Hawaii

Adults-Only Getaways in Hawaii for a Perfect Romantic Retreat

Hawaii might be fun with the kids, but it's even better when it's just the two of you. Check out these adults-only resort experiences in Hawaii.

A warm breeze tickles my nose, palm trees gently fan their fronds, and the undulating Pacific Ocean rolls to the furthest edges of my gaze. All thoughts of jet lag dissipate in the warmth of the tropical sun and my husband and I step out of our rented convertible at the Fairmont in Maui. A fragrant lei is draped around my neck, a scented cold towel pressed into our palms, and sunset-hued cocktail presented as we checked into our suite. Later, we gaze at the spectacular stars that circled our hotel like a shimmering jewel necklace from our private lanai patio.

It was an adult escape; so imagine my surprise when I saw the hotel atop a “best of” list that declared it a fantastic fit for families. Hawaii can be a bit of a vacation paradox that way: a family-friendly romantic getaway.

Although Hawaii is considered a honeymoon paradise, there’s only one adults-only hotel in the entire state (more on that later). So if you’re staying at even the most deluxe resort, you can still expect to see families at your destination.

This doesn’t mean you have to give up ideas of romance and tranquility or grown-up getaways with friends, you just need to choose the right resort. The properties below offer adults-only pools, sybaritic spas, and sophisticated dining options where you can relax knowing your Hawaiian getaway won’t be ruined by a kiddie hour gone wild.

The Premier Adults-only Resort in Hawaii

The only adults-only resort in the entire state of Hawaii, Hotel Wailea is a romantic sanctuary of luxury on Maui’s south shore. The all-suite property has just 57 rooms set on 15 lush acres fronting the Pacific Ocean; it’s also the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Hawaii, with an extra-elevated level of service and personal attention. The resort is fabulous for a honeymoon and ideal for romantic getaways. Each room is actually a 720 square feet suite that feels like a private beach house, with a spacious lanai (patio) that extends directly from the living room, just right for stargazing or for sipping your morning coffee as the sun peaks over the Pacific.

The restaurants here are also focused on adult-centric experiences with a range of unique dining options. Highlights include the chef’s kitchen with a tasting counter, a garden with a view of the kitchen, and a private tree house for dinners for two, all of which focus on Maui regional ingredients.

An extensive offering of luxury amenities include complimentary Tesla house vehicles to chauffeur you around the local area (if you can tear yourself away from the pool and beach), a 24-hour fitness studio with state-of-the-art Peloton bikes, and daily yoga, aerial silks, and fitness classes all included during your sojourn. And if you’re staying over a weekend, be sure to stop in for complimentary cocktails on Friday evenings and mixology classes on Saturday mornings.

Hotel Wailea

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1390 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Spend Your Days Relaxing by the Adults-Only Pool

The Fairmont Kea Lani is a favorite for romantic getaways and honeymoons thanks to its extensive resort offerings—three glimmering pools, three world-class golf courses (across the street), four fabulous restaurants, and 22 acres of tropical landscape fronting a wondrous white sand beach.

North of here on the Kaanapali coast of Maui, hotels are nestled as close as orchids strung on a lei, but here in South Maui, the Fairmont stands alone on wonderfully wide-open sugar sands of Polo Beach. The pools have plenty of landscaped privacy as well, which is why you can chill at the adults-only pool and never hear a splash from the massive all-ages pool.

Each one-bedroom suite includes a spacious living room, separate master bedroom, and marble bathroom. Mini kitchenettes come with microwave, fridge, and coffee maker, everything you need for an easy breakfast on your private lanai. The resort’s restaurants draw guests from around the area for the fabulous local dishes, especially at the upscale Kō where guests sear ahi tuna on a hot lava rock—a must order when you visit.

Fairmont Kea Lani

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (8203 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Private Island Vibes on Your Adults-Only Getaway

Part of the outer islands that comprise Maui Nui, you can reach Lanai with a scenic 45-minute ferry ride from Maui’s Lahaina dock. The secluded palm-tree fringed island feels a bit like the set of Lost with towering trees surrounded by flowering vines and such a sparse permanent population that there isn’t a traffic light on the entire island.

Instead of crowds of people, you’ll get pods of dolphins swimming in Hulopoe Bay, just in front of the Four Seasons Lanai. Set on a cliff above the turquoise sea, the hotel is an oasis within an oasis with water flowing in streams along flower-lined walkways, tropical birds chattering from behind elegant enclosures, and trickling waterfalls creating a hushed serenade. Secluded rooms filled with high-tech gadgetry (the property is owned by Oracle’s Larry Ellison) open to stunning views of the Pacific and the peak of Haleakala on Maui beyond.

