Happy Holidays, Outrigger-Style

The chain adds a tropical twist to its year-end celebrations

By: By Marty Wentzel

Hawaii’s hotels usually keep the names of their celebrity guests under wraps. Each holiday season, however, an exception is made by the Outrigger Reef on the Beach and Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach, which make a big deal about their most famous guest: Santa Claus.

Clients visiting Oahu can take part in this year’s festivities starting on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., when the Outrigger Reef hosts an island-style tree-lighting ceremony in its lobby. After the switch has been flipped, the Kaleoaloha Keiki Choir provides memorable holiday entertainment.

On Dec. 12 at 9 a.m., jolly old St. Nick paddles up in an outrigger canoe and lands on the beach fronting the Outrigger Waikiki. Keiki hula dancing and live music enhance this annual tradition.

On Dec. 19 and 20 from 4-5 p.m., the spirit of the holidays comes alive during a presentation of choral music at the Outrigger Reef’s Kani Ka Pila Grille. Clients can order pupus or an early dinner during the concert.

From Dec. 21-25, Outrigger Waikiki employees showcase their artistic creations as part of a gingerbread contest. Clients can view their entries in the hotel lobby. The Outrigger Reef staff has its own competition — a Christmas stocking-decorating contest — and their works go on display in the lobby on Dec. 21.

On Dec. 22-23, kids of all ages can enjoy breakfast with Santa at the Outrigger Reef.

After the meal, families can take part in cookie decorating and photo opportunities with Santa.

Along with each hotel’s regular ongoing cultural program, additional holiday-themed in-house activities are scheduled for 10 a.m. throughout the month. On Dec. 2, 9, 16 and 23, the public is invited to decorate cookies and savor the results — along with milk — while listening to Hawaiian Christmas stories at the Outrigger Waikiki. On Dec. 2 and 9 at the Outrigger Reef, clients can make personalized gift cards using ancient Hawaiian petroglyph designs. Hawaiian ornament-making classes take place on Dec. 4, 11 and 18 at the Outrigger Waikiki, and on Dec. 16 and 23 at the Outrigger Reef. Guests can decorate their own gingerbread cookies on Dec. 22 at the Outrigger Reef.