The 9 Best Big Island Hotels of 2019

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Westin Hapuna Beach Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Each room has an ocean-view lanai (some have just partial views), rain showers, and soaking tubs."

Best Budget: Volcano Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Rooms are decorated with simple, homey furnishings, but each has large windows that bring in the bright greens from the surrounding foliage."

Best Boutique: Lava Lava Beach Club – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Guests have access to bikes, stand-up paddleboards, and even ukuleles to really kick back, relax, and enjoy life."

Best Beachfront: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The hotel is a true resort, offering an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., a tennis club, a salon and spa."

Best for Families: Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Accommodations are quite spacious—choose an ocean-view room to see some of the area’s special neighbors, whales and manta rays."

Best for Romance: Fairmont Orchid – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"As a bonus, all guests are offered a free photoshoot with one of the resort’s photographers, a great perk for traveling couples."

Best for Nightlife: Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Be right in the middle of it all—and right on the beach."

Best B&B: Holualoa Inn – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Relaxation is the name of the game here, so you’ll find there are loungers spread throughout its grounds, a pool and hot tub."

Best for Luxury: Four Seasons Hualalai – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"For the ultimate splurge, book the 5,500-square-foot Hawaii Loa Presidential Villa, which has three bedrooms and direct beach access."

01 of 09

Best Overall: Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

 Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

Set on Hapuna beach on the northwest coast of the Big Island, the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort underwent a major renovation in 2018 that helped solidify its spot on the top of our list.

It’s a true island resort, offering not only a swimmable white-sand beach, but also two outdoor pools (including an adults-only infinity pool), an 18-hole golf course, three stellar restaurants plus a coffee bar, a full-service spa, and a fitness center, not to mention plenty of event and meeting space.

The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort has 249 rooms outfitted with typical, but modern Hawaiian decor, like dark-wood furniture with neutral accent pieces. Each has an ocean-view lanai (some have just partial views), rain showers, and soaking tubs. Upgrade to a suite for a kitchenette and a separate living room.

Guests also have access to the facilities at the hotel’s sister property, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, located less than a 10-minute drive away.

02 of 09

Best Budget: Volcano Inn

Volcano Inn

 Volcano Inn

On the budget end of the spectrum, we recommend the Volcano Inn, located just a four-minute drive from the entrance to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park in a lush rainforest setting. There are just 22 rooms at the inn, ranging from cozy accommodations for two to deluxe suites with kitchenettes and fireplaces that can sleep up to eight, making the hotel a great option for parties of all sizes.

Rooms are decorated with simple, homey furnishings, but each has large windows that bring in the bright greens from the surrounding foliage. An all-you-can-eat breakfast is included in the stay, so don’t miss the fresh-baked banana bread, papaya bowls, and delicious local coffee.

Guests also have access to a relaxing lanai, plus a hot tub that’s open 24-hours a day — it’s a great way to relax after hiking all day. There are a few restaurants and bars in the area catering to visitors of the national park.

03 of 09

Best Boutique: Lava Lava Beach Club

Lava Lava Beach Club

Lava Lava Beach Club

The Lava Lava Beach Club is a laid-back property near Waikaloa Village, set on Anaeho'omalu Beach. The property is actually best known for its restaurant of the same name, owned by the same group that manages the iconic Huggo’s in Kailua-Kona, which has live music every night.

But Lava Lava Beach Club also expanded to include four beachfront bungalows for accommodations with king-sized beds, kitchenettes, queen-sized daybeds, indoor and outdoor showers, lanais, and air conditioning. Guests have access to bikes, stand-up paddleboards, and even ukuleles to really kick back, relax, and enjoy life in Hawaii.

There’s no pool or other amenities, but the beach provides all the entertainment you need. If you don’t feel like dining on property one night, you can easily walk to neighboring resorts to dine at their restaurants. (You can also book spa treatments.) 

A light breakfast is brought to each cottage every morning, but be sure not to miss the restaurant’s famous Sunday brunch, which is quite an extravaganza.

04 of 09

Best Beachfront: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection

 Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection

While there are a handful of beachfront hotels on the Big Island, we think the best beach can be found at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. The luxurious property is located on the secluded Kauna’oa Beach (also known as Mauna Kea Beach) on the Kohala Coast, a stretch of soft white sand that’s not at all overrun by tourists and water sports vendors.

There are 252 well-appointed rooms that feature modern decor, including furnished lanais. The hotel is a true resort, offering an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., a tennis club, a salon and spa, a massive fitness center with free yoga classes, a number of small shops and boutiques, and seven restaurants and bars.

There are special dining events every week, too, like a luau and a clambake on the beach. Don’t miss the hotel’s stellar Pacific and Asian art collection, featuring more than 1,600 pieces.

