covered terrace in hawaii with two reclining lounge chairs overlooking beach through trees

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Big Island

The ultimate luxury resort on the Big Island, the swanky Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Big Island in Hawaii is a destination in itself.

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Lounge at Holualoa Inn, Hawaii: Big Island, Hawaii - Courtesy of Carraway

Holualoa Inn

This two-suite, four-bedroom bed-and-breakfast looms at 1,400 feet above the Kona Coast in the village of Holualoa, an artists’ community lined with galleries and studios. Built three decades ago as a private vacation home, the inn sits on a thirty-acre Kona coffee estate, which produces award-winning Brazen Hazen coffee, and adjoins a working cattle ranch. Cassandra Hazen, who has owned the property since 2005, has given the uniquely decorated rooms names like the Coffee Cherry Room or the Gardenia Suite. Rooms have ocean or garden views, rich eucalyptus floors, high-thread-count linens and ceiling fans. In the garden are a pool and a large hot tub.

bar made from a sailboat sunken in the beach
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Kona Village, A Rosewood Resort

Kona Village has a deep history on the Big Island. Founded in 1939 and a favorite of Steve Jobs, it began as a barefoot resort that families returned to year after year—until a tsunami tragically wiped it out in 2011. Now, Rosewood has reimagined the iconic property, achieving a low-key vibe but with all the trappings of a luxury resort.

Located on the western side of the Big Island of Hawaii, the resort is centered in a beautiful cove that makes a wonderful spot for swimming and water sports. Pathways wind throughout the resort, connecting the common spaces with the individual cottages known as hales, which feel private and intimate and are designed after traditional Hawaiian homes. Guests travel to and from their hale via a two-minute bike ride from the heart of the property, which consists of two pools, two restaurants, a snack hut, two bars and the swimmable beach. Both the beach and pools have plenty of shade and lounge chairs spaced far apart enough to allow for privacy, all serviced by beach attendants. When guests are ready for a refreshment, they can head to the former-sailboat-turned-bar which has been sunken into the beach. Here, the on-property bartender offers both good conversation and any cocktail guests desire—reflecting the warm and authentic service throughout the resort.

The cuisine here highlights ultra-fresh seafood, while using ingredients from their gardens, with an excellent sushi selection and poke bowls. There is a casual restaurant for fish tacos and sandwiches.

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Pool Lounge at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island, Hawaii

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

“Every great beach deserves a great hotel,” financier and philanthropist Laurance Rockefeller reportedly said about his decision to build the Mauna Kea on the Big Island in 1965. The resort, with its laid-back, family friendly vibe, prime position on a secluded portion of the northwestern shore and, yes, one of Hawaii’s best beach coves, has long been a multi-generational favorite, with guests coming for decades.

A $150 million upgrade a few years back gave Mauna Kea more vibrant interiors and modern amenities, but with its soul intact. The eight-story structure, which with its adjacent family wing, was not altered, and its colossal, cruise-ship-like architecture remains a case of love-it or hate-it. Rooms were significantly enlarged (while the room count was reduced from 310 to 258), and now have large, sleek bathrooms, cheery fabrics accenting the beds and furniture, and tech-savvy amenities that include flat-screen televisions (well-hidden so as not to disturb the castaway fantasy), iPod docks and WiFi throughout.

On-property amenities include 18-hole golf courses, a tennis center, a small spa and salon and several restaurants and bars, but many of the best-executed extras are geared towards kids (think billiards and a Wii room; complimentary cookies, brownies and soda throughout the day; water sports equipment for the taking; movie night; and a kids’ club). The rooms most requested by those traveling with children are on the ground floor of the family wing, from which the little ones are just a sliding door away from the expansive lawn (during peak season, some clever parents send their kids to reserve one of the double-chaises, of which there never seem to be enough for all guests). Rockefeller’s spirit persists throughout the hotel, not least in the impressive art collection of some 1,660 artifacts from the Pacific Rim and Asia. Chinese dragons and Japanese scrolls may not scream Hawaii, but they are the kind of quirky, one-of-a-kind touches that have made generations of families fall in love with this property. Note: Rooms facing the golf course are half the price of ocean view rooms.

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Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection

After a $200 million renovation, the Mauna Lani has transformed into a luxurious resort with the flexibility to venture off property for island exploration.

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Villa rentals

The Big Island boasts many private villas and houses, some of which are on resort properties, and others that are more remote. Our Bookings Team can help you find the right house for your group.

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