PHOTO: Dreasmtime

Fodor's Expert Review Turtle Bay Resort

57-091 Kamehameha Hwy., Kahuku, Hawaii, 96731, USA See on Map

Sprawling over 840 acres of natural landscape on the edge of Kuilima Point in Kahuku, the Turtle Bay Resort boasts spacious guest rooms averaging nearly 500 square feet, with lanai that showcase stunning peninsula views. In winter, when the big waves roll ashore, you get a front-row seat for the powerful surf. The 42 sumptuous oceanfront beach cottages have Brazilian-walnut floors, teak rockers on the lanai, and beds you can sink right into while listening to the sounds of the ocean. A 2014 renovation updated most guest rooms, added solar panels, opened an 11,000 square-foot spa, and added two new restaurants. Turtle Bay has a Hans Heidemann Surf School, horse stables, and the only 36-hole golf facility on Oahu to keep you busy. There are two swimming pools, one with an 80-foot waterslide, and an entire cove to play in. While out exploring Turtle Bay's 12 miles of nature trails, don't be surprised if you suddenly find yourself Lost. The hit ABC television series often used the resort's beaches, coves, and natural forests for location filming.

YOU SHOULD KNOW The resort fee is quite high at this resort, ranging from $48 to $78 per night, based on room type.


In the main part of the hotel guests can choose from resort rooms, ocean view rooms, and two types of suites. There is also a vista level that acts as the resorts club level floor, with great views, light breakfast, and a few other perks. Most rooms have an ocean view and include air conditioning, lanai, mini fridge, Keurig coffee maker, and free Wi-Fi. Decor is casual and calm, with neutral, beachy tones throughout. Beach cottages and ocean villas are also available for those looking to get closer to the ocean with a little extra privacy and luxury.

Though most rooms are considered ocean view, some views are better than others -- call the hotel directly to make sure you are getting the room that you want.


Large, neutral-toned bathrooms include double vanities, walk-in stone showers, and some with deep soaking tubs.


The massive lobby of Turtle Bay Resort has a variety of seating areas, beautiful views of the Pacific, and plenty of space at the standing registration desks. Guests can find little extras like infused waters and a whale watching telescope in the lobby.


The expansive pool area sits beachfront, with large freeform pools giving way to rock features and small waterfalls, including a kiddie pool with waterslide and two hot tubs.


Nalu Kinetic Spa & Salon practices an “aloha aina” philosophy that uses sustainable, natural ingredients to show a “love of the land” in their offerings. That includes salon services, massage and skin therapies, services targeted toward athletes, and specialty packages.


In addition to the fitness center’s cardio and weight machines with stunning ocean view, the hotel offers group (including Tahitian dance) and private fitness classes. There are also four tennis courts, two championship golf courses, and a variety of other physical activities offered.


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a heavy ocean influence are served up at Lei Lei’s where guests can enjoy open-air dining and golf course views. Grab and go foods (as well as coffee) can be found at the Lobby Lounge, as well as a few signature dishes to snack on while sipping cocktails. Poolside food service that includes appetizers, burgers, and tacos runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Point. Kula Grill offers up breakfast (buffet and a la carte) and dinner with locally sourced, farm to table ingredients. Lunch, dinner, and take out service are available daily at Roy’s Beach House, where Euro-Asian open-air dining sits almost directly on the beach. Award-winning Pa’akai serves up elevated dinners that include steak, seafood, and a raw bar.


The Lobby Lounge serves up drinks all day, starting with coffee, then moving on to afternoon cocktails and evening pupus and drinks. At Lei Lei’s locals and visitors rub elbows while sipping cocktails and enjoying wines by the bottle or glass from their extensive wine list. The Point is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail -- it’s poolside, has amazing ocean views, and watching the sunset there, while live music happens daily, just cannot be beat. Finally, Surfer, The Bar, brings some great programming and nightlife to the resort with Talk Story sessions, live music, film screenings, and more, in support of surfers. The menu includes pupus, some tropical drinks, and a limited beer and wine menu, as well as bottle service. Guests can find a late night happy hour from 9 to 10 p.m. at Kula Grill.


Getting Around

To reach your accommodations and to explore the island you will need to rent a car. There are shuttle options and a rental car facility on-site at the hotel. There are also shuttles to the Polynesian Cultural Center and North Shore from the hotel.


No drive to the North Shore is complete without a stop at the shrimp trucks to get your hands really, really dirty. There are plenty of trucks to choose from along the way, but Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck (25-min drive) is a very popular spot.

Have a good time and some great food at Cholo’s Homestyle Mexican Restaurant (25-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?


With specialty cocktails at nice prices, a decent selection of beer and wine, and a long happy hour that runs Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., Breakers Restaurant & Bar (24-min drive) is a great place to have a drink and watch whatever game is on.

Great food, friendly bartenders, tasty drinks are the makings a great place to grab a drink, and Kawailoa Tavern (23-min drive) does not disappoint. There are also bar games in this laid back place and a $20 drink inside of a pineapple that is a whole lot of fun (and totally photo-worthy).


Turtle Bay is the place to be for any cinephile, as its been featured in a wide variety of films and television shows. Besides that, this solitary North Shore resort has a ton to offer its guests, offering a great getaway for those who prefer to avoid Waikiki. The Cove Art Gallery is a nice feature of the hotel, as is the North Shore Water Shed store, and the Nalu Boutique. There are also plenty of other unique offerings on-site like horse stables, Paradise Helicopters, and free use of a GoPro. Dining, drinking, and entertainment, plus proximity to North Shore activities like the Polynesian Cultural Center are all great perks.


On the beach


Phones: 866-827–5321-for reservations;808-293–6000;800-203–3650

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