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Split stay on Oahu - where to stay, Ko Olina, North Shore, or Windward?

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Nov 3rd, 2012, 06:18 PM
  #1
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Split stay on Oahu - where to stay, Ko Olina, North Shore, or Windward?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Honolulu for 10 nights in March 2013. I've booked a nice functional condo in Waikiki that meets our needs during our first 6 nights, but wanted to find a resort for our last 3 nights that is more luxurious and full-service, someplace where we can really relax before we fly back home to New York. This is our 4th time to Oahu so we're pretty familiar with the island but have not really stayed anywhere other than Waikiki and a short visit to the Aulani.

The way we like to vacation is we are very active for the first half of the vacation: exploring the island, dining out, beaches etc..., so our budget friendly condo was good as just a place to sleep and shower. However for our last 3 nights, I would like a resort that' has a great pool complex and/or a great beach area and nice restaurants. I am looking to spend around 400 or less a night.

A few guidelines:
- want the last 3 nights to be outside of Waikiki
- we're big foodies, we love to try everything from hole-in-the-wall drive-ins to Alan Wong's. We would like a resort area that has great food options. I do not want to stay at the Aulani again as although the resort was wonderful, the food was average. I wouldn't mind driving a short distance for food but there didn't seem to be that much near the Ko Olina resort? (only stayed for 2 nights so didn't actually leave the resort so some advice is welcome!)
- I would prefer a kitchen or a kitchenette in the room. Not a must have, but it would be nice to have a hot plate or microwave.
- I would like free wifi and parking if possible.


I've looked into Marriott's Ko Olina Beach Club and the Turtle Bay resort. I'm leaning towards the Beach Club because of the condo facilities, but I am really not liking the food options there. Most of them seem to have average reviews at best, and it seems that Roy's Ko Olina may be our best bet for great food? I thought staying at Turtle Bay would be nice too as I really like Haleiwa and I could easily get to the yummy shrimp trucks, but I've never been to the resort and hear it may be in need of some upgrades. The beach cottages look nice although they are quite pricey and do not have a kitchenette.

I've also looked into the Paradise Bay Resort near Kailua - and although it seems pretty, I think I'm looking for something a little more resort-like. But if you've stayed there before I would love to hear feedback.

Where would you stay? Any advice is appreciated!
tifa2276 is offline  
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 07:18 PM
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I don't know anything about Turtle Bay orParadise Bay. I have stayed at the Marriott Ko Olina, though. We loved the pool area and the unita themselves (we had a pool view, and I loved to sit on the balcony in the morning with my coffee and breakfast and a newspaper) but didn't love the location of the resort - it's not an attractive drive from Waikiki to Ko 'Olina, and the restaurant situation out there is less than stellar - we found one decent Japanese restaurant and one okay Italian place, but that was a few years ago.
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Nov 3rd, 2012, 08:30 PM
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We also stayed at Ko Olina but it was in October 2006 when it was new and the area was less developed. We were there for the big earthquake, which is another story for another thread.

We stayed in the lockout room, so it was like a hotel room but it did have a microwave and 'fridge.

We didn't think the beach [lagoons] were anything special. The pool area was nice but there were lots of kids and they were all over the place too.

I would not have considered it a "resort" when we were there and it was a long, not particularly nice drive to get anywhere.

I realize that my info is very dated but I would hardly have called it luxurious.

Have you checked Trip advisor?

I thought JW Marriott Ihilani was much more luxurious.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 06:17 AM
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I don't think there's anything/any place on Oahu that meets your criteria. How about hopping to Maui? It's the only island with a wide choice of lodging and restaurants (outside of Honolulu). We prefer South Maui in winter months. The ocean will be calmer for snorkeling. Perhaps Wailea Marriott or Makena Beach Resort -- or an Aston condo property (no nightly minimum).
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Nov 4th, 2012, 08:58 AM
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Yup, Roys is currently the best dining option at Ko Olina. Monkeypod Kitchen should be open by then and we had a couple of good dinners at Thai Lao in Kapolei.

The Ihilani is more luxurious and they're currently completing renovations but they only have the one round pool and I don't believe the rooms have kitchenettes although even the standard ones are quite spacious.

Beach Villas is also more luxurious and some owners do rent nightly through vrbo.com. There's a lagoon like pool in the front and a quiet lap pool in the back with a jacuzzi (the front jacuzzis are still out of order and probably will still be in March). The pools and the lagoon in front of Beach Villas are much quieter compared to the Marriott or Aulani. Keep in mind though that these are privately owned condos so there will be limited "resort" services.

Have you considered the Kahala? That would still be close enough for dining in Honolulu. I don't know if it's within budget.

Otherwise, I think you're going to have to give up something.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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If you can cancel the condo, i think you should consider reversing the time split. Rent a cottage or studio on the north shore for the first part, so you can do your activities, enjoy the shrimp trucks and Haleiwa. Then move to a very nice hotel, say the Moana, where you can Relax and enjoy the dining options of Waikiki and Honolulu. I think you could choose the Halekulani or Kahala about $500 a night, for more luxury.

Otherwise i think Turtle Bay would be your best choice for the last few days. Have never stayed there but the beach is gorgeous.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Is the beach at Turtle Bay swimmable in March? I've never stayed there.
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Nov 4th, 2012, 10:35 AM
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Patty, that's a good question. TB does have an oceanfront pool in case the ocean was rough http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/free-t...tle-bay-resort
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Nov 4th, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Thanks all for the advice. ChiSue - I am saving Maui for our 5 year anniversary in Nov 2013, and didn't really want the hassle of traveling to another island. But I do love Maui.

Patty - thanks, I didn't know Monkeypod kitchen was opening a location on Oahu. I look forward to trying it if we do decide to stay in Ko Olina. THanks for the heads up. I like the luxury of the Ihilani but I prefer condos so I may just to the Beach Villa.

Aloha - Unfortunately this condo is not available on the reverse dates so I wouldn't be able to switch. I've also paid the deposit and I'd like to keep good relations with the owner whom I rented from before and want to rent from again. I like the vibe of the North Shore and I like the food options there as well. I have not been to North Shore during March. It's not a big deal if the beach isn't swimmable that time because we'll most likely have traveled to other beaches across the island by that point.

I think my best bet now is to reserve at both beach club and turtle bay with a refundable rate and maybe decide closer to the date depending on weather surf conditions? I will also look on VRBO for turtle bay condos that rent nightly. I looked for Ko Olina nightly condos and there didn't seem to be any.

I wish we had more time on Oahu but we usually just take a short vacation in January to the Caribbean or Cancun, but we really just love Hawaii so managed to push back our vacation and squeeze in a few more days. Thanks again!
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