The 20 Best Resorts in Hawaii

Penni Schewe


After the Aloha State lifted COVID-19 restrictions, Travel + Leisure readers — particularly families and couples looking for a solid yet remote vacation destination — eagerly returned. The best resorts in Hawaii have kept pace with renovations and updates, making this famous archipelago in the Pacific more appealing 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 (including safari lodges) were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.


Oahu, Hawaii’s most populous (and popular) island, is home to seven properties on this year’s list, including Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani (No. 2). Still fresh off its opening in 2019, it features a neutral, calming design scheme that provides a serene retreat from the frenetic atmosphere of its Waikiki location. Its sister hotel, the iconic Halekulani (No. 9), debuted its own refurbishment in October.


Over on the Island of Hawaii, the Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection (No. 6), impressed readers with its “gorgeous remodel,” referring to the hotel’s reopening in 2020 after a massive overhaul. “The staff are attentive and gracious,” one voter added. “The views are spectacular, and the resort amenities are plentiful, so you don’t feel the need to leave the property.”


Kauai, meanwhile, had three hotels on the list, including Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort (No. 7), on the island’s famed Poipu Beach. “This is our favorite place in Kauai, if not all of Hawaii,” enthused one reader. “The location is beautiful, the team is amazing, and the food is incredible. The Lomilomi massage in the spa should not be missed.”


It was Maui’s Hotel Wailea, though, that earned the top spot. Read on for more about what made it the favorite, as well as the full list of the best resort hotels in Hawaii.



1. Hotel Wailea, Maui

Elliott Chau/Courtesy of Hotel Wailea

“Hotel Wailea is heaven on Earth,” according to a reader. The 15-acre, adults-only property is unique among the nearby resorts in that it’s not beachfront — but that’s a good thing for guests who prefer the quiet that comes with a location high on a hill, overlooking the sea. Because there are no children, the atmosphere leans toward the “relaxing and romantic,” as one reader described. Others loved the oversize guest rooms, which come with big balconies and are “nicely furnished, with a clean, contemporary feel that’s also cozy.” While the huge pool deck (fringed by cabanas, lush greenery, and the poolside café) is a big draw for hanging out, beach access is available anytime during the day via the hotel’s shuttle, which can whisk guests to Maui’s picture-perfect shores in just two minutes. Several readers also mentioned the outstanding service: “Every member of the staff makes you feel at home.”


Score: 94.86


More information: hotelwailea.com



2. Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani, Oahu

Courtesy of Halepuna Waikiki by Halekulani

Score: 94.59


More information: halepuna.com



3. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Maui

Courtesy of Four Seasons

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 94.20


More information: fourseasons.com



4. Prince Waikiki, Oahu

Courtesy of Prince Waikiki

Score: 93.90


More information: princewaikiki.com



5. Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui

Courtesy of Montage Kapalua Bay

Score: 93.38


More information: montagehotels.com



6. Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Island of Hawaii

Courtesy of Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

Score: 93.18


More information: aubergeresorts.com



7. Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort on Po’ipu Beach, Kauai

Courtesy of Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.95


More information: meritagecollection.com



8. The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach, Oahu

Don Riddle/Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Waikiki Beach

Score: 92.87


More information: ritzcarlton.com



9. Halekulani, Oahu

Courtesy of Halekulani

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.72


Information: halekulani.com



10. Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Lanai

Courtesy of Four Seasons

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.68


More information: fourseasons.com



11. Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Island of Hawaii

Courtesy of Accor

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.56


More information: fairmont.com



12. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Island of Hawaii

Nikolas Koenig/Courtesy of Four Seasons

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Score: 92.44


More information: fourseasons.com



13. Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, Oahu

George Russell/Courtesy of Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort

Score: 92.38


More information: outriggerreef.com



14. The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Oahu

Courtesy of The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Score: 91.38


More information: kahalaresort.com



15. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, Island of Hawaii

Zach Stovall/Courtesy of Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection

Score: 91.29


More information: maunakearesort.com



16. Hanalei Colony Resort, Kauai

Courtesy of Hanalei Colony Resort

Score: 91.06


More information: hcr.com



17. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Kauai

Courtesy of Hyatt

Score: 90.86


More information: hyatt.com



18. Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, Maui

Courtesy of Hyatt

Score: 90.84


More information: hyatt.com



19. The Laylow, Autograph Collection, Oahu

Ramon C. Purcell/Courtesy of The Laylow, Autograph Collection

Score: 90.73


More information: laylowwaikiki.com



20. Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Courtesy of Accor

Score: 90.69


More information: fairmont.com



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