What is it about vacation that just leaves you feeling so refreshed and renewed? What’s even better than that is a staycation in your own town, so that the “coming home” part isn’t as stressful. Dane and I are big fans of staycationing here in Hawaii, because it’s a great way to fall in love with the island all over again. Just like any other place, we get caught up in the day-to-day stressors that come with life — bills, chores, etc — so it’s nice to get away every now and again without having to worry about airfare! This past weekend, Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort right on Waikiki Beach invited us to come down for a stay and it was such a treat. If you are planning a trip to Oahu, looking for a nice beach hotel in Honolulu or just want a little virtual vacation, today’s post is for you!
Our Stay At Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
We headed down to Waikiki to check in on Friday afternoon. Dane and I had both taken a half day, so we could make it down to Waikiki in time for happy hour and Friday night fireworks. Priorities, right? 😉 We were a little bit early to check-in (I believe it’s normally 3PM), so we were going to be totally okay waiting, but it turns out our room was ready. The refreshing cold towel and welcome juice is one of the things I love most about checking into hotels here in Hawaii – so delicious!
We were booked in a club room on the 15th floor, so we had a fantastic view of Waikiki Beach below us and a couple of cool perks. Because of this, our room keys for the weekend were actually silicone bracelets, which I loved since I am that person always misplacing her room key, and we were able to take a private elevator straight to the top without having to stop on multiple floors for other guests to get on and off. It seems like a weird “perk”, but when you’re staying at a big hotel with many rooms, all those stops can take quite awhile! The process was all digitized, so all we needed to do was swipe our wristband against the elevator or our room for access.
Now, probably my favorite perk was access to the Voyager 47 Club Lounge. It’s a private lounge with amazing views of Diamond Head Crater right on the beach! With access, guests get an all-you-can-eat-and-drink breakfast from 6-9AM and happy hour from 5-7PM. It was amazing and worth going to every single day!
When we got settled into our room, I absolutely could not get over the views. I mean, we were RIGHT ON THE FREAKING BEACH. It was the best of both worlds – bird’s eye view and listening to the ocean waves. Shamelessly, I love looking at Waikiki from above, because I love the dots of color from swimsuits, rafts, towels and umbrellas!
We had plans to go out later that night, so I knew I wanted to recharge a bit beforehand and I noticed the new Sunrise Shack on our way in, so I had bulletproof coffee on the brain. My friend Marisa was able to meet me for a quick catch-up and she recommended the seasonal Pumpkin Bulletproof blend, so that’s what I went with. HOLY MOLY! It did not disappoint and neither did the new Shack. It’s bright yellow like their other location on the North Shore with a fully loaded menu (think lots of bulletproof flavors and acai bowl combos), but you don’t have to test fate to maneuver parking (Sorry NS location, that stresses me out!) so it’s a total win-win in my book!
After coffee, Dane and I strolled around the resort, checking out the pool and beachside set-up, and then made our way back to the lobby so we could figure out how to get to the Voyager 47 Club for our complimentary happy hour! Everything is decorated for Christmas right now, which made the lobby and shops seem so much more festive.
We went upstairs to shower, get ready and head down to watch sunset and grab some complimentary drinks and snacks. It did not disappoint, that’s for sure! We even met the sweetest couple from San Diego who has been coming to Hawaii for more than 20 years, so we chatted with them for nearly an hour over Voyager 47’s signature mango sangria, champagne and taro chips. Oh gosh – there was also this insanely delicious Maui Onion dip — I’m drooling thinking about it. The only photo I have from all of this is the below (blurry) screenshot I took of a boomerang we did from Instagram. Blogger fail! But trust me when I say it really set the tone for an amazing weekend 🙂
After watching the sunset, we headed out to Sweet Home Cafe for our very first hot pot experience! We were meeting up with friends who just returned from Taiwan and could not stop raving about it, so we were excited to try. Let me just say – it was so far outside the box for me, but now I am OBSESSED. It was so tasty. The broth flavor was out-of-this-world and I loved that we could add what we wanted from a nearby refrigerator. The first step was choosing our broth, then we just added the ingredients we wanted. YUM! I’m already planning to go back. If you’ve never tried hot pot, I cannot say enough good things.
When we finished with dinner, we headed over to Rumfire for some post-dinner drinks. They were delicious, but Dane and I were fading fast. We are not stay-up-late people and it was around 10:30PM, so you can imagine for two people who typically go to bed at 8PM — we were exhausted! One nice perk of staying up late was getting to see all the Christmas decor lit up in Waikiki and we didn’t pass up the opportunity to get our photo in front of the gorgeous Royal Hawaiian Center tree.
We got back to Outrigger and could not get over how beautifully everything was lit up down below us and Duke’s was still going strong on the beach! I give all the credit in the world to people who can party all night. I wish I was one of them! Also – how gorgeous does the pool look lit up at night? I love a good pool light for midnight dips!
