Boutique Hotels in Hawaii

by Kristina Connover
Hawaii offers a selection of boutique hotels certain to please the most discriminating traveler.

Hawaii offers a selection of boutique hotels certain to please the most discriminating traveler.

Diamonhead View image by Rick Chesler from

From the lush spa setting of an oasis in the heart of Honolulu to the privacy and coastline views offered in a vintage boutique property in Holualoa, visitors seeking an upscale resort experience will find numerous opportunities for discovering diverse boutique hotels in Hawaii sure to please the most discerning traveler.

Aqua Bamboo & Spa

Offering 80 rooms at its downtown property, the understated yet hip Bamboo nonetheless retains the intimacy and charm of old Waikiki. Some studios offer complete kitchens. Check out the small pool and lounge from your lanai or pull up a chaise yourself. Hot stone massages are delivered by expert hands in the spa hale, a standalone room imbued with calm and tranquility. About 10 minutes' walk to the beach, the hotel was once called "one of Wakikiki's hidden gems" by the New York Times. The staff provides complimentary drinks in the lobby at all times. The hotel prides itself on green and sustainable hospitality management practices.

Hotel Renew

Upscale artwork, elegance and a tranquil atmosphere are staples at the Hotel Renew, located in Waikiki. With 72 rooms, the hotel offers complimentary chilled greeting beverage, continental breakfast, Wi-Fi Internet, beach gear and weekly mixers. Decor includes shoji screens and natural rock to enhance a sense of wellness and renewal. Most rooms have lanais; all have air conditioning, platform beds and dimmable track lighting features. Rooms offer several choices of views—Ko'olau Mountain Range, Waikiki city lights or ocean view.

Kona Tiki

All-oceanfront rooms at a reasonable rate make the Kona Tiki a favorite of residents and returning malihini (guests) for generations. Some rooms have kichenettes, while all offer complimentary breakfast and fridges. A taste of old Kona awaits those who check into this hotel, which requires a $350 refundable room deposit. Watch the surf or walk to town. No TVs or phones by design so you can enjoy Hawaii the traditional way—without electronics, although the hotel does offer free Wi-Fi. A pool and barbecue area, lit by tiki torches at night, add to the charm.

Holualoa Inn

Set on 30 acres of coffeelands in an estate setting of upper Kona, this picturesque bed and breakfast boutique hotel offers five luxurious suites that create an appealing alternative to the often impersonal five-star Kohala Coast resorts. Intimate, warm and gracious, the vintage property was once the Kona getaway home of Honolulu Advertiser newspaper mogul Thurston Twigg-Smith. Lovingly restored throughout, including hardwood floors, the Holualoa Inn is decorated with Bali-style furnishings, locally made Hawaiian art and artifacts and antiques. Watch sunset from the rooftop gazebo or play croquet on the lawn, then swim. Full kitchen is provided in case you want to cook in. Chat and get to know other guests in this welcoming setting. There's even a piano. The chef creates homemade breakfast daily from items almost entirely grown on-site, including coffee.

About the Author

Krisitna Connover has been writing professionally since 1987. An award-winning, senior advertising copywriter, she's crafted copy for major clients in Southern California and Hawaii. She's also a features writer for a popular Big Island home magazine and other national titles. She is a Fodor's Hawaii guidebook writer and editor. Connover holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Photo Credits

  • Diamonhead View image by Rick Chesler from