* Halekulani (Oahu; www.halekulani.com; tel. 800/367-2343): When price is no object, this is really the only place to stay. A place of Zen amid the buzz, this beach hotel is the finest Waikiki has to offer. Even if you don’t stay here, pop by for a sunset mai tai at House Without a Key to hear live Hawaiian music while a lovely hula dancer sways to the music.
* Royal Hawaiian (Oahu; www.royal-hawaiian.com; tel. 800/325-3535): This flamingo-pink oasis, hidden away among blooming gardens within the concrete jungle of Waikiki, is a stunner. It’s vibrant and exotic, from the Spanish-Moorish arches in the common spaces to the pink-and-gold pineapple wallpaper in the rooms in the Historic Wing.
* Kahala Hotel & Resort (Oahu; www.kahalaresort.com; tel. 800/367-2525): Situated in one of Oahu’s most prestigious residential areas, the Kahala provides the peace and serenity of a neighbor-island vacation, but with the conveniences of Waikiki just a 10-minute drive away. The lush, tropical grounds include an 800-foot, crescent-shaped beach and a 26,000-square-foot lagoon (home to two bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and tropical fish).
* Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu (Big Island; www.fourseasons.com/hualalai; tel. 888/340-5662): The seven pools alone will put you in seventh heaven at this exclusive yet environmentally conscious oasis of understated luxury, which also offers a private, 18-hole golf course and an award-winning spa, exquisite dining, and impeccable service—with no resort fee.
* Fairmont Orchid Hawaii (Big Island; www.fairmont.com/orchid; tel. 800/845-9905): Subtle elegance and warm service mark this recently renovated hotel on the Mauna Lanai Resort, which takes pride in the area’s cultural treasures as well as its golf courses.
* Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel(Big Island; www.princeresortshawaii.com/hapuna-beach-prince-hotel; tel. 888/977-4623): This is the sleeper on the Kohala Coast—boasting huge rooms, an enormous beach, and an exceptional restaurant, together with a relaxing, low-key atmosphere.
* The Fairmont Kea Lani Maui (Maui; www.fairmont.com/kealani; tel. 800/659-4100): Each unit in this all-suites hotel has a kitchenette with granite countertop, living room with sofa bed (great for kids), spacious bedroom, and marble bathroom (head immediately for the deep soaking tub). Youngsters will enjoy building volcanoes in the 1,500-square-foot kids’ club, while the entire family can get into rhythm paddling an outrigger canoe from the beach out front.
* Travaasa Hana (Maui; www.travaasa.com/hana; tel. 808/248-8211): Nestled in the center of quaint Hana town, this 66-acre resort wraps around Kauiki Head, the dramatic point where Queen Kaahumanu was born. You’ll feel like royalty in one of the Sea Ranch Cottages here. Floor-to-ceiling sliding doors open to spacious lanais, some with private hot tubs. You’ll be far from shopping malls and sports bars, but exotic red-, black-, and white-sand beaches are just a short walk or shuttle ride away. This is luxury in its purest form.
* Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay(Lanai; www.fourseasons.com/lanai; tel. 800/321-4666): This gracious resort on Lanai’s south coast overlooks Hulopoe Beach—one of the finest stretches of sand in the state. Each room has a semi-private lanai with a day bed from which you can gaze at the big blue Pacific to your heart’s content. Other amenities include world-class restaurants, Adirondack chairs beneath swaying palms, and an exercise room with a view so grand that you’ll forget you’re burning calories on a stationary cycle.
* Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (Kauai; www.kauai.hyatt.com; tel. 800/554-9288): At this sprawling, family-embracing resort in Poipu, the elaborate, multi-tiered fantasy pool and saltwater lagoon more than compensate for the rough waters of Shipwrecks (Keoneloa) Beach. Don’t fret: Calmer Poipu Beach is just a short drive away. Anara Spa and Poipu Bay Golf Course offer excellent adult diversions, too.
* Poipu Plantation B&B Inn and Vacation Rentals(Kauai; www.poipubeach.com; tel. 800/643-0263): Just a short walk from Brennecke and Poipu beaches, a handsomely renovated 1938 cottage holds four bed-and-breakfast suites, with a half-dozen well-equipped cottage units sharing the quiet compound, managed by gracious innkeepers and their helpful staff.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.