Are planning a vacation to Oahu this year and prefer to stay in a smaller, more intimate boutique hotel? You are reading the right article! Most hotels in Waikiki or Honolulu cost a fortune and are pretty impersonal with hundreds of rooms, massive pool areas, and huge buffet bars. I’m going to share with you the top 12 boutique hotels on Oahu so you can make the most out of your stay in Honolulu.
QUICK PICKS: MY 3 FAVORITE BOUTIQUE HOTELS ON OAHU
Don’t have time to read my detailed breakdown of all the top boutique hotels in Oahu? No worries! These are my three top picks for boutique hotels in Honolulu. If you book one of these three, you are guaranteed to have a great stay in a great location!
12 BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS ON OAHU COMPARISON TABLE
|The Laylow, Autograph Collection||$233|
|Lotus Honolulu Hotel||$249|
|The Surf Jack Hotel & Swim Club||$217|
|Queen Kapiolani Hotel||$161|
|Vive Hotel Waikiki||$177|
|Polynesian Residences Waikiki||$159|
|Coconut Waikiki Hotel||$139|
|Paradise Bay Resort||$178|
|Shoreline Hotel Waikiki||$159|
|Aqua Bamboo Waikiki||$186|
12 BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN OAHU
In this blog post, I’ve listed the best boutique hotels on Oahu. The beauty of a boutique hotel is that you get high-end luxury without having to deal with hundreds of other tourists, and you can have a more relaxed and atmospheric stay. From their cool, unique, and trendy design to personalized service, these boutique hotels in Honolulu are perfect for couples in search of a romantic getaway, small families, and older travelers.
THE LAYLOW, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION
The Laylow, Autograph Collection (Insta-worthy): Laying low at The Laylow, this 4-star hotel is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and is rated as one of the best boutique hotels on Oahu. When it comes to pure aloha spirit, The Laylow surely has it! From its lively ambiance, aloha warmth, excellent service, and well-decorated rooms with fun leaf patterns.
The Laylow is an old-school Hawaiian vibe with a modern twist that creates an intimate stay-cation. Booking in a higher room will give you an advantage of the ocean and Diamond Head views. The hotel isn’t technically beachfront but it’s only a stone’s throw away from the beach, restaurants, and upscale boutiques. The free basket full of goodies, unlimited coffee, shaved ice, and a glass of lemonade added extra touches but the Acai bowl served in the coffee shop was definitely my favorite during my stay. Undoubtedly, the best boutique hotel in Waikiki!
LOTUS HONOLULU HOTEL
Lotus Honolulu Hotel (Serene): Located at the hushed end of Waikiki, Lotus Honolulu Hotel is another boutique property near Kapiolani Park. Yes, it’s away from the center of the action but close enough to the magnificent Diamond Head Crater and other attractions.
Lotus Hotel offers limitless use of beach cruiser bikes which is very convenient for exploring around, a free Wi-Fi on-site, coffee and tea in the lobby, live jazz music, wine tasting, and an outdoor shower. Rooms have a private balcony, fitted with smart TV and a C.
The Mai Tai at the bar was good and Diamond Head Grill served fresh Asian Euro-American and Polynesian cuisine. If you’re taking your furry friend with you, don’t worry the hotel welcomes four-legged travelers provided with a treat, a bed, and a bowl. I highly recommend this boutique hotel in Honolulu.
QUEEN KAPIOLANI HOTEL
Queen Kapiolani Hotel (Best View): This newly-refurbished hotel is conveniently located near Honolulu Zoo and Kapiolani Park with a wide range of amenities from shopping to activities such as lei-making workshops, and cocktails making as well as yoga, surf, stand up paddle boarding lessons! The coffee shop on-site is my favorite place as it’s got ample space and outlets to get your blogging work done.
You can also opt to eat at their restaurant that serves delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner or have room service. The best part of this place is the unobstructed view of Diamond Head from the pool area or balcony so you’d better get a room facing Diamond Head- it’s really worth it! Imagine a girls trip up on this rooftop pool or a vacation with the lads! Another highlight of this property is the gym where you can use plenty of modern equipment plus it’s open round-the-clock.
Visit the pool on the third floor beside the restaurant and chill with a cocktail in hand. They offer comfy lounge chairs, towels, and even organic sunscreen. When it comes to hospitality, Queen Kapiolani is one of the top boutique hotels in Waikiki.
THE SURF JACK HOTEL & SWIM CLUB
The Surf Jack Hotel & Swim Club (Insta-worthy): There’s nothing better than staying in a vibrant new hotel that offers retro-inspired yet modern bungalows and suites with hand-made furniture and broad artworks. The Surf Jack is one of the coolest boutique hotels in Waikiki.
