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In a nutshell: the only true resort on the north shore stays true to the laid-back surfer roots that have made this area so famous.
Overview of Turtle Bay Resort
Head out to the country and stay at the only true north shore resort, Turtle Bay. With a fresh renovation completed in 2021, 1300 oceanfront acres, and seven beaches, Turtle Bay is not just a resort, it’s a retreat. They have stayed true to their north shore surfer roots and you’ll enjoy casual beach luxury here.
Turtle Bay Resort Location
Turtle Bay is located on Oahu’s North Shore, approximately 30 minutes from the Honolulu Airport, 1 hour from Waikiki, and 20 minutes from Haleiwa.
Highlights of Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort has a few different pool options to enjoy during your stay:
- Main resort pool
- Adult pool: just above the main pool with a hot tub and loungers on a scenic deck
- Keiki pool with slides: in the same area as the main resort pool, you’ll find the keiki pool and slides, which are just so much fun!
- Ocean bungalows pool: bungalow guests have access to this infinity style pool
Take your pick when it comes to where to stay at Turtle Bay. There are options that fit different party sizes and needs:
- Guest rooms: All guest rooms have an ocean view (!) and most come with balconies. You can also choose to enjoy a guest room that comes with Ocean Club Lounge access. What we loved most about the guest room was the space — these rooms are not small.
- Suites: Get even more space with a separate living area and access to the Ocean Club Lounge.
- Ocean Bungalows: Separate from the main building, enjoy the oceanfront bungalows. There are 42 private bungalows clumped in groups of six, spread out over a lush landscape. You’ll have access to the Ocean Club Lounge and also the ocean bungalows infinity style pool.
- Ocean Villas: Ocean villas are a unique option, as they are individually owned units that you can reserve either through Turtle Bay or through the private owner on VRBO. We cover these Ocean Villas more in-depth so you know the options available to you!
Since you’re not close to off-resort restaurants, Turtle Bay provides plenty of on-site dining options to fit whatever mood you’re in. While we definitely ventured away from the resort for some meals, having a decent selection of restaurants on-site was really helpful.
- Sunset pool bar: offers lunch and dinner poolside, great for those days that you just don’t want to leave the pool to eat.
- Alaia: enjoy breakfast or dinner at Alaia. We went for breakfast and it was a great way to start the day!
- Off the lip: enjoy drinks or light bites in the evening at this bar
- Ho’olana: a beautiful coffee shop near the lobby that serves up simple items for breakfast and lunch
- Beach House by Roy Yamaguchi: Famed chef Roy Yamaguchi created dishes to enjoy for lunch or dinner in front of Kuilima Cove.
- Lei Lei’s: head down to the golf course for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a casual environment
- Ocean Club Lounge: if you’re staying in an ocean view suite, room, or bungalow, you’ll have access to the lounge where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and appetizers
You won’t be at a loss for things to do at the Turtle Bay Resort. They have so many experiences to offer right on-site, and you’re so close to even more experiences on the north shore. Some of the activities available include:
- The Brave Mermaid show
- Pony meet and greet at the stables
- Pickleball court rental
- Lei making
- Ukulele lessons
- Hula lessons
- Bike rental or cultural bike tour
- Walk to the keiki cove beach
- Snorkel in Kuilima Cove
- Take SUP (stand up paddle) lessons
- Enjoy an outrigger canoe tour
And there is even more to do once you leave the resort. Check out our favorite things to do on Oahu’s North Shore.
Turtle Bay Resort Review: why we love it
- 1300 oceanfront acres: This is the ultimate beachfront resort. There’s no strip of large resorts like you’ll find down in Waikiki or on Maui. Here you have space to walk, roam, and explore.
- Restful resort experience: You know when places just feel pretty wonderful? This place has that feeling. Our kids loved it. We loved it. Waking up and walking around the resort every morning felt relaxing and being so far away from the busyness of the rest of the island was refreshing.
- Oceanview rooms: even with the most basic room (which is what we reserved) you will get some sort of ocean view, which really adds to the beach experience of the resort.
- Kuilima Cove: North Shore beaches can get really rough, but Kuilima Cove will often have calm water inside the swimming boundaries (don’t go beyond the buoys). There’s great snorkeling here and even a lifeguard on-site most of the time.
Things to Know Before Booking Turtle Bay Resort
- Luxury price tag without luxury service: This threw me off. Turtle Bay is an expensive resort. Prices are often just slightly lower than what you’ll find at the Four Seasons Oahu. So I went in thinking that the level of service would be on par with the Four Seasons. It’s not. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Turtle Bay offers a different experience. Their price is for their amazing experiences and the resort grounds, not necessarily for the white glove service.
- Parking and resort fee: resort fees are fairly standard at Hawaii hotels, but that doesn’t make it less frustrating. Turtle Bay charges a $49 per night resort fee and a $35 per night parking fee (as of Dec 2022), which is not included in the published room rate.
- It is secluded: If you’re wanting to explore the North Shore, this is a great place to have your home base. But you’ll still have to drive to some of the great sights like Waimea Valley (15 min) for a waterfall swim and Haleiwa (25 min). If you want to explore Waikiki or Kailua, you’ll have over an hour drive in front of you (each way).
Our Experience at Turtle Bay Resort
We like to share our experience and provide more details (like a room tour) before you book so check out the video below. We share the highlights of Turtle Bay Resort from our three-night stay.
Is Turtle Bay Worth the Money?
Honestly, I was heading into our stay at the resort with skepticism. We had stayed their prior to the renovation and while it was on the higher end for prices, it wasn’t crazy. Post-renovation, the same room cost increased dramatically.
By the end of the trip, I was sold. Turtle Bay had absolutely been worth the money. We had a very special family vacation here and enjoyed all of the amenities. We will absolutely go back for special family trips in the future.
Have you booked your stay and now want to get the rest of your trip planned? We have a done for you itinerary that takes you on day trips around the island. These day trips take you on planned out routes to the best sights, experiences, and restaurants.
Where can I drop a review? We recently visited Oahu and I purchased your itinerary. I can’t thank you enough. I literally felt you helped make the most of our Hawaiian vacation. The itinerary was just perfectly curated from where to go and where to stop on to finding great food spots! Thank you so so much!Marc F.
Get The Oahu Itinerary
The step-by-step itinerary takes you to all the best beaches, snorkeling spots, restaurants, and sights. You’ll get six carefully planned excursion days to help you see the can’t miss stops no matter how limited your time is.
Get all the details on our itinerary and download it for a memorable and easily planned trip to Oahu.