Where to Stay on Oahu Hawaii



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.

Check out my playlist of Oahu Hotel Reviews… or my playlist of Oahu Travel Guides.

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38 comments

  1. Hello! Thank you for your Hawaii videos. They have been tremendously helpful in planning our honeymoon! One question- every review of a hotel near Waikiki Beach mentions the crowds, long lines and loud people (even right now in July 2021). I was wondering if going closer to the canal would be a little les congested and a little more quieter? What is your experience with this? Also, I am very interested in renting a condo/house from Captain Cooks Resorts (Canal House). Do you have any input on these rentals? Thanks for your insight!

  2. Thank you for this video! I’m going to Hawaii for my graduation present most likely and my parents have been trying to find a good hotel. Obviously we will follow the Hawaii COVID rules etc but I just wanted to say thank you!

  3. Outrigger Waikiki was awesome! The beach is at the back door of the hotel (where the restaurant overlooks the beach)! Absolutely beautiful at night! AND, the major stores such as Saks, Coach, Ballenciaga, etc is out the front door of the hotel lol

  4. i watched this cause we are going here soon so i told my dad and he said we are going to stay there and we are excited

  5. I always stay at the Hilton Hawaii Village. I save up my Hilton points and don't pay for the room or the Activity Fee. If your a Gold or Diamond member and reserved just a standard room, you can get a free upgrade with an ocean view
    A note for the Hale Koa. It's not just for military. It's also for retired military and federal employees. Cost is based on grade or rank. Anyone can eat there and you pay no tax. Only militar or retired military and dependents can shop there. I stay at the Hilton and shop at the Hale Koa or military bases since my husband is retired military. The Navel Exchange NES is the largest shopping exchange in the Pacific and not on any military base. Not too far from airport. Got my ukelele there. Be sure to have your ID to get in and you can bring a guest. They can't shop.

  6. As a resident of Kapolei, the city about 15 to 10 minutes away from Ko'olina, I can say that it is the best shot you have at affordable dinning if your staying at Ko'olina, there are like a bunch of mc donalds, wendy's, burger kings, etc, as soon as you come into Kapolei from Ko'olina, you'll be greeted by a home depot on the left and right next to that home depot is a mc donalds, not to mention a wendy's further down the right to that turn. And yea a hell ton of markets and even a walmart.

  7. I always stay at the Moana surfrider ,expensive but very beautiful classy and location and history off the hotel just amazing, also I feel it's not like you go to Hawaii all the time so why not definitely my favorite hotel

  8. How new is Ko Olina?! I was in a wedding party there when I was 18. I'm 33 now. The Disney resort is fairly new. But Ko Olina is at least 15 if not 20 years old.

  9. There is no big area of public parking for beautiful man made beach. Koliea. (Sp) hotel paid lots to construct their private beach. Only a handful public parking spots, lot closes 5pm to keep non customers of hotel out, the guests jog, professional pictures taken, music on beach front Great lounge chairs are for guests of hotels. All Restaurants in area post, customer parking only or tow. There is a public area but it's not in front of the beautiful hotels or their beach w their lounge chairs, umbrellas or few trees. It's for their guests who pay big bucks.

  10. AirBnB is the way to go in Oahu, but the government is cracking down on them because of the hotels. They're making AirBnb rentals a 30 day minimum during the summer, and it's probably going to be year long in the future. The hotel industry in Oahu is just awful.

  11. things mo ved fast. We went to Honolulu/ Waikiki in May 2019 and construction was everywhere we could hardly enjoy Waikiki. Glad to see things have calmed down. We stayed across rhe street at Mariott and rooms were much cheaper and complementary breakfast.

  12. You have the best Videos about Hawaii! Thank you for the plethora of information my man! We’re headed to Hotel Ilikai in Waikiki in one week! You’re the man! Safe travels!

  13. 🙂 I’m here!!! I made y’all!! The flight was bad at all 13 hrs and I love this place! I took all your review and it helped sooo much! Thanks!
    My only thing is why are their so many Chinese people here?!

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