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Top Oahu Hotels and Resorts

My Picks for Some of the Best Places to Stay on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii


With hundreds of hotels and resorts to choose from on Oahu, it's very hard for first time visitors to make a choice of where to stay. Here are some of my personal favorite places to stay on Oahu. Any one of them would be a great choice.

Coconut Waikiki Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel

Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com
As a travel writer, I am often hosted at some of Hawaii's most luxurious hotels and resorts, yet about half of my trips to Hawaii are done on my own. For those trips I look to stay somewhere that is clean, efficient, convenient and most importantly affordable. With rates starting at just $110 a night and frequent specials offered, the Coconut Waikiki Hotel fulfills its goal of providing the "budget-conscious traveler with comfortable accommodations, convenient locations, and affordable pricing." The location, with an entrance right on Ala Wai Boulevard, is ideal for folks who want an easy way in and out of Waikiki by car.

Castle Waikiki Shore

Castle Waikiki Shore
Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com
For visitors who prefer the convenience of a condominium with kitchenette and laundry facilities in each room, the Castle Waikiki Shore Condominium is the only such option available on Waikiki Beach. It offers a clean and secure property conveniently located to all Waikiki attractions and entertainment. The Castle Waikiki Shore is a true hidden gem on Waikiki Beach and a definite consideration for anyone who prefers the condominium experience to that of a resort hotel.

Embassy Suites Hotel - Waikiki Beach Walk

Photo by John Fischer
The Embassy Suites Hotel - Waikiki Beach Walk is, quite frankly, a joy to see. The 21-story hotel has two all-suite towers, the Hula Tower and the Aloha Tower. With its all-suite design, the hotel is a good choice for families, business travelers, or a group of friends looking for delicious meals, unique shopping and plenty of fun nearby. The public areas are bright, airy and spacious. Upon arrival you are greeted with a relaxing sit-down check-in at the front desk, where you can savor a complimentary welcome beverage before you are escorted to your suite.

The Equus Hotel and Marina Tower

Photo Courtesy of Aqua Hotels and Resorts

The Equus underwent a $2 million renovation in 2006. The hotel is a nice alternative to some of the well known Waikiki properties and is well worth considering. It's not a resort hotel and does not pretend to be so. It is a reasonably priced, conveniently located property with great rooms and plenty of amenities. For a visitor who plans to spend most of his or her time elsewhere on Oahu and who wants a clean, secure room with modern amenities, The Equus is an excellent choice.

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa

Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resor
Image Courtesy of Hilton Hawaiian Village® Beach Resort & Spa
For years I thought that the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa would be just too big, too hectic, too crowded and just too overbearing for me to enjoy. Needless to say, having once I stayed at the resort, I realized just how wrong I could was. When you consider that the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort & Spa almost 4,000 guest rooms, it's mind boggling that there always seem to be times of the day and places to find where you can very easily be alone to sit and relax or just wander the spacious grounds. If you're looking for great dining, wonderful shopping and top notch service, the Hilton is definitely a place to consider.

JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa

Photo by John Fischer
The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa is a beautiful resort at a lovely location with superb views of the Waianae Coast. The hotel is first class all the way with oversized rooms, wonderful lanais, amazing bathrooms, a great pool, protected lagoon, excellent food and drink and what, in my opinion, is the best spa I've visited in Hawaii. It is within easy walking distance of the Paradise Cove Luau. It is also adjacent to one of Hawaii's top rated golf courses. If you want a a truly relaxing experience whether you're a honeymoon couple, an older married couple or a family looking to get away from it all, the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa will most likely please you quite a bit.

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa

Photo by John Fischer
The "First Lady of Waikiki" underwent a complete transformation in 2007 and was officially re-branded as the Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort. It was on March 11, 1901, that this first beachfront resort on Waikiki opened its doors. The Moana Hotel had 75 guest rooms, telephones and private baths, a billiard room, saloon, parlor, library and the first electric-powered elevator in the Territory. Today, the resort has expanded to accommodate 793 guest rooms, including 46 suites, two restaurants, a freshwater swimming pool, snack bar, beach bar, cocktail lounge, its own Historical Room and historical tours, a beauty salon, travel desk, more than 15,000 square-feet of function space, and a diversity of boutique stores.

New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel

Photo by John Fischer, licensed to About.com
Located on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki on the other side of Kapiolani Park, the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel is one of Oahu's real hidden gems. It's a small boutique hotel with no real fringes, but the rooms are all modern and most have terrific views. The hotel's signature restaurant, the Hau Tree Lanai, is one of Waikiki's best. The beach and ocean are, in my opinion, the best in Waikiki for swimming and snorkeling. Service is top notch. Just watch those valets run for your car whenever you need it. The location right on Kapiolani Park makes early morning walks a real pleasure.

Outrigger Reef on the Beach

Photo Courtesy of Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
You can't ask for a better location than that of the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. With the opening of the Waikiki Beachwalk development, this area has become the hot spot in Waikiki with great shopping and great restaurants and nightlife. The hotel just completed a lengthy and extensive $110 million top-to-bottom renovation that involves almost every aspect of the hotel. It has now become one of the top resorts in Waikiki with quality rooms, excellent service, great guest amenities and excellent dining options.

The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort

Photo by Akira Kumagai for The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort held its grand reopening on March 7, 2009 as a member of Starwood Hotels & Resorts' elite Luxury Collection. The Royal Hawaiian's multimillion-dollar transformation included a redesign of the reception area and 529 guestrooms to incorporate 21st-century upgrades with classic design elements. The resort features new restaurants, Azure and Surf Lanai, that highlight contemporary Hawaiian cuisine. The Royal Hawaiian's Abhasa Waikiki Spa also received a refresh as a result of the property-wide enhancements.

Turtle Bay Resort

Photo © John Fischer, Licensed to About.com
Imagine that you could take all of Waikiki and place it on one piece of property. That is how expansive the Turtle Bay Resort is - 880-acres of resort hotel and spa, swimming pools, golf courses, wetland preserves, ironwood groves and some of the most amazing beaches and bays you'll find anywhere in Hawaii. For visitors wishing to experience what Hawaii is like on the outer islands without ever having to leave Oahu, the Turtle Bay Resort is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. With a wide assortment of available activities, excellent dining options, magnificent views from every room and the proximity of Oahu's amazing North Shore beaches and activities, the Turtle Bay Resort is an ideal destination on Oahu.

Waikiki Beach Marriott

Photo Courtesy of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
I expected that the Waikiki Beach Marriott would resemble many of the other Waikiki hotels and resorts and be just as impersonal as I have found them to be. I found the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa to be more like a Neighbor Island resort and the staff and atmosphere to be much more warm and friendly than I had expected. From the courtesy and speed of the valet parking attendants, the warmness of the bell staff and the friendly efficiency of the folks at the front desk, the resort knows how to make a good impression. The rooms are modern and roomy. The shopping is varied and affordable. The dining options are excellent.

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