Hawaii is known for its amazing beaches, luxurious resorts, and incredible landscape. It has several stunning islands, each boasting spectacular attractions and activities. While this much splendor is excellent, it can make choosing where to stay in Hawaii difficult.

What’s the best part of Hawaii? What hotel to choose? And what is there to do on the different islands?

If these are questions you’re asking yourself, then you’ve come to the right place. This post will guide you on the best places to stay in Hawaii and their top accommodation options.

The choices included cover stays for all types of travelers and budgets in one of the best tropical destinations in the US.

Best Islands to Stay in Hawaii

Hawaii is home to an extensive network of islands, including eight major islands with considerable population numbers. These are the most popular among tourists.

While they’re all incredible, there are a few places in Hawaii to stay that are better than others.

1. Maui

Maui, Hawaii

Maui is the island that best typifies what Hawaii has to offer, as it’s postcard-worthy just about everywhere. It’s the island you’re most likely to come across when you scroll on social media or when people discuss the best Hawaiian places to stay.

The second-largest island in Hawaii, Maui’s home to beautiful sandy beaches, verdant rainforests, and dozens of luxury resorts. And, of course, you can’t say you’ve been to Maui without driving on the fabled Road to Hana.

Its diverse natural beauty, combined with its endless list of activities, make it one of the best places to stay Hawaii has to offer first-time visitors.

Travelers to Maui can enjoy hiking, snorkeling, surfing, and whale-watching for a lively vacation. There’s also the Garden of Eden, which is as fantastic as the name suggests.

Maui has renowned restaurants, bars, and clubs serving delicious Hawaiian dishes, and Kahului is the best place to find these.

Note: Maui is a popular US spring break destination, so it’s often crowded during peak season.

2. The Big Island

The Big Island in Hawaii

Aptly named, The Big Island is the largest of the Hawaiian islands. Not only is it massive in size, but it also happens to be the most diverse and one of Hawaii’s best places to stay.

Its incredible landscape includes lush rainforests, lava fields, and beautiful cascades. You’ll also find a variety of beaches here, with the most unique being the black sand beaches.

Love living on the edge? Then you’ll love the island’s Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It has two volcanoes that are both active. Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, while Mauna Loa is the world’s largest active subaerial volcano.

If you need something more relaxing, The Big Island’s got you covered too. You can relax on the beach under the sun or participate in water-based activities. There’s whale-watching, surfing, swimming, and snorkeling with turtles in Kona or Hilo.

3. Oahu

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii

Oahu is the third-largest Hawaiian island and is home to the state capital of Honolulu. With these credentials, you can bet it’s as incredible as Hawaii islands get.

Oahu is renowned for its sweeping coastlines, rich rainforests, and vibrant coral reefs. It features a warm climate that makes visiting its stunning beaches an all-year activity. The world-famous Waikiki Beach is perfect for soaking up the sun on the shore or swimming.

Water lovers can also enjoy surfing and snorkeling in its waters which are home to a diverse range of marine life. Out of the water, fantastic hiking trails lead to scenic vistas. This includes the Manoa and Lulumahu Falls trails that lead to incredible cascades.

One of Hawaii’s most developed islands, Oahu, is one of the best places in Hawaii to stay for the incredible nightlife. There are dozens of bars, nightclubs, and beach parties perfect for dancing the night away.

Best Places to Stay in Hawaii – Hotels

Each of the above islands is littered with hotels and resorts that will be great accommodations during your visit. Due to this exhaustive list, it can get difficult to know which are great and which aren’t.

Maui Hotels

Maui is arguably the best island to stay in Hawaii. It has many activities on offer, as well as accommodation to match.

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort in Hawaii
Image from Hyatt

If you’re looking for luxurious lodging in Hawaii, look no further than the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. This AAA Five-Diamond resort is located on 15 acres of pristine beachfront and features stunning ocean views from every room.

The accommodations are spacious and beautifully appointed, with private balconies offering incredible views.

Its amenities include four outdoor infinity pools, a world-class spa, and a fantastic golf course. It even has its own private beach for that added feel of exclusivity.

Andaz Maui offers several dining options, from casual poolside dining to fine dining at Ka’ana Kitchen and four other on-site restaurants.

The Guest House

Of course, only a few have the budget to splurge on a luxury resort. That’s why places like The Guest House exist. It offers a piece of luxury on a budget.

An adults-only property, it has a sun deck perfect for watching sunsets and sunrises with 360-degree views of the island landscape. It’s also excellent accommodation for eco-travelers as all rooms are solar-powered.

Guests also have access to a saltwater pool if they don’t feel like heading to the beach.

Hakuna Matata Maui Hostel

Hakuna Matata Maui Hostel is perfect if you’re traveling on a tight budget. It’s a no-frills hostel that offers cleanliness and comfort. It’s centrally located in Lahaina, meaning you’ll be close to the action.

Nearby, there is shopping and eating on Front Street, as well as whale watching.

Shared and private dorm rooms offer you a great chance to mingle with the other guests if you’re traveling alone. Its amenities include laundry facilities, a common kitchen, and a TV lounge.

