The two guest wings at this polished but inviting sanctuary are set off the main lobby like two arms ready to embrace the well-manicured grounds and rugged shoreline; you may feel like hugging it, too, when you have to leave. Tucked among burbling waterfalls and lush greenery are 10 thatched-roof huts in the Spa Without Walls, which has another five oceanfront cabanas. Beyond the 10,000-square-foot swimming pool lies a cove of soft sand, where the Hui Holokai Beach Ambassadors make guests feel at home in the water and on shore, teaching all kinds of Hawaiiana and sharing their knowledge about the area’s cultural treasures, such as the nearby Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve . The elegant, generously proportioned rooms (starting at 510 sq. ft.) with lanais were completely renovated in 2013—the largest redo since the hotel opened in 1990—adding subtle island accents such as rattan and carved wood to marble bathrooms and other luxurious fittings. Golf, tennis, and dining are also exceptional here, as befits the prices.
- Jeanne Cooper