After Massive Transformation, Turtle Bay Is Now Oahu’s Premiere Resort For Food And Drink

Food & Drink

Oahu’s North Shore is synonymous with pristine paradise. For nearly 50 years Turtle Bay Resort has existed as the premiere luxury destinations here. Its 1,300 acres of waterfront property encompasses more than just sprawling suites, world-class beaches and golf courses. It also is home to significant conservation space and farmland. And now, thanks to an expansive, multi-year renovation it is an unrivaled destination for food and drinks.

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Its new status is owed to an overhaul of the entire F+B program, with a focus on celebrating local culture and farm-fresh ingredients. Guests can enjoy a great taste of such at Alaia—the resort’s primary dining outpost. Located just off the lobby, the menu highlights hydroponically-grown greens and root vegetables from neighboring Kuilima Farm. And when it comes to proteins, it’s difficult to select something from this seafood-focused fare that wasn’t caught in the surrounding waters.

Over at the bar, a similar emphasis on locality is on vibrant display. All beers on draft come from the islands, including a coconut-infused hefeweizen from Honolulu Beerworks. Standout cocktails include “Don’t Touch The Turtles”—a refreshing combination of Elyx vodka, mint and lilikoi that’s served in an outsized copper turtle; Alai-tai—the restaurant’s pineapple-forward play on a more traditional Mai Tai; and Forgetting Sarah Marshall—a rum and Campari combination named after the beloved comedy that was partially filmed on the property.

More advanced mixology can be savored at the lobby bar, Off The Lip. The concept brings literal interpretation to the term, ‘watering hole’ with a sunken footprint backdropped by an infinity-edge pool extending seamlessly into the sea. From the well drinks are prepared using fresh juices and homemade kombuchas. When it’s tiki time, preparations benefit from the incorporation of a housemade orgeat syrup.

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But the drinks here swim way past the shore of basic. The Shark Bite, for example, is an island-ified riff on a Penicillin. Mála Momona combines Japanese gin and Lillet Blanc with lychee and pineapple under a topper of bitters and syrups made with herbs from the farm. The bar even offers daily Mai Tai making classes so you can bring a taste of Aloha back home with you after vacation.

And that’s just a small taste of what the property has to offer. Across the grounds guests can now explore no less than 8 separate dining outposts. In addition, the relaunch has seen the introduction of the new Paniolo Paina dinner series. The nightly outdoor experience celebrates the islands’ cowboy heritage and includes storytelling, live music and a whole lot of roasted meat. There might even be some Hawaiian whiskey involved (yes, that’s a thing).

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A new lounge called the Ocean Club serves as the centerpiece of the resort’s exclusive Vista Level offering. It provide guests who book it a host of upgraded amenities and services, including spa treatments, surf lessons and early check-ins.

Even from an architectural standpoint, the hotel’s reinvention leans into local. It was helmed by Rob Iopa, a Hilo native who has played an active role in conservation and planning efforts on the North Shore. It was his idea to open up the main lobby, expanding panoramic views and introducing ample natural light.

“Turtle Bay is such a special and revered place on O’ahu,” he notes. “We are very excited to share our vision with new and returning guests and the local community. The team’s thoughtful approach to this reimagination has breathed new life into the resort and truly captures the essence of this spectacular and truly magical part of the island.”

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Just make sure you arrive hungry and thirsty. Rooms at the 4-star resort start at just over $500 per night.

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