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11 Best Hawai‘i Airbnbs From Honolulu to Kona

By AFAR Editors

Sep 30, 2020

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Rent this open-air Airbnb located in the Big Island’s Kona region, an ideal destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking amid the coral reefs.

Courtesy of Airbnb

Rent this open-air Airbnb located in the Big Island’s Kona region, an ideal destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking amid the coral reefs.

Bookmark these magical Airbnbs for your next trip to Hawai‘i.

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Note: On July 8, 2021,  Hawai‘i updated its entry requirements for domestic travelers—fully vaccinated visitors entering from anywhere in the United States can now do so without a pretravel test or quarantine. However, on August 25, Governor David Ige urged residents and potential visitors to limit travel to the islands to essential business while the state struggles to control outbreaks of the delta variant of the coronavirus.

Whether you’re daydreaming of Maui’s black-sand beaches, O‘ahu’s famous surf spots, or the Big Island’s epic volcanoes, every trip to Hawai‘i requires a place to stay no matter which island you choose.

There are plenty of beautiful resorts to book across the island chain. But if you’re traveling with a large family or desire more privacy, renting an Airbnb is key for a comfortable and relaxing trip. Although most islands have slightly different laws about where vacation rentals can operate and require owners to obtain a permit to operate, renting an Airbnb in Hawai‘i is legal. (But it’s best to stick to properties that include a license number in the listing to be sure.)

From a luxurious villa that sleeps 10 on O‘ahu’s North Shore to a glamping-style retreat for two on a mango farm in Kona, here are 11 of the best Airbnbs in Hawai‘i right now.

O‘ahu Airbnbs

Consider this an upgrade from the surf shack you stayed in during your first trip to Hawaii.

North Shore O‘ahu Surf House

  • Book Now: From $600 per night, airbnb.com
  • Haleiwa, O‘ahu
  • Sleeps: 3

Located on O‘ahu’s rugged North Shore, this oceanfront home channels the beachy vibes of its surfer haven location. Just a half mile away from the famed Banzai pipeline (where infamous competition “The Eddy” takes place), and literally feet away from one of the island’s most consistent surf spots, this Airbnb is in a hard-to-beat location for wave-riders of all levels.

But this house is great for nonsurfers too: It comes equipped with pool access, a patio, and a hibachi grill and is close to some of the North Shore’s best food. Grab a smoothie bowl at Sunrise Shack, explore the food trucks across from Shark’s Cove, or keep it chill and get amazing poke from Foodland Supermarket (seriously). —Jessie Beck

O Kekai North Shore O‘ahu Villa

  • Book Now: From $10,500 per night, airbnb.com
  • Kahuku, O‘ahu
  • Sleeps: 10

For the ultimate escape to nature in O‘ahu, grab nine of your closest friends and head to this Balinese-inspired Airbnb. This secluded, oceanside propertywhich consists of five villas, a private pool, and spacious outdoor lounge areaswill truly make you feel like you’re away from it all. Even so, it’s just a short drive to some of the North Shore’s best attractions, Waimea Beach, the Shark Cove food trucks, and even closer to Malaekahana Beach, which is a great beginner surf spot, and the Polynesian Cultural Center—J.B.

This Honolulu Airbnb is affordable and conveniently located.

Waikiki Studio Apartment

  • Book Now: From $148 per night, airbnb.com
  • Honolulu, O‘ahu
  • Sleeps: 3

If you want the full Waikiki experience, this studio apartment is the place to be. Located on the 26th floor of a sky-rise, the studio’s floor-to-ceiling windows—and its lanai—offer panoramic views of the ocean, city skyline, and mountains. While petite, the condo’s clean midcentury design makes the space feel open and airy, and it’s fully equipped with a queen bed, kitchenette, and full-size TV. The building has a rooftop pool—and it’s only a five-minute walk to the iconic Kuhio Beach Park and the many bustling restaurants, cafés, and shops of Waikiki. —Aislyn Greene

Kahala Oceanside Villa

  • Book Now: From $3,500 per night, airbnb.com
  • Honolulu, O‘ahu
  • Sleeps: 14

Where else but Hawai‘i could you have a volcanic vent in your backyard? Located a mile from Diamond Head State Monument—a volcanic tuff cone (and a safe and beloved hiking spot)—this six-room villa offers easy access to Honolulu’s best, but feels like a retreat from the world. The villa has two bedrooms in the main house, plus four private cottages set around a common garden. Guests have their own private pool, six bathrooms, and plenty of indoor/outdoor dining and living space. Part of Airbnb’s Luxe service, travelers can add on anything from a private chef to a butler. —A.G.

This cozy Airbnb is located within a short drive of many of Honolulu’s best beaches and hiking spots.

