Where to Stay in North Shore, Oahu

When on the northern tip of the island of Oahu, your compass will not only point upward but also toward an adventure replete with big waves, tropical gardens, plantation-era architecture, shrimp wagons, and rainbows you can eat (otherwise known as shaved ice). The North Shore’s landscape is a palette of blue, green, and golden hues, promising its visitors the perfect getaway. The charm of Hale’iwa Town alone is enough to lure tourists into the neighborhood, as it remains to be the arts and social hub on the island. A walk around the town will take you to a time and a world that’s so different from your own. This part of the North Shore is the place to be for both surf aficionados and food lovers, as the winter months get the Pacific swelling to monstrous waves over 20 feet high. What has been dubbed as “the world’s best burgers” and “shaved ice” await tourists and locals alike.

With so many sights to see, food to taste, and places to explore on the North Shore, deciding where to stay should not take most of your time. Finding accommodations in the North Shore is not at all difficult. There are just three things you should consider when choosing a place to lay your head on: your budget, lifestyle, and the length of your stay on the island. With a laid-back atmosphere that’s almost the opposite of Waikiki, the North Shore has luxury resorts for those with upscale tastes, a wide array of vacation homes and cottages for those who want to commune with nature, ; and bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) for those who want to find places that are cozy, convenient, and cost-efficient.

If you’re planning a trip to the neighborhood anytime soon, lodging should be the least of your worries. They are simply a matter of preference.

A taste for luxury

The Turtle Bay Resort is the North Shore’s premiere resort located at 57-091 Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku. It is nestled in 880 acres of land set against a backdrop of turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and vast green fields. The resort’s location makes it possible for all its guests to enjoy an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean from their bedroom windows.

Turtle Bay Resort also boasts of its amenities, which include a Whirlpool hot tub and the Spa Luana. It also has activity programs, such as horseback riding, oceanfront hiking, and helicopter tours. Turtle Bay Resort has its own surf school to remain true to the North Shore’s reputation as the world’s surfing mecca.

The hotel has 401 guest rooms, but if you want to level up your tropical island experience, you may opt to rent one of their 42 beach cottages and ocean villas. Luxury ocean villas range from $479 to $900 for a maximum of 4 guests. Standard rooms with the same maximum occupancy cost $250 to $470 a night. As with most luxury resorts, the Turtle Bay Resort also offers “free nights” for guests who book at least four nights at the hotel. For reservations and inquiries, you may call 808-447-6508 or book online at www.turtlebayresort.com.

A touch of home

Traveling in a group? To get more value for your money, check out vacation homes for rent in the neighborhood. Complete with fully equipped kitchens, home rentals allow you to save more bucks, because you can prepare your own meals instead of having to dine out all the time. Add oomph to your Hawaiian getaway by living in a Polynesian-themed home, such as The Sunset Beach House. It is located near Waimea Bay, a thousand feet down from Ehukai Beach, so your stay at the beach house will be quite an experience by itself.

Here, you’ll get to witness the famous sunset and the mysterious green flash that gave Sunset Beach its name everyday while you’re on the island. That is not all that you would see from the comforts of your “home away from home.” Grab a pair of binoculars, and you’ll see migrating whales just a hundred yards off the shore. The beach behind the house offers house guests the privacy that they’re craving for. Owned by Hollywood music celebrity Michel Rubini, the Sunset Beach House has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, and a living room, from where you can gaze at the ocean and the gardens all day. For a group of up to four people, the rate is $450 per night. Around Christmas season, however, the rate can go up to $950.

The tricky part about the North Shore is that there is almost no such thing as an off-peak season; it is sought after in winter as it is in the summer.

The Sunset Beach House is worth your money, though. You get free WiFi, long distance calls, and other stuff you’d commonly find in your own home. That’s as if you have an electronic safe and a large spa overlooking the Pacific at your place, not to mention sea turtles and tropical fish in your front yard. You may call toll-free at 1-800-454-0443 for inquiries, or visit www.sunsetbeachhouse.com for a sneak preview of where you could be staying on the North Shore.

A feel of local hospitality

If comfy and convenient is the buzz word for you, then B&Bs could be your thing. Hawaii Beach Fronts manage a number of properties on the North Shore, all of which provide B&B accommodations for their guests. One of these B&Bs is the Chuns Reef Beach Estate, which is located on the popular snorkeling spot on the North Shore. The Chuns Reef home used to be the Laniakea Train Station in the early 19th century, and for this reason, it is constructed much closer to the sea than what present regulations now permit for beachfront homes.

Nestled on 10,000 square feet of land in front of the ocean, Chuns Reef Beach Estate is just three miles away from Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Hale’iwa Town. The estate is popular among surfers and nature lovers coming in to see the Hawaiian green sea turtles that Hawaii Beach Fronts’ non-profit arm provide refuge for. It is popular even among locals who are out to snorkel, as it faces Chuns Reef on one side. There is also a bus stop right on the other side.

Like other Hawaii Beach Fronts properties, the breakfasts served to guests are prepared by renowned local chefs, who use organic produce supplied by local farmers. If you stay here, you’ll also get free use of kayaks (plus life vests), surf and boogie boards, snorkeling gear, exercise and fishing equipment, and bicycles, as the neighborhood is also great for cycling. Rates vary per unit, so to see more of Hawaii Beach Fronts B&Bs and get cost estimates, visit the website www.hawaiibeachfronts.com.

With the Hawaii Visitor & Convention Bureau’s “Discover more of Hawaii for less than you imagined” campaign, your chances of paying less for your holiday are higher. While it’s true that the word “off-peak” is almost non-existent on the North Shore, there is still no better time than now to plan that trip. If it’s going to be your first time on Oahu, or any of the Hawaiian Islands for that matter, make that dream come true sooner than expected. Start planning your trip at least six months ahead. Booking that early can spell a lot of difference in your budget for both airfare and accommodations.