We’ve now visited Hawaii four times, and have always stayed at the same hotel in Waikiki (which we absolutely love), so this time we decided to try Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore.
Turtle Bay has everything you could possibly need while on holidays – multiple swimming pools, hot tubs, on-site restaurants, horse riding, golf (not that we play), and so much more. The only issue we found is that the restaurants in particular capitalise on the fact that they have you in a captive market – but more on that shortly.
Unfortunately due to our major flight delay with our Jetstar flight, we didn’t arrive out to the resort until mid-afternoon, but the transfer out there was nice and easy thanks to Roberts Hawaii monitoring the inbound flights and ensuring that our car was ready and waiting for us once we arrived at Honolulu Airport.
Our check in at Turtle Bay was reasonably straight forward, and we made our way to our ocean view room on the fifth floor. Due to the location of the actual hotel building, all rooms in the resort have water views – ours overlooked the small reef cove and out onto the ocean. Rooms on the other side of the corridor would have had pool and bay/ocean views. For three people, our room was perfectly adequate – 2 queen beds and a separate bathroom and dressing room that included a coffee machine and small fridge.
North Shore Kula Grille
Located on the ground floor of the resort and easily accessible from the foyer, dinner on the first night and breakfast each morning was at North Shore Kula Grille.
Our dinner choices included Squid Ink Seafood Linguine, Mediterranean Sea Bass and Chicken Tenders with fries. For breakfast we settled on the buffet, with options that included waffles, fresh fruit and an omelet station.
Cost in USD: dinner: $108, breakfast daily: $95 (includes taxes and tip)
Roy’s Beach House
Our dinner choices were Open Fire Grilled Fillet Mignon, Red Wine Braised Beef Short Ribs, grilled Hibachi with rice and finished off with chocolate souffle.
Don’t get me wrong, the food was cooked perfectly and was absolutely delicious.. I had just made the mistake of assuming that Roy’s was a casual dining option out on the beach front, and hadn’t quite expected the prices I saw when I read the menu.
Cost in USD: $190 (includes taxes and tip)
This was probably my favourite out of all the dining options we experienced. Located beside the main pool, The Point offers poolside casual dining and cocktails until 7:30pm each evening. It provided the perfect backdrop for an evening Mai Tai.
We chose to eat here on two occasions, and our menu choices included Chicken Tacos, Chicken Tenders and Fries, Cheeseburger and Fries and Thai Chicken Wings.
Cost in USD: $115 and $75 (includes taxes and tip)
Turtle Bay Resort is definitely equipped to entertain families, from the poolside cocktails for the parents to Mermaids in the main pool and pony rides for kids at The Stables.
Meet a Mermaid
Is there any better way to make a little girl happy than allow her to believe that mermaids are real? On Monday and Friday mornings, resort guests in the main pool receive a visit from a mermaid who entertains the kids with stories of her underwater friends and encourages them to help keep the ocean and waterways clean.
We spent Tuesday morning at The Stables so Isabella could meet Goldie and have a pony ride along the beach trail.
The Pony experience included brushing of the pony before the ride by the beach. We were very lucky to also spot a sea turtle sitting out on the sand.
Cost in USD: $33 per child (includes taxes)
Ukelele and Hula Lessons
The resort offers Ukelele and Hula lessons on Tuesday mornings and despite the early start (9am is early when you’re on vacation), Isabella made sure she wasn’t missing out.
The combined lessons went for an hour and offered the basics in both which was perfect for Isabella to give the ukelele and hula a try. Despite finding her hands a little small to hold the ukelele properly, she’s now insistent that we buy her one of her own before we head back home.
One thing that Turtle Bay Resort does well is the swimming pools.
There is the main pool that is serviced by The Point with snacks and cocktails; the keiki (children’s) pool that includes a water slide; a infants pool; and multiple hot tubs.
While there is no lifeguard on duty, the visibility of the pool area is quite adequate and we felt quite safe with Isabella going from one pool to another.
While not a part of the resort, Waimea Valley is easily accessible via the pubic transport system (bus #55). Nathan from The Guidepost made the recommendation that we went out for a swim under the waterfall, and his suggestion certainly wasn’t wrong.
We had a great time, and more on our visit to Waimea Valley can be read on our recent blog post.
There are a few shops located on site – though probably not as many as I had expected.
- The Watershed – a surf shop with clothing and other accessories
- Nalu Boutique – one stop shop for all your gym and spa neccessities
- Lamonts – gifts, sunscreen and snack foods all in one space
We quite enjoyed our stay at Turtle Bay – the only negative comment is around the cost of dining out at the restaurants. This is where we felt the resort was capitalising on knowing that there wasn’t really any other option (unless you had a car and were willing and able to drive in and out to neighbouring areas for dinner) and could charge whatever costs they like. That said, we’d definitely consider returning to Turtle Bay on future trips to Hawaii.