Fodor's Choice Roundup: Hawaii's Best Hotels, Resorts, & Inns

Posted by Fodor's Editors on January 13, 2010 at 4:43:09 PM EST | Post a Comment

We love to talk about travel—and so does the huge online community of travelers who visit our site daily. Yet through all the thoughtful discussion that goes into creating our guidebooks, only a few properties are recognized with the special Fodor's Choice designation.

Like any collector, every once in a while we like to step back and admire our collection. So without further ado, here are all the Fodor's Choice hotels, resorts, and inns from every island in Hawaii.

The Big Island

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Ahu Pohaku Hoomaluhia Hawaii Island Eco Retreat. Ahu Pohaku is set above the cliffs of North Kohala near Pololu valley. As the name implies, it has plenty of "green" credentials: the retreat generates its own solar power, uses a water catchment tank, and grows almost all of its own food. Beautiful hardwood floors are built from sustainably harvested woods, and rooms take advantage of natural light and ventilation to keep energy usage low. Surrounded by 60 acres, 20 of which are a dedicated conservation area, the retreat feels both luxurious and completely hidden from the world. (full review)

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Beautiful views everywhere, polished wood floors, brand-new furnishings and linens in warm earth and cool white tones, and Hawaiian artwork make Hualalai a peaceful retreat. Ground-level rooms have outdoor garden showers. Bungalows are large and cozy. (full review)

Kona Village Resort. The most Hawaiian of the Kohala Coast resorts, Kona Village was one of the first, and it makes a real effort to keep modern life at bay. Without phones, televisions, or radios, the Kona Village is in a time warp—the perfect place for couples or families to get away from it all in their own thatch-roof hale (house) near the resort's sandy beach. (full review)

Waianuhea. Waianuhea defines Hawaiian country elegance. Fully self-contained, this gorgeous country home sits in a forested area on the Hamakua Coast. The four guest rooms and large suite have tasteful color schemes and lavish furnishings, complete with extra pillows, fluffy down comforters, and soaking tubs. (full review)

Kauai

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. Dramatically handsome, this classic Hawaiian low-rise is built into the cliffs overlooking an unspoiled coastline. It's open, elegant, and very island-style, making it our favorite of the megaresorts. Spacious rooms, two-thirds with ocean views, have a plantation theme with bamboo and wicker furnishings and island art. (full review)

Waimea Plantation. History buffs will adore these reconstructed sugar-plantation cottages, which offer a vacation experience unique in all Hawai'i. The one- to five-bedroom cottages are tucked among coconut trees along a lovely stretch of coastline on the sunny West Side. (full review)

Lanai

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay. This ornate resort overlooking Hulopoe Bay combines Mediterranean and Asian architectural elements: elaborate life-size paintings of Chinese court officials, gold brocade warrior robes, and artifacts decorate the open-air lobbies. Courtyard gardens separate two-story guest-room buildings. Ground-floor rooms are best—many open right up onto a lawn overlooking Hulopoe Beach. (full review)

Four Seasons ResortLodge at Koele. In the highlands edging Lanai City, this grand country estate exudes luxury and quiet romance. Secluded by old pines, 1.5 mi of paths meander through formal gardens with a huge reflecting pond, a wedding gazebo, and an orchid greenhouse. Afternoon tea is served in front of the immense stone fireplaces. (full review)

Maui

Hale Ho'okipa Inn. A handsome 1924 Craftsman-style house in the heart of Makawao town, this inn on both the Hawaii and the National Historic Registers provides a great base for excursions to Haleakala or to Hana. Owner Cherie Attix has furnished it with antiques and fine art, and she allows guests to peruse her voluminous library of Hawaii-related books. (full review)

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea. Impeccably stylish, subdued, and relaxing describe most Four Seasons properties; this one fronting award-winning Wailea beach is no exception. Thoughtful luxuries—like Evian spritzers poolside and twice-daily housekeeping—earned this Maui favorite its reputation. The property has an understated elegance, with beautiful floral arrangements, courtyards, and private cabanas. (full review)

Hotel Hana-Maui. Small, secluded, and quietly luxurious, with unobstructed views of the Pacific, this tranquil property is a departure from the usual resort destinations on Maui. Here, horses nibble wild grass on the sea cliff nearby... (full review)

The Old Wailuku Inn at Ulupono. Built in 1924 and listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places, this home may be the ultimate Hawaiian B&B. Each room is decorated with the theme of a Hawaiian flower, and the flower motif appears in the heirloom Hawaiian quilt on each bed. (full review)

Ritz-Carlton Kapalua. After a multimillion-dollar going-over, this elegant hillside property reopened in early 2008 with upgraded accommodations, spa, restaurants, and pool, along with a new education center and an enhanced Hawaiian sense of place. The result is one of Maui's most notable resorts. (full review)

Oahu

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The Turtle Bay Resort. Some 880 acres of raw natural Hawai'i landscape are your playground at this glamorous resort on O'ahu's scenic North Shore. On the edge of Kuilima Point, the Turtle Bay has spacious guest rooms averaging nearly 500 square feet, with lanai that showcase stunning peninsula views. In winter, when the big waves roll ashore, you get a front-row seat for the powerful surf. (full review)

Halekulani. Honeymooners, and others seeking seclusion amid the frenetic activity of the Waikiki scene, find it here. Halekulani exemplifies the translation of its name—the "house befitting heaven." From the moment you step inside the lobby, the attention to detail and service wraps you in luxury. (full review)

The Kahala. Hidden away in the wealthy residential neighborhood of Kahala (on the other side of Diamond Head from Waikiki), this elegant oceanfront hotel has played host to both presidents and princesses as one of Hawai'i's very first luxury resorts. (full review)

Photo Credits: (1) courtesy Ahu Pohaku Hoomaluhia Hawaii Island Eco Retreat (2) courtesy Turtle Bay Resort

Posted in Trip Ideas Tagged: Escapes

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