Best Hotels in Hawaii
No. 6 Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, Big Island, HI
Hapuna Beach State Park, with its 32 acres of white sand and palms framed by lava-rock outcroppings, provides the jaw-dropping setting for Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, a 351-room resort that’s the sister hotel to Mauna Kea, originally built in 1965 by the founder of RockResorts, Laurance Rockefeller. The property’s beach is equally as beautiful as the one that fronts its sister hotel, and although Hapuna’s interiors are more subdued, they maintain a similarly bright, airy feeling. This spring, three years after Mauna Kea got a freshening up, Hapuna Beach got its turn; 96 of the oceanfront guest rooms and luxury suites were updated with Polynesian-style fabrics and traditional Hawaiian kapa prints, all complemented by raffia and blond wood furnishings, and white shuttered doors that open onto oceanfront lanais. For the ultimate underwater experience, rent fins, masks, and snorkels from the beach club next to the 6,500-square-foot Hapuna Beach pool, and head out to the rocky points at either end of the beach in the early morning, when the water is calm and crystal clear. Come evening, head a mile north to the Mauna Kea Hotel’s Kauna’oa Beach, where a large floodlight shines into the bay so travelers can watch as manta rays feed on tiny plankton lured to the shore.