Turtle Bay on the North Shore of Oahu is one of our favorite spots anywhere, not just in Hawaii. About 50 minutes by car from Honolulu airport, it’s on a rugged stretch of wild coast, not far from the very cool North Shore town of Haleiwa. (known both for it’s delicious shrimp trucks, and for  M. Matsumoto Shave Ice, a favorite of the Obama family).

It’s a beautiful spot at the edge of the island (and the world!), with ocean views on 3 sides. You’re almost certain to see surfers hitting the big waves, and closer to the resort, turtles as well. The bay didn’t get it’s name for nothin’.  It’s also a popular location for TV and film shoots. It was the hotel in the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” and they shot a lot of scenes from the TV show “Lost” nearby. While we were there in December 2012, they were shooting an episode of a Food Network reality show.

The locals would hate the comparison, but with the surfers everywhere , film crews milling about, there was a slight touch of Malibu in the air when we last visisted, but in the most beautiful and un-pretentious kind of way.

The main pool is right there next to the surf, at the front of the property. It’s big and no-nonsense, lined with palm trees, often swaying in the breeze.

Turtle Bay Oahu Main Pool

The kiddie pool is small but separated, with a turtle mosaic on the bottom.

Turtle Bay Oahu Kiddie Pool

There’s a waterslide, probably more exciting for the littler kids. It’s like a beginner slide. A great place to practice for the bigger slides on the other side of the island.

Turtle Bay Oahu Waterslide

And near where the slide comes out, is a waterfall—fun to park yourself under on a hot Hawaiian day and a great time-suck for littler swimmers.

Turtle Bay Oahu Waterfall

There are two hot tubs, one that faces the surf that’s often crowded with surf watchers.

Turtle Bay Oahu Hot Tub Facing Ocean

There’s also a private pool for guests staying in the villas (no photos this time) which is pretty standard, without any special features but a relaxed vibe. The main pool is on one side of the property, while the beach is on the other, with the villas on the other side of the cove. The cove of white sandy beach is great for kid-play, with warm water, and safer swimming. There’s a casual snack stand and a restaurant right above the cove, making it a great place to spend the day.

Overall it’s a laid-back, but luxurious property, where “True Hawaii” is about keeping the North Shore “country” as the locals like to say.

For more Hawaii pool reviews click here.

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