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05 of 09

Best for Families: Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa

Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa

 Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa

Set a few miles down the coast from Kailua-Kona on Keauhou Bay — the Keauhou Trolley will take you right there for free, if you don’t want to drive yourself — the Sheraton Kona is a prime choice for travelers with kids. The 508-room resort is organized into more family-friendly sections and more adult sections, ensuring that parents have a place to retreat to, while kids are sure to have plenty of fun.

On the livelier side, there’s a sprawling lagoon-like pool complex with a 200-foot water slide, a sand-bottom kids’ pool, a games room, and watersports rentals, all of which keep the kids occupied with plenty to do.

For adults, there’s the spa, the gym, and a golf course next door. Room decor is a bit generic, though it does have some island flair, the accommodations are quite spacious — choose an ocean-view room to see some of the area’s special neighbors, whales, and manta rays.

The main restaurant, Rays on the Bay (which has a great view of the water), offers a children’s menu, while adults can enjoy locally sourced fish or wild boar.

06 of 09

Best for Romance: Fairmont Orchid

Fairmont Orchid

Fairmont Orchid 

Though the Fairmont Orchid isn’t necessarily intimate in size — the Waikoloa resort has 540 rooms — it’s still an ideal spot for an intimate getaway. Couples should be sure to book a stay in one of the Fairmont Gold rooms, which are located on the exclusive sixth floor of one of the hotel’s towers and provide access to a special reception area and lounge with a lanai that serves complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening hors d’ouevres.

As for activities across the rest of the resort, there is a white-sand beach, a 10,000-square-foot oceanfront pool (don’t miss the hidden whirlpools in the grottos), a full-service spa and fitness center that offers yoga classes, and watersports rentals.

There are six bars and restaurants here — the most romantic of which would be the fine dining Brown’s Beach House, which has a menu of traditional Hawaiin cuisine. As a bonus, all guests are offered a free photoshoot with one of the resort’s photographers, a great perk for traveling couples.

Interested in more Hawaiian romance? Check out our guide for the best honeymoon hotels in the state.

07 of 09

Best for Nightlife: Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

 Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel

The Big Island isn’t necessarily known for its nightlife, but for a night out on the town, you’ll want to head to Kailua-Kona, more commonly called Kona. There you’ll find quite a number of bars and even dance clubs, from laid-back beachfront hangouts to hotspots with DJs spinning all night long.

Stay at the Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel to be right in the middle of it all — and to be right on the beach. The 452 rooms are a bit generic, but if you’re here for the nightlife, you’ll do just fine crashing into the comfortable beds late at night.

The hotel is popular with all sorts of travelers, from families to business people, who take advantage of the property’s multiple restaurants, beachfront cabanas and bar, a game room, a fitness center, and a spa with a sauna and steam room. Guests can also enjoy special happy hours on the property, plus weekly luaus for dinner.

08 of 09

Best B&B: Holualoa Inn

Holualoa Inn

 Holualoa Inn

If you’re looking for a more authentic stay than you might find at the big resorts, book the Holualoa Inn, which describes a trip to its property as “an extraordinary Hawai’ian experience which epitomizes the spirit of Aloha.”

The B&B is set on 30 acres of rainforest on the slopes Mount Hualalai, nestled among quiet coffee farms yet located just 15 minutes away from Kailua-Kona by car. It offers six rooms and suites and two standalone cottages, each elegantly decorated with plenty of local wood decor and furnishings with Asian and Polynesian artworks.

Relaxation is the name of the game here, so you’ll find there are loungers spread throughout its grounds, a pool and hot tub, a library, and a kitchen. Breakfast is included, of course, and guests are treated to a spread of fruit, eggs, french toast, and other delicious menu items, many of which are made from ingredients grown on the property.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best for Luxury: Four Seasons Hualalai

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

On the Big Island, it doesn’t get more luxurious than the Four Seasons Hualalai. It’s located on a remote stretch of white-sand beach halfway between Waikaloa Village and Kailua-Kona, which both are a 30-minute drive away. But the resort is a destination unto itself — one that is far away from the tourist hoards.

There are just 243 accommodations here (though the property does have residential homes, too), split between standard rooms, suites, and villas, all of which face the ocean and feature private outdoor space.

For the ultimate splurge, book the 5,500-square-foot Hawaii Loa Presidential Villa, which has three bedrooms and direct beach access. But no matter which accommodation you book, you’ll have access to the beautiful amenities across the resort, including seven pools, a spa with a water garden, a fitness center with a rock-climbing wall, three restaurants, two lounges, and a Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course.

Don’t miss the hotel’s signature experiences, like a private helicopter tour, a coffee farm tour and tasting, and a private cooking class with the hotel’s executive chef.

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