You don’t care as much about access to shopping and fine dining establishments while staying on Oahu. You plan on spending most of your leisure time face-down in the ocean with your eyes open while breathing through a tube. You’re here to snorkel, and Oahu is a magnificent place to enjoy your favorite vacation pastime. However, are there any great hotels within steps of the island’s top snorkeling spots? Let’s review.
Four Amazing Accommodations That Are Conveniently Located Near Oahu’s Top Snorkeling Destinations
Ke Iki Beach Bungalows
Nearest Snorkeling Destination: Shark’s Cove
The most popular snorkeling on the North Shore of Oahu is found at Shark’s Cove in Pupukea. The closest traditional hotel resort (Turtle Bay) is over 6-miles away, however, the best multifamily vacation rental on the entire island is within a short 10-minute walk. With 11 bungalows on the lush oceanfront property, Ke Iki Beach Bungalows has something idyllic for you and whomever you are traveling with. It’s also located on one of the best beachcombing spots on Oahu, which is perfect for those in your party who prefer to spend more time in the sand than under the sea. Learn more about Ke Iki Beach Bungalows.
Nearest Snorkeling Destination: Electric Beach (and Ko Olina Marina)
Like all of Ko Olina’s oceanfront resorts, Disney Aulani has its own lagoon. However, the manmade pool isn’t the snorkeling spot that lands them on this list. Neither is Secret Beach, which is located within a short walk from the adjacent Four Seasons resort. Instead, one of Oahu’s prime snorkeling destinations is located a little further from Aulani, yet still accessible to those who don’t mind the stroll. All that you need to do is follow the Ewa Train tracks that cut through Ko Olina and you’ll arrive at Hawaiian Electric Beach in 20-30 minutes. Deep water snorkeling at Electric Beach offers warmer (than usual) temperatures, magical coral formations, and a more unique array of sea life than any other snorkeling area on the island. There are also sunken Buddha statues to be found for those who venture over to the northernmost reef. There’s a lot of area to cover underwater at Electric Beach, so you’ll appreciate all of the comforts that Disney Aulani has to offer after your hike back along the tracks. If you’re not up for the walk, you may prefer to take a snorkeling boat tour from Ko Olina Marina, which is also located near Disney Aulani. View more on the Disney Aulani.
If Disney Aulani is out of your price range but you want to stay near Hawaiian Electric Beach, we encourage you to check availability at Gecko’s South Sea Bungalows at Coconut Plantation.
Turtle Bay Resort
Nearest Snorkeling Destination: Kuilima Cove
Also home to one of the best snorkeling spots on the North Shore, is the aptly named Turtle Bay resort. From the sands of their on-site Kuilima Cove you’ll spy sea turtles along with a large number tropical fish and diverse assortment of species. View more on the upscale and recently renovated (2021) Turtle Bay Resort. Among the best Oahu hotels for snorkeling, this is the most convenient.
Queen Kapiolani Hotel
Nearest Snorkeling Destination: Kapiolani Park Beach Oceanfront Jetty
The Waikiki Beach area may not be known as a top snorkeling spot on Oahu, but there is no shortage of sea life in its waters. You just have to know where they congregate. The jetty in front of Kapiolani Beach Park is a gathering place for the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, needlefish, saddle wrasse, and more. When people walk the jetty to feed the fish, there is a flurry of activity as they battle it out for bread, crackers, and crumbs from discarded spam musubi. You can feed them while snorkeling if you desire, but do be careful as the Bullethead parrotfish won’t think twice about chomping down on your fingertips. While any Waikiki hotel is convenient, the cool and contemporary Queen Kapiolani Hotel is logically the closest to Kapiolani Beach Park. As an added bonus, the Queen Kapiolani is one of the most authentically Hawaiian hotels on Oahu.
Do you have any questions about the above hotels and/or snorkeling on Oahu? Drop them in the comment box below and we’ll respond as soon as we hear from you.