Guide to Honolulu’s Ocean View Homes & Neighborhoods

Did you know that 81% of all serious inquiries we receive for Honolulu homes express a desire for ocean views. There is a special allure about seeing the ocean.

Perhaps it goes back to our brain’s evolution from primordial times, or the distant unconscious pre-birth memory of us floating in the amniotic sac. Perhaps the calming blue color together with horizon views inspire minds to wander and forget time. Some of our clients tell us they like to spend time in Hawaii because Hawaii’s oceans look bluer compared to other places they have been. Perhaps the bluer ocean is simply a reflection of Hawaii’s sunny blue skies.

We don’t pretend to know the answers to these questions, but we do share your fascination with ocean views.

To assist you best in your quest for the perfect dream home, we differentiate between the following two categories:

Ocean view homes tend to appeal to many more buyers because they are relatively more affordable. There are simply more homes available with an ocean view, compared to the limited supply of homes that are oceanfront.

Here is your comprehensive guide to Honolulu Ocean View Homes & Neighborhoods:

1.)  Hawaii Loa Ridge (see video)

Hawaii Loa Ridge Satellite Map Photo
Hawaii Loa Ridge

Without a doubt, Hawaii Loa Ridge is considered Honolulu’s most luxurious ocean view ridge. Originally developed starting in the 1980s, about 500 Hawaii Loa Ridge homes enjoy spectacular wide ocean views from Diamond Head to Koko Head.

Each home has a deeded view channel, preventing your neighbor from expanding their home into your view channel and therefore protecting your ocean views.

Hawaii Loa residents enjoy a guarded 24/7 security gate and additional roaming security.

From the entry gate with lavish landscaping on the bottom of the hill, to the 1,000 ft top elevation, the neighborhood feels luxurious, displaying a wide variety of impressive looking custom homes.

Here is a typical Hawaii Loa Ridge home at 541 Moaniala St, sold in March 2016 at $3.4Mill.

Most Hawaii Loa Ridge homes sell in the $2Mill to $10Mill range.

Some of the best dramatic ocean views are available from the west facing rim lot locations including Moaniala St behind a second privacy gate at “The Pointe”, and Kahiau Lp, as well as the east facing rim lot locations on Maono Lp and Kaulana Pl.

Consider the prevailing north easterly trade winds when selecting your favorite rim lot location.

Hawaii Loa Ridge residents enjoy a private clubhouse with tennis courts.

2.)  Waialae Iki (see video)

Waialae Iki Satellite Map Photo
Waialae Iki

Waialae Iki takes the title of Honolulu’s original luxury home ocean view ridge.

Originally developed starting in the 1960s, the Waialae Iki neighborhood today consists of about 600 homes built over 5 increments culminating with Waialae Iki V, the final phase and only gated section, developed in the 1980s with elevations between 800 ft to 1,000 ft.

Waialae Iki’s unique location above the famous Waialae Golf Course creates the additional visually pleasing benefit of lush green golf course views together with vast ocean views beyond.

Most Waialae Iki homes appear more modest, less pretentious compared to Hawaii Loa homes. Waialae Iki homes often sell in the $1Mill to $3Mill range.

A dozen oversize 1+ acre estate lots are the exception located at the very top of Waialae Iki V. Residents here enjoy a high degree of privacy with noticeable cooler mountain climate.

Arguably the more dramatic, closer ocean views are available from lower rim lot locations e.g. west facing rim lots along Kamole St and east facing rim lots on Laamia St.

Waialae Iki homes come with ‘protected view channels’ ensuring ocean views for the vast majority of Waialae Iki homes. This is an important consideration when some of the older Waialae Iki homes are being remodeled and extended.

Several Waialae Iki neighborhood parks along the gentle incline up the hill add to the friendly ambience offering a sense of space and nature.

Roaming security is available for a voluntary association fee on the lower sections of Waialae Iki. Behind the guarded 24/7 privacy gate at Waialae Iki V, residents enjoy their own designated private clubhouse and tennis courts.

3.)  Kahala Kua (see video)

Kahala Kua Satellite Map Photo
Kahala Kua

Kahala Kua is Honolulu’s newest ocean view ridge.  Home sites first sold in 1995 and most homes were built between 1996 and 1998. By 2005 the neighborhood was almost completely built out. Today (2017) only one buildable vacant view lot remains.

Kahala Kua sits on top of Poola Dr east of Waialae Iki. A private secure gate marks the entry at about 700 ft elevation. This neighborhood is steep. All 110 Kahala Kua homes sit on view lots with 10,000 to 16,000 sq ft, mostly with steep slope terrain. The very top of Kahalakua St sits at the same elevation with adjacent Wailalae Iki V’s Hikino St. Besides the security gate and private streets, there are no common amenities e.g. clubhouse, tennis courts.

Most Kahala Kua homes are selling in the mid $1Mill to $3Mill range.

 4.)  Waialae Nui Ridge (see video)

Waialae Nui Ridge Satellite Map Photo
Waialae Nui Ridge

Waialae Nui has been established in the late 1950’s, featuring a number of ocean view homes designed or inspired by famous architect Vladimir Ossipoff. Across the street from the famous Waialae Golf Course ascending steeply Waialae Nui’s Halekoa Dr reaches top elevations of ~1,300 ft. Here you will find some of Oahu’s highest elevation view homes. Waialae Nui Ridge homes are often valued between $900K and $2.5Mill.

