Where To Stay In Oahu: Waikiki Or Not
Oahu is by far Hawaiis most populated and most visited island and its home to the states capital, Honolulu, and its major tourist hub, Waikiki. Waikiki is home to about 95% of the islands hotel rooms, so naturally, its where most visitors end up staying. But its certainly not the only place to stay on Oahu.
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For being a relatively small island, Oahu is surprisingly diverse. Youve got the big city feel of Honolulu and Waikiki, the quiet country of the north shore, the smaller beach towns on the windward side, and the resort community of Koolina on the west side.
Side Note: Oahu is the main island in the Hawaiian Island chain, but its not whats referred to as the Big Island. Its actually one of the smaller islands in the chain. The Big Island is officially called Hawaii island.
In this post, lookout for two things: 1) Ill give you the lowdown on each part of the island so youll be able to figure out where you want to stay in general and 2) Ill give you specific recommendations on hotels and resorts in those areas.
So Im going to break down the island, make recommendations by area of the island and then Ill give you a rundown of best suggestions for families, honeymooners, and budget friendly options.
Best Oahu Honeymoon Resorts
Hawaii is one of the top honeymoon destinations in the world and for good reasonits tropical, it has all of the amenities and activities you could want, and its relatively easy to get to for being on the other side of the world.
Before I let you in on my favorite Oahu honeymoon resorts, heres my biggest tip for planning the best honeymoonpick the right time of year to go. Hawaii is an extremely family friendly vacation destination so when kids are out of school, expect even the swankiest resorts to have a pool full of kids. While a lot of places have adults only pools, kids are always around everywhere else you go, so if youre looking for a quieter time to go, pick spring or fall .
Im not telling you this to make you think Hawaii isnt the perfect honeymoon destination , but many people mistakenly believe that by staying at a super expensive beach resort theyll limit the kids around, but thats not necessarily the case. When you go has more to do with it than where you stay.
As far as favorite Oahu resorts for honeymooners, my recommendations tend towards luxury Before I give you my personal recommendations Ill just saythere are a LOT of great places to stay on Oahu for a honeymoon in every budget and in many different locations. These are just my very top picks:
Manoa Coolest Place To Stay In Honolulu
If youre looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu, the quiet and serene neighbourhood of Manoa is for you!
This residential neighbourhood is located in the foothills north of downtown. Its famous for its lush tropical scenery, as well as its charming bungalows, 1960s walk-ups, and a myriad of small and local businesses. Manoa is an excellent place to soak in Hawaiian culture, which is why its our pick for the coolest place to stay in Honolulu.
Manoa is also the best neighbourhood to stay in Honolulu if youre a nature lover or outdoor enthusiast. The nearby Koolau Mountains are the perfect playground for anyone who loves to be outside.
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Staying On The Leeward Waianae Coast
Including Ko Olina & Makaha
On the drier west Leeward side of the island, you’ll discover the resort community of Ko’olina. It has the same resort feel to the area, unlike along the north and east/windward coasts, which have a more ‘local’ vibe to them.
Here you’ll find a selection of resorts, a golf course, a marina, and shopping and dining located in a small shopping center there’s even a Target, Walmart, and Costco nearby in Kapolei.
- Wide range of water sports and activities along the coast
- Just a 30-45 minute drive to Waikiki & Honolulu
- Pristine beaches, championship golf course, and marina
- Less congested than Waikiki more privacy and seclusion
- A wide range of accommodations available
- Close to a lot of lovely “off the beaten path” beaches, as well as interesting cultural sites. Large golf course
- Makaha Beach is less known than the North Shore for pro surfing, but, nonetheless, hosts an annual longboard contest
- Climate is generally dry and sunny
- Sunset can be viewed best from the west side
What Neighborhood In Honolulu Should I Stay In Based On Why Im Traveling
If youre visiting for work, look for hotels in Honolulu near the airport, where youll find many of the citys business hotels. Pacific Marina Inn is a charming option, and itll give you a convenient gateway to the city through bus line 303. Other travelers may prefer to stay in Waikiki, which has some of the most popular beaches. There are many bus lines running through this area, including lines 20 and 23 check out the chic Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in this area. Returning travelers may opt for the quieter Kaimuki neighborhood, which still features hip diners, coffee shops, and indie stores. Consider the Bamboo Hotel if youd like to stay in Kaimuki. You can access this area through bus lines 1, 9, and 14. For a romantic getaway, take a look at Kuliouou-Kalani Iki, a lush area with beautiful ocean views. Accessible by bus lines 1, 1L, and 23, youll find the stylish Kahala Hotel & Resort in this region.
