Is there anywhere more iconic for an island escape than Hawaii? The US’s 50th state has long been an idyllic hideaway for Hawaiian and Hollywood royalty alike, from the days when only cruise ships visited its shores to direct flights and more recent luxe developments. Whether you’re after a secluded stay or want to check in to a classic hotel, there’s an island and a resort for you.
The Royal Hawaiian, A Luxury Collection Resort, Oahu
Resplendent in pink stucco, The Royal Hawaiian occupies a prime spot on Waikiki Beach as the ‘Pink Palace of the Pacific’. The iconic 5-star property, which opened in 1927, references the Spanish-Moorish architectural style that was popular in that era.
Stay in the Historic Wing for the refined 1920s elegance and pink accents, or opt for the Prestige Suites with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean and Diamond Head Crater. Treat yourself to a treatment at the secluded Abhasa Spa, set within a serene garden oasis. Our pick? Plump for the Hawaiian lomi lomi massage or total body bliss with local organic skincare.
Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa, Oahu
With its classic good looks and bright-white facade, Moana Surfrider is a definite headturner of a hotel on bustling Kalalaua Avenue. On the ocean side, this 1901 property – the oldest hotel in Waikiki – is a stylish beacon fronting the rolling waves of Waikiki Beach.
Imbued with a simple sophistication that befits its ‘First Lady of Wakiki’ moniker, the penthouse suites offer stunning panoramas of the famous crescent-shaped Waikiki Beach. For a taste of a bygone era, take afternoon tea at the Veranda shaded by the hotel’s historic banyan tree.
The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Maui
Set on Kaanapali Beach – considered one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of sand, this romantic 5-star resort sits between the jagged verdant cliffs and the crystal-clear water on Maui’s West Shore.
Luxuriate in tropical gardens, meandering lagoons (complete with pink flamingos and resident swans) and cascading waterfalls on this expansive property and witness the stunning sunsets from your well-appointed oceanfront penthouse suite. Crisp linens and elegant furnishings bring the breezy appeal indoors, or take the romance outdoors at a beachside cabana for two.
Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay, Hawaii
Located on Hawaii’s Kona Coast, the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay occupies a cliffside spot where glossy black lava rock meets the brilliant blue water. Styled with modern Polynesian decor, the sprawling, spacious building appears to cascade to the ocean amid a swathe of greenery and swaying palms.
For an idyllic island getaway, capture the Hawaiian vibes and multicolour sunsets from your lanai and enjoy farm-to-fork and ocean-to-poke dining at the resort’s signature Rays on the Bay restaurant that makes the most of the famously fertile Kona surrounds.
This article originally appeared in Travel ideas: USA V4 magazine, available in stores and to read online.