Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons
There's reason a Hawaii honeymoon is a classic! And, Oahu affords honeymooners the greatest variety of experiences, including the cultural and cosmopolitan appeal of Honolulu, the Hawaiian capital; the white glove service and stunning grounds of Ko Olina, a resort community on the island's western shore; and the beautiful, remote North Shore, legendary for its big wave surfing. We're narrowing it down and laying out the perfect romantic itinerary for your Oahu honeymoon, between Honolulu, Ko Olina, and the North Shore. At a minimum, split seven days between Honolulu and either Ko Olina or the North Shore; if time allows, plan 10 or more days to see all three.
A crossroads of cultures, a vibrant dining and nightlife scene, high-rises and attractions aplenty, Honolulu is a big city with a distinctly laid-back island vibe. The greatest concentration of hotels and resorts are located in the Waikiki neighborhood, home of world-famous Waikiki Beach. With so many options to choose from, focus on hotels that have tried and true reputations, such as the Moana Surfrider or the Royal Hawaiian Resort, two historic Waikiki properties that have earned their iconic status, or the five-star, five-diamond Halekulani — a honeymoon-worthy splurge.
A true slice of Hawaiian paradise, the sheer size of this master-planned resort community is impressive: Ko Olina is located on 642 acres and features four oceanfront lagoons with wide sandy beaches, 1.5 miles of shoreline pathways, a Ted Robinson-designed golf course and a private marina that hosts every kind of ocean activity imaginable — from snorkeling and dolphin tours to sunset cruises and sport fishing day trips. This spring, the Four Seasons joins the resort lineup at Ko Olina with the debut of the Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina. In true Four Seasons style, the resort will have some incredible amenities, including a dedicated luxury fleet that includes a 75-foot private yacht, a helicopter and numerous vehicles.
Oahu's North Shore
Only a 90-minute drive from Honolulu (or an hour from Ko Olina), the North Shore feels much more remote. You'll know you've officially arrived when you reach the town of Haleiwa, where a stop at Matsumoto Shave Ice is mandatory: This North Shore institution has been serving the classic Hawaiian treat for more than 50 years.
Small beach communities dot the drive towards Turtle Bay Resort, located at the North Shore's farthest point. One of the only properties on the North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort makes the journey well worth it. Every guest room and suite has an ocean view and the beach cottages and ocean villas are practically on the sand. Activities are plentiful and include horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking and surfing school, in addition to some of the more usual suspects. Note that the resort offers a honeymoon package, for that extra special touch.