We have the inside scoop on where to stay, where to eat and what to do in Waikiki, Hawaii.
Sun-soaked beaches, lush palm trees and umbrella cocktails are only a few reasons to make Honolulu your next tropical escape.
Of the 100 islands that make up the archipelago of Hawaii, Oahu is the most popular and the warm waters of Waikiki Beach on the south shore of Honolulu are the main attraction.
Need more inspiration? Here are some top tips on the best places to stay and dine, as well as what to do when you're there.
Situated in the heart of Waikiki is the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort.
This 524-room hotel is perched on silken sands, with most rooms boasting a partial ocean view and Noni papaya pineapple scented bathroom amenities. The pool-deck area has a divine outlook of Waikiki beach, and lights up at night if you care to take a romantic swim under starry skies.
The beach resort's sister hotel - the Outrigger Reef Resort - is situated between the beach and the entertainment centre of Waikiki. It is one of only seven hotels to have a completely beachfront setting along the famed Waikiki Beach. Its use of natural wood and an open plan lobby area that overlooks the pool and bar creates a very inviting vibe. Combined with the smiling staff, welcoming ambiance and live music, the resort offers an authentic Hawaiian feel.
A visit to Waikiki is not complete without island cuisine and a tropical cocktail.
World famous Duke’s Waikiki offers the very best local food, complete with spectacular views of Diamond Head and endless entertainment. Sundays evenings from 4-6, Duke's hosts a beachfront concert with one of Hawaii’s top performers. The crowd is a mix of locals and tourists who flock to enjoy the music, the mouth-watering cuisine and cocktails. Get in early if you can and make sure you’re there to watch the sun set. You must try a coconut mojito and the Cajun fish tacos. Delicious.
(Fun fact: Duke's is a veritable museum in honour of Duke Kahanamoku - one of Hawaii's most beloved Olympic swimming champions.)
If you feel like something light to take to the beach for lunch, try Pai’s Deli for their world famous chicken salad sandwich.
Rent a car and make time to explore the island. The Outrigger concierge can sort this out for you. They’ll help you plan any type of adventure.
My pick is the North Shore, about an hour’s drive from central Waikiki. Along the way you’ll find quaint Hawaiian towns and the most spectacular scenery!
You must stop at Waimea Beach – it’s known as one of the world’s best surfing beaches. (The water is calm enough in the summer for you to enjoy snorkelling and swimming.)
Water activities in Hawaii are a MUST!
Faith Surf School operates all kinds of water activities at the Outrigger resorts. The offerings include private surfing lessons, stand-up paddle boarding and canoe surfing.
No matter your skill level, the team at Faith Surf School are qualified and certified instructors, and they pride themselves in giving you a personal and unforgettable experience.
For something a little different try an ancient Hawaiian past time: canoe surfing. You get to experience the thrill of surfing from the safety of a canoe.
With Outrigger it only costs $25USD per person.
Take a stroll through Waikiki Beach Walk and see authentic local arts and crafts, traditional music and gourmet condiments. You can even take 'hoopdance' fitness class on the lush lawns.
If you're looking to indulge, my pick is Honolulu’s very own sweet paradise: the Candy Bar. Sweets perfect for eating or giving.
To relax after your day of shopping and adventures, head to Infinity Spa where they have perfected the art of unwinding. The professional therapists are trained to deliver the highest level of spa treatments. The incredible Diamond Head and ocean views from the two-level penthouse add to the experience.