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Best Hotel In Waikiki: Kuhio Banyan Hotel
Located in central Waikiki, this is an excellent option for Honolulu accommodation if youre on a budget. It offers comfortable and air-conditioned rooms with spotless beds. Rooms are also outfitted with refrigerators, kitchenware and a microwave. This hotel is also just steps from the best nightlife, dining and sightseeing in the city.
Things To See And Do In Waikiki
Dine on delicious barbecue at Me B-B-Q.
Excite your senses with fresh, spicy and flavourful food at Oahu Mexican Grill .
Get up close and personal with your favourite sea creatures at the Waikiki Aquarium.
Hike up the Diamond Head Crater and enjoy the view.
Hit up all of Waikikis most famous spots by walking the Waikiki Historic Trail.
Indulge at Marukame Udon Waikiki.
Learn to play the ukulele at the Royal Hawaiian Center.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Volcano Shakes & Sandwiches.
See your favourite animals, birds and reptiles at the Honolulu Zoo.
Take a stroll through lush Kapiolani Park.
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Coconut Waikiki Hotel Moderate
Offering free continental breakfast, this family-friendly hotel sits less than 5 minutes on foot from a the great many restaurants and high-end shops at the Royal Hawaiian Center and a 12-minute walk to Fort Derussy Beach Park. Hotel amenities include an outdoor pool, gym, barbecue grills, on-site parking , and board games and play area for kids. All rooms feature balconies, while some have kitchenettes and up to two bedrooms.
My Favorite Places To Stay On Oahu
Wellfor me, it depends what Im coming to Oahu for. When Im coming to site see, I usually like to stay in Waikiki. Its just easier and there are more budget friendly options which is important to me if Im not going to be spending much time in the room or even at the hotel. In Waikiki , I like the Royal Hawaiian . If Im trying to keep costs low, I really like the Laylow, the Surfjack, and the Shoreline all of which are affordable but very cute.
Nowif Im coming to Oahu to VACATION then I head out to Koolina to stay at Disneys Aulani Resort or the Four Seasons. Theyre my two favorite places on the island and theyre right next to each other. If you dont have kids, you may not like Aulani but its pretty much perfection. But so is the Four Seasons. If deciding between those two resorts is your biggest problem, your vacation is going to be just fine.
My perfect Oahu vacation would probably be a split stay doing the first part in Waikiki to sightsee and explore and then the second part in Koolina at Aulani or the Four Seasons to relax.
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Waikiki Where To Stay In Honolulu For Nightlife
Waikiki is also our number one pick for where to stay in Honolulu for nightlife. Dotted throughout this seaside hood are a vast array of bars and clubs that cater to travellers of all ages and styles. From oceanside wine bars to thriving and thumping clubs, youll be spoiled for choice in world-famous Waikiki.
Without a doubt, one of the neighbourhoods most famous attractions is stunning Waikiki Beach. And, theres no better place to rest and relax before a night on the town than the golden sands of Waikiki Beach. Here you can soak up some rays, head for a swim, or simply enjoy the views from Hawaiis most famous beach.
Best Hotel In Waikiki: Hotel Lacroix Waikiki
This bright, airy and colourful hotel is centrally located in Waikiki, the best area in Honolulu to stay for nightlife, dining, drinking and partying. It is close to the citys most popular bars and a variety of great restaurants. This hotel has an outdoor swimming pool, a modern gym, and an on-site restaurant.
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Where To Stay In Honolulu & Waikiki
If youve weighed it all out and decided that staying in Waikiki is right for you, heres where I recommend:
The Royal Hawaiian: This iconic Waikiki resort has been featured in movies since the 1960s. Its style speaks of a bygone era but its still high on modern luxuries. Its right in the heart of Waikiki so if you want to see and do it all while staying at some of the coolest digs in Waikiki, this is your spot. If its in the budget, definitely book the Mailani Tower. Its the newly renovated luxury tower and it has much more modern and updated rooms than the older wing. Pricing starts at $299/night. Book a room directly with the Royal Hawaiian here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Moana Surfrider: The oldest hotel on Waikiki, the Moana Surfrider has been around since 1901 and sits directly on Waikiki beach. No trip to Waikiki is complete until youve sipped a mai tai on the lanai here. Pricing starts at $250/night. Book a room directly with the Moana Surfrider here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Sheraton Waikiki: This relaxed beach resort right on Waikiki Beach has great amenities including three restaurants, an infinity pool , and spa. Its also right in the middle of Waikikis famous shopping district. Pricing starts at $250/night. Book a room directly with the Sheraton here and read hundreds of reviews here.
Are There Any Cheap North Shore Hotels
You might notice a lack of hotel deals on the North shore, and youre right!
