The Hawaiian Islands have long been a top choice among honeymooners and couples seeking sanctuary — not simply because it’s one flight from California, but because it brings a certain magic, from the romance of pristine beaches and lush nature retreats, to Hawaii hotels offering high-end cuisine and heavenly spas for top-notch pampering.
Hawaii is a tropical destination where couples will have so many things to do, including golf, water sports, tennis, paddle boarding — even manta encounters. If you’re planning a romantic getaway, these are the best resorts in Hawaii for couples.
Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach, Kauai
With just 121 rooms, Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort on Kauai caters to couples that seek a boutique hotel experience on the Garden Isle. Koa Kea is known for having one of the better beachfront locations on island — granted, photos of the property show the lava rock border between the resort and the ocean, but just to the right is a long stretch of golden sand.
Onsite, a watersports operator offers surf lessons, outrigger paddling and stand-up paddle boarding. We love Ko’a Kea for the sanctuary-feel of the property, as well as the pampering, including offering 24-hour room service, poolside drink service and couples massages in a beachside cabana.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island
Choose Mauna Kea Beach Hotel for its prime location on one of the best beaches on Hawaii’s Big Island — also for the sprawling manicured gardens and lawns, and spacious, upscale rooms that cost considerably less than the competition.
Couples will appreciate a vast array of activities offered onsite, from tennis and golf, to paddle boarding and sailing — plus a moonlight snorkeling experience with manta rays happening right at the hotel.
The Kahala Hotel and Resort, Oahu
The Kahala Hotel and Resort in Honolulu sits 10 minutes from Waikiki on a quieter stretch of oceanfront, right on the golden sands of Kahala Beach.
This property knows how to pamper honeymooners (including Liz Taylor and Richard Burton back in the day) with a host of romantic offerings, from private dining beachside and in-room, to the 3½-hour romance spa package for couples, with body scrubs and massages.
We love that the hotel includes fun complimentary extras, including a 45-minute photo portrait session, as well as surf lessons and paddle boarding clinics.
Travaasa Hana, Maui
For tranquility and inspired views, there is no more magical setting than Travaasa Hana. Set in the remote town of Hana on the eastern tip of Maui, this expansive property is surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls.
We love that the 70 rooms are spread out on property, allowing guests to bask in their own, private experience. Plus, all have ocean views. What’s missing — but not missed — are radios, clocks and televisions, helping guests get in sync with a more natural experience.
Plus, the resort offers an all-inclusive option, letting you wander and enjoy without worrying about wallets and tabs. The only downside is that the resort sits on rocky — but stunning — coastline, but shuttles run all day to a sandy, swimmable beach 15 minutes away.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Kauai
Kauai’s biggest resort, and one of the best Hawaii resorts for couples, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa offers a huge range of amenities, starting with nine bars and restaurants, plus one of the island’s best beachfront locations on the golden sands of Poipu.
Couples can choose to indulge in private cabanas available for rent on the beach, retreat to the adults-only pool, and partake in private beachside dining. At the hotel’s Tide Pools restaurant, guests relax in overwater huts perched atop a koi pond while savoring Asian-inspired seafood dishes.
Classic Hawaii at its finest, the Halekulani holds the distinction of more than 100 years at the same prime location on Waikiki Beach.
The pool, overlooking the beach, has an old-Hollywood appeal in its simple elegant design. All rooms have a lanai, and the Oceanfront and Diamondhead Oceanfront room categories allow couples to enjoy ocean views from the soaking tub.
Also, Halekulani is one of the best Hawaii resorts for couples because the property places an emphasis on service, offering the highest staff-to-guest ratio of any property in Hawaii.
Hotel Wailea, Maui
Hotel Wailea sets the bar high: This private mid-island enclave with just 72 one-bedrooms suites set on 15 acres excels at crafting a private, luxurious experience.
Each villa offers guests 720 square feet of space, plus one wall that opens to your private lanai. Several include private plunge pools.
Hotel Wailea is one of the best Hawaii hotels for couples thanks to its dining options. The Restaurant easily wins as the island’s most romantic dinner option, with tables nested in private nooks surrounded by hedges and other greenery. We also love that a waterfall flows throughout the property, and that no guests under 16 are allowed.
Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection, Big Island
As of November 2019, a $100-million investment into the Mauna Lani breathes new life into this high-end property set on grounds that were formerly a holiday retreat for Hawaiian royalty.
Find this sanctuary, 25 minutes from the Kona airport, on 3 miles of beach on the Kohala Coast, which, thanks to Hawaii’s many microclimates, sees just 9 inches of rain per year — great news for destination brides, and those who simply prefer sun when on holiday.
Choose from the 333 rooms, or book one of the five villas, each of which features a private swimming pool.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui
The outpost posh escape that is The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is an hour’s drive from Maui’s airport — but remote does not mean sacrifice. Hardly.
This 54-acre property delivers championship golf and six restaurants, plus a sweeping list of watersports including outrigger paddling.
We love their Waihua Spa, rated one of the top three on Maui, for its traditional Hawaiian-inspired treatments, plenty of cabanas for couples massages, and for the hot tub inside a lava-rock grotto.
Four Seasons Resort Lanai
The secluded oceanfront, clifftop Four Seasons Resort Lanai takes full advantage of this natural island, limited to 3,000 residents and reachable via flight or ferry from Maui.
Most of the resort’s 217 rooms overlook the ocean, and onsite restaurants, including One Forty American Steak, are open-air, allowing couples to fully soak in the views. The entire site was rebuilt in 2016, and now features a more modern, natural look, with French doors, wood floors and Polynesian art, all for a more luxurious experience.
Lanai, the least populated of the Hawaiian Islands that offer hotels, isn’t known for a wealth of bars and nightlife, but it isn’t without options. Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle software, owns the resort as well as most of the island, and helped usher in the famous sushi restaurant Nobu. Moreover, the resort arranges a diversity of experiences, including horseback riding, onsite Jeep rentals, private dining and couples massages.