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As of the latest update on this article I have had the opportunity to stay at 7 of these hotels with 3 added just this year. There is one hotel on this list that is totally new (sort of), not something that happens very often.
Which is my favorite? Almost impossible to pick on a statewide list, it would have to be by island and since I haven’t visited them all (yet!) I will hold off until then.
Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the world, let alone the United States. Here are the best luxury hotels in Hawaii.
What Makes a Luxury Hotel?
Before I disclose my list of the best luxury hotels in Hawaii, it’s important to define luxury. More than ocean views, golf courses, fitness centers, and well-equipped rooms and suites, luxury is defined by service. From the moment a guest enters a four or five star hotel, it should be clear that the guest will be taken care of during their visit by the staff.
A well-financed operation can add marble floors, guest rooms with the most beautiful modern amenities, and sweeping sea views but what is far harder to deliver is world class service these hotels and resorts are known for delivering.
Booking the Best Luxury Hotels in Hawaii
If you are booking these hotels directly you are doing it wrong and missing out on not only a better chance for an upgrade but VIP perks as well.
Some of these hotels are in loyalty programs, like Marriott Bonvoy, and you accumulate points only if you book directly. Not true, you can still book through a luxury travel advisor and get loyalty points.
I book with Classic Travel for luxury hotel stays and have enjoyed a higher rate of upgrades, free breakfasts for 2, and other in-room gifts on numerous occasions.
Depending on the hotel the luxury travel advisor may need to be a Four Seasons Preferred Partner, Virtuoso Partner, Marriott STARS & Luminous Partner, or several others. Classic Travel has them all covered.
The Four Seasons Resort Lanai is located in Maui County but Lanai is its own island. Known for its picturesque natural beauty, the property boasts one of Hawaii’s last unspoiled oceanfront properties.
Oceanfront and secluded, the resort provides intimacy and privacy that’s difficult to find elsewhere in the islands. The property has it all, from a famous Jack Nicklaus golf course to an on-site premium spa, tennis courts, and pools to suit every mood and need.
Like others on this list, it’s the service that stands out and it starts with a welcome drink at check-in and lasts until the guest’s bags are loaded into their waiting car to return them to the airport.
Standard rooms start from $1,000/nt with entry-level suites selling for about $500 more in January.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Season Resort
Sansei, a Four Seasons Hotel, presents an intimate getaway where Japanese aesthetic and Hawaiian hospitality converge. The hotel is an ode to serenity, offering teahouses and zen gardens that evoke tranquility. Guests can indulge in an array of sushi and sake while enjoying views that stretch beyond the horizon, promising an escape that is both gourmet and picturesque.
Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua – Maui
One of the crown jewels of the Marriott chain is the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui. As a member of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, this premium resort is available for redemption of Bonvoy points at no cost to members.
If you are going to pay direct I recommend you book this hotel with a Virtuoso agency that is a part of the Marriott STARS program for VIP perks and amenities not offered on regular bookings. I book with Classic Travel for Ritz-Carlton stays.
The hotel features an 18-hole golf course, multiple pools, cabanas, a cove-style white sand beach, and is surrounded by the lush foliage Maui is known for. But as highlighted previously, it’s not just location, finish, and dining that make a resort our list for the 5 best luxury hotels and resorts in Hawaii.
The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua embraces its location with specific design elements, artwork and cultural aspects specific to Maui and the Pacific Islanders that make up its unique culture.
Montage Kapalua Bay – Maui
I have personally stayed at this amazing property, I have a full written review and video if you want additional details.
On the quiet Kapalua Bay, this Preferred Hotel and Resorts property is one of the finest in Hawaii. The resort is oceanfront, has a number of private pools, and takes advantage of the distinct beauty Maui has to offer. The property embodies luxury from the very moment guests step on-site and carry it through their experience. One way that the Montage delivers this is through its unique partnership with Cadillac which offers transportation in its latest vehicles to nearby destinations as a courtesy.
Infinity pools, guided hikes, tennis, and luaus are available for guests to arrange through concierge. Sometimes a simply daybed by the pool is all that’s needed. For families looking for an active, upscale vacation, Montage Merits await young explorers who can secure a pin once they’ve completed all 12. This is an engaging way to include children in the exciting offerings of the resort.
The all-suite resort offers nightly rates from $1200. Private residences with up to three bedrooms are available as well.
A jewel in Maui’s resort crown, the Grand Wailea sparkles with an indulgent blend of adventure and relaxation. The hotel’s sprawling grounds are a fantasy of exotic gardens, waterfalls, and the largest spa in Hawaii. Its guest rooms and suites command stunning ocean views, while the world-class art collection and thrilling water activities ensure a stay filled with opulence and excitement.
Four Season Maui
Nestled on the golden crescent of Wailea Beach, the Four Seasons Maui epitomizes luxury with its impeccable service and elegant charm. The hotel boasts an adults-only infinity pool that seems to spill into the ocean, alongside a trio of the island’s most renowned restaurants. Each suite is a haven of sophistication, offering panoramic views that invite the outside in, ensuring a stay that is as breathtaking as it is relaxing.
The Royal Hawaiian Waikiki – Oahu
I have personally stayed at this property and have a detailed article about my amazing experience here. I also have a full property walk-through video so you can get a clear understanding on why this is one of the best luxury hotels in Hawaii.
