First, let's get this out of the way: if you have opted to stay in Waikiki, then you have to face the crowds, traffic, and high prices (for some things) at some point. But Waikiki has its advantages (beach, entertainment, near Kap park and DH, somewhat "central" to major points of interest across the island), and we think it only fair to write about ORotB as a Waikiki hotel.
Second, we are former locals, thus making our stay in Waikiki perhaps more efficient than that of a first-time visitor. We rented a car for our entire stay, because we knew that we would be spending chunks of time in Kailua, on the North Shore, in the mauka areas above Waikiki, and east Oahu.
With that background, we think that ORotB is a good balance of service, amenities and price. It does not have a fancy infinity pool overlooking the ocean (instead, it has a family-friendly, salt-water pool in a sunny pavilion). It does not have the best restaurants of Waikiki (but *anyone* can go to the best hotel restaurants AND much of Oahu's best dining is not situated in hotels). It hosts its own grossly overpriced gift shop (and a reasonably priced one, too). And you are best to steer clear of the lure of the time-share sales pitch (nearly all take a polite "no" seriously).
Here's what the ORotB does have that would make us come back (and, in fact, we have stayed there twice!): large (larger than most!), recently renovated, well-appointed and thoughtfully designed rooms (love that the sink/vanity is separate from the shower/toilet); a setting on the beach (yes, it is rocky/reefy, but you can scoot over to the Halekulani beach) on the slightly less insane west part of Waikiki; amazing world-class Hawaiian musical entertainment every night; a generous towel (free) loan service; parking (although you PAY for it); a Starbucks on the first floor; a fabulous beach service team (including the Surf School); and overall great service throughout the hotel. Kudos to the valets who helped get the rust off our sense of direction, the check-in staff for accommodating our requests, and the housekeeping staff for making the sand go away.
Given its location and the peak season in which we were staying, our sleeps were remarkably quiet, with minor disturbances due to the ice machine and an occasional chair scooting across a lanai. We had a few problems with cigarette smoke coming into the room: smoking is prohibited by state law in all hotels -- including the lanais -- yet some guests cannot seem to abide. The hotel takes this law (and complaints about smoke) quite seriously.
Finally, some words about the condos next door, some of which are managed by Outrigger. Wanting a bit more autonomy with our laundry and dining (in), we gave one of these units a try (for a bump up in price). Overall, the move up was not worth it for us. On the superficial end of things, after spending several days in the classy and updated decor of the ORotB rooms, our condo room was comparatively dowdy and showed signs of age, including leaking tub faucets. Less superficial was that the window AC unit in our room made the noise of 10 tanks, which meant that we either slept in the twin beds (on our anniversary?) or slept through some rather humid nights (not uncommon when the trade winds die). The jalousie windows made blocking out external noise a futile exercise. But each unit is slightly different, so if you are sure that your unit's AC units are in working order, then perhaps a rental here would be suitable.
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- Also Known As:
- Outrigger Reef On The Beach Hotel Honolulu
- Outrigger Hotel Honolulu
- Outrigger Reef Beach
- Outrigger Honolulu
- Honolulu Outrigger
- Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Hawaii/Honolulu