Turtle Bay Resort Review

Great ocean views from Turtle Bay Resort
Great ocean views from Turtle Bay Resort

During a recent stay to Turtle Bay Resort, I overheard someone saying this, “Turtle Bay is great resort to stay at in Hawaii where you don’t have to leave the resort.”  I tend to agree.  Once you get to Turtle Bay Resort, you really don’t need to leave it, and there’s a good chance you wouldn’t even want to leave!

What does Turtle Bay have to offer? Here is the listing of their extensive on site resort facilities:

Turtle Bay Resort is located on the northernmost tip of Oahu miles away from another hotel and the big city.  It is about an hours drive into Honolulu from Turtle Bay  Yes, it is remotely located, but that is what makes it so charming.

All Turtle Bay Resort rooms have ocean views.  The resort was built on a peninsula that almost seems like it’s in the ocean. See this Google Map with a birds eye view of the resort to see what I mean about how close to the ocean this hotel is.

The rooms are well sized and most of them have generously-sized lanai.  The fresh, comfortable decor is what I would describe as “island modern.”  We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean View Room.  (The photo on the left is of our room.)  The room had a comfortable king sized bed, more than ample closet space, two lavatory areas, in-room safe, free wifi, and a desk.  The room also had a TV, but we never had a need to turn it on.  The lanai was equipped with two chairs and a small table.

The room had a mini-fridge which was very useful.  I actually prefer having an empty fridge available rather than a stocked mini-bar.  If you were desperate for the typical mini-bar items, there is resort shop will all the snacks and drinks that you would find in a mini-bar.

Our room was cleaned daily and we had nightly turn down service.  The turn down service was a nice little touch, which included fresh baked cookies or chocolate covered macadamia nuts. They also provided a newsletter that listed the upcoming day’s sunrise and sunset times as well as the weather forecast.  The newsletter also included a Hawaiian phrase along with sightseeing ideas and activities. Another nice turn down touch is that the staff would turn on relaxing music from the radio alarm clock.  The Sharper Image clock had a selection of relaxing spa-like music and sounds programmed into it.

Valet service was available, though it wasn’t thrust upon you, which I liked.  There was ample self parking within easy walking distance of the hotel.

We enjoyed our stay, though there were a couple of things that we wish had been different.

  • The pool area was mobbed by screaming kids.  I don’t begrudge kids having fun, but they were screaming and yelling at the top of their lungs and this wasn’t the relaxing environment by the pool that I was hoping for.  I think the resort should designate one of their two pools a a kids’ pool and the other as an adults’ pool.  If that isn’t possible, it would be helpful if the pool staff would politely ask children not to yell.
  • The hotel rooms don’t have bathrobes.  We thought that this might have been an oversight from housekeeping in preparing our room.  We did ask at the front desk for bathrobes and they told us that they are normally only reserved for beach cottages, though they would check to see if they had any extras for us.  When we returned to our rooms later in the day, we had two bathrobes there.
turtle bay pools
There are two ocean side pools at Turtle Bay Resort. The one on the left has a water slide.

Over all we really liked Turtle Bay and do hope to return someday, especially when the keiki (kids) are back in school.  🙂 For a splurge, we’d love to stay in one of the somewhat secluded beach cottages in the future. Celebrities often stay there.

For a bit of an update, see this guest post from Erin on her belated-honeymoon stay at Turtle Bay.

Check out our reviews of the spa and restaurants at Turtle Bay Resort.

See our photos from our Turtle Bay visits.

  1. Turtle Bay Resort is definitely a good place to stay especially when you don’t want the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. I like this better than Ihilani (on the other side of the island, almost opposite of Turtle Bay). Ihilani isn’t a resort, but it’s another hotel that’s outside of the greater Honolulu area.

  2. Thanks, Eivissu, for adding your insight!

    We certainly enjoyed being away for the hustle and bustle this time around!

  3. I did get a massage there, though my therapist wasn’t your neice. I decided not to get the massage by the ocean side massages because a pathway runs right behind the massage huts and I was concerned that people, carts, etc passing by might be distracting.

  4. I visited Turtle Bay in February 2011 and found the location extraordinarily beautiful while overlooking the surfers who were riding the north shore waves. While enjoying the Hang Ten surf bar and pool area, guests will find the service prompt and attentive. Everyone on staff exudes the aloha spirit. I was very impressed with the grounds and natural beauty of this special place. Very well done!

  5. Hi could you help us with who contact to get a ocean view delux room like the one you stayed in from the 10th may for 6 nights we havnt been to hawaii before and thought this place looked nicer than Waikiki we thought we should also hire a car so we can see more of the island. Could u let me know if this is a good idea and if we want to shopping in Waikiki where should we go and do we need a full day for this. It’s just my husband and myself no kids.

    We are then going to Kauai for 5 nights .

    Any advise would be welcomed on where to drive to in the island .

    Kind regards Tina
    We are from Australia

    1. Hi Tina,

      Contact Turtle Bay directly. http://www.turtlebayresort.com/Contact

      Turtle Bay is considerably more relaxed that Waikiki. Most rooms have great ocean views, too. Where as in Waikiki, it’s harder to get a really good ocean view room.

      As for the rental car, it would be best to rent one for two reasons:
      1 – so you can easily get around to see the island
      2 – because getting a taxi or shuttle to Turtle Bay could be pretty costly.

      Kalakaua Avenue and some of the side streets off of it are where most of Waikiki’s shop can be found. A couple of shopping centers offer free and reduced parking rates. See this link: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2007/11/13/finding-reasonable-parking-in-waikiki/

      Check out our Oahu and Kauai guides for more advice.

  6. I stayed at Turtle Bay for three days this past week. Overall our experience was pleasant. It was exactly as you reviewed on this website. Nice and quiet with not a lot of food choices nearby. The restaurants onsite were good, not great, but good. My least favorite was the Kula Grill. I paid $75 for break for two adults and one kid, I paid a lot less in Waikiki. The staff was very nice the guests…not so much. This is a resort but it is very kid friendly and there were a ton of families with kids running around everywhere. This is not a relaxing place to get away from kids if that is what you are looking for. We would definitely stay again since the access to the beach was great.

    1. Raquel- thanks for telling us about your stay and experience at Turtle Bay Resort.

      It sounds like you were visiting while kids were still on summer break from school. I doubt there’s ever a “kid-free” time at Turtle Bay Resort, but I think if you visit when kids are back in school, it should be more peaceful

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