Celebrity retreats, want-for-nothing family resorts, and tropical B&Bs – the Aloha State welcomes all types of travelers with open arms. Whichever vacation you have in mind, rest your head at one of the best hotels in Hawaii.
Fronting an exclusive strip of a volcanic rock-studded tropical beach, this magnificent, manicured Wailea resort is as Hollywood as it is Hawaii. Multiple palm-shaded pools form a living modern-art installation, while the on-site spa has a Maui mud bar and rain showers that simulate Hawaiian storms. Follow up a day of canoeing and hula lessons with Hawaiian fusion food at Kō, whose specialties include seafood lau lau and Filipino pancit noodles, or the catch of the day from Nick’s Fishmarket Maui.
Can’t decide where to go in Hawaii? This member of the Westin group is a chain hotel in name only, sporting locally inspired wood fixtures, a sybaritic spa, and one of the island’s best restaurants. Overlooking the ocean, Meridia restaurant serves Maui venison and a cataplana of shrimp, clams, and wild boar sausage. Post-dinner, sink into your freestanding tub, or enjoy tropical breezes on the balcony. While nearby Hapuna Beach is one of Hawaii’s most popular, the northern stretch in front of the hotel is relatively secluded.
Spread across 15 acres (6ha) of tropical gardens less than 2mi (3km) from the Wailea coast, this five-star resort is one of the best places to stay in Hawaii. Trees are one with the architecture here – arcing over the pool, shading your pineapple pancake breakfast, and framing views of breaching whales from your window. Staff address guests by name and stage a lei greeting and champagne toast on arrival. There’s little need to leave, but if you do, a shuttle will take you to Wailea Beach in around five minutes.
There’s nothing cookie-cutter about this boutique hotel, which employs Hawaiian designers to create the lamps, upholstery, and ceramics. Renowned Kaimuki chef Ed Kenney heads the Mahina & Sun’s restaurant, serving local, ethically sourced fish and fresh tropical cocktails. Rooms continue the luau vibes and have private lanais or verandas. You’re a few blocks from the shore here, but a cab will bring you to the Waikiki beaches in minutes.
Hugging the slopes of the Hualālai volcano, this secluded B&B has only six rooms but 30 acres (12ha) of tropical fruit orchards to explore. You’re in the heart of the coffee belt here, making farm tours and tastings a cinch. Relax on loungers by winding garden paths, sink into the whirlpool tub or just enjoy the harmony of the all-wood interiors. Breakfasts include passion fruit-stuffed french toast and coffee straight from the estate; for dinner, the village of Holualoa has a few casual eateries.
While this family-friendly Waikoloa resort may resemble a theme park at first glance, don’t be fooled; there’s highbrow entertainment for grown-ups. Sculptures from around the world line the museum-like corridors, while the huge spa offers Hawaiian lomilomi massages. Relaxed days can also be spent ambling across two championship golf courses. You could even fill a week hopping between its many dining options or plunging into the lava-rock lagoons – some of which are home to honu, Hawaiian green sea turtles.
Forget your idea of a typical Hawaiian hotel – Hotel Renew brings a brooding De Stijl vibe to the Waikiki strip, with art zines and mini-fridges provided in every room. Staff will greet you with Hawaiian herbal iced tea, a chilled lemongrass-scented towel, and the chance to pick a custom room fragrance. Breakfasts are healthy continental – try the apple-carrot juice. And the location is ideal, between urban coffee shops and restaurants and the serene, green Kapi‘olani Regional Park.
Opened by Laurance S Rockefeller in 1965, the Mauna Kea’s modern interiors pop with the American businessman and conservationist’s signature orange. Head out to nearby Kauna’oa Beach, challenge your companions to tennis and golf or appreciate Rockefeller’s vast Hawaiian art collection. Each room has a balcony, bathrobes, and slippers. The Manta seafood restaurant is named after the manta rays that you can spot from a lit promontory after dark.
Looking for more accommodation in Hawaii? Whether you’re exploring the bustling capital of Honolulu or the emerald valleys of Maui, discover our curated Hawaii hotel guides; from chic boutique stays that pack a punch in charm, to palm tree fringed beachside boltholes and all-inclusive luxury resorts with all the trimmings – all bookable with Culture Trip.