Oahu Resorts
Relax And Never Have to Leave

There's a huge variety to choose from Oahu resorts but my suggestions here discuss the best. "Resort" is a term that gets tossed around fairly loosely and it can be confusing, especially on an island with over 150 hotels alone.

Let me start by clarifying how a resort will be defined on this page: it is a hotel or complex which goes above and beyond the normal amenities offered by other lodging facilities.

turtle bay oahu cottage

For instance instead of just offering a place to sleep, a pool and a restaurant these places tend to offer a vast array of activities, perhaps golf, multiple pools, multiple buildings, shopping, exotic wildlife and/or convention and event space.

north shore oahu couple

Also, their land acreage tends to be far greater and there is something unique about their locale and surroundings.

It is important to make this distinction when most hotels here are in 1-2 high rise towers on or just off a very busy main drag strip in Waikiki. Now this list could be arguably longer or shorter but for now these are my picks.


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South Shore

This is where the heartbeat and pulse of Honolulu's Waikiki district is and also where probably 90% of the hotels and resorts are located.

Nestled in a 1.5 mile stretch of coastline with the famous Waikiki beach in the forefront and Diamond Head crater in the back this is Hawaii's most visually recognizable hotel zone.

While you have the convenience of being able to walk to the beach and a multitude of dining and shopping options the trade off is the crowds and hustle and bustle.

However the 2 resort options below offer an escape or different take from what is usually available in most hotel developments there.

Hilton Hawaiian Village 4 stars

hilton hawaiian village oahu

The Hilton Hawaiian Village on Oahu is the largest hotel and resort in the state of Hawaii and the largest outside of Las Vegas.

With 7 towers, over 3,000 rooms, 5 pools, 18 restaurants, 90 shops and 150,000 sf of meeting space spread over 22 acres this is truly a city or a village.

There is also the distinctive 5 acre Duke Kahanamoku lagoon. Full amenity resort with exotic birds and animals, 2 story spa, wedding services, fitness center, business center, post office, valet and self-parking. Learn a lot more here.

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Kahala Hotel and Resort 5 stars

kahala hotel and resort room

Located on a private, secluded peninsula on 6.5 acres in the upscale neighborhood of Kahala and next to the Waialae country club and golf course the 338 room Kahala Hotel has been hosting discriminating travelers, royalty, presidents and Hollywood elite since 1964. Here you can swim with dolphins, play golf or just relax on their beautiful stretch of isolated beach. Read more here.

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West Oahu

Approximately 19 miles away from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki and Honolulu the west side of Oahu is worth considering due to the sunny weather that they usually have, rural, more peaceful surroundings and quieter pace of life.

While much of the area is still economically challenged nice resorts can be found at the gateway in the community of Ko Olina.

Ko Olina Area

ko olina oahu aerial

Ko Olina is a 642 acre gated and secured resort community on Oahu's west side offering the purest, bluest water, championship golf, world-class scuba diving and snorkeling and beautiful swimming lagoons.

This stretch of coastline has been the least tainted by development offering lots of space to spread out and almost always sunny skies. Home to the Disney Aulani Resort, the JW Marriott Ihilani and the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club there are quite a few choices.

Learn more about Ko Olina and its resort options here.


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North Shore

Known for its big surf in the wintertime and great beach days and snorkeling in the summer the north shore is a reknown location of stunning beauty. With no high rise development or resorts other than Turtle Bay resort it has largely remained untainted.

It has Sunset Beach, the Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay and the charming historic town of Haleiwa. Its remote location about 45 minutes to 1 hours outside of Honolulu insures that you'll have plenty of peace and quiet and miles of white sandy beach to walk on.

Turtle Bay Resort 4 stars

turtle bay oahu

Turtle Bay Resort is the only resort and hotel on the north shore. Nestled on a peninsula about 5 minutes past Sunset Beach it offers spectacular views, peace and quiet and probably more of what you had in mind when you booked a vacation to Hawaii in the first place.

Located on 880 oceanfront acres on the northern tip of the island in the town of Kahuku. With 443 rooms, 2 pools, 2 golf courses, 10 tennis courts, horseback riding, hiking trails, beach cottages and a surf school on site there really isn't a reason to leave. Read more here.

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East Side

koolau mountains

The Eastern or Windward coast of Oahu which includes areas such as Kailua and Lanikai are not legally zoned to have resorts or hotels. However, this has not stopped the proliferance of vacation rentals (many, if not most of them illegal) from popping up.


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