Fodor's Expert Review Paradise Bay Resort
47-039 Lihikai Dr., Kaneohe, Hawaii, 96744, USA See on Map
Located right on picturesque Kaneohe Bay amidst the junglelike fauna of the windward side, this resort offers apartment-style units ranging from cozy studios to spacious two-bedroom suites with breathtaking views of the majestic Koolau Mountains, and even one stand-alone cottage in a remote area not generally frequented by tourists. All accommodations have either a full kitchen or kitchenette; suites have a private lanai. Units do not have their own washer/dryers, but there is a guest laundry on-site. For an additional fee, you can participate in various dinners with entertainment, or you can take a guided tour of Kaneohe Bay on Wednesday afternoon to snorkel with endangered Hawaiian sea turtles and manta rays—on Saturday morning, take a chartered boat to the sandbar. Wi-Fi, Continental breakfast, and use of the pool and beach gear are included in the hefty resort fee of $30 per night (plus $10 per night for each additional guest over 12); pets can stay for $25 more per night.
You’ll find exclusive deals and savings at the resort by booking directly, including deep discounts on room rates, free breakfasts, and more.
Accommodations include waterfront cottages, studio, one-, and two-bedroom suites, and a large ohana cottage. Each suite has a kitchenette or full kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and most offer a large, covered lanai with ocean views. Comfy, casual rooms feel very inspired by nature in the color palette and furnishings.
Bathrooms are very small, and though most of them look nice, they don’t live up to expectations for a resort.
YOU SHOULD KNOW If you’re a light sleeper you’ll need to bring earplugs as the appliances can be loud, and the walls are noticeably thin.
The lobby is warm and comfy, with very tropical, treehouse vibes.
The medium-sized pool and hot tub are surrounded by a few loungers and chairs on a stone tile sundeck. The area is very intimate and looks fairly chic, with bamboo screens, cute chairs, and tropical foliage. It’s also got views of the nearby canal.
There is no on-site spa, but the resort can easily arrange for in-room massage services for guests.
The gym is open from 7 am to 9 pm daily. In addition, the resort provides free snorkel and kayak rentals, as well as yoga and meditation classes.
Though the resort doesn’t operate an on-site restaurant in the traditional sense, dinner is available on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and there is a complimentary daily deluxe continental breakfast in their open-air dining area with views of the bay. Of course, guests can cook in their rooms or use the barbecue area to cook outside.
You will need a rental car to reach your accommodations and explore the island. This resort offers free parking.
No drive to the North Shore is complete without a stop at the shrimp trucks to get your hands really, really dirty. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck (49-min drive) is a favorite, but there are plenty of others to choose from on your drive.
Have a good time and some great food at Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican Restaurant (51-min drive). Sure, eating Mexican food in Hawaii may sound a little crazy, but it’s really delicious and who doesn’t need a taco and margarita break every now and then?
You may find the staple Hawaiian food poi cooked many different ways during your travels, but you’ll rarely find it in as intriguing and utterly satisfying a form as in the donuts at Liliha Bakery (26-min drive). Sadly, once you try them, you’ll regret every morning that you don’t wake up to these chewy, sweet purple treats. If you’re in the mood for something besides donuts for some reason, find some incredible offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at their coffee shops. Pro tip: Grab a dozen poi donuts to take home – one of the locations is between Waikiki and the airport.
Though MAC 24/7 (35-min drive) is definitely a great place to grab a meal, especially breakfast, it’s their cocktails that we really love. Last call is at 3:30 am, so you can enjoy a nightcap with your late-night pancakes before heading back to your hotel. Fruity cocktails like the Frozen Mo’o and Lava Lava Rocks fill that island cocktails craving. They also have a great reverse happy hour from midnight to 3 am (except Friday and Saturday), as well as a regular daily happy hour from 2 to 5 pm.
Enjoy live jazz music with your cocktails at Lewers Lounge (38-min drive) inside Halekulani Hotel. Music happens every night of the week from 8:30 pm to midnight (and until 12:30 on weekends). It’s a great option for dessert and a nightcap. Be sure to try the “Lost Passion,” a tequila/passionfruit/champagne concoction that will get you in the island spirit.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The majority of Oahu’s hotels are concentrated in Waikiki, which is a shame, because there’s so much more to the island than just Honolulu. Paradise Bay not only gives vacationers the chance to explore Kaneohe Bay, but to do so with a somewhat affordable rate. Amenities are a bit different than regular resorts, but Paradise Bay does a great job of making sure that its guests are well taken care of.