Where should you stay in Honolulu? Best Neighborhoods & Hotels

With its beautiful sandy beaches, crystal clear blue waters and exciting nightlife, Honolulu truly is paradise. Located on the island of Oahu, travelers looking to experience the city’s tropical vacation may need to shell out as the experience doesn’t come cheap. Being one of the most touristy cities in the United States, choosing the best vacation spot can be a challenge.

Some of Honolulu’s neighborhoods offer outdoor opportunities, unforgettable beach experiences, beautiful nightlife and fantastic restaurants. It is up to the holidaymaker which of the determining factors best suits their needs. Where should you stay in Honolulu? Here’s a guide to the best neighborhoods and hotels.


With two miles of sandy beaches, Waikiki is a premier beach destination in the United States and definitely one of Honolulu’s best neighborhoods for tourists. Waikiki offers incredible shopping, dining and nightlife options thanks to the numerous bars, restaurants and malls in the area.

Also see: 12 of New York City’s Best Neighborhoods for Beginners

The area offers a wide variety of hotels, condos and resorts with multiple lodging options to choose from. These hotels cater to a range of budgets, with family-friendly options aplenty.

Many vacationers choose to stay in Waikiki because of the many things to see and do there. From picnics at nearby parks, like Kuhio Beach Park, to some time at the Honolulu Zoo, to several incredible water sports, including parasailing, this place is packed with adventure opportunities.

Where to stay in Waikiki

  • Halekulani Hotel: With 453 elegant rooms, suites and dining venues, The Halekulani offers guests a fantastic lodging experience. Some of its fantastic amenities include a beautiful spa, live music nightly, and an incredible art collection.
  • White Sands Hotel: With a poolside bar and beautiful rooms with private balconies, the White Sands Hotel is the best budget option in Waikiki. It’s closer to the beach and offers weekly yoga classes to keep travelers meditating and relaxed. The beachfront location allows for stunning sea views.
  • Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort: Best for families, this hotel offers several kid-friendly amenities, including a large pool with a waterslide, a kids’ club, and on-call doctors.

Downtown Honolulu – Best for beginners

Located in the heart of the city, Downtown is a vibrant neighborhood that has so much to offer, including some of the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions. With Honolulu City Hall and the State Capitol both located here, Downtown Honolulu is Oahu’s premier business and governmental center.

Also see: 10 Most Unique Hotels in New York City

Travelers will also find several cultural and historical sites to explore in this neighborhood. You can explore this neighborhood on walking tours to get to the city’s landmarks, including Iolani Palace, the country’s only royal palace.

Where to stay in downtown Honolulu

  • pagoda hotel: With incredibly spacious rooms, a restaurant, outdoor pool and on-site sun deck, this is one of the premier hotels in downtown Honolulu. Rooms have microwaves, coffeemakers, mini-fridges, air conditioners, and TVs.
  • Ala Moana Hotel: Located between the Ala Moana Mall and the Hawaii Convention Center, the Ala Moana Hotel offers two on-site restaurants. From the rooms and suites, travelers can enjoy spectacular views of the skyline and the sea. There is a swimming pool, fitness center and incredible dining areas.

Manoa – best suited for budget travelers

Only about 10 minutes from the city center is this beautiful residential area that offers a wide range of affordable accommodation. There are many free things to do in this area and in the city, so backpackers can definitely explore Honolulu without worrying about their bags.

Home to a variety of flower species and some endangered plants, the Lynn Arboretum is a stunning garden for travelers to explore when staying in Manoa.

Where to stay in Manoa

  • Hostelling International Honolulu: This hostel with gender-specific dormitories is perfect for solo travelers visiting Honolulu on a budget. There is a shared lounge, free parking and a kitchen area. Ala Moana Beach is just 10 minutes from this hostel.
  • Manoa Valley Inn: Nestled in a wooded landscape, this beautiful hotel offers incredible views of the surrounding area from its garden and sun terrace. There is an outdoor pool at the hotel.

Kahala – Best for travelers looking for luxury accommodation

Kahala is an upscale neighborhood near Waikiki and is perfect for travelers looking for a luxurious experience. The neighborhood is filled with some of the wealthiest residents and tourists in Honolulu. Here you can find multi-million dollar beach villas and hundreds of dollar hotels.

Packed with incredible boutiques and jewelry stores, Kahala Mall is the premier shopping center in the neighborhood. If you’re not staying at one of the luxury hotels, budget travelers can still visit this neighborhood and enjoy a range of inexpensive activities, including strolling or picnicking at Waialae Beach Park.

Where to stay in Kahala

  • Kahala Resort and Hotel: This is one of the top resort hotels in the neighborhood and is best suited for leisure travelers who want to experience a quieter side of town. The spot is less crowded and offers incredible amenities, including four restaurants, a deluxe spa, and a private beach.

Honolulu is a beautiful destination with some of the best neighborhoods that offer much more than just accommodation. Travelers can select the best neighborhood above that suits their interests and needs.

Comments are closed.