Splurgy Stays in the Hawaiian Islands

luxury hotels in the hawaiian islands where to splurge

[trip style = luxury + sun]

Over my trip styling tenure, I've had the pleasure of putting on my modern muumuu and jumping aboard the pineapple express more times than I can count. And, if I'm going to splurge, Hawaii is my go-to destination to add a few extra stars to my stays given its sure-thing weather, palm tree perfection, rock star-status hotels, and legacy of curated escape.

When I go, sometimes I do a quick, three-day getaway to a edited abode; other times I save to splurge, and set aside the last few nights for a chi-chi stay.

With this, here are a few posh pins to consider placing on your Hawaii map. Aloha!

mauna lani hawaii

THE ISLAND OF HAWAII: Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows
Without naming names, let’s just say that a number of travelers—the types who have private jets—touch down at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows regularly. While the hotel has numerous rooms and suites fit for fabulous frequent fliers, the Bungalows provide that extra dose of wow-factor with their 2,700-square-feet of living space sprawled across two bedrooms, two master baths {complete with TOTO Toilets, and rain showers cascading into a tropical garden}, a kitchen, and a wet bar. Couple this with a private pool and jacuzzi, and sunset views over the Pacific, and you may want to move in {or become BFFs with a private jet owner}.

Trip Styler tip: Want a taste of upcountry life? Don't miss the ultra-authentic Aloha found at Puakea Ranch {reviewed here}, a four-cottage farm stay gorgeous enough to grace the cover of any travel mag {and a favorite stays in all my trip styling days}.

fs maui

MAUI: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
As a regular stop on celebs’ travel itineraries—every time I go I spot at least one member of Hollywood royalty—the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea is a staple stay for those who like the finer things in life: haute-couture art, chic poolside treats, customizable beds, and the option to “posh” your drinks {insider tip: Add bubbles to put some sparkle in your “spirit”}, and suites with a personal assistant. In a meticulously planned move, the property just “poshed” itself transforming everything from the presidential suites to the pool cabanas to an exclusive place to see, be seen—and be unseen—on the Wailea coastline.   

LANAI: Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Dear, Fellow luxury lovers, don't walk, R-U-N to the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, an off-the-beaten-path hideaway catering to those who want to explore Hawaii’s private island paradise in style {spoiler alert: It’s only a 35-minute ferry from Maui}. Like its luxe sibling in Maui, this Four Seasons also underwent a recent multimillion dollar renovation upgrading every fit and finish to it-status. Case in point: Their pool is actually a lagoon, their room keys are actually waterproof wearables (so you don’t lose your key while playing in the waves), and their restaurant, NOBU LANAI, is actually the world’s only NOBU to source greens from its own on-site garden. {Fun fact: Not that he'll remember this, but NOBU LANAI is where we celebrated Blue Styler's 6-month birthday. He wore a blazer with a pocket square for the occasion.}


OAHU: Halekulani
As one of the Aloha State’s most sought-after stays since 1907, this Waikiki legend offers a throwback to the warm and welcoming hospitality that has made the tropical paradise famous (in addition to the gorgeous beaches, that is). Inside the 453-room hotel, Halekulani‘s rooms are beautifully decorated with plush white-on-white textures to highlight the technicolor shoreline meeting each guest’s gaze. At the cusp of this coastline, don’t miss House Without A Key, the hotel’s outdoor restaurant preserving a time-honored tradition: cocktails, live music, and hula under their century-old Kiawe tree. Visit at the day’s end to drink in one of Hawaii’s most dreamy scenes with a Mai Tai in-hand.

Trip Styler Tip: If pairing Aloha and ah-mazing design is more your thang, don't miss The Modern Honolulu.

koa kea resort

KAUAI: Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort
With 121 rooms, this boutique-style hotel recalls retro Hawaii with its tiki architecture and modern Hawaii with its upscale amenities (think: In-room Nespresso). Located on the sunny South shore of the Garden Isle, Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort is the island’s closest hotel to the ocean, and ups its own ante brining the surf to turf with its saltwater pool. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, beeline for the hotel’s Red Salt restaurant to nosh on local favorites: macadamia nut- and banana-topped topped Belgian waffles and lemon-pineapple soufflé pancakes to get some Vitamin T (tropical) before you even hit the beach!

Trip Styler Tip: Get money-smart about splurging on hotels in Hawaii. Many of the above resorts offer fourth-night-free promotions in shoulder season, think: Sept-Nov and April-June.

[All photos courtesy of hotels mentioned. Lead photo of Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows’ pool. This piece is a variation of an article I recently wrote for the Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog.]