Top 10 Resorts on the Hawaiian Islands

By: Pam Mandel
Hawaiian hospitality has a reputation based in island culture, and these resorts embody the best of the aloha spirit. Each property offers an experience above and beyond an umbrella cocktail with an ocean view.
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel

Photo by: Prince Hotels & Resorts

Prince Hotels & Resorts

Thirty miles north of Kona, the Kohala Coast is scrubby and dry, but the natural springs at Hapuna make this location a green oasis — literally. The beach is free from crowds and perfect for swimming, making the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel feel like a secluded getaway in spite of its size. It’s also a favorite among golfers, who come for the 18-hole course designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay.

Travaasa Hana
travaasa hana, hotel, exterior, night, hawaii

travaasa hana, hotel, exterior, night, hawaii

Photo by: Travaasa


This lush resort at the end of the 620-curve Hana Highway offers all-inclusive packages with daily spa treatments of your choice. The Sea Ranch cottages, reached by golf cart from the upper spa and hotel building, have big porches with views of the rugged coastline. Except for special “Family Weeks,” only guests ages 16 and older are allowed in the cottage area, making it an especially private retreat.

The Royal Hawaiian

Photo by: Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Starwood Hotels and Resorts

The elegant pink hotel in the heart of Waikiki is an iconic part of Hawaii tourism’s history and a popular stay for lovers of classic hotels. The Royal Hawaiian offers all the modern amenities you’d expect from a luxury hotel while staying true in style to its 1920s roots. The pink stucco, tile detailing, landscaped grounds and ocean-facing sunsets keep the golden age of Hawaiian travel alive.   

St. Regis Princeville Resort
St. Regis Princeville Resort

St. Regis Princeville Resort

Photo by: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

This St. Regis hotel is bordered by ancient fish ponds, a soft sand beach, and waters with excellent snorkeling and diving. There are private, full-service cabanas; the golf course was fully redesigned in 2010; the spa has oceanside massage tables; and the hotel embraces the over-the-top service and luxury that the St. Regis brand is known for.

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
lokelani suite gardens, maui, hawaii, four seasons, resort, luxury, island

lokelani suite gardens, maui, hawaii, four seasons, resort, luxury, island

Photo by: Four Seasons Resort Maui

Four Seasons Resort Maui

On the soft, gold sand at Wailea, the Four Seasons epitomizes elegant luxury on Maui’s southwest coast. Thatched, oceanside huts are available for spa treatments; chef Wolfgang Puck’s Spago is among the dining choices; and there’s an adults-only infinity pool. It’s also home to a spectacular collection of contemporary Hawaiian fine art. Bring the whole family — the resort offers a Kids for All Seasons program for your little ones ages 5-12.

Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk
Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk

Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk

Photo by: Trump Hotel Collection

Trump Hotel Collection

This modern tower, right next to one of Waikiki’s premier shopping centers, is sleek and stylish and offers a level of privacy you might not expect in the middle of the city. All rooms — even the studios — have fully equipped kitchenettes and luxury baths. The sixth-floor infinity pool has sunset views; there are on-site nanny services if you’d like an evening without the kids; and guests can book an in-suite chef for top-notch private dining.

Fairmont Orchid Hotel

Fairmont Orchid

Photo by: fairmont Orchid

fairmont Orchid

Guests at the Fairmont Orchid will have to share the beach with the resident Hawaiian green sea turtles that favor these sheltered waters. The resort grounds make the most of the Big Island's nature and culture — the spa has 8 private yet open-air massage pavilions perched over a rocky waterfall, and there are guided hikes through the adjacent petroglyph site. There's an on-site luau — the Gathering of the Kings — every Saturday night, featuring traditional and modern Hawaiian foods. Seven on-site restaurants offer a range of dining, from casual buffet breakfasts to top-notch meals at Norio's Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
Grand Hyatt Kauai

Grand Hyatt Kauai

Photo by: Hyatt Corporation

Hyatt Corporation

The Grand Hyatt’s elaborately landscaped grounds feature a lagoon and a meandering pool with waterfalls, grottoes, a slide and a volleyball net for games — you may not even make it to Poipu’s beautiful beaches. There’s a Polynesian-style luau 2 nights a week, a full-service spa, and 9 on-site restaurants and bars, plus you’re mere steps from the ocean.

Kalaekilohana Inn and Retreat
Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat

Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat

Photo by: Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat

Kalaekilohana Inn & Retreat

This tiny plantation-style hotel/bed-and-breakfast is beautifully removed from it all. Locally grown coffee and produce grace the table during breakfast on the porch, and dinner is available by arrangement in advance. The rooms are beautiful suites with luxury linens and bath products, and the hospitality here is unparalleled. Book the entire house for a truly exclusive get-away-from-it-all vacation.

Napili Kai Beach Resort
Napili Kai Beach Resort

Napili Kai Beach Resort

Photo by: Napili Kai Beach Resort

Napili Kai Beach Resort

The beach here is perfect for snorkeling or just lounging; there’s live music by some of Hawaii’s most respected musicians; and everything you need — from a morning dive master to a sunset mai tai — is available. The casual décor makes you feel right at home, but the amenities are all luxury, and the resort staff brings aloha to everything it does.

Travel's Best Resorts 2014 02:50

See which resorts made our coveted list, Travel's Best All-Inclusive Resorts.

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