Its cool murals and graffiti on the walls, casual setting, excellent service, and convenience come in handy. It’s only a few minutes to walk to from Waikiki beach and elite shops. The complimentary local snack adds a personal touch let alone the admission to the museums for two. Not only that, but it is also home to famous local Chef Ed’s fourth restaurant, Mahina & Sun’s, where you can taste his home-style cooking using local and organic ingredients and you must absolutely try their coffee!
It’s either you relaxed and chill by the pool or go explore the island, this hotel is certainly a perfect base if you are looking for a boutique hotel in Honolulu.
VIVE HOTEL WAIKIKI
Vive Hotel Waikiki (Staff): Are you looking for a boutique hotel that won’t break the bank? Then Vive Hotel Waikiki is the ideal place for you! A brand-new, minimalist yet stylish hotel with close proximity to everything. Just 3 blocks off from Waikiki beach, this hotel provides easy access to all upscale shops and restaurants.
Hotel amenities include a fast Wi-Fi connection, VIVE in-touch tablet which is so cool, free valet parking, a bathrobe, complete beach essentials, and housekeeping. Another thing that I personally love about Vive Hotel Waikiki is the big living room.
With good books to read, lots of comfy chairs, and a wide range of board games, surely it’s a perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring. Despite the lack of a balcony and pool, its personalized service and excellent staff make up for it.
POLYNESIAN RESIDENCES WAIKIKI BEACH
Polynesian Residences Waikiki Beach (Location): This 4-star property is centrally located on the Waikiki strip with quick access to everything from dining to shopping. A newly-renovated boutique hotel that offers amenities such as cozy rooms, a coffee maker, and let’s not forget it’s 100% smoke-free. It has 65 rooms ranging from deluxe, suites, and studios with kitchenettes, and some rooms have a private lanai with a view of the main shopping street plus strong Wi-Fi.
Compared to Vive Hotel, the rooms here are quite spacious. There’s a yoga class by the pool every day and on top of that, the hotel also offers Lei-making classes every Thursday. What’s more to like? Guests can get exclusive discounts to selected restaurants and shops around the area so it helps to save your pocket money. And if you don’t want to be in the crowd of Waikiki beach, Fort DeRussy Beach is just nearby where you can have your morning or evening stroll.
COCONUT WAIKIKI HOTEL
Coconut Waikiki Hotel (Family-friendly): If you’re looking for a true hideaway with your family or pals, stay at Coconut Waikiki Hotel. This 3-star boutique hotel has 81 rooms equipped with everything you need to make your stay warm and pleasant.
For $139 a night, you can get a Queen or King room with a city view as well as enjoy their wide range of amenities such as a heated pool, BBQ facility, and a small fitness center. The hotel rooms are modern, stylish, and relaxed. If you’re traveling with kids then the suites or penthouse is your best pick. The best thing about this hotel is the lobby where guests can grab a drink and eat unlimited popcorn, play board games, and even socialize- it feels like a living room, a kitchen, and a hang-out area. Yes, the place is also packed with family-friendly activities and you can even cook your own meal although a free continental breakfast is included in your stay.
AQUA OASIS HOTEL
Aqua Oasis Hotel (Serene): Another charming boutique hotel in Oahu that offers 96 modern guest rooms ranging from family to suites. Rooms are equipped with everything you need from an iPod alarm, a game room console, a safe, and many more.
The location is very accessible, just 10 minutes away from Waikiki Beach and there’s a green market nearby, too. Another aspect that I loved about the Aqua Oasis was the tranquility it offers. For approximately $130 a night, you can get a standard room which is not bad considering you are in the middle of the action.
The Aloha Steak House is the only restaurant on-site and it’s worth it. Other than that, they have a sauna, karaoke, steam room, and a tiny pool so if that’s your thing you could easily opt for whatever you like. This is one of the best boutique hotels in Waikiki.
PARADISE BAY RESORT
Paradise Bay Resort (Family-pick/Tranquil): Set in Kaneohe Bay, Paradise Bay Resort is a gem for travelers who want to escape the bustling city. A reasonable, no-frills, and secluded place to stay. This waterside resort will give you that feeling of living in a traditional Hawaiian house in the countryside but with a modern touch.
It offers breathtaking views of the Koolau Mountain ranges, Kaneohe Bay, and Chinaman’s hat. It’s about 30-minutes away from Waikiki, which for many people will be a blessing. Outside of Honolulu, this is pretty much the best boutique hotel on Oahu. With rooms ranging from studios, suites, and standalone cottages with proper lighting, well-designed furniture, and a spacious outdoor terrace. There are a tiny pool and a whirlpool surrounded by lush gardens and a bbq facility is also available.
