Island hopping with panache: Luxury beach resorts in Hawaii
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Island hopping with panache: Luxury beach resorts in Hawaii

AS cliché as it sounds, Hawaii is a state that has something for everyone. Whether you’re surfing the bold waves of Maui, browsing the many trendy boutiques of Oahu, trekking through the nature reserves of Molokai, or practising your swing in the scenic courses of Lanai, Hawaii has enough to keep all, even the fussiest of travellers, occupied.

And because of its tremendous tourist appeal, many large hotel groups have set up shop on the many islands of Hawaii. Where mid-range hotels are aplenty, it’s worth splurging on a high-end stay overlooking the sparkling blue waters. Simply pack a straw hat and a light summer read and let these hotels sort the rest out for you.

Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui

Island hopping with panache: Luxury beach resorts in Hawaii

When in the tropical paradise that is Maui and looking for a distinct approach to beach resort luxury, look no further than Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, Hawaii’s only all-suite and villa luxury resort. Situated along the stunning golden-sand Polo Beach off Wailea coast, this oceanfront property is a favorite among couples and families.

Meanwhile, the luxury beach villas come in two- or three-bedroom options, perfect for multi-couples or a large family. A bonus in the villas is the private furnished courtyard fitted with a plunge pool, two chaise lounges, and a table for four. Fire up the grill, turn up the music, and crack open a few cold ones for a picture-perfect summer getaway.

For a uniquely Maui-style dinner, head to Fairmont Kea Lani’s signature restaurant to sample a diverse range of delectable eats from Maui’s sugarcane plantation era, from quintessential Hawaiian delights to Chinese, Filipino, Portuguese, and Japanese cuisines. Much of the food here spans many generations and originates from the chefs’ tutus and aunties, while still utilizing farm-fresh produce.

Meanwhile, the award-winning Willow Stream Spa is often recognized as Hawaii’s Top Hotel Spa and features locally-inspired treatments that combine Maui-sourced products with ancient Hawaiian traditions that honor nature, people, and spirit. The latest in spa technology is combined with deep-rooted traditions for an experience like no other. Read the full profile…

Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Island hopping with panache: Luxury beach resorts in Hawaii

Lanai is an ultra-exclusive land of rolling hills, red lava cliffs, and wide sandy beaches, a combination that has pulled in discerning travelers who want to escape the tourist-swarmed areas of Waikiki. Embodying the spirit of old Hawaii, the small, privately owned island allows for romantic escapades on the waters, and adventurous walkabouts in the picturesque central village of Lanai City.

Tucked away on Hulope Bay on the southern coast of Lanai is the island’s crown jewel – Four Seasons Resort Lanai. Perched atop a red-lava bluff overlooking the unspoiled marine reserve, the resort is a private playground for well-heeled guests looking to truly immerse themselves in a celebrity-worthy Hawaiian holiday.

One of the signature features here is Nobu Lanai where you must sit down to a seven-course omakase meal – a perfect opportunity to sample superb fresh seafood and premium Hawaiian produce. The Nobu brand – which fuses traditional Japanese fare with new-age techniques – is widely acknowledged as one of the best Japanese restaurant chains in the world.

While there, don’t pass up on the chance to practise your swing at the dramatic clifftop Manele Golf Course, an 18-hole layout that challenges even the best of golfers. Alternatively, you can rent a four-wheel drive through rugged terrains for scenic views of the Munro Trail, Keahkiawelo (Garden of the Gods), Polihua Beach and Kaiolohia (Shipwreck Beach).

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua

Island hopping with panache: Luxury beach resorts in Hawaii

Maui’s well-endowed landscapes and lush tropical surroundings make it the perfect Hawaiian island for honeymooners and couples looking for some private quality time. Whether it’s hiking through a Hawaiian rainforest or simply relaxing on the golden sands, there’s plenty for couples to do on this striking island.

The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua is the perfect platform from which guests can bask in the serenity. The property maintains the Honokahua Preservation Site, a recognized “wahi pana” (sacred site) that lies adjacent to the resort and serves as a destination where native Hawaiians can gather to conduct ceremonies and protocol.

Within the resort are also two championship golf courses, The Bay Course and the Plantation Course. Beginners can practise their swing under the eyes of Kapalua Golf Academy instructors who also offer corporate clinics and customized off-site training. Aside from dramatic views overlooking the bay, the course also offers a challenging 18-hole play.

After a long day, tuck into a romantic ocean view meal at The Banyan Tree where seasonal organic produce is cultivated from the best of Hawaii’s local farms and coastlines. Otherwise, head to Kai Sushi for a premium Japanese meal alongside fine sake and wines. For a post-dinner tipple, Alaloa Lounge shakes up specialty cocktails that you can deliberately sip overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

*Some of the properties featured in this article are commercial partners of Travel Wire Asia