Beautiful beaches, tropical forests, dramatic bluffs and picturesque hidden coves — Hawaii has it all. And while the all-natural surroundings are reason enough to visit, the best resorts that dot the islands offer another one: flawless luxury in a true tropical paradise. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s picks for the top places to stay in Hawaii:
Located on a bluff overlooking Hanalei Bay on Kauai, this 23-acre, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star resort feels at once opulent and laid-back. Rooms have views of the bay, the ocean or the cliffs through huge windows, as well as custom furniture, marble bathrooms and a contemporary Hawaiian design scheme. The Four-Star Halele’a Spa (it means “house of joy”) features exotic treatments such as a seaweed-leaf body wrap and a traditional lomi lomi massage.
At this Four-Star Waikiki Beach resort, you can stay in a suite designed by Vera Wang or opt for any of the other high-style guest rooms that have deep soaking tubs, large lanais and nightly treats of Halekulani’s own chocolates. La Mer, the Four-Star onsite restaurant, serves fine French fare and has majestic ocean views.
Posh light-colored rooms, four restaurants and a sprawling spa (book the warm pohaku stone massage) are why this Four-Star resort has been a favorite on Oahu since 1964. While the resort has an open and airy feel, loads of activities and a secluded white-sand beach, the biggest draw may be the chance to swim with the dolphins residing in the resort’s private lagoon.
Located on the Big Island, this Five-Star resort features exactly the type of authentic Hawaiian vibe people travel so far to experience — it blends into its natural setting with palm-draped private bungalows, pools carved from black lava rock and guest rooms dressed in natural materials like bamboo and stone. The tricked-out spa has a grass yoga courtyard, a climbing wall, a sand volleyball court and fitness options galore (think hiking, kickboxing and water aerobics).
This Four-Star Maui hotel sits on 54 acres, removed from the hectic beach scene without being too far from it (a quick shuttle whisks guests to the white-sand shore). Airy guest rooms feature grand views of the Pacific Ocean and island-inspired touches such as large lanais, Hawaiian artwork and pineapple print motifs. The spa, too, has treatments inspired by ancient Hawaiian traditions, such as a pineapple papaya body scrub and an intense lomi lomi massage.
Photos Courtesy of Landmark Hotels Group and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide