Best Boutique Hotels on the Big Island, Hawaii

12 Cool Boutique Hotels on Hawaii’s Big Island

From stunning black sand beaches to lava-spewing volcanoes, there’s a lot to love about Hawaii’s Big Island. Visitors flock to Hawaii’s largest island year after year to explore the unreal landscapes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the incredible vistas in Waipio Valley. Travel around the island and you’ll find all sorts of opportunities to hike to cascading waterfalls, snorkel with sea turtles, and take in stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. 

If you’re looking for an ultra-relaxing beach vacation, the Big Island has got you covered. You can easily spend a week or two lounging around one of the island’s luxurious resorts and sipping fruity drinks by the pool. Plus, the island is home to postcard-perfect black, white, and even green sand beaches where you can work on your tan or surf the ocean’s massive waves.

For a culture fix, you can attend an authentic luau or learn about local traditions at Pu’uhonua o Honaunau National Park. Wildlife enthusiasts will definitely want to embark on a tour to spot humpback whales and go snorkeling with manta rays. 

Caffeine addicts will want to visit at least a few coffee farms in the world-famous Kona region! Plus, the island boasts some seriously good oceanfront sea-to-table restaurants and bustling farmers markets where you can sample fresh fruits, veggies, and artisanal goods. The Big Island really does have something for everyone!

If you’re looking for a place to stay, there’s no doubt that the Big Island is dotted with secluded B&Bs, lavish oceanfront resorts, and incredible family-friendly hotels. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels on the Big Island to help you plan your perfect getaway!

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Where to Stay on the Big Island

Where to Stay on Hawaii's Big Island: Boutique Hotels

True to its name, the Big Island is massive, so it’s best to choose where you want to stay based on what you plan to see and do during your trip. If exploring the volcanoes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is at the top of your to-do list, then a hotel near Hilo on the eastern part of the island is your best bet. Not only is Hilo home to some of the best hotels on the Big Island but you’ll have easy access to Mauna Kea, Rainbow Falls, and the famous Hilo Farmers Market. 

Located on the west coast, Kailua-Kona (aka Kona) is another popular place to stay on the Big Island. The area boasts some of the island’s best beaches as well as a wide range of luxury resorts, excellent eateries, and Kona coffee farms. This is also a great place to stay if you want to swim with manta rays or attend the famous Voyagers of the Pacific luau.

Where to Stay on Hawaii's Big Island: Boutique Hotels

If you want to stay at one of the island’s best oceanfront resorts, Waikoloa and the Kohola Coast are both amazing places to base yourself. Located in the north of the island, the area features excellent beaches and beautiful scenery. Plus, your resort is likely to have awesome amenities, including massive pools and oceanfront seafood restaurants.

But no matter where you decide to stay on the Big Island, you’ll find plenty of incredible hotels to choose from!

12 Best Hotels on Hawaii’s Big Island

1. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is the only hotel on the Big Island that belongs to the Historic Hotels of America. This gem of a hotel was actually founded by Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1965 and was the first-ever resort on the island! 

Located in the wild and remote west coast, The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is the northernmost hotel on the Kona side of the island. Overlooking the impossibly blue Kauna’oa Bay and nestled right on a sandy beach, the setting can’t be beat.

The friendly staff will go above and beyond to make sure you have the best stay possible. At check-in, you’ll be greeted with welcome gifts and leis, while fresh Mauna Kea banana bread and papayas will be waiting for you in your beautiful room or suite. 

The resort boasts all sorts of amazing amenities to keep you entertained, including an 18-hole championship golf course, oceanfront tennis courts, and a luxury spa. There’s a shop with ocean sports rentals if you want to go kayaking or paddleboarding in the bay. You can also enjoy steak dinners at Manta Restaurant, experience a luau on the beach, and sip cocktails at the pool bar, Copper Bar, and Hau Tree.

2. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is one of the best hotels on the Big Island if you’re looking for an ultra-luxurious Hawaiian getaway. Located on the western side of the island, this sprawling 825-acre resort has so many cool amenities you won’t have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to. Known as the “residential resort for billionaires,” expect nothing but the best!

You can spend your days lounging around the hotel’s seven pools and sipping your favorite umbrella drinks. Or if you’re looking for something more active you can go surfing or kayaking with the hotel’s residential experts, go golfing at the PGA-designated golf course, or participate in fun activities at the cultural center. 

When it comes to wining and dining you’ll have a variety of bars and restaurants to choose from. But don’t miss out on a special dinner at Hualalai Grill. Overlooking the 18th green, the upscale steakhouse serves up some seriously good surf and turf, including oysters raised at the hotel! 

After a long day, you’ll love relaxing in the luxurious rooms. All rooms, suites, and villas boast ocean views, granite-tiled ensuites with separate soaking tubs, and private lanais. The kimono-style bathrobes, illy espresso and coffee machines, and Bose wireless Bluetooth speakers are nice added touches.

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3. The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort

The recently renovated Westin Hapuna Beach Resort is nestled right on the white sands of Hapuna Beach on the stunning Kohala Coast. With its stunning location and so many unique amenities, it’s easy to forget this place is actually part of a chain.

You’ll be greeted with a glass of refreshing tropical juice and a cold towel. Step inside your newly renovated room and you’ll find the hotel’s signature Heavenly beds, spacious workstations and sitting areas, and private lanais with chaise lounges. You’ll love the luxurious ensuites, which boast rain showers, separate soaking tubs, and enclosed Japanese-style toilets.

Take advantage of all of the hotel’s cool features and play a round of golf on the Arnold Palmer-designed 18-hole golf course, splash around in one of the two outdoor pools and hot tubs, or keep up with your workout routine with the fully outfitted fitness and CrossFit center.  

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, you can grab a cup of Kona coffee at Piko Coffee+Bar, fill up on a poolside breakfast at Ikena Landing, or grab a casual lunch at Naupaka Beach Grill. But the hotel’s real standout is the Mediterranean restaurant, Meridia. Sample the restaurant’s excellent locally sourced dishes, including Big Island wild boar ragu and wild ahi crudo.  

4. Holualoa Inn

Best Big Island Hotels: Holualoa Inn
Photos: Holualoa Inn

If big hotel chains aren’t your thing, Holualoa Inn might just be the perfect pick. Tucked away on a coffee and fruit orchard on the west coast, this is arguably one of the most unique hotels on the Big Island. This two-story wooden bungalow only has six rooms, so expect to feel right at  home during your stay. 

The inn is located in the art-centric town of Holualoa and is just 15 minutes from Kailua-Kona. This is the perfect choice if you plan to tour some of Kona’s coffee farms. Each room is completely unique but all are adorned with beautiful wood furnishings, original artwork, and meticulously curated decor. 

Wake up in the mornings to a lavish gourmet breakfast prepared with estate-grown ingredients and served with award-winning estate-grown Kona coffee! After you’ve had your fill, explore the 30-acre property, where you’ll find lushly landscaped gardens, a lovely pool and hot tub, and a rooftop gazebo with endless views of the Pacific Ocean.

5. Hilton Waikoloa Village

If you’re looking for a resort that has absolutely everything you need, look no further than the Hilton Waikoloa Village. With eight bars and restaurants and endless things to keep you entertained, you can easily spend a week or two here without ever leaving the premises. Plus, there are tons of kid-friendly amenities if you’re traveling with your little ones. 

You can spend your days splashing around in one of the three massive pools, sliding down the 150-foot waterslide, or golfing at the famous Kings Golf Course at Waikoloa or the Beach Golf Course Waikoloa. Animal lovers will love the flocks of free-roaming birds, the green turtle-filled lagoon, and the dolphin training and swim sessions. 

