Luxury beach resort brand Outrigger Hospitality Group has celebrated the official grand opening of Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort, following an extensive $80 million transformation.
Around 500 VIP guests, including elected officials, key executives, partners, musicians, and community members, were welcomed by a traditional Hawaiian blessing by Kumu Blaine Kia and a dedication ceremony to mark the brand’s significant milestone.
Jeff Wagoner, President and CEO of Outrigger, shared words of aloha with the audience and revealed the company’s plan to put upwards of $300 million across its Hawai’i assets to uplift tourism in the area while preserving and promoting the heritage of the Islands – emphasising the company’s commitment to not only authentic hospitality but also Waikīkī.
“It is with great pride that we welcome friends old and new to celebrate our reimagined Outrigger Reef Waikīkī Beach Resort,” said Wagoner. “Through this extensive transformation, our goal was to ensure that this was a place for locals and visitors alike to come and enjoy Waikīkī as it should be – where Hawaiian music lifts our spirits, where local foods nourish our bodies and local culture enriches our minds.”
An impressive lineup of award-winning local musicians performed throughout the event to celebrate the new flagship property in true Outrigger fashion. Artists included GRAMMY Award nominee Amy Hānaialiʻi with Jeff Peterson, three-time GRAMMY Award-winning recording artist Kalani Pe’a and beloved slack-key guitarist Sean Na’auao. To further enhance the festivity, some beloved Hawaiin artists, including Kimié Miner, Josh Tatofi, Bobby Moderow and more, made special impromptu appearances.
The music was complemented by delectable food provided by famous Chef and Outrigger partner Peter Merriman, who will be leading the resort’s seafront eatery, Monkeypod Kitchen by Merriman, set to open in late 2022. Attendees were welcomed to indulge in fresh, locally-sourced oysters alongside fish stations from Superb Sushi. Drink offerings included custom cocktails and Kona Brewing beers throughout the evening.
As a nod to the resort’s Hawaiin roots, fresh flower leis were gifted to all guests in abundance by The Orchid Lei Company. Meanwhile, Luana Maitland, Outrigger’s Director of Cultural Experiences, introduced them to Outrigger’s distinctive Signature Experiences, modern A’o Cultural Center and newly decorated Herb Kāne Lounge.
Additionally, an iconic Outrigger canoe from the Friends of Hōkūle’a and Hawai’iloa was featured as the evening’s centrepiece in the swimming pool, paying homage to the brand’s rich voyaging heritage. A man in the canoe got down on one knee and proposed to his now happily engaged fiancee to make the night even more magical.