Where to Stay in Honolulu

While visiting Oahu, I stayed in Honolulu and definitely think it’s the best “home” base for anyone visiting the island. On top of their miles of famed beaches, with stunning views of Diamond Head volcano, there is so much to see and do in Honolulu, and when you stay downtown, you can get everywhere pretty easily. Plus, if you choose to tour the island, all tours will pick you up in this central location. There are options galore for accommodations. You can choose from luxury resorts right on the ocean, boutique hotels tucked into side streets and Airbnb’s (aka vacation rentals) of all shapes and sizes.

best boutique hotels in Honolulu

For a few reasons, I chose the boutique hotel route. Why choose this, you ask? I’ll tell you…

  1. PRICE: Sure, you’re in Hawaii and you want to stay right on the beach. But, you’re going to pay much more for that location. You have to factor in your time on the island and what you plan to do in your choice of accommodations. I only had 3 days on Oahu, so I knew I wouldn’t be in my room too much, and likely wouldn’t be laying at the beach much either, as I would do that on one of the other islands I would visit next. For this reason, a more reasonably priced place was the way to go. vintage style hotel in Honolulu Hawaii
  2. LOCATION: When you pick accommodations, make sure they are in proximity to the places you want to visit, or that there is easy transportation to them. While the boutique hotels in Honolulu aren’t right on the ocean, they are still in the heart of all that’s happening, and just blocks from most anything you would want to do. If you want to walk to the beach each day, pick a place nearby. If food is most important, look up the restaurants you want to eat at and stay near them. You get the point! honolulu tiki bar with swings
  3. SPACE: These days we are not limited to traveling and staying in standard hotel rooms with a bed (or two) and a bathroom. We have options! You can choose a suites hotel, which might offer bedrooms or kitchenettes. You can choose a home rental, like Airbnb, with any kind of space and amenities you may want. On this trip I was traveling with my parents, so we wanted to ensure we all had space to be comfortable. This meant separate sleeping quarters and a place to lounge. We wanted the convenience of a hotel, so knew we had to go the suite route. Our choice ended up being quite sweet too! suite style hotel in Honolulu Hawaii
  4. DECOR: Some people might think a hotel is just a place to rest your head, so who cares what it looks like. I am not one of those people! Even if I am only going to be spending my sleeping hours in the hotel, I want it to feel welcoming, and decor is a big way this is achieved. I always look for a clean place, with good reviews, but I also look for something that is aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. Luckily, in Hawaii there are lots of beautiful options. And to my hearts content, Honolulu offered many mid-century modern spaces (a true love of mine), which perfectly give off those care-free surfer vibes with bright pops of color and sleek lines. For some reason, it’s something I always envisioned Hawaiian architecture prominently featuring – and I am thankful that was true. midcentury modern Hawaiian decor White Sands Hotel Honolulu HawaiiWhile on Oahu, I stayed at the White Sands Hotel, in downtown Honolulu. I could not have been more pleased with my choice. From the first glance upon arrival to the last goodbye, it was perfect. It was exactly as I pictured Hawaii to be, and gave me a Bedrock meets jungle, meets Rat-pack vibe. That may sound like an odd combo, but it works! The hotel was small, which made it more intimate and cozy. The grounds were lush and tropical, the pool was straight out of the 60’s (which I love), and the rooms were sleek and spacious. We even had a balcony overlooking the pool and Tiki swing bar. Yes, you read that right, the tiki bar is lined with swings! Plus, the food was excellent. It was close enough to walk to all the other places I wanted to see in Honolulu, not too far from the airport, and our busses for our tours picked up right near the hotel. I would highly recommend the White Sands!

Best hotel pools in Honolulu Hawaii

pink building in Honolulu Hawaii

If you need some additional options, a few other contenders on my list as I was choosing a hotel, priced low to high, were the Surfjack Hotel, the Courtyard Waikiki Beach by Marriott, the Moana Surfrider by Westin and the Royal Hawaiian by Marriott.

Be sure to check out my other Oahu posts for more info on this beautiful island. (Hawaiian Adventure: Part 1 – Honolulu/Oahu & Best Oahu Tours: The Oahu Grand Circle Island Tour)

Signed with Style,

sarah in style,



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Oahu's Best Boutique Hotels

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