Breakout Waikiki Review — An escape room in paradise

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If you’re like me, you love a great challenge, a great brainteaser and a reason to put your mind to the test. A new industry has emerged whereby people pay to be locked in a room with the challenge of solving clues to break out.

One such place is called Breakout Waikiki, located just a block back from the iconic Waikiki beach in Hawaii on Oahu. While it’s not in Australia, so many Australians travel to Hawaii and this is definitely a must do experience while you’re over there.

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Breakout Waikiki first opened in late 2015 with one room. The operation has since expanded to offer a total of four rooms and is the highest rated escape room in Hawaii.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Breakout KC in Missouri is the highest rated escape room in the world on TripAdvisor — an incredible feat.

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MacGregor Greenlee, general manager of Hawaiian operations, told YouTravel that it’s all about getting together with friends and enjoying a unique experience.

“There’s nothing like getting together with people you know well or don’t know at all and leaving everything behind to solve puzzles and open locks before the time runs out,” Greenlee said.

“And that really goes to the heart of what we’re about, which is: Connecting people and offering a shared experience. While I love it when groups breakout, I’m far more happy when a group enjoyed the adventure together,” Greenlee said.

So how does Breakout Waikiki work? We had never been in an escape room and had never delved too deeply into how they work. And, my wife, who was with me in Hawaii at the time wasn’t thrilled to be locked in a room.

But, I convinced her to come along and give it a crack — she ended up absolutely loving it.

Of the four rooms on offer, we chose the Room 13, which has a success rate of 27 per cent. Visitors are given 60 minutes time to work through all the clues in the room and crack the code to break out.

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Some caveats — you can take toilet breaks that won’t count toward your time, you can ask for three clues during the 60 minutes and aside from parts of the room that are fixed, anything and everything could be in play. You can also leave at any time if you ever need to.

Each room varies in terms of difficulty, with the most difficult room featuring a success rate of just 15 per cent, meaning that one in every seven groups or so will make it out.

Two of the rooms (Room 13 and Mission Manoa) can be played with 2-8 players, while the last two rooms (The Hatch and the Ala Moana Stock Exchange) can be played with 4-8 players.

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When you step into the room, it’s a little eerie. Especially for us given that we had no idea what to do or what to look for. There is a camera and microphone in the room and a game master listens in and watches you to make sure you’re on track.

The game master can also communicate with you via a screen in the room if you get stuck.

That’s about as much detail as I can offer without giving away the secrets of the game! Our experience was an incredibly enjoyable one. Not only was the experience fun, the team is excellent and so happy to accommodate and entertain during your stay.

We unfortunately didn’t make it out…we think we needed another five minutes. But, we are incredibly keen to go and try another escape room and will definitely visit again when we are in Waikiki.

Ask your hotel about booking a time at Breakout Waikiki, or alternatively head directly to the website to book your experience. Pricing varies depending on the size of your group, but we guarantee you will enjoy it!

Challenge the mind!

9.7 Awesome

If you love challenging the mind and taking on brain teasers, you are going to love an escape room. Breakout Waikiki is one of the highest rated escape rooms in the USA and the highest rated escape room in Hawaii.

It offers groups of 2-8 an opportunity to be locked into a room for 60 minutes with freedom earned by solving puzzles and finding clues. Make sure it's on your list for the next time you visit Hawaii.

  • Easy to Find 10
  • Price 9
  • Fun Factor 10
  • User Ratings (2 Votes) 9.8

About Author

Paul Maric

Paul Maric has been a freelance travel writer for the past seven years.Paul’s mainstay is freelance motoring journalism, where he has contributed content to major Australian and international publications.Travelling all over the world, Paul has had the chance to stay at some of the finest hotels, eat at the finest restaurants and visit some of the most amazing locations.