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Oahu caters to all types of travelers, but it’s also known for having some of the most luxurious accommodations out of all the Hawaiian Islands. Between the panoramic ocean views, gourmet dining scene, and abundance of on-site activities, staying at a luxury hotel definitely has its perks.
But which hotel is right for you? Do you want an extravagant hotel in the middle of Waikiki or a tranquil resort surrounded by warm waters and swaying palms? In this article, we’ll share our top 7 luxury hotels on Oahu that are waiting to greet you with a relaxing stay.
Want to get right to it? Here’s the quick and snappy version:
Escape to The Halekulani for ultimate luxury
Stay at The Kahala to get away without being too far away
Turtle Bay is our top pick for the North Shore
Book a room at the Royal Hawaiian for that historic charm
And our Where to Stay database has you covered with all our top picks on Oahu.
7 Best Luxury Hotels on Oahu
We’ve been fortunate enough to stay at many luxury hotels on Oahu. While these hotels are in no particular order, they are some of the highest rated hotels in terms of service and accommodation. Hawaii is an expensive trip, but you can find the best-priced luxury hotels on Oahu, compared to the other islands.
Want a more in-depth look? Check out of video of four of the best luxury hotels on Oahu:
Halekulani Hotel: Ultimate Luxury
With a prime oceanfront location in the heart of Waikiki, the Halekulani is an excellent option if you want to be close to the action. And although you’re within walking distance to the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center and Waikiki Beach, the spacious grounds and lush, palm-fringed property makes it feel much quieter than other hotels in the area.
The Halekulani is utterly gorgeous, with elegant rooms and facilities that have been designed with just the right amount of tropical touch. The mosaic 82-foot-long pool is the perfect spot for a midday dip, while the private beach nearby is ideal for anyone wanting to relax on the sand. Keep in mind that the Halekulani beach is small, although you can always walk to Waikiki Beach in just a few minutes.
In terms of facilities, the Halekulani has a business center, hospitality suite, fitness studio (with compliment fitness classes), and an award-winning salon and spa. Entertainment is limited to live music and hula performances, so it’s relatively low key compared to other resorts on Oahu. But there’s no resort fee, which is a huge plus.
The Halekulani also has a wide range of dining options. Start your morning with a coffee and croissant from their in-house bakery or enjoy breakfast by the ocean with a meal at Orchids. If you’re celebrating a special occasion, then we recommend booking a table at La Mer, the only AAA Five Diamond and Forbes 5 Star restaurant in the state. Of course, you’re just a short walk away from all the restaurants along Kalākaua Ave as well.
But what really separates this hotel from the rest is the service. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay enjoyable, which helps to justify the high price point of the rooms. In fact, this might be the most expensive hotel in the area! But it’s worth every penny if you’re looking for a luxury oasis in the heart Waikiki.
If you do want to head out of Waikiki, check out our full guide for getting around Oahu.
Activities: Live music, hula dancing shows, paddleboard and surfing demonstrations, free access to local attractions (Bishop Museum, Honolulu Museum of Art, Manoa Heritage Center, ‘Iolani Palace and more)
- Pools: One, 82-feet long and heated
- Fitness Studio: Yes, with complimentary fitness classes
- Spa: Yes
- Beach amenities: Small but private beach in front of hotel
Kahala Hotel: relax just outside Waikiki
For many people (including celebrities and politicians), the Kahala Hotel is the epitome of luxury. Not only are the rooms spacious and tastefully decorated with high-end furnishings and decor, but the top-notch service goes well above what is normally expected – even for a 5-star hotel! And its jaw-dropping location on the shores of Kahala Beach (15 minute drive from Waikiki) allows you to enjoy your tropical vacation in peace.
And you can’t talk about the Kahala Hotel without mentioning the beach. Right outside your door, you’ll find 800-feet of pristine, white sandy beach waiting for you to explore. Since the hotel is removed from the bustle of Waikiki, there are hardly any crowds, so it feels like you have this paradise all to yourself. Beach loungers and towels are provided to guests free of charge, although kayaks, snorkel equipment, and stand-up paddle boards are only for purchase.
If you prefer to lounge poolside, then there are plenty of chairs (or cabanas for rent) around their small but comfortable pool. It’s nice that the hotel offers pool service, in case you crave a tropical cocktail or a sandwich while you sunbathe.
