Hawaii's Gay-Friendly Outrigger hotel brand:
With properties in Thailand, Bali, Fiji, and Australia, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is perhaps best known for its impressive selection of hotels and condo-resorts in Hawaii. This gay-friendly brand has about two-dozen Hawaii properties, five of them hotel resorts, and the rest condo-style accommodations.
The majority of Outrigger's hotels are on the Big Island and Oahu (which is also home to the most gay-popular properties, and four out of five of the hotel resorts). But Outrigger also has five condo accommodations on Maui, and three on Kauai. Prices range from moderate to high-end - overall, it's an upscale brand.
Outrigger's Honolulu Hotels and Resorts with Gay Followings:
With the island of Oahu, and specifically Honolulu, being the heart of Hawaii's GLBT scene, it's no surprise that the Outrigger properties with the greatest cache among gay and lesbian visitors are those Waikiki, especially the brand's four hotels - the luxurious Outrigger Waikiki and Reef hotels are the top picks here, with the more moderately priced Ala Moana and Wyland Waikiki properties also well-regarded.
Among Outrigger's Oahu condos, the Waikiki Shore, Luana Waikiki, and Regency are all centrally located. Also, the owners of Outrigger operate the superb, gay-friendly Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk.
Gay-Friendly Outrigger Properties on Big Island and Maui:
On the Big Island, just south of the town of Kailua-Kona (which has the Big Island's only gay bar, The Mask), an excellent, gay-friendly option is the Keauhou Beach Resort, which is close to the funky-hippie haven of Holualoa. Outrigger also has three condo developments at the posh Mauna Lani resort, plus a few other noteworthy properties.
On Maui, the beautifully maintained Aina Nalu is right in the heart of historic Lahaina, close to shopping and dining. There's also a very swanky Outrigger property at Wailea, the Palms, plus three others up near the busy Kaanapali Coast region.
Gay-Friendly Outrigger Properties on Kauai:
Kauai has a bit less of a gay following than the other main Hawaiian islands, but Outrigger's three condo properties here are all reliable options.
On the stunning Poipu beachfront, one of the most alluring choices is the Kiahuna Plantation resort. The others include the Outrigger at Lae Nani, on the east side of the island, and the nearby Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa, which is one of the most upscale of Outrigger's condo resorts.
Choosing the Right Outrigger for You:
The best way to sort through what Outrigger has to offer is to plus in those variables that interest you most at
Outrigger's Hawaiian Islands Hotels and Resorts comparison page. Here you can plug in which island(s) you're planning to visit, choose between hotels and condo accommodations, and plug in amenities you prefer (golf, beach, spa, and so on).
Outriggers hotel properties differ considerably from the condos in a few ways - they don't have kitchens, they mostly consist of double-occupancy rooms, they're often more geared toward adults (and couples) more than families or groups of friends (who tend to prefer condos, which can have multiple bedrooms and common areas), and the Waikiki properties tend to be high-rises. At a hotel, you're also paying for a greater level of service, which manifests itself in the form of a more employees tending to guests' needs, generally a greater variety of dining and recreational facilities, and a more transient vibe (hotel guests tend to book shorter stays than condo guests, although in Hawaii, stays tend to be longer than much of the rest of the U.S.).
Because Outrigger's Waikiki hotels are so centrally located and also tend to be a bit more adult-oriented than its condos, the GLBT market tends to favor the hotels a bit more. That being said, none of Outrigger's properties has an overwhelming gay and lesbian presence - they're simply gay-friendly and all-welcoming, with a mainstream following. I especially recommend the Reef and Outrigger Waikiki hotels because they're each undergone huge renovations, the Reef's as recently as 2009. In these two hotels you'll find the fanciest accommodations and cushiest ambience.