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The 12 best hotels in Hawaii

Wake up in paradise at one of the best hotels in all of Hawaii, including deluxe resorts and boutique hideaways

By Lori A. May |
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Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

While each island has its own personality, there are some consistencies you can count on with Hawaiian hotels. If you’re interested in accommodations with a balcony or patio, you’ll want a room with a lanai. On-site gardens pretty much guarantee the presence of palm trees and hibiscus—the official state flower. Yet room decor and amenities vary from property to property. While many Hawaiian hotels incorporate island-inspired accents such as floral artwork and wood furnishings, others opt for modern minimalism. Whether you prefer boutique properties where you’re treated like ʻohana (family) or deluxe resorts where you’ll feel like royalty, follow this guide to discover the best hotels across the Hawaiian Islands.

Best hotels in Hawaii

1
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Where is it? Big Island
Why go? Regarded as the first resort built on the island of Hawaii, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel combines historic charm with contemporary style. An on-site art gallery displays an impressive collection gathered by hotel founder Laurance S. Rockefeller, while complimentary yoga sessions are offered on the beachfront. Room decor is chic contemporary with colorful island accents. Guests have direct access to the soft sand beach of Kauna’oa Bay while nightfall offers guided moonlight swims with manta rays.

2
Ka'anapali Beach Hotel
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Ka'anapali Beach Hotel

Where is it? Maui
Why go? If you like the idea of authentic Hawaiian accommodations, but want to linger along Maui’s most popular beach strip, stay at Ka'anapali Beach Hotel. You’ll be centrally located in a vibrant community with award-winning restaurants and water sports, but housed in what’s known as “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel.” That moniker is well-earned with staff dedicated to preserving and sharing Hawaiian culture with complimentary on-site ʻōlelo (language) lessons, ukulele demonstrations, and more. Enjoy traditional decor at this beachfront property.    

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3
Vive Hotel Waikiki
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Vive Hotel Waikiki

Where is it? Honolulu
Why go? Coastal contemporary is the vibe at Vive Hotel. Their boutique aesthetic is youthful and vibrant, with spacious guest rooms, tablet concierge, and deluxe continental breakfast. Boogie boards and beach towels are available for free whenever you feel like hitting the beach. Enjoy a short walk to the Duke Kahanamoku Statue and waterfront shops, or enjoy popular eateries along Kuhio Avenue. High speed Wi-Fi is included in your room and in “the living room” gathering space where you can enjoy 24-hour coffee and tea.

4
Fern Grotto Inn
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Fern Grotto Inn

Where is it? Kauai
Why go? Relax along Kauai’s Coconut Coast with a private cottage rental in Kapaa Town. The plantation homes at Fern Grotto Inn provide a quiet retreat along the Wailua River. Use a complimentary kayak or paddle board to explore this historic waterway, or wander the gardens to sample fresh star fruit and mango. Cottages include kitchenettes, with a communal laundry room available free of charge. Smith Family Garden Luau is just steps away.  

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5
Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

Where is it? Maui
Why go? Watch nightly cliff diving ceremonies at Black Rock or chill out in the sprawling lagoon pool at Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa, one of the island’s oldest resorts. You’ll have immediate beach access for floating under the sun or snorkeling alongside sea turtles. Pick up a Beachside S’mores kit and gather around resort fire pits. Enjoy an ocean view from your contemporary room, then dine at one of the many on-site restaurants.

6
Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa

Where is it? Big Island
Why go? Wander the coffee trees at Waikoloa Beach Marriott and then explore petroglyphs and an ancient fish pond on your way to the beach. Take a relaxing dip in the sand-bottom pool while the kids swoosh down a waterslide. As day turns to night along the Big Island’s Anaehoomalu Bay, indulge in island cuisine at one of the best feasts in Hawaii with the on-site Sunset Luau. Schedule tee time at one of two championship golf courses.

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7
Prince Waikiki
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Prince Waikiki

Where is it? Honolulu
Why go? Take advantage of a complimentary shuttle service and avoid resort fees at this newly renovated Waikiki hotel. Wi-Fi and self-parking is free! Every single room and suite at this deluxe boutique property comes with an ocean view and floor-t0-ceiling windows sweeten the deal. You’ll find sleek modern furnishings with hand-painted Nai‘o flowers on room walls. Head up the rooftop infinity pool for panoramic views of the city, beachfront, and Diamond Head just in the distance.

8
Waimea Plantation Cottages
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Waimea Plantation Cottages

Where is it? Big Island
Why go? Make yourself at home in one of sixty plantation-era cottages with full kitchens, wraparound lanais, and the pleasure of privacy. While some of these homes date back to the late 1800s, you’ll enjoy a host of modern conveniences including air conditioning, full-sized appliances, Wi-Fi, and a dedicated parking space right outside your door. Stroll through coconut palm trees lining the oceanfront or take a dip in the pool. Be sure to visit nearby Waimea Canyon.

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9
Hotel Molokai
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Hotel Molokai

Where is it? Molokai
Why go? If your tropical escape takes you to peaceful Molokai, spend a few nights relaxing in a bungalow with traditional island decor. Stretch out on your private lanai as sun rises over the island, then whip up breakfast in your own kitchenette. Take a refreshing dip in the pool or kick back on a hammock as trade winds offer a gentle breeze. Sample seasonal seafood at on-site eatery Hiro’s Ohana Grill, or take a leisurely stroll to downtown Kaunakakai.

10
Turtle Bay Resort
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Turtle Bay Resort

Where is it? Oahu
Why go? Settle in on the North Shore to experience a different side of Oahu. Turtle Bay Resort has more than 800 acres to explore with jogging trails, horseback riding, and kayak excursions all within reach. Unwind at Nalu Spa or boost your adrenaline diving with sharks. Enjoy contemporary island decor in a suite, cottage, or private villa. Tempt your taste buds at Roy’s Beach House and then savor a poolside Mai Tai as sun sets along the beach.

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11
Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort

Where is it? Honolulu
Why go? Surround yourself with island tradition at this welcoming beachfront resort. Outrigger Waikiki offers a full suite of amenities while preserving an authentic aloha experience. Take advantage of immediate beach access with on-site surf lessons or relax at the barefoot bar with nightly musical performances. Pay tribute to local legend Duke Kahanamoku as you savor an amazing breakfast buffet at Duke’s Waikiki. Shopaholics will love this convenient Kalakaua Avenue location.    

12
Four Seasons Lanai
Photograph: Courtesy Booking.com

Four Seasons Lanai

Where is it? Lanai
Why go? Your vision of paradise is a serene retreat with luxury defined by details. Welcome to the island of Lanai, one of Hawaii’s least populated islands. On its pristine southeastern shores you’ll find the Four Seasons Resort catering to your every need. From tee time to me time, take your pick of oceanfront adventure. Enjoy the views over Hulopoe Bay or go off-roading in the Garden of the Gods. Enjoy a poolside massage before savoring celebrity chef cuisine at NOBU.

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