Coincidentally, like the Ritz-Carlton Kapalu this hotel is also a member of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, allowing for the earning of points and redemption to offset the cost of a stay. If you are going to pay direct I recommend you book this hotel with a Virtuoso agency that is a part of the Marriott STARS program for VIP perks and amenities not offered on regular bookings.
The signature pink building may have classic Hawaiian charm but has been updated with modern amenities like its stunning spa with massage tables in the garden, half a dozen restaurants, and stunning beachfront views.
Standard rooms can be found as low as $279, suites start at about $600. There’s a nightly resort fee of $42 (some Marriott Bonvoy elites exempt) – a balcony is recommended.
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina
I had the opportunity to stay at this hotel and had an amazing time relaxing here. The adult Infiniti pool is the best on the island. My detailed review includes a video and several tips.
Four Seasons O’ahu at Ko Olina is a luxurious haven where the electric blue waters of the Pacific meet the rugged, green mountains of Oahu’s west side. This resort embodies a perfect balance of adventure and serenity, offering guests the opportunity to explore with water sports and hiking, or to unwind in the award-winning spa. With its private coves, custom infinity pools, and a collection of culinary experiences, the resort is a sanctuary for the senses, setting a new standard for luxury on the island.
A legend in Waikiki and rightfully so. A complete refresh and upgrade during Covid made this gem shine even brighter. I stayed here and have a full review with a video if you want to get the details. One of the best.
The Halekulani, whose name whispers “House Befitting Heaven,” is an oasis of tranquility in the heart of Waikiki. This illustrious hotel is renowned for its graceful service, whispered elegance, and open-air orchid mosaic pool which is a spectacle in itself. Rooms and suites are designed with understated opulence, offering unobstructed views of the cerulean Pacific. Halekulani’s legacy of hospitality ensures a retreat that’s as culturally rich as it is comfortable, inviting guests to savor the essence of aloha.
One of the most impressive parts of the Big Island (Hawaii) is the Waikoloa area north of Kona where the Mauna Lani resides. Past the black dried lava fields along the Kohala Coast is the Mauna Lani. The structure is older but embraces modern amenities like stone showers, upscale dining, and of course, a pristine natural beach.
In addition to golf courses along the coast, suites that provide a true Ohana sense of community and private pools off their patios, the resort also embraces indoor/outdoor living that brings beautiful Hawaiian nature inside.
If you are going to pay direct I recommend you book this hotel with a Virtuoso agency for VIP perks and amenities not offered on regular bookings. I book with Classic Travel for a variety of my luxury stays.
Rooms start at $789, suites considerably more.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
I have stayed at this hotel and it is one of my all-time favorites for the Big Island. The beach is amazing and the location just can’t be beat. Read my detailed review and video for tips and insight on this amazing property.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel stands as a landmark of luxury on the Big Island, offering a timeless retreat with a design that complements the island’s natural grandeur. With its world-class golf course, legendary Mauna Kea Beach, and iconic blue-tiled roofs, this hotel has welcomed royalty and celebrities alike. Guests can engage in ocean sports, explore the island’s history, or simply bask in the sun on the pristine white sand of Kauna’oa Bay.
Four Seasons Hualalai
At the Four Seasons Hualalai, traditional Hawaiian culture harmonizes with modern luxury. This exclusive oceanfront resort offers an unrivaled experience with its seven swimming pools, world-class golf course, and intimate bungalows that dot the Kona-Kohala coast. Guests are treated to a sensory journey with lush tropical gardens, private outdoor showers, and dining under the stars.
Kona Village Resort
Kona Village Resort is a secluded gem where thatched-roof bungalows peek out from black lava landscapes and white sandy shores. This Rosewood resort is a nod to the ancient Hawaiian way of life, offering an escape from the modern world without sacrificing luxury. With unique cultural experiences and a commitment to sustainability, it provides a truly authentic Hawaiian experience.
1 Hotel Hanalei Bay
1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, perched on the north shore of Kauai, presents an eco-friendly luxury that celebrates the island’s natural beauty. This sanctuary is designed with reclaimed materials that reflect the textures and hues of the landscape. With farm-to-table dining and a spa that utilizes local ingredients, this hotel offers a retreat that nourishes the soul and respects the environment.
As the sun sets on the Pacific Ocean, casting a golden glow over the best luxury resorts of Hawaii, one cannot help but be enchanted where seclusion meets opulence.
These top hotels offer more than just a stay—they promise an experience rich with cultural opportunities that weave the fabric of the islands into every moment. From the vibrant dining options celebrating local flavors to the classic Hawaiian style that echoes through the architecture and decor, every detail is curated to delight.
Exceptional service is the cornerstone of these establishments, ensuring that every need is met with the warmth characteristic of Aloha spirit. With amenities that set a global standard and proximity to some of the best beaches in the world, these resorts truly encapsulate the essence of a tropical paradise. Whether you’re lounging by a saltwater lagoon, sipping a Mai Tai under swaying palms, or indulging in a sunset hula performance, the spirit of Hawaii is alive in every encounter.
These are not just hotels; they are gateways to an island experience etched in luxury and drenched in the timeless allure of the Pacific.