10 Best Resorts in Hawaii for the Ideal Island Vacation
From quaint boutique properties to sprawling, beachfront full-service hotels, the best Hawaii resorts offer something special for everyone
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Hawaii resorts you’ll want to book now
Awe-inspiring beaches, vast natural beauty, year-round sunny weather and endless outdoor activities: Experience all this and more on your Hawaii vacation. Set in one of the world’s best island destinations, Hawaii resorts have tons to offer travelers who crave a warm-weather getaway any time of year. It’s no wonder Hawaii is often lauded as one of the best island vacation destinations in the United States.
While there’s really no “bad” time to visit the Aloha State, the best time to visit Hawaii is during shoulder season (March through mid-May and September through November), when you can enjoy fewer crowds and lower prices on airfare and hotels. If you’re a first-time visitor to Hawaii, consider traveling to one of the main islands such as Maui, Oahu, The Big Island and Kauai, all of which are a quick, easy flight from one another.
Once you’ve purchased plane tickets to this bucket-list-worthy destination, it’s time to start thinking about where to stay. If you’re looking for something other than an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii, there is an abundance of other top-notch Hawaii resorts to choose from. Near the best beaches in Hawaii, these picks are sure to include something to suit your specific budget, travel style and needs. To help make things a bit easier, with so many options to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the top resorts in Hawaii for every traveler.
How we chose the best Hawaii resorts
Selecting the very best resorts in Hawaii was no easy feat, especially given the number of gorgeous hotels here. We carefully combed through internet user reviews and ratings so you don’t have to. All the properties featured below have a Tripadvisor rating of at least four stars—and most have at least 4.5 stars. While not all these Hawaii resorts are located directly on the beach, they all offer incredible island views. Those that aren’t on the beach are either within easy walking distance or offer free transport. All the resorts also have on-site swimming pools, and most have bonus features, such as complimentary cultural activities, kids clubs, fitness classes, sports or on-site spas.
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The Royal Hawaiian
Also known as the “Pink Palace of the Pacific,” the Royal Hawaiian hotel—famous for its pink facade—occupies a prime stretch of sand on Waikiki Beach in Oahu. The iconic oceanfront hotel is also within walking distance of many shops, bars and restaurants. Each of the 500-plus rooms and suites is elegantly appointed, and some even have private lanais and pretty pink-hued accents. There are also two pools to choose from. One has an interactive fountain area, water chaise lounges and a water slide. The other has a quieter vibe and is lined with pink cabanas, available for hotel guests to rent at an additional cost, along with beach chairs and umbrellas.
The four on-site eateries are also delicious. Order the pink pancakes at Surf Lanai, the banana bread at the Royal Hawaiian Bakery, the signature drink at the al fresco Mai Tai Bar or any of the extravagant dinner offerings at Azure.
If you want to relax even more, visit Abhasa Spa for a restorative massage or join in one of the on-site cultural activities like lei-making or hula. And for a true treat, sign up for the oceanfront Luau dinner.
- Prime Waikiki Beach location
- Wide variety of amenities and activities
- Beach rentals cost extra
Best for multigenerational travel
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa has an idyllic setting along one of America’s best beaches, making it one of the most spectacular Hawaii resorts. Located on the island of Kauai, this property offers something for everyone in the family. Little ones will have loads of fun floating down the lava-rock-lined lazy river or zipping down the waterslide, while parents and grandparents can hit the spa for a rejuvenating massage. Grown-ups can also lounge by the adults-only pool or rent a cabana (for an additional cost). Families can partake in group activities like volleyball and basketball, as well.
We’d also be remiss not to mention the resort’s 1.5-acre saltwater lagoon, which boasts a sandy beach, calm, clear waters and, as a bonus, islands you can swim to. You can also experience oceanfront bliss at Keoneloa Bay/Shipwreck Beach, which is just steps away. And for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, get tickets to the on-site luau, which takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Located along one of Hawaii’s beaches with the clearest waters
- Postcard-worthy setting flanked by gorgeous gardens
- Upscale rooms, a sprawling spa, several restaurants and several pools
- Fun touches like a lazy river
- Lacks a secluded locale and intimate ambience
Best for families with young children
Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa
Love Disney World? Then this is the Hawaii resort for you. Located on Oahu, the expansive Aulani Hawaii resort is a popular vacation spot chock-full of family-friendly features and amenities, including a lazy river, two waterslides, a fish-filled lagoon for snorkeling and a handful of pools and water play areas, including a splash pad. Out on the sheltered man-made lagoon (excellent for swimming), families can take advantage of free chair and umbrella rentals, as well as boogie boards and sand toys.
