A moonlit beach and the right person by your side are all you really need to experience romance in the Aloha State. Still, these hotels offer the right combination of atmosphere and amenities — like spas with couples’ treatments and secluded pools or hot tubs — for those hoping to savor some special aloha with their sweetheart. Whether you’re looking to pop the question, tie the knot or just share paradise with your paramour, the island of Hawai‘i has the perfect spot for you and your ku‘uipo (sweetheart). Here are our favorites, from north to south along the Kohala and Kona coasts.
Feature Image: Mauna Lani Facebook
TIP: Most hotels have 4 pm check-in. Ask for an early check-in.
If they can’t accommodate, they will let you store your bags so you can head to the beach!
Westin Hapuna Beach Resort
The only hotel along half-mile-long, broad and sandy Hapuna Beach takes its name from the beach and its design inspiration from the water, sand, natural wood and greenery of the Kohala Coast. It has commanding views of the blue Pacific and deep-orange sunsets from its open-air lobby and two guest wings with 294 recently renovated, spacious rooms with Hawaiian-accented contemporary decor.
Terraced gardens with koi and water lily ponds lead to the adults-only infinity pool with roomy hot tub and in-pool lounges; below is the 6.800-square-foot family pool, large enough for a lap swim. Above that pool is Mediterranean-flavored Meridia restaurant, with a menu and wine list ideal for romantic sunset dinners. Three other ocean-view restaurants, an Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole golf course, a spa and an enormous fitness studio and CrossFit deli mean you can easily cocoon onsite.
- Hanging out by the adult pool, which also has a lawn area, can be a pleasant all-day affair, thanks to tasty food and cocktails poolside waiters will bring from the downstairs Naupaka Beach Grill. A complimentary shuttle will take you to sister hotel Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, for more romantic and casual dining options.
Mauna Lani, an Auberge Resort
- After a “farm to spa” treatment with locally sourced ingredients in the couples’ room at Auberge Spa, plan a private “barefoot on the beach” dinner for two by special arrangement with CanoeHouse. If the timing is right, don’t miss the long-running monthly concert and storytelling series (virtual during the pandemic era) set amid the resort’s oceanfront fish ponds and curated by the resort’s revered cultural advisor.
Lava Lava Beach Club
These four one-bedroom cottages share owners, a name and a sandy stretch of lovely ‘Anaeho’omalu Bay with the lively Lava Lava Beach Club restaurant. They also share its casual-chic, beach bungalow vibe, with a bright palette and comfy, island-inspired artwork and furnishings, including an oversized Hawaiian-style day bed and koa wood ukulele in the living room and a large rock-walled outdoor shower as well as a roomy modern bathroom. The beach is public, but early risers and moonlight walkers will often find privacy, except for the company of basking sea turtles. Live Hawaiian and pop music will waft over most evenings from the restaurant, so this is a good choice for couples who like a little nightlife with their romance.
- Complimentary bikes and stand-up paddle boards are at the ready for you to explore the resort or the bay, while lunch and dinner at the restaurant with your toes in the sand make restoring your energy easy and delicious. Sunsets are gorgeous here, especially accompanied by a cocktail on your private lanai.
Four Seasons Hualalai
- Ground-floor rooms boast large, outdoor showers with lava rock walls and tropical foliage. Snorkeling amid rays and tropical fish in the saltwater-fed, carefully monitored King’s Pond — or gazing into it from the new, adjacent infinity-edge pool — is a magical experience. Don’t skip dinner at ‘Ulu, preferably after enjoying the Romance Escape at the outstanding spa, a couples package that starts with a soak in an ofuro (Japanese tub), followed by a side-by-side exfoliation with tropical ingredients and a choice of massage.
The only bed-and-breakfast to make this list of the Big Island’s most romantic hotels, this is also the only property not on the coast — but we think the dazzling, almost dizzying views of the ocean and Kona coastline from this beautifully furnished boutique inn, along with its exceptional service and breakfast cuisine, more than justify its inclusion. The eight accommodations feature rich hardwoods and bamboo furniture, luxurious bedding, and handsome private bathrooms; some have additional perks like private indoor or outdoor sitting area, spa tub or kitchenette.
- Book the stand-alone vintage Darrell Hill Cottage or newly renovated Red Barn for ultimate privacy and even more space. At a cooler 1,400-foot elevation on the slopes of Hualalai volcano, the 30-acre grounds include 5,300 coffee trees; naturally, the estate’s Brazen Hazen coffee (named for founder Cassandra Hazen) is served with the gourmet tropical breakfast. After a day exploring, savor the vistas from the hillside hot tub or gazebo.