Thursday, May 28, 2015

Oahu, Hawaii: Waikiki - Outrigger Reef on the Beach

Previously I blogged about our 2013 Hawaiian vacation and described some of the things we did on Waikiki.  Well, in January 2015 we visited Oahu (Waikiki) again.  This is additional information to add to my original blog post from 2013.  

We love to stay at the Outrigger - Reef on the Beach.

Outrigger Reef on the Beach
When planning our vacations it is important to us to have fun but also to do it as cheaply as possible.  This is not the cheapest place to stay but it is a nice place with a great location.  And - we are familiar with it since we have stayed there a few times.  I do want to mention that, during our search for the best rate, Outrigger was very accommodating!  Every time we saw a deal come through for a promotion that they were offering, we looked to see if it would save us more than what we had booked it for.  If it did, we called the reservations department and they would adjust the rate for us!  After doing this three times, this ended up saving us hundreds of dollars from the day we originally booked our stay!

After a LONG flight, we arrived to the resort.  My kiddos and I were all in a pretty bad mood by then.  Which was obvious to the staff that were helping us with our arrival.  But, some how it worked for us.  The staff gave us a large corner room with plenty of space to give each other a break ;-)  The room was huge compared to any other room we have had in Hawaii!

Not pictured: the large closets and nice sized restroom and mini bar area.

Two balconies!
One small one facing the city and one large balcony with seating facing the pool and ocean ("partial ocean view").

City View

City View

City View

View from our room!
Also, Kani Ka Pilla Grille ("L" shaped building and umbrellas.)

View from our room.

Shore Bird Restaurant and Beach Bar

Yep - the meat comes to you uncooked.

Bring your meat here to season and cook.
People were also grilling some bread from the buffet for something different.
There aren't a lot of options here for my kiddos and I but my husband
LOVES it so we always go for dinner once each visit.

View of Diamond Head from the resort beach.

View of the resort from the wave wall.

You can rent variety of water toys at the beach.

Something new for this vacation:  the resort offered a variety of crafts and lessons over our stay.  We had a lot on our schedule but did squeeze in two resort activities.  Although they were free and the overall experience was good, it wasn't all great....  We had a hard time figuring out where the activities were (they moved around a lot).  The staff weren't really able to help us figure out where to go, and in both cases, we ended up being a little late (even though we would have been early).  The lady that ran the activities was far from friendly and made it difficult to enjoy.  But, the kiddos loved what they ended up with.

Making a fresh flower lei!

They turned out very cool!

Hawaiian name bookmarks.

Of course we had to eat at Hard Rock!  This is a short walk away from the resort.

During this visit we noticed a lot of food truck areas.
The trucks would line up in a horse shoe shape with picnic tables in the middle.

Henry's Place:  Don't let looks fool you - this place has great fresh fruit!

Peggy's Picks - Tons of treasures - this was even on a reality tv show.
In my 2013 post I mentioned that the International Market Place was closing.  During our 2015 vacation we were happily surprised to discover Duke's Marketplace.  It's much like the International Market Place and very close to the same location!

Duke's Marketplace

Hmmm - ear cleaners for a gift/souvenir????  NO THANKS!!!

Hilo Hattie has so much "Hawaiian" to offer!  Don't forget to look for coupons!  Most advertisements have them!  You can easily get a free mug, calendar, sarong, ... There is a huge store near Waikiki that will bus visitors to and from their hotel!  We had a car so we drove.  Parking was easy!!!

They offered a variety of Hawaiian crafts that were free to do (tips welcome!):


Stars and bookmarks.

Shell leis for free when you enter the store.
Fresh flower wristlet (hair piece for girls), and leaf braiding to make a bracelet.

My kiddos decided to spend their allowance on fresh pearls.

Picking out the oysters.

Blessing the oysters.

My son's oyster had 2 pink pearl!
My daughter received one big white pearl.

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