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The top-to-bottom enhancements at Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort earned it the title of Best New Resort/Major Renovation in Hawaii at the TravelAge West 2021 WAVE (Western Agents’ Votes of Excellence) Awards Ceremony held 7 October in Marina del Rey, California.
Outrigger accepted the accolade for the US$80 million investment which transformed the resort into a contemporary beachfront retreat rooted in Hawaiian music and culture. Sophisticated property enhancements included upscale residential-style rooms and suites, chic poolside experiences and a fully reimagined Kani Ka Pila Grille and stage – the home of Hawaiian music.
Expansive resort grounds now include three distinct accommodations: the Ocean Tower, the Pacific Tower and the Diamond Head Tower – a five-story oceanfront building that will be converted into 23 new, spacious rooms/deluxe suites, including a lavish Diamond Head Ocean Penthouse, raising the key count to 658. The exclusive Navigator Floor now includes five bedrooms that can sleep up to 18 people, totalling 348m2 plus the largest private balcony in Waikīkī at 372m2. A footpath called the ‘Ae Kai, runs the length of the resort and connects the property’s elements in harmonious balance.
The resort design was led by Hart Howerton, an award-winning firm of architects and designers renowned for thoughtful and innovative work. With input from respected Hawaiian cultural practitioners, the architects merged the unique splendour of Hawaii’s past with today’s contemporary comforts. From the impressive canoe-hale arrival experience lit by traditional fishing-basket lanterns to the artfully appointed accommodations, the resort design emulates an elegant Hawaii beach house.

Accepting the award (L-R) Chris Riccardi, SVP, Global Sales; Geri Harvey-Gundlach, Global Account Manager; Sean Dee, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer; Bob Froio, Director of Sales and Marketing – North America.

Next year, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman will be the resort’s anchor restaurant in a 1115m2 beachfront space, which is anticipated to be finished by Q2 2022.
“This award is the result of an incredible team effort – from the talented architects at Hart Howerton to the construction crew on property and our Outrigger hosts who continued to provide heartfelt island hospitality in a truly challenging year,” said Sean Dee EVP and Chief Commercial Officer for Outrigger Hospitality Group.
“Being recognised by our peers as Hawaii’s best new resort/major renovation is the ultimate honour,” he said.
Outrigger was selected by more than 3,500 travel professionals throughout 15 of America’s western states and readers of TravelAge West who voted on the best of the best from a list of Editor’s Pick award recipients. Review methods included product analysis, on-site visits, a survey of a select group of travel advisors and online research.
“We were so thrilled to be able to once again celebrate the WAVE Awards in person,” said TravelAge West Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Kenneth Shapiro. “This has been the hardest time in the history of the travel industry. Advisors were very excited to be able to acknowledge the companies that not only supported them throughout the pandemic but provided their clients with great vacation experiences.”
For more information or to book a stay at an award-winning Outrigger property, visit www.outrigger.com.