Editors’ Picks: Our Favorite O‘ahu Hotels for Staycations

Feel like escaping, but don’t want to wander too far? The HONOLULU team spills its favorite O‘ahu staycation spots.

Sometimes we locals need a break but don’t want the hassle that comes with getting off the rock. For a quick on-island escape, look no further than these O‘ahu hotels and resorts, vetted by our team. From Kahuku to Kāhala, they’re fantastic spots for an R&R getaway.


Turtle Bay Resort hotel lounge pool table meal

Photos: Courtesy of Turtle Bay Resort


Turtle Bay Resort

I like staying at Turtle Bay in the winter to be close to North Shore surf and in the summer for the Da Hui paddleboard race. All the rooms have ocean views and you’re close enough to the water that if you leave the lānai doors open, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves. The recent renovation has opened up the lobby and dining room at its signature restaurant, Alaia, giving the common areas an elegant yet relaxed feel. –Martha Cheng, Food & Culture Editor


Turtle Bay Resort, 57-091 Kamehameha Highway, Kahuku, (808) 475-2569, turtlebayresort.com@turtlebayresort




White Sands Hotel pool bar area Credit Thomas Obungen

Photo: Thomas Obungen


White Sands Hotel

I’m a sucker for the tropical vintage vibes at White Sands Hotel. The poolside room with lānai is pretty perfect for us considering our toddler, who goes from splashing around in the pool to demanding snacks every 15 minutes. We also appreciate the off-the-beaten path location—here, we feel worlds away from our everyday responsibilities, despite being just 15 minutes from home. Oh, and that bamboo bar! Sipping on a specialty mai tai, listening to Hawaiian music in a little oasislike setting, is everything I never knew I needed (no babysitter required)! –Jasmine Chagnon, HONOLULU Magazine Senior Editor/HONOLULU Family Editor


White Sands Hotel, 431 Nohonani St., (808) 924-7263, @whitesandshotel




Kaimana Beach Hotel room interior tropical wallpaper couch chairs wall art

Photo: Surf Please, Courtesy Henderson Design Group


Kaimana Beach Hotel

Tucked away on the sleepy Diamond Head end of Waikīkī, the Kaimana Beach Hotel gets you close to both the tourist hot spots, should you choose to brave the crowds, Kapi‘olani Park and the charming Kapahulu and Kāhala neighborhoods, which are home to foodie favorite Monsaraat Avenue and a ton of great local boutiques. It doesn’t have a pool, but really who needs one, as the hotel fronts Kaimana Beach, one of my favorite spots to soak up some sun and steal a glance at the monk seals that occasionally post up on the sand. I’m a big fan of the hotel’s vibrant midcentury aesthetic that plays up nostalgic Hawai‘i vibes. You’ll find it on display in its cool bar area and Hau Tree restaurant—a beloved local spot—as well as in its hip coffee shop-boutique Sunset Provisions brimming with fashions and gift items from Hawai‘i labels. –Brie Thalmann, HONOLULU Magazine Managing Style Editor


Kaimana Beach Hotel, 2863 Kalākaua Ave., (808) 923-1555, @kaimanabeach




Four Seasons Spa woman massage table palm trees

Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Resort, O‘ahu at Ko Olina


Four Seasons Resort, O‘ahu at Ko Olina

The Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina is everything you’d want in a spa staycation. The West Side resort’s Naupaka Spa & Wellness space is upscale, serene and soothing. My go-to facial includes luxury products that smell yummy and feel rejuvenating and the estheticians and massage therapists are attentive and thoughtful. Dining options are plentiful, with several restaurants on property serving fresh local ingredients and produce. Sunset drinks and seafood overlooking the lagoon will make you feel like you’re a million miles away from home and life’s daily stressors. The price tag is hefty but less expensive than a trip to just about anywhere—and an investment in my well-being that’s worth every penny. –Meghan Thibault, HONOLULU Magazine Associate Publisher


Four Seasons Resort O‘ahu at Ko Olina, 92-1001 Olani St., Kapolei, (808) 679-0079, @fsoahu




Moana Surfrider hotel palms trees columns building

Photo: Courtesy of Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa


Moana Surfrider, a Westin Resort & Spa

The Moana Surfrider provides a happy place for my close-to-home getaway with a fairy tale mix of historic Waikīkī and a splash of Victorian elegance (afternoon tea on the veranda/that magnificent banyan tree) while still providing the pampering that comes with the newer niceties of a modern hotel. That means I can walk on the beach before the crowds appear, still make a daily yoga class, splurge on a massage in the Moana Lani Spa, relax in the room or sprawl in a chair overlooking the ocean. Then there’s time to explore nearby, plan dinner with the luxury of knowing we won’t have to hunt for pricey parking, and we can walk next door to catch some jazz or comedy at Blue Note Hawai‘i. Aaaaah. –Robbie Dingeman, HONOLULU Magazine Editor at Large


Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, 2365 Kalākaua Ave., (888) 236-2427, @themoanasurfrider




The Kahala Hotel And Resort outdoor restaurant palm trees beach ahi poke

Photo: Courtesy of Kahala Hotel and Resort, Arancino at the Kahala


The Kāhala Hotel & Resort

I like the self-enclosed serenity of the Kāhala. It’s close to town but feels removed from Honolulu’s bustle. Most of the visitors are out and about doing actual stuff so you’re left with a chill, poolside area, drinking a beer overlooking a calm beachfront and doing nothing. Dinner at Arancino and breakfast at Plumeria Beach House are also a must, as well as having to eat instant noodles for the rest of your life to make up for the splurge. Win-win. –James Nakamura, HONOLULU Magazine Creative Director


The Kāhala Hotel & Resort, 5000 Kāhala Ave., (800) 367-2525, @kahala_resort




Sheraton Waikiki hotel pool lounge chairs cabanas

Photo: Courtesy of Sheraton Waikīkī


Sheraton Waikīkī

The Sheraton is my go-to staycation headquarters because it’s central to pretty much everything in Waikīkī. I love catching some rays, and there’s no better place to soak them up than by one of the pools with a lava flow in hand. Plus, there are many room options, including some with three beds, so everyone has a comfortable place to sleep. –Thomas Obungen, HONOLULU Magazine/Frolic Contributing Dining Editor


Sheraton Waikīkī, 2255 Kalākaua Ave., (888) 236-2427, @sheratonwaikiki



SEE ALSO: Our Tips for the Best Family Staycation in Hawai‘i