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Hawaii has long been considered a tropical paradise with stunning natural scenery, vibrant culture, and world-class hotels and resorts. If you’re planning a vacation to Hawaii, you want to make sure you book the perfect hotel so you can fully experience the beauty of these unique islands.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer about the best hotels in Hawaii: Some of the top options include Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Big Island, Halekulani on Oahu, Travaasa Hana on Maui, and Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa on Kauai.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over essential factors for finding the best lodging in Hawaii, from type of traveler to island-by-island recommendations. We’ll break down the pros and cons of various accommodation types like resorts, B&Bs, condos, and vacation rentals.

You’ll also find regional overviews for Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island with our picks for the absolute best hotels in each area.

Factors For Choosing the Perfect Hawaiian Hotel

Type of Traveler and Trip

When choosing a hotel in Hawaii, first consider the type of traveler you are and the kind of trip you want to have. Are you traveling with family and kids? If so, resorts with water slides, kids clubs, and family friendly amenities like mini golf may be ideal. Going on a romantic getaway as a couple?

Boutique adult-only hotels and secluded oceanfront resorts cater best. Backpackers and budget travelers will likely want to stay at a hostel, motel, or basic hotel to save money. Decide if you prefer an action-packed itinerary or more relaxation, as some resorts have jam-packed activity schedules while others focus more on providing a peaceful sanctuary.

Location and Island Differences

Hawaii is comprised of several major islands, each with their own unique vibe and landscape. Busy Waikiki Beach on Oahu offers world class shopping, dining, and nightlife in addition to iconic crescent beach views.

Couples may prefer the lush privacy and waterfalls of Kauai’s north shore or Maui’s road to Hana. The Big Island of Hawaii has incredible natural wonders like Volcanoes National Park and black sand beaches. Do you want to stay in a vibrant tourist area or more remote locale?

Proximity to the airport and popular attractions is another consideration.

Hotel Amenities and Room Types

Carefully evaluate the amenities and features of Hawaiian hotels against your must-haves. Resort fees are common, so factor those added costs in too. Those wanting luxury should seek out rooms with ocean views, overwater bungalows, or private plunge pools.

Family travelers may appreciate multiple room options like adjoining hotel rooms or suites with kitchenettes for convenience. Compare the on-site dining choices – do they offer creative local cuisine or basic pub grub? Don’t forget to check recreation offerings like water sports equipment rentals.

Do they have nightly entertainment? Ultimately finding the right Hawaii hotel is about discovering one that makes your ideal island vacation dreams come true.

Hotel Types in Hawaii Pros vs Cons


Hawaii is famous for its luxurious beachfront resorts, which offer a wide range of amenities like multiple pools, fine dining restaurants, spas, golf courses, kids clubs, and nightly entertainment. Most resorts in Hawaii have idyllic tropical settings right on sandy beaches with ocean views.

Popular resort areas include Waikiki on Oahu, Ka’anapali on Maui, Poipu on Kauai, and the Kohala Coast on the Big Island.

Pros: Resorts provide a convenient all-inclusive vacation experience. Onsite features allow guests to enjoy dining, activities, and entertainment without leaving the grounds.

Cons: Room rates at luxury resorts can be quite expensive, especially for families or longer stays. Resorts can also feel a bit isolated from the local culture and communities.

B&Bs and Smaller Inns

For a more intimate Hawaiian experience, bed and breakfast establishments and smaller boutique hotels or inns are a great option. These provide cozy, personalized accommodation with typically 10-30 guest rooms.

Guests can enjoy amenities like daily breakfast, manager’s receptions, and evening wine or dessert.

Pros: B&Bs and inns offer a quieter setting with more direct interaction with innkeepers. They can provide recommendations tailored to guest interests and often have an authentic local vibe.

Cons: Fewer onsite amenities than larger hotels. Choice of dining is more limited closeby.

Condo Hotels

Condo hotels, including vacation ownership resorts, provide hotel-style guest rooms along with amenities like pools, restaurants and lounges. But the room layout is more residential with fully-equipped kitchens.

Condos allow families and groups to enjoy cost savings by preparing some meals in their unit.

Pros: Condo room layouts work very well for longer stays. Having a kitchen cuts down vacation costs. Many condo properties organize activities.

Cons: Condos tend to be spread out requiring more walking. Onsite dining is usually more limited than a full-scale resort.

