Best Hawaiian Island for Your Honeymoon (plus itinerary & cost)

by | May 5, 2020 | Big Island (Hawaii), Kauai, Maui, Oahu, Planning, Things to Do, What Island?, Where to Stay

Congratulations! You’ve tied the knot and you’ve made the great decision to head to Hawaii for your honeymoon. But what island should you pick? You really can’t go wrong with any island, but there is one that stands apart from the crowd. 

Maui is the best Hawaiian island for a honeymoon. Maui offers luxury resorts, romantic get-aways, reliably sunny weather, and opportunities for outdoor activities. Maui offers a little something for everyone making it the ideal pick for most honeymooners’ wishes. 

But, while Maui is the best choice for most couples on their honeymoon, for some couples one of the neighboring islands will be a better choice: Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, and Hawai’i. Want to make sure you really pick the best island for this once in a lifetime trip? This is how you decide. 

Photo credit: Paradise Photography Maui

The Best Hawaiian Island for a Honeymoon

Hawaii is a popular honeymoon spot. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, 513,154 people honeymooned in Hawaii in 2019 (2% of all visitors). 

So we know Hawaii is a good spot for the honeymoon, but which island is the best?  

Maui is the all-around winner when it comes to the best Hawaiian island to pick for your honeymoon. Why? Because it has an adults-only resort, has beautiful resort areas on the sunny and dry side of the island, has a mix of everything you could want, and offers an easy day trip to another island.

  • The best resorts in the sunniest spots. Chances are, you’ll stay in Wailea or Ka’anapali and these two spots on the island also come with the most sun and the best resort and condo accommodations. 
  • The only adults-only hotel. The kids are great. But on your honeymoon, you may want the quiet tranquility that comes with a kid-free vacation. Because Hawaii is so family-friendly, this can be hard to find. But you have a luxury adults-only hotel on Maui. 
  • It has a mix of everything. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it on Maui. The island has some of the best resorts, a relaxed night scene that’s not too quiet, and memorable outdoor adventures like the Road to Hana and Haleakala. 
  • Lanai is just a boat ride away. If you want to add on a second island, a 60-minute ferry ride will provide a quick escape for a day or two for luxury at the Four Seasons Resort. Enjoy golf, snorkeling, deserted beaches, and romantic solitude. 
Honeymoon Maui Hawaii itinerary

Maui sunsets alone are worth having your Honeymoon here.

 

Where to Stay on a Maui Honeymoon

Once you’ve decided that Maui is right for you, the next question is where do you stay? Maui has no shortage of hotels and you can find something in nearly any price range. These are some of our favorite hotels on the island:

Adults-Only: Hotel Wailea

Everyone loves Hawaii, including families. And while Hawaii is extremely family-friendly, when you’re on a romantic honeymoon you likely don’t want to have enthusiastic kids ruining your relaxing vibe. If that sounds like you, welcome to Hotel Wailea. This adults-only resort is luxurious and is perfect for a romantic honeymoon.

Luxury: The Four Seasons, The Andaz, and Montage Kapalua Bay

Maui has no shortage of luxury resorts, but these three are extra special honeymoon spots:

  • The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea: Every Four Seasons resort is stunning, but this one takes the cake. Located along Wailea beach, it has everything you could hope for: an adults-only pool, amenities like free snorkel rentals and canoe experiences, and exceptional service. 
  • Andaz: Also located in Wailea, the Andaz is a modern and sleek hotel with plenty of secluded areas that make the resort feel less crowded. They have an adults-only pool, a fantastic breakfast buffet, and a shuttle service to the restaurant area in Wailea. 
  • Montage Kapalua Bay: On West Maui just north of Lahaina is Kapalua Bay, one of the best snorkeling spots on the island. This sprawling resort offers one to four-bedroom suites, rather than standard hotel rooms. The sunsets are spectacular, the service is top-notch, and you feel like you have space to roam up here. Plus horseback riding, guided hikes, a world-class golf course, and romantic dining at Kapalua Cliff House make this a perfect honeymoon spot. 

Maui Hawaii Honeymoon Best Hawaiian Island Where to Stay

Affordable Honeymoon Hotels: Kohea Kai Maui or Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

  • Kohea Kai Maui: Just north of the resorts in Wailea you’ll find Kohea Kai. It’s a well-priced hotel with direct beach access and free breakfast served daily. The location makes it easy to explore the island and the lush grounds make evening strolls feel magical. 
  • Ka’anapali Beach Hotel: This hotel is nestled between two hotels that are much more expensive, so you know the location is great. Located right on Ka’anapali Beach and close to Black Rock, this hotel has sprawling grounds and friendly staff. 

Charming Island Inns: Paia Inn and Traavasa Hana

If you want to spend your honeymoon on Maui away from the crowds, these are the two best spots.