We had our alarms set for 7AM since we had a stand-up paddle yoga class from Yoga Kai Hawaii scheduled and practically fell asleep before our heads hit the pillow! I have no idea what happened, but the next thing I knew, it was 9AM!! Dane and I absolutely never sleep in, so when we rolled over and realized the time, we both kind of freaked out a little bit. I’m not sure if it was being out late, the super comfortable bed or the blackout curtains, but dang – it felt really, really good to sleep in. We were really bummed we missed the class, though, so next time we will definitely be going! Yoga Kai Hawaii hosts classes every Monday and Thursday at 8AM that are complimentary for Outrigger Waikiki guests. Cool, right?
When we realized we had not only missed yoga, but also our complimentary breakfast at Voyager 47, we opted to make some coffee in the room and watch the surfers and paddlers for a bit. I’m not always a fan of hotel room coffee, but this was a major exception since they had Hawaiian coffee. YUM!
Dane and I were both pretty hungry and I had an acai bowl from the Sunrise Shack on my brain, so we walked downstairs to grab breakfast there. I had talked nonstop about that dang bulletproof coffee, so we ordered two of those, too. This time I got the coconut and oh my goodness – DELISH! I’m a sucker for coconut anything, but this was especially good.
Full and happy, we made our way to the pool to see if there were any open chairs left, since we had seen a very full pool from our room. Turns out, we snagged two right in the sunshine as we walked in – perfect timing! We kicked back for about 5 hours at the pool reading and chatting and okay, okay – ordering drinks!
I love that Outrigger Waikiki is attached to Duke’s, so all the very best cocktails Honolulu has to offer are legitimately right at arm’s reach. It made the decision for a liquid lunch easy 😉 Around 4PM, we decided to head upstairs, shower off and head to some of the nearby shops. One of the perks of the hotel’s location is truly being in the heart of all that Waikiki has to offer. International Marketplace is right across the street. You’ve got Royal Hawaiian to one side and Moana Surfrider on the other and a boatload of local boutiques mixed in between. It’s ideal for nearly any type of traveler – relaxing, active, family, couple, etc.
Sunset was coming in fast, so we headed back to make sure we could capitalize on that lounge happy hour (we are easy to please, okay?) and again – a beautiful sunset. Mother Nature doesn’t disappoint! It had been so, so long since we had indulged in Duke’s Hula Pie (a classic if you’re planning a trip to Hawaii), so we made sure to share a slice before heading upstairs and calling it an early night.
Our glorious sleep-in session on Saturday was a total fluke for us, because we were up with the birds on Sunday to enjoy the sunrise. We walked down to the beach, enjoyed all the beautiful colors and then headed straight for breakfast. Since we had missed it the day prior, I was anxious to see what sort of spread they had and dang – color me impressed. Sometimes “complimentary breakfast” means cereal with milk, but Outrigger pulls out all the stops, which makes booking with club lounge access a total no-brainer. Breakfast included fresh fruit, oatmeal with toppings, eggs, fried rice, cheeses, meats, bacon, sausage, bagels, toast + spreads and an open bar. There was also a great coffee machine where you could make just about any coffee beverage you can dream up. Double espresso for me, thanks!
Since we were up so early, we decided to go ahead and stake out our pool chairs for the day. We love the beach, but we rarely get the chance to go to a pool, so we took full advantage! It was another long pool day with various breaks for snacks, drinks and reapplication of sunscreen. It was HOT this weekend, which is a blessing and a curse when you’re lounging in the sun all day. All too soon, it was time for us to pack our room, check out and say farewell (for now) to our beautiful suite. We had reservations at Top of Waikiki for dinner, so we had requested a late checkout in order to get ready in our room.
We haven’t been to Top of Waikiki since we first moved to the island, so it was a nice treat. The menu has been updated extensively and they offer one of the best happy hours in Honolulu, so we had really been looking forward to our dinner there. It did not disappoint! We had a great table, views of downtown Honolulu, prompt service and yummy food beginning to end.
We started with tempura Burrata and homemade crab cakes. There was a spicy marinara on the Burrata and spicy aioli with crab cakes and in both cases, it was exactly the “zing” each dish needed. So tasty! Our main courses were both seafood. I chose the Monchong on a bed of sesame vegetables and Dane had Cioppino, a stew comprised of crab, clams, shrimp and more.
For dessert, we both ordered apple pie with locally-made vanilla bean sorbet and it was so freaking tasty. It was a deconstructed-style dessert where the “crust” of the pie had been made with puff pastry and holy crap…I am still thinking about it. In fact, what I’m really still thinking about is how to replay our staycation! Our weekend was amazing start to finish and I’m back at my desk this week feeling more refreshed and a bit more in love with Hawaii than before. If you’re interested in visiting Honolulu, I would absolutely book Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort if you want a big bang for your buck. It’s a good resort for families or couples and the location cannot be beat.
Thank you so much to my friends at Outrigger Resorts and Top of Waikiki for sponsoring this Waikiki weekend.