Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The only beachside condo in Waikiki, this medium-size apartment complex is hardly luxurious, with little to no service and low-frills rooms.
I'll say this for the Shore: it's aptly named. Unlike, say, the Outrigger Reef next-door, which isn't on a reef, or the Waikiki Joy, which is a misery, the Waikiki Shore is indeed on the shore, a fact in which it seems to take great pride. The websites of both companies that lease rooms here, Outrigger and Castle, boast that the Shore is the only beachfront condo complex in Waikiki.
Which leads to the other unique aspect of the hotel: two competing management companies jointly operate the Shore. There are 100 or so available rooms -- the remaining 60 are owner-occupied, or simply not used as hotel rooms; Castle manages about 75 of the units and Outrigger manages about 30. Ultimately, that schizophrenia won't affect the stay that much. If you book through Castle, as the proprietor of the front desk, they provide slightly faster service (Outrigger's office is down the street). But Outrigger guests have access to all the amenities at the Reef next-door. Other things being equal, Outrigger is probably the way to go, particularly for families who want a pool.
Whichever you choose, you'll be on the beach, or at least very close to it, and you're paying for that. If location isn't at the top of your list of priorities, look elsewhere.
Little to none
There's not much service at the Shore, though it varies slightly depending on whether you book through Castle or Outrigger.
Right on the beach, within walking distance of Waikiki's best shopping and dining
The Shore is located on the northeastern edge of the busiest part of Waikiki, which means that you get the best of both worlds: easy access to the area's renowned shops and restaurants without being subjected to the noise and congestion endemic to the epicenter. Unless you want to be smack in the middle of the action, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better location in Waikiki. Best of all, the Shore is -- go figure -- on the shore. The beach is your backyard.
Five minutes away is Waikiki's main drag, Kalakaua Avenue, a touristy milelong stretch 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 "Hawaii 09" T-shirts. Seemingly every mid-market 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, dotting the landscape like pins in a cushion.
Right on the subsection of Waikiki Beach known as Fort DeRussy 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. The Shore is located a block 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.
Comfortable, but low-frills, apartment-style units
All the units at the Shore are individually owned, and while Outrigger and Castle do what they can to maintain consistency with respect to amenities and upkeep, the decor varies quite a bit. The constants are size, layout, and features. Not counting the various views available (essentially, of the park or the ocean), the Shore has three types of rooms -- studios and one- and two-bedroom suites -- and even the studios, at 435 square feet, are large.
Not many, but more when booked through Outrigger
As a condo building, the Shore lacks the features of more traditional hotels. If you book through Outrigger, you get a few more amenities than if booked through Castle, however.
Like most condos, the Outrigger Waikiki Shore is a decent, money-saving option for families given its large units with kitchens/kitchenettes for those who don't want to drop $80 plus on every meal. But beyond that, there isn't much for kids.
Everything at the hotel is clean, even the balconies.
No restaurant on-site, but decent cheap fare nearby
There's no restaurant at the Shore affiliated with Castle or Outrigger, but unlike at other condo hotels -- such as the Outrigger Luana -- there are plenty of restaurants on the property itself. OK, not really restaurants. More like... eateries. Food stalls. On the first floor is the Waikiki Shore Apartment Beach Shopping Center, home to Subway, Blazin Steaks ("Steaks Grilled to Perfection"), and a shave ice stand, among others.
If you're looking for a beachside condo in Waikiki, the Shore isn't just the best option; it's the only option. But little aside from its prime location stands out. It's a fair pick for the price most often, but it's worth it to first check rates at the significantly nicer Outrigger Regency on Beachwalk or the Grand Waikikian.