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Best Luau, Dolphins & Family Friendly Resorts | Oahu’s West Side

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Is the west side of Oahu worth a visit? Some people say on the west side you find the best Luau’s and most family friendly resorts. You can swim with dolphins and enjoy peaceful and quiet beaches while watching a beautiful hawaiian sunset. Here are the most important information about Oahu’s West Side…

Oahu West Side – Worth a visit?


Well, obviously the west side of Oahu is on the west side of island – no surprise there. Depending on where on the west side you like to go, it can take you up to 90 minutes to get there from Waikiki. That is, if there is no traffic. The west side of the island starts around Pearl Harbor. From Waikiki to Pearl Harbor is only about a 20 minute drive. But to be honest, the locals would still consider it “town”.

If you live in Hawaii the west side doesn’t really start until you get to Pearl City or even to Ewa. Pearl City and Ewa are about 30 minutes away from Waikiki; again, that is without hitting traffic. The REAL west side of Oahu starts for most people around Ko’olina. And if you feel adventurous you go west even more – Nanakuli or Makaha are deep west. Only very few tourists find their way there. Why? It’s just a looong ride in the car. It sure is beautiful.

Things to do on the West Side of Oahu

Most of the activities on Oahu start and end in Waikiki. However, there are some incredible thing to do on the west side of Oahu. Here are our favorite things to do on the west side…

Swim with Dolphins in Hawaii

One of the most popular things to do on the west side of Oahu is the dolphin swim. Yes, you can swim with dolphins in the wild on the west side of Oahu. You can either drive to electric beach on the westside by yourself or use the transportation services of the dolphin swim tour operator.

Dolphin swims are popular on Big Island, Oahu, and Maui.

Luaus on the Westside

Paradise Cove Luau is one of the best Luaus in Hawaii. It is located on the west side of Oahu. The Paradise Cove Luau is located in Ko’olina. Depending on the traffic, the drive from Waikiki to Ko’olina can take up to 60 minutes. However, the Paradise Cove Luau is a 5-Star Luau and worth every penny.

Great food, an amazing show and probably the most beautiful sunset you will see during your vacation in Hawaii. Make your reservation for the Paradise Cove Luau well in advance, since tickets sell fast!

Chiefs Luau is hosted by a real hawaiian chief. The guy is funny as hell! The show at chiefs Luau is fun and the food is nice as well. The location is in the Wet n’ Wild Waterpark on the westside of Oahu – doesn’t sound like an amazing location for a Luau. However, we recently had guests on our private island tour that told us they had a great time and loved Chiefs Luau. Maybe worth checking out…

Hotels on the west side of Oahu

Hands down – the west side of Oahu has probably the most family friendly hotels on the island. The beautiful coves in this resort area are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding or floating. Not the greatest conditions to learn how to surf, but you can do this in Waikiki.

The Disney Aulani

The name Disney stands for family fun. The Disney Aulani Hotel is located in Ko’olina. It’s on the same cove as the Four Season Hotel. The Disney Aulani has an amazing pool – actually more than one.

Mickey Mouse, Donald and Goofy are visiting the hotel every day and there are lots of activities for kids. Nights start at $377 – check out their website for discounts & special offers at the Disney Aulani Hotel.

The Four Season Hotel

One of the most expensive hotels on the west side of Oahu and therefore also one of the most luxurious. The Four Seasons Hotel was renovated in 2016 and has the highest standards. The hotel was updated again during the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic. Rooms start at $585 per night.

The Marriott at Ko’olina

For every time-share lover one of the prime locations. The Marriott at Ko’olina is located at one of the beautiful coves. The hotel / time-share has one cove to itself. Visitors can enjoy three different pools and man made waterfalls. The rooms are spacious. You can have ocean view or mountain view. Check out this video we took of a sunset from the balcony of one of the rooms.

Sunset filmed on the west side of Oahu – Marriott at Ko’olina

Rooms for members start around $440 per night. The non-member rates start at $449.