To get away from the cold and rain last month, my husband and I booked a flight to Honolulu for a weekend at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort. Located in the center of Waikiki, it’s a wonderful beachside property with three restaurants and a pool overlooking Diamond Head.
Once we arrived at the hotel, we discovered they now offer a Signature Experience for guests included in the resort fee. It begins with a warm arrival greeting with a tray of rolled cold towels and glasses of local juice given to each guest upon check-in.
Taking the elevator to the 8th floor, we admired our room with a King size bed and sitting area with a double size sofa bed. There was a small refrigerator in the bathroom, and a safe in the closet. A sliding glass door opened to a balcony large enough for to chairs and a table, offering views of the city, International Market Place, and a peek of the ocean.
We donned our bathing suits, went for a swim in the warm Pacific, and ordered Mai Tais while lounging at the pool.
There are multiple perks included in the new Signature Experience. One is a personal Outrigger beach tote bag for guests to take a bottle of sunscreen, towels, a book or magazine and bottles of water for a day at the beach or out exploring the island. Guests get to take this natural fiber bag home as a souvenir. Other perks include complimentary in-room and throughout the resort wifi, two new bottles of water delivered each day and a local weekday newspaper.
My favorite amenity was unlimited rides on the Waikiki Connection Trolley with the show of an Outrigger room card. The trolley makes a roundtrip loop with 14 stops (one is close to the entrance of the Outrigger hotel) from downtown Honolulu to the Diamond Head crater. It’s an informational ride where guests learn about the history of the island along the tour. Guests also receive free museum admission tickets to the Honolulu Museum of Art (a trolley stop). On the third Sunday of each month, the museum offers a Family Free Day with live music, interactive art sessions and interactive art guide. Guests also receive discount cards for the Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace and Waikiki Aquarium. The Bishop Museum is the Hawaii State Museum of Natural and Cultural History located in the historic Kalihi district of Honolulu. The Waikiki Aquarium is one of the oldest public aquariums in the United States. This aquarium features a variety of Hawaiian Marine communities, and a Hawaiian monk seal habitat.
There are three onsite restaurants at the Outrigger Waikiki Beach resort and families eating breakfast at Duke’s or Hula Grill get a free children’s breakfast (children under 5 years old) with a paid adult meal. The Duke’s breakfast buffet is under $20 and one of the most popular beach dining destinations on Waikiki.
In the evening, there is live music below Duke’s, on the outdoor patio near the large heated whirlpool. On Sunday’s the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort presents Grammy nominated and award winning Hawaiian musician Henry Kapono. His show becomes a lively beach party with an outdoor bar and food service available.
Also in the evenings are two live music or comedy shows at Blue Note inside the resort. It’s one of the best nightclubs in Hawaii with top notch performers such as Kenny G, Blood Sweat and Tears, and Roseanne Barr.
On our last morning, we noticed three couples in dresses and shorts standing near the water. The Outrigger offers complimentary Hawaiian vow renewal ceremonies at 7:45 a.m. Those interested need to complete at card from the front desk prior to the ceremony day. At the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort the vow renewal ceremony is on Monday and Thursday mornings.
The new Outrigger Signature Experience includes complimentary activities, interactive Hawaiian customs and exclusive off-site excursions that allows guests to interact with the local community and gain an increased appreciation for the beauty of Hawaii.
This article was featured in the April 2017 issue of Not Born Yesterday.