Oahu; Where to Stay
I grew up on Oahu. My mom is Hawaiian and from the North Shore of Oahu. I still have a lot of family there. When I go home, this is where we stay, eat and go. E komo mai o Oahu…
Oahu; so much variety
When you go to Oahu there are several parts of the island to choose from. Each one has a distinct vibe. Here are my faves;
Waikiki is iconic. It is the original Hawaiian destination. Waikiki is crowded and touristy, but I still love so many things about it. The beach and water are beautiful. It is a great place to learn to surf especially in the summer. There are amazing restaurants and entertainment, and the Hawaiian music is awesome.
This is a great boutique hotel in the heart of Waikiki. It has an island, laid back surfer vibe and is really just so much fun.
It really doesn’t get any more classically Waikiki than this grand hotel. The Moana has been a fixture on Waikiki beach for decades and it has kept every ounce of its charm. I remember when I was a little girl going to breakfast here under the banyan tree on Saturday mornings. In the evenings we would venture to town to listen to the Hawaiian music and watching the beautiful hula dancers dance under the starlight. Go ahead and find a seat on the patio; close your eyes, feel the ocean breeze and listen to the beautiful sounds of the slack key guitar; you will feel the Hawaii that my grandparents knew.
I love the North Shore. I love surfing. This is where my mom grew up and where I spent SO much time as a kid. The North Shore is everything you picture when you picture Hawaii. Beautiful beaches, amazing waves, lush tropical plants, water falls and sleep little island towns. The North Shore is flanked by two towns; Wailua/ Haleiwa on the west and and Kahuku/Laie on the east. The majority of the restaurants, shopping and entertainment reside in these two places. In between you will find the best surfing in the world, a few restaurants and small grocers and amazing farm stands, hiking and waterfalls.
Turtle Bay Resort has been on the North Shore since before I was born. Some of my earliest memories are there. It is the only true resort on the North Shore and has gone through several renovations and incarnations. It is beautiful and recently renovated with awesome rooms and villas. They also have a great surf bar there were they premier local surf films and have surfing events; mostly in the winter.
VRBO & Airbnb have lots of great homes and condo’s for rent all over Oahu, but particularly on the North Shore. We love to stay on Hukilau beach, we also love Lani Kai. They have options in all price points and sizes.
Ko’Olina has been around for about 20 years. It is a series of man made coves on a beautiful side of Oahu. They have since attracted numerous resorts, time shares, condos, golf courses and homes that have grown up around the coves at Ko’Olina. It is not nearly as crowded as Waikiki and has a lot of the Hawaiian elements that most people go to Hawaii for.
Disney’s Aulani is a 5 Star beautiful, expansive resort that sits right on the beach in Ko’Olina. If you have ever stayed at a Disney property, then you know that Disney just does it right. There is something for everyone at the Aulani. Kids are entertained with a variety of both cultural and water activities, teenagers can roam around the resort and surrounding area in safety and parents can relax and enjoy themselves. It is truly paradise.
The Four Seasons sits adjacent to the Aulani on the same stretch of beautiful beach. The Four Seasons is a new addition at Ko’Olina, having only been there about a year. When the Fours Seasons bought the hotel from Marriott, they completely renovated the property. This is the original hotel in Ko’Olina and I really love it. I love it more now, that it is the Four Seasons. It is so beautiful and the service of course is exceptional.
This is our go to hotel when traveling to Oahu. It is a great place for kids and families, they have studio-2 bedroom units and the grounds are beautiful. Plus, for a Hawaiian resort, it is pretty reasonable. The added bonus is that this hotel is only 25 minutes from my grandpa’s house in Makaha. This hotel ticks off all of our boxes and for that reason, I’m sure we will be returning here for years to come.
There are so many great places to stay on Oahu…these are just our favorites.