15 Oahu Airbnbs With the Most Gorgeous Views of Paradise
If you’re visiting Oahu (or staycationing) and you’ve decided to forgo tourist-driven Waikiki hotels for a home-away-from-home with a view, you’ve probably made the right decision. Staying in an Airbnb rental means you'll have to drive a little, but you’ll know you’ve chosen wisely when you’re waking up to the sound of the ocean instead of frantically dodging housekeeping when you forget to put the Do Not Disturb tag on your doorknob. Because it’s too easy to get lost in the rabbit hole that is Airbnb, we scoured hundreds of listings to find the most picturesque views the island has to offer -- reasonable budgets be damned!
The scenery is just what you’d expect surrounding a house named the Hobbit Hut: secluded and lush at the base of a mountain. You feel like a fruit smoothie? No matter -- you're tucked away in an organic fruit orchard. Pick whatever you want and blend it in the outdoor kitchen. And there's a chicken coop on-site -- meaning fresh eggs for breakfast. The remote hut generates electricity from solar panels, has a private bathroom with a heated outdoor shower, so you can bathe under the stars. You'll easily forget that real life cruelly awaits you at the end of your stay.
This cozy hilltop yurt is tucked amongst a garden landscape overlooking Kaneohe Bay. Outside the dome, you can hang out in vine-shaded patio furniture or relax in a hammock as you take in the view of the ocean. Staying in this garden abode is like camping in your friend’s backyard, only better. Because this backyard is calm and quiet. Meaning, you won’t toss and turn in your yurt as your neighbor’s kid blasts music at 11 at night.
Scaling 100 steps gets you to this hidden treehouse, where you'll fall asleep in a canopy of trees, but wake up to the sound of birds chirping and waves crashing. This open-air home is built directly into two large Banyans, with basically, a roof, floor, and support beams holding up screened walls. Minimalist living never seemed so appealing. For mosquito-fearing folks, sleeps nets are available to drape over the bed while you sleep.
Sometimes the ocean gets all the glory when you're talking about visiting Hawaii -- Oahu’s coastline is world-class. But lest you forget: the island’s sprawling mountain ranges are pretty unforgettable, too. The Windward home is in a quiet residential neighborhood, with Hoomaluhia Botanical Gardens and the 3,100ft Koolau Mountains right in your backyard. With an outdoor patio and grill, you can barbecue dinner and pretend you’re vacationing at Jurassic World.
You’re renting the top-floor studio of this two-story home, but you still get the one-acre eyeful of the Koolau Mountains and grassy lawn, where you can sprawl out and take in the scenery or cartwheel to your heart’s content. At night, the lack of city lights makes for an ideal dark canvas for staring up at the sky and seeing how many constellations you can identify with the astronomy app your dad won't get off your ass about downloading.
Close to the city but far enough to avoid the crush of tourists, this is a welcome escape without the long drive. With nearby hiking trails, indoor floor-to-ceiling wood paneling, modern accents, and green forest views from nearly every window, you’ll feel like you’re glamping in the great outdoors -- except you’re just a few miles from Waikiki.
It’s all about the ocean at this Windward-side retreat. The back deck leads you straight into the water, where coral fish swim right up to the dock. A shaded gazebo and large outdoor patio overlook the glassy waters, where you can take in views of Chinaman’s Hat and watch kayakers paddle in the distance. Rear glass doors slide completely open, letting the ocean air fill the living room and open kitchen, so you can enjoy the postcard-worthy backdrop in full 3D.
It’s hard to imagine relaxing in an outdoor, six-person jacuzzi, overlooking Diamond Head and Waikiki like it’s no big deal, but this three-bedroom home makes it a reality. Tucked on a mountain ridge, you'll have wraparound views of the city, mountain, and ocean. Added bonus: the house is stocked with beach chairs, towels, and snorkeling gear, so when you’re ready to take a break from the jacuzzi, you can head to the beach quickly and get pruny in the ocean instead.
With floor-to-ceiling glass walls in most rooms, this luxury estate is like living in a fishbowl. Luckily, the 5,550sqft home is tucked on a verdant and remote mountaintop (with the ocean in the distance), making it difficult for neighbors to spy on your daily activities. Like you would care if they could anyway: you'll be surrounded by gardens, koi ponds, Buddha statues, bamboo, and tropical trees. The indoor eye candy competes with the natural surroundings, and looks (and probably is) straight out of an interior design magazine.
John Walker, a contractor for Queen Liliuokalani, built his beachside hideaway in 1934, before the onslaught of tourists discovered the calm, turquoise waters of Lanikai Beach. The property sits on the edge of the ocean with easy beachside access and glimpses of the Mokulua Islands. An outdoor patio and bedrooms give you prime views of the sunrise, where you can enjoy your jet lag with the smell of salty air and the sky filling in like a goddamned watercolor painting.
The man that brought you salon-quality shampoos and conditioners could also bring you a dream vacation with private garden and beach views (and the price to match). With so much space and amenities (meditation pond? Japanese bath house?? saltwater pool with a waterfall???), the estate is more like a resort village, with more luxurious views than you could’ve thought humanly possible.
Head to this house on a mountain and take in bird’s-eye city and ocean views without hiking or jumping out a plane. This mid-century modern villa is perched high over Honolulu with every window in the house opening into garden, poolside, forest, or city views, so no one will fight over who has the best bedroom view. Although, the ground-floor guest bedroom is the only room equipped with a jacuzzi, and one of the upstairs bedrooms opens to a balcony where you can sit and enjoy your morning coffee. So make sure you weigh your priorities carefully before calling dibs.
You know how staying up late gossiping on your hotel balcony tends to annoy the other guests? Not to mention, they can hear everything you’re saying? Well, this secluded Hawaii Kai waterfront is not only away far from restless sleepers, but also encourages late night storytelling 'round the campfire -- outdoor seating is lined up at the ocean’s ledge, with fire pits and tiki torches to illuminate your friends’ faces as the sun goes down.
Maybe a $20 million estate isn’t in your current budget, but you can rent out this beachside villa for a week of resort-like living, minus the other pesky hotel guests (ie., the pool's all yours). Tucked alongside quiet Kahala Beach, this breezy open-air house has seven bedrooms, including five in the main house and two in the guest house -- more than enough space to split the cost with friends.
Nope, not a typo. To stay in this 11,000sqft luxury estate, you’ll have to save up some serious pennies or donate a few kidneys to vacation like the rich and famous. But, those hard-earned dollars will get you five bedrooms and bathrooms (the master suite has panoramic ocean views and waterfall showers), a movie theater with a 140in screen, a library, a natural stone pool, jacuzzi, poolside cabana with a kitchen, and a wrap-around lanai with views of nothing but palm trees and the ocean. And if you are rich and famous, the gated beachfront fortress is surrounded by a 10ft wooden gate and black lava rock, equipped to keep pesky paparazzi at bay. Totally worth the splurge, right?
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Summer Nakaishi is a freelance writer for Thrillist, and is patiently waiting for a relative who lives in a Powerball-associated state to win the lottery so she vacation like Beyonce.