Nine miles from the Honolulu airport and smack in the middle of Waikiki is the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. If you love the fast pace and crowded action of Waikiki, then this is the hotel you want to be at. The Outrigger On the Beach (there are two Outriggers in Waikiki) has 524 guest rooms and suites and has a contemporary island style.
Here are 10 reasons to stay at the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach:
The Outrigger Waikiki is in the heart of Waikiki and I mean the heart. It’s directly across the street from the old International Marketplace (sadly, after 56 years, the International Marketplace has closed to make way for yet another shopping mall). There are only eight hotels on Waikiki Beach and this one has to be the best deal as rack rates begin at $209 a night.
2. No resort fees
Need I say more? These days, there aren’t too many Hawaiian hotels that don’t charge a resort fee. According to the hotel’s website, that’s a $39 per day savings.
3. Free calls
These days, savvy travelers have it engrained in them not to pick up a hotel phone and dial out – not even to make a local call since it will probably cost you your first born. But that would be a mistake at The Outrigger Waikiki because local and inter-island phone calls, toll free numbers and calls to the U.S. mainland and Canada are FREE!
4. The views
To have a view of Diamond Head from your balcony, you have to be in one of the ocean front or corner rooms. But most have views of the ocean and everyone has a view of Diamond Head the moment they step out of the hotel. I could never get sick of that view.
5. Refurbished rooms
So the rooms aren’t like the Four Seasons or Ritz-Carlton with ultra-comfortable beds and luxurious sheets but the hotel did just go through a complete refurbishment so they have new carpets, wall covers, fabrics, fixtures, furnishings, and artwork. The rooms have a classic Hawaiian theme with hand-crafted furniture inspired by historical Hawaiian designs. They also have historical photos and original works by Hawaii artists.
6. Smooth check-in
My wife and I arrived to the hotel at noon. There was no wait to check-in but the receptionist informed us that check-in wasn’t until 3pm. She told us we could drop our bags off downstairs with the bellman (they put our computer bags in their office for safe keeping) and took my cell number and called when the room was ready. When we checked in, our bags were delivered within five minutes of arriving to the room.
7. Mini fridges
Each room has a mini fridge so it’s perfect for leftovers.
Duke’s Waikiki is the most famous restaurant in all of Hawaii and guess where it’s located? On the ground floor of the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach…so you don’t have to go far to get there! Although Duke’s is super touristy, it’s one of my favorite restaurants in the world because it’s steps away from the Pacific Ocean, open-air and so laid-back you can wear flip-flops and shorts to dinner. Everything on the menu is tasty and it’s reasonably priced, too. Duke’s has a popular all-you-can-eat breakfast ($16.95) and lunch buffet ($15.95) that I’ve visited on more than one occasion.
9. Hawaiian cultural activities
The hotel offers complimentary guest activities that offer a glimpse into Hawaii’s rich heritage. Guests can practice easy traditional crafts like making a flower lei or get a hula or ukulele lesson. Here’s the schedule.
10. Vow renewal ceremony
One of the free Hawaiian cultural activities the hotel offers is a Hawaiian vow renewal ceremony. The hotel invites couples to Hoi Hou Ke Aloha, to fall in love all over again at a free vow renewal ceremony held every Monday and Thursday at 7:45 am. I witnessed the non-denominational ceremony, which is conducted by a Hawaiian officiant, one morning while eating at breakfast Hula Grill (another solid hotel restaurant that’s located directly above Duke’s). “The couples are welcomed with a Hawaiian chant that celebrates the occasion then led to the ocean’s edge to be honored with a graceful hula and serenaded with Hawaiian song. Couples are blessed with a gentle sprinkling of sea water before reciting vows in the Hawaiian language. The ceremony concludes with a beautiful song and hula. Following the ceremony, each couple is presented with a certificate to commemorate their vow renewal.”
You may not think much of this but I was told that some guests book the hotel just because they offer this!
Good to know:
-The Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach offers free wireless internet access in all guest rooms but I found it very slow during peak periods.
-There’s a 24-hour fitness center, which sadly I didn’t visit.
-The walls are kind of thin so you can hear your neighbors.
-The elevators are slow and tricky (there are no buttons—you just press the floor you want after scanning your key and it will tell you which elevator to get into).
-I would bring your own soap because their soap is not that soapy.
But even with the negatives above, I would definitely stay here again because it’s centrally located, the price is right and they don’t try to nickel and dime you. Hawaii is expensive enough as it is!