Surfers, families, and high-rollers pour into the breathtakingly beautiful town of Waikiki every year – and it’s easy to see why! White sandy beaches and glittering crystal blue waters (not to mention all the sun) have turned what was once a small surfing village into a bustling travel destination.
These days, giant hotels and resorts line the coast with plenty of shops and activities to check out for absolutely anyone, and of course, the incredible surfing scene is a must-try! Choosing your accommodation can be an overwhelming task with this many options, but it’s nevertheless an important part of planning your trip!
If you’re in need of a bit of help or fancy taking some stress out of organising your trip, then read on for exactly where to stay in Waikiki!
Waikiki is a busy place that is chock full of visitors and amazing places to stay. Check out our favourite places to stay in Waikiki!
Best Airbnb in Waikiki – Luxury One Bed Condo
Featuring all the hotel amenities without the resort price tags, this gorgeous condo is the perfect place to stay in Waikiki for couples. The town of Ala Moana is a great spot to get away from the big crowds, while still being able to enjoy everything that Oahu has to offer.
Best Hostel in Waikiki – Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki
This perfectly located, charming hostel is a budget traveller’s dream! Planning your days with fellow adventurers before making some memories of a lifetime will be the MO of your vacation, plus the excellent daily rate will leave plenty of cash to spend on experiences.
Best Hotel in Waikiki – Kaimana Beach Hotel
This beachfront property, with family-friendly attractions just a stone’s throw away, is undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in Waikiki. The Kaimana Beach Hotel is a trendy spot with an excellent restaurant on-site that offers some of the best beach views in Diamond Head.
As already mentioned, Waikiki Beach is truly the perfect spot for your quintessential Hawaiian holiday. Make the most of your time there and give the world-class surfing a go, take one of the many tours available to you, or simply relax on the beach and let your worries fade away…
Just south of Waikiki Beach is the gorgeous neighbourhood of Diamond Head. The dormant volcano that sits just behind the town is one of the most iconic landscapes of Hawaii and is also the best place for families when visiting Waikiki.
Boasting world-class shopping and exquisite beaches away from the touristy spots of Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana is the perfect place for a romantic vacation in Hawaii. Take your time meandering through the Ala Moana Center that showcases Hawaii’s beauty through expert landscaping, and any day Monday through Saturday it’s where you can enjoy a traditional hula show.
Waikiki is one of the most beautiful and popular neighbourhoods in Honolulu, offering incredible sandy beaches and a vibrant nightlife scene. It’s a pretty famous area that welcomes a huge number of visitors each year, so you can be assured there’s heaps of accommodation to choose from. To make the most of your trip, we recommend staying in one of these areas.
Waikiki Beach is the absolute hub of Oahu and one of the most popular beaches in Hawaii. It’s our top pick for families, couples, older travellers…just about anyone really! Truly an ultimate holiday destination, you will have everything you need right on your doorstep, as well as an endless list of things to see and do. You can’t go wrong!
If you’re deciding where to stay in Waikiki with the whole clan, we recommend checking out Diamond Head. There are many cool villas to stay at in Honolulu, making it the ultimate family vacation destination. Everyone will love the beach and is also where you’ll find the Honolulu Zoo and Waikiki Aquarium. Young adventurers will also enjoy the moderate hike up the dormant volcano for which this area is named!
If you love to shop, a stay in Ala Moana is a MUST. The fact is that the area basically revolves around the Ala Moana Center because it happens to be the largest open-air shopping mall in the world. Not bad for a tiny town! Don’t be mistaken though because Ala Moana is also home to more incredible, calm beaches as well as plenty of dining options and buzzing nightlife. This combination makes Ala Moana a great place to stay in Waikiki with your other half.
Waikiki’s Top 3 Areas to Stay in
Spoilt for choice? No worries! Read on for more information on where to stay in Waikiki, as well as the coolest activity and accommodation picks in each area.
As we mentioned earlier, Waikiki Beach is truly the perfect spot for your quintessential trip to Hawaii! Make the most of your time there and give the world-class surfing a go, take one of the many tours available to you, or simply relax on the beach and let your worries fade away…
The hotel selection is plentiful, and if it’s not beachfront then it’s only ever a block or two away. There are three hostels in town for budget travellers to pick from, so everyone can get a chance to experience the area. With so much to choose from, we’ve done the hard work for you and narrowed down the best places to stay in Waikiki Beach.
Best Airbnb in Waikiki Beach – Panoramic Waikiki Retreat
This light, bright condo with stunning views and Hawaiian touches is perfectly located for a vacation in Waikiki. Pop outside and you’ll find yourself on the main strip and just a short walk from the spectacular beach. A great option for families or groups with plenty of sleeping options spread over four bedrooms, everyone will be taken care of.
Best Hostel in Waikiki Beach – Seaside Hawaiian Hostel Waikiki
For solo travellers looking for an authentic Waikiki experience, look no further than Seaside. As the only locally-owned hostel in town, you’ll become accustomed to the Hawaiian hospitality and way of life while supporting the resident community. Dorm style rooms are situated in rustic bungalows and the common room is the perfect spot to relax after a big day of exploring.
Best Hotel in Waikiki Beach – Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger
If it’s a family-style resort you’re searching for, look no further. The Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger is the ideal place to stay in Waikiki. With an outdoor pool that overlooks the beach, plus easy beach access and plenty of eating options, you’ll never want to leave! Every room at the hotel has a balcony too, so those ever-important ocean views are always in sight.
Things to See and Do in Waikiki Beach:
- Surf lessons on Waikiki Beach are an absolute must for an iconic Waikiki experience.
- Meander down Kalakaua Avenue to check out the dozens of shops.
