Hawaii is that place people imagine when they hear the word “tropical.” There are volcanoes to hike, sandy shores to stroll, and underwater landscapes to dive. All of this makes it the perfect location for some of the world’s best resorts. With the beauty of its beaches and lush mountain landscapes, you could probably make a list of the top 15 resorts on each individual island!
The resorts here are super luxurious and exclusive, from oceanfront villas to intimate suites and incredible outdoor spaces. They’ve got great golf courses and fabulous spas. Local culture and the aloha spirit are integrated into the decor, entertainment, and hospitality here. And of course fresh seafood and Hawaiian cuisine abound. Guests of this island destination should prepare for sun, beaches, great local dishes, and adventure.
Let’s have a look at the best resorts in Hawaii:
1. Four Seasons Maui at Wailea
This iconic hideaway by Four Seasons is just what you’d expect from the famous luxury hotel brand. Located on the golden crescent of Wailea Beach, the resort features over 380 rooms and suites decorated with a modern Hawaiian aesthetic. Step out onto your veranda from an oceanfront room or book their Lokelani Presidential Suite for a private garden and outdoor patio all your own, plus a Sonos sound system and butler’s kitchen. This place is swanky.
Their on-site concierge will help you book any of the traditional Hawaiian experiences you’d like, from luaus to whale watching to photography tours. Or you can arrange to play golf at one of the three championship courses at Wailea Golf Club. The resort spa features 13 treatment rooms and oceanside thatched huts for services and relaxation. Sign up for some stand-up paddleboarding yoga (it’s very trendy now!) or a poolside massage. With three swimming pools, three acclaimed restaurants, and a private area for lounging beachside, you may never leave.
2. Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Po’ipu Beach
A boutique resort located on the south shore in Kauai, Ko’a Kea has 121 rooms on their intimate and romantic property. They’re known for their highly personalized service and outstanding amenities. Guests can hit the activity center on Poipu Beach for surfing, snorkeling, paddleboarding, or kayaking where staff can provide rentals and lessons. Or they can head out for a cliff-top hike, a round of golf, or an exploration of Old Koloa Town.
If you’re sticking around the resort, you should hit the full-service spa, the saltwater pool, and poolside bar. And you can check out the fitness center (if you exercise on vacation). All rooms come with balconies and outdoor spaces, great views of the ocean or gardens, and modern decor. Dining happens at the casual yet sophisticated Red Salt, the on-site restaurant known for contemporary Hawaiian cuisine and fresh seafood. On select nights, there’s a sushi bar and even breakfast includes delicacies like lobster benedict.
3. The Royal Hawaiian
Located on the famed Waikiki Beach, the Royal Hawaiian is a historic Honolulu hotel that still tops nearly all of these “best of Hawaii” lists. The iconic resort is known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific” and it gives guests expert concierge service to allow for an elegant retreat. It contains over 500 rooms, each with its own private “lanai” (porch) with ocean views. All guest rooms and suites feature dark wood, boudoir pillows, and bathrobes. And of course everyone receives a fresh flower lei upon arrival.
At their Abhasa Spa, guests can get pampered in the middle of a tropical garden where they offer local massage styles as well as salon services. There’s live Hawaiian entertainment at the Mai Tai Bar every night, private beachfront cabanas, and a pool with luxurious lounge chairs and a jacuzzi. Guests can have a dinner of fresh Hawaiian fish at the beachfront Azure Restaurant amidst an intimate setting of candlelight and plush pillows.
4. Andaz Maui at Wailea
A resort by Hyatt, this oceanfront Maui resort on the edge of Wailea Beach provides guests with that white sand experience… when and if they venture out from their luxury rooms. The resort has 290 rooms and suites, plus 10 villas if you’re feeling an upgrade. Each comes with a private lanai, complimentary wifi, and ocean or garden views. But villas come with a Viking grill, gourmet kitchen, and personal outdoor space with a plunge pool.
Enjoy a sunset from the beachfront lounge chairs, explore the volcano trails of Haleakala State Park, or go snorkeling at Makena State Beach. Relax by the infinity pool, play golf, or book an appointment at the lavish ‘Awili Spa. During the day, you can have lunch at the Bumbye Beach Bar and try some of their island-inspired bites and fruity cocktails. But at night, be sure to check out Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s fresh fish and sushi at his on-site restaurant or the farm-to-table favorites at Ka’ana Kitchen.
5. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Located on the Kona-Kohala Coast, there’s a reason that the Four Seasons doesn’t disappoint, especially in Hawaii. This resort offers the ultimate in exclusive, luxury accommodations. The guest rooms here are housed in two-story bungalows, with native Hawaiian art and decor that’s inspired by natural surroundings. Plus the outdoor spaces are amazing. Choose from rooms with front-row views of the Pacific or suites with granite bathrooms and your own outdoor showers.
Their concierge will help you explore volcanoes, arrange snorkeling tours, train for triathlons, or play golf on the signature Hualalai Golf Course. The resort is home to seven swimming pools, including the 1.8 million gallon “King’s Pond” which contains 4,000 species of fish where guests can snorkel and watch feedings. There’s a spa, of course, with saunas, steam rooms, and plunge pools. And for meal times, guests can choose between a beach bar, sushi lounge, and three different restaurants featuring ingredients from local waters and farms.
6. The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua
Just hearing “The Ritz” conjures up images of luxury right? Well, that’s definitely the case at this branch of the famous brand in Maui. It’s got two golf courses, a locally-inspired spa, and six restaurants. Each room comes with lanai balconies and marble bathrooms, but upgrades are infinite, from extra balconies to private dining rooms to Club Level access. That last part means you’d get access to a dedicated concierge, private lounge, and continuous culinary offers throughout the day.
Explore local beaches and waterfalls, visit the spa, go hiking and horseback riding, or plan a helicopter tour – anything’s possible! You can book sport fishing trips or scuba diving excursions, or ask the staff to arrange a luau or sunset cruise. Try out each of their restaurants for fresh seafood, Pacific cuisine, burgers, local coffee, gourmet pastries, and sushi. In the morning, you might even want to hit the bloody mary bar! The options are endless.
7. Montage Kapalua Bay
A 24-acre Maui resort set right on top of Kapalua Bay, it offers championship golf, water sports, an award-winning spa, and genuine island hospitality. All of their accommodations are spacious suites, ranging from a one-bedroom garden view to a four-bedroom premier oceanfront penthouse. They’ve got amenities like deep soaking tubs with exclusive bath products, gourmet kitchens, private lanais, and DIRECTV with DVR.
Arrange to go horseback riding, hiking, ziplining, or sport fishing. Or venture out on a local food and wine tour at a few nearby farms, breweries, and wineries. Take advantage of the chair and towel service provided by the Kapalua Beach Crew, or maybe rent a snorkel or paddleboard. Guests can enjoy light fare and cocktails by the pool at the Hana Hau Bar. And most meals take place at Cane & Canoe, the resort’s oceanfront restaurant featuring local seafood and Hawaiian cuisine. Try their fresh catch, Pacific Rim cioppino, or crispy suckling pig.
This resort boasts serenity, understated elegance, and great service. A five-star property on Waikiki, the Halekulani decorates its luxurious guest rooms in what it calls “seven shades of white.” They’re all spacious and include their own private lanai, but the premier suites come with a personal butler and complimentary airport limo service. The beachfront SpaHalekulani offers herb-based organic products, nail care, massages, facials, and a full menu of services for men too. There’s also a fitness room with classes if you feel the need to break a sweat.
Relax by their 82-foot pool with an orchid tile mosaic on the bottom, or lounge on the beach and take part in their daily surf demo. Staff can arrange outrigger canoe trips, deep sea fishing, sailing, and snorkeling outings. Whether you want fine dining or casual, Halekulani offers you a range of options. During the day, taste their signature Mai Tai at the House Without A Key, their indoor-outdoor bar, or check out live jazz music at Lewers Lounge. Dine al fresco at Orchids, or go five-diamond status at La Mer for some elegance.
9. The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Located in Honolulu, it’s a luxury hideaway known for hosting celebs, presidents, and royalty. Rooms are spacious and inviting, with patios and balconies, dressing tables, robes and slippers, and luxury toiletries. You can even request a custom minibar! Arrange to go dolphin watching in the bay, take a canoe sailing tour, or lounge on their 800-foot sandy stretch of beach. They have surfing, SUP, and kayaking lessons available, as well as yoga classes (and SUP yoga!).
The Kahala Spa emphasizes Hawaiian healing techniques and fresh organic ingredients. In terms of dining, their restaurants offer everything from buffets to wine tastings, but they can even arrange a romantic, private dinner for two in a secluded spot by the ocean. Enjoy a casual lunch by the beach at their Seaside Grill, afternoon tea at The Veranda, or innovative fusion at Hoku’s. They also offer guests a plush hospitality suite to lounge in before or after checking out – so convenient!
10. Fairmont Orchid
Situated on the Big Island of Hawaii along its Kahala Coast, the Fairmont Orchid is a four-diamond property of 32 stunning oceanfront acres. Guests can take all kinds of yoga classes (seriously, that SUP yoga is super popular), play sand volleyball, or rent a beachside or poolside cabana. You can play golf at the course next door or sign up for one of their cultural hikes. The Spa Without Walls is set amidst their lush gardens and features waterfalls and oceanfront treatment rooms, plus steam rooms and saunas.