Because of the semi-remote location, there’s not much to do outside of the hotel. However, the abundance of activities will surely keep you and any little ones you’re traveling with occupied for the stay. Their event calendar is packed with daily activities, including fitness classes, hala weaving, lei making, and storytelling. They also offer live music and hula dancing on select evenings.
The hotel also has a lagoon enclosure with bottlenose dolphins where guests watch them play or book a close-up encounter experience. While the programs have been certified as humane, it still may be hard for some people to see them kept in captivity.
There are quite a few restaurants on the property, including two award winners – Hoku’s and Arancino. The Plumeria Beach House restaurant also holds a curry lunch buffet on Wednesdays and a seafood dinner buffet on the weekend. And if you’re staying on a Sunday, you won’t want to miss the decadent brunch buffet offered at Hoku’s.
If you’re planning a trip to Oahu: make sure our Oahu travel guide is your next read. It has almost everything you need to know.
Kahala Hotel Features
- Activities: Hawaiian culture classes, live music, hula dancing
- Pools: Yes, albeit a little small
- Fitness Studio: Yes, with Peloton bikes, rowing machines, and paid classes and personal trainers
- Spa: Yes
- Beach amenities: Complimentary sun loungers and towels
Four Seasons Oahu: great for young kids
The Four Seasons Oahu is more than just your average hotel – it’s a full blown resort with four pools, five restaurants, a golf course, and a tennis center. And it has a postcard perfect location on the shores of one of the emerald blue Ko Olina Lagoons, just 30 minutes west of the Honolulu Airport.
We have a full Ko Olina guide to read more about the resort destination.
Let’s start with the accommodations. All guest rooms come with private balconies and a customizable Four Seasons bed, which means you can choose a mattress topper and pillows that best suits your taste. The most basic rooms are extremely spacious (640 sq ft), although their larger suites range from 1,000 to a whopping 4,070 sq ft.
Whether you’re here for an action-packed weekend or a laid-back island getaway, the Four Seasons has something for every type of traveler. Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the on-site 18-hole golf course as well as the hiking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, sailing, and deep-sea fishing opportunities. The Four Seasons Wayfinders program also gives guests the chance to learn more about Hawaiian culture with lei making, hula, and lauhala weaving classes.
The Four Seasons is also very family-friendly, with a complimentary kid’s camp for guests between the ages of 5 and 12. Your little ones will enjoy spending the day swimming, playing sports, or making art, so you can enjoy a bit of “me time” on vacation.
If you’re planning a pool day, you’ll have four different options – the infinity pool (adults only), the ohana pool (family-friendly), the keiki pool (kid’s pool), and the spa pool. Or you can head to the beach, where you’ll be treated to soft golden sands and calm warm waters of Lagoon One.
Another great selling point of the Four Seasons is the variety of dining options. Whether you’re craving fresh seafood, authentic Italian, or even a refreshing pina colada, you’ll eat (and drink) like a king during your stay.
Four Seasons Oahu Features
- Activities: Water sports, golf, tennis, pickleball, guided hiking tours, cultural workshops and classes.
- Pools: Four pools, including an adult’s only option
- Fitness Studio: Yes, with Peloton bikes, steam & sauna rooms, and certified trainers on request
- Spa: Yes, the 35,000 sq ft Naupaka Spa and Wellness Centre
- Beach amenities: Complimentary sun loungers and option to pay for pool or beach side cabanas
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Turtle Bay Resort: the best all-around luxury stay
As the most popular resort on Oahu’s north shore, the Turtle Bay Resort is the picture-perfect setting for your Hawaiian vacation. It’s secluded (although it’s easy to reach other attractions like Waimea Valley and Haleiwa by car) and features over 1,300 acres of beach. So, if you’re looking for that laid-back, away-from-the-hustle-and-bustle vibe, then Turtle Bay is the resort for you.
The hotel underwent a major renovation a few years ago, giving the rooms and main gathering places a bright and modern facelift. You can choose to stay in one of their suites, villas, or bungalows, but even their basic guest rooms are ocean view, which is a huge bonus. Jordan and I spent a lot of time on our ocean view lanai at night after the kids went to sleep. Amazing!
If having miles of oceanfront beach at your disposal isn’t enough for you, then maybe one of the four pools will be. Besides the main resort pool, Turtle Bay also has an adult-only infinity pool, a family-friendly keiki pool (with slides!), and a private pool for bungalow guests. For the full VIP experience, you can also book a cabana or daybed for a cost.
Turtle Bay has so many activities that you could stay for weeks and still not check-off everything they have to offer. Complimentary activities included in your $49/night resort fee include lei making, ukulele lessons, hula lessons, and pickleball. You can also rent bikes, go horseback riding, take surf or standup paddleboard lessons, or book one of their many guided tours (hiking, bird watching, turtle spotting, or stargazing). They also have a weekly dinner luau, Paniolo, where you can watch hula and fire knife dancers while enjoying a roast pig dinner. It’s also very close to the Ehukai Pillbox Hike, which is just beautiful.
Note: the weather can get rough on the north shore in the winter, and the ocean is often very rough. We’ve stayed here during the winter, but we much prefer April – October here.
We truly love this resort so much and we can’t wait to return!
Plan your stay at Turtle Bay Resort.
Turtle Bay Resort Features
- Activities: free lei making, ukelele lessons, hula lessons and paid tours or water sport rentals.
- Pools: Three pools for all guests and one reserved for bungalow rooms
- Fitness Studio: Yes, with paid private and group fitness classes
- Spa: Yes
- Beach amenities: Complimentary beach umbrellas, sun loungers, beach toys, and boogie boards
Find more accommodations on Oahu’s North Shore.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel: the historic pink palace
The pastel pink Royal Hawaiian Hotel is a Waikiki institution that has been serving guests for nearly 100 years. You can feel the history as you walk the grounds, and while some visitors might find things to be dated, others will appreciate the charm of staying in a hotel with charm and character.
You can’t beat the location, as the Royal Hawaiian sits directly on the shores of Waikiki Beach. Shops, restaurants, and the Royal Hawaiian Center are all without walking distance, making this a great hotel for exploring the best of what Waikiki has to offer.
When booking a room, you’ll have a choice between staying in the Historic Wing or in the Mailani Tower. As its name implies, the historic wing is an original part of the hotel, although the rooms are smaller, darker, and all without private lanais. The Mailani Tower was added in 2010 as part of the hotel’s $75 million renovation, so the rooms are larger and more modern. In addition, every room has a private lanai as well as an ocean view.
The Malulani Pool is the main pool for the Royal Hawaiian. It’s rather small, but a decent option if looking for peace and quiet. If you’re traveling with kids or want a livelier experience, you can hop over the Helumoa Playground at the Sheraton (a shared pool between both hotels). It has a water slide, kid’s fountain, and food and beverage service.
While sun loungers around the pool are complimentary, private cabanas are an extra charge. In addition, the hotel also charges for sun loungers and umbrellas on the beach (which will set you back $60 for a set). The hotel also charges a daily resort fee of $42, which includes WIFI, morning yoga, stand up paddling boarding demonstrations, Go Pro Hero 8 rentals, and daily cultural activities.
The Royal Hawaiian has a great selection of on-site restaurants. Casual meals are served in the Surfside Lanai, while the Azure Restaurant offers a more upscale and intimate dinner experience. And on Mondays and Thursdays, the Royal Hawaiian hosts a traditional open-air luau right in front of the ocean (extra charge).
Check out more details of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.
There is so much to do on Oahu. Check out our list of top things to do in Hawaii to create your ultimate bucket list.
Royal Hawaiian Hotel Features
- Activities: Complimentary morning yoga and cultural activities
- Pools: The intimate Malulani Pool and the larger, kid-friendly Helumoa Playground (shared with the Sheraton)
- Fitness Studio: Yes
- Spa: Yes, the Abhasa Spa
- Beach amenities: Complimentary pool chairs, beach chairs and umbrellas available to rent
Moana Surfrider: the First Lady of Waikiki
Affectionately referred to as the “First Lady of Waikiki”, the Moana Surfrider was the first hotel to be built in Waikiki. The colonial building is an architectural masterpiece, with tall Victorian-era columns and rich, intricate woodworking. And the open-air floorplan allows the ocean breeze to flow freely through the hotel and into the back courtyard where you’ll find the iconic Waikiki Banyan Tree.
The pool is on the small side, but with the golden sands of Waikiki just a few steps away, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for swimming and sunbathing. However, the chairs around the pool are free while the ones on the beach do incur a separate fee. Ocean-facing cabanas near the pool are also available to rent.
When it comes to dining, the on-site restaurants have some of the best ocean views in all of Waikiki. The Veranda (open for breakfast), the Beachhouse (open for dinner), and the Surfrider Cafe (open for breakfast and lunch) are all located beachside. And you can’t beat a happy hour at the Beachbar, where you’ll enjoy live music while listening to the lapping sounds of the waves.