The Hawaiian design elements—found in the playful Disney-inspired guest rooms and common areas—only add to the tropical ambience. And since this is a Disney resort, you can expect five-star service and tons of magical touches, including character experiences and Mickey-shaped sweet treats. Best of all, the complimentary Aunty’s Beach House (the on-site kids club) will keep children ages 4 through 12 entertained all day long.
- Complimentary kids club
- Snorkeling, boogie boarding and character meet-and-greets
- About 40 minutes from Waikiki and other tourist hot spots
- Some activities—like catamaran sailings, horseback riding and tours—cost extra
Best for adventure lovers
Turtle Bay Resort
Turtle Bay Resort is located along Oahu’s North Shore, which is known for its incredible surfing waves. Encompassing 1,300 acres complete with five miles of pristine coastline and several warm-water beaches, this renowned property is one of the best Hawaii resorts for adventure lovers, because it offers an abundance of land, ocean and aerial options.
Amenities and activities include painting, horseback riding, tennis, pickleball, golfing, surfing and stand-up paddle boarding. When they’re not soaking up the sun on the beach or lounging in the ocean-view guest rooms or bungalows, guests can take advantage of four swimming pools, 12 miles of hiking and biking trails, golfing and the 11,000-square-foot spa.
Property-exclusive excursions include turtle kayak tours (yes, it’s as cool as it sounds), surfing with a pup and scenic helicopter rides.
- Multiple on-site attractions to appease thrill-seekers of all ages
- All accommodations offer pristine ocean views
- Most activities and excursions cost extra
- More than an hour’s drive to the airport and Waikiki Beach
Best boutique hotel
‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
‘Alohilani Resort is considered one of Honolulu’s best boutique hotels, thanks to its trendy, design-forward aesthetic and prime location, putting you within steps of Oahu’s Waikiki Beach and the area’s best bars, restaurants and shops.
Be prepared to be dazzled by the 280,000-gallon Oceanarium (home to more than 650 colorful fish) and the fifth-floor pool deck (one of the most stunning hotel pools we’ve seen). It’s also here that you’ll find plush cabanas and daybeds for lounging, eye-catching driftwood sculptures, glowing fire pits, a bar and picture-perfect views of the Pacific. Other on-site amenities include five food venues (including two eateries from acclaimed Iron Chef Morimoto), a new full-service spa and fun classes such as aerial yoga.
For an extra-special stay, consider booking a Club Access room, which—spoiler alert—gets you into the on-site Longboard Club. Not only do guests who reserve these accommodations gain access to this swanky lounge area, but they’re also privy to perks like daily breakfast, a variety of wine and beer on tap, cheese and charcuterie selections and a live-action, made-to-order pasta station each night.
- Hip, trendy vibe with breezy, contemporary interiors and common areas
- Stand-out amenities like an Oceanarium and ocean-facing infinity pool
- Across the street from the beach
White Sands Hotel
The wallet-friendly White Sands Hotel in Waikiki oozes retro-inspired midcentury-modern charm for an affordable family vacation. The nostalgia-inducing design elements feature a striking color palette of bright yellow, olive green and blue, and the property offers both rooms and suites at prices far lower than you’ll pay at many other properties. The three buildings all face a courtyard with a pool, grotto-style hot tub, tranquil waterfall and lush gardens.
The on-site restaurant, Heyday, helmed by a James Beard Award–winning chef, is a bonus, as is the speakeasy-style Green Lady Cocktail Room, which is tucked away in a hidden hotel room. Other on-site activities and offerings include weekly yoga classes, live music, beach gear such as chairs and umbrellas and the use of tech like GoPros and portable power banks.
- Rates start at under $200
- Eye-catching interiors with a ’60s vibe
- Top-notch eats
- Two-and-a-half blocks from Waikiki Beach
The Plantation Inn
This charming bed-and-breakfast in Maui is just right for a warm-weather getaway. We especially love The Plantation Inn for its gorgeous architecture, adults-only environment and 18 distinct accommodations spread across two buildings. Room highlights include four-poster bamboo beds, pink floral-printed bedding and, in some rooms, private lanais.
Another perk: The property’s central location is just steps from Lahaina’s Front Street, which means guests are within easy walking distance of top-rated shops and restaurants. It’s also worth noting that it’s about a 15-minute walk from the beach—although we wouldn’t blame you if you just spent all day chilling out in the peaceful outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and flora-filled courtyard.
