Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Top Places To Stay In Oahu

Ala Moana Staying Near Pearl Harbor Memorial

Paradise Bay Resort | Best Places To Stay In Oahu Hawaii Series | Part 4 of 7

We now move west along the south shore from Waikiki to the neighboring district of Ala Moana. The area originally came to prominence as it was bought by the company responsible for building many of the harbors on the island, including the famous Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor is even located just a short distance away, making this a great place to stay for anyone planning to visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial during their trip. However, despite its fame, it is far from the main reason people choose to stay in Ala Moana.

For starters, you have Ala Moana Beach, the most popular beach in all of Hawaii. Protected by coral reefs just offshore, it provides calm waters perfect for weaker swimmers, as well as plenty of places to explore for snorkellers and scuba divers.

Its beautiful golden sands are the ideal choice for those looking for a relaxing day in the sun, while the quieter west of the beach lets you pop into the ocean to cool off without worrying about mobs of tourists.

The beach is surrounded by beautiful grassy areas, filled with palm and banyan trees, making it ideal for a picnic, BBQ, or some outdoor fun away from the sand.

Then, you also have the Ala Moana Center, a beautiful shopping destination with distinctly Hawaiian architecture. The Ala Moana Center is the largest outdoor shopping mall in not just the Hawaiian islands but the entire world, as well as the most valuable in the entire United States.


Charming Studio Near Kahala Beach

2 guests · 1 bedroom · 1 bed · 1 bath

This studio apartment near Kahala Beach is a spacious and beautiful accommodation just 10 minute walk to the beach and perfect for couples who want to live like locals during their stay. This clean and well-maintained studio is on the same property as the owners home but its a separate structure giving guests their privacy.

Location: Kahala, 10 minute walk to the beach

Cost: $$$

  • Free parking

Guests Say:

The space was so well appointed, the garden was divine, the hosts were so gracious, and the neighborhood and location were perfect. | The location was so convenient to everywhere I needed to go, plus being in an upscale, safe neighborhood near a peaceful beach. | The owners are very hospitable and helpful. 5 stars all the way!

Hawaii Travel Tip: How To Get To And Around Hawaii

Hawaii is easy to get to almost every major US carrier has at least one daily flight to Honolulu on Oahu, Kailua Kona and Hilo on the Big Island, Kahului on Maui, and Lihue on Kauai. Unless the place you land is your final destination youll need to hop on an inter-island flight. Hawaiian Airlines, Island Air and Mokulele operate between the islands. None of these flights are longer than an hour and there are stunning views to be had, especially on the approach to Hilo from Honolulu where, on a clear day, you can see the mighty Mauna Kea in all her glory. Note, if youre planning on taking multiple airlines during your stay, baggage allowances could change from airline-to-airline. Its worth checking each policy before booking, and planning your packing list for Hawaii carefully to be sure everything fits!

Each island has a bus system although, with the exception of Honolulu, theyre not entirely efficient. Most visitors choose to rent cars and all the major rental agencies are represented, and you can also book through aggregators like Holiday Autos, or book a flight + hotel + car package using an aggregator like or Cates advice is to at least consider ponying up the extra cash for a Jeep Wrangler. There are some places in Hawaii you just cant go without a sturdy 4×4.

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Tips For Getting Around Oahu

Getting From Honolulu Airport to Your Hotel

If your hotel does not offer an airport shuttle, or you are staying in a holiday apartment, SpeediShuttle seems to be the best option. There is a public bus, if youre packing light, and taxis are an option as well. Uber also operates in Honolulu.

Pre-Book Activities & Tours on Oahu

Diamond Head Crater Adventure

Frequently Asked Questions About Oahu

Best Places to Visit in Oahu Hawaii

What is the best time to visit Oahu?

You can visit Oahu all-year-round but from and are the best time to visit Oahu as it is less crowded.

What is Oahu known for?

Oahu is the third biggest island in Hawaii but the most populated. Also known as a gathering place the majority of the Hawaii residents live in Oahu.

Where should I stay in Oahu?

