As the elevator glided past my floor it became obvious that my key card was not working. My stuffed carry-on was too heavy for me to transport back to the front desk so I kept trying. I was only when the elevator doors opened that I saw a friendly housekeeper and realized that I had hopped on the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s service elevator. As she keyed in the elevator, she laughed and sent me on my own.

Located on iconic Waikiki Beach, Outrigger Hotels and Resorts’ flagship property reopened April 30, marking the completion of the first phase of the property’s $80 million transformation. Although the lobby, entrance and pathways to the guest elevators still need work, I was able to step onto the sixth floor without any problems.

Despite my desire to reduce my workload, I couldn’t help but to stop several times as I made my way down the hall. My room was accompanied by eye-catching historical photos and colorful sea life illustrations. I was delighted to find even more carefully curated artwork when I opened the door.

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Filled with natural light, shades of blue and light wood furnishings, my Club Ocean View Suite looked and felt more like a home than a hotel room. The spacious living space was modern and clean. It featured a table for four, a sink and microwave, as well as a small refrigerator and bathroom. There was also a large sofa with pullout bed and a balcony that overlooks Waikiki Beach.

Clients can easily lose track of their time sitting in the bedroom with a view of the beach or Diamond Head. The sliding glass doors were left open at night so I could listen to the waves against the sand. I was delighted to wake up to stunning seaside views when I opened them in the morning.

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Guests staying in club-level rooms and suites have access to the resort’s Voyager 47 Club Lounge. The oceanfront lounge offers breakfast daily from 6: 30 a.m. to 9: 30 a.m., in addition to serving Hawaiian pupus (appetizers) and cocktails from 4: 30 p.m. to 6: 30 p.m.

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort offers daily cultural experiences that provide a glimpse into Hawaii’s beliefs and traditions. Wood carving, hula lessons and lei making are just a few of the offerings available to guests at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort.

The hotel expects to wrap up its remaining renovations by mid-December 2021.
The hotel expects to wrap up its remaining renovations by mid-December 2021.

Credit: 2021 Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

The ongoing renovations did not impact my stay; they weren’t noticeable from my room or the beach. The construction is evident when you are at the pool but it didn’t seem to bother guests who were lounging on their couches or splashing around. The poolside restaurant Kani Ka Pila Grille has a new menu that includes dishes such as kalua pork quesadillas and ahi and avocado pokes, and huli-huli chicken. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as room service. There’s also a keiki menu (kids) available. A nice selection of beer, wine, and nearly a dozen handcrafted signature cocktails – all made with local spirits — complete the beverage menu. (Whiskey lovers, the 85 and Sunny at the Reef cocktail is for you.) From 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., live music will be offered every night from a temporary stage to a larger one.

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Construction is progressing on Monkeypod Kitchen, the property’s new on-site restaurant. Boasting a 12,000-square-foot beachfront space and Chef Peter Merriman at the helm, it will be the Hawaiian eatery’s fourth location. Monkeypod Kitchen, the Olelo Cultural Center, the hotel lobby and the Coral Kids Club are expected to be completed by mid-December 2021, just in time for the holidays. The property is located on the Waikiki Resort District’s western edge. It is a short walk to attractions such as the Waikiki Aquarium and Honolulu Zoo.

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At my time, signage reminded guests about the mask requirement in all public areas of the property. Elevator capacity was also limited to a small number of people. At check-in, guests from other states of Hawaii had to access their Hawaii Safe Travels account.

The Details

Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort