Hawaii is an incredible place. These far-flung Pacific islands are awash with wild volcanic activity, a haven for surfing, and famous for their white sand beaches. There’s unique cuisine, friendly people, and incredible hiking opportunities in the national parks. Needless to say, there’s a whole ton of things to occupy your time on a Hawaiian vacation.
With everything from luxury villas to modern, towering hotels on offer across Hawaii, it can be hard to decide where to stay. To make life easier, on the following list, you’ll find a condensed roundup of only the very best Hawaii hotels.
1. The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Waikiki
Housed inside a huge, pastel pink building, the Royal Hawaiian is a luxurious place to stay. Guest suites are decked out with patterned wallpapers, plush carpeting, and large windows that open onto balconies with fantastic sea views.
There are a lot of amenities on offer here. Guests can choose to swim in one of the two hotel pools or the sea. The hotel’s Mai Tai Bar provides nightly entertainment and cocktails for that fun Hawaii experience.
Location: Situated in the heart of Waikiki, the beach is just on the doorstep. This location also means the International Marketplace is close by, and Honolulu Zoo is only one mile away.
2. Paradise Bay Resort
True to its name, Paradise Bay Resort provides a secluded paradise to help you unwind on your vacation. Classically cool and calm Hawaiian interiors in the guest rooms allow the views of the Koolau Mountain Range to take centre stage.
There’s an outdoor pool and hot tub for guests to use, as well as a selection of complimentary yoga and meditation classes. Guests can also enjoy cultural activities and eco-tours, which truly make the most of being in Hawaii.
Location: Set in Kane’ohe Bay, on O’ahu, this hotel is located 10 miles from Honolulu Airport. It is surrounded by abundant opportunities to get out into nature, whether that’s hiking or snorkelling.
3. The Lodge at Kukui
The selection of bungalows and cottages at The Lodge provide a relaxing home away from home for your trip to Hawaii. All of them are housed inside warm and welcoming Hawaiian style structures, with plenty of space to spread out, and private outdoor terraces to boot.
The hotel also comes with two swimming pools and is set among sprawling, manicured grounds. There is a gym for guests to use, along with a range of other activities to get involved in, such as snorkelling and tennis.
Location: Located on the island of Kaua’i, you’ll find this hotel in the Koloa neighbourhood. It’s close to Kukui’ula Harbor Beach and the impressive Sprouting Horn.
Halekulani is a fully-fledged resort with amenities to match. The guest rooms are decked out with polished furnishings, clean lines, and spacious bathrooms for everything you need out of a suite.
You’ll find no less than three restaurants, one of which is award-winning. There’s also a live jazz lounge to enjoy. Days are about spending time at the beach or in its the hotel’s day spa enjoying one of the many Polynesian treatments.
Location: Situated on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, with views overlooking Diamond Head, the upscale shopping opportunities and dining of Ala Moana Shopping Center are a ten-minute drive away.
5. The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach
Stylish and luxurious, the rooms at this top Hawaii hotel offer a dose of serious elegance. Blushed colours and soft greys complement the tiled bathrooms, chic furnishings, and sea views; some rooms come with kitchens, while others are incredible suites with amazing balconies.
Resort amenities run the gamut from an infinity pool elevated above Waikiki itself, surrounded by private cabanas, all the way to the selection of restaurants. There’s an onsite spa, too, where you can pamper yourself for the day if you feel like it.
Location: Situated in Waikiki, on Luxury Row, Waikiki Beach is just 750 yards away. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is a stone’s throw away, and Fort DeRussy is also close by.
6. Four Seasons Resort Lana’i
The Four Seasons Resort Lana’i is characterised by its deliciously decorated rooms, complete with a minimalist sense of style and warm furnishings for a comfortable yet high-end stay. They are very elegant, indeed.
Its onsite restaurant, One Forty, offers guests the chance to sample local ingredients, while Nobu Lanai is all about delicious Japanese cuisine with incredible views out over the Pacific Ocean.
Location: Set on the island of Lana’i, this top Hawaii hotel in Hulopoe Beach is just 300 yards away. Lanai Airport is a 25-minute drive away, while the natural sight that is Sweetheart Rock is a ten-minute drive.
7. Kauai Marriott Resort
Home to its very own 18-hole golf course, this hotel is not lacking in amenities. It has two sizeable outdoor pools, which wind out onto the beach itself. There are also five restaurants to choose from, a fully-equipped fitness centre, and direct beach access.
The hotel boasts excellent service, thanks to its friendly staff, making sure you have a great stay. The rooms are incredible — think big, comfortable beds, ocean or garden views, warm tones, and private terraces.
Location: Situated next to Kalapaki Bay on Kaua’i, the hotel is close to the numerous restaurants and bars of the area. It is just over a mile to Lihue Airport, making it a convenient place to stay to catch a flight in the early hours.
8. Holualoa Inn
If you’re looking for a hotel in Hawaii that is all about seclusion and nature, then Holualoa Inn is the perfect place to stay. Set away from larger resorts, this smaller property imbues a unique character to your vacation.
The rooms are decorated with original artwork and decked out with natural wood. Some even have their own hot tub, and all boast a balcony or patio. There are stunning landscaped gardens to relax in with amazing views of the coastline.
Location: Located 1,400 feet above sea level on the Big Island, on the western slope of Mount Hualalai, from here it’s a short car ride to numerous beautiful beaches, such as White Sand Beach and Magic Sands.
9. Prince Waikiki
Prince Waikiki is a towering, modern hotel that offers some stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the landscape of the Hawaiian islands. These views can be had from any of the rooms, which come in a sumptuous array of elegance and contemporary design.
Outside of the guest rooms, the hotel provides a selection of onsite dining options for romantic evenings in. There’s also a fitness centre, a library, outdoor swimming pool and a full-service spa to pamper yourself in.
Location: Steps from Ala Moana Beach and close to Waikiki Beach, the hotel offers a free shuttle service to Waikiki Beach. The hotel also overlooks the Ala Wai Boat Harbor.
10. The Kahala Hotel and Resort
The Kahala Hotel and Resort is a clean, contemporary resort. It’s a peaceful place to stay, away from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu centre. Rooms boast private balconies where you can lap up those amazing views.
Onsite amenities at this top Hawaii hotel include an award-winning restaurant (among other dining options), a kids’ club, an outdoor pool, nightly live music, and activities such as yoga classes and surfing lessons.
Location: Set in Honolulu, with a free shuttle to Ala Moana Shopping Center, Honolulu Zoo is around four miles from The Kahala Hotel and Resort. Kahala Beach, however, is a mere 50 yards away, making this an excellent option for beach lovers.
11. Real Select at the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach
Rooms at this chic hotel are beautifully bright. They boast luxurious wooden furnishings and clean lines for a stylish stay in Honolulu. Outside of the guest rooms, of course, there’s a lot more going on.
As well as an intimate restaurant with great views out over the city, there’s an attractive outdoor pool for guests to splash around in, plus a Jacuzzi – both of which also have fantastic city views.
Location: Situated just steps away from Waikiki Beach, the white sands of Fort DeRussy Beach are also a stone’s throw away. The Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center is practically on the doorstep of this hotel.
12. Queen Kapiolani
Simply stunning, this amazing hotel perfectly complements the beachy vibes of the surrounding area. The rooms are fresh and fun, with large windows to make the most of those captivating views. Some rooms come with their very own kitchens and seating areas.
There is also a family-friendly swimming pool and sun terrace surrounded by deck chairs and loungers for lazy days spent at the hotel. Breakfast can be enjoyed at onsite Knots Cafe, and there’s a restaurant (Deck Waikiki) on the 3rd floor, with magnificent sea views.
Location: Just a block from Waikiki Beach, Queen Kapiolani is near to other beaches – namely, Kuhio Beach and Queens Surf Beach (both 200 yards from the hotel). Waikiki Aquarium is also nearby.
13. Fairmont Orchid
Spread across 32 acres along the coast, this sprawling resort is a high-end option with plenty of amenities to match. There are waterfalls, gardens, a 10,000 square foot freeform pool, tennis courts, a golf course, and multiple restaurants.
The guest rooms on offer at the Fairmont Orchid are as chic as the grounds themselves — think exclusive furnishings, attention to detail, marble bathrooms, and sweeping vistas of the ocean for all-around laid-back luxury.
Location: Located on the Kohala Coast on the main island of Hawai’i, this hotel is close to The Shops at Mauna Lani and not far from Pauoa Bay Beach, as well as the swimming and sunsets of Holoholokai Beach.
14. Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences
Almost like a village, this incredible resort is perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Accommodation comes in the form of rooms or multi-bedroomed residences — you can even opt to stay in your very own townhouse.
An incredibly stunning property, with effortlessly chic decor in the rooms, there is a wide range of amenities to match its 5-star credentials. Discover the outdoor swimming pools, the kids’ club, the swish restaurant, and a never-ending list of activities.
Location: Set on the island of Kaua’i, half a kilometre from Kalapaki Beach, this hotel occupies Kukui Point. There is a range of restaurants and eateries within a mile radius, but you may not want to leave — or even lift a finger — at this incredible resort.
15. Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
This branch of the Four Seasons is a luxury beach resort. It is a spectacular space to stay, surrounded by the serenity of the natural landscape. Staying here, guests get to enjoy tennis, a spot of golf, or perhaps some treatments at the spa.
There’s a selection of three swimming pools as well as a choice of restaurants and bars to enjoy, day and night. Rooms are elegant and offer incredible sunset views from the balconies.
Location: You’ll find this top Hawaii hotel on the west coast of O’ahu. Ko Olina Marina and Ko Olina Golf Club are just a five-minute drive from here. There’s also direct access to the beach at this hotel.