Honeymoon in Hawaii

Couple relaxing on a beach in Hawaii
M Swiet Productions / Getty Images

There are so many reasons why Hawaii turns up as No. 1 on the list of top destinations for honeymooners year after year. For one thing, once you get outside crowded, touristy Waikiki, it's absolutely beautiful. Serene.

The air is filled with the fragrance of exotic tropical flowers, such as plumeria. Thick banyan trees gracefully drop their branches to the ground and grow upwards from there. The water is a pristine turquoise blue. The beaches are immaculate and uncrowded.

And you can try out just about any water sport you ever imagined. After all, surfing began here. The food is great, too. You can get just nearly anything you like, but preferred local delicacies come from the sea. Fresh mahi-mahi and opakapaka plucked from the Pacific Ocean and garnished with Hawaiian macadamia nuts are heavenly. Maui onions are sweet as can be. And the island's kettle-cooked potato chips are so salty and crunchy, they redefine the meaning of sinfully good.

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It feels like another world, but it's the USA. And it's easy to get around, once you arrive. Don't plan to stay long in Waikiki; it's too urban, too crowded. The kind of place you should see once...and then depart for calmer shores.

Hawaiian Air makes it relatively easy to island-hop and even offers inter-island air-hotel-rental car packages. If you're going to be spending any amount of time here, I suggest you do that.

Four days on one island and three on another could be the perfect amount (if you can't stay a lifetime... which you will consider doing).

Definitely plan to rent a car, and go exploring. There aren't that many roads on the outer islands, so it's unlikely you'll get lost. But it is likely that you'll come upon scenes of exquisite beauty, where you'll feel compelled to pull over and simply marvel at how amazing nature can be when all her elements are in perfect balance.

You'll have to sleep sometime. And there are many, many places to choose from, in all price ranges.

01 of 05

Best Oahu, Hawaii Hotels for Honeymooners

Double rainbow over Rocky Point, on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii
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The Modern Honolulu

Opened in Oahu in 2010 and perfect for honeymoon couples, this hip and hedonistic Hawaii hotel has a private man-made beach, restaurant by Iron Chef's Masaharu Morimoto, an outdoor movie theater under the stars, Crazybox nightclub, and a surfing boot camp. No children's facilities make it a haven for grownups.

Halekulani Hotel
A cool retreat from the wackiness of Waikiki, the Halekulani ("house befitting heaven") is one of the state's two properties to score Five Diamond awards from AAA for both lodging and dining. And it deserves them. It's had plenty of time to become perfect; this modern, airy refuge began welcoming guests in 1917. If you're prepared to splurge, consider the hotel's Halekulani Suite.

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02 of 05

Best Big Island Hawaii Hotels for Honeymooners

Mauna Kea Observatories
Julie Thurston Photography / Contributor / Getty Images

Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows

After your ride from the airport on the Big Island past sparkling black lava fields, you arrive at this oasis. You're greeted by a gentle Polynesian host, a fragrant lei is slipped around your neck, and you are offered a cool glass of fresh juice. Sufficiently restored, you then check in to this extraordinary place. If you golf, you'll find two of the island's finest courses here. The South Course is built on a lava flow and has spectacular views of the ocean and mountains. A new spa offers authentically Hawaiian treatments.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Built in an earlier time by the Rockefeller family, Mauna Kea is a spacious, elegant tropical resort with a fantastic beach. It's now part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, so you can use points to score a spot here.

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03 of 05

Best Maui Hawaii Hotels for Honeymooners

Napili Bay, Maui
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Travaasa Hana

The posh Travaasa Hana (formerly known as Hotel Hana Maui) is located on the far end of Maui. That means it's a very long drive from Lahaina or the airport. But what a drive it is! Through magical scenery, waterfalls, lush and fragrant tropical foliage -- and also hairpin turns. If you're determined to make the drive -- which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime romantic experience, go in a four-wheel-drive rental car.

Four Seasons Maui at Wailea
High on Condé Nast Traveler's Gold List, this exquisite property features the most spacious rooms on the islands. And that, as they say, is not all. Modeled on a Hawaiian palace, the resort features reflecting pools, fountains and cabanas enhanced by views of the Pacific. The food's excellent. The staff bends over backward to satisfy your wishes. And you just happen to be on the best island for vacationers in the whole state.

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04 of 05

Best Kauai Hawaii Hotels for Honeymooners

Wailua Falls Kauai
John Fischer

Kauai may be the state's most beautiful island, and a honeymoon couple can best appreciate the drama of its topography from the sky. If you're game, plan to spend an afternoon helicopter flight-seeing over valleys and waterfalls, beaches and secluded coves along the spectacular Na Pali coast. Tennis, spa facilities, and river and ocean kayaking can all become part of your agenda.

St. Regis Princeville Resort
Lush and luxe, the St. Regis is the island's most luxurious resort. Both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler have called it one of the world's best. Few places rival the visual feast of Kauai, and the first St. Regis in Hawaii is an optimal setting to experience its glory.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
With architecture and decor reminiscent of Hawaii's golden age during the 1920s and '30s, the Hyatt Regency Kauai stands on a glorious 50-acre oceanfront setting on Keoneloa Bay, part of the popular Poipu Beach district.

Kauai Marriott Resort
This Hawaiian treasure provides a luxurious setting with full-service amenities for honeymoon couples who want the tropics with no hassle. It boasts the largest single-level pool in the state, an hibiscus-shaped pool with a sunbathing island in the middle, gentle waterfalls, and hot tubs along the perimeter.

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05 of 05

Best Lanai Hawaii Honeymoon Hotels

lanai four seasons
Four Seasons.

These two extraordinary properties are both under the Four Seasons flag. Frequent shuttles between them allow guests use of facilities at both properties.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai 
The island's beachside resort, Manele Bay features multi-tiered gardens with waterfalls and an incredible view of the Pacific. Like its sister property upcountry, it's private and quiet (if you come from a city, you may find it overly placid and have to escape back to Maui). But it is gorgeous.

Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele

Set in the highlands, the Lodge at Koele recreates the ambiance of a baronial English mansion. Rare art, roaring fireplaces, fine architecture surround couples who truly want to get away from it all in sophisticated style.