Since I live at the Makaha Beach Cabanas, I have to say that this is one of the nicest beaches by far on the island. If you are not into "local style" than stay in Waikiki. The leeward side of the Island is about local style and respect. Please do not come on this side of the Island not expeceting the true local lifestyle. Yes, there are homeless people living on the beach, but they do not bother you and if you are from the city, than you are used to it. Please do not trash our Island and please, please keep your valuables in the condo and not the car. It is paradise, but there are people who need money. Many people have differnt views of Hawaii. The Leeward coast is one of the last places on Oahu that is has not been "built on" in a long time and makes Hawaii, Hawaii. Take the time to enjoy the turtles and save money. Hope to see you soon on the WESTSIDE!
This was my first trip to Hawaii, but my spouse was born and raised there. I researched and checked on all the condo rentals on the leeward side of the island, so we would be close to my in-laws. I didn't want to stay anywhere near a tourist type area. We decided on Makaha Shores due to the price, availability, and we wanted to stay ON the ocean, not a view of the ocean. I started searching only 3 months ahead of time, and learned that you should begin searching at least 6 months ahead. But we were pleasantly surprised to find Makaha Shores to be a very clean, friendly, place. Our efficiency room was just right for us 2. It is a privately owned condo (owners live in Hawaii) and was decorated VERY nice. But each condo is individually owned and decorated, so be sure to ask for pictures before committing. Full kitchen, bath, living room with couch, coffee table, tv, dresser, and a pull down murphy bed, which I was surprised was very comfortable. Every condo has a lanai overlooking the ocean, or like ours the ocean & beach. Our room did not have a/c, which I was nervous about prior to going, but we found that the breeze off the ocean with the ceiling fan kept it just perfect (not too cold, not too hot). Loved falling asleep to the waves crashing on the beach and getting up in the morning, making coffee, and sitting on the lanai watching the surfers paddling out at sunrise (don't see that in Michigan lol).I really loved Makaha beach. It was great for boogie boarding (2 boards came with our room) which I finally got the hang of after about 5 days. We brought our own snorkel masks/fins and if you start at the center of the beach and follow the corral ridge under water, you'll will see sea turtles and a wide aray of beautiful fish. A local surfer told us about a large rock to look for, and we found a whole family of turtles living at, about 20ft below us. The water was warm, blue, and clear. We traveled the entire island, and although there were some nice spots, I must say that my favorite is the leeward side of the island. Not as populated, mostly polynesian people, which made me feel like I was in hawaii, not a tourist vacation area. As for us, we already decided that after checking out all the other condo's on the leeward side, the only other one we would stay at, would be the Princess, but its twice as much per week. Since we spent a lot of time at the family's house visiting, and alot of $ shopping, why spend any more money on a place to stay. So we will be staying at Makaha Shores our next trip. Just remember request the owner email photos of the interior, and view from the lanai, before you decide (that goes for anyplace your looking at renting). There are some real nice condo's and some tacky furnished ones. I look forward to our next trip, and the day we move there permanently.
We were VERY pleased with our unit at Makaha Shores, but then again we did have a unit with lanai (patio) overlooking the ocean. It was a studio, but VERY awesome for the price we paid. There were some TINY tiny little ants in the kitchen but not a major inconvenience or anything. Small unit but perfect for the budget minded. Our stay in Hawaii was INCREDIBLE like a small piece of heaven. THANK YOU to all the friendly local residents (including daddy). We love you Hawaii!!!!!!!!
I was pleasantly surprised by the accomodations for the affordable price I paid at the Makaha Beach Cabanas. The unit was elegantly decorated and the unobstructed ocean view was exquisite. I recommend this place to anyone especially a parent like myself who needs a kitchen when traveling with young children.
I have stayed at Makaha Shores, Makaha Surfside, and Makaha Valley Plantation. I have also seen the inside of one of the Makaha Beach Cabana Units, although I did not stay there.
Makaha is a GREAT Budget-Travel Oahu Hawaii vacation area! BUT ASK before you book! Makaha Shores Condos are studios (sometimes one BR) that are only about 300- 350 sq ft and are not comfortable for more than 2 people. Th e last lady who was explaining the traffic--- well M-Shores is on the MAIN Surfing competition beach... there are miles of Makaha beaches to choose form other than that one.
Makaha Surfside is 400 sq ft, good space for a couple and the view is nice but you must walk to the better swimming beach.
Makaha Beach Cabanas/ Princess is one BR, about 500-600 sq ft, with a great beach, but is also more expensive and usually very very booked. Also, it has no pool and no amenities on the grounds other than parking.
Makaha Valley Plantations is the biggest, 2 BRS each, some even have three, but it is up on the golf course. Perfect for golfers, and you can SEE the ocean, but you do have to drive down to it. However theres 2 pools, and if you have kids, its really cheap for vacations.
KEEP IN MIND--- all beaches in Hawaii are PUBLIC, if you stay at one of the cheaper condos--- you can walk over to the better beach at the hawaii beach cabanas...( known as Turtle Beach") just park on the side of the road next to the complex and walk ! I know in many states/ island vacation areas the beach is exclusive to the resort.... this is NOT SO in HAWAII and migh tbe helpful for you to know!
To sum it all up: ASK about the size of the unit when you rent. If you are not good at sizes, get out a tape measure and try it out in your LR! Ask if it faces the the ocean or the street! Ask if it was newly remodeled! And yes, for-rent-by-owner condos are modest...after all , people steal. BUT you will get a lot of little extras that a hotel would charge more for!
We stayed at Makaha Shores Thanksgiving week in 2003. It is NOT a resort. More like staying at a cousin's weekend place. Units are individually owned and modestly decorated. Comfortably furnished, including washer, dryer and dishwasher. This is a GREAT VALUE for budget conscious traveller. Our cost was about $500 for ten nights.
The condo is on the dry side of the island. The small units are mostly residential, and this is a lower income area. The residents are very friendly. Staying at Makaha Shores does give you a feel for everyday life on the island.
Units appear to be rented out by individual owners for a minimum of one week. We booked through an online listing that appeared to be an owner/real estate agent.
It is near the end of the road and there are some good hiking areas. Note that since Farrington Highway does dead end a few miles up the road, the area is known for drag racing and other generally dangerous driving. Also, the traffic seems to be non-stop all night long and the condo bedroom faces the road, and cooling is by ceiling fans and open windows. There is a small wall mounted AC unit in the living room facing the ocean, but the instructions clearly indicated that it is only intended for brief use to cool down the unit. Allow for a 45 minute to one hour drive if you are going in to Honolulu.
This condo met our needs for a family visit for several days at an affordable price. Since we typically spend most of our days sightseeing and were not looking for a glamour resort, it fit our needs well. The ocean views and sunsets are incredible... no matter how much or how little you pay for your accomodations. Plus, we prefer to be away from the major tourist areas when we vacation.
If you are aware of what you are getting, this place can be a great bargain. If you are expecting a romantic, tropical paradise, opt few fewer days at a more traditional expensive resort.
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