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Best Hawaii Island for Honeymoon: A Newlywed Guide to Paradise

From The
Blog

Updated: May 1, 2024

The best Hawaiian island for a honeymoon is the one that fits how you and your partner enjoy spending your time—just the two of you.

In this guide, we give you the insider’s view of each island and highlight the best resorts and hotels. Whether you want to relax in the lap of luxury, tackle a mountain, or take surfing lessons, our Pacific Ocean paradise has something for every couple.

Unwind, Reconnect, and Celebrate Your Love with Aloha

After the public “I dos” are done, you need time alone to unwind, reconnect, and celebrate your love.

And what better way to celebrate than with a Hawaii honeymoon? The scenery is breathtaking, spectacular beaches are everywhere, and aloha (love) is the heartbeat of island life.

What are Your Hawaii Honeymoon Goals?

It is a good idea to sit down as a couple and discuss what you want to do before choosing the island you visit.

  • Relax and unwind
  • Shop and go clubbing
  • Go on excursions and adventures
  • Visit cultural attractions

Do you and your partner want to fully engage in the resort life? Kick back with poolside cocktails, couples’ massages, and five-star dining experiences? Our Hawaii honeymoon resorts will fulfill all your dreams and more.

Or does your idea of bliss and romance include biking down a mountain, hiking through a tropical rainforest, or enjoying the tranquility of a botanical garden? We have you covered there too.

There are many things you can do in Hawaii. Swim with dolphins, take a sunlit cruise, championship golf, take surf lessons, go horseback riding or scuba diving to name a few options.

Before You Go: Planning the Best Hawaiian Island Honeymoon

The average cost of a honeymoon is 5,000 dollars. Expect to spend between $3,500 to $8,500 for a Hawaii honeymoon—or higher for the 5-star resort experience.

The cost will depend on several factors, including whether you stay in a Hawaii honeymoon resort or hotel or book a holiday rental.

Hawaii Honeymoon Cost-Saving Tips

Put your wedding expenses on a travel credit card and build points for your Hawaii honeymoon. Use them to pay for airline tickets and to offset the cost of your accommodations, many of which take Hilton, Marriott, or Hyatt points.

Early booking will also save you money. Waiting until the last minute to reserve your plane tickets or get a room in one of the best Hawaii honeymoon resorts will mean higher prices.

But if there were ever a time to splurge, it is on this once-in-a-lifetime romantic getaway.

Is a Honeymoon Package Worth the Cost?

Luxury honeymoon packages cover expenses, including activities, food, and entertainment. You don’t need to worry about anything. However, the packages are only worth the price if you take advantage of all the perks.

Book in Advance

If you expect to spend a lot of time outside your honeymoon resort or hotel and want more flexibility, plan your itinerary. However, start early, especially for those hard-to-get reservations.

For example, on Maui, there is a seafood restaurant that you will rave about for years to come: Mama’s Fish House. Reservations are hard to come by because the food is that ʻono (delicious). Book a table at least six months ahead of time.

Pick the Best Island for Your Honeymoon

Now that you know the basics, decide where to go. And spoiler alert: there are no bad choices when picking a Hawaiian island for your honeymoon.

Each island has stunning beaches, lush rainforests, endless summer-like weather, and plenty of honeymoon resorts. Each also has unique features and personalities.

In this article, we focus on the five islands popular among honeymooners. We also highlight a few romantic hotels and luxury resorts you might want to check into.

Overall Best Hawaii Island for Honeymoon: Oahu, The Gathering Place

The Best Hawaiian Island for Cultural Enthusiasts and Night Owls

Oahu, home to the world-famous Waikiki Beach, is the most popular honeymoon destination, and for good reason. Oahu has something for everyone.

The Most Diverse Island

In addition to hundreds of miles of white sand beaches, Oahu has the most diversity: a bustling international city and state capital on the south shore, world-class waves and a water-sport paradise on the famous North Shore. Go east and find lush jungles on the windward side or visit rural farms and fishing villages on the leeward side of the island.

