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Best for... activities in Waikiki

Whether you’re surfing, snorkelling, or seeking out secret beaches, we recommend the hotels for your next island adventure.

While every corner of Oʻahu invites exploration—whether you’re scoping out reefs beneath the surf or climbing its highest peaks for 360-degree views—Waikiki’s charm lies in its rich cultural history. While its pristine waves had set the stage for modern surfing, the beachfront location now draws visitors from around the globe with its tropical-edged luxury and pulsing nightlife.

We recommend seven resorts and hotels where the only thing more impressive than the ocean views is the sheer number of activities at your doorstep.

Every day is a beach day at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa

For those in search of a golden tan, this resort’s location on Waikiki Beach means you’re never too far from an afternoon in the sun and a refreshing dip in the ocean. If you’re looking for an afternoon of shopping, check out the nearby Kalakaua Avenue, while the Ho’okela Hawaiian Cultural Center is a great place to learn about Hawaiian history or take a hula dance class. Meanwhile, the twin-towered resort houses some of the largest guest rooms in town, which ensure refreshing downtime.

Insider tip: Kalakaua Avenue is a shopper's haven, with its high-end boutiques, shopping centres, and local shops where you can search for traditional Hawaiian treasures.

2424 Kalakaua Avenue;

Unwind lagoon-side at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort

Reflecting the laid-back appeal of beach vacations, Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon is a prime spot for several water sports, including kayaking and paddleboarding. Set next to the lagoon and within walking distance of the surfer-friendly waves at Ala Moana, the Hilton Hawaiian Village offers the perfect setting for a relaxing oceanside getaway.

Insider tip: Spend a day immersing yourself in Hawaiian culture with lei-making and hula lessons hosted on the village green.

2005 Kālia Road;

Go from boogie board to boogie nights at Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

Next to the beach and popular for its central Waikiki location, the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort is close enough to the sea that you’ll hear the waves from your room. With several outdoor activities like surf lessons, yoga on the beach, or renting a sailboat, you can easily make the most of O‘ahu’s mild temperatures. And when you're not out and about, enjoy a meal set to a backdrop of surfers catching waves at the iconic Duke’s Waikiki.

Insider tip: The resort is home to the hugely popular Blue Note Hawaii jazz bar, a a great place to go if you’re searching for a buzzing atmosphere and live music.

2335 Kalakaua Avenue;

From beach to zoo at Hotel Renew

With only 72 rooms, this hotel offers an intimate experience that’s hard to come by among the crowded resorts of Waikiki. Favoring contemporary sophistication over tropical themes, this upscale spot is a haven for those looking to unwind. Located near Kuhio Beach, you can easily grab a surfboard and take to the waves, or take a break from the water with a stroll through the nearby Kapiolani Regional Park.

Insider tip: The second-oldest public park in Hawaii, Kapi‘olani Regional Park offers plenty of things to do, with soccer fields, tennis courts, and picnic grounds. It’s also home to the island’s zoo and aquarium.

129 Paoakalani Avenue;

Island adventures at Aston Waikiki Beach Tower

When you’re not enjoying the ocean views from your room, Aston Waikiki Beach Tower’s central location puts you in the perfect spot for an island adventure. The expansive list of experiences O‘ahu include climbing to the top of volcanic craters, wandering through botanical gardens, and searching for the ideal snorkelling spot. Meanwhile, the promise of surf lessons and poolside lounging will ensure you’ll always find your way home.

Insider tip: If water sports and far-flung adventures aren’t your cup of tea, play a round of golf on one of the island’s 40 courses.

2470 Kalakaua Avenue;

Enjoy a seaside stay at Ilikai Hotel & Luxury

Recently refurbished—without losing touch with its Hawaiian roots—the Ilikai Hotel provides the perfect base to set out and explore the city’s sights, sounds, and surfing spots. You’ll also enjoy access to several water activities like swimming, snorkelling, and stand-up paddleboarding—with the Duke Kahanamoku Lagoon at your doorstep.

Insider tip: Culture plays a big role at this historical hotel, with a traditional torch-lighting ceremony setting the tone for Waikiki’s vibrant nightlife.

1777 Ala Moana Boulevard;

Sleep in the shadow of a volcanic crater at Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Located towards the end of Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki Beach Marriott is tucked out of the way while still giving you easy access to popular surf spots, nightclubs, and restaurants. In the spirit of adventure, begin your day with a sunrise hike up nearby Diamond Head crater, and return to the resort’s one-acre Queensbreak amenity deck—featuring a restaurant and two pools—for some downtime.

Insider tip: For the best panoramic views of O‘ahu, hike up to the summit of the Diamond Head crater, a popular activity among travelers and locals alike.

2552 Kalakaua Avenue;


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