The Best Hotels in Hawaii
Collected by AFAR Editors, AFAR Staff
Find a hotel that suits your vision of island paradise, be it a romantic private villa on a remote coastline or a family-friendly beachfront resort with all the bells and whistles. We've compiled a list of our favorite places to stay for any type of Hawaiian getaway.
92-1185 Ali'inui Dr, Kapolei, HI 96707, USA
A Hawaiian fantasyland on Oahu’s more remote leeward coast, about 40 minutes from Waikiki, Aulani is so seductive—for all ages—that many guests are loath to leave the property at all. And who can blame them? The beach is an...
450 Lewers St, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A few blocks up from the beach, the Coconut Waikiki is a bright and cheery budget-minded boutique hotel. The rooms are plenty roomy (197 to 265 square feet for the standard quarters; up to 1,200 square feet for the largest suites), and all...
1 N Kaniku Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
In many ways, the Fairmont Orchid is the quintessential Hawaiian luxury resort. It has a big, elegant lobby, blooming with purple orchids and birds of paradise. An enormous swimming pool—open 24 hours—wends its way around black rock...
72-100 Ka'upulehu Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740, USA
A favorite among Hollywood royalty, the Big Island’s Four Seasons is more secluded than its sister property on Maui. It sits on 863 acres of palm-fringed coastline, with little else for miles in any direction, other than two exclusive golf...
11-3968 Hale Ohia Rd, Volcano, HI 96785, USA
In the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village of Volcano, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and just outside of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, are a handful of B&Bs and cottage rentals (see also Volcano Rainforest Retreat). Among the...
2199 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
The most enviable address in Waikiki, the beachfront Halekulani is all about restrained elegance and pitch-perfect service. The hotel dates back a century, though it was entirely rebuilt in the 1980s—and the room decor—fifty shades of...
250 Lokahi Rd, Kapaau, HI 96755, USA
A clifftop eco-hotel surrounded by 50 barely touched acres on the bucolic North Kohala coast, Hawaii Island Retreat feels as far away as it gets. There are no TVs in the guest rooms, no air-con, and Wi-Fi only in certain spots. Solar and wind...
129 Paoakalani Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
With its shiny black surfaces and gray-on-gray color scheme, this sleek little hotel set back on a busy Waikiki corner would be at home in any major city. Only here, the front desk clerk cheerfully hands out beach towels and boogie boards. Despite...
Captain Cook, HI, USA
Far from the big resorts, in a lush, hilly corner of the Big Island that the locals consider the real Hawaii, is Ka’awa Loa Plantation & Guesthouse. This tremendously charming bed-and-breakfast is set on a small coffee farm and fruit...
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
The sweet smell of plumeria floats on gentle trade winds into each guest room at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. When entering the room, you may be surprised that floor-to-ceiling picture windows and a beautiful private lanai (patio) beckon you to step...
2169 Kalia Rd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Both of Waikiki’s Outrigger hotels are a good value, but this one is a little bigger and a little quieter. It’s right on the beach, just north of the main resort cluster, and though a short walk to the middle of the action, far enough...
2365 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Smack in the middle of Waikiki’s perennial party, the Moana Surfrider has elegant old bones and the bustle of a big-city hotel. On any given day, the Victorian-era lobby is full of young Japanese brides and grooms, trailed by their...
131 Kaiulani St, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Historic B&Bs are rare in Hawaii; appealing ones even rarer. To be fair, the Shipman House, in the old sugar town of Hilo, sets the bar impossibly high. A capacious late-Victorian landmark, turret and all, is a sunny and immaculate treasure...
5000 Kahala Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816, USA
Long considered one of the top hotels on Oahu, the Kahala has always been a particular favorite among the type of guests who travel with their own security detail. A number of past U.S. presidents, plus kings, queens, princesses Grace and Di,...
1775 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
A fairly new addition to the Waikiki waterfront, the seven-year-old Modern was a dream come true for those young urbanites who never quite felt at home in the more traditional Hawaiian resorts. It’s not directly on the beach—the...
2259 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, USA
Built in the Roaring Twenties, the Royal Hawaiian ushered in the glam age of Waikiki Beach. The so-called Pink Palace, a Spanish Moorish–style confection set on bright-green lawns was, at the time, the priciest hotel project in the Pacific...
11-3832 12th St, Volcano, HI 96785, USA
Turning off the highway into Volcano Village, the one-street town leading into Volcanoes National Park, first-time visitors might think they just made a right turn into Oregon. Cool, misty, and thick with giant ferns, this corner of the Big Island...
5520 Ka Haku Rd, Princeville, HI 96722, USA
Tucked among the pristine rain forests of Kauai’s remote North Shore, St. Regis Princeville’s lush 9,000 acres feel like they’re straight out of South Pacific. In fact, the classic musical used neighboring Mount Makana as a...
3550 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
Opened in 2013, Andaz’s first and only Hawaiian property, situated on Mokapu Beach, has four cascading infinity pools (plus many more private plunge pools), meaning guests are never more than a few steps from water. The 290 rooms and suites...
4100 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
Of all the accommodations in Maui’s tony Wailea resort community, the Fairmont Kea Lani may be the most family-friendly of the bunch. The 22-acre waterfront property’s 450 guest rooms are some of the biggest on the island—the...
3900 Wailea Alanui Dr, Wailea, HI 96753, USA
At happy hour in the lobby lounge of the Four Seasons at Wailea, guests and non-guests can watch the sun dip beneath the horizon, the palm trees sway in the wind, and dancers perform to traditional hula songs. All while drinking a perfectly boozy...
555 Kaukahi St Wailea, Kihei, HI 96753, USA
Set back from the string of large beachfront resorts, Hotel Wailea is perched 300 feet above sea level gazing down upon the Pacific. Nestled on 15 acres, the former members club still feels like a hidden enclave of cool. In 2014, new owners...
1813 Baldwin Ave, Makawao, HI 96768, USA
If you’re looking for tropical tranquility, bypass Maui’s buzzy resort enclaves and head away from the coast to the island’s laid-back Upcountry. At Lumeria, a 24-room wellness retreat, visitors can start the day with a guided...
1 Bay Dr, Lahaina, HI 96761, USA
Maui has a reputation for luxury. Still, a stay at Montage Kapalua Bay, perched on an ocean-facing cliff on the island’s northwestern shore, isn’t for the faint of heart—or light of wallet. The experience begins at the entrance,...
5031 Hana Hwy, Hana, HI 96713, USA
An antidote to hectic modern life, Travaasa Hana, on Maui’s remote eastern coast, feels like a step back in time. There are no televisions, radios, clocks, or air-conditioning (ceiling fans and panoramic sliding doors capture ocean breezes)...
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