Waikiki is the most popular place to stay in Oahu. If you want a more chill vibe, you can either choose Ala Moana or West Oahu. For surfers, it is definitely the North Shore.

Do I need a car in Oahu?

Indeed, the easiest way to get around Oahu is by rental car. However, public buses are available as well to get around.

How many days should I stay in Oahu?

Every region in Oahu is offering different pleasures. You will need at least 5 days to see different parts of this Hawaiin island.

There is no doubt you will have an amazing time in tropical Oahu. In this blog post, I gave information about 5 main areas you can stay on Oahu.

To recap, Waikiki is your area if you are visiting the island for the first time. If you dont want to go away from Waikiki but want a chilled Hawaiian area, you can choose between the West Oahu region or the Ala Moana area. Oahus North Shore is definitely a place for surfers, and luxury lovers can pamper themselves with resorts in the East Oahu region. If you cant choose, why not spend a night or two at each!

Enjoy your vacation,

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Waikiki Where To Stay In Oahu For Nightlife And Entertainment

Often cited as the heart of Honoluluif not the whole of HawaiiWaikiki is a popular resort destination and one of the most in-demand areas to stay in Oahu. Here you will find the most extensive choice of hotels, villa rentals, and luxury resorts.

Waikiki offers a variety of accommodations, and a large selection of dining options, shopping, and nightlife.

Youll find a huge variety of attractions, restaurants, clubs, fancy shopping centers, high rises, museums, cultural sites, plus the zoo and the aquarium.

Waikiki Beach actually covers 8 other beaches, and was once used by royalty to receive guests. Locals and international surfers have gathered along the shores since the mid-20th century to ride giantscolloquial surf speak youll no doubt want to familiarize yourself with!

Aside from surfing, this 2 mile strip of beach is where you will find additional water sports facilities where visitors can learn to scuba dive, snorkel, kayak, and catamaran sail.

Beyond Kahanamoku Beach lies Fort DeRussy Beach Park, an idyllic spot for picnicking and relaxing. Grays Beach and Royal Hawaiian Beach are both extremely popular as well, and located a bit farther down.

Kuhio Beach Park, alternately known as Prince Kuhio Beach and The Ponds, is where you will find particularly calm swimming waters which are especially ideal for families with small children or inexperienced swimmers.

The park contains additional jogging and bike paths, as well as designated picnic areas and tennis courts.

What To Consider When Looking For A Hotel For Your Oahu Vacation

If youre planning to travel to Oahu on vacation, the first things you will likely look for are hotel prices.

Hawaii itself is such a popular destination that hotels and vacation homes are everywhere. This means you will have to figure out what you want in a hotel before you book.

You may want to consider the size of the room itself and features such as kitchens or refrigerators. And you will absolutely want to consider the location and convenience of the sights you wish to see.

But, above all, you will want to focus on the price of these accommodations, especially if you are traveling on a fixed budget.

In this article, we will discuss several hotel options for every price range so you can plan the Hawaii vacation of your dreams, without breaking your budget.

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Best Airbnb In Ala Moana: The Safari Beach Of Waikiki

Suitable for two guests, this studio apartment offers comfortable surroundings in the heart of the city. Its a great choice whether youre deciding where to stay in Oahu for one night or for a longer visit. A private bathroom, small kitchenette, and pool access are included in the apartment as well as easy access to local beaches and to more private, hidden spots.

Big Island Discounts Anddeals

Turtle Bay Resort | Best Places To Stay On Oahu Hawaii Series | Part 2 of 7

If you buy a membership for $19.99 per year, you can easily recoup the cost of the membership on a trip to Hawaiis Big Island. The activities discounts alone could make it worthwhile, not to mention dining discounts , car rental discounts at Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, National, and Payless, and hotel chain discounts. Once your vacation is over, you can change your location to move the savings over to cities across the US and Canada.

