Which are the most Extraordinary Hotels in Hawaii?

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by Lighthouse, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Lighthouse
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    Lighthouse Gold Member

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    Which are the most extraordinary hotels in Hawaii?

    Here is a draft list to encourage conversation. As MP members come to a consensus I will periodically update the list to incorporate that advice.

    1)The Mauna Kea - Classic and elegant with exceptional art, view and beaches also recently remodeled

    2) St Regis Princeville - Stunning views and beauty and recently remodeled

    3) Hyatt Kauaii - Beautifully landscaped with tropical views and also being updated

    4) Four Seasons Hualalai - Four Seasons service, cultural center, dining with attractive views

    5) Four Seasons Lodge at Koele

    6) The Grand Wailea

    I know many are partial to the luxury Maui and Oahu hotels but many of the areas seem crowded and the areas too developed to me. What are your thoughts?
     
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  2. HiIslands
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    I guess it completely depends on what criteria you use to define "extraordinary". I think hotels can be extraordinary despite their location. The Halekulani Hotel in Honolulu is a good example. It has extraordinary service and superb food.

    I'd also nominate the Grand Wailea on Maui. It's in a beautiful setting and is quite elegant.
     
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  3. Ohana42
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    I second the Grand Wailea on Maui and the Hualalai on the Big Island is amazing.
     
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  4. Travelman
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    I like the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele on the island of Lana'i ...can you imagine real working fireplaces in Hawaii? ... in October at that ... and not just one ... but several .... it has the feel of an old English hunting lodge set in the highlands of Lana'i ...
     
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  5. Travelman
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    Here is a photo of a small part of the grounds of the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele on the island of Lana'i:

    031230_resized.jpg

    copyrighted by the person behind the Travelman alias
     
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  6. Travelman
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    I also vote for the Princeville Hotel - although the last time we were there it was during its last night as a Westin ... then it was re-modelled/re-branded into a St Regis as "Fiji" mentions in post #1. Regardless, the location is the same, so I am sure the same beautiful views can be enjoyed.

    020312 (Large).JPG

    So what are all these people taking photos of? ... well, the sunset of course ! Here is a view of the sunset taken from our couch from inside what used to be called "The Living Room".

    020438 (Large).JPG

    If you enjoy viewing these photos perhaps you will be so kind as click that little LIKE button ;)
    Mahalo ( ... thanks in Hawaiian)
     
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  7. Kaanapali
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    I was here back in the mid-80s when it was a Sheraton and was designed open air and lots of Koa wood. The views were unbelievable, especially considering there was no glass to interfere with your appreciation of the scenery and the breezes. While I understand the mildew issues that can (and did) arise from having an open air lobby and views, the hotel lost imho part of its connection with the island. I did not like the transformation into the Westin; all the opulent marble made it feel like a really nice city hotel stuck into Hawaii - it did not mesh nor say Aloha.
     
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  8. Travelman
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    Aloha Kaanapali,
    I understand your feelings ... I have similar feelings about the Sheraton Moana-Surfrider in Waikiki.... it was much nicer when it was just the Moana Historic building... then it had a new section added ... then it became merged with the Surfrider next door ... then it was re-modelled ... and now every time we see it, it seems like it is becoming colder and colder ... losing the spirit of Aloha ... but at least the lobby is still open-aired ...it was one of the things that originally attracted us to Hawaii - all the open-air restaurants, shopping centers, entertainment etc ...
     
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  9. Pat89339
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    I agree. The Halekulani Hotel is extraordinary and is the basis for my comparison to all luxury hotels worldwide. To me, true luxury goes beyond just the brick and mortar.
     
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  10. HiIslands
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    I agree! This is a very quiet, understated, yet elegant place. What a great place to get away from it all!
     
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  11. Kaanapali
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    We stay at the Moana, but other than drinks under the Banyan Tree, we love to eat at the Halekulani :)
     
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  12. Travelman
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    Hilislands, Very well stated! it's why we prefer the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele over the Four Seasons at Manele Bay, also on the island of Lana'i. At Manele Bay, we were given a gorgeous, large suite directly overlooking the pool with an unobstructed view of the ocean; however, we missed the peacefulness and understated luxury of the Lodge.
    We look forward to being able to return to the Lodge.
     
