Hawaii’s best beach hotels

the view from the pool to the ocean at haualalai on the big island
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Hawaii claims nine spots on a new ranking of America’s Best Beach hotels. While they are all expensive resorts for Hawaii vacations , it is possible to enjoy the same views and many of the amenities for far less.

The ranking is from readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine. The June edition lists the top 32 beach hotels in the United States. Florida has the most listings with 11 but Hawaii is right behind with nine. Apparently, readers of the magazine like luxury resorts because the Hawaii list includes Four Seasons properties on the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui and Lanai (complete list below). Resort hotels combine many amenities and services into one package, which is convenient. However, the price of your stay often includes items you will not use. Also, things you do want may come at an additional cost. Travel + Leisure cautions readers to include the resort fees and internet wifi charges along with the room rates when calculating the cost of a stay.

In Hawaii, you may have a resort-like experience without actually staying at the hotel, if you wish. All beaches are accessible to the public near the water. While certain areas of the beach may be reserved to hotel guests, it is often hard to tell the difference from the view. The wonderful shops and restaurants in resort hotel lobbies are happy to welcome customers, whether you are hotel guests or not. An easy and inexpensive way to have a spot of luxury is to stop in for happy hour at a hotel bar or look for “sunset specials” at restaurants. You can enjoy the beautiful surroundings, impeccable service, top quality food and the amazing Hawaii sunset at a bargain price.

When my mother visited, we spent a delightful afternoon wandering through the lobby and shops of the Royal Hawaiian. We found a photo exhibit tucked into one of the nooks. We went to the bar to watch sunset over glasses of iced tea and were pleasantly surprised when the luau began on the lawn next to us. We ended up getting an appetizer and staying longer but still spent a very modest sum for an afternoon escape.

My daughter took a different approach. After spending a week in Waikiki on here , she and her husband went across the island to Turtle Bay for one night before their trip back to the mainland. While she got an afternoon massage, he watched surfers from the outdoor bar and experimented with local Hawaii beers. It was a very relaxing way to enjoy a luxurious spot in Hawaii without breaking the bank. I thought of this approach because Rick and I had the same experience accidentally. We stayed in a lovely budget hotel on Kauai but had problems with our return flight to Oahu. We were fortunate that Yaling Fisher got us a room at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Spa. It was great fun for one night but, honestly, more than I would have wanted for a week.

Another thing to note: the Travel+ Leisure list includes hotels on four of Hawaii’s islands. Whatever your preference, Hawaii has top-quality choices!

America’s Best Beach Hotels (Hawaii listings):

2. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Big Island (Hawaii)

3. Halekulani, Oahu

5. Kahala Hotel and Resort, Oahu

10. Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, Maui

13. Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, Lanai

19. Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, Big Island (Hawaii)

23. Hotel Hana Maui

27. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, Kauai

29. Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

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