My husband and I stayed in one of the beach cottage on a friend's recommendation for our 5th anniversary. We were glad we did, after seeing the regular rooms which seemed nice, but can't compare with the cottage atmosphere - if you can swing the cottages, it is a remarkably different feeling than staying in the hotel towers.
There were minor things that could use a buff and polish, but this is laid back Hawaii, and we were not expecting Ritz Carlton standards (after reading reviews here, as well). The grout in the bathroom could stand to be redone, the exhaust fan was non-operational, the area rugs needed to be replaced, beach chairs outdated (but still functional and comfortable!) etc. However, nothing that's going to ruin a holiday.
We found service to be very good. No attitudes at all, just friendly smiles and hellos. Regarding the issue with the towels, it is what it is - one card gets you one towel. I suggest bringing your own anyway (we bought towels) because we went to the beach off property every day (more on that later). I don't fancy turning up to a beach off property with a resort's towel anyway.
Things to do: Go to the beach! We found Sunset beach to be the best spot for sunning and swimming without risk of the reef being too close to shore, etc.. We went to the pool exactly 1 time, after we got back from the beach. We went down the slide. It was fun. Then we went back to the beach! This is why i suggest bringing your own beach towels from home, you'll need them. The resort should have a beach chair borrowing base. We bought chairs, and left them with the cleaning crew - it would be nice if they would lend out beach chairs to take with you (hell, give us a card for that too!). Also, I meant to bring my own snorkel gear, which I left out of my luggage at the last moment. Wish i did. Bring a rash guard with you, you'll probably want it.
We did a day trip to Waikiki and toured the Arizona (this is free, by the way). I looked on the website before we went, and took the advice to get there early, since the tickets are first come/first served. We got to the memorial at 8:45 and were on the 9:15am tour, so that worked out well. Next stop: Waikiki. The beach is horribly narrow and very crowded, but a nice swimming spot. We had drinks at Dukes - a must do if you fancy being barefoot at a bar with super friendly service. We then took the yellow and red striped catamaran cruise which was $30/pp and worth it for the photos! That was all of our tour of Waikiki - and it was a full day. Made us miss the North Shore's peace.
Food: we ate often at Teds. It really is all that. Also, Haleiwa Joe's was fantastic. We had lunch at Shark's Cove one day:avoid. It wasn't bad, but Ted's blows it away by a mile. Had the required shave ice at Matsemotos and Aiko (or whatever they're called), neither impressed me, but my husband loved both. As far as resort dinning: we ate at Lei Lei's 3 times. The bartender is super nice, and the ribs (according to husband) are the "best" he's ever had. I'm always happy with sashimi, and the tuna was good here. We had lunch at Ola's 2x, the burgers are great, made with onions and mushrooms - not greasy at all. We did the breakfast buffet once (on a day when we planned on eating a late dinner) it was to be expected foodwise and we were pleased. Also, had dinner at Leonardo's - decent, but i'm sure you could find less expensive italian food.
The resort fee was annoying, but again, you're somewhat caught. Best not to let it get you worked up and just account for it in the room fees.
The wifi worked correctly for us the entire trip (and we worked from the room some mornings).
My only bone to pick was at the spa. While our services (massage for both) were *fine*, the hotel adds a 18% charge to the spa bill. 3% goes to the resort for "admin" fees. I found this to be sneaky. The services were resort priced to begin with, to add 3% is cheap and greedy. This surely leaves the staff out of a portion of their tip with a lot of people. The 2 massages totaled almost $350, and they were 50 minute massages.
We had no trouble parking at the cottages.
All in all, a very relaxing trip!
- Also Known As:
- Turtle Bay Hotel Kahuku
- Turtle Bay Hotel
- Turtle Bay
- Turtle Bay Kahuku
- Turtle Bay Resort Oahu
- Turtle Bay Resort Hawaii
- Turtle Bay Oahu
- Turtle Bay Resort Hawaii/Oahu
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on 880 ocean-front acres of Oahu, Turtle Bay Resort is the only true full-service luxury resort on the island's legendary North Shore. Modern architecture graces this six story hotel on Kuilima Point, where all rooms provide an oceanview. Our guests enjoy the natural tranquility of the North Shore lifestyle and spectacular ocean views from every one of the 443 magnificent beach cottages and guest rooms. The resort features two lushly landscaped pools, two championship golf courses, ten tennis courts, horseback riding, hiking and mountain bike trails, a surfing school, world-class dining and shopping. For group meetings, the Conference Center at Turtle Bay Resort houses the latest in learning and presentation technology with more than 31,000 square feet of meeting space. Video conference hosting, high speed wireless Internet and a host of other IACC approved technologies are available. ... more less
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