Example Discounts on the Big Island:

  • 50% off a Whale Watching Tour with Boss Frogs
  • 50% off a Weekly Snorkel Rental with Boss Frogs
  • 50% off a Weekly Boogie Board Rental with Snorkel Bobs
  • Buy One Get One Zip Line at Botanic World Adventures

Read More about how to use to get travel deals

Wed also suggest you check Living Social in the months leading up to your trip and while youre there. For the Groupon, Ive found putting in Hilo as your location yields better deals than Kailua Kona. When I checked, there were good deals on a zipline experience and a volcano trip. Obviously, there are loads more deals for Honolulu than the Big Island, but its still worth checking! For Living Social, check the Honolulu page, which seems to list deals for all of Hawaii.

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Kahala Upscale Residential Area

Situated within Honolulu, this upscale residential area is known for its beaches and entryway to the Diamond Head Summit Trail, which concludes at the Diamond Head Crater.

Here guests can indulge in elite eats, shopping, local activities, as well as the dreamiest of views and best swimming thanks to the areas calm, clear waters.

Kahala is known for being the departure point for extensive all-day tours of the island, and visitors can experience the full extent of Oahus culture through food, scenery, and local history.

The Shangri La Museum of Islamic Art Culture & Design is not to be missed, with countless visitor reviews citing it the most poignant stop on their tour of Oahu.

The Kahala Mall contains over 50 shops, outlets, and department stores, with plenty of mouthwatering eateries showcasing the best of local and fusion fare.

Lovers of real estate ogling will definitely want to check out the areas sumptuous homes, and maybe even rent one for the duration of their stay.

There are plenty of hotels, resorts, and villa rentals besides, though prices can be extremely steep compared to other areas of the island.

While not the cheapest place to stay in Oahu, nothing compares to the lush splendor of Kahala.

Top Things To Do On The Big Island

  • Experience the magic and wonder of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, with its stretching hiking trails, ancient petroglyphs, rainforest, desert, craters that send plumes of smoke into the air, beaches, and a lava lake.
  • Stargaze at Mauna Kea, an unforgettable experience on any Hawaiian vacation.
  • Learn more about ancient Hawaiian culture at Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park.
  • Surf at the white-sand Hapuna Beach.
  • Feast your eyes on the towering Akaka Falls.
  • See an abundance of colorful marine life with a spot of snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay.
  • Admire the islands scenery by horseback.
  • Descend into fascinating lava tubes.
  • Tour Hulihee Palace, a former royal palace on the sea.
  • Hike to Kilauea Iki crater and watch glowing lava at sunset.
  • Watch sea turtles snoozing on the black sands of Punaluu Beach.
  • Go night swimming with manta rays.
  • Visit beaches of every shade, including white, yellow, grey, brown, black, and even green.
  • Go golfing at Kona.

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Budget Hotel On Big Island: The Aeolian Residence

The Aeolian Residence can be found in Waikoloa Village. There are several room options, including accommodation in charming wooden chalets, and the hotel provides terrific views of the ocean.

All rooms are en-suite and have either a patio or balcony. Theres a shared fridge and coffee machine that all guests are free to use. The garden is a pleasant spot to unwind.

Best Oahu Airport Hotel

Best Places to Visit in Oahu Hawaii

Where should you stay if youre just stopping briefly on Oahu to catch a flight to another island or want to pay your respects at Pearl Harbor? It makes the most sense to stay near HNL airport to avoid the inconvenience of driving all over the island. We think youre missing out by not spending more time exploring Oahu, but hopefully youll have the opportunity at some point!

But I digress there arent many choices for places to stay around the airport and Pearl Harbor. Probably the best Oahu airport hotel is Best Western The Plaza Hotel. It offers everything you want from an airport hotel: 24 hour shuttle service, free breakfast, a pool and bargain pricing. You can even bring a dog or two!

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Oahu Discounts And Deals members can get loads of deals in and around Honolulu. Quite a few of the discounts available are tourist oriented think helicopter tours, adventure and water sports, and restaurants. A very nice inclusion is discounts at the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbour. As noted above, the digital membership is $19.99 per year, and its pretty easy to recoup that very quickly if youre planning on doing a lot of activities. Once your vacation is over, you can change your location to move the savings over to cities across the US and Canada.