If hiking is on your itinerary, Diamond Head State Park is just a stone’s throw from Waikiki Beach. Or grab a bus to Manoa Valley and hike through the rainforest to picnic by waterfalls.

From boat tours and surfing lessons to guided snorkeling, Oahu is the ultimate all-in-one honeymoon destination.

Nightlife, Shopping, and the City Life

If you and your sweetheart like quick access to shopping and a variety of dining options—and don’t mind the crowds—then bustling Honolulu is the perfect location for your Hawaiian honeymoon.

The gentle waves of the oceanfront city are perfect for a couple’s surfing lesson followed by an evening out in one of Honolulu’s many clubs. Spend the next day whale watching and then have a romantic dinner for two on the balcony of your oceanfront suite.

Cultural Hot Spots

If learning about Hawaiian culture and history is on your to-do list, Oahu won’t disappoint. From Pearl Harbor to the Bishop Museum, you can learn about Hawaii’s rich past.

Travel back in time with your partner at the Polynesian Cultural Center—a living museum. Experience traditional games, eat fish cooked on hot rocks, and explore six reconstructed Polynesian villages.

Getting Around

The bus and shuttles are numerous and make transportation on Oahu the easiest. The Waikiki trolly will get you to the Bishop Museum and out to Pearl Harbor. The Polynesian Cultural Center runs a daily shuttle from Honolulu. Ask about shuttle services at your resort or hotel for the other attractions you want to see.

Where to Stay: Oahu

  • The Royal Hawaiian

Stay at the famous pink palace, the Royal Hawaiian, and spend your honeymoon in the big city. The romantic hotel includes charming ocean-view suites, a private beach for guests, and over 60 shops, spas, and restaurants next to the property.

Inspired by silent-film star Rudolph Valentino—the original Hollywood sex symbol nicknamed the Latin Lover— the 528-room luxury resort oozes romance.

  • Moana Surf Rider

Another iconic hot spot for honeymooners is the Moana Surfrider on Waikiki Beach. Book an oceanfront room in the Victorian-style resort and spa and you are a short walk away from everything downtown Honolulu has to offer.

Enjoy afternoon tea on the veranda for a combination of nostalgia and elegance. After dinner, grab a cocktail at the poolside bar and listen to local musicians play Hawaiian classics as you watch the sunset.

  • Turtle Bay Resort

Leave the city behind with a short drive to Oahu’s North Shore and stay at Turtle Bay Resort. Plan a cozy beach picnic for two on one of the many secluded white sand beaches.

If you are an avid golfer, the resort has two golf courses. Reserve an oceanfront villa and relax on your private lanai after you play a round of 18.

Hawaii, The Big Island

The Best Hawaiian Island for Explorers

The largest of the island chain, the Big Island has two active volcanoes. If Pele is in the mood, you can view a molten lava flow.

Hawaii has a unique beauty. Volcanic activity is the major feature of the Big Island, with starker landscapes on the leeward side and less of the lush tropical forest you get on the older islands—although rainforests are there if you want to venture out of your resort and go ziplining through the trees.

Unique Opportunities

If taking a tour through the Volcanoes National Park is not enough for your inner explorer, the Big Island has many unique activities to experience.

Spend the day at Punaluʻu, one of Hawaii’s famous black sand beaches created by volcanic sand. You might choose to stargaze from the Mana Loa observatory, swim with dolphins, explore by horseback, or hike through lava tubes.

If you are lucky and plan, watch some of the best hula dancing in the Pacific at the Merrie Monarch Festival in April. There are many free shows at local resorts and hotels during the festival.

Where to Stay: Big Island

Some of the best honeymoon resorts and hotels are on the dryer Kona side of the island or along the Kohala coast. A rain shadow from the mountains almost guarantees idyllic weather.

Rent a car to explore Hilo on the other side of the island and experience more of the island than your hotel or resort excursions can offer.

