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St. Regis Princeville
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St. Regis Princeville Rating: 5.0 Pearls

The 251-room St. Regis Princeville is considered by many to be the premier luxury option in Hawaii, and given the stunning setting overlooking Hanalei Bay, it's hard to disagree. Guests can expect warm, sophisticated decor, suites with personal butler service, world-class golf, and a memorable breakfast buffet on a terrace with gorgeous ocean views. The discerning clientele this resort attracts will find little to fault, though if one had to nitpick, the formal dress code might not appeal to everyone, and food prices -- as one might expect at this caliber of property -- are steep. The location on Kauai's lush, ruggedly beautiful northern coast makes for natural beauty that's unparalleled, but rain is more frequent here and the beach, though lovely, doesn't have the finest sand.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

The Kahala Hotel and Resort Rating: 5.0 Pearls

A celebrity retreat since 1964, the newly renovated Kahala is quite possibly the best hotel in Oahu. Yet its vibe is more "family fun" than "pretentious glitz" -- think swimming with dolphins, not posing in lounges. Sure, it's your only luxury option in a quiet setting without leaving Oahu -- but it's also a great one.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua Rating: 5.0 Pearls

Reopened in January 2008 after a $180-million renovation, the 463-room Ritz-Carlton Kapalua boasts up-to-date rooms, top-notch dining, a quality spa, polished service, and beautifully landscaped grounds of national park proportions. It all comes at a slight risk, however, since its location comes with the least consistent, windiest, and rainiest weather of all of Maui's major resort areas.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay

Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay Rating: 5.0 Pearls

The Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay is a luxury resort secluded on the small island of Lanai, offering top-rated dining, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, and a pristine pool and spa. Known for its exceptional service (easily some of the best in Hawaii, it includes a 24-hour concierge, numerous beach and pool attendants, and twice-daily housekeeping), the resort is a favorite among honeymooners and has an impressive number of return clients considering its remote location -- getting there requires either a small plane or a ferry ride, and the hotel is 20 minutes from Lanai City. The on-site restaurants are pricey, and the fee for Wi-Fi seems a bit much, but a long list of freebies (everything from yoga classes to snorkel gear) help compensate.

Four Seasons Maui

Four Seasons Maui Rating: 5.0 Pearls

An immaculate, art-filled property fronting Wailea beach, the Four Seasons stands at the pinnacle of the area's resorts, offering a slew of amenities, spacious rooms -- some with outstanding views -- and a top-notch staff. It's nearly perfect, except for an unexceptional spa facility, a cramped business center, and expensive, though excellent, dining.

Four Seasons Hualalai

Four Seasons Hualalai Rating: 5.0 Pearls

The pristine Four Seasons, the only five-pearl property on the Big Island, is unlike any other resort on the Kohala Coast. Lush and beautifully landscaped grounds surround private bungalow-style rooms and suites tucked along winding paths throughout the large property. The thoughtfully designed architecture, pools (all seven of them), and public spaces are indulgent without seeming excessive. Dining options on-site are few in number but high in quality, and include what is arguably the best restaurant on the Big Island. The service is excellent and the experience is first-rate down to the last detail.

The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows

The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows Rating: 4.5 Pearls

This beautiful luxury beach resort on the Kohala Coast is chock-full of excellent features: top-rated dining, golfing, tennis, fitness training, and spa experiences. It's pricier than some comparable resorts in the area, but free extras help compensate (valet parking, Wi-Fi, and newspaper delivery, to name a few). Free activities at the on-site Hawaiian cultural center -- including tours of the historic rock carvings and the former royal fishing ponds on the grounds -- are also a highlight.

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort

The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort Rating: 4.5 Pearls

Of the three luxury hotels in Waikiki -- the Moana Surfrider and the Halekulani are the others -- the 528-room Royal Hawaiian provides the most stunning design, the warmest service, and a solid collection of free little extras, turndown treats, and welcome leis.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Rating: 4.5 Pearls

This luxury property on the Kohala Coast is known for its beautiful white-sand beach, fine dining and world-class golf and tennis facilities. The atmosphere is relaxed and the thoughtfully renovated rooms have comfortable furnishings and a modern island feel. The hotel structure itself is less than grand, but in good shape for its age.

Koa Kea Resort Hotel at Poipu Beach

Koa Kea Resort Hotel at Poipu Beach Rating: 4.5 Pearls

This 121-room Poipu boutique hotel offers five-star features -- rooms with fine Egyptian linens, Italian marble bathrooms, and personal espresso machines, and a free fitness center with individual cable-TV monitors. With just one pool and restaurant, it lacks the extras of the mega-resorts -- but the service is more attentive and pampering.

Dates


Oyster Pearl Rating

  • Award-Winning

What's Your Style?

  • Beach
  • Luxury
  • Resort
  • Romantic
  • Value
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Locations

  • Big Island
  • Kauai
  • Lanai
  • Maui
  • Oahu

Amenities

  • Air Conditioner
  • Babysitting Services
  • Balcony
  • Bar at Pool
  • Basic Television
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Brands

  • Aqua
  • Aston
  • Castle
  • Fairmont
  • Four Seasons
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