In my experience, choosing an area to stay is one of the most important things to decide when going on vacation. Similar to everything else on the island, there are tons of options when it comes to picking a place to stay. Depending on your style, there are hotels in the middle of all the action, more secluded spots or family friendly oriented hotels. Although some of these may be a bit expensive, the amenities and experiences you have are well worth it for a once in a life time vacation.
LEEWARD - WEST SIDE
Ko’Olina is SUCH a beautiful RESORT AREa with AWESOME HOTEL OPTIONS, RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS. I highly recommend this area for families with small children. You can't go wrong with any of the below choices.
Four Seasons - Four Seasons hotels never disappoint and this is a 5-star luxury hotel at its finest. The rooms have ocean views, private lanai's and floor to ceiling windows. The resort also has plenty of dinner options and activities on-site, including a 4-level spa. YES PLEASE!
Aulani Disney Resort - great location for families and anyone who loves Disney (me included =)). The resort boasts a lazy river, splash zone, pool parties and an endless amount of activities for kids to do. They even have an activities club for ages 3-12 where kids can play while parents enjoy alone time. This is one of the most detailed and high-end Disney resorts I have visited.
Beach Villas - If you are looking for a large space to accommodate a group or family getaway (and don't want to rent a condo or Airbnb), these are beautiful two to three bedroom villas, with private lanais, kitchens, etc.
Marriot’s Ko Olina Beach Club - a very nice Marriott property, situated on a beachfront lagoon. This property also offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas.
This area of town is a little further from the main attractions and thIS IS THE only hotel I'd recommend in the area
Turtle Bay - this resort truly has it all! Amazing beaches, restaurants, golf facility, and impeccable service. This resort feels like a true Hawaiian vacation. The movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed here (love that comedy!) and you're bound to see celebs at this Resort.
WAIKIKI - SOUTH
this is the tourist destination of Oahu, but it does have some pretty beautiful hotels.
Halekulani - absolutely beautiful, 5 star hotel. The hotel doesn't have much frills, in comparison to activities other resorts offer, but they do have two of the best restaurants in all of Hawaii, La Mer and House Without a Key. Regardless if you stay here or not, I highly recommend stopping by for a famous Mai Tai for sunset.
Moana Surfrider, Westin - this is a legendary landmark in Waikiki. It has such a unique history (the first hotel of Waikiki) and architecture. The rooms are pretty basic, but the ocean views are incredible. My favorite part of the hotel is the pool deck, with the rocking chairs. Makes for a very relaxing evening with cocktails.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort -This could likely be considered the most luxury resort on Oahu. It is the hotel for celebs, royalty, etc., if that tells you anything. I never actually got to stay at this hotel, but I had a friend who worked here so we got to experience all the property had to offer. Everything from shopping, restaurants, spa services, kids club, exercise classes, surf lessons, feeding and playing with dolphins and the list goes on. More than anything though, this hotel has some of the best service I have ever experienced.
Royal Hawaiian - known as the "pink palace". Literally everything is pink ...bloggers dream =). This resort offers so many unique services, such as a doctor on call, a florist, Japanese concierge, etc. Really unique hotel to stay at on the beach.