  • Four Seasons Resort Hualālai

Nestled between the black lava of the Hualālai volcano and Wailea Beach, the Four Seasons Resort is an oasis of luxury. There is an adults-only wing and a swimmable aquarium.

  • The Mauna Lanai

If relaxing and learning about Hawaiian culture is on your to-do list, down the road is the Mauna Lanai. The hotel includes a living culture team who educate visitors about the Islands through story and song, and other interactive and educational activities.

Maui, The Valley Isle

The Best Hawaiian Island for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The second largest island in the chain, Maui has the most diversity of climate and landscape. The many resorts and hotels throughout the island make it a popular honeymoon destination.

The Two Sides of Maui

A lush valley separates West and East Maui, with the towering Haleakalā, tropical rainforest, stunning waterfalls, and small towns dominating the east. Head to West Maui and you will find a vibrant nightlife and shopping in the larger towns of Kaanapali and Lahaina.

East Maui: An Adventurer’s Paradise

East Maui has a laid-back vibe with small towns like oceanside Paia, and Hana, or upcountry ranch towns like Makawao or Kaupo.

Hike through the Haleakalā Crater or watch the sunrise in the morning before biking the 6,500-foot descent. Go windsurfing and hang out on Baldwin Beach—a local favorite on Maui’s north shore.

Eat breakfast upcountry and then take the scenic drive on the Road to Hana, stopping to hike verdant rainforest trails that lead to stunning waterfalls.

Where to Stay: Maui

Many Maui honeymoon resorts and hotels are conveniently located in South Maui near Kihei or on the western shore near Lahaina. However, adventuring couples looking to explore more of Maui’s outdoor experiences may want to rent a car or jeep.

  • Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa

With miles of white sand for romantic walks, the Sheraton Maui on Kaʻanapali Beach is something special. Perched atop an oceanfront cliff on one side and a white sand beach on the other, you’ll be able to watch the sunset with one of the best views in Hawaii. Built on 23-acres, there is much to explore.

Backing the famous Pu’u Keka’a (Black Rock), watch the lele kawa (cliff diving) ritual each night and learn about Maui’s rich culture. Spend your day with the islandʻs best snorkeling spot or spend an afternoon being pampered in the spa.

  • Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea

You and your partner may find it hard to venture out from the luxurious Four Seasons Resort. The resort has indoor and outdoor golf, an onsite spa, and numerous dining options, including a Spago.

Fans of HBOʻs White Lotus will recognize the resort from the television series.

  • Hotel Wailea

The adults-only oasis takes romance seriously. Feast on locally sourced seasonal ingredients under a canopy of avocado and mango trees in the Treehouse oceanfront restaurant. Or relax with a massage in your ocean-view suite after a day of wellness classes.

You might not want to venture out from the 15-acre property, which includes tropical gardens, onsite waterfalls, and a golf course. But if you do, ask the concierge about a sunset cruise or a surf safari.

  • Hana Maui Resort

The Hana Maui Resort is a good choice for an off-the-grid Maui honeymoon. Book a room without TV or wi-fi and spend time bonding with your partner in one of the most romantic settings in the world.

Lāna’i, The Pineapple Island

The Best Hawaiian Island for Luxury and Wellness-Seekers

Once the largest pineapple plantation after James Dole purchased the tiny island in 1922, Lanaʻi is now a honeymooner’s paradise with two four seasons resorts. It is private, remote, and a center of tranquility.

A Remote Paradise

If you leave your resort, there are many things to do on the sparsely populated island, but you may need to rent a 4-wheel drive. There are only three paved roads on the island.

Hike the 12-mile roundtrip Munro Trail, visit Pu‘upehe (Sweetheart Rock), go snorkeling in Hulopoʻe Bay—or for archeology buffs, view the petroglyphs at Kukui Point.

