Thursday, May 30, 2013

Outrigger Weekend in Wiki Waki Waikiki

First aloha, thank you for bearing with me during tho transition time as I move from one career to another, and am finally able to embrace travel and tourism writing as well as travel planning at full-time!

I spent the past weekend checking out the beautiful Outrigger Reef On The Beach in Waikiki (Honolulu, Hi.) to asses whether it would work for future clients or not. We made it a family weekend, myself, my husband, a teen and tween girl. I booked the room online with their kama'aina rate of $205.00 nightly for 2 double beds on a holiday weekend. Compared to nearby comparable properties, I found the rate to be very reasonable.

When you enter the Outrigger, the entire lobby area is open air (as are most hotels in Waikiki)  It is decorated with traditional Hawaiian art, rich dark island wood, free flowing plants and flowers adorn the main hall. On property, adjacent to the check in and concierge area are a Starbucks coffee shop, and a long hall of speciality shops that sell everything from traditional tacky souvenirs to fine koa wood carvings.  There are two full service restaurants, as well as a poolside bar that offers food. The pool is large (and deep! 9 feet at one end) , and is lined with comfortable lounge recliners and umbrella tables. There are multiple hot tub stations. All of this is at ground level and the lay out is simple enough to can get to it all very quickly upon check in.

Our room felt fairly spacious for being a downtown "standard" room.  The decor was your standard "subdued Polynesian". The beds were comfortable- but I had a beef with the pillows. They were not firm at all, they felt like bags stuffed with cotton balls. I tried multiple to make sure I didn't just get a bad egg, but they all proved the same. Many times resort hotels will give you several soft, several hard pillows- to appease the broad palate of pillow-need. Outrigger would do well to adopt that practice. In lieu of that, I'd recommend you bring your own if you plan to stay here.  Everything in the room was fairly standard to what you'd expect at a Waikiki oceanside hotel such as spa style toiletries and flat screen television. We were pleased to find Outrigger offered free wifi and free local/long distance phone calls. These are often pay options at other establishments. One unexpected find in our room was the balcony. We expected a typical miniature city view balcony but instead had an extended balcony with a peekaboo view of the ocean. It was a nice surprise.

During our stay we enjoyed many of the hotel's shops and facilities. We had lunch and dinner at the poolside Kani Ka Pila Grille. Our server gave us plastic cups for our umbrella drinks so we could lunge in the pool. After cooling off a bit, I opted to try the grilled shrimp salad, prawns were served with butter leaf lettuce, melon and avocado. Last that evening we indulged in the kalua pig nachos barside. The food was passable, nothing super special, but nothing to com pain about either.

The Outrigger is a beachfront property, the slice of sand it sits on is as nice as any other slice of sand in Waikiki- we noticed it seemed considerably less congested than some of the other resort beach spots. The nice thing about Hawaii is no one can own the beach, so if you want to check out the property at other resort locales, just grab your towel and walk on down the sand (The Outrigger allows you to check out beach towels to use on the beach.)

During the course of our stay we found the staff to be very friendly and helpful, the facilities worth the cost, and we REALLY enjoyed the late night Karaoke at the on-site Shorebird restaurant. Would I send future clients to the Outrigger Reef? Absolutely!

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