If you are looking for the most unique hotels in Hawaii, you have landed in the right place. In this post, I have hand-picked the most gorgeous and unique places to stay in Hawaii for a unique vacation.
I’ve lived in Maui for the past 5 years and when I travel around I always find new and wonderful experiences. The Hawaiian islands truly never disappoint!
1. Volcano Eco Retreat by Heart Core Hotels (Adults Only) (Big Island)
This Volcano Eco Retreat is number one on the list for a reason! An adults-only hotel, it’s located on the side of Kilauea Volcano, close to Hilo.
Come to this hidden gem for an intimate stay in eco-friendly bungalows, delicious vegan and vegetarian foods, and a break from the hustle and bustle of your regular routine.
Each bungalow has a gorgeous, lush garden view and private veranda.
The bungalows are made of bamboo, and the room layout is intimate and unique. Each room has a fan, flat screen TV, wifi, comfortable bathrobes, and slippers to relax in.
Close to the Volcano National Park, it’s a perfect location to hike the surrounding areas and then come back and relax in the picturesque hot tub.
It’s truly an incredible place to stay and experience the Big Island of Hawaii.
2. The Royal Hawaiian (Oahu)
Located right in the heart of Waikiki, The Royal Hawaiian is the perfect way to step into old Hawaii. The second oldest hotel retains the charm and romance of days gone by.
Not only is it a charming hotel full of character and history, but it’s also in an absolutely fantastic location. The Honolulu Zoo is only a mile away, and the International Market Place is a 5-minute walk.
Enjoy the included fitness center, full-service spa, pool options, and (best of all) on-property bakery!
Learn even more about Hawaii’s history and culture through the daily cultural activities offered to guests.
Of course, you can also enjoy a tropical cocktail at the Mai Tai Bar. There’s nightly entertainment and stunning views of Diamond Head from this bar. The Royal Hawaiian is the best choice for a stay in the past.
The Hotel Wailea, Relais & Châteaux in Maui should be on top of your list for a luxurious stay! This adults-only hotel is on a cliff overlooking Maui’s stunning southern coastline.
You will have a fantastic time with 15 acres of gorgeous landscape to enjoy, spacious suites, luxurious features, and sculpted gardens.
Reserve a fantastic private dining experience in The Treehouse, where you can enjoy a dinner cooked by your owner’s personal chef while looking out over the ocean.
You can also take advantage of the spa and wellness center, the fabulous hot tub, or the spa services. Nothing like a massage in Hawaii to let go of a year’s worth of tension!
A golf course is less than 2 miles away, and there are plenty of yoga classes, snorkeling, hiking, diving, and canoeing activities to enjoy.
You’re guaranteed to have top-rated service and won’t regret spending your vacation at this glorious hotel.
Truly a unique hotel experience, Keola Retreat Luxury Camping is an experience like no other. Disconnect from the world and enter a beautiful jungle retreat!
These domes genuinely do put the “glam” in camping. Each dome is bright and airy, with a window to the outside world. Complete with a queen bed, chairs, and a glorious outdoor fireplace.
The absolute best part? The outdoor, open-air bathtub! Bathe in private under the glittering stars and enjoy the raw beauty prevalent on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Plus, there are plenty of fantastic hiking options nearby!
For an unparalleled experience in the great outdoors (without compromising your sleep or comfort), you can’t do any better than the Keola Retreat.
5. The Laylow, Autograph Collection (Honolulu)
Not only is The Laylow, Autograph Collection high in the heart of downtown Waikiki, but this cute and mid-century modern hotel is bright and comfortable.
It’s one of my favorite unique places to stay in Oahu and is where I go when I visit Honolulu! The airport is only a 20-minute drive away, and you can walk to many different points of interest.
Most importantly, the beds are luxuriously comfortable, and you’re greeted with a cute welcome basket with different amenities.
There’s a heated pool with lounge chairs in the water to soak up the sun.
Diamond Head Crater Hike is less than 3 miles away from this hotel. There are also beautiful beaches, the International Market Place, shops, cafes, and restaurants all seconds away.
However, you don’t have to leave the hotel to get fantastic coffee drinks, cocktails, or a great meal!
The restaurant downstairs has excellent options and a DJ playing music at night.
Take part in the daily cultural activities, learn to make lei, and get free shave ice every afternoon. It’s truly ideal for anyone staying in Honolulu.
6. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay (Kaua’i)
The location is the true piece-de-resistance, as it’s right on the beach and offers fabulous sunset views.
There’s a spacious outdoor swimming pool with a swim-up bar, lush tropical surroundings, and a great fitness facility.
The rooms in this luxury 5-star hotel are large and spacious, and the hotel offers top-rated golf courses, a full-service spa, gourmet dining, and convenient access to various other attractions.
You’re sure to have a fantastic stay, as you’re located right in Princeville, the part of Kauai with the best beaches and stunning views.
7. Noah’s Hideaway Luxury B&B (Maui)
Noah’s Hideaway Luxury B&B is located in Ka’anapali in Maui. Featuring garden views, free wifi, and only a 16-minute walk away from Hanakaoo Beach Park, this B&B is the perfect home away from home.
A unique stay in Maui. What makes a stay here so exceptional is really Fadi, the owner of the Hideaway. His charisma and personality really give the place its particular charm.
Start your day off with a delicious breakfast and a chat with Fadi. Then, spend your day exploring the West side of Maui or lounging by the pool.
This secluded retreat has only two rooms (making it one of the best boutique hotels in Hawaii), so it’s a great way to escape the hustle and bustle.
There’s an onsite spa, wellness center, and outdoor swimming pool. Lounge in the sunshine, eat some delicious food, and get tips from Fadi for the best Maui vacation!
8. Holualoa Inn (Big Island)
One of the most unique places to stay on the Big Island, Holualoa Inn, is a bed and breakfast on a working coffee farm.
Epitomizing the spirit of Aloha, Holualoa Inn is romantic. With gorgeously designed and decorated accommodations (each one unique to itself), you’ll find that the tropical estate offers gorgeous ocean views from every angle.
Ideal for anyone looking for a tranquil escape, this bed and breakfast is aesthetically designed and decorated. Plus, the breakfast that is served every morning is absolutely phenomenal.
The coolest part is that your morning cup of coffee will be 100% estate-brewed Kona coffee. Talk about a treat!
Just a few minutes away from the beaches and activities on the Kona coast, it’s also conveniently located. (Plus, you can email the inn after booking a stay for concierge services).
9. The Surfjack (Honolulu)
The Surfjack in Honolulu is a fantastic place to stay. It is absolutely picturesque and beautiful.
There are photo opportunities around every corner! It’s one of the coolest hotels in Hawaii.
With custom-tile bathroom floors, eclectic artwork, and hand-crafted furniture, each room is unique and intentionally designed.
Featuring an outdoor pool, the Swim Club offers poolside entertainment, cultural activities, and programs.
Mahina & Sun’s is the restaurant downstairs and is a true treat to the palate. With organic ingredients sourced by local farmers, each meal is representative of Hawaii.
The cocktails and coffee are made exclusively for The SurfJack and do not disappoint.
This vibrant hotel is a great place to stay. As a bonus— it’s even dog-friendly!
Peak around the hotel lobby to pet Jack, the hotel dog. (You can follow his adventures on Instagram at @jackthehoteldog!)
10. Montage Kapalua Bay (Maui)
This oceanfront Resort is set in the picturesque Namalu Bay. With 24 acres, residential-style suites, and easy access to the beach, you’ll have the vacation of a lifetime here.
Each suite offers full kitchens, seating areas, and private balconies with stunning views. Enjoy all the comforts of your home and space amidst the beauty of West Maui.
One of the most unique features at the Montage Kapalua Bay is the dining option at the stunning Cliff House. Look out over the water and enjoy a delicious meal with your chef.
Plus, the Montage Kapalua Bay has bicycles available for hire on the property, a fantastic fitness center, and tennis courts.
11. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (Big Island)
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai is a luxury amidst raw nature. A unique experience along the Kona-Kohala Coast, this Resort has swimming areas, five separate dining options, and unparalleled ocean views.
Each room is modern, with Hawaiian-inspired decor and either lush garden views or magnificent seascapes.
Enjoy the soft white sand beaches nearby with calm waters perfect for swimming in, and take advantage of the five-star service.
Each room is spacious and has swoon-worthy beds. What truly makes this Resort stunning is the contrasting views of the black lava rock against the gleaming Pacific Ocean.
The Resort even has a saltwater aquarium pool. There are 5 onsite Marine Biologists with a variety of educational opportunities.
