11 Best Airbnb Oahu Rentals: Waikiki, Kailua, North Shore
Heading to Hawaii and wondering where to stay? There are tons Airbnb Oahu rentals to choose from, making it hard to decipher the good from the bad!
As the daughter of someone born and raised on Oahu, I am a self-proclaimed expert. I have visited over 50 times, most of my family still lives there today and has for over 60 years, and I even have the geo coordinates of Honolulu and "aloha" tattooed on my arm (the ultimate sign of love, no?).
Despite my family living on the island, I have many times opted out of staying with them to instead stay at an Airbnb. Each one I’ve stayed in has turned out fantastic, so I’m here to relay my good Airbnb Oahu vibes to you.
Below I’ve shared the eleven best apartments or houses I found around the island. Each are ones I would personally book myself and recommend to close friends or family.
All rental photos are via Airbnb
The Best Tools for Traveling
Before we get into the best Airbnb Oahu rentals, let’s talk about planning tools! As a full time traveler with a LOT of experience planning trips, I have a handful of sites and tools that I cannot live without. They save me money, time, and frustration - all of which are very important for me and should be to you, too.
For flights, I use Skyscanner. Skyscanner is great because they find you the cheapest flights by comparing millions of options from airlines and travel agents. Click here to find the best flight deal!
For hotels I always use HotelsCombined, as you will notice in my recommendations. I love them because they compare all of the top travel sites in one spot - with no booking fee and no markup. Best price guarenteed! Click here to search HotelsCombined.
When I'm not staying at a hotel, I love Airbnb. When chosen right, it provides a more local experience and you can often get a lot more space for less money. Click here to get $40 off your first stay.
To get around while in city, I recommend walking, using public transit, or Uber if it's available. If you are new to Uber, use code "kbae3" to get your first ride for free. You can also use it on Uber Eats!
In larger cities or those where a rental car is needed (like Oahu), I recommend Avis. I personally have used nothing but Avis for the last 6+ years and have only had wonderful experiences with them. The best part? When you become a preferred member you don't even have to wait in line - you just walk off the plane and head directly to your rental car. I have also found their prices to be the best. Click here to reserve your rental.
For tours, museum tickets, and other activities, I recommend GetYourGuide. They are a trusted site and have lots of unique things to do along with all of the standard touristy activites. Booking everything individually can be a bit of nightmare to keep track of. With GetYourGuide you can create an account to book and manage all of your tickets in one central location. Click here to search GetYourGuide.
Want to stay connected while traveling? I recommend renting a pocket-sized personal WiFi hotspot from Tep! Click here to see the latest prices.
Other Hawaii Information
If you will be visiting Oahu, we have everything you need to plan your trip!
FOR WHAT TO PACK… click here for our Hawaii packing list.
FOR WHERE TO EAT… click here for a local’s guide to the best places to eat.
FOR WHAT TO DO… click here for my top 10 recommendations. My number one recommendation is to swim with dolphins in the wild. Click here for a detailed post about how to do that!
FOR A GUIDE TO VISITING KUALOA RANCH (JURASSIC PARK HAWAII)… click here.
FOR A GUIDE TO THE FAMOUS NORTH SHORE… click here.
FOR THE BEST PHOTO OPPS… click here!
And don’t miss our FREE downloadable guide:
Best Airbnb Oahu Rentals:
Waikiki is a great place to stay while visiting Oahu and there are tons of excellent Airbnb options here. In fact, my family lives in Honolulu just 10 minutes from Waikiki yet I’ve still opted out of staying with them for free to stay at an Airbnb in Waikiki on numerous occasions.
If you want to stay in a lively area where you can easily walk to the beach, restaurants, bars, and more, this is where you should stay. I do want to mention though that if you stay in Waikiki, I highly recommend that you rent a car and make sure to get out of Waikiki on most days. It can be a bit of a tourist nightmare and the beaches elsewhere are much better. If you stay in Waikiki and never leave for the duration of your trip I can almost guarantee you will not love Oahu. I cannot stress this enough.
That being said, like I mentioned above I often choose to stay here because I really do think it is one of the best options. After a day of exploring and driving around the last thing I want to do is get back in a car to drive to dinner. When you stay here you don’t have to worry about that. Nor do you have to worry about drinking and driving! It’s also convenient location-wise and surprisingly has incredibly cheap options (unlike the hotels here which are incredibly overpriced).
Here are five Waikiki Airbnb rentals that I recommend:
For recommendations on where to eat in Waikiki, see A Local's Guide to The Best Places to Eat on Oahu Hawaii.
1 bedroom Ocean View in Waikiki
This apartment fits four guests and offers a beautiful ocean view for the very reasonable price of $145/night. The host is a superhost who lives two blocks away from the unit which will be very convenient if you need to get ahold of them. It also at this time has 86 reviews for a total of 5 stars!