When it comes to food and drink, you’ll be spoiled for choice. You can fuel up for the day at Big Island Breakfast, snack on light bites in the afternoon at Lagoon Grill, and get your caffeine fix at Waikoloa Coffee. Be sure to have at least one family dinner at Nui Italian, which serves up classic Italian fare with a Hawaiian twist. 

At the end of an adventure-filled day, you’ll love unwinding in the modern rooms. Rooms and suites are all outfitted with Hawaiian-style decor, private lanais, and views of either the ocean, garden, or mountains. The mini-fridges, coffee makers, and bathrobes are much-appreciated extra touches. 

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6. Lava Lava Beach Club

If you’ve always dreamed of staying in a bungalow on the beach, the Lava Lava Beach Club is the perfect pick. The intimate hotel boasts four adorable cottages nestled right on the shores of popular

Anaeho’omalu (A-Bay)! You can literally fall asleep to the sound of waves lapping against the shore. 

Each cottage is exactly the same and boasts beach-chic decor, ultra-comfy beds, and kitchenettes with microwaves, refrigerators, and dishware. You can shower under the stars in the outdoor rock shower, chill out on the private ocean-facing lanai, and get up in the mornings and walk directly out into the ocean. 

While the hotel doesn’t have your average amenities, the beachfront location more than makes up for it. If you want to go out and explore the area, the hotel offers complimentary bicycle and SUP rentals.

You can enjoy meals at the hotel’s restaurant, which is popular with guests and locals alike. The casual restaurant specializes in locally sourced, beach-to-table cuisine. Think poke nachos, Hukilau chowder, and coconut shrimp. 

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7. Fairmont Orchid

Located on the west side of the island, Fairmont Orchid is a quintessential Hawaiian resort. It’s the perfect spot to forget about normal life and just relax. Plus, Kona Airport is just 30 minutes away so getting to the hotel is a breeze. 

One of the coolest things about this hotel is that it’s located right on a picture-perfect bay. You can even rent snorkels from the front desk if you want to check out all of the colorful fish swimming right offshore. Or if you want to work on your tan, just plop down on one of the beachfront lounge chairs. 

If you want to spend your vacation relaxing, you can float the day away in one of the pools, get a traditional lomi lomi massage at the spa, or sip tropical drinks at the pool bar. You can also hop on the complimentary shuttle, which can take you to nearby shops, restaurants, and championship golf courses.

You’ll love relaxing in the contemporary rooms. While all of the rooms are nice, it’s well worth splurging on a room on the exclusive Gold Floor. You’ll get excellent perks, including breakfast, afternoon tea, and evening hors d’oeuvres. Plus, the attentive staff will treat you like royalty!

8. Mauna Lani

Best Big Island Hotels: Mauna Lani
Photos: Mauna Lani

There are plenty of reasons visitors flock to Mauna Lani year after year. Located on the Kohala Coast, this is definitely one of the best hotels on the Big Island. The resort was given a $200 million makeover and reopened its doors in 2020 so expect everything to be new and top of the line.

Explore the 32-acre property and you’ll come across ancient Kalahuipua’a fishponds and historic petroglyphs. If you really want to get into the Hawaiian spirit, the hotel offers cultural and outdoor experiences like lei making, ukulele lessons, and outrigger canoe excursions.

The resort also happens to boast some of the best restaurants in the area. You can fuel up with Kona coffee and a hearty breakfast at Halani, grab lunch poolside at Surf Shack, and sip some seriously good Mai Tais at HāBar. And CanoeHouse is the perfect pick for oceanfront sunset dinners. 

After dinner, you can unwind in the impossibly stylish rooms. All rooms boast natural decor and fabrics, hardwood accents, and modern Hawaiian aesthetics. All rooms have a private lanai so it’s well worth booking a room with an ocean view!

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9. SCP Hilo Hotel 

If exploring Hawaii National Volcanoes Park is on your to-do list, SCP Hilo Hotel is a great place to base yourself. Not only are all of the park’s attractions just a short drive away but Hilo International Airport is just three miles down the road. 