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  13. Travelman
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    In case anyone is wondering about some of the differences between Four Seasons Lodge at Koele & the Four Seasons Manele Bay on Lana'i, here is a pic from one of the suites at Manele Bay .... now look at the Lodge in post # 5 above ... Notice the number of people at the pool at Manele Bay, I don't know if I ever saw that many people at once during our entire stay at The Lodge at Koele .... except perhaps during dinner one night.

    031764 (Large).jpg
     
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  14. Lighthouse
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    I appreciate all the helpful input and have edited the list to incorporate some of the consensus. I have added the Lodge at Koele and the Grand Wailea to the list and moved down on the list the new Princeville St Regis. There have been a lot of other good suggestions as well as differences in opinion and I will make further changes as consensus builds. It is extremely helpful to have direct comparisons to ascertain which hotels should be on and in what order as well as which hotels should be off the list and look forward to further discussion.

    Kannapali and Travelman I fully agree with your observations about the St. Regis Princeville. The opulent marble and antiques and the sealed lobby to protect it not only were overdone but detracted from the stunning location. The recent remodel was an attempt to try to move it back some-- though it still remains sealed. I put it on the list because it has the most stunning view of any hotel I have seen in the islands from the lobby terraces and rooms. While the suites could be larger, they are redone, contemporary and extremely comfortable. The beach, terraces and service also stand out.

    I am extremely interested on members continued thoughts on the Maui and Oahu hotels. While there are some wonderful hotels I often feel they are stacked upon each other and overdeveloped and that you do not feel that you are away from it all.
     
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  15. Travelman
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    Fiji, I agree with your statement that the Princeville hotel to me "has the most stunning view of any hotel I have seen in the islands from the lobby terraces and rooms". And we have been visiting for almost 30 yrs. .... however, to be honest, we usually stay in a condo in the Princeville development .... some which also have beautiful views at a much cheaper cost ... and just visit the hotel for the sunset or walk down to the beach below the hotel.
     
  16. Travelman
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    Most of you checking this thread are already aware of this; however, for any newcomers the following thread might be of interest.

    http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/what-makes-a-luxury-hotel-luxurious.842/

    There is a thread in another forum which discusses what makes a hotel luxurious - of course, the title of this thread deals with "extraordinary" as opposed to "Luxury". And while these two terms might often apply to the same hotel, they do not necessarily have to go hand in hand.
     
  17. Bizi
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    Yes, warm memories from our first honeymoon trip there in 2006. :)
     
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  18. Linda Terrill
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    Both the FS at Manele Bay and the Lodge at Koele still have space available over Christmas/Festive. Preferred Partner amenities then, too. Standard FSPP benefits with the $85 lunch amenity. So much more serene and peaceful over Maui during the holidays.
     
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  19. rajuabju
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    Another vote to the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Simply a beautiful and relaxing hotel, with absolutely amazing staff and service. It really is a perfect hotel for honeymoons or just to get away with someone special
     
  20. Travelman
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    Is the Grand Hyatt Kauai in Poipu with the water ways that one can ride an intertube leisurely thru the grounds??
     
  21. Lighthouse
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    Yes and one heck of a waterslide
     
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  22. Travelman
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    thanks for the info
     
  23. hulagrrl210
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    Hotel Hana Maui is another unique (and secluded) one that seems to be missing in the discussion.
     
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  24. BamaGirl
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    I love Hotel Hana Maui and also the Kahala. I love to sit out on the benches at the dolphin lagoon at night. Usually just a mai tai and moonlight, watching them frolic and swim. Great way to close out an evening.
     
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  25. Tivoboy
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    Yes, would totally have to put the Mauna Kea on the top of any list. Been going there for nearly 30 years now, same great place, simply the best location, same great service. I'm not a HUGE fan of the new renovation, it is a bit too what, W or urban chic for me (but I have so many memories of the rooms as quant comfortable and the views and environment are what make it the best)

    Kona Village is nice, but it has changed a bit now that the four seasons is next door and sharing the lagoon. Still a nice place for families with kids.
     
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