It’s holiday season, and many are looking to travel to someplace warm and sunny. Earlier this year, I had the good fortune of traveling to 3 Hawaiian Islands on a food-cation. If you would have asked me a year ago to recommend a hotel, resort or B&B I would have been useless to you. If you’ve never been to Hawaii before and are just starting to research, I can understand how confusing it can be.
Before my Hawaiian adventures, I couldn’t even tell you the difference between all the different islands, let alone recommend where to stay. Alas, 3 islands and 9 hotels later, I have a much better feel for where I might return to rest my weary head after a long day of adventuring.
In this post, I start with Oahu. Here are my picks:
Hip + Budget friendly: Hotel Renew by Aston
Why stay here: Just a 5 minute walk from the Waikiki drag and beach, I found this boutique hotel to be quaint and comfortable. Though small, the rooms are updated with modern amenities and sport a chic and hip decor. Most importantly, the beds were clean and comfortable. I loved being greeted at check in with a fragrant warm towel and POG juice too! Customer service was stellar and while their complimentary breakfast was pretty basic (coffee, juice and pastries) it was good enough to give us a head start to our morning. There is no pool or spa, but this hotel is clean and colorful and perfect for couples who are on a budget yet don’t want to stay at a place that “feels” that way. Click here to see newlywed specials and other packages. Rooms from $139
Center of it all + great views: Hyatt Resort and Spa
Why stay here: You are right in the center of all the food and shopping you could ask for. If you weren’t planning on renting a car, this would be a great place to stay and splurge for the room with the view – it’s stunning. There are multiple towers (I even got lost a few times!) but I never stayed too long in my room. You want to be on the beach and in the water anyway and this hotel puts you right there. Sure, the building, bathroom and rooms are a teensy bit dated (It could use a little facelift). But overall, it was a very nice stay. Rooms from $176
Family Friendly Getaway: Aulani Disney Resort and Spa
Why stay here: If I had a bunch of little minions and wanted to park the family at a resort that has it all, I’d probably stay here. Full of safe and fun family activities like on-site kayaking, snorkeling and 2 really fun water slides, it’s a one-stop shop to a Disney inspired chill-zone. Even the sand is pristine and ocean waters are somehow perfectly cool and calm. If you’re looking to stay put for a while and let Hawaiian-themed Mickey keep your little ones occupied for a few days, it’s quite the treat indeed. Watch me go down the slide. Rooms around $399
Big and Beautiful: Modern Hotel
Why stay here: Full disclosure, I didn’t stay at this hotel, but I sure wanted to. I walked through the lobby and pool area during the Hawaii Food and Wine Festival’s opening event Under the Modern Moon. The place is georgous, has great views and is home to Iron Chef Morimoto‘s famous restaurant. I know of a few friends who did stay here during recent trips and they had nothing but good things to say about it. It’s sophisticated, modern and sexy. If you have the dough to splurge, I’d say, go for it! Rooms from $289.
Still wondering if you should go to Hawai’i? Watch a video recap from my Hawaii adventures in a previous post.
[I was a guest of the Hawai’i Visitors and Convention Bureau and their partners. Mahalo for having me as your guest. All opinions expressed are my own.]