The Big Island Hotels

As the largest of the major islands, The Big Island is home to various accommodation options.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii
Image from Four Seasons

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is a luxury resort that offers guests an array of amenities and activities. The resort provides something for everyone, from its five championship golf courses to its full-service spa.

The rooms at the resort are as luxurious as the rest of the property. Each room offers stunning views of the ocean or the nearby volcano.

Guests can also enjoy a variety of dining options, including an acclaimed seafood restaurant and a casual poolside bar.

Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel

Nestled atop The Big Island, the Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel is a perfect place to enjoy all that the island has to offer. With its lush gardens, dramatic cliffs, and stunning ocean views, the hotel is truly a piece of paradise.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the staff is friendly and attentive. Plenty of amenities can keep guests on the property for the entirety of their trip. This includes a heated outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and a breakfast buffet.

The Big Island Hostel

The Big Island Hostel is a great place to stay if you want an authentic Hawaiian experience. Located in the heart of Hilo, the hostel is just a short walk from the beach, restaurants, and shops.

The staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming, and the rooms are clean and comfortable.

It only has dorm rooms, which offer endless opportunities to make new friends and travel buddies. Some rooms even have balconies to enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding landscape.

It’s close to attractions like Coconut Island Beach, Liliuokalani Gardens, and the Pacific Tsunami Museum.

Oahu Hotels

As one of Hawaii’s most developed islands, it has luxury resorts and budget options.

The Kahala Hotel and Resort

Kahala Hotel and Resort in Hawaii
Image by Kahala Hotel and Resort

The Kahala Hotel and Resort is one of the most luxurious hotels in Hawaii. Situated on a secluded beach on Oahu’s famous Waikiki Beach, the hotel features world-class amenities and five-star service.

Guests can enjoy various activities such as golf, tennis, spa treatments, and fine dining. The hotel also offers a variety of accommodations, including suites with private balconies and ocean views.

Luana Waikiki Hotel & Suites

The Luana Waikiki Hotel & Suites is a slice of paradise that comes at a fraction of the cost of a luxury hotel. It enjoys a central location with easy access to all the city’s best attractions. Plus, it’s built right on Waikiki Beach.

The rooms are spacious and have all the amenities you need, including a kitchenette and balcony with stunning ocean views. The staff is friendly and helpful, even offering a shuttle service to the airport.

Ewa Hotel Waikiki

The Ewa Hotel Waikiki is a historic hotel located in the heart of Waikiki, offering relatively affordable accommodation. The hotel was built in 1901 and is one of the oldest hotels in the area. Thanks to excellent service, it’s still alive to this day.

It has over four hundred rooms, some offering stunning ocean views and a chance to admire Diamond Head. Guests can also enjoy using a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a business center.

The hotel is located on Kalakaua Avenue, the main street in Waikiki. As such, it’s within walking distance of many of the area’s best shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Final Thoughts on the Best Place to Stay in Hawaii

Oahu Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, in Hawaii

Staying in Hawaii will be a memorable experience for you and your travel buddies.

By following this guide, you can be sure to find the perfect place to stay that meets all of your needs. So, what are you waiting for? Book your dream vacation now and enjoy Hawaii!

Essential Info: Logistical Tips and Tricks to Book your Trip

BOOK YOUR FLIGHT
When it comes to cheap airfare, I highly recommend using Skyscanner, Expedia, and CheapAir. These are three of the sites I use the most due to their exhaustive search on several websites and airlines around the world. They usually bring the cheapest fares.

In fact, CheapAir has a handy tool that tells you the best time to book your flight depending on your route. Check it out here.

BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION
For hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and other types of accommodation, I highly recommend Booking.com. They are my go-to booking site because they usually have the cheapest fares.

If you’re a registered Booking.com user (“Genius”), you can take advantage of their “Genius discount” to save even more money. I almost always book my accommodation with Booking, and I’ve saved thousands of dollars with their Genius discount.

And of course, as one of the largest travel booking sites in the world, Expedia is another excellent accommodation booking site with a free reward program and discounted member prices.

If you’re looking to save money by staying at a hostel, HostelWorld has the largest inventory of hostels with shared dorms and private rooms. On the other hand, Vrbo offers a wide variety of rooms and apartments at affordable prices.

DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance with comprehensive coverage will protect you against unexpected events like theft, cancellations, injury, and illness. I use World Nomads to insure my trips.

If you’re a nomad and travel often or long-term, then SafetyWing could help you save a lot of money on long-term travel insurance.

FIND THE BEST TOURS AT THE BEST PRICES
If you’re looking for the best day tours and cheapest ticket entrances to local attractions, I recommend checking Viator, as they have the largest selection of attractions, passes, and activities all around the world.

BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION AHEAD OF TIME
Bookaway
 offers the easiest and most accessible way to book overland transportation with local operators, be it by bus, train, ferry, plane, mini-van, or even private transfers.

If renting a car, then I highly recommend DiscoverCars to get the largest car selection at the best price.

OTHER TRAVEL AND MONEY-SAVING TIPS?
Lastly, check out my resources page for some of the best products and companies to use for your trip. If you like saving money (like I do!), then this page will help.

Where to Stay in Hawaii - Best Places, Hotels, and Islands
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