Vacation Condos On Oahu – Own A Piece Of Paradise

Oahu is by far the most visited island of all the Hawaiian islands. Nearly 50% of all visitors come to Oahu. It is beautiful, it is interesting, and it is loved by so many. Oahu offers many accommodation options for visitors and residents. From sleepy oceanfront condos, quiet neighborhoods, and beachfront living, to vibrant city living that offers world-class restaurants, shopping, and amenities. There is something on Oahu for everyone. So maybe it’s time to make your Hawaii dreams a reality by purchasing a vacation condo on Oahu?

Window with ocean view

Gold Coast Condos have beautiful views and are in close proximity to the ocean.

Why Oahu?

People make Oahu their second home all the time, and with all the living and entertainment choices, it’s no wonder the island is so popular with residents and visitors alike. The size of the island allows people to easily travel from area to area, so no matter which beach you prefer, the distance from your Oahu vacation condo to any beach won’t be far.

Amazing Beaches

Oahu has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While Waikiki beach is popular with tourists for its central location, there are plenty of other amazing Oahu beaches — Ala Moana Beach Park, Kailua Beach, Waimea Bay Beach Park to name a few.

World Class Restaurants

There is no shortage of amazing restaurants on Oahu. From Nobu at the Waiea, to Haleiwa Joe’s on Oahu’s North Shore, to Duke’s, the beachfront favorite in Waikiki.

Top Shopping

By far the most famous in Honolulu, and one of the top shopping destinations in the US, is the outdoor shopping experience of Ala Moana Center. One of the newest additions to Waikiki is the redesigned International Market Place.

Scenic Hiking

Oahu scenery will take your breath away. Lose yourself in the lush and tropical vegetation of the Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden in Kaneohe, or one of many paths that make up the Makiki Valley Trail Loop in Honolulu. From an expert to a beginner Moana Falls Park Trail, the opportunities for hiking and enjoying the outdoors are endless.

Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden

Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden. A little rain keeps the majestic Ko’olau mountains lush and green.

City Life or Small Town Tranquility

Everyone has a different idea of what a vacation should look like. For some, spending a day curled up with a book is the ideal. Others need more entertainment, whether it’s shopping, going to the beach, or going out to a different restaurant each night. The beauty of Oahu is that it offers a little of both worlds. Honolulu offers city living experience in a paradise setting, while other parts of Oahu, Kailua for example, offer small town beachy experience. With only approximately 30 minute drive from one place to the other, city lovers can easily find downtime, and those in small communities can find all the city amenities and perks of Honolulu. That’s why Oahu! There’s something for everyone.

Transportation Options

When on Oahu in central Honolulu location, a car is optional, and with many car rental companies around, it’s easy to rent one as needed. However, it’s not a requirement. Residents and visitors alike either walk, or scooter around, use Taxis, Uber, The Bus, or use bike sharing, like Biki Bikes. A new car sharing program is scheduled to be available on Oahu in the near future as well. So picking up groceries or hopping around the island is easy.

Price of Paradise

Oahu has something for just about anyone looking for a vacation condo. Prices for fee simple 1-Bedroom condos, typically, are at $300,000 and up. There are a few below this price point, but the selection is small. Fee simple studio units can be purchased at roughly $200,000. From there, the prices can be anything, $500,000, $900,000, and all the way up to millions of dollars. It all depends on location, size of the condo, amenities (swimming pools), and the buyer’s needs and often wants. The range of vacation condos on Oahu is huge.


Vacation by the world famous beaches of Kailua.

Vacation Condos on Oahu

The majority of vacation condos on Oahu are fee simple. However, there are still leasehold condos on the market and some buyers choose to purchase this type of property for their place in paradise. Unlike a fee simple property where the owner owns the home/condo and the land that it sits on, owners of leasehold condos don’t own the land. There is a rent payment for the land and there is a lease expiration date.

Popular Vacation Condo Locations

  • Waikiki is the #1 area for Oahu vacation condos. The neighborhood is primarily all condominium buildings and hotels, where most of Oahu visitors visit. It’s an area full of shopping, restaurants, Waikiki Beach, and daily entertainment at the local hotels. It is in Waikiki that you will find the biggest variety of condos on Oahu.
  • The Gold Coast of Honolulu. Oceanfront living unlike anywhere else on Oahu. The area was originally developed in the 1950s and 1960s and has since been beautifully maintained, with many fully renovated condos. The area is across Kapiolani Park, with a short distance to all that Waikiki has to offer.
  • Kailua is often a favorite with many residents and visitors. Kailua is a beach town, with a world famous Kailua Beach Park, quaint local shops, and beachy restaurants. Ka Malanai condos are the newest condos in the area and are very popular with residents and as 2nd homes.
  • Ko Olina in Kapolei. For a truly relaxing experience, head over to Ko Olina to enjoy the gorgeous Ko Olina lagoons and the beach. It’s never too busy, always beautiful, and for golfers, it’s a perfect spot with the golf course right in the community.
  • Kakaako in Honolulu is a more residential area as compared to Waikiki. It’s across Ala Moana Beach Park and next to Ala Moana Center. While it’s not a “typical vacation condo” spot, many of the Kakaako condos are used by owners are vacation properties.  It’s an amazing area with the Ward Village community being built, full of stunning, contemporary, luxury condominium buildings.
  • Park Lane Ala Moana in Honolulu offers spectacular ultra-luxury residences adjacent to Ala Mona Center and across from Ala Moana Beach Park.  For buyers who are looking for the best of the best, Park Lane Ala Moana is sure to impress.


