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Oahu: JW Marriott Ihilani OR Turtle Bay Resort?

Oahu: JW Marriott Ihilani OR Turtle Bay Resort?

Old May 3rd, 2005, 02:24 PM
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Oahu: JW Marriott Ihilani OR Turtle Bay Resort?

Hi everyone,

DH and I are going to Hawaii for our 1st anniversary in August. We are spending the first 5 nights on Oahu (and then 8 nights on Kauai). We will definitely spend the first 2-3 at the Outrigger Waikiki. (Stayed here for 2 nights last summer and loved it.)

But we want to spend the last 2-3 nights on Oahu on a bigger, more secluded resort. Not taking into consideration location of the island (west side versus north shore), can anyone compare these 2 resorts specifically? We are not looking to do a ton of exploring from the resort during these 2 days, maybe a trip to a beach or a scenic drive, but that's about it. Most of our exploring will be done from Waikiki. We are mainly looking to veg for 2 days before exploring Kauai, which we haven't been to before.

We are looking for the nicer resort, NOT location or convenience to Waikiki, etc... We just want to lay by the pool and on the beach, and do some on-site snorkeling. Looking for good poolside lunches, nice rooms and bathrooms, and that tropical, wonderful Hawaiian atmosphere. So, based on your experiences...which is the superior resort? Thanks
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 02:39 PM
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Lucky you! We've stayed at both. Just got back from Ihilani. Here is the trip report if you're interrested:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34607980

Out of the two I am happier with the Ihilani because it is a little less desolate and there are more shopping/movie choices nearby. Ihilani's has 4 restaurants and Turtle Bay has 2, I think. Ihilani's food is better. Room wise, I stayed in a Bungalow at the TB when it was newly remodeled the Christmas before last, it was very nice. Don't know about standard rooms. Ihilani's rooms are very nice, and the bathrooms are oversized, a little bigger than Turtle Bay's, and each has a separate tub and shower.

My choice would be the Ihilani unless it's a weekend stay, as I mentioned in the trip report there are often company functions on the weekend, and you may find the hotel too crowded for your liking.

The Ihilani has several fresh water pools with many sorts of fish and a few sting rays. Turtle Bay has terrific beaches nearby. Tough decision!
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:32 PM
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I read your trip report, and it helped a lot, thank you We would be there during the week, and would stay at the Outrigger over the weekend. How far is the Ihilani from the North Shore beaches, if we wanted to take a drive?

Anyone else?
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 08:41 PM
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I'm not exactly sure how far the Ihilani is from the North Shore, but I'm guessing 1 hour. And it could be longer depending on traffic/time of day?

When we got directions to Sea Life Park from the Ihilani it took us through very scenic parts of mid-Oahu with lots of rolling mountains. To be honest, we didn't know how much beautiful scenery there was in Oahu outside of the parts we had previously visited, which was HNL, the north shore, and west Oahu.

So if you're looking for a scenic drive that would be a nice way to travel back to the city. You will then drive past Sea Life Park and through the coast to Hunauma Bay and on into Honolulu. Wonderful drive with great water views.
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Old May 4th, 2005, 09:02 AM
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We've stayed at Turtle Bay Resort and absolutely loved it because of the isolated feel. Haven't stayed in the Ihilani be we did go there for a day trip on our last visit.

Ihilani:
I think has a more "Maui" resort feel, the lagoons and stretch of white sand give it a more tranquil (though somewhat artificial) feeling and the snorkeling is better than at Turtle Bay Resort. Overall a more luxury resort feel.

Turtle Bay:
That being said, our choice is Turtle Bay Resort, there's just a different feel to it..we liked relaxing at the pool area watching and listening to the big crashing waves. Since it's on the tip of the North Shore, you can look up the coast for miles..it's gorgeous. They have a nice beach also, with decent snorkeling but from what we saw not quite as clear or as many fish as at Ihilani. The standard rooms are not large nor small, but the bathroom is a nice size w/ a dressing area and all the rooms have an oceanview. Nice, new decor & very comfy beds.

From our experience staff at both places are very friendly. It seemed like a really long drive to get to Ihilani from the North Shore.

here's a trip report w/ info on our day visit to Ihilani & a link to pics: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34596428

and here's my trip report w/ our stay at Turtle Bay Resort:http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34505195
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Old May 6th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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Thanks for the trip report threads! They were great and very helpful

Right now, I've got 4 nights booked in Waikiki at the Outrigger Waikiki, and 2 nights booked at Turtle Bay Resort. I am still kind of leaning towards the Marriott Ihilani, but all of a sudden, they raised their rates this week, so now they are about $100 more than Turtle Bay. I am going to keep watching the rates, though, and maybe I'll get lucky. Although I'm sure Turtle Bay is just as great in a different way.

Anyone else have opinions on Ihilani versus Turtle Bay?
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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I hope you aren't concerned with shopping and movies on your honeymoon.

If that's the case, then you will LOVE Turtle Bay.

My wife and I stayed there this May, and loved it.

We spent 2 nights in Waikiki (Outrigger Waikiki), then a week at TBR.

TBR has everything, but limited by being the only resort on the North Shore. The trade off was more than worth it for us.

It's not fancy (it's like a nice Marriott, but not a JW), but it has a great pool...nice spa...small gym (GET OUTSIDE!) a protected beach on one side (with bar*)...and a more advanced surf spot on the other side. There are miles of trails, for horses, running (in my top 3 for running trails), biking. Golf if you want it. Great pool bar with very friendly bartenders...willing to give you the "kamaaina pour" if you ask. The restaurant is good...not great. When we ate dinner at the resort, we would order room service and eat it out on our deck. There are great views everywhere, since it's out on a point on the ocean.

There are fun places to eat in Haleiwa (Haleiwa, which hardly gets mentioned here, is a cool little surf town)...sushi (can't remember the name), Cafe Haleiwa (best breakfast on the island), Haleiwa Joe's. You won't find a 5 star dining experience here, so get that out of the way in Waikiki.

Buy some cheap beach chairs in town...there are so many cool beach hangs on the north shore. We spent many days hanging out at surf spots like Pipeline, Sunset & Waimea.

The east side of Oahu is gorgeous too. Unfortunately, we didn't see it until we drove back to the airport. There's actually a town about 10 minutes east of TBR that has a little movie theater, if you're really hard up for entertainment.

Anyway...you go to the north shore for the vibe. Peaceful...surf/beach oriented...no dress code. It reminds us of a slightly more laid back version of the north shore of kauai (Haleiwa is to Hanalei what TBR is to Princeville). We love both places, and will go again & again.

If you decide to stay at TBR, check out the villas. I don't know how much more they are, but they're even more secluded and front the ocean.
 
Old Jun 18th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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I think you'd like Ihilani better. It is newer and a prettier resort. I also prefer the rooms, dining options and the lagoons here. In August the weather will be similar on both sides.

Turtle Bay was in the news this morning. They've been having a labor dispute for some time, but apparently its starting to get ugly now. don't know how it will play out by August.
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Old Jun 18th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for the newest replies! Even though it's a month and a half after I originally posted this thread, we are still undecided! Any more experiences on either TBR or Ihilani would be great
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