HONOLULU – Outrigger Hospitality Group recently announced the $80 million transformation of the brand’s flagship property, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, located on Waikīkī Beach.
The investment transforms the resort into a contemporary beachfront retreat, rooted in Hawaiian culture. With a focus on wellness and unmatched hospitality, property enhancements include upscale residential-style rooms and suites, poolside experiences, and a fully reimagined Kani Ka Pila Grille and stage—the home of Hawaiian music.
“As a premier beach resort brand, we charted a strategic course to enhance Outrigger’s current portfolio and deliver exceptional, authentic experiences for the global traveler,” said Jeff Wagoner, president and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group. “The $80 million investment at our flagship Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort infuses fresh energy and elegance into this iconic destination that was historically a place of healing and rejuvenation for Hawaiian royalty.”
At the project’s creative helm is Hart Howerton, a firm of architects and designers, who, with input from Hawaiian cultural practitioners, merged Hawaii’s past with today’s contemporary comforts.
The resort grounds include three distinct accommodations: the Ocean Tower, the Pacific Tower, and the Diamond Head Tower, a five-story oceanfront building that will be converted into 23 new, spacious rooms/deluxe suites, raising the key count to 658. A strategic footpath called the ‘Ae Kai runs the length of the resort and connects the property elements.
Outrigger’s decades-long connection to the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), as well as the Friends of Hōkūle‘a and Hawaiiloa, is highlighted in the lobby with a 30-foot mural of a double-hulled canoe painted by PVS co-founder and Hawaiian historian, Herb Kāne. His painting of Hōkūle‘a, the canoe that inspired millions when it sailed around the world using only signs from nature—such as the ocean currents, wind, and stars—also hangs in all guestrooms. The print is part of a curated gallery wall of museum-caliber photos and illustrations depicting ocean navigation and Hawaiian heritage.
“The resort’s rich tradition of celebrating the voyaging canoe and wayfinding, everlasting symbols of exploration and courage, permeate brilliantly throughout the physical spaces and come to life in family-friendly programming at the new cultural activities center—creating a uniquely authentic guest experience,” said Markus Krebs, the resort’s general manager.
A novel “Grand Navigator Experience” at the property links a collection of penthouse suites atop the Pacific Tower that are named in honor of Hawai‘i’s Pwo Navigators. Travelers can book a single suite or reserve the entire 18th floor. The property also has a few dozen larger rooms with three double-beds, ideal for traveling families and friends.
Kani Ka Pila Grille, the full-service poolside dining venue with nightly live Hawaiian music by award-winning performers such as Kawika Kahiapo and Bobby Moderow, has been expanded with a larger stage and additional open-air seating. Slack-key legend Cyril Pahinui bestowed the venue’s name, which means “let’s play music” and evokes the unfettered joys of backyard jam sessions and impromptu hula. The certified Ocean-Friendly restaurant serves a fresh menu and signature cocktails with locally sourced spirits.
Guests staying in club-level rooms and suites have access to the resort’s exclusive Voyager 47 Club Lounge. The ocean-front lounge offers gourmet bites and beverages alongside a concierge service. For special events and meetings, the beachside Hawai‘iloa Room offers ocean views to complement intimate gatherings.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort remains committed to caring for coral reefs through Outrigger’s ZONE (OZONE) a global conservation initiative that provides experiences for guests that protect oceans from harm and help them to thrive for generations to come. Helping to eliminate plastic from the property, water stations have been installed on each floor for guests to refill the metal Outrigger water bottles provided at check in. The property is also a recipient of the Hawai‘i Green Business Program Award.
The transformed resort plans to again welcome guests beginning in late April 2021.