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Our current TOP FIVE RESORT and HOTEL Picks in the Hawaiian Islands

NUMBER FIVE: The Sheraton Waikiki

Our family has visited the The Sheraton Waikiki many times, and it’s simply AWESOME! In fact, the first time we visited Oahu, we were lucky enough to stay here. It’s easy to find, the rooms are great, the view is unreal, and you have everything you need. On the “ocean side” is a treat, and simply walk through the lobby to the “street side” and you’re faced with GREAT shopping and dining. Waikiki is so heavenly, and the Sheraton Waikiki, for almost anyone and everyone, is heavenly! You won’t be disappointed!

New Year’s Eve is especially fun, with the balconies, you can watch the firework displays and more!

NUMBER FOUR: The Royal Hawaiian

Want a truly UNIQUE stay? Try the Royal Hawaiian. 

Having stayed at the Sheraton Waikiki many times, the only reason we found this true “GEM” is that we were (unfortunately haha) delayed on our flight home and the Sheraton was booked, but the Royal had a room left. So we packed-up our bags and walked across the street to the Royal (it’s next-door to the Sheraton.) Well, let me tell you, it was amazing. The history and tranquility that exudes from the Royal is a life-experience. So many stars and historical figures have visited the Royal that it’s almost like a history lesson. And we were fortunate to stay here during Christmas. It’s simply breath-taking.

The hand-carved wood doors to each indiviual-ized rooms is amazing. You feel you’re in “old Hawaii.” I compare the Royal to The Drake in Chicago. You wont find this type of grandeur and feeling anywhere!

NUMBER THREE: The Princeville

Where else can you find yourself surrounded with REAL Royalty? While staying here in the 1990’s, we witnessed the KING of a foreign country being escorted through the lobby with rose petals being tossed everywhere! It was truly a life-event. 

And you MUST have Tea overlooking Bali-Hai. This gorgeous resort is on Kauai, which is such a beautiful island. I need to go back! It’s been too long.

NUMBER TWO: The Grand Wailea

OK. Here’s my number two choice - The Grand Wailea on Maui

It’s simply incredible, has EVERYTHING you could ever want, and is situated on the Wailea side of Maui, and if you get an ocean view room, you’ll be treated to the most incredible sun set ever. The sun sits over Molokini, which is a sunken crater that you can take excursions to for snorkeling and diving. We took a day-trip and it was awesome! We used Trilogy Tours and had a simply incredible day. 

The Grand Wailea has an incredible pool and water slide area, GREAT rooms, great food, and the aura of the resort is TRUE HAWAII. When you are dropped-off by your taxi or limo, you will walk into heaven. It’s so unreal. I am trying to remember my first stay here. Having traveled from Indiana during the winter, flying to Vegas and then to Maui, I remember walking up to “Check-In” and being amazed by the view of the ocean and the “out-door” feel. At Christmas, there’s a HUGE gingerbread house display, and the service is 5 star. I can’t say anything bad about this place- really! The greatest thing about staying on the Wailea side is that everyday you awake to the sound of the ocean, you walk along the path to the Wailea trail, and can walk miles along the ocean, crossing all kinds of other world-class resorts. You might even run into a star or two (we saw Clint Eastwood on one of our trips, and saw Paris Hilton at the Shoppes of Wailea. We also passed Prince at the airport!)

NUMBER ONE: Hilton Waikoloa Village

If you wish to experience one of the most AMAZING resort experiences, while experiencing Hawaii at its best, you HAVE to visit the Hilton Waikoloa Village located on Hawaii Island (the Big Island.) We were so fortunate to have been referred to this amazing place by my sister. We visited this resort and the Big Island in 2005, and liked it SO much, we decided to move here! Really! We now live in Waikoloa Village, a short 10 mile drive to one of the most heavenly resorts and areas in the world.

The Hilton Waikoloa Village has it all. I mean this! It’s a HUGE complex that offers tennis, spa, work-out, restaurants, and is nestled next to the very nice Queens’ MarketPlace shopping area, and the Kings’ Shoppes. And it’s only 45 minutes from Kona, 15 minutes from Waikoloa Village, and about 35 minutes from Waimea, home of the world famous Parker Ranch, the world’s largest Cattle Ranch.

And as much as I wish and desired to make this my number one choice, I simply had to rate the Grand Wailea in number one position, mostly due to my emotional ties to visiting and vacation there. But if I’d only visited the Grand Wailea once or twice, the Hilton Waikoloa would definitely rank number one (perhaps in the world!)

One other point- the Queens’ Gardens, if you happen to have the chance to watch a concert here, is simply incredible. It’s within walking distance from the Village (the Village has many concerts also- for example, Styxx is performing here October 11, 2008,) but watching a concert at the Queens’ Gardens is unreal!

Copyright 2012 Chris Anderson Hawaii Trip Report

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