Hanauma Bay Studio Apartment

  • Book Now: From $145 per night, airbnb.com
  • Honolulu, O‘ahu
  • Sleeps: 2

With nearly 200 five-star reviews, most guests call out the amazing sunset views over Diamond Head and the Pacific Ocean as this Hawai‘i Airbnb’s highlight. Inside, you’ll find a clean and cozy space for two that’s drenched in natural light. The host, Meera, has also kitted out her property with extra amenities like snorkeling gear and beach chairs to take down to the beaches in the area. You’ll need a car to get around, but this studio is a great home base to explore O‘ahu during the day and relax on the private balcony in the evening. —L.M.

Kaua‘i Airbnbs

Of course this Garden Island Airbnb has a beautiful backyard.

Secluded Kaua‘i Jungle Cottage

  • Book Now: From $325 per night, airbnb.com
  • Hanalei, Kaua‘i
  • Sleeps: 3

This light-filled jungle oasis is the perfect place to disconnect. Located near Kaua‘i’s North Shore, the property offers mountain and jungle views from the abundant windows. Guests can watch birds and listen to the jungle sounds from the living room or bedrooms or head out to get a closer look on nearby hikes.

The earthy chic minimalist decor features plenty of ideal reading and relaxing nooks (a nap on the hammock in the screened-in lanai is calling to us). Hanalei Bay, Tunnels, and Ke‘e beaches are all a short drive from the house for snorkeling, surfing, kayaking, and paddle boarding. A washer and dryer and full kitchen make this house a great option for longer stays, too. —Michelle Baran

Kukuiula Kaua‘i Club Bungalow

  • Book Now: From $1,099 per night, airbnb.com
  • Koloa, Kaua‘i
  • Sleeps: 2

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This one-bedroom bungalow strategically places you in Kaua‘i’s south shore (the town of Poipu is about five minutes away). Situated at the edge of the Kukuiula Golf Course—part of the Kukuiula Resort—the bungalow includes access to resort amenities (pools, the resort’s 10-acre farm). Within the bungalow’s 1,000 square feet, travelers have a full kitchen, an alfresco shower, and plenty of living space. And you can’t beat your own private lanai overlooking a sea of palm trees, with the ocean in the distance. —Aislyn Greene

Big Island Airbnbs

Let the outdoors in at this open-air Airbnb.

Tropical Garden Retreat Airbnb Plus

  • Book Now: From $137 per night, airbnb.com
  • Captain Cook, Big Island
  • Sleeps: 2

Open-air living may not be for everyone with all of nature’s guests able to wander in at their leisure (don’t worry, the bedroom and kitchen are walled in), but we love the idea of truly connecting with the outdoors in this glamping-style retreat on a mango farm (added bonus: guests have access to ample fresh fruit).

This nature lover’s home is outfitted with dreamy Bali-meets-Hawaii design details and an indoor/outdoor shower. It’s a mile from Kealakekua Bay in Kona, an ideal destination for snorkeling, scuba diving, and kayaking amid the coral reefs. Or head to the nearby Keʻei Beach, a secluded cove known for good surfing conditions. —M.B.

Kūono Modern Volcano Cabin

  • Book Now: From $395 per night, airbnb.com
  • Volcano, Big Island
  • Sleeps: 4

This modern cabin is located in a forest of Ohia trees just a five-minute drive to Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park. Take advantage of the private lanai that is equipped with an outdoor hot tub and fire pit.

To access the area’s spectacular black-sand beaches at MacKenzie State Recreation Area, drive down the Puna Coast along Route 137, also known as the Red Road. —Lyndsey Matthews

Maui Airbnbs

Plan ahead for plenty of lazy days by the pool.

Ocean View Maui Airbnb Plus

  • Book Now: From $1,185 per night, airbnb.com
  • Kihei, Maui
  • Sleeps: 8

Just a 25-minute drive from Kahului Airport, the town of Kihei on Maui’s southwest shore is known for being one of the sunniest—and driest—parts of the island. With three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an open concept kitchen and living area, this spacious home is ideal for large families or groups of friends traveling together. The sandy shores of Kamaole Beach Park III is a little over a mile away, but if you feel like staying in, this Airbnb also has a large pool. At night, relax by the outdoor firepit or in the hot tub. —L.M.

You’ll be tempted to move into this Airbnb permanently.

Luxury Airbnb Plus Beach Cottage

  • Book Now: From $604 per night, airbnb.com
  • Kihei, Maui
  • Sleeps: 2

This charming one-bedroom cottage is located in the heart of Kihei within walking distance of Kalama Park as well as shops and restaurants along the main road. The airy space is designed to feel like a home away from home with a full kitchen, washer and dryer, and a memory foam mattress. The highlight, though, is the palm-tree filled backyard with its saltwater hot tub, outdoor shower, and covered lanai. —L.M.

>> Next: This 175-Mile Trail Takes You Through the Hidden Treasures of Hawai‘i

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