So you’ve booked your plane ticket and you’re ready to hop on and start your vacation! Not so fast – where are you planning to stay? Planning a trip to Oahu can be intimidating – where should I stay? Is it a good location? Is it kid friendly? Is the pool good? What about breakfast? Is is oceanview? How is the coffee? You see where this is going…Although the island itself isn’t that big, there are a few factors to take into consideration when booking your hotel.
1. Do you plan on renting a car? This will be an important factor for location, as well as factoring in parking fees per day.
2. What type of experience do you want? Do you have visions of being in the heart of Waikiki or want a more relaxed experience?
3. How many people are in your party? Will you need more than just a standard room?
For the sake of this post, I’m going to divide the island into four quadrants – North, South, East + West. Are you ready? Let’s get to booking…!
The Ultimate Hotel Guide To Oahu
Let’s start with the south side of the island and where many are likely to lean toward booking. The south side of Oahu is home to Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head crater and many other quintessential island favorites that most think of when planning a Hawaiian getaway. Most hotels are located downtown, a fair amount of the them are right on the water and the price ranges vary greatly.
Hale Koa (a military resort)
Hilton Hawaiian Village
Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
Aston Waikiki Circle Hotel
Alohilani Beach Resort
The Modern Honolulu
Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach
Trump International Hotel
Hilton Waikiki Beach
Aston Waikiki Beachside
Embassy Suites by Hilton
Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach
OTHERS WORTH CONSIDERING
Moving to the west side of the island, your options are slightly more limited, but there are still great options available! While you’re on this side of the island, be sure to take in a sunset at Electric Beach, climb the Pink Pillbox hike, grab happy hour drinks at Monkeypod and walk through the beautiful Four Seasons resort. If you’re choosing to stay out here, I would highly recommend renting a car 🙂
Four Seasons Resort at Ko’Olina
Disney’s Aulani at Ko’Olina
Marriott Vacation Club at Ko’Olina
OTHERS WORTH CONSIDERING (you’ll save some money, but forego proximity to the ocean)
Hampton Inn + Suites, Kapolei
Embassy Suites by Hilton, Kapolei
Now, let’s take a trip up to Oahu’s famed North Shore. In the winter months, this is the best place to stay, because you’ll get to witness amazing waves and just a generally slower pace of life. While I definitely enjoy the ease of Honolulu and Waikiki Beach, the North Shore is total tranquility. For that reason, you’ve only got two options…
Turtle Bay Resort (yep, this is where they filmed ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ + pictured above)
Courtyard by Marriott, North Shore
And finally, we’ve made our way across H3 to arrive on the east side of Oahu, where you will find…not a whole lot. You read correctly – the east side of Oahu is a pristine sanctuary of some of the island’s most beautiful beaches, which doesn’t lend itself well to a big, seaside resort. There are a handful of adorable bed + breakfast type of setups in the Kailua area, but as far as a true hotel, you will be hard pressed to find one.
Now that we’ve circled around the island and covered all of your options, which part of the island speaks to you? If you enjoyed this post, you might also like The Ultimate Activity Guide to Oahu, 6 Easy Hikes On Oahu, or The Insider’s Guide to Oahu.