The 5 Best Hotels in Hawaii

There are hundreds of hotels across the Islands, but these five are ranked the best in our 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.
Photo: Courtesy of Grand Wailea Maui, A Waldorf Astoria Resort

Hawaii’s islands are loaded with stunning resorts and secluded hideaways, perfect for family vacations or romantic getaways. While picking a favorite hotel may feel akin to picking a favorite child—they’re all great in their own unique ways—here are the ones that came out on top in our 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards.

1. Grand Wailea, Maui

Photo: Courtesy of Grand Wailea

With its sweeping vistas of both the slopes of Haleakala and the glittering ocean, any stay at the 40-acre Grand Wailea is luxurious. Jump into any of its nine pools, all interconnected with waterslides (newly updated as part of a $70 million refurbishment). Or escape from the kids at the serene, Mexican-mosaic-tiled adults-only pool. Between the swim-up bar, lazy river, water elevator—the world’s first—and hot tubs, you won’t run out of things to explore. After drying off, enjoy a sunset Polynesian-inspired dinner at Humuhumu or a more lax meal at Bistro Molokini—without compromising the stunning oceanfront views. Kids ages 5 through 12 can play at Camp Grande and teens can chill out at The Spot, complete with video game rooms and a snack bar. If you’re seeking complete relaxation, check out the resort’s 50,000-square-foot Spa Grande. Take advantage of other amenities, such as the top-rated Wailea Golf Club, snorkel lessons and the Grand Luau at Honuaula. 3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, (808) 875-1234,

2. Kaanapali Beach Hotel, Maui

Photo: Courtesy of Kaanapali Beach Hotel

Affectionately called “Hawaii’s Most Hawaiian Hotel” at Kaanapali Beach Hotel, you can relax in the same Maui coastal region once only reserved for vacationing Hawaii’s ancient alii (royalty). Soak up some live Hawaiian music and hula at the open-air Tiki Terrace while savoring the flavors of its seafood lawalu (fish wrapped in ti leaves), drizzled in white truffle oil, or check out the popular Sunday Champagne Brunch. Take part in complimentary or low-cost cultural activities, like pu (conch shell) blowing or, if you’re feeling daring, cliff dive off Puu Kekaa (Black Rock) on Kaanapali Beach. Links-lovers, the Kaanapali Royal Golf Course and the Kaanapali Kai Course are steps away. Each room features its own lanai (balcony) and complimentary Wi-Fi. And—get this—everyone under 18 stays at the hotel for free. 2525 Kaanapali Parkway, Lahaina, (808) 262-8450,

3. Royal Lahaina Resort, Maui

Photo: Courtesy of Royal Lahaina Resort

This 27-acre resort is chock-full of amenities and activities for guests of all interests. It has three pools (two of which are beachside) and a 3,500-seat tennis stadium at the Royal Lahaina Tennis Ranch—along with 10 additional courts for those looking to play without an audience. You’ll wake up refreshed in the feather top beds layered in Egyptian cotton sheets, ready to enjoy a loco moco or acai bowl at the resort’s Royal Ocean Terrace Restaurant & Lounge. Later, check out the nightly Myths of Maui Luau, which has been a Maui favorite since it opened in the 1970s. You can rent snorkel gear to explore the unique marine life off Maui, or the concierge can connect you with a snorkeling trip to Molokini, an extinct volcanic crater just 2 miles off Maui’s coast. 2780 Kekaa Drive, Lahaina, (808) 670-1639,

4. Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu

Photo: Courtesy of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa

This Disney-themed resort opened in August 2011 and has been popular ever since. In true Disney fashion, there are activities for all ages. Jump into the resort’s many pools—including a stunning infinity pool that overlooks one of the Ko Olina lagoons—or glide down one of the resort’s two waterslides. The resort is also home to Oahu’s only private snorkeling lagoon, where guests can enjoy all the fun of snorkeling in a calmer environment than the ocean. Adults can get a lomilomi massage or facial at Laniwai Spa, which contains the only outdoor hydrotherapy garden on the island. Once the sun goes down, finish the day with a drink at the Olelo Room, a bar with live music every night. The resort’s pools will be refurbished at different points from Aug. 19 to Dec. 17, so before you visit, be sure to check when your favorite pools will be open. 92-1185 Aliinui Drive, Kapolei, (866) 443-4763,

5. Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui

Stationed on 15 beachfront acres in Wailea, this resort holds 301 spacious rooms, including 35 suites and 11 luxury villas—each boasting its own lanai. The resort’s upscale luau is truly one of a kind, featuring 15 locally based dishes eaten ohana-style and unlimited cocktails. You can also enjoy the resort’s farm-to-table Kaana Kitchen or Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto’s restaurant Morimoto Maui. The resort features three oceanfront infinity pools, a lagoon and an adults-only pool. Awili Spa offers body and face treatments, or you can book excursions such as helicopter or private hiking tours. If you’re looking for an event space, the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort has 70,000 square feet (indoor and outdoor) available for weddings, meetings and other occasions. 3550 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, (808) 573-1234,

Categories: Best of Blog, Hotels