Vacation Rentals

For the most spacious lodging options in Hawaii, vacation home and condo rentals allow guests to truly settle into island living. Families or friend groups can rent an entire home, often privately owned, ranging from cozy cottages to luxury estates.

Pros: Vacation rentals provide a relaxed home-away-from-home vibe with plenty of room to spread out. Fully equipped kitchens and outdoor areas save vacation funds.

Cons: No daily housekeeping or room service as with hotels. Planning is required for amenities like tours, meals, or equipment rentals.

Best Hotels in Oahu

Oahu is home to some of the most spectacular hotels in Hawaii, perfectly suited for a dream vacation. From luxurious beachfront resorts to charming boutique hotels steeped in Hawaiian history, you’ll find accommodations to match your ideal island getaway.


Regarded as one of the finest hotels on Oahu, the Halekulani combines luxury with subtle island elegance. Located on Waikiki Beach, this resort hotel features spacious rooms decorated in creamy neutrals with Polynesian-inspired furnishings.

Guests praise the Halekulani’s impeccable service, award-winning restaurants, and the largest luxury swimming pool on Waikiki.

The Modern Honolulu

For a contemporary twist on island accommodation, the sleek Modern Honolulu doesn’t disappoint. The sun-drenched rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows showcasing spectacular views of downtown Honolulu or the Pacific Ocean.

The infinity pool is Instagram-worthy, and the trendy onsite restaurants draw visitors and locals alike. It’s urban luxury with an island vibe.

Turtle Bay Resort

On Oahu’s serene North Shore, the sprawling Turtle Bay Resort offers a tranquil escape from busy Waikiki. Spend lazy days lounging on the resort’s beachfront, rated one of Hawaii’s best. When you’re ready for activity, there’s snorkeling, surfing, helicopter tours, and horseback riding.

And the oceanfront rooms and suites never fail to relax and rejuvenate after days filled with adventure.

Best Hotels in Maui

Maui is often called the “Valley Isle” due to its lush green landscapes and beautiful beaches. It’s no wonder many visitors choose Maui as their Hawaiian island of choice for a dream vacation. With luxury resorts, breathtaking scenery, and fantastic weather year-round, Maui offers an unforgettable tropical getaway.

If you’re planning a vacation in Maui, finding the right hotel is key to an amazing trip. Here are some of the best hotels Maui has to offer for a truly memorable stay:

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is consistently rated as one of the top resorts not only on Maui, but in all of Hawaii. This luxury hotel features stunning grounds right on Wailea Beach, spacious rooms and suites, and exceptional service.

Onsite you’ll find three pools, a spa, several restaurants, and many shopping and activity options. The Four Seasons Resort pampers its guests with Hawaiian hospitality at its finest.

Montage Kapalua Bay

For a more secluded upscale option on west Maui, check out the Montage Kapalua Bay. Sitting atop the cliffs overlooking picturesque Kapalua Bay, this resort wows visitors with its lavish accommodations and amenities. Guest rooms feature large lanais with phenomenal ocean views.

Onsite you’ll also find a spa and wellness center, art center and gardens, pools, and award-winning dining options with ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. At the Montage Kapalua Bay, relaxation meets luxury in true Hawaiian style.

Travaasa Hāna

Adventurous travelers should consider the remote Travaasa Hāna on east Maui. Accessible only by the famous road to Hāna, this resort feels worlds away from the more populated parts of the island. Travaasa Hāna immerses its guests in Hawaiian culture through workshops, tours, spa treatments, and more using local techniques and ingredients.

With fewer than 70 rooms, the resort provides an intimate, eco-friendly getaway in one of Maui’s most lush and untouched areas. It’s a one-of-a-kind way to experience authentic Hawaiian living.

Honua Kai Resort & Spa

Families and groups may want to book their Maui stay at Honua Kai Resort & Spa in West Maui. This condo-style resort right on Ka’anapali Beach features roomy suites with full kitchens and laundry, making it easy to spread out and enjoy home comforts on vacation.

The resort also has a waterpark on site with slides and splash areas sure to delight kids. And it’s located close to Lahaina’s dining, shopping, entertainment and activities. With amenities catering to extended stays, Honua Kai Resort offers fantastic value and convenience for larger parties.

Whether you’re looking for seclusion, adventure, luxury, family fun or all of the above, Maui has hotel options sure to meet your Hawaiian vacation dreams. Booking the right resort for your travel style and group will help ensure the trip of a lifetime on this gorgeous tropical island.

