We normally stay at Embassy Suites just across the road - but as we were celebrating our anniversary chose to stay at Outrigger for our final couple of nights so we could participate in their vow renewal ceremony.From the moment we drove into valet parking this hotel impressed. The valet and check in staff were welcoming and as the bellhop walked us to Reception he pointed out a number of hotel features to us. We had booked a ocean view suite and were pleasantly surprised at the size of the rooms - though for an ocean front hotel our room felt a long way away from it. Both the bedroom and lounge were large and well appointed. We were travelling with our teenage children and the lounge enabled them both a fair degree of space - with one on a sofa bed and the other on a rollaway. Lounge and bedroom were separated by a two way bathroom - and everything was immaculate and well serviced.
The true highlight though was the vow renewal ceremony - I had booked this for my husband and myself and had almost pulled out at the last minute thinking we couldn't be bothered. However, the ceremony was done beautifully - we were both surprised at how moving and relevant we found it and would like to thank all who conducted this on making it such a lovely experience.
As we were in Waikiki on the 71st anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the eve of the Honolulu Marathon the hotel was full to capacity. Despite this we found it to be extremely quiet and service was always exceedingly fast and efficient. It was also lovely to have the opportunity to hear survivors of the attack speak of where they were and what happened to them on that day and made our visit to Pearl Harbor even more poignant.
However, despite the facilities and rooms being slightly more upmarket than Embassy Suites as a family we felt that Embassy and it's amazingly friendly staff had the edge. The buffet breakfast at the Embassy was far superior to that offered at the Shorebird,there was no extras like evening Managers reception or a welcome drink on arrival. I also object to having to pay to use the internet in a business centre (free at the Embassy - I am paranoid about using an unsecure connection in the room). Perhaps due to the size of the Outrigger we found it somewhat impersonal.