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A five-acre oasis amid bustling Waikiki, this resort has long set the standard for gracious Hawaiian hospitality. Most of its 453 artfully decorated rooms have ocean views and lanais (like a terrace or balcony), while the 2,365-square-foot Orchid Suite, with a private lawn, wine cellar, and steam shower, is pure luxury. halekulani.com
What not to miss: Seeing Halona Cove, where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr filmed their famous kiss in the surf for "From Here to Eternity." To get to the steamy spot, head to Koko Head Regional Park in southeastern Oahu, then climb down a cliff to the sand.
How to get there: Fly into Honolulu International, then have the hotel meet you with a waiting limo, or you can rent a car or hail a taxi for the 25-minute drive.
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St. Regis Princeville, Kauai
At Hawaii's first-ever St. Regis, the amenities are ample: Ninety percent of the rooms overlook Hanalei Bay, which is widely considered to be one of the world's best beaches. The Halele'a Spa offers Hawaiian healing rituals customized by private wellness experts. And the mouth-watering menu at The Kauai Grill was created by master chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. stregisprinceville.com
What not to miss: Hiking across the cliff tops along the Na Pali Coast. These rippled green mountains are postcard-perfect and perhaps the most stunning scenery in all of Hawaii.
How to get there: Fly to the Lihue Airport, then travel 30 miles to the St. Regis by taxi or a limo arranged by the resort.
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Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, Lanai
This lodge is styled like a rambling country estate, with 102 rooms and suites surrounded by manicured lawns and ponds. But don't let the tranquility fool you: There are plenty of options for adventure -- from off-roading in a 4x4 to horseback riding. fourseasons.com
What not to miss: Trying your hand, err, hips at hula dancing. Private or semi-private lessons in this ancient Hawaiian art can be arranged by hotel staff.
How to get here: Fly into Lanai Airport on one of Island Air's daily nonstops from Honolulu. Alternatively, ferry service from nearby Maui is easy to come by. The hotel has shuttles that run regularly from the airport and ferry terminal.
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Ho'oilo House, Maui
With the amenities of an elite resort, this bed-and-breakfast serves up personal service and awe-inspiring views at rates that won't break the bank. The six rooms are decorated with carved Balinese furniture, and all are named for something you're likely to see on the trip -- there's Kohola (whale), Nalu (wave), and Wailele (waterfall).
What not to miss: Watching the sun come up from Haleakala's 10,023-foot summit. Afterward, cruise down a portion of the volcano by bike with Haleakala Bike Co.
How to get here: Fly into Kahului Airport and pick up a rental car (you'll want one to explore the island). The drive from the airport to Ho'oilo House is about 45 minutes.
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Kona Village Resort, Big Island
Thatched huts set on stilts await you at this seaside escape on 82 beachfront acres. It's laid out like a traditional Polynesian fishing village, and each bungalow, or "hale" (pronounced ha-lay), offers unparalleled views and easy beach access. If you need a little extra alone time, just put a coconut outside your bungalow -- it's a resort tradition that means "do not disturb." konavillage.com
What not to miss: Enjoying a lomi lomi massage at the spa. This classic Hawaiian rubdown uses long, continuous motions applied by the hands, forearms, and elbows to relieve stress and stimulate blood flow.
How to get here: Fly into the Kona International Airport, and rent a car; the resort's a quick eight-mile drive.