Waikiki Shore Rating: 2.5 Pearls
Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Large suites with full kitchens
  • Quiet location that's still close to the action
  • Only beachfront condo in Waikiki
  • More TV channels than most Hawaii hotels

Cons

  • Limited service
  • No hotel restaurant or bar
  • No Wi-Fi or business center
  • Castle guests have access to few amenities

Bottom Line

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.

Categories

Oyster Hotel Photos

Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

The only beachside condo in Waikiki, this medium-size apartment complex is hardly luxurious, with little to no service and low-frills rooms.

The beach
The beach

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.

 Service

Little to none

The front desk
The front desk

There's not much service at the Shore, though it varies slightly depending on whether you book through Castle or Outrigger.

  • Front desk is operated by Castle, but they're happy to answer questions from Outrigger guests.
  • Outrigger guests use a lobby phone to call the main office down the street, and an Outrigger representative arrives pretty quickly to show you to the room; the whole check-in process takes about 10 minutes.
  • Phones in Outrigger-managed units are linked to Outrigger office, so personal assistance (e.g., lost keys) can take a few minutes more than those staying in a Castle-managed unit.
  • Outrigger provides daily housekeeping, while Castle has reduced theirs to every other day.
  • Outrigger guests have use of the pool at the Outrigger Reef.

 Location

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.

  • Wide variety of shopping, dining, and drinking -- all within walking distance
  • Fort DeRussy Recreation Center, a pleasant city park that houses the Army Museum of Hawaii, is next-door.
  • Cheap and easy to get around Waikiki via "The Bus" ($2.25/person to go any distance)
  • Honolulu International Airport is a 20-25-minute, $35 cab ride.
  • Pearl Harbor, Hanauma Bay, and Diamond Head Crater -- three of the most popular tourist sites outside Waikiki -- are all within a 30-minute drive.

 Beach

Right on the subsection of Waikiki Beach known as Fort DeRussy Beach

Stand-up paddle-boarding
Stand-up paddle-boarding

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.

  • Public beach
  • Ocean bottom is rocky, unlike neighboring Queen's Beach.
  • Lifeguards monitor the beach throughout the day.
  • Umbrellas and lounge chairs must be rented from one of the many Star Beach Boys stands; chairs are $5 an hour, $20 a day; for two chairs and an umbrella, it's $10 an hour, $50 a day.
  • Water sports equipment like surfboards and boogie boards available for rental at Star Beach Boys stands

 Rooms

Comfortable, but low-frills, apartment-style units

The Studio Ocean View Room
The Studio Ocean View Room

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.

 Features

Not many, but more when booked through Outrigger

Surfing lessons
Surfing lessons

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.

  • All units have free, fast in-room Internet (wired, not Wi-Fi).
  • Parking is $18 a night -- pretty standard for Waikiki.
  • Outrigger guests get access to the amenities, including the pool and gym, at the next-door Outrigger Reef.

 Family

Not much for kids beyond large rooms and an off-site pool

The lobby
The lobby

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.

  • Guests who book through Outrigger have access to the pool at the next-door Outrigger Reef.
  • Studios don't include sofa beds and are too small to fit cribs or rollaways; families should book one- or two-bedroom suites.
  • Cribs are free and rollaways carry an extra charge ($25 per night).

 Cleanliness

No complaints

Everything at the hotel is clean, even the balconies.

 Food

No restaurant on-site, but decent cheap fare nearby

Waikiki Shore Apartment Beach Shopping Center
Waikiki Shore Apartment Beach Shopping Center

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.

  • Right next-door: the restaurants at the Outrigger Reef, including a Starbucks
  • Down the block: Eggs 'n Things, a Waikiki institution; expect to wait at least 30 to 45 minutes no matter what time of day -- then expect to love your meal.
  • Lots of options at the nearby Waikiki Beach Walk
  • The closest grocery store, Food Pantry, is about a half-mile away.

 Bottom Line

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.

Things You Should Know About Waikiki Shore

Address

  • 2161 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI, US

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Castle Waikiki Shore

Room Types

  • One Bedroom Oceanfront Suite
  • One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
  • One Bedroom Park View Suite
  • Studio Ocean View Room
  • Two Bedroom One Bath Ocean View Suite
  • Two Bedroom Two Bath Oceanfront Suite
  • Two Bedroom Two Bath Ocean View Suite

Enter dates for best prices

Check-in
Check-out
Guests
 AVG/NIGHT 
Hotels.com  
Expedia.com  
Tingo.com  
Booking.com  
Travelocity  
Otel.com  
Priceline.com  
CheapTickets.com  

All About Oyster

You Can't Return a Bad Vacation.

Our special investigators visit, photograph, review and rate each hotel. We uncover the truth, before it's "uh-oh" time.

Go undercover with an Oyster Investigator The Today Show
Go Undercover with an Oyster Investigator
See 56 Videos of Oyster on TV

Nearby Hotels to Consider

Outrigger Reef On The Beach
Outrigger Reef On The Beach
Waikiki, Honolulu
Rating: 40 Pearls

Distance: 0.1 mi
Halekulani
Halekulani
Waikiki, Honolulu
Rating: 45 Pearls

Distance: 0.1 mi
Waikiki Parc Hotel
Waikiki Parc Hotel
Waikiki, Honolulu
Rating: 35 Pearls

Distance: 0.2 mi
Embassy Suites Hotel - Waikiki Beach Walk
Embassy Suites Hotel - Waikiki Beach Walk
Waikiki, Honolulu
Rating: 35 Pearls

Distance: 0.2 mi

Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 168
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
View All

Hotel Information

Location: Waikiki, Honolulu
Address: 2161 Kalia Road, Honolulu, HI, US
(See Map)
Loading Live Rates
Loading...