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Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort 3.5

Waikiki, Honolulu, Oahu

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Review Summary

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Pros

  • Oceanfront location on quieter western end of Waikiki’s beachfront
  • Spacious rooms with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers 
  • Some rooms have balconies and sea views can be amazing
  • Modern gym with cardio and weight equipment, plus an attractive spa
  • Free Waikiki Connection Trolley access
  • Free activities like Hawaiian tattoo and ukulele and hula lessons
  • Dining includes oceanfront Reef Bar plus live music at Kani Ka Pila Grille
  • Huge pool with three hot tubs surrounded by lounge chairs
  • Shops selling everything from clothes to jewelry and souvenirs
  • No resort fees -- almost unheard of in Waikiki
  • Free vow-renewal ceremonies offered on the beach by a Hawaiian priest
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property

Cons

  • Valet parking is expensive and limited to one car
  • Decor throughout is a bit tired and dated
  • Beach is narrow and ocean has a rough coral bottom 
  • No views from the pool
  • Some rooms lack balconies

Bottom Line

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort is a three-and-a-half-pearl oceanfront resort that sits along a quieter stretch of Waikiki's beach. It’s 635 spacious, air-conditioned rooms have old-school tropical interiors plus flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and mini-fridges. Sadly, balconies aren't standard, but ocean views can be stellar. Upgraded rooms include private lounge access with free breakfasts, snacks, and drinks. Two restaurants, a modern 24-hour gym, a well-liked spa, and entertainment round out the amenities. Freebies range from vow-renewal ceremonies to cultural activities like ukulele and hula lessons. While the pool lacks sea views, the live music in the evenings is a nice bonus. So is the lack of resort fees. Sister property Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is also worth a look, as it's often a touch cheaper (though the beach there is busier).

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Scene

Tropically inspired resort with a casual, quieter atmosphere plus fabulous beach and sunset views 

Outrigger Reef opened in the 1960s and it's one of the classier resorts in the area, while still retaining a casual vibe. The tropical interiors are a reminder of Honolulu’s golden days, though in some spots (like the rooms), the look is a touch dated. True to its name, a beautifully restored outrigger canoe is the centerpiece of the resort, and you can expect to see huge murals and photos of underwater sea life. The laid-back check-in experience -- guests sit in plush chairs -- adds to the overall relaxed vibe. This resort stays a bit quieter than the large properties in the center of the neighborhood, though it is -- in the end -- a Waikiki property and is livelier than other beach retreats elsewhere in Hawaii. The resort's pool is really its beating (or perhaps splashing) heart. It’s surrounded, plants, trees, and set back far from the beach. Aside from that, the Outrigger Reef puts on a number of cultural experiences to give guests that only-in-Hawaii vibe. These include nightly cocktail-time entertainment, as well as ukelele and hula lessons. Given its name-brand status, the Outrigger Reef attracts an international clientele, with Americans and families in the majority. 

Location

Oceanfront location with Waikiki and Diamond Head views and near Fort DeRussy Museum 

Outrigger Reef is situated on Waikiki’s western edge. Its beautiful beachfront has stunning Waikiki and Diamond Head views, but the heart of Waikiki Beach is actually a 10-minute stroll away. Fort DeRussy U.S. Army Museum traces the Army’s Hawaiian history and is a one-minute walk from the hotel. Restaurants, shops, and bars are all around. Honolulu Zoo is located on Waikiki’s eastern edge and is a seven-minute drive away, while Ala Moana generally takes just a minute more to reach by car. Diamond Head State Monument has great hiking and views of Waikiki and Honolulu from its peak. Budget 15 minutes by car to reach the trailheads. Downtown Honolulu, the Iolani Palace, and Chinatown also take 15 to 20 minutes to reach in a car. The North Shore, Oahu’s storied mecca for huge waves and laid-back surfer culture, is a one-hour drive away. Expect a 20-minute drive to reach Honolulu International Airport.  

