This grand resort is set in dramatic grounds along half a mile of rocky shoreline on the north Kona coast. Four lodging crescents house 243 stylishly appointed rooms featuring lanais and granite baths, many with soaking tubs, glass-enclosed showers and outdoor lava-rock showers. Avoid less desirable units fronting the snorkeling lagoon (Buildings 1 through 9) and the small palm grove pool (Buildings 26 through 33). The romantic ‘ULU Ocean Grill offers ocean-to-table cuisine, Beach Tree serves California- and Italian-influenced food, and Hualalai Grille presents innovative Hawaiian dishes and steak. The spa (the island’s best) provides alfresco treatments in thatched huts. Amenities include a 15,000-square-foot gym, seven pools, five whirlpools, two oceanside lounges, eight tennis courts, outdoor movie nights for children and a manicured Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. Note that ocean swimming is limited because of sharp close-in reefs.
Lowest Rate: Ocean Golf-View Room, $1,060; Editor’s Choice: Ocean-View Room, $1,320.
In order to offer you the highest level of service, online booking is currently not available. Please call Andrew Harper Travel at (800) 375-4685, or contact the hotel directly, for reservations.