WHERE IS IT? On Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, this is a hub of activity with shopping, dining and recreation just steps from the front entrance. The hotel is on the other side of Kalakaua Avenue, which means it is not directly on the beach. Still, views of the Royal Hawaiian directly in front and Diamond Head in the distance add to the beautiful backdrop.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Unlike other Outrigger properties in Waikiki, this is not a traditional resort. It has all the touches of a modern business hotel and is close to the beach, but without the trappings (spa or kids club, for example) of a larger resort property. This also means that rates are typically lower than the big resorts.
An escalator rises to the main lobby where modern art, island-style furnishings and a friendly reception desk welcome arrivals. COVID-19 protocols are a brand standard for Outrigger with its Clean Commitment designed to make travelers feel safe and comfortable. Guests receive anti-bacterial wipes when they arrive, and plastic barriers at reception plus a mask requirement are in place. The hotel displays a youthful and modern design with breathtaking beach photography and artwork in public areas and guest rooms. Another nice feature is the filtered water station in the lobby where guests can refill water bottles.
ROOM FACILITIES Guest rooms are bright and comfortable with soft carpeting, plush king or paired queen beds with duvets and four large pillows, and oversized images of the ocean as a backdrop behind the padded headboard. Twistable reading lights and bedside power and USB outlets are added touches. Rooms at the front of the building on the highest floors have the best ocean views, but rooms on all sides have entertaining angles from which to see the beach, Diamond Head and the city below. Seventy percent of the guest rooms here have an ocean view.
All rooms feature enormous 55-inch flat-screen cable TVs, Bluetooth alarm clocks and speakers, refrigerators, Keurig coffee machines and daily bottled water. Closets hold yukata rugs and ironing boards. Small sofas and armchairs are positioned by the furnished balcony to take in the panoramic views, and small glass tables double as work desks. The bathrooms feature Himalayan sea salt toiletries, hair dryers and stacks of towels. Glass shower stalls have excellent water pressure, and the Japanese toilets are a guest favorite.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS Hawaiian Aroma Caffe in the lobby serves up fresh coffee drinks, tasty acai bowls and light meals. The café opens to the pool with both indoor and outdoor seating providing a great place to work on your laptop or enjoy a meal overlooking bustling Kalakaua Avenue. Maui Brewing Company next door is a happening bar (the largest bar counter in all of Waikiki) with craft beer options and a snack menu that draws visitors from all over the area. Large garage doors open to the patio making this a great place to gather in the shade with a breeze and tasty brew. Live music adds to the atmosphere.
LEISURE FACILITIES A 24-hour fitness center has modern equipment, and an activities desk keeps visitors well-apprised of all there is to do and explore in the area. The outdoor pool and whirlpool are surrounded by umbrellas and lounge chairs. A nightly resort fee includes access to the recreational amenities plus morning yoga classes, complimentary reef-friendly sunscreen (an Outrigger hallmark), beach towels and area attraction discounts.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Free wireless Internet works everywhere including by the pool, and a business center provides a work station and printer. Meeting space targets small groups for business events and social functions. The outdoor patio space on the second floor is great for receptions and breakout events.
VERDICT The oceanfront rooms here are one of the best deals in Waikiki thanks to a long roster of amenities and beautiful beachfront views.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 498 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS Contemporary rooms facing the Pacific Ocean and Waikiki Beach plus a spacious pool deck and whirlpool
CONTACT Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger, 2300 Kalakaua Avenue, Honolulu, Hawaii 96815, Tel 808-922-4646, waikikibeachcomber.com