Scott Kauffman's Golf & Resort-Style Community Rankings'
Turtle Bay Resort - Kahuku, Oahu, Hawaii
I love peninsulas. I live on one in Florida. And I had the pleasure to recently enjoy one of the most beautiful peninsulas on the planet here on Oahu’s fabled North Shore.
Few resorts can claim 100 percent of their guest rooms, spa treatment rooms, fitness room bikes, restaurants and ballrooms have an ocean view. Then again, how many resorts are built on a peninsula at the northernmost tip of an island at the last break along a famous stretch of surfing coastline?
Turtle Bay Resort might be the only one that fits that bill. Located on a pristine 840-acre stretch of raw one-time Kahuku sugar plantation land, Turtle Bay features five miles of unspoiled beach and every one of the resort’s 410 rooms and 42 beach cottages have unobstructed views of the Pacific from the ocean’s edge.
This rare beauty is what initially attracted Del Webb in 1972 to build a resort community in what was then a sleepy sugar cane mill town. More than 40 years later, the place is even sweeter thanks to a fresh $30 million renovation by the new owners and the attentive care of new asset manager Replay Resorts.
The new infusion of capital improvements, about a decade after previous owners invested $60 million into the property, is an important milestone for Turtle Bay as it continues an extensive re-branding campaign focusing on creating “authentic, once-in-a-lifetime experiences found only on the North Shore,” according to Replay Resorts.
Situated at the start of the mecca of surf, or the “7-mile miracle,” Turtle Bay is positioning itself as the epicenter of health, wellness and adventure. If you want to discover another side of Oahu, or Hawaii for that matter, this is it.
Whether it’s horseback riding, playing 36 holes of golf designed by Arnold Palmer and Tom Fazio that has played host to numerous Senior PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events, taking a helicopter ride, hiking or ending water sports, Turtle Bay has it all in a unrefined laidback sophisticated setting.
And the best part is all 410 main building guest rooms and hallways have been upgraded and completely modeled and the restaurant and bar scene has been greatly enhanced with North Shore Kula Grille and Pa’akai restaurants and Surfer, The Bar – a collaboration between Turtle Bay and Surfer magazine.
For those seeking a private residence inside the unmanned gates of the main resort (Replay decided to do away with the un-Hawaiian like gated resort feel), Kuilima Estates along the first hole of the Fazio Course has several fee-simple 1-bedroom condos built in 1973 for sale as high as $396,000. Meanwhile, a stunning 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom, 2,549-square-foot ground-floor townhome with direct oceanfront access is listed at $2.9 million.