Living in Canada I often daydream about those movie moments, waking up to the warm southern sun and the ebb and flow of the ocean as I have my morning tea. Family trips to Hawaii are often my attempt to recreate this feeling. I don’t want to just stay there, I want to feel as though I live there, being part of the community, and Outrigger Waikiki Shore delivers.
Located on the shores of Waikiki beach, Outrigger Waikiki Shore offers a combination of being at home and being on vacation. The vacation condominium provides more space than a standard hotel room, giving us parents and the kids their own space.
The full kitchen means easy coconut pancakes for breakfast and the rice cooker lends itself nicely to rice and eggs for lunch. Oahu is home to many farmers markets, like the one in the Ala Moana Center parking lot not far from the Waikiki Shore, providing a varied selection to prepared foods and local produce.
Of course no one wants to spend their whole family vacation in the kitchen, especially mom, but the location of Waikiki Shore opens itself to a number of great restaurants and snack shacks. One of our favourites is the Steak Shack located on the ground floor of our condominium. I think the fact that the cook knew our order when we would arrive at the window is a sign that we ate there a few times.
The Waikiki Shore is the only vacation condominium located right on the beach and almost every room provides an ocean view. Our eighth floor room gave us a beautiful unobstructed view of the ocean plus Waikiki and the distant mountain range. We started to develop rituals like at home such as the kids doing homework on the balcony and watching the sunset every night before bed.
The floor to ceiling windows around our whole space felt like we were living in a tree house; sun and nature surrounded us. All the windows opened so we could enjoy beautiful ocean breezes and the sound of Waikiki as it unfolded from dawn to dusk.
Along with having the full kitchen, the laundry facility right in our condominium is an absolute delight. It was nothing to toss in a load of clothes from an Island adventure or dry our swimsuits from a day at the beach.
I really felt like I was living in Hawaii versus just vacationing, heading ‘home’ after a day on the beach and sitting on my balcony to enjoy a drink. Unlike a typical hotel, housekeeping visits are not as often but I actually found this a little less stressful during our visit. Of course should you need something it was just a phone call away.
The number of units is limited meaning you don’t encounter crowded lobbies. We only occasionally ran into other guests in the elevator (which weren’t the fastest). Most guests were older than us and I don’t recall seeing any other children but that suited me just fine. Accessing our condominium from an outside corridor also added to the home feel versus a dark long hallway to your room.
Waikiki Shore seems to house both residents and vacationers. I discovered after the fact that the vacation rental portion of the condominium is handled by two different groups, one being Outrigger Hotels and Resorts. We have always enjoyed the amazing hospitality and service offered from Outrigger and it shined through even in their condominium endeavors. From the gentleman who helped us check-in right at our condo to the toiletries during our stay, we loved the subtle outrigger touches.
The biggest bonus to staying with Outrigger at the Waikiki Shore is the access to the Outrigger Reef pool next door. Of course all guests have easy access to the beach through a private gate but sometimes you want to enjoy the pool (and a cocktail). We had a special card that gave us the same access as Outrigger Reef guests. Access was easy, through a secret passage between the two locations, enabling us to pop over to participate in the Outrigger Reef’s cultural programs, like Hawaiian Name Tags and Kukui Nut Bracelet making.
Outrigger Waikiki Reef offers guests the best of both worlds. Our condominium felt like a home, giving us the feeling that we were part of the community versus just a guest, but its affiliation with Outrigger means you can take advantage of many resort perks, like the pool and cultural programs. I think we will be back.