Example Discounts on Oahu :

  • Buy One Get One Admission to the Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbour
  • Buy One Get One Glass Bottom Boat Ride
  • Buy One Get One Moped Rental with Paradise Rent-a-Car
  • Up to 50% Off a Group Surf Lesson at Big Wave Dave
  • 50% Off Up To 6 Tandem Sky Dives at A-1 Sky Diving
  • 50% Off Up To 6 Scuba Dives at A-1 Scuba
  • Buy One Get One 2-Hour SUP Lesson with North Shore Surf Girls

Read More about how to use to get travel deals

Other Oahu Deals and Discounts:

  • The Go Card Oahu is a great concept: you buy a 1 to 7-day card that includes free access to a range of the top attractions on the island, and nets you discounts of up to 55%. You can choose from a range of packages or build your own. An excellent option if you want to do a lot, rather than lie on the beach

Where To Stay In Oahu: West Island And Koolina

With white sand beaches and man-made lagoons, the KoOlina master-planned resort area is quite possibly a sign of things to come for west Oahu, which has thus far been mostly off the tourist track. With 4 major resorts, a 5th in planning, and several condo-style accommodations, KoOlina is an upscale piece of paradise on a lesser visited part of the island. Beyond the resort, its possible to find apartment-style accomodation near local beaches such as Makaha Beach.

Beach Villas at Ko Olina

Beach Villas at Ko Olina Included with the wide range of amenities comes peace and solitude, which according to past guests makes Ko Olina feel like a hidden gem. Every villa includes an ocean view, private lanai, and fully equipped kitchens that were recently renovated and updated. Guests will likely want a car for this destination, as the villas are surrounded by natural beauty, but a fair drive from Waikiki, the North Shore, or Pearl Harbor.

Check Availability & Prices on

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Faq About Where To Stay In Honolulu

What is the difference between Honolulu and Waikiki?If youre not familiar with the Hawaiian islands, the capital city of Honolulu is on the island of Oahu. Within Honolulu city is the famous white sand beaches of Waikiki. The district immediately surrounding the beach with its brand name shops, galleries, and fine dining is known generally as Waikiki.

Why not stay in Waikiki? Waikiki is a popular place for tourists. For many, being centrally located in the tourist hub is ideal. Some down sides, however, include: large crowds of people, higher priced amenities, being surrounded by city traffic, limited and expensive parking, and limited connection to local Hawaiian culture.

Is Waikiki beach too crowded?Technically Waikiki Beach is the area in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to the Moana Surfrider Hotel. These hotel beaches at the heart of Waikiki can be very crowded, especially during peak seasons. Sometimes they get crowded to the point where visitors no longer enjoy the experience but of course, this depends on personal preference.

Which part of Honolulu should you stay in?It depends on your trip goals. Honolulu hotels outside Waikiki are few and far between. If youre looking for hosted guest rooms, consider Manoa Valley Inn. For a more luxury resort, the Kahala Resort is the closest in town.

What is the best way to get around Honolulu?

Laie Easy Going Coastal Area

Kahala Hotel & Resort | Best Places To Stay In Oahu Hawaii Series | Part 5 of 7

This easy going coastal area is famed for its luau feasts held at the nearby Polynesian Cultural Center.

On this 42-acre expanse of tropical vegetation visitors and especially families are encouraged to immerse themselves in hands-on activities that celebrate all aspects of Polynesian culture, from song and dance to food and game playing.

Guests can even learn how to fish without a net and learn how to wrangle the fiery poi.

While the waters of Laie Beach Park draw surfers from around the world between May and October, Hukilau Beach Park is where swimmers and sunbathers can enjoy a less competitive environment.

A little ways inland youll find the Laie Falls Trail, along with the magnificent Laie Temple.

As with other listed areas of Oahu, there are plenty of beachfront resorts and hotels to choose from should you wish to stay in Laie during your Hawaiian sojourn.

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