Hawaii has earned a reputation for housing some of the most beautiful resorts in the world. And where there are beautiful resorts, there are beautiful pools. However, the luxury resorts in Hawaii have elevated the pool experience to an art form.
We’ve done the extensive research—including traveling to all of the (visitable) Hawaiian Islands—necessary to bring you what we believe are the five best pools in all of Hawaii. It was not an easy list to make, and the research was onerous, but someone had to do it.
Grand Wailea – Maui
The Grand Wailea has what is arguably the best pool in all of Hawaii and the stats are well beyond what one would expect, even for a resort with “Grand” in the name. The Wailea Canyon Activity Pool is a “2,000-foot-long, 25,700-total-square-foot, 770,000-gallon pool” (although using pool, singular, does this water-lover’s paradise a disservice; it is actually nine pools across six levels). After winding your way down the not-so-lazy river—this pool has slides and rapids—you can take the world’s first water elevator (you read that correctly) to get you back to the start!
Grand Hyatt Kauai – Kauai
Lava rock lazy river, waterslides, and a 1.3-acre saltwater lagoon are just a few of the things that put the Grand Hyatt Kauai’s on the list. But, in our humble opinion, those features pale in comparison to sheer lushness of the grounds surrounding the resorts network of pools. We adore spending hours meandering down the river to enjoy the little pools along the way, taking in the warm Kauai sun, and smelling the fragrant flowers that perfume the air.
Four Seasons Resort, Lanai – Lanai
The pool at the ultra-exclusive Four Seasons Resort Lanai was recently remodeled (as was the entire property), and Four Seasons pulled out all of the stops. The lagoon-like pool, which overlooks lovely Hulopoe Bay, boasts an adults-only area with whirlpools and private sanctuaries (reservations recommended). While we are big fans of the tranquil setting, we are even bigger fans of the little treats that attendants often come around with: smoothies, nibbles, cool towels, and Evian spritzes.
Viewfinder Tip: If your trip to Hawaii is going to be all about the pool, make sure to research the pool vibe at the different resorts. While we find them all to be accommodating, some pools definitely cater to specific types of guests.
Halekulani – Oahu
If you haven’t experienced the pool at the “house befitting heaven,” you may be surprised to see it on a list of the best pools in Hawaii. It is not that big, it doesn’t have any crazy features (like that water elevator we mentioned above), and it isn’t even landscaped to mimic a tropical lagoon. But what it lacks in features it makes up for in sheer coolness. Never mind the gorgeous mosaic orchid at the bottom of the pool and the views of iconic Diamond Head in the distance, it’s the international jet-set guests that make this pool a must-experience. But you won’t know that unless you stay at Halekulani because, as they say, “those who know, know Halekulani.”
Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort – Maui
The Andaz brand is known for being chic and sexy, two words that perfectly describe the multi-tiered pool at the Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort. Those are also great way to describe the guests that turn the pool into a bon fide scene. If “scene-y” isn’t your style, the resort offers a second “tranquility” pool experience that is much less see-and-be-seen than the main pool, but no less stylish and luxurious.
And one more honorable mention:
Fairmont Orchid – Hawaii Island
The luxury resort on Hawaii Island is set to undergo a large-scale pool renovation in August 2016. We can’t wait to return after it is completed in September 2016 to see how they improved on an already spectacular pool.
Do you agree with our picks for best pools in Hawaii? Which pools do you think should have made the list?