Rooms in Hawaii vary greatly in size, style, and amenities, but we’ve slept in over 90 beds across the state to bring you our top picks. In choosing the top guest rooms, we looked for hotels that created unique, updated spaces, rather than defaulting to the traditional prints and lackluster fabrics of a bygone Hawaii. To make our list of best rooms, a guest room needed to be spacious, stylish, and sumptuous.
The Kahala tops our list of best hotel rooms with spacious rooms (renovated in 2010) that are expertly decorated (we wish our homes were this tasteful and elegant). The décor -- earth tones, stripes, and florals paired together, and a dark-wood, two-poster bed -- strikes a classy note. Enormous bathrooms are well-appointed with soaking tubs, walk-in showers with rain showerheads, and bath products by Floris of London. The hotel offers 16 different types of rooms and suites, and for a princely sum you can have one that overlooks the dolphin lagoon or sits right on the beach.
Steering clear of the standard Hawaiian florals and polyester blankets, rooms here stand out for their sophisticated, urban design. Dark wood paneling and slate floors provide a sharp contrast with the white linens and white desk, and colorful accents like the orange blankets and red-trimmed mirror brighten those neutrals. The "Miami bachelor pad" feel carries over to the mounted flat-screen TV and the sleek, modern bathroom.
The one- and two-bedroom condo units here are the newest in Waikiki, and their spiffy appliances earn them a spot on the top Hawaii room list. The fully equipped kitchens have GE appliances, including a full-size fridge and dishwasher. The spiffiness continues with tech perks like free Wi-Fi, two 37-inch flat-screen TVs with about 500 digital channels, a DVD player, and surround sound. Each suite has a Bosch washer and dryer too, making these rooms especially attractive for families on long stays. You can count on sleeping soundly on beds with six pillows, pillow-top mattresses, and high-thread-count linens.
While rooms in the Tower Wing come across as bland and dated, the recently renovated (in 2008) rooms in the Historic Wing of this iconic 1927 hotel are whimsical and romantic. Striking red-and-gold wallpaper covers the walls, while the floors are carpeted in an olive-and-green Florentine pattern. Somehow the mix-and-match colors, florals, and stripes all mesh beautifully, and the result is the feel of understated class. Bathrobes, slippers, and a fancy hair dryer are nice perks too.
These rooms secure a spot on our best rooms list by virtue of their generous size. At 640 square feet, each guest room can fit in a sitting area with a couch and coffee table, and even standard rooms have a balcony that's big enough for a table, chairs, and a recliner. Bathrooms have a 50-gallon soaking tub, a separate shower stall, and plenty of stately marble and mirrors. For a bit more per night, you can book a room with beach views.
Decorated in bright blues and greens - with a few contrasting red accents - rooms at the Best Western are among the brightest and most creative on Oahu. Details like lamps and headboards are contemporary and funky, and we appreciated the use of circles everywhere (including the carpet, blanket, and headboard). Free Wi-Fi, small kitchenettes, and comfy pillow-topped beds are welcome additions to the cheery decor.
The Lotus was formerly a W hotel, and that past life is still evident in the stylish and comfortable rooms (renovated in 2012). The light neutral color scheme and teak furniture give the spacious rooms an airy, beachy feel. The balconies overlook nearby Diamond Head, the ocean, or both. Plush featherbeds, enormous bathrooms, and a very reasonable price tag solidify the Lotus' spot on our best rooms list.