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Where to stay in Hawaii

Where to stay in Hawaii

Working out where to stay in Hawaii is all part of the holiday fun, with each major island offering an array of accommodation options. If you’re after a cosmopolitan vibrancy, Waikiki is one of the best places to stay in Hawaii. There's a lot more to choose from beyond this famous beach, with the island of Oahu presenting plenty of accommodation options too. If luxury is the priority, Maui gives you five-star resorts with a laidback feel. The Big Island’s accommodation centres around the major tourism destination of Kailua-Kona and the volcanic area of Hilo. Kauai Island also has accommodation for every budget, depending on where you'd like to stay.

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  • Waikiki

    Waikiki enjoys enduring popularity, and why wouldn't you want to stay with travellers from all over the world in this renowned destination? It's got a unique vibrancy and lively ambience and offers budget accommodation and big names alike. In fact, Waikiki has a variety of accommodation styles, but perhaps the most recognised are the high-rise waterfront hotels of premier brands like Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, and Outrigger.

  • Oahu North Shore

    With a laidback charm, Oahu North Shore is almost the opposite of bustling, vibrant Waikiki. This is a picturesque place of tropical gardens and beach-loving lifestyle. The accommodation ranges from cottages to bed and breakfasts, beachside bungalows and luxury resorts, so you'll find everything from high-end getaways to nature-based retreats. Your itinerary and budget will be well-catered for here.

  • The Big Island

    When it comes to staying on the Big Island, there are two major destinations that you may gravitate towards: Kailua-Kona on the west side, and Hilo on the east. Kailua-Kona offers a vast selection of accommodation and access to all the beaches, cultural sites, and activities. Meanwhile, Hilo has a less extensive accommodation array, but it's close to the popular Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

  • Maui

    Maui offers a huge range of accommodation, from budget motels to bed and breakfasts, eco-retreats, and five-star resorts. Most of the luxury options are situated on the west coast near Kaanapali, while South Maui also offers a number of major resorts. Whichever area you choose, you're sure to have almost immediate access to the spectacular beaches for which Maui is renowned.

  • Kauai

    Kauai boasts three regions to choose from when it comes to staying on the island, but wherever you pick, you'll be pretty much guaranteed great beaches and lush green scenery. The North Shore tends to house upmarket accommodation, the Coconut Coast offers more affordable options, while the South Side features hotels and a selection of holiday rentals.

Frequently asked questions

Well this depends on how many islands you hope to see. If you are content sticking to Oahu and the main sites of Honolulu and Waikiki, you could do the island in as little as three days, but what’s the rush? Take a hike (literally), learn to surf, go snorkelling; eat your body weight in poké. You could easily (and happily) spend weeks exploring the islands of Hawaii.


Hawaii is the kind of place you can arrive with an empty suitcase and open itinerary and fill both quickly. If you’re not pumped about spending your holiday shopping, pack lightweight clothing, a rain jacket for those unpredictable showers, comfortable shoes and swimmers. It would be rude not to wear a Hawaiian shirt at least once, when in Rome, right? If you’re planning on doing some snorkelling, consider packing a pair of reef shoes as some of the coral and rocks can be sharp.


There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to a Hawaii holiday. Where to go and how to fill your days varies wildly from person to person depending on their interests. As a general guide, the island of Oahu is the most popular for tourists and is where you will find many of Hawaii’s main attractions. Maui and the Big Island are great all-rounders with family-friendly options, beautiful beaches, hiking trails, snorkelling and restaurants. For those that love to get off the beaten track, Kauai is your place.


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You could ask this question of ten different people and everyone would have a different response. The island of Oahu is certainly the most popular for tourists, and is where you will find many of Hawaii’s main attractions. The island is geared towards tourism, so naturally it makes for a pretty easy holiday. If, however, you like to go beyond the brochure, the island of Maui is a great option as it is family friendly, offers plenty of beaches, hiking trails, snorkelling and dining options. Big Island is a great all-rounder and, if you’re really keen to reconnect with nature, consider Kauai.


Hawaii is blessed with year-round sunshine, so there’s really no bad time to visit. December, January and February are the busiest months for travel, however they also coincide with Hawaii’s rainy season (November to March), although they are usually just passing showers. Between March and September are ideal for balmy sun-drenched days and blissful island evenings.


Soak in some ‘vitamin sea’ on one of Hawaii’s many stretches of sand, visit the Pearl Harbour Memorial, ride around Kualoa Ranch, lace up your hiking boots to explore Diamond Head Crater, snorkel around the Molokini Crater, chase waterfalls in Na Pali Coast, celebrate Hawaiian culture at a luau or try your hand at crafting at the Polynesian Cultural Centre. Explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, embark upon a self-guided museum tour, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!


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