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The 5 best luxury hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii

No matter where you travel from, Hawaii is a pretty long journey. After all that travel, many people just prefer to park at one beautiful property/resort and be able to soak up the rays, the surf and dine on local delicacies. Here are the best properties on the Big Island that fit that purpose of combining relaxation with luxury. Fairmont Orchid The Fairmont Orchid is a 32-acre, AAA Four-Diamond luxury resort located on the Kohala Coast of the Island of Hawaii. This might be the ultimate blending of resort luxury with a cultural twist. Decades ago, the Waikiki Beachboys were part concierge, part ocean guide, and part cultural historian. This tradition thrives at the Fairmont Orchid through the Hui Holokai program. You can tour the largest petroglyph field in the Pacific and interact with green sea turtles. 540 recently renovated rooms plus a revamped pool area and multiple dining options make this a place you can just park and be happy. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Consistently ranked as the top resort on the Big Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is nestled on the picturesque Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii. Built on the natural surroundings, the resort combines history, culture, extra pampering and true aloha to resort guests. The complex offers 192 guest rooms and 51 suites and villas, each with private lanai and built around a unique water feature or the Jack Nicklaus golf course. Signature outdoor showers grace lower units. The Resort also features five dining options, a world-class spa and sports club, eight tennis courts, seven pools, ocean adventures on-site, and Kids Four All Seasons kids club. Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows The Mauna Lani can be described as the classic Hawaiian hotel in both layout and materials. Gorgeous koa wood decorates every room, with each opening to the well-manicured central, outdoor atrium. While the Mauna Lani North and South courses offer well-manicured golf, the real attraction here is the perfect blend of size versus activity. Just big enough there is plenty to do, yet small enough you don’t feel like a number. Hilton Waikoloa Village Makai Tower While you are at the Hilton Waikoloa property, which is massive, their MAKAI guests get the luxury bump. The 240-room tower features ocean and mountain vistas. Added features from the standard Hilton service include personalized experience featuring priority restaurant reservations, an exclusive relaxation deck at Kona Pool and complimentary access to serene Kohala Spa facilities. Upgraded amenities differentiate this from the typical property rooms located within Hilton Waikoloa Village. The MAKAI tower is also adjacent to the expansive Kona Pool and snorkeling at their ocean-fed Lagoon Beach. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel The oceanfront Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection, is a landmark of luxury on the white sandy beach at Kauna’oa Bay. Accommodations feel sophisticated, and the hotel’s much-lauded mid-century modern architecture is classic. All the amenities expected of a luxury resort are offered including championship golf, award-winning tennis, and cuisine that honors local flavors. Extensive ocean and cultural activities combine for the complete resort experience. It was opened in 1965 by visionary Laurance S. Rockefeller (yet has undergone numerous upgrades) and maintains that stately elegance and island relevance from the original design.

Neil Wolkodoff

Neil Wolkodoff is a golf and travel writer from Denver, Colorado. He covers golf, dining, activities and accommodations from the luxury and unique perspective. He has even been golfing with goats.

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  1. All of these hotels look absolutely spectacular. My personal choice is the Four Seasons Resort. I can just see myself lounging by the pool there. And to get me started on my way there, I’m playing the lottery on nj-powerball.com. Wish me luck!

  2. Having a comfortable resort while travelling is an important thing.I like Fairmont Orchid most.Just graduated from college this summer, I have been dreaming of a wonderful trip. Thanks for sharing.

  3. I have family in Hawaii so I really should swing back by there sometime. The Hilton’s Waikoloa Village Makai Tower looks ideal for me – I know my husband and son would absolutely love snorkelling in that lagoon, whilst I caught some rays on the beach. Hawaii is such a great destination, somewhere you can see both mountains and ocean with a single glance. I’m already missing it.

  4. I am looking into Hawaii for my honeymoon. A friend of mine has visited the Four Seasons and it comes highly recommended. I will have a look at the other recommendations here and it will help my research a lot. Looking for luxury and comfort.

  5. You know I really never grow tired of reading up about Hawaiian holidays, there is so much to know, and so many luxurious places to choose from. I can’t help but be in awe at the Hilton Tower, the view and all the trees look so beautiful – not to mention the pool in the middle! Although the Hilton struck me as the best hotel at first, I would rather stay at a hotel that isn’t present in the US. The Fairmont Orchid would then perhaps be the best choice for me – 32 acres is huge!

  6. Hawaii is top of my list right now, looks like paradise. Amazing beaches and all these hotels look great. Hilton Waikoloa Village Makai Tower looks incredible with its relaxation areas and beaches. It also has a spa which is ideal!

  7. Sarah, all of these places are good for various reasons. Just depends upon the specifc features and amenities, and of course how big you want the hotel or resort to be in terms of your comfort level.

  8. Spoilt for choice all of these places sound amazing and amazing value too. We are trying to decide where to go on our honeymoon at the moment and Hawaii is in the ruining I would love to stay at the four seasons resort or the muana Kae they look phenomenal.

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