The 16 Most Romantic Hotels in the U.S. Islands
If you're planning to soak up a little bit of paradise right here in the states, you've come to the right place. We're here to help you plan your honeymoon to an island oasis in America. In partnership with Jetsetter, we asked our readers and followers to dish on their favorite romantic destinations in seven regions of the world—almost 9,000 people responded. It's no surprise Hawaii took all but one of the top spots, including Maui in first place for its beaches, adventures, and top-notch food. But the dreamy getaway wasn't the only escape with high ratings from our readers. Kauai, the Big Island, the Florida Keys, and Oahu each made it to the top five. Here, we've compiled our favorite hotels in each—so prepare to get inspired.
Maui: Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Fresh off of a renovation, the largest rooms in Maui are now even bigger, with sleeker furniture and smarter placement (for example, bedroom dressers were moved into a bathroom nook, turning the space into a dressing room). Suites come with a personal assistant, who can reserve dinner for two at Wolfgang Puck's Spago—the restaurateur's only Hawaiian outpost—or coordinate tee time at one of the resort's three golf courses. Regardless of what kind of accommodation you choose, you get a room with a view, with the ocean and mountains in sight.
Maui: Travaasa Hana, Maui
If you're visiting Maui, chances are good you'll drive the Hana Highway. And if you have time to spend the night in Hana, a quiet town on the eastern coast, do—especially for a chance to stay at this beloved property. Its 70 recently remodeled cottages and suites don't have radios, clocks, or televisions, and your experience is fully tailored to meet your needs—be it all-inclusive or à la carte, with activities that cater to fitness fiends, adventurers, foodies, wellness gurus, or culture buffs. The beautiful spa is known for its traditional Hawaiian massages; we highly recommend the two-hour Hana Couples Escape.
Maui: Lumeria Maui
A 1909 upcountry estate has been transformed into this wellness retreat, great for couples who need some re-centering after the excitement (and, let's be honest, stress) of wedding planning. Its 24 rooms are located in plantation-style buildings surrounded by organic gardens and lush lawns. There's also an open-air lounge with swinging rope hammocks, an elaborate labyrinth, and a meditation lawn overseen by a stone Buddha. Other amenities we love: yoga classes, musical performances, and sustainable dinners with ingredients from the property's own gardens.
Maui: Westin Nanea Ocean Villas
In Hawaiian, "nanea" means "relaxed," and you'll be just that lounging by the lagoon-style pool or walking along Maui's Kā'anapali Beach at this 190-villa resort. The wood paneled-rooms with white furnishings are as new as can be—the resort opened in April 2017—and the property plans to add 200 more this fall. The resort is also committed to its Hawaiian culture: The Puuhonua o Nanea Cultural Center teaches local arts, crafts, dance, music, language, and history, and the Mauka Makai restaurant incorporates sea-to-table fish and indigenous plants into its menu.
Kauai: The Lodge at Kukui'ula
On the South Shore, this 1,000-acre resort community now rents out beach-chic bungalows and two- and three-bedroom cottages—the latter comes complete with a gourmet kitchen, vaulted ceilings, a covered lanai, and an outdoor fire pit. Guests can bike to the 10-acre farm to pick vegetables and herbs, go fishing for bass in the lake, and arrange hiking excursions to the gorgeous Napali coast. There's also an award-winning Tom Weiskopf-designed golf course and Plantation House, perfect for dining, drinking, games, and pool access.
Kauai: Ko'a Kea Hotel and Resort
Located on the grounds of the old Poipu Beach Hotel, this 121-room boutique property is Kauai's closest property to the water—and one of the most swimmable beaches at that. It's an elegant, palm-tree lined oasis, where each room has a private balcony or terrace, and you can sample a martini flight at the bar. The resort recently added to its already impressive list of amenities: guests can now take advantage of complimentary seaside yoga, botanical tours, and ukulele lessons.
Kauai: St. Regis Princeville Resort
Originally built as a tropical escape for an English prince, the resort was completely redone last year. The result? An amazing hideaway that echoes the natural beauty of Kauai's North Shore. The spa offers native healing rituals, while the signature Jean-George Vongerichten restaurant serves up dishes like local beef tenderloin with asparagus, mushrooms, and a soy-caramel emulsion within view of Hanalei Bay. On some Wednesdays, the property hosts a Mailani dinner show, with hula dancing and storytelling. (A note for brides-to-be: The hotel recently began a partnership with fashion illustrator and style expert Dallas Shaw, who's worked with Chanel and Oscar de la Renta. She'll create custom sketches and live illustrations for couples getting married at the resort.)
