Say Aloha to These Affordable Hotels in Oahu

The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Clubs perks include free beach bike rentals, a rotating event calendar and the acclaimed Mahina & Sun’s restaurant
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club's perks include free beach bike rentals, a rotating event calendar and the acclaimed Mahina & Sun’s restaurant | Courtesy of the Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club /
Charlene Fang

Oahu is all about the cool surfer vibe, and these places to stay – offering free beach gear, breakfast and other perks – make up our cost-conscious recommendations in Hawaii.

There’s loads to do in Oahu, Hawaii’s wave-whacked, nature-blessed island, which is why you don’t need to splurge on accommodation. There are plenty of options to choose from – family-friendly suites, remote-working hangouts, even one that’s directly on a beach. Whichever you pick, these wallet-friendly spots will leave you with more cash to splash.

1. Hotel Renew

Budget Hotel, Independent Hotel

Boutique double bedroom overlooking the ocean at Hotel Renew
Courtesy of Hotel Renew /

Couples and business travelers (especially those with pets) will find no issue with a stay at Hotel Renew. Bathed in minimalist black, grey and millennial-pink hues, and within whistling distance to Waikiki Beach. It justifies its mandatory resort fees with some handy extras: free brekkie, in-room PlayStation3 consoles, beach gear and admission to the Honolulu Museum of Art and Bishop Museum. While rooms don’t have balconies, the menu of essential oils is a nice touch to create a more at-home atmosphere.

2. The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club

Boutique Hotel, Independent Hotel

Chilled out lounge at The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club
Courtesy of The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club /

Every once in a while, you get a hotel makeover that manages to blend a cool, modern aesthetic with affordable rates and significant local flavor. For Hawaii, that’s the Surfjack where Oahu’s wave-culture vibe and highlights like the tiled Wish You Were Here message on the bottom of its plunge pool, make for a memorable stay. Graphic prints and wood accents liven up uncluttered rooms that include a refrigerator and private balcony; some even accommodate pets. Other perks include free beach-bike rentals, a rotating event calendar and the acclaimed Mahina & Sun’s restaurant, located poolside, serving elevated Hawaiian and other American morsels.

3. The Modern Honolulu


Sleek bedroom with an ocean view at The Modern Honolulu
© The Modern Honolulu
If you find bold colors and loud prints jarring, you’ll have no issue at the Modern Honolulu. The whitewashed rooms possess plenty of natural light and the color palette is muted and understated. Sitting a stone’s throw from the marina, some balcony-attached rooms are privy to a view of yachts coming and going. But really, you want to be up on the adults-only pool deck, people-watching from a shaded lounge chair or grabbing some beach-friendly grub to go at the Grove.

4. White Sands Hotel

Budget Hotel

Laid back sun beds under umbrellas at the poolside of the White Sands Hotel
Courtesy of White Sands Hotel /

Designed to recall the Kuhio Avenue bamboo bar culture of the early ’70s, this small boutique hotel keeps things simple for the cost-conscious traveler more concerned with exploring than hanging poolside. The rooms are comfortably furnished with a compact balcony, some include a mini-fridge and stove and pets are welcomed. The small pool and sundeck are where you’ll go to suntan and scroll – note, there’s no in-room wifi, so suites are kept restful.

5. Aqua Oasis

Chain Hotel

Twin room with sofa and balcony at the Aqua Oasis
Courtesy of Aqua Oasis Hotel /

For an affordable stay that’s close to the beach, Aqua Oasis is an excellent pick. In the daytime, you can promenade the lively Waikiki stretch and pop down between beaches to cool off. By dusk, wind down in the plunge pool and sauna before returning to your spacious room for a cold beer on the balcony. Breakfast, beach towels and sand chairs are included and it’s close to the International Market Place shopping mall and restaurants like Roy’s Waikiki and Duke’s Waikiki, too.

6. Coconut Waikiki Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Double bedroom with sofas and TV at the Coconut Waikiki Hotel
Courtesy of Coconut Waikiki Hotel /

This family-friendly hotel makes up for its less-accessible location – on Lewers Street along the Ala Wai Canal – by throwing in a simple daily breakfast. The brightly-colored rooms feature a balcony, mini-fridge and desk, while the suites have double balconies and an extra-sofa bed. There’s a heated outdoor pool and sun deck with barbecue grills, should someone hook a catch at the canal (yes, it’s allowed).

7. Kaimana Beach Hotel


Colourful artwork and furniture in the reception of the Kaimana Beach Hotel
Courtesy of Kaimana Beach Hotel /

Rebranded as the Kaimana Beach Hotel, this property is embracing its original barefoot beach roots. Originally known as Sans Souci – which directly translates as without cares – it showcases an enviable location on low-key Kaimana Beach. The rooms come with balconies to experience the tranquil trade winds, while suites offer an uninterrupted view of Kaimana Beach from their wraparound lanai (verandah). Ask the front desk about lei-making classes, cruiser bike and longboard rentals. When night falls, settle in at the idyllic Hau Tree Lanai and tuck into a plate of loco moco (rice topped with burger and fried egg) with the fine sand between your toes.

8. Polynesian Residences

Hotel, Apartment

Double bedroom with a desk and balcony at Polynesian Residences
Courtesy of Polynesian Residences /

Don’t be fooled by the building’s unassuming facade: inside, this retreat is bright and airy, with spacious rooms that sport 50in TVs and a proper working desk. The pool area has been given a makeover with wood decking and sun loungers. But while it’s tempting to stay in and chill, being right on the corner of Kalakaua Avenue’s flashy designer shops and a block from Fort DeRussy Beach Park makes it extremely hard not to explore.

9. Ohana Waikiki Malia by Outrigger

Chain Hotel

Twin bedroom with a balcony at Ohana Waikiki Malia by Outrigger
Courtesy of Ohana Waikiki Malia by Outrigger /

Families expecting to stay in the thick of things would be well-placed to consider this budget option by Waikiki Bay and Fort DeRussy Beach Park. The island-decor rooms in the Malia Tower have been refreshed and there are connecting rooms for larger families who want to stay together. The one-bedroom suites are spacious and come with a kitchenette, although having an IHop on the ground floor makes it too easy to order takeaway.

10. Waikiki Grand Hotel

Budget Hotel

Large balcony overlooking a sea of forest and mountains at the Waikiki Grand Hotel
Courtesy of Waikiki Grand Hotel /

Wallet-friendly prices and spacious layouts will always find favor with travelers who treat a hotel as simply a place to rest their head. Sitting on the edge of Kapiolani Park and a short walk from Sans Souci Beach, the rooms here are individually owned, so the decor differs. Still, they come with a private lanai and most have a kitchenette for easy-to-prep meals. At night, the popular Hula’s Bar & Lei Stand on the second floor is known for its drag shows and potent cocktail pitchers.

11. Vive Hotel

Boutique Hotel

Funky colourful double bedroom with desk and artwork at the Vive Hotel
© Vive Hotel

Put what you save on the rooms here towards coffee at nearby Kona Coffee Purveyors, it’ll go well with the hotel’s daily on-the-house breakfast. Other freebies to take advantage of? Beach gear, GoPro cameras, sand toys for the keikis (kids) and pack ‘n’ plays. The standard rooms are serviceable, but on the small side – though, all come with kimono robes and in-room tablets – so upgrade to a suite for more space and ocean views.

For more hotel options in Hawaii, check out our guide to the best hotels in Honolulu, or for other affordable options, check out the best cheap hotels in Kauai and these places to stay in Oahu, all bookable with Culture Trip.

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