There are quite a few interesting activities included with your $42 a night resort fee. Mindful meditation, yoga, hula lessons, Hawaiian storytelling, beach running, lei making, ukelele lessons, and guided history tours are available to all guests. A sunrise ceremony is also conducted on the beach each morning, where you can swim in the ocean while listening to traditional Hawaiian chants.
Check out more details of the Moana Surfrider.
Moana Surfrider Features
- Activities: Cultural activities, morning sunrise ceremony, yoga and meditation classes
- Pools: Small but intimate pool
- Fitness Studio: Yes, a WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio
- Spa: Yes, the Moana Lani Spa, a Heavenly Spa by Westin
- Beach amenities: Complimentary pool chairs, beach chairs and umbrellas available to rent
Ritz Carlton Waikiki: get more space
Ritz Carlton hotels are known for their luxury accommodations, and the Ritz Carlton Waikiki is no exception. And despite being located a few blocks back from the beach, the hotel manages to earn high marks thanks to the spacious rooms, opulent design and impeccable service.
The rooms at the Ritz Carlton Waikiki are not your average hotel rooms. Instead, they are small apartments, complete with balconies, floor-to-ceiling ocean views, full kitchens, living spaces, and bathrooms with separate showers and soaking tubs. They are available as 1-, 2-, 3- or 4-bedroom suites, so there’s plenty of room if you’re traveling with friends or in a group.
Check out our room tour and stay at the Ritz Carlton Waikiki:
And just because you’re not on the water doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a pool day. There are two infinity pools (one for adults and one for families) which boast fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. Pool chairs are complimentary but guests wanting more privacy can book their luxury cabanas which come with SMART TVs and refrigerators.
The hotel has a few restaurants in the building, but the acclaimed Sushi Sho is the star of the show. Prepared by renowned chef Keiji Nakazawa, this omakase meal comes with 30+ courses and is guaranteed to delight any seafood lover. It’s not a cheap meal ($350 per person not including drinks and taxes), but it’s worth every penny if you are lucky enough to snag one of the 16 seats in the restaurant.
The biggest downside of staying here is the lack of on-site activities. If you want to do anything besides hanging out by the pool, you’ll need to arrange that yourself or with the concierge.
Ritz Carlton Waikiki Features
- Activities: Not much except for the pool
- Pools: Two pools, one for adults and one for families
- Fitness Studio: Yes, with a yoga studio
- Spa: Yes
- Beach amenities: No beach access but complimentary pool chairs and paid cabana rentals
2 Luxury Vacation Rentals in Oahu
You don’t have to stay in a big resort or hotel to live in the lap of luxury. Renting a vacation home is also a great choice for short term vacations as well as long-term stays.
Ocean Villas at Turtle Bay
The Ocean Villas at Turtle Bay is your home away from home on the north shore. If you want a picturesque beachside location with the comforts of spacious vacation rental (being able to cook meals is a huge plus), then this could be a great option for your vacation.
Each studio, 3-, or 4-bedroom unit is privately owned (or managed by the Turtle Bay Resort), which means it can be a mixed bag in terms of what you get. Therefore, it’s crucial that you read the reviews for the individual unit you’re renting, as decor, furnishings, and cleanliness level will vary.
You do have the option of booking a unit that is managed by the Turtle Bay Resort. These rentals tend to be much more expensive than the privately operated ones, but you will have access to the pool and facilities at the resort.
Beach Villas at Ko Olina
Located on the tranquil eastern side of the islands sits the Beach Villas at Ko Olina. The 3- and 4-bedroom condo units are a great alternative for those who don’t want to stay at a hotel but still be near the lagoons.
As with other vacation rentals in the area, each unit is owned and managed individually, so there’s no consistency in terms of decor, style, or cleanliness. However, the rooms are extremely spacious and generally more affordable than the nearby resorts.
You’ll also get access to a few hotel-like amenities, including a fitness center, three separate pools, and a sauna and steam room. There’s also a great beach bar (Makai Hale) serving delicious drinks and snacks. But you are also within walking distance to the Ko Olina Center which has quite a few notable restaurants to choose from.
Read more about the Beach Villas at Ko Olina.
Looking for other accommodation options on Oahu or the other islands in Hawaii? Check out our Where to Stay guide for complete information on our favorite hotels and vacation rentals!
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