For even more fun, guests can enjoy the amenities offered at sister property Kaanapali Beach Hotel. Located along Kaanapali Beach, this property offers complimentary Hawaiian activities like hula lessons and lei-making.
- Adorable adults-only inn with free breakfast
- Located steps from shops and restaurants
- Access to the amenities offered at their sister property
- The pool area is small, so arrive early to snag a lounger
- The property is a 15-minute walk from the beach
Best for wellness
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort
For the ultimate wellness retreat, head straight to Sensei Lanai. Located on the small, serene and less-visited island of Lanai, this luxury Four Seasons resort is ideal for travelers seeking seclusion. The stunning adults-only property is surrounded by tropical flora and nestled in Lanai’s pine-covered mountains, setting the scene for a relaxing escape.
Upon arrival, you’ll be introduced to your Sensei Guide, who is on hand to curate a custom itinerary. Included with your stay are amenities such as gourmet dining at the on-site Nobu restaurant (yes, that Nobu), a fitness center, an impressive fine art and sculpture collection, tranquil pools surrounded by gardens, a Japanese onsen garden complete with 10 soaking tubs and lots of lush greenery, and a selection of fitness, wellness and cultural classes.
We also recommend booking a spa treatment to take advantage of the incredible private spa areas, each with a Japanese-style soaking tub, infrared sauna, steam, indoor and outdoor showers, oversized massage tables and private plunge pools. It’s worth noting that although the property is not located on the ocean, complimentary beach transport is available to guests.
- Uber-luxe wellness-centric resort perfect for catching up on R&R
- Gourmet dining included
- Amazing on-site spa with state-of-the-art amenities
- It’s a 20-minute drive to the beach
- Rates are pricey and don’t include spa treatments
Hotel Wailea bills itself as Maui’s only adults-only boutique luxury hotel. Set across 15 acres of land and perched 300 acres above sea level, it has unobstructed vistas of three Hawaiian islands. With all this in mind, it’s safe to conclude that Hotel Wailea is one of the world’s most romantic resorts. The spacious all-suite accommodations offer ocean views, private lanais and stunning interiors featuring local Hawaiian touches. When you’re not snuggling up with your loved one in your room, head out and explore the magnificent property boasting tropical gardens, waterfalls and pathways perfect for strolling.
The hotel is also famous for its signature namesake restaurant, The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea, which offers gourmet dining with picturesque ocean views. Or, for something even more special, book the on-site private dining venue, the aptly named Treehouse, and enjoy a chef-prepared, multi-course feast with your better half.
During the day, between dips in the pool or hot tub, grab a bite at The Cabanas, which offers casual poolside grub in an al fresco setting. Guests can also take advantage of beach valet service at nearby Wailea Beach (transportation is provided), which offers towels, umbrellas, chairs for rent and water sports at an additional cost. Finally, there’s no need to rent a car to explore, as luxury vehicle shuttle service within the Wailea area is included with your stay.
- Adults-only, all-suite accommodations
- Stunning grounds perfect for romantic strolls
- Top-notch food and drink offerings
- The property is not on the beach, though transportation and beach valet service are provided
- There is no on-site spa
Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
For a true it’s-worth-it splurge, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the dreamy Four Seasons Resort Maui. Here’s a fun fact: The first season of The White Lotus was filmed here. Fans will also be pleased to find that this 15-acre property—which combines five-star service and luxurious amenities and accommodations—is just as idyllic off-screen as it is on-screen.
Upon pulling up to the resort, you’ll get a friendly Maui greeting with a lei and a smile. From there, you can snag a lounger (or rent a cabana) at the adults-only Serenity Pool, where the showstopping views take center stage. Otherwise, grab a spot by the expansive main pool area or head out onto the beach, where you can enjoy a scenic stroll, take a refreshing dip in the ocean or simply stay put in a chair.
Guests can also indulge in a massage in an oceanfront private spa area before refueling at one of the excellent food and drink venues, including three acclaimed gourmet restaurants. While a stay here doesn’t come cheap, it does include an array of complimentary daily activities, nightly hula and torch-lighting performances, a putting green, electric-bike rentals and car service around Wailea.
- Beachfront location
- Warm, welcoming service
- Five-star accommodations and amenities
- No resort fee
- The pool areas get crowded quickly, so it’s best to come early and nab your seat