Turtle Bay opened its doors in May 1972 as Del Webb’s Kuilima Resort Hotel and Country Club. The hotel boasted 443 ocean view rooms and a golf course. Webb was inspired by the name of the area the hotel sits on called Kuilima. In the Hawaiian language kui lima means "joining hands".
The former owner of the New York Yankees opened the resort with none other than Bob Hope as the headliner.
Webb had the vision of making Kuilima the first casino in Hawaii, however a bill that would make gambling legal that he anticipated passing died.
The resort took the Turtle Bay name officially in 1983. However, locals called the area Turtle Bay before then because turtles commonly feed in the bay.
Over the years what hasn’t changed is Turtle Bay’s untouched coastline, expansive grounds and legendary surfing. The resort rests on 1,300 acres of paradise. It is home to the stunning Kawela Bay, Kuilima Farm and the most northern tip on the island of Oahu, Kahuku Point.
The splendor of Turtle Bay has drawn Hollywood to its shores over the past 5 decades. More than 150 movies, TV shows and series have been filmed at Turtle Bay including Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Hawaii Five-0 and Jumanji - Welcome to the Jungle.
In April 2020, the hotel closed to the public in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. Owners used the down time to completely transform Turtle Bay from the inside out with world renowned designer Dianna Wong and the architects of WCIT Architecture leading the charge.
*NOTE: It does not appear that the three tikis that stood outside in the 70s are still in place, although with all the remodeling it is possible that there may be new Polynesian art and decor somewhere on the grounds.