Each of their 540 rooms has a private lanai with views of the ocean, wifi, 42” flat screen TVs, and marble bathrooms with tubs. Enjoy Hawaiian cuisine and fine dining at Brown’s Beach House Restaurant or a casual dinner with your feet in the sand at Hale Kai. They’ve got sushi at Norio’s and you can catch the sunset along with some cocktails and live music at the Luana Lounge.
11. Turtle Bay Resort
This resort on the North Shore of Oahu is often touted as a favorite of travelers. Guests can hit the links on one of their two champion golf courses or take unique group fitness classes like Tahitian Dancing or Beach Boot Camp if they fancy some exercise. The Turtle Bay Spa uses sustainable, natural ingredients for treatments like aromatherapy immersion, beachside massages, and seaweed body wraps. Whether you want to paddleboard, learn to surf, kayak, snorkel, or take a helicopter tour, you can do it all here.
Receive poolside service as you enjoy cocktails and dishes like mahi mahi tacos from The Point Sunset & Pool Bar, and rent a daybed or cabana to make it even more comfortable. They’ve also got anything you might need – toys or gear – to make your day on the beach more exciting. Guest rooms offer ocean views, private balconies, and oversized stone showers. Whether you want Hawaii’s freshest seafood, modern Asian fusion, or casual dishes while you catch some live music, they’ve got it at Turtle Bay.
12. Hotel Wailea
This resort is all about exclusivity and romance. Their ultra private property contains 72 luxury suites spread out over 15 acres next to the sea in Maui. Designed for couples seeking an intimate sanctuary away from the crowds, these suites are designed like chic beach houses, each with an ocean-facing private lanai. They come with Italian granite countertops, hardwood floors, plush bathrobes, luxury linens, and deep soaking tubs.
Their activities are quite unique too. Guests can take part in a Hawaiian outrigger canoe experience, aerial silk yoga classes, or kiteboarding lessons. Or they can grab a resort map filled with x’s and head out on an “island beach safari” in search of the best spots for snorkeling, pristine sand, and sea turtles. Dinner is just as romantic as the rest of the resort, with European-inspired, island-to-table dishes. For a private dinner (or proposal!), ask about dining in The Treehouse, a secluded little open-air bungalow in the canopy of avocado and mango trees.
13. Grand Hyatt Kauai
This beachfront resort on the island of Kauai sits right between the shores of Poipu’s white sand beaches and a range of lush green mountains. It’s a great place for a romantic holiday or family vacation. Spacious rooms and suites come with private lanais, pillow-top beds, free wifi, and large flat screen TVs. Not that you’ll stay inside to watch them. The resort can arrange all sorts of activities, from a round of championship golf, to hiking, mountain biking, zip-lining, scuba diving, or dancing at a traditional luau.
On the resort grounds, guests can watch the koi feedings, snap photos with parrots, or take a garden tour or a wildlife walk. In the evenings, be sure to watch live music and hula dancing at the Seaview Terrace. Their Anara Spa is the largest on Kauai with 45,000 square feet of relaxation and treatment rooms, saunas, and a fitness center with open-air yoga. With nine restaurants to choose from, guests can enjoy sushi, creative cocktails, Italian dishes, and Hawaiian cuisine set amidst tiki torches.
With all the luxury and romantic resorts on this list, we’ve got to include one that’s super family-friendly. But at the same time, it should provide amazing quality and service. Of course, Disney is great at all these things. Aside from their fabulous beach, guests can hang out at the property’s three pools, lazy river, splash zone, and whirlpool spas. Go for some golf at the nearby Ko Olina Golf Club, rent a catamaran, or try horseback riding for the day. Or maybe just grab a complimentary boogie board and hit the waves.
Their Laniwai Spa offers vitality pools, mineral pools, family treatments, and the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on the island. Guest rooms and suites are comfortable and luxurious, with iHome docking stations, free wifi, and private porches or balconies. There are tons of options for eating, including a pool bar, cafe, snack stop, shaved ice hut, and modern Hawaiian cuisine in their open-air beachside restaurant ‘Ama’Ama.
15. The St. Regis Princeville
Located along the rugged coast of Kauai’s North Shore, this St. Regis property provides a luxury haven from which guests can explore the island. From horseback riding along the Namolokama mountain range to kayaking the Hanalei River to hiking the dramatic Napali Coast, they’ll help you do it. Princeville Ranch Adventures can arrange ziplining and other guided tours on 2,500 acres of private land away from the tourists. Of course, you may just want to relax at the spa or by the huge infinity pool surrounded by tropical gardens right next to the beach.
Rooms are decorated in contemporary Hawaiian style and come with marble bathrooms, oversized tubs, and double vanities. But some suite packages include personal butler service, two pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses, and paddleboard rentals. Enjoy breakfast or dinner with local ingredients on the Makana Terrace with a cultural show offered some nights. Or have a few small plates and a sunset glass of champagne at the St. Regis Bar.