Big Island: Volcano House
This 33-room property has not one, but two claims to fame: it's the only hotel inside Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and is the state's oldest property (opened in 1846). The interiors got a contemporary facelift a few years back (though they are still rather simple), but what will never change are the unobstructed views of the bright lava that spits out of the Halema'uma'u Crater. (You can see it from The Rim restaurant, too—a must for dinner.)
Big Island: Surfjack Hotel and Swim Club
At this 1960s-inspired surf-chic spot, the lobby greets guests with beach scenes by native photographer Mark Kushimi and a living fern installation. Its 112 rooms look like beach bungalows, with surf prints and old postcards on the walls and beds with colorful Tori Richard fabric headboards. The pool gets a lot of attention, thanks to a made-for-Instagram mosaic floor inscribed with "Wish you were here"—but we can't stop talking about the on-site restaurant Mahina & Sun's from chef Ed Kenney. Don't miss the Kualoa Ranch oysters and marlin poke with pickled mushroom.
Big Island: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai
This understated, luxurious Four Seasons outpost fully embraces its home, with weekly luaus, an open-air spa that uses regional ingredients like macadamia nuts and black lava salt, and a cultural center that hosts classes on star navigation, hula, and ukulele. Upon arrival, guests are presented with leis before being whisked to one of 243 rooms, most of which are ocean-facing and have original artwork and private lanais. Sushi and a mai tai make for the perfect lunch at 'Ulu. You can also play a round on the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, spot reef fish and eagle rays in King's Pond, or admire the volcanic coastline from the freshwater pool.
Oahu: Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach
Although not a hotel—rooms are housed in a 28-story residential tower that's five minutes from the ocean—this new luxury high-rise is just as magnificent as an oceanfront resort. The 307 Jon Brent-designed rooms range from studio-sized to massive three-bedroom apartments, and embrace an "island-deco" vibe, with a pop of dusty blue adding some color to the clean white furnishings—plus limestone bathrooms, walnut millwork, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Dive into the eighth-floor infinity pool—the highest in Waikiki—or hit the spa, where you can get a volcanic stone massage with rocks from Hawaii's volcanoes.
Oahu: The Laylow, Autograph Collection
The 251 rooms at this brand-new hotel are done up in pink-and-blue palm print wallpaper and Mid-century furnishings, with private lanais and custom bath products by Maak Lab. The tension-edge pool features a deck made with Brazilian Ipe wood and has in-water chaise lounges—perfect for eating your poolside shaved ice. Once you dry off, head to Hideout, the Asian-fusion restaurant that's only steps away from the pool, for musubi topped with house-made spam.
Oahu: Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
Fresh off of a $115 million renovation, the former Pacific Beach Hotel has been reborn, and offers tranquility in the heart of Waikiki. Guest rooms have been renovated with custom wooden furnishings, and travelers are greeted by a lively bar and 280,000-gallon oceanarium in the lobby. Two new pools—one a saltwater infinity pool—have also been added, along with a beer garden, private cabanas, and two new restaurants by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto.
Florida Keys: Amara Cay Resort, Islamorada
It may be hard to tear yourself away from this oceanside sanctuary's private beach, but the indoor scene is just as lovely. The recently renovated common areas and seafood-centric Oltremare Ristorante are outfitted in bright tropical colors, a contrast to its 110 rooms, which feature cool earth tones, rattan chairs, and sweeping Atlantic views. Don't miss the Sparrows Rum Bar, known for fresh fish tacos and a killer key lime pie.
Florida Keys: The Moorings Village and Spa, Islamorada
This intimate resort set on a former coconut plantation has just 18 colonial-style cottages, whose open layouts, private verandas, whitewashed walls, wicker furniture, and colorful shutters embody an authentic "Old Florida" look. There isn't a lot of on-site entertainment, save for morning yoga classes (which cost $20), swimming off the pier, and relaxing at the small spa—but chances are good you'll welcome the peace and quiet.
Florida Keys: The Perry Hotel
Named after Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who was the first person to lay claim to Key West, this 100-room hotel is a nautical gem on the waterfront of Stock Island. Rooms have rustic touches like reclaimed materials and wood-paneled headboards—not to mention views of the nearby lagoon or the hotel's marina and pool. Some have outdoor showers and poolside access, but all of them come with private balconies and local artwork on the walls. And, with two dog parks on the property, your pooch can come along for the honeymoon. Use one of the many outdoor fire pits for grilling food, or dine at its two restaurants that serve American coastal comfort food like po' boys and fried chicken.
Additional reporting by Amanda Reed.