Waialae Nui has arguably one of the most dramatic ocean views of all Honolulu’s view ridges. Because of its steep terrain, both Waialae Golf Course below and Diamond Head Crater seem so close, you could almost touch them. There are three distinct sections to Waialae Nui Ridge:

a.)    The lower older section of Halekoa Dr from the 1430 block to the 1600 block, up to the Halekoa Pl corner. Electricity, cable & phone utility lines run above ground. Homes tend to be a little older.

b.)   Past Halekoa Pl, utility lines run underground. The gas line continues up the street a little further to the Halekoa Dr 1800 block.

c.)    A special private gated section with only 4 custom luxury homes valued in the $3Mill range on 14,000 to 16,000 sq ft view lots is located at Aha Maka Way towards the very top of Waialae Nui Ridge. These custom luxury homes are exceptional in design and privacy with stunning views.

Also noteworthy are two gated popular townhouse communities along the western base of Waialae Nui Ridge. Both, Kahala Pacifica (see video) and Kahala View Estates (see video) offer pleasant views, privacy, a community pool and quick freeway access.

5.)  Wilhelmina Rise (see video) & Maunalani Heights (see video)

Wilhelmina Rise & Maunalani Heights Satellite Map Photo
Wilhelmina Rise & Maunalani Heights

Wilhelmina Rise is a steep slope neighborhood of about 500 older homes. Some of the oldest homes on the bottom of the hill are 100 years old. Most Wilhelmina Rise homes are valued between $800K to $1.3Mill often on view lots between 3,000 to 10,000 sq ft. A central road, Wilhelmina Rise, named just like the neighborhood, ascends in a straight line with remarkable slope. Wilhelmina Rise’s steepness and closeness to Diamond Head make for some spectacular Diamond Head views.

An additional 350 older homes take up the top 1/3 of the hillside. This section is Maunalani Heights with some gorgeous charming homes on lots between 5,000 and 15,000 sq ft. Maunalani Heights homes are often valued between $800K to $2.5Mill.

Noteworthy are two smaller gated subdivisions developed 1991 within Wilhelmina Rise:

a.)     Maunalanikai Pl, only a dozen homes on steep slope lots located about halfway up the hill off Iwi Way.

b.)    Nohono Kahala (see video), 50 popular stucco homes with tile roof, located on flat terrain at the very bottom of the hill.

6.)  St Louis Heights (see video)

Saint Louis Heights Satellite Map Photo
St Louis Heights

St Louis Heights was originally developed starting as early as 1927. This steep slope neighborhood consists of about 600 mostly older homes on lots between 4,000 and 10,000 sq ft. Particularly the downslope rim lots in the lower section along Kaminaka Dr offer some spectacular ocean views without having to drive up too high.

From St Louis Heights you have the shortest commute into Waikiki compared to other view ridges. Most St Louis Heights homes are valued between $800K to $1.2 Mill.

7.)  Makiki Heights (see video) & Tantalus (see video)

Makiki Heights & Tantalus Satellite Map Photo
Makiki Heights & Tantalus

Makiki Heights is a lush green hillside neighborhood of older homes between Punchbowl and Manoa. Hidden behind among rich tropical foliage are some large old Kamaaina estates. Makiki Heights homes are desired for their short commute to downtown, and yet they offer remarkable privacy and serenity with gorgeous city and ocean views.

Lot sizes are between 5,000 sqft to 1+ acre. Makiki Heights homes are often valued between $900K and $8Mill.

Tantalus is a rainforest neighborhood located right above Makiki Heights. Homes deep in the forest are collecting rainwater with catchment systems. There is neither freshwater nor a sewer connection. This is the ultimate place for nature lovers who seek a cooler, sometimes misty mountain jungle climate.  You will find privacy, serenity and some spectacular rim lot ocean views from a mixture of vintage mountain retreats, family estates and simple log homes. Tantalus homes often sit on 9,000 to 2+ acre jungle lots and are valued between $800K to $3Mill.

8.)  Pacific Heights (see video)

Pacific Heights Satellite Map Photo
Pacific Heights

Pacific Heights is a steep slope neighborhood of about 300 homes just above downtown Honolulu. Some homes are 100 years old. Here you will find some estates from yesteryear where some of Honolulu’s most influential movers and shakers used to reside. From Pacific Heights you have the shortest commute to Honolulu’s business and financial downtown district, compared to all other view ridges. Most Pacific Heights lot sizes are between 5,000 and 20,000 sq ft. Pacific Heights homes often sell between $700K and $2Mill.

 9.)  Black Point (see video) & Diamond Head (see video)

Diamond Head & Black Point Satellite Map Photo
Diamond Head & Black Point

Both, Black Point and Diamond Head are oceanfront neighborhoods. They are mentioned here under ‘ocean view neighborhoods’ because many of the homes not directly on the ocean enjoy great ocean views due to the sloped terrain, modest elevations. Both neighborhoods are described in detail, together with other Honolulu oceanfront neighborhoods, in our separate Guide to 400+ Ocean & Beachfront Homes in Honolulu.

Black Point and Diamond Head are considered some of Honolulu’s most expensive neighborhoods.

Black Point consists of only 75 homes with lot sizes between 5,000 and 22,000 sq ft. Most Black Point Homes sell between $2Mill and $10Mill.

Diamond Head consists of about 650 homes. Lot sizes range between 3,500 sq ft and over 1 acre. Diamond Head homes often sell between $2Mill and $15Mill.

10.)  Hawaii Kai

Hawaii Kai Satellite Map Photo
Hawaii Kai

There are 4 additional distinct ocean view neighborhoods in Hawaii Kai, the most eastern region of East Honolulu. Hawaii Kai ocean view neighborhoods include: Portlock / Koko Kai / Triangle (see video), Napali Haweo (see video), Kamehame Ridge (see video) and Mariners Ridge (see video).

These Hawaii Kai ocean view neighborhoods are described in detail in our separate guide: Stunning Hawaii Kai Ocean View Homes.

Let us know your thoughts. Share, Like and Comment below. We love to hear from you.  We are here to help you find your perfect dream home. ~ Mahalo & Aloha

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