The Top 15 Resort Hotels in Hawaii
The tropical paradise of Hawaii may feel very far away, but with nonstop flights from virtually every major city in on the mainland (including Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and New York), the islands are actually a lot closer than you may think. Once there, the resort options are seemingly endless — which is why our readers’ favorite places to stay in the Aloha State run the gamut in style, size, and location.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Maui was voted the top island in the state again this year — so it’s not shocking to see six of the destination’s resorts earning acclaim from readers, including the secluded, wellness-focused Travaasa Hana; the family-friendly Ritz-Carlton Kapalua; and the adults-only Hotel Wailea. The latter was especially beloved by our readers for its hilltop location and sense of removed calm. Spread over 15 acres, but with only 72 guest suites, the Hotel Wailea still offers a distinct sense of privacy even when at full capacity. “The hotel grounds are expansive and offer numerous, quiet spots to sit by the stream that runs throughout the property,” said one admirer.
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts are well represented this year, with four Hawaii properties making the cut. Three are World’s Best Hall of Fame winners — having placed for at least 10 consecutive years — including the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on the Big Island’s exclusive Kona-Kohala coast. The property is an expansive world unto itself, with low-slung bungalows and seven swimming areas thoughtfully placed throughout its 32 beachfront acres. “There are so many different pools, one for every kind of traveler, and they are all amazing,” explained one fan. On Oahu, Four Seasons Oahu at Ko Olina is a relative newcomer (it opened in 2016), but it is already winning praise from T+L readers thanks to its private lagoons, 35,000-square-foot spa, and stellar Sunday brunch. “Love it so much I’ll be back for my 50th birthday!”
Looking to plan your own Hawaiian getaway? Read on to see the full list of our readers’ favorite hotels in the state — including the No. 1 winner.
15. Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Big Island
14. Westin Hapuna Beach Resort, Big Island
13. Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui
12. Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Big Island
11. Halekulani, Oahu
10. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
9. Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina
8. Travaasa Hana, Maui
7. Trump International Hotel Waikiki, Oahu
6. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Big Island
5. Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui
4. Four Seasons Resort Lanai
3. Koa Kea Hotel & Resort, Kauai
2. Hotel Wailea, Maui
1. Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui
More an intimate residential compound than a traditional resort hotel, the Montage Kapalua Bay is composed of only 50 one- to four-bedroom suites on 24 manicured, oceanfront acres in the golf mecca of Kapalua. Despite the small number of accommodations, though, the experience is full-on five stars. You can feast on goat cheese crepes with kula strawberries for breakfast at Cane & Canoe, the fine dining restaurant, then come back for ahi poke tacos and a “Toes in the Sand” cocktail that evening at the bar. As one reader put it: “Montage Kapalua Bay is paradise found. A spectacular, private location, superb service, and great rooms, pools, and spa.”
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2018.