Best Hawaiian Hotel Resort in Waikiki Beach
There are a few hotel resorts along the Waikiki Beach waterfront, so laying claim to best is subjective. In whose eyes would this be true of the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort? More so the traveler over the tourist. What makes this so? For one, travelers prefer to be immersed in the culture. They also want to do so without feeling forced into a commercialized agenda. They also appreciate luxury yet have no intention of taking out a second mortgage on their mainland home to make it all happen. If you’re coming to Oahu, and you want all of the above and beyond, then the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is exactly what you’re looking for.
10 Reasons Why the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is the Best Hotel for an Authentic Hawaiian Experience
1. Fewest Steps to the Beach You Came to See
While a resort property, the Outrigger does not herd its guests into roped off sections of white sand, leaving them to spoil in the afternoon sun. The Outrigger offers a true beachfront, one that allows you to step onto the sand within seconds of the lobby and immediately steep yourself in the natural scene that Kama'aina have enjoyed for centuries. While some resorts impose themselves upon the land, the Outrigger asks for the privilege and is rewarded in kind. And you, the seasoned traveler who has earned a crack at convenience every once in awhile, are rewarded too.
2. Unmatched Oceanfront View
If you manage to score an oceanfront room at the Outrigger Waikiki then you’d better free up photo-memory on your mobile device. Tropical paradise may be the most overused identifier when describing the bird’s eye view fronting Waikiki Beach but you’ll soon find out why. The south shore sea, blanketed by turquoise and dotted by coral cropping and catamarans, is in full view from the higher-up lanais at the Outrigger. You’ll feel like true ali’i overseeing your kingdom, and for the duration of your stay, it is indeed yours.
3. Most Convenient On-Site Island Dining
There's little debating this one. For starters, you have Duke’s Restaurant & Barefoot Bar. The culinary gathering place and homage to iconic beach boy (and Olympian) Duke Kahanamoku is a favorite among locals and mahilini alike. The expansive restaurant and bar is a tropical oasis that oozes authenticity. Hula Grill crowns Duke's on the second floor above, and is the perfect juxtaposition of class and island fun, with a two-story view obscured only by swaying palms. Next door you have the island chain’s favorite steak and seafood house, Chuck’s Steak House, where Pele blesses locally sourced beef, chicken and seafood, all of which are grilled over lava rock. The resort also offers a within-property convenience shop for those sudden macadamia nut cravings (they occur frequently here) and a Seattle’s Best which serves up Kona coffee from 5 AM.
4. Least Pretentious Yet Lively Nightlife on the Beachfront
Duke’s restaurant is also a bar. Thankfully, unlike some of the other venues connected to the area’s resorts you don’t need a wristband or room key to access the nightlife. Thus, you get a crowd from all-walks of island life. On any given evening you may wander in to Duke’s to the sweet sounds of ukulele strum sessions, slack key guitar rhythms, or good ol’ fashioned rock n’ roll.
5. Easiest Access to Authentic Island Merchandise
If you’re looking to bring home a token of your time on Oahu sans the “Made in China” stamp then this is the place. On site Hawaiian Accessories is home to locally made Koa wood paddles, ukuleles, and accessories for the home and body alike. Malibu Shirts, across from Hawaiian Accessories, is a mecca for authentic vintage Hawaiian-pop apparel and is rightfully known as “The safe-keeper of thousands of Polynesian artifacts and unique surf memorabilia”. Other Outrigger shops selling wares unique to island life include (but are not exclusive to) Freaky Tiki Tropical Optical, Little People Hawaii, Pele Signatures, and the year round Waikiki Christmas Store. If you want to ship it all home for convenience, Outrigger’s UPS store is a few slippa' steps away.
6. Most Likely Place to Fall in Love Again
The Hawaiian islands are romantic, and the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort epitomizes this. From candlit dinners to bathtubs for two, every day and night at this resort whispers romance. But what really sets the resort apart is its famous marriage renewal ceremony - Ho‘ao Pa’a. The ceremony is complementary to guests of the resort and is held Mondays and Thursdays at 7:30 AM. You and your spouse will enjoy an unforgettable vow renewal with Diamond Head as backdrop, a perfect opportunity for the pilikua to present his pilialo with a renewal diamond, no? The affair is a genuine one, with ti leaf accents, a traditional pi kai blessing, an exchange of vows, and the presentation of lei while the Hawaiian Wedding Song is strummed softly in the background. Your vow renewal is concluded with a Hawaiian kiss, the honi honi, an inmate exchange where husband and wife press their foreheads and noses together.
7. Most Aloha Spirited Staff
The world flocks to Hawaii for the aloha spirit and there is nary a better resort to experience it at than the Outrigger Waikiki. You expect the warm greetings and service from the concierge and front-end staff, but the presence of aloha is also felt from every person you pass in the halls of the resort. It’s found in the kitchen, in maintenance, and in room/maid service. And it’s infectious, because even your fellow travelers have caught the bug, no matter how sunburnt or exhausted from a day of activities they may be.
8. Most Photogenic Hotel Resort in Waikiki
Everyone with a smartphone can enjoy the collage of Waikiki. However there is no interior quite as photogenic (or should be say Instagrammable) as Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach. The second floor lobby is a hidden secret enjoyed by guests of the resort. There you will find the incredible “The Discovery of Oahu" mural by Herb Kane, a full-size replica Kaukahi outrigger canoe, lush tropical flora, and historical artifacts in the glass display. While the interior design of other area resorts impart european influence, the Outrigger Waikiki stays true to the island’s roots.
9. Best Place to Strum a Ukulele
There are other places in Waikiki to take ukulele lessons but if you are on the shy side when it comes to learning your acoustic notes then you’ll find comfort here. The complementary group lessons on the second floor of the Outrigger Waikiki are far enough from public eye yet immersive enough that you’ll soon be on the way to strumming Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Ukulele lessons are on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, and are a part of the Outrigger’s Hawaiian Cultural Activities program, which also includes hula, lei making, and other Hawaiian crafts. All of the Outrigger’s Hawaiian Cultural Activities are FREE for guests.
10. Easiest Hotel Resort in Waikiki
The “ha” in “aloha” means “breath of life”. It’s a release that is felt from the moment after you’ve checked-in, put your bags in your room, and cruise through the resort at your own pace. Day to day life here accommodates your wishes. Whether surfing, swimming, snorkeling or paddling the Outrigger Waikiki allows you to take full advantage of the North Pacific playground before you. Leave your recreational gear on the mainland along with the extra baggage airline fees and let the resort hand you what you need. Staying at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is seamless. The staff, the convenience, and everything else detailed above makes it so.
Learn more about the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort here.
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