Waikiki ShoreWaikiki, Honolulu, Oahu
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Oyster Hotel Review
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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
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.
- Large units -- from 435 square feet for studios to 1,575 for an oceanfront two-bed/two-bath.
- Kitchen with full-size fridge/freezer, an oven and stove, a microwave, cooking utensils, dishes, glasses, and silverware. (For info on local groceries, see Food, below.)
- In-room washer and dryer (plus detergent)
- TVs -- some flat-screen, some not, depending on unit -- have about 70 channels, more than offered at some other Waikiki hotels.
- Fast, free wired Internet
- Nice ocean or park views, even from units closest to the street
- Disappointing bathrooms with open, stall-like layouts, cramped showers, frosted-pane vented windows, and weak water pressure that are more akin to those at a campground -- and not what you'd expect at this price
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.
- 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.
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Things You Should Know About Waikiki Shore
Address2161 Kalia Road, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815-1936, United States
Also Known As
- Castle Waikiki Shore
- 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