Where to Stay on Oahu Hawaii

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Published on May 10, 2019 by Chris

Where should you book your hotel when you visit Oahu? With so many hotel choices on Oahu, I’ll help you narrow it down to a neighborhood that suits you best. We’ll discuss all the options on Oahu including Waikiki, Ko Olina, Northsore, and the Windward side of Oahu.

Waikiki

Where most of the hotels on Oahu are located. And where most people stay. All the major brands. Oceanfront will be expensive, but you can get some good deals a couple blocks inland.

Pros:
Lots of choice
Ocean Views
Close to the beach
Protected swimming areas
Lots to do at night
Lots to do in walking distance
Lots of restaurants
An ABC on every block!

Cons
Expensive (Hotel, Parking, Food)
Traffic
Busy
Touristy
Noisy
Homeless
Feels like a city on the beach. Like the Las Vegas strip by the sea.

Suggested hotels:
Marriott Waikiki $200-500
Westin Moana Surfrider $250-650
Sheraton Waikiki $300-900
Hilton Hawaiian Village $200-450
Military check out the Hale Koa – From $119
Like the “action” but not the crowds?
Check out the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel $180-$320

The rest of Honolulu

Ala Moana

Ala Moana Hotel — right next to Ala Moana Mall, and a 5 minute walk to Ala Moana beach. A bargain at $150-260

Kahala

The Kahala Resort On the other side of Diamond Head. Built in 1964 as a Hilton, then a Mandarin Oriental. Set on a semi-private beach. Not next to any other hotels.

Every U.S. president from Lyndon Johnson to George W. Bush has stayed at the resort. Runs $400-650

Around the airport

3 hotels around the airport… I don’t know why you’d want to stay here unless you are flight crew.

Ko Olina

A fairly new resort area with 4 manmade lagoons on the South West corner. The Disney Aulani hotel put this place on the map. My favorite place to stay. 4 Seasons, and Marriott Vacation Club.

Pros:
Beautiful protected beaches with snorkeling
Well manicured
Golf Course
Relaxing atmosphere
Cons:
Less choice than Waikiki (for everything, hotels, food)
Not much around Ko Olina (Costco, Target, Foodland, Zippys, 10min to Kapolei)

I like the Four Seasons: $600-1000
Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club: $300-700

Makaha

1 Hotel, the Hawaiian Princess — right on Makaha Beach. Plenty of VRBO and AirBNB at the Makaha Valley Towers a bit inland. About $200/night

Pros:
Off the beaten path
Secluded
Inexpensive
Not many tourists
Cons:
Far from everything
High crime rate – Vehicle break ins common

North Shore

Hawaii’s most famous surf breaks — banzai pipeline. Easy going laid back atmosphere. Hawaii without the mega resorts.

Pros:
Less crowded beaches (in the summer)
Food trucks, garlic shrimp

Cons:
Winter brings huge waves

Biggest hotel on the North Shore is the Turtle Bay Resort with 400 rooms. Basically at the Northern tip of Oahu. It has it’s own private beach, 2 golf courses… definitely a relaxing all inclusive kind of place. Basic rooms go for $250-$400+

Round the bend on the east side is the Courtyard by Marriott with 140 rooms. A bit cheaper around $200. The pro of this hotel is the proximity to the Polynesian Cultural Center.

East Side (Known as Windward)

Towns of Kailua, Kaneohe. Not much in the way of hotels out here. Mostly B&B. But really nice, quiet beaches. And only a 30 minute drive in to Waikiki.

If you’re just in Oahu for a short time… 2-3 days… do Waikiki. Easier to get around and most of the major attractions are there.

If you’re on Oahu for a week, I’d suggest splitting your time between Waikiki, and either Ko Olina, or the North Shore.

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