- Take a trip in a submarine for a once in a lifetime look at the world underwater!
- Try a world-renowned locally produced Kona coffee at the International Market Place.
- Head to the Royal Hawaiian Center to take part in free local activities such as hula dancing and lei-making classes.
- Hire snorkelling gear or stand up paddleboards for a fun-filled day on the water.
Families deciding where to stay in Waikiki really can’t go wrong in Diamond Head! The dormant volcano that sits just behind the town is one of the most iconic landscapes of Hawaii and makes this the ultimate location for young adventurers.
There are lots of things to do in Waikiki with kids, but Diamond Head takes the cake. There’s an aquarium, zoo and calm beaches, while families with older kids can enjoy a moderately difficult hike up the volcano. Accommodation here is slightly more limited than on the main beach, but we’ve found three fantastic options for you to choose from!
Best Budget Airbnb in Diamond Head – Oceanfront Condo
For the beachfront views without the hefty price tag, this is the place for you. This lovely condo is spacious and airy and comes packed with all the stuff you’ll need for a fun day at the beach. Create homemade meals in the modern kitchen, enjoy a coffee or cocktail on the balcony, and take in the magnificent ocean views.
Best Airbnb in Diamond Head – Kid Friendly Condo
Not only is this condo absolutely gorgeous, but it comes fully loaded with everything you could need and boasts an epic location. The owners have thought of everything with inclusions, such as kids toys, a playpen, beach gear, and a fully stocked kitchen ready to go! It’s within walking distance from the zoo and just half a mile from the beach.
Best Hotel in Diamond Head – Kaimana Beach Hotel
This trendy beachfront hotel prides itself on showcasing the best that Oahu and Diamond Head has to offer, making it one of the best places to stay in Waikiki. You can plan the ultimate Hawaii itinerary with the aquarium right next door and the beach just steps away, and the friendly staff can help you plan the perfect day out for your family. Surf lessons, stand up paddleboard hire, and even lei-making classes are just some of the options on offer!
Things to See and Do in Diamond Head:
- Put on your walking boots and up to the Diamond Head crater for unbeatable views.
- Hit up the Honolulu Zoo with the kids for a fun day with the animals.
- Pack a picnic lunch and relax in Kapi’olani Park.
- After your picnic, head on to nearby Waikiki Aquarium for an afternoon learning about Hawaii’s coral reef systems.
- Sans Souci beach is an excellent and safe option for the family with a lifeguard on duty all through the day.
- The Barefoot Beach Cafe is a lovely local option for a quick meal or refreshing drink while you enjoy a day at the beach!
Boasting world-class shopping and exquisite beaches away from the touristy spots of Waikiki Beach, Ala Moana is the perfect place for a romantic vacation in Hawaii. Take your time meandering through the Ala Moana Center that showcases Hawaii’s beauty through expert landscaping. If you’re there any day Monday through Saturday, it’s also where you can enjoy a traditional hula show.
Dining options are endless, so you’ll have loads to pick from on date night. These beaches are some of the most beautiful you’ll ever see, and make a gorgeous backdrop for a sunset (or sunrise). Read on to find out the best places to stay, plus where to find some of the best views in Oahu.
Best Budget Homestay in Ala Moana – Gateway to Waikiki
Couples looking for less flash and more cosy comfort can’t go past this little gem. Built in the 1940s by the US military army corp, the location is second to none. Walking distance to all the top sights in Ala Moana, the refurbished condo faces a beautiful tree-lined promenade and is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the main areas.
Best Airbnb in Ala Moana – Luxury One Bed Condo
Save your pennies for the shopping and get the best of both worlds when you stay in this beautiful and affordable luxury Oahu Airbnb. This stay has everything you could need – with an on-site pool, Jacuzzi and gym plus more, and easy access to the Ala Moana Center! Take in the sweeping views of the city and surrounding volcanoes while you relax after a long day in the shops or on the beach.
Best Hotel in Ala Moana – Ala Moana Hotel
This is the ultimate luxury hotel in Waikiki for you and your fave. The Ala Moana Hotel is literally connected to the open-air mall, making it the ideal spot for shopping till you drop! Enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding mountain vistas and beaches from your room, and check out the newly-renovated day spa and sauna for all your romantic getaway needs.
Things to See and Do in Ala Moana:
- The town is literally centred around the Ala Moana Center so it’s a must-visit when staying in the area!
- Ala Moana Beach Park is a great place to swim in the calm blue waters or take part in outdoor activities such as biking or walking.
- Sit back and take in the sunset over the water.
- Take a scuba class andearn all about Hawaii’s incredible life under the sea.
- If you’re looking for something a little different, take a deep-sea fishing expedition and try your hand at catching some iconic Hawaiian yellow-fin tuna.
- Magic Island Beach is a great place to relax and enjoy nature after a big day of shopping, not to mention boasting some of the best views in all of Oahu.
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Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Waikiki
It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get too lost. There are people that want you home in one piece.
There’s one travel insurance provider The Broke Backpacker trusts for all his wildest shenanigans… World Nomads!
Click the button below to get a quote on your insurance or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage. And then… let the shenanigans begin. 😉
Staying in Hawaii is truly one of life’s greatest pleasures, and it only makes sense that where you choose to stay should be reflective of your style of holiday!
If you’re still unsure where to stay in Waikiki, we recommend Waikiki Beach. It’s full of accommodation, places to visit, and is well connected to other areas. If you’re put off by the high tourist numbers, then Diamond head is a great alternative.
Once you’ve decided the best place to stay in Waikiki for your needs, we recommend taking out some travel insurance. Hawaii is safe to visit, but it’s always best to have some backup in case things don’t go to plan!
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