Check out the daily fish feeding (see over 98 different species!) and see the resident eagle ray.
12. Lumeria Maui Educational Retreat Center (Maui)
The Lumeria Maui Educational Retreat Center is located in Upcountry Maui. With yoga classes, meditation and healing arts programs, dance, movement therapies, and more.
The compound for this retreat center was built in 1910. You must enroll in daily classes or participate in a focused retreat group to stay at this retreat center.
There is an onsite restaurant called The Wooden Crate, which serves farm-to-table meals.
Relax and rest in the saltwater pool or hot tub after your classes.
The location of this retreat center is also great— when you’re not taking a class, you can check out Ho’okipa Beach Park and the North Shore, which are both nearby.
13. Volcano Village Lodge (Big Island)
Located in the lush jungles of the Big Island, this Volcano Village Lodge is ten minutes away from Volcanoes National Park.
Each room has a fireplace, kitchenette, and a furnished wood balcony, perfect for enjoying the tropical plants surrounding your space.
It’s only 15 minutes away from Kilauea Volcano (which has an active lava flow!) and offers a delicious breakfast every morning.
This location is perfect for anyone looking for a quiet and relaxing vacation. Plus, it’s a unique and beautiful place to stay on the Hilo side of the Big Island.
14. Cute Off-Grid Glampsite (Honolulu)
Only 5 minutes away from the surf town of Haleiwa, this Off-Grid Glampsite is perfect for anyone who wants to be close to nature without compromising comfort.
Each tent has its own outdoor shower, a comfortable queen-sized bed, and access to electricity. You’ll find them each bright, airy, and absolutely gorgeous.
A stay here won’t feel like any other camping trip you’ve ever been on!
Even in the summertime, guests reported a comfortable temperature. It’s a unique experience in a fantastic part of Oahu that can’t be replicated!
The North Shore has fantastic beaches, local food spots, and plenty of adventures, making this a prime location.
15. Volcano Rainforest Retreat (Big Island)
You can’t do much better than the Volcano Rainforest Retreat for an amazing and unique stay on the Big Island!
This bed and breakfast offers cute cottages with windows overlooking a lush jungle. Each the outdoor hot tub in your own tropical oasis and enjoy Hawaii at your own pace.
The bathhouse has an outdoor shower beside the Japanese four (soaking tub). Use bamboo shades for privacy, and hear the birds sing as you bathe.
Make sure to take advantage of its close proximity to the Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park! The park is a little over 3 miles away.
Plenty of hiking and cycling is nearby, and the Hilo International Airport is only 22 miles away.
Where to Stay in Hawaii
Each island in the Hawaiian chain has something different to offer!
Whether you’re more interested in the big city life, intense Hawaiian adventures, or a relaxing beach vacation, there’s an island ideally suited for you!
Check out the things that make each island unique below.
🏝 The Big Island
Plus, as the biggest island in the archipelago, you’ll always have things to do!
My personal favorite island, Maui, has the best mix of incredible adventures and chill beaches to relax at.
Ever heard of the Road to Hana? This all-day adventure is located on Maui and involves a scenic drive on a twisty road with one-lane bridges around the base of Haleakala (the volcano).
See the island’s dry side with coastal views reminiscent of California, and see the lush jungle side with Maui waterfalls galore all in one day.
Home to the state capital of Honolulu, Oahu is the best bet for anyone wanting a lively vacation.
Oahu is home to fantastic cultural sites (like Diamond Head State Monument, and Iolani Palace) and the gorgeous North Shore.
Some of Hawaii’s most extended stretches of sandy beach exist on Oahu, and this island is renowned for its fabulous surf spots.
Go kayaking, snorkeling, or swimming, surrounded by stunning views and gorgeous mountains.
One of the amazing things to do in Oahu is to visit Waimea Valley and check out Kualoa Ranch to see a stunning filming location (think Jurassic Park)!
Nicknamed the Garden Isle, Kaua’i is full of stunning vistas. The oldest and northernmost island has jagged mountains, cascading waterfalls, and insanely gorgeous cliffs.
A quiet island, it’s perfect for anyone wanting to disconnect from the world or for anyone who is more adventurous. Spend your time exploring or lounging at a beach!
Kaua’i is also home to the magnificent Napali Coast. Take a boat tour to see the cliffs from the water, or get up close and personal while hiking.
