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Hawaii – a guide of where to stay on the islands

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Hawaii is the most recent of the USA’s 50 states and is the only state made up of only islands. Hawaii has eight main islands which are located in the Pacific Ocean. The Hawaiian word ‘Aloha’ is said for hello and goodbye here, so get ready to hear it a lot. Each island has luxury hotels and resorts, especially Lanai Island, mid range hotels, honeymoon suites and family friendly hotels and resorts complete with spas.

Brandon Hughes

My Destination local expert on


Big island (Hawaii Island)


The largest of the main chain of eight islands, Hawaii Island is referred to as Big Island so as not to confuse it with the state of Hawaii as a whole. Here you’ll find Volcano National Park, Hawaii’s only World Heritage Site along with black sand beaches and macadamia nut farms. There are many places to stay in the towns on the island, which are not large enough to be called cities. There are mainly reasonably prices hotels and of course some large and beautiful resorts with a price tag to match.



O’ahu is home to the state’s capital, Honolulu, which is the most populous city in the state. Pearl Harbor also resides on this island, on the south side where you will also find the Arizona memorial honouring those who died in World War II. Hawaii’s surf capital is also on this island, North Shore where world class waves are continuously found. There is a vast amount of sleeping options here, especially in Honolulu. Outside of the capital, there are few hotels. There are also places for longer stays of up to a month or more.




Kauai is the least populated island out of the main five. Its stunning natural beauty of canyons, valleys and waterfalls attracts keen walkers while its glorious beaches are perfect for snorkelling. Kaua’i is the home of Waimea Canyon which is the best natural site on the island offering sprawling views of the islands interior. The old towns of Koloa on the south of the island are the best places to stay.


Kappaa is a historic town in East Kauai where there is a wide range of accommodation. Stay here for beaches galore and lush scenery. Most places are resorts, which will vary in price according to what you want.




Lana’i is known as the ‘Luxury Island’, or ‘Pineapple Island’ for its pineapple and sugarcane history. The island has a few world top resorts only a short distance away from Maui Island. Here you’ll find great diving and snorkelling locations. Bill Gates rented the island for his wedding. James Dole of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company built the first hotel in 1923 and it remained the only hotel until 1990.


The two chain resort hotels are built on the pineapple plantations. The resorts each have a golf course , ‘The Challenge at Manele’ (where Bill Gates was married) and ‘The Experience at Koele’, designed by Greg Norman. Rooms and suits have views over Hulop’e Beach where there is world class snorkelling. Stay here for the ultimate in luxury for weddings and honeymoons.




Is the island that is most associated with Hawaii, it is an idyllic paradise island where honeymoons, weddings and luxurious escapes are part and parcel of the island. Known as the ‘Valley Isle’, serene beaches adorn this quiet and undeveloped island. There is also Haleakala National Park here with volcanoes and black sand beaches. Another beautiful island for honeymoons and weddings, here you’ll find more huge highly rated resorts full of everything from spas to pools and secret beaches.