From Kauai to the Big Island, these resorts are the ultimate Aloha State retreats.
When travelers think of the perfect tropical vacation — white-sand beaches virtually on your doorstep, verdant, manicured gardens framed by swaying palms, multiple swimming pools from which to choose — Hawaii immediately comes to mind. The sheer number of options spread across its six main islands makes it ideal for any family or couples getaway, and with nonstop flights to the state from every corner of the continental U.S., it’s more convenient than ever.
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 hotels, resorts, 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.
The Big Island has three properties on the list, including the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, which continually offers new activities for guests — like an “Ultimate Pop-Up Volcano Adventure” program that whisks visitors off on an aerial tour of a volcano before bringing them to a private cottage near Volcanoes National Park, where chefs prepare the night’s dinner (complemented by a hula performance).
Maui had the most properties on the list with seven, including the runner-up, Hotel Wailea. Our readers were fans of the “restful, quiet location,” as well as the “contemporary yet comfortable décor,” with one respondent proclaiming, “I wish I could go to Maui more often, mostly so I could stay here and chill.”
Although the small island of Kauai had only two properties on the list this year, one of them took the No. 1 spot. The beachfront Koa Kea Hotel & Resort snagged top billing for its service and personal touches.
“This will be the only hotel we stay in on Kauai from now on,” said one reader. “The valets were all happy to direct us to their local beach hangouts and steer us off the beaten path. On top of that, it was so clean we felt like we were the first occupants in our ocean view room.” For the full list of Hawaii’s best beach retreats, read on.