Recently, the Outrigger Hospitality Group unveiled its $80 million Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort renovation project. The project, which was stuck in planning stages for years, touches nearly every aspect of the property and even adds new rooms.
The Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort is one of the few Waikiki hotels actually on the beach. It’s also one of the Outrigger Hospitality Group’s signature properties. Having last received work in 2009, the property is showing its age. In fact, for the past five years, the property has been in the “planning” phase of a massive renovation project. However, back in 2016, the Outrigger Hospitality Group experienced a change in ownership. The new owners, Denver-based KSL Capital Partners LLC, didn’t agree with the then-proposed $100 million plan. Instead, they kicked-off an $80 million project in January 2020.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Renovation Work
Guests that frequent the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort will be glad to know that all guestrooms are receiving a major rework. I liken the work to what was done over at the Waikiki Beach Marriott. That is, the overall bones will remain the same, but the rooms are receiving pretty significant changes.
Looking at pictures (I’ve never stayed here), the old rooms look old and stuff. In fact, it looks older than 12 years old, in my opinion. So, the new room layout and decor are a massive breath of fresh air to me. The palette of blues, whites, and woods especially help to reinforce the property’s ocean-front location. I think they did a great job here.
In addition to the enhanced look and feel of guestrooms, Outrigger is also enhancing in-room technology. Going forward, all rooms will feature Sonifi Chromecast, which allows guests to watch content on their iOS or Android devices on their in-room TV.
Public Spaces Changes
Beyond the guestrooms, guests of the Outrigger Reef can expect massive changes to the property’s public spaces too. Those changes include:
- a new oceanfront restaurant replacing the Reef Bar & Market Grill, which itself replaced the Shore Bird Restaurant & Beach Grill
- expansion of the Kani Ka Pila Grille, including a new, larger entertainment stage
- new check-in experience and basalt front desk
- all-new furniture and equipment at the pools, fitness center, spa rooms, and Coral Kids Club
- enhanced technology, including Sonifi Chromecast in all rooms
- water-filling stations on each floor
- 23 new deluxe guestrooms and suites, including a new two-bed and two-bath 1,400 sq/ft oceanfront suite
- upgraded meeting rooms and event spaces
- improved Voyager 47 Club Lounge
- doubling the size of the cultural center, including a 30-foot mural of a double-hull canoe painted by Polynesian Voyaging Society’s founder Herb Kane
When all is said and done, the Outrigger Reef’s room count is expanding from 635 rooms to 658. The original 635 rooms are divided between the 18-story Pacific Tower (436 rooms) and the 10-story Ocean Tower (199 rooms). The 23 new rooms are going into the four-story Diamond Head Tower, which currently houses offices. Once complete, Outrigger says the about half of the rooms at the Reef will feature full or partial ocean views.
As mentioned earlier, work began back in January 2020. However, when the property closed due to Hawaii’s emergency declaration in March 2020, work accelerated. And, why not? With the property completely closed, more can be done at once. As a result, the vast majority of the work is expected to be finished when the property reopens in April 2021. Work at the Diamond Head Tower, however, will continue through to August 2021.
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort Renovation, Final Thoughts
Honestly, I think the changes being made to the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach look good. In my opinion, they’ll make the hotel a more compelling option, especially since it’s right on the water. That said, it’s too bad the area is packed so tight. A large majority of the rooms here have views of the surrounding hotels. Either way, though, it’s nice to see more and more Waikiki properties getting the attention they need. And, despite the pandemic, I hope it’s a trend that will continue.