Waikiki has hundreds of condo options, with rental income opportunities.

Lock It Up or Rent it Out?

The nice part about owning a vacation condo is how easy it is to take care of. Many people simply choose to lock them up when they go home, and not worry much about it until their next visit. Unlike with a maintenance of a home, where the grass and vegetation need to be maintained at the minimum, there is little of that with condo ownership. Part of the condo dues go to the property and building maintenance.

If your plan is to rent out the condo on short-term basis or as an Airbnb, the building or zoning, will have restrictions in place that address short-term vacation rentals. Most do. While there are plenty of vacation rental homes and condos on Oahu, they’re not all operating legally, and the quickest way to get in trouble is by the neighbors filing a complaint. You will also need a property manager to manage the property when you’re not on Oahu. Knowing what the rental regulations are for a particular unit, will be important when purchasing a Honolulu condo.

There are instances where a single family home or condo, can be operating legally as a vacation rental property in a residential neighborhood. If the property has a non-comforming short term certificate attached to the title, then it’s in compliance. The certificate has to be renewed or it expires. Once it does, then it’s gone.

Condotels are a great option for individuals who desire to have a vacation condo on Oahu, but would also like to rent it out while no on island. Condotels are fee simple condos that are within a hotel operation. Condotel properties allow for income opportunity for condo owners. While the property is not being used, the hotel, or a private management company, will manage short-term rentals for the owners. Most condotels allow for daily or weekly rentals, unlike traditional condos that allow a minimum 30 day or 6-month rentals. The Ilikai in Waikiki is a great example of a Waikiki Condotel.


Own a vacation condo at Ko Olina and relax by one of the Ko Olina lagoons.

What About Vacation Homes?

Just like there are many vacation condos, there are also plenty of homes on Oahu that can be purchased and used as vacation properties. Waikiki itself will not have many house options, as it is a primarily a condo neighborhood, but the rest of Oahu has everything from small cottages to multi-million dollar estates, of which many are second homes and vacation properties.

Canal with boats

Dock your boat in front of your home or condo in Hawaii Kai.

Oahu is truly paradise. Oahu offers something for everyone, which makes this Hawaiian Island, my favorite!

  • Please don’t hesitate to contact me for information on purchasing a vacation condo on Oahu.
  • If you would like to appear on our popular “Hawai Life” TV show on HGTV as you are purchasing your new home or condo, check out the casting opportunity.

Let’s stay connected!


Hawaii life and Chrisite's real estate kinga mills

About the Author

Kinga Mills

Kinga Mills is a REALTOR Associate, Forbes Global Properties, Luxury Portfolio Affiliate, & Military Relocation Professional with Hawai'i Life. I adore Hawaii, its people, and the natural beauty that surrounds me. I live on Oahu. It's a pretty incredible place to call home. There is a little bit of everything here. From pristine beaches and quiet neighborhoods to the trendiest of restaurants in the urban Honolulu. I simply love Oahu and the variety it offers. My real estate career allows me to enjoy the Island life, and to work with some amazing people. With over a decade of experience and hundreds of closed sales, I provide my clients with expert buying and selling advice. My goal for clients is to enjoy the process, while my team and I handle the details. As a member of the Hawaii Life Military Specialized Team, I regularly provide real estate assistance to active-duty military personnel who are PCSing to Hawaii, to the mainland, or overseas. For the Luxury Real Real Estate buyers and sellers, I am affiliated with Luxury Portfolio International and Forbes Global Properties. These exclusive affiliations extend an even greater reach, exposure, and effectiveness within the global luxury marketplace. In my time off, I love walking along the beach, enjoying meals out on the town, and taking family vacations. Sign up for my Oahu Hawaii Life blog updates and follow my journey. You can also find me on HGTV "Hawaii Life" Season 14. I look forward to helping in making your Hawaii Life real estate dreams happen! You can email me at or via phone at (808) 722-3985.

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Mac Watson

April 19, 2018

Nice Post..
I love this vacation rentals, its really looking so beautiful.
Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post.
You can also book cabin rentals finger lakes which is pet friendly.

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