Outrigger Hospitality Group has released details of the $80 million transformation of the brand’s flagship property, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, located directly on the golden sands of world-famous Waikiki Beach.
The investment transforms the resort into a contemporary beachfront retreat, rooted in Hawaiian culture. With a focus on wellness and hospitality, property enhancements will include upscale residential-style rooms and suites, chic poolside experiences and a fully reimagined Kani Ka Pila Grille and stage – the home of Hawaiian music.
Jeff Wagoner, president and CEO of Outrigger Hospitality Group, said that: “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 traveller.”
Wagoner continued: “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, an award-winning firm of architects and designers renowned for thoughtful and innovative work in extraordinary spaces.
With input from esteemed Hawaiian cultural practitioners, the architects seamlessly merged the unique splendour of Hawai‘i’s past with today’s contemporary comforts. From the canoe-hale arrival experience lit by traditional fishing-basket lanterns to the artfully appointed accommodations, the resort design emulates an elegant Hawai‘i beach house, warmly welcoming guests home.
Expansive resort grounds include three distinct accommodations: the Ocean Tower, the Pacific Tower and the Diamond Head Tower – a five-storey oceanfront building that will be converted into 23 brand-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 in harmonious balance.
Outrigger’s decades-long connection to the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS), as well as the Friends of Hōkūle‘a and Hawai‘iloa, is highlighted in the lobby with a 30-foot mural a double-hulled canoe, painted by PVS co-founder and beloved 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 proudly in all guestrooms. The print is part of a thoughtfully curated gallery wall of museum-caliber photos and illustrations depicting ocean navigation and Hawaiian heritage.
Markus Krebs, the resort’s general manager, said that: “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.”
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 esteemed Pwo Navigators.
Travellers can book a single suite or, for a truly remarkable stay, reserve the entire 18th floor. The property also has a few dozen larger rooms with three double-beds, ideal for travelling families and friends.
Kani Ka Pila Grille, the full-service poolside dining venue, famous for 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 boasts 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 – offering the best seat in the house to start and end the day in style. The ocean-front lounge offers gourmet bites and beverages, alongside a bespoke concierge service. For special events and meetings, the beachside Hawai‘iloa Room offers sweeping 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 enriching experiences for guests that protect our 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 property abides by Outrigger’s Clean Commitment – an enhanced safety platform developed with Ecolab, the global leader in hospitality sanitation that incorporates state-of-the-art technology, cleaning products and procedures.
The transformed resort plans to again welcome guests beginning late-April 2021.
Go to www.outrigger.com for more.
Photo credits: Hart Howerton