The capital city of the state, Honolulu, is located in Oahu. This is the place to go for a vibrant city with excellent shopping, nightlife, and fantastic dining options.
Diamond Head crater looms on the horizon. Check out the historic site of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial.
Go surfing on the famous Waikiki beach, and get a great meal at Duke’s, right on the oceanfront.
Best Things to Do in Hawaii
Of course, a Hawaii vacation is only complete with a trip to the beach. But what else is there to do on your trip? Check out the best things to do in Hawaii below.
👍🏼 Watch a Traditional Hawaiian Luau
A Luau is a traditional Hawaiian party or feast, typically with entertainment. It’s a great way to try out various Hawaiian dishes, see a hula or fire dance, and learn more about the culture that shapes these beautiful islands.
👉🏽 Top Tour: Paradise Cove Luau
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You’ll spend your night eating fantastic food and watching hula dancers and fire twirlers.
Relax to live Hawaiian music and learn the net fishing techniques of ancient Hawaiians and other cultural crafts.
👍🏼 Visit the Pearl Harbor National Memorial
At the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, you’ll learn all about the attack on Pearl Harbor, a pivotal moment in American history. The December 7th, 1941, events led to the US entry into World War II.
👉🏽 Top Tour: Pearl Harbor USS Arizona Memorial
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This tour is a must-do while in Honolulu. Guaranteeing you entry, boat tickets to the USS Arizona, and pick up and drop off from your Waikiki hotel.
Stroll through the visitor’s center, watch a short film, and check out the variety of exhibits. Walk through all the events that happened on the morning of December 7th.
You’ll also get a boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial to see the exhibit galleries.
👍🏼 Go on a Snorkeling Adventure
The emerald-clear waters of Hawaii are perfect for snorkeling. You’ll see many green sea turtles and colorful tropical fish.
👉🏽 Top Tour: Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkeling Adventure
4.5 ⭐️ 1,334 Reviews
Take a boat to Molokini and swim in the sunken crater. You’ll see thousands of fish in crystal clear waters and a vibrant coral reef.
The crescent shape of the crater protects it from currents and wind.
Afterward, you’ll head to a secondary location to hunt for green sea turtles. Watch the honu (Hawaiian for turtle) feed, swim, and get their shells cleaned!
The guides on this tour are knowledgeable and happy to share their experience in the water.
👍🏼 Watch the Manta Rays on the Big Island
Manta rays are such incredible creatures!
The Big Island is the only Hawaiian island where you can swim with and watch Manta rays.
👉🏽 Top Tour: Night Manta Ray Adventure on the Big Island
5.0 ⭐️ 3,194 Reviews
Led by a local guide, you’ll head out on a short cruise to a manta site. From there, you’ll watch the sunset and head into the water to watch the manta rays.
You’ll get light snacks and drinks on board, and all snorkel equipment will be provided.
You’re guaranteed a manta ray sighting, or you can book again for another night at no additional charge.
When is the Best Time to Visit Hawaii?
While Hawaii is temperate and gorgeous all year, different times of year have various perks.
If you’re looking for the overall winner (fewer crowds, great weather, lower rates), April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit Hawaii.
Otherwise, the summer months often see south swells ideal for surfing; during winter, you can see humpback whales.
Frequently Asked Questions
See below the most frequently asked questions (and their answers)!
What Island in Hawaii Has the Most Luxury Hotels?
Maui, the second-largest Hawaiian island, has some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts.
Where Do Most Tourists Stay in Hawaii?
Oahu is the island that sees the most significant number of tourists, with the vast majority staying in Waikiki.
What is the Most Expensive Island in Hawaii?
The most expensive island in Hawaii is Maui, which has a bend towards luxury tourism.
What Island Do Celebrities Go to in Hawaii?
While all the islands in Hawaii see celebrities, you’re most likely to see them on Maui or Oahu.
Which is the Most Beautiful Island in Hawaii?
Each Hawaiian island has a lot of beauty and is stunning in its own right. Still, Kauai has exceptional breathtaking vistas, lush greenery, and jaw-dropping cliffs.
Wrapping Up: Most Unique Hotels in Hawaii
There are so many unique hotels in Hawaii, offering experiences of a lifetime! Whether you want to reconnect with nature in comfort or stay at a gorgeous cottage in the middle of the jungle, each island has a unique hotel to stay.
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