Rooms

Spacious, air-conditioned rooms with dated tropical interiors, some with amazing ocean views

Outrigger Reef’s guest rooms are classic and particularly spacious given their price point in Waikiki. Earth-toned interiors mix bamboo and rattan accents, for a look that's nominally tropical but not exactly fresh. One king or two queen beds are dressed with with brown-patterned comforters, while faux-jute walls are splashed with colorful photos of undersea life like anemone and coral. All rooms have air-conditioning, 52-inch flat-screen TVs with cable channels, free Wi-Fi, safes, and integrated lamp plugs. Beach bags are also included with each room. Most rooms (but not all) have balconies, and beach views can be amazing. Keep in mind that you'll pay more for them. Mirror-doored closets are huge and stocked with luggage stands, irons, and ironing boards. Open-plan bathrooms feature granite vanities, basic shower/tub combos, and a generous selection of coconut-lime scented toiletries. Bathrooms also feature illuminated magnifying mirrors, flashlights, and hairdryers. Coffeemakers (with free coffee and tea), two bottles of water, and mini-fridges are also setup in the bathroom area. 

Features

Narrow -- but beautiful -- beach, pool with whirlpools, two restaurants, and 24-hour fitness center

Given its size, it's perhaps no surprise that features here are fairly numerous, and many are designed to add particular Hawaiian flavor to a stay at the property. That includes ukelele and hula lessons, as well as vow-renewal ceremonies on the beach that are overseen by a Hawaiian priest. With that in mind, the beach can be a spectacular backdrop, as it has gorgeous Diamond Head Views. However, if you're here to swim in the ocean, watch out for the submerged coral rocks. Beach chairs, umbrellas, and surfboards can be rented from a beachfront concession stand for a fee. The pool is set back from the beach and has both shaded and sunny loungers plus three hot tubs. Keep in mind that the pool lacks beach views. 

The property’s two restaurants get mixed reviews. The oceanfront Reef Bar and Market Grill has fabulous sunset views, a breakfast buffet, and a meat-heavy menu. Kani Ka Pila Grille specializes in Hawaiian appetizers and offers nightly live music. Upgraded stays include Voyager 47 club access with free breakfasts, snacks, and drinks (including alcohol). Otherwise, expect to pay extra for breakfast (which generally gets the best reviews of all meals offered from previous guests). A Starbucks is also available on-site.

The 24-hour fitness center is stocked with treadmills, elliptical machines, weight machines, and dumbbells. It's compact, but sufficient for a basic workout. There's also a spa that's tricked out in attractive tropical decor. The standard array of treatments are available, though -- unsurprising for Waikiki -- fees are quite high for services. 

Laundry and dry cleaning services are available and there’s a self-service laundry room. Near the lobby is a business center with multiple computers (fee) and free boarding pass printing. An activity desk can arrange tours, car rentals, taxis, and airport transfers. The hotel has multiple meeting rooms, an ATM, valet parking, and an arcade of shops. Freebies include Waikiki Connection Shuttle passes and Wi-Fi -- shocking considering the surprising lack of resort fees here.

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Things You Should Know About Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

Address

2169 Kalia Rd., Honolulu, Hawaii 96815-1936, United States

Phone

(808) 923-3111

Also Known As

  • Honolulu Outrigger
  • Outrigger Honolulu
  • Outrigger Hotel Honolulu
  • Outrigger Reef Beach
  • Outrigger Reef On The Beach

Room Types

  • City View Room
  • Four Bedroom Oceanfront Suite
  • Moderate Room
  • Oceanfront Room
  • Ocean View Room
  • One Bedroom City View Suite
  • One Bedroom Oceanfront Suite
  • One Bedroom Ocean View Suite
  • One Bedroom Partial Ocean View Suite
  • Partial Ocean View Room
  • Three Bedroom Oceanfront Suite
  • Two Bedroom Oceanfront Suite

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