hotel in Waikiki -- clean, comfortable, across a park from the beach, and studios and suites have full kitchens (no stovetops in standard rooms). Service is minimal, but features include a lovely little pool deck.

Things You Should Know About Luana Waikiki

Address

  • 2045 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Honolulu Outrigger
  • Outrigger Honolulu
  • Outrigger Hotel Honolulu
  • Outrigger Hotel Luana Waikiki

Room Types

  • City/Park View Hotel Room
  • City/Park View Studio Suite
  • One Bedroom City/Park View Suite
  • One Bedroom Deluxe Ocean View Suite
  • One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
  • Partial Ocean View Hotel Room
  • Partial Ocean View Studio Suite
  • Two Bedroom City/Park View Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 213
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Waikiki, Honolulu
Address: 2045 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, HI 96815
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