Best Hotels on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii boasts some of the most stunning and diverse natural landscapes found anywhere in the Hawaiian islands. From towering volcanoes to black sand beaches, tropical rainforests to barren lava fields, the Big Island has an incredible variety of sights to explore.

With so much natural beauty, it’s no wonder that the Big Island is home to some truly spectacular hotels and resorts as well.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The iconic Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has been welcoming guests to the Kohala Coast since 1965. This luxury resort is situated on Kaunaoa Beach, which has been voted one of the top beaches in the United States.

The 252 guest rooms and suites all feature private lanais and many offer stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Onsite amenities include a championship golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools, and several excellent dining options showcasing locally sourced ingredients.

The Mauna Kea is perfect for travelers who want to experience old Hawaii elegance.

Four Seasons Hualalai

For those seeking an ultra-luxurious escape, the Four Seasons Hualalai is one of the most exclusive resorts on the Big Island. Guests stay in beautiful Hawaiian-style bungalows nestled along the coastline, many with their own private plunge pools.

Three white sand beaches provide ample space for relaxing, snorkeling, or paddleboarding. Seven restaurants serve up creative cuisine taking advantage of the island’s bountiful produce and seafood. The spa offers treatments utilizing local ingredients like coconut, sea salt, and lava rock.

From the personalized service to the stunning natural setting, the Four Seasons Hualalai is paradise perfected.

Volcano House

Adventurous travelers will want to check out the legendary Volcano House located on the rim of Kilauea volcano in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Originally built in 1846, this historic hotel offers an unbeatable view of the volcano’s glowing lava lake from its patio and select guest rooms.

Unique experiences available to guests include guided lava walks, cultural programs, volcano explorations, and epic stargazing. With such close proximity to one of the world’s most active volcanoes, the Volcano House provides a one-of-a-kind base camp for discovering the powerful natural forces that formed the Big Island.

Best Hotels on Kauai

Kauai is often called the “Garden Isle” thanks to its lush greenery, picturesque beaches, and breathtaking mountainscapes. With so much natural beauty, it’s no wonder Kauai is a top destination for travelers seeking a relaxing Hawaiian getaway.

When choosing where to stay on Kauai, you’ll find no shortage of spectacular resorts and hotels to call home during your vacation.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

The Grand Hyatt Kauai is consistently ranked as one of the top hotels on the island. Nestled along the white sands of Poipu Beach on Kauai’s sunny south shore, this resort features lavish guest rooms with Polynesian-inspired décor, oceanfront dining, an oceanfront pool with waterslides, and a luxury spa set amidst lush grounds.

Guests rave about the stunning views and excellent service that makes every stay feel special.

The St. Regis Princeville Resort

For travelers seeking luxury in a more secluded setting, The St. Regis Princeville is one of the premier choices on Kauai. Perched on a bluff overlooking Hanalei Bay on the island’s north shore, this 5-star resort wows visitors with its elegant Hawaiian plantation-style architecture.

Guest rooms feature large terraces to soak in the majestic views. The hotel also boasts two championship golf courses, a spa with mineral pools tucked into the hillside, and restaurants led by famous island chefs. The stunning surroundings and top-notch service never fail to impress.

Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

Koa Kea Hotel & Resort has earned acclaim as one of Kauai’s most romantic getaways thanks to its cozy, couples-friendly vibe. Situated on Poipu Beach overlooking the bright blue ocean, this boutique hotel features contemporary island-inspired rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows, private balconies, and lavish amenities.

Guests praise the attentive staff, intimate atmosphere, oceanfront pool area, and upscale dining for making their stays truly special. Whether you’re celebrating a honeymoon, anniversary, or just need to relax, the Koa Kea is sure to delight.

Clearly, Kauai offers some of Hawaii’s most spectacular hotel options no matter what type of island experience you’re seeking. From luxurious resorts set on golden sand beaches to lush tropical hideaways perched on soaring sea cliffs, you’ll discover your own slice of paradise when staying at one of Kauai’s fabulous hotels.


With so many amazing lodging options in Hawaii, it can be difficult to choose especially if you are traveling to multiple islands. By considering your trip details and priorities, as well as the unique offerings of each Hawaiian island, you can narrow down your many choices to the perfect Hawaiian hotel for the vacation of your dreams.

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