This family-run hotel is all about celebrating the local culture so expect to find locally sourced goods and Hawaii-centric decor and art around every corner. Plus, for each guest that stays here, the hotel works with the Hawaii Wildlife Fund to remove 2.2 pounds of trash from local beaches!

If that’s not enough, the entire 138-room hotel was recently given a full renovation so everything is brand new. Wander around the grounds and you’ll find an incredible open-air lobby, a palm-tree studded pool deck, and a fully outfitted gym with Peloton bikes. If you’re hungry, head over to the onsite restaurant for locally sourced Hawaiian fare. 

The chic rooms are bathed in white and boast beautiful hardwood floors and headboards, plenty of large windows, and colorful artwork. If you’re looking to truly unplug, book one of the Peaceful Guest Rooms, which are outfitted with special amenities to create a peaceful environment free of digital distractions. 

10. Kohala Suites 

If you’re looking for your home away from home in Hawaii, Kohala Suites is one of the best hotels on the Big Island. The spacious 2-bedroom suites are an ideal option for families who want more privacy than a traditional hotel room gives.

One of the coolest things about this hotel is that you’ll have access to all of the amenities, golf courses, and restaurants at the hotel’s sprawling sister property Hilton Waikoloa Village. Or if you want to spend your days at the hotel you can splash around in the pool, host a barbeque meal at the communal grill stations, or watch the little ones play on the playground. Kohala Suites also boasts tennis courts, a state-of-the-art gym, and a putting green.

With two spacious bedrooms and a living room with a sleeper sofa, the suites can sleep up to six people. You’ll love preparing family meals in the deluxe kitchen, having movie and game nights in the living room, and luxuriating in the ensuite’s extra-deep soaking tub. Plus, kids will be endlessly entertained by the PlayStations in each room!

The hotel is located one mile from Waiulua Bay and Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Kohala Coast. If you do want to explore the sister property, just hop on the complimentary shuttle.

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11. Volcano Village Lodge

Volcano Village Lodge is another great option if you plan on spending a lot of time exploring the amazing Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. With its natural and intimate setting, this charming bed and breakfast is a great alternative to the Big Island’s massive resorts. 

With its koi ponds, waterfalls, and tropical gardens, you’ll be in vacation mode the moment you step foot on this one-of-a-kind property. One look and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the B&Bs five luxurious rooms. You’ll feel like you’re living in a treehouse!

Each room boasts natural wood walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, and private covered lanais with garden views. The fireplaces, mini-fridges, and coffee makers are handy extra touches. If you want to relax after the end of a long day, go for a soak in the outdoor hot tub!

In the mornings, you can fuel up for a hike with the complimentary breakfast. The cook will whip up a different main dish every day – from breakfast burritos to veggie egg casseroles to Hawaiian French toast. And don’t forget the bottomless cup of Kona coffee!

12. Aston Kona by the Sea

As the name implies, Aston Kona by the Sea is perched directly on a wild and rugged stretch of black sand beach in Kailua-Kona. Not only is the airport a mere 13 miles away, but you’ll have easy access to the area’s best coffee farms, snorkeling spots, and oceanfront restaurants. 

When you’re not adventuring around town, you’ll love lounging around the tropical hotel. You can float the day away in the saltwater pool, stargaze from the hot tub, or grill up freshly caught fish on the barbecue. You can also pull up a lounge chair and soak up the sun on the hotel’s manmade beach. 

Whether you’re on a romantic getaway or traveling with the family, you’ll love the spacious suites. You can shop for supplies and whip up gourmet meals in the fully outfitted kitchen, get cozy and have a movie night in the modern living room, or pour a glass of wine and watch the sunset from your private lanai. It’s the perfect way to cap off another amazing day on the Big Island!

That’s it – 12 of the best Big Island hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels on the Big Island? Comment below so we can add them to the list!

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