Luxury to Low-key Oceanfront Stays in Hawaii
In May of 2023, my husband and I booked a week-long getaway to Maui and Oahu, Hawaii. As first-timers to the islands, we did not know what to expect in regards to climate, culture, and areas to stay. Fortunately, we got to experience the best of both worlds in an upscale hotel and a laid-back cottage. Hawaii is an ideal destination for both travelers who love to splurge as well as for those on a budget.
The Fora Difference
Book with Christina to access exclusive perks and experiences on your trip.
Free upgrades, spa credits and more—we got you
Customized travel planning for your style
Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there
Where to stay
Queen Kapiolani Hotel
Embrace the spirit of aloha with a royal touch in Waikiki.
Nona Lani Cottages
Where tropical tranquility meets cozy comfort, providing a secluded paradise on the shores of Maui, Hawaii.
Unlock perks by contacting Christina to book your trip.
For the luxury traveler who loves the hustle and bustle
One of the most famous areas on the Island of Oahu is Waikiki. This area in Honolulu is widely known for its vibrant neighborhood, popular surf beach, and bustling main street, Kalakaua Avenue. As the main area for this Island’s high-rise hotels and resorts, there is no shortage of restaurants, bars, and shopping. A strip along the gorgeous Waikiki beach, you can imagine how popular and crowded this destination can be. If you’re looking to experience the luxury that Waikiki, Honolulu has to offer, I highly recommend staying at the Queen Kapiʻolani Hotel Waikīkī Beach. The bright, airy lobby hosts a handful of boutique stores, a coffee shop, and a beautiful common area to sit and relax. A walker’s paradise, this location is perfect because it’s towards the end of the shopping strip on Kalakaua Avenue (away from major crowds), opposite the Honolulu zoo, a few steps away from Waikiki beach, and only a few miles from popular attractions.
For the low-key traveler who prefers the quiet and calm
It’s no surprise the Hawaii islands are ideal for the outdoor enthusiast. When looking to enjoy a much more relaxed stay, the Southwest town of Kihei on Maui can give you just that. Known to be the sunniest and driest part of the Island, Kihei is famous for its several miles of beautiful beaches. A down-to-earth feel, you’ll find yourself among more locals and less tourists with just as many options for delicious food and places to explore. For cozy accommodations, just steps to what feels like a private beach, I loved our time at the Nona Lani Cottages. The property features eight cottages set across two acres of lush greenery. However, there were also many traditional hotel properties nearby that I found to be great options for our next stay. This area of Maui is best explored by car as it is spread out and less condensed. Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a lot of money in Kihei to enjoy the beauty Maui has to offer.
Need to Know
When deciding which Hawaii Island to visit, and more specifically what area to stay in, there are a few things to consider. For my clients looking for a city-center feel with a vibrant night life, plenty of shopping, and close to the beach, I recommend staying at the Queen Kapiolani in Honolulu. In contrast, for my clients in search of an escape from the hustle and bustle with a desire to surround themselves with nature, I highly recommend staying in Kihei, the Southern gem of Maui, Hawaii. Which one sounds great to you? Let's start planning your ideal vacation to the islands today!
Get in touch with Christina
Did you like this guide? Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.
You can normally expect a response from Christina within a business day or so. You'll also be subscribed to our travel newsletter (you can unsubscribe at any time).