Activities here include horseback rides along the islands ridges and sunset cruises to Put Pehe (Sweetheart) Rock—an iconic outcropping rising 80 feet out of the water. (It’s also an easy and photo-worthy hike from the hotel.)

The adults-only pool is perfect for day lounging; waiters deliver drinks and food at your chair, and provide complimentary delights like frozen fruit skewers throughout the day. For fresh sushi , head to Nobu restaurant—a chic way to round out a scenic day in paradise.

Hotel Four Seasons Resort Lanai

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (224 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.1 / 10
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Escape to a Spa Sanctuary

Located on 50 oceanfront acres overlooking the majestic Keoneloa Bay in sunny Poipu, the Grand Hyatt Kauai is the place to be for an idyllic spa getaway within a fingertip’s reach of glorious beach views. Plus, the spacious guestrooms are reminiscent of Old Hawaii with plantation-style furnishings and private lanais.

The ANARA Spa is infused with a local sense-of-place, including lava-rock showers and thatched-roof treatment huts. Spa packages include everything from deluxe hair treatments to a “Day at Anara,” with pampering that starts with a lilikoi body polish, and includes a massage, facial, lunch, haircut treatment, and pedicure and manicure. The Spa facility also has a myriad of fitness offerings that include Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, meditation, body sculpting, step aerobics, and “beach boot camp”.

Of course, if you’ve come all the way to Kauai, you need to soak up the sun, which is easy to do at the beautiful Shipwreck Beach—a superb stop for watersports. Or a short drive away, check out gentle Poipu Beacha for leisurely swimming. There are also several pools here where you can easily fill a day with water fun, including an all-ages lazy river and a lovely adults-only pool.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (2261 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
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Get Cozy in a Nest for Two

Nestled on the North Kona Coast of the Big Island (also known as Hawaii Island), the Four Seasons Hualalai feels like it was built for romance. Hide away in one of the deluxe bungalows where you can dive into your private pool and have direct access to the beach from your expansive veranda. Or head to the adults-only Palm Grove Pool (one of seven pools at the resort), to cozy up in one of the Couples Nests.

Overlooking the dazzling Pacific Ocean, each private nest includes a customizable mattress, fully stocked minibar, and aromatherapy oils and lotions. The nests also include dedicated staff so you can order from the special cocktails and dining menus anytime you like, all adding up to a perfectly luxurious poolside day. The Palm Grove pool also has live music performances everyday, so you can watch the waves while the music plays.

When evening comes, it’s time for the resort’s Romance Under the Stars dinner. Your table for two awaits in the sand along the water’s edge; sip champagne as the sun sets and then indulge in a four-course meal as the stars twinkle overhead.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (485 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.3 / 10
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Contemporary Urban Luxury on Your Adults-Only Getaway

If you’re looking for a city escape in the middle of your tropical adults-only holiday, head straight to The Modern Honolulu in Waikiki Beach. The hip hotel is located just off bustling Ala Moana Boulevard, an ideal location for an urban vacation.

The Modern has two pools to get your vacation rolling—the serene lower-level Sunrise Pool, for guests of all ages, and the super-trendy rooftop Sunset Pool, where 100 tons of sand create an idyllic hideaway for an adults-only pool where the vibe is an all-day pool party. Keep the party going at the hotel’s nightclub, Addiction, where a DJ spins tunes Thursday through Saturday nights until 3:30 a.m. Recharge at the hotel’s Lather Spa where you can say ‘Aloha’ to aromatherapy treatments to get you ready for dinner at the grown-up Grove Restaurant which has views of the beach to complement the all-day dining menu and frozen coconut mojitos.

Hotel The Modern Honolulu

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (9703 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
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Check Out the Views from the Infinity Pool

The pool is the first thing you’ll want to check out at the Sheraton Waikiki. Called The Edge, the adults-only heated infinity pool feels like it’s floating over the turquoise surf of Waikiki. Float along the warm waters in a sunny yellow beanbag with a signature Frozen Mo’o in hand (a flurry of Bacardi, coconut cream, lime, and mint). Splurge on the in-water lounge chairs or private cabanas to amp up your poolside bliss, although the clear views of Diamond Head Crater from the watery perch are free for everyone.

The views are also impressive from the balconies of the spacious rooms and drinks come with ample opportunities to ogle the ocean at both RumFire, where you can sip umbrella drinks while listening to live music, and the aptly named Edge of Waikiki bar.

Hotel Sheraton Waikiki

8.1 Very good (7645 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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Feature image courtesy of Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash