Perched on a knoll above D. T. Fleming Beach, this resort is a complete universe. The property’s intimate relationship to Hawaiian culture began during construction: When the remains of hundreds of ancient Hawaiians were unearthed, the owners agreed to shift the hotel inland to avoid disrupting the graves. Today, Hawaiian cultural advisor Clifford Nae‘ole helps guide resort developments and hosts the Ritz’s signature events, such as the Celebration of the Arts—a weeklong, indigenous arts and cultural festival. The resplendent accommodations feature dark wood floors, plush beds, marble bathrooms, and private lanais overlooking the landscaped grounds and mostly undeveloped coast. The Ritz offers one of the best club lounges in the state, serving gourmet coffee and pastries, a lunch buffet, cookies in the afternoon, and hot appetizers and drinks at sunset. Additional amenities include several superior restaurants; a 10,000-square-foot, three-tiered pool; and the 17,500-square-foot Waihua Spa, with steam rooms, saunas, and whirlpools surrounded by lava-rock walls. Make sure to visit Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment center and explore the captivating activities for adults and kids. (You can even feed the resident pot-bellied pigs.) A bit of a hike from the resort proper, D. T. Fleming Beach is beautiful but tends to be windier and rougher than the bays immediately south; a 5-minute shuttle ride delivers you to Oneloa or Kapalua.