Don’t miss the live music and fire-dancing show and also take advantage of the resort activities such as yoga class, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and sandbar boat excursions. Also, if you need your furry friend tags along, dog-friendly rooms are available for you! This place is truly a paradise!
Hotel Renew (Location): If you like small, retreat-perfect, and well-designed personal hotels, Renew is one of the best boutique hotels in Honolulu. This hotel is a Japanese-influenced, modern hotel with 72 rooms at a budget price that stands out with personal touches. The king bedroom was plush and comfy with a modern desk, a lounge chair, and a large TV.
Here at Renew, you can use beach towels, mats, boogie boards, and beach chairs for free plus there’s Wi-Fi throughout the hotel. Despite the lack of pool, room service, spa, or fitness room, the service was friendly and personal. Definitely try their Kona coffee or the Hawaiian healthy tea, it was delicious! Oh! They also have a yoga class and surfboard storage on-site.
SHORELINE WAIKIKI HOTEL
Shoreline Waikiki Hotel (Value): Another boutique experience here at Shoreline Waikiki Hotel giving you that colorful vibe yet serene Hawaiian holiday. Every space in this small boutique hotel is styled perfectly and I’d say it’s an Instagrammer’s dream!
Because of its vibrant modern decor, rooms are quite exotic and charming with added extra touches that’ll make you stay here longer. Convenience stores, shopping outlets, and restaurants are within easy reach. Though it’s not beachfront, the location is literally in the heart of Waikiki and it is one of the best bargains in Waikiki. Whether you are vegetarian or meat-based, there’s always something on the menu at the Heavenly Lifestyle Restaurant. Undoubtedly, this is by far the coolest hotel in Waikiki!
AQUA BAMBOO WAIKIKI
Aqua Bamboo Waikiki (Location): Your dream vacation awaits at Aqua Bamboo Waikiki! For $186 a night, you can get a good size room fitted with a private balcony, kitchenette, and a hot tub. Though this laid-back property is located in the middle of everything (just a short walk to Waikiki beach), it still provides serenity. A bamboo-inspired boutique hotel with 58 rooms ornamented with bamboo and wooden furniture in a tropical setting. Staying here makes you feel like you’re in the jungle in the middle of the city.
Take advantage of the various amenities they offer including the Ala Moana shuttle service, a tiny pool with a waterfall, cozy cabanas, and a beautiful garden. Not to mention they also offer a BBQ facility by the poolside and activities such as lei making only twice a week, surfing lessons, and more! It’s a small hotel so you can expect personalized 24-hour service.
THE FOUR MOST POPULAR OAHU TOURS
- Doors-Off Oahu Helicopter Flight Tour: My number one recommendation is to do a heli-flight (doors off)and be blown away when you see Oahu from the air.
- North Shore Shark Cage Tour: The biggest adrenaline rush you can have in Hawaii is beneath the surface with sharks!
- Eco-Friendly Dolphin and Snorkel Tour: One of the best experiences I had on Oahu was swimming with the beautiful spinner dolphins on this exact tour.
- Turtle Canyon Snorkel Cruise by Catamaran: The number 1 MOST POPULAR snorkel tour on Oahu. GUARANTEED Turtles!
WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach Resort (Overall Favorite): In the heart of Waikiki, this high-end resort is right on the beach with a private lagoon.
- Sheraton Waikiki (Luxury): A luxury resort with the most amazing infinity pool on the island, which overlooks the beach.
- Ewa Hotel Waikiki: (Value): Ewa Hotel is just one block back from the beach and is just over $150 USD.
- Waikiki Beachside Hostel (Budget Choice): A budget alternative, which is still in an amazing location.
- Disney Aulani Resort (Family Choice): This is a resort your kids will never forget. It honestly feels like you are living in a theme park.
MORE OAHU BLOG POSTS
I lived on Oahu for two years and loved adventuring from the beaches to the mountains to the waterfalls! These are my most popular blog post and guides from the beautiful island of Oahu to help you plan your trip!
- What to pack for Hawaii: THE HAWAII PACKING LIST: WHAT TO PACK
- A helpful guide to choosing accommodation: WHERE TO STAY ON OAHU
- Most epic hike on Oahu: THE STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN OAHU, HAWAII
- The best Waterfalls: AMAZING WATERFALLS ON OAHU, HAWAII
- Ultimate Cliff Jumping Guide: 11 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS ON OAHU
- Guide to Swimming with Sea Turtles: WHERE TO SEE TURTLES ON OAHU
- The best Waterfall Hikes: TOP WATERFALL HIKES ON OAHU
- Best Tours: 20 BEST TOURS ON OAHU
- The Ultimate Guide to Oahu: 80 AWESOME THINGS TO DO ON OAHU
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