Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Katrina

Photo credit: Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

The island of Hawaii—also known as the Big Island—lives up to its nickname in sheer size. It’s almost twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian islands put together. Otherwise, it’s known for its wide diversity in terrains, from tropical rain forests to lava fields and even polar tundra, at the top of its highest and most famous volcanos, such as Mauna Loa, Maunakea and Kilauea. Come to the Big Island to explore areas such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, to snorkel off the coast, and to live well at the resorts that dot the shoreline. Here are five of the best hotels on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai (72-100 Ka’upulehu Dr.; 808-325-8000) Kailua-Kona

Located along the Kona-Kohala coast of Hawaii Island, this 249-room Four Seasons offers bungalow-style lodging, a spa, golf and a whopping seven pools. Travel+Leisure calls its “understatedly gorgeous and popular with Hollywood celebrities for good reason: the five-star service is impeccable.” A lot of travelers love the grounds, including King’s Pond, a 1.8-million-gallon swimmable “aquarium” with more than 4,000 tropical fish. “The pond with marine life that you can watch while snorkeling is something I have never seen anywhere before,” says a Tripadvisor user. “It is as close as one could get to Heaven.”  >> Book this hotel for less

Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection (68-1400 Mauna Lani Dr.; 808-885-6622) Waimea

This classic resort on 32 oceanfront acres dates back to 1983, and became part of Auberge Resorts in 2018. Travel+Leisure still lists it as one of its World’s Best, adding that “a tropical-modern aesthetic anchors the property now, though the signature restaurant, Canoe House, still has the same iconic views that have made it a favorite for decades.” One Tripadvisor user says, “We did not feel that this hotel catered to a particular type of traveler, but felt very comfortable to all types. It was sophisticated but still relaxed. The location was convenient to many areas of the island.”  >> Book this hotel for less

Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa (69-275 Waikōloa Beach Dr.; 808-886-6789) Waikoloa Beach

Golf is just one big draw at this 297-room, oceanfront hotel that sits between two courses overlooking Anaeho’omalu Bay (or “A-Bay,” to locals). Travel+Leisure describes the hotel’s aesthetic as a “Polynesia-meets-Asia vibe” and adds that “most rooms also have balconies or patios with ocean views. There’s also a sunset luau two times per week, plus a shave ice stand.” One Google reviewer advises that you wear water shoes on the beach, due to the lava rocks, but another says,The beach is also one of the best on the island. It is the only resort on the island to have a white sand beach. Another benefit is how close it is to the airport.”  >> Book this hotel for less

Fairmont Orchid (1 N Kaniku Dr.; 808-885-2000) Waimea

This 540-room Fairmont resort has a lot of diversions beyond just tennis, golf, and a snorkeling-friendly beach: there are six restaurants, a kids club, and a 10,000 square foot oceanfront pool. “This towering hotel offers sweeping Pacific views from almost every one of its rooms and suites,” says Travel+Leisure. “The spa is one of the island’s most impressive, serving up Kona-coffee body scrubs in open-air, oceanfront hales.” One Tripadvisor loves the beach access. “ It had the most fantastic, family friendly beach with a large selection of beach activities, some complimentary for an hour. I cannot say enough about the lagoon, it was great with a ton of fish and turtles to see while snorkeling.”  >> Book this hotel for less

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection (62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr.; 808-882-7222) Waimea

When this 252-room resort on Kauna’oa Beach first opened in 1965, it was the most expensive hotel ever built. “Mauna Kea has maintained its sense of glamour, thanks in part to a 2008 renovation that gave the resort an update without sacrificing its throwback charm,” says Condé Nast Traveler—like the lei upon arrival, clambakes, and luaus. One Google reviewer says, “The hotel is beautiful and the entire place feels intimate. If you happen to stay in one of their beach front rooms you will easily hear the waves crash when you go to sleep at night. It’ll be one of the best sleeps of your life.”  >> Book this hotel for less

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