It seems that all three sites have homes, condos or apartments for rent, and they are usually cheaper than finding a hotel room.
If you are looking for an awesome North Shore luau, check out Toa Luau!
My boys and I are constantly on the go when we are in Hawaii. I see our hotel as a place to crash and sleep at the end of every fabulous day, but I still want it to be clean and safe!
Amenities like an outdoor pool, continental breakfast, or a spa are nice, but as long as I dont have to sleep with toddler knees in my back, I consider it a successful vacation!
Hopefully, you find this list of 5 Cheap Hotels on Oahu helpful as you plan your Dream Hawaiian Vacation!
What are you hoping for as you travel to my favorite place on Earth?
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Waikiki Where To Stay In Honolulu On A Budget
Waikiki is one of the most famous places to stay in Hawaii. It is the touristic centre of the state and attracts surfers and sunbathers thanks to its white-sand beaches and shimmering turquoise waters. Youll also find a great selection of restaurants, shops and bars, as well as plenty of things to see and do.
Located near the centre of the city, Waikiki is our top recommendation for where to stay in Honolulu for one night, or if youre on a budget because it boasts the highest concentration of hostels on the island. From lively and social to laid-back and relaxed, no matter what your style, theres a perfect hostel for you in Waikiki.
Best Hostel In Waikiki: The Beach Waikiki Boutique Hostel By Ih
This is our favourite hostel in Honolulu because of its excellent location close to the beach, bars and the best clubs in Honolulu. They provide guests with air-conditioned rooms and comfortable common spaces. Theres also a free continental breakfast, free wifi, and free pizza nights on the rooftop lounge.
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Staying On The North Shore
Including Haleiwa to Turtle Bay
When driving north out of Honolulu, you’ll eventually come to Oahu’s famous north shore. From Haleiwa to Turtle Bay and onward to Laie, this is what Oahu locals refer to as “the country.”
You won’t discover any big box stores or fancy restaurants up here, but what you will find are plenty of beautiful beaches and a variety of quaint surfing towns. Most of your accommodations options are going to be Vacation Rentals or B& B’s.
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, but still want to be close to shopping and dining, try and stick closer to Haleiwa. Or consider the one major resort property on the north shore of Oahu, the Turtle Bay Resort. At only 45 minutes from Waikiki, it can feel like an escape on the island – offering less noise and crowds than the busier regions. If you’re looking to stay over near the Laie area, consider the Courtyard by Marriot Oahu North Shore.
- Beautiful landscape and many stunning beaches, including Sunset Beach and the world famous Banzai Pipeline
- Summer conditions are great for water activities
- Less crowded & more laid back than other parts of Oahu
- Historical and cultural sights to experience, including Waimea Valley, and Queen Liliuokalani Church
- A variety of boutique-style/vacation rental choices available
- Limited choices and availability of accommodations
- Dining and entertainment options are limited
Best Airbnb In Eastern Honolulu: Most Amazing Family House
We normally dont praise places too much, but this Airbnb has full-on earned it. Sunset and sunrise view, a saltwater pool, the most attentive host ever, exceptionally clean and in the best location ever seriously, you cant think of anything else you might need if you book this home. Its ideal for big families too! Bring up to 6 people with you on your holiday.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Cheap Airbnbs In Oahu Hawaii
1.& nbspWhich are the best beachfront Airbnbs in Oahu?
If you want to be steps away from the beach on your Oahu getaway, be sure to book this private apartment with pool access that features a private lane leading to the beach.
2.& nbspWhich are the best Airbnbs with pools in Oahu?
Travelers who enjoy staying at accommodations with pools should check out this private apartment with pool access. From 11 am to 6 pm, guests have access to the hosts backyard that has a pool.
3.& nbspWhich are the best Airbnbs in Oahu with nice views?
Hawaii On A Budget: 5 Cheap Hotels On Oahu
Looking to save money on Oahu? Find out about the top cheap hotels on Oahu and how to book them, keep on reading for all the info!
This cheap hotels on Oahu post contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Which is your favorite Hawaiian Island? Im not sure I can choose!
Each Island has its own little quirks and wonders. I would never turn down a chance to go to any of them!
That being said, I think my boys DO have a favorite island.
My boys love being outside so much right now that the room doesnt have to be fancy. All we will be doing is sleeping there anyway! This really lets me bargain-shop for a less-expensive room.
Now, when thinking about finding a budget hotel on Oahu, there are quite a few variables to consider.
Things that can affect the price are timing, dates, amenities, number of guests, proximity to attractions, etc.
When I book a hotel, I usually try to book at least three months out. I also try to stay flexible on dates/days of the week.
I honestly also stay away from anything under $60 per night not worth it!
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