Where to Stay: Lanai

  • Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort 

Sensei is the ultimate post-wedding retreat. Focused on wellness, the adults-only resort offers meditation, exercise classes, and massage. There is even a yoga pavilion.

Imagine a romantic dinner for two on your private lanai or nourishing your body and soul at Nobu, surrounded by nature and a reflecting pool.

  • The Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Perhaps the most luxurious of the Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii, the Lanai resort has it all: Lagoon-style swimming pools, a world class golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, a tennis court, and a spa to name a few of the many amenities. Spoil yourself and book a specialty suite with an oceanfront view and a personal concierge.

Kauai, The Garden Isle

The Best Hawaiian Island for Nature Lovers and Ecotourists

The oldest island in the Hawaiian chain, a Kauai honeymoon may feel like your own personal Eden. With a wetter climate, cascading waterfalls, and rich inland forests, spending your honeymoon on Kauai might lull you into thinking you are the first couple to fall in love.

Kauai is the best island for nature lovers. The lush overgrown rainforest is home to unique flora and fauna. Take a trip out to Kōkeʻe State Park at sunrise to listen to a choir of birdsong and hike the stunning landscape.

Tropical Gardens and Underwater Cathedrals

The garden island also hosts two impressive botanical gardens. But if you prefer adventure, go zip-lining through a jungle, horseback riding, or mountain biking. Scuba divers can explore the shipwrecks and underwater caves in Hanalei Bay.

Beach lovers can head over to the south shore and Poʻipūʻs white sand beach for a day of relaxing in the warm sun.

Where to Stay: Kauai

  • 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

The eco-friendly hotel is committed to a carbon-neutral approach. That does not mean they skimp on luxury. Equipped with an adult-only infinity pool and wellness spa, the hotel offers a sweetheart package, which includes a couples massage.

  • The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort

If you want a resort experience, the Grand Hyatt Kauai on the sunny south shore will pamper the newlywed couple. In addition to onsite gardens, swimming pools, a spa, and dining facilities, the resort includes tennis courts and a golf course.

Choose More Than One Hawaiian Honeymoon Island

Perhaps the best Hawaii island for a honeymoon is not one, but two. Transportation between islands is quick and easy. If more than one of the islands’ features appeals to you and your partner, pick both.

However, if you are still stuck on your decision, here are a few comparisons.

Is Kauai or Lanai Better for a Luxury Honeymoon?

On any of the Hawaiian Islands you’ll find luxury hotels that cater to your every need. But Lanai and Kauai include accommodations with one special element: tranquility in nature.

If you want to spend more time outside of your accommodation, then a Kauai honeymoon is best. For sheer luxury, book a Four Seasons Resort on Lanai.

Is the Big Island Better Than Maui for Activities?

If you don’t plan on spending all your time at your romantic hotel or luxury resort and take advantage of the many outdoor activities when you visit Hawaii, then the Big Island or Maui offer the best honeymoon destinations.

Both islands have great hiking trails and volcanoes to explore so it is hard to say which is best island. Windsurfers will prefer Maui, but there is plenty of water sport opportunities on the Big Island. Book time on both islands for the ultimate adventurer’s honeymoon.

Is Oahu or Maui the Most Romantic Island?

For first-time visitors to Hawaii, we recommend Oahu because it offers everything you need, including easy transportation. And what is more romantic that a sunset walk on Waikiki Beach?

However, it is hard to beat the adults-only resort on Maui that caters to newlyweds and has every amenity you could want.

Mix and Match for the Ultimate Hawaiian Honeymoon Experience

Don’t limit yourself to one island when you visit Hawaii for your honeymoon. Mix, match, and divide your time between relaxing and recharging in luxurious resorts before you tackle new adventures together.

This is your time after all—just the two of you reconnecting after the stress and hustle of your wedding. Planning ahead will ensure that it is time well spent.

And where else would be better to celebrate love than a tropical paradise that runs on the emotion? Bring your open hearts and we will fill them with aloha and memories that you will cherish for years to come.