Oahu North Shore Comparison

Blog Post created by kharada46 on Apr 21, 2018

Before falling off the face of the earth, I believe I promised a comparison between "the fabled" Turtle Bay Resort and the Courtyard Oahu North Shore.  Well, I haven't forgotten! 


The Short Version

In case you don't want to read my long, long posts, the short version is I didn't like either property.  I don't get what the hype about Turtle Bay is, aside from its location.  The rooms are mediocre and all amenities are ridiculously over priced.  The Courtyard, on the other hand, is very no-frills, which is fine.  But, the service is a mixed bag, and overall, was quite negative. 


Turtle Bay Resort


Now, my stay at the Turtle Bay happened back in 2016, and some things have changed since then.  Most notably, a Roy's restaurant is now available on property.  However, I suspect much is the same.  The rooms, while they look decent, are furnished with substandard pieces.  It, in my opinion, very much feels like a lipstick-on-a-pig situation.  The bed, for example, was one of the worst I've slept in at a hotel.  I think only the Maui Seaside provided a less comfortable sleeping experience. 















And, yes, that is a fridge under one of the vanities.  Interestingly, this room has a vanity in the bathroom and one right outside of it. 


The view from our room, however, was fairly decent.



In terms of amenities, the resort has:

  • a single pool
  • fitness center
  • Kinetic Spa
  • two golf courses
  • a stable
  • tennis courts
  • foot golf
  • disc golf
  • beach rentals
  • surf lessons
  • walking/hiking trails
  • a wedding pavilion
  • and a heliport


And, we used none of those amenities.  We were on a tight budget, and budget friendly travel is not this property's forte. 



In fact, we had the late night munchies and decided to order a room service snack of chocolate cake and onion rings.


Which was pretty underwhelming and set us back $42.  It's fantastic from an operators stand point, I suppose, to have a captive audience where such ludicrous prices can be charged.


And speaking about prices, room prices during popular periods at the Turtle Bay can be astronomical.  But, that's not all.  The property then has the audacity to charge a $45/night resort fee and $15/night self-parking.  Seriously?  If you thought Waikiki pricing is bad, the Turtle Bay takes the cake.  And it's why I refuse to stay here again.  Just get a nice Airbnb instead.  Or, there's the Courtyard.



Courtyard Oahu North Shore

Despite being a limited service hotel, I had high hopes for the Courtyard North Shore.  After all, I had a very positive experiences at the CY King Kam in Kona.  But not here. 


First and foremost, the associates I spoke with when I tried to check-in initially were incredibly rude.  They had an attitude of "don't bother me" when I approached them, which continued on while I spoke with one of the associates. 


Now, I had checked-in the night before and indicated an arrival time of 1pm.  However, we were informed that the property was at capacity and we wouldn't allowed to check-in until 4pm.  Now, check-out is at 11am, so they're telling me that they only have one guest checking out and that they have late check out?  Whatever.  We had a wedding to be at, so we left and changed in the car...


During the wedding, I think it was around 5pm, I received an alert that our room was ready.  Great. 


When we returned around 9pm, the associate then was very friendly and helpful.  However, there was a guest unhappy about how noisy his room was and wanted to change rooms, which wasn't possible.  So he spent 20 minutes making a huge stink.  So for the associate to hold her composure and be super friendly to us?  I give her props.  And, yeah.  This property is FILLED with families with children, so there's a lot of screaming and running around. 


Our room?  Well... mediocre.  And I think I prefer the standard CY corporate look over this style.















So much for guaranteed bed type too.  As you can see, we had two doubles or queens; I can't remember.  My profile specifies king bed. 


As for the view, we had a good one by this property's standards.



On property, there is a pool, which looked decent, and there is a Bistro.  But after eating at a CY Bistro once on Maui, I learned never to do so ever again.  So when we woke up the next morning, we got out of there as quickly as possible. 


Final Thoughts

Sadly, I wouldn't recommend anyone stay at either of these properties.  Turtle Bay was very mediocre at ridiculous prices, though overall service was nice.  The Courtyard... Well.  It's just not worth it.  If you want to stay on this part of the island, just get yourself an Airbnb.  Or go stay in Ko Olina instead, where you aren't so isolated and still have a great view and are away from the city. 


If you want a more comprehensive review of both properties, check out their posts on my other blog at