Parking is not available here so if you have a car you’ll need to sort that out separately. This is very common — most places in Waikiki will not have parking available and if they do it will cost a pretty penny. There are lots of workarounds (pay in other lots, pay $1/hr at the zoo, etc).
Modern Waikiki Studio 1/2 block from the beach
This studio is a small, no thrills option with a price that absolutely cannot be beat at $40/night. It’s close to the beach, newly renovated, and surprisingly even includes a kitchen. The owner offers an early/late check in/out option which could be very convenient if needed. It has a 5 star rating after 139 reviews and appears to be a steal of a deal!
Parking is not available here but there’s a nearby lot for $30/night (that, as absurd as it sounds, is standard for the area).
Ocean View Studio in Waikiki
If there is only two of you and you like the looks of option #1 but don’t need the extra space, here’s the spot for you! It’s even owned by the same superhost as #1 is. It’s two blocks from the beach and has a beautiful ocean view.
She does note that the interior isn’t the biggest but that shouldn’t be an issue at all. The lanai (balcony) is HUGE and if you plan to be inside during your vacation then you have heading to the wrong destination :)
Ocean ∘ City ∘ Mountain views in the ❤️ of Waikiki
This studio is located on the 26th floor of the Pacific Monarch Condos building, just around the corner from one of my favorite places on Oahu: Hawaiian Crown Plantation. You should stay here because that means you can start your day with the best pineapple smoothie or acai bowl in the entire world.
Kidding… kind of. It’s also extremely inexpensive at just $88/night while fitting up to three people. It’s a three minute walk from the beach, has great views of the ocean, the city, AND the mountains, and also have unanimous 5 star reviews. Plus you get access to one of the highest rooftop pools in Waikiki! Now even I want to stay here.
Parking is available but not included. It is $5/hour or $30/day.
WAIKIKI Panoramic OCEAN VIEW Studio
Last but not least, another ocean view studio with room for up to three guests. Two blocks from the beach, great reviews, beautiful views, and a superhost — the perfect combo.
If you want something not quite as fast pace as Waikiki but not as low key as the North Shore, Kailua is for you. Kailua is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world, Lanikai Beach, as well as one of my favorite hikes (see A Guide to Hiking the Lanikai Pillbox Trail in Oahu, Hawaii). Here you will not have to pay up to $30/day for parking like you will in Waikiki but the rentals are not quite as inexpensive as they are there.
Here are five Kailua Airbnb rentals that I recommend:
For recommendations on where to eat in Kailua, see A Local's Guide to The Best Places to Eat on Oahu Hawaii.
Lanikai Sands is a one minute walk from the prettiest beach in the world, Lanikai Beach! It fits two guests and is owned by a superhost. Parking is included!
Beautiful Studio Just a Short Walk to Kailua Beach
This apartment fits up to four guests and is a two minute walk from the beach. It sounds like the home is split into numerous levels so you’ll have the entire bottom floor to your self while the garage area will be shared. The shared area includes what looks like a lot of different beach gear options which is very convenient! Unanimous 5 star reviews here as well.
Lanikai ocean view home
If you have a big crew or just want to be extra fancy, this is it! This home fits up to seven guests and offers beautiful views. The owner lives on the bottom floor (private access, not shared) which will be convenient if you need anything from him.
Two parking spaces are also included.
IN HALEIWA ON THE NORTH SHORE…
Oahu’s North Shore is my favorite place to escape the hustle and bustle of Honolulu. It’s famous for it’s huge waves and being home to the charming surf town, Haleiwa. It is a historic town that my local mother often refers to as “old Hawaii”. Being here is like stepping back in time.
The same goes for the homes here. They are older, less modern, and without all the bells and whistles you will find in other spots on the island. Airbnb is a great option for North Shore Oahu accommodation and I managed to find three very good options, which are:
For more information about the North Shore including what to see, do, eat, and drink, see A Local's Guide to Visiting Oahu's North Shore.
The Haleiwa Wave House
This newly built one bedroom house is a few minutes walk to the beach and a quick drive to Haleiwa town. It’s fully equipped and owned by a superhost.
Surfers & Writers Paradise Studio
If you’d like to be just steps from the beach or to swim with sea turtles, this is for you. It’s 100 steps from Army Beach and a few minutes walk to Ali'i Beach which is where you will find more turtles than probably any other beach on Oahu. The owner lives on property (private access, not shared), there is beach gear you can borrow, and parking is included.
Haleiwa Beach House
If you have a group of up to six guests, this historic plantation home is your best bet. It’s located in the heart of Haleiwa Town and has absolutely glowing reviews. Sounds like both the house and the superhost Kay are incredibly lovely! The photos aren’t the best but I think if you give the listing a review you’ll definitely see why this made my list.