  • Paia Inn: Located in the charming surf town of Paia, this inn features tropical and Asian-inspired rooms. This chic hotel puts you on the north side of the island, ideal for exploring the road to Hana or Haleakala.
  • Traavasa Hana: If you want to escape it all, head to Hana. This hotel features 75 private bungalows on 72-acres. The experience is truly immersive and you can spend time exploring the remote area, luxuriating in the spa, and experiencing the quiet side of Maui. 

 

What to Do on a Maui Honeymoon

Once you’ve settled where to stay, it’s on to what to do for your Maui Honeymoon. One of the reasons we picked Maui as the best island for a honeymoon is there is just so much to do. While you will likely spend a lot of time sleeping, relaxing, and recovering from the wedding, you may also want to get out and explore all the island has to offer. 

Some of the most popular (and most spectacular) things to do on Maui include:

  • Driving the Road to Hana
  • Visiting Haleakala for sunrise or sunset
  • Snorkeling with tropical fish and turtles (read: The Best Hawaiian Island for Snorkeling (with snorkel spots)
  • Whale watching between mid-December and late March
  • Exploring upcountry Maui, including MauiWine, Makawao Town, the Ali’i Kula lavender farm, and Surfing Goat Dairy
  • Snorkel the 450-acre Olowalu reef
  • Get lunch or dinner in the historic town of Lahaina 
  • Spend an evening at Old Lahaina Luau or Feast at Lele (read: which luau is right for you)

Honeymoon Hawaii things to do itinerary

 

Some of our favorite, quiet beaches on Maui that are perfect for a honeymoon include:

  • Kua’u cove north of Paia Town (and an excellent spot to view turtles)
  • Ho’okipa Beach Park north of Paia Town
  • Kahekili (Airport) Beach Park in Ka’anapali (great snorkeling and significantly less crowded than Ka’anapali beach)
  • Kapalua Bay
  • Secret Beach, located close to Makena Beach
  • Maluaka Beach in Wailea

 

Want to climb a mountain? Our favorite hikes on Maui that are perfect for a honeymoon include:

  • Kapalua Coastal Trail
  • Waihee Ridge Trail
  • Lahaina Pali Trail (great for whale watching during the winter)
  • Makawao Forest Reserve

Best Hawaiian Island Maui Honeymoon

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When to Consider Other Islands for Your Honeymoon:

We admit that Maui might not be the dream destination for everyone. If you’re not sold on Maui, there are other islands you should consider. 

Kauai: Best for the Most Secluded Honeymoon

While Maui is the overall winner when it comes to a Hawaiian honeymoon, it doesn’t necessarily win in every single situation. Kauai is the most romantic island for your honeymoon as it’s the most secluded and quiet island. 

Head to the Garden Isle for secluded, untouched, Hawaiian wilderness, tropical jungles, and great hiking. 

kauai honeymoon na pali coast sunset cruise

Kauai’s rugged Na Pali Coast is best viewed via a sunset cruise.

While you’re there, set sail on a romantic Na Pali Coast sunset cruise and enjoy the stunning scenery. Tour Waimea Canyon State Park, aptly named the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. And enjoy the beach at Hanalei Bay. 

 

Drawbacks to consider before planning your Kauai honeymoon:

The island is called the Garden Isle for a reason. Kauai is the wettest island, so depending on when you go, you run the risk of getting some rain. 

In fact, unlike Maui where the nicest resorts are on the sunniest side of the island, the resort area on Kauai (Princeville) is on the north shore of the island, where you’ll get windward rain and big surf during the winter. This makes this a less than ideal spot for snorkeling and swimming during the winter. 

If you’d prefer to happily trade a higher chance of rain for the tropical scenery on the island, we have some suggestions on where to stay:

  • Princeville Resort: a luxury spot on a secluded cove. It’s close to charming Hanalei town with it’s picture-perfect Hanalei Bay. 
  • The Palmwood: This secluded 5-acre estate hosts a B&B in the Moloa’a hills of the north shore Kauai.
  • Grand Hyatt: Located on the sunny side of the island in Poipu, this hotel has a luau two times per week. 

Hawaiian island honeymoon kauai

A sunset from Kauai’s north shore.

 

Big Island of Hawai’i: Best for an Adventurous Honeymoon

If lounging around a resort isn’t your thing, the big island of Hawaii might be your best bet. With 10-climate zones, the island has a lot to explore. Stay on the Kailua-Kona side (for the sun) and rent a car to explore the island. 

See the desserts on the Kohala Coast, a rainforest in Hilo, and the snow-capped mountains of Mauna Kea volcano. Take a tour of the observatories, go stargazing, swim in waterfalls, snorkel with manta rays, and hike through Volcanoes National Park. 

Plan one perfect day in Hilo with our itinerary

Note: Kilauea volcano is not currently erupting but always check for updates here.

If that sounds like your dream honeymoon, we suggest checking out one of these resorts for your stay: 

  • Four Seasons Resort Hualalai: enjoy hula classes, lei making, picture-perfect lawns, six swimming pools, and a self-contained five-star resort.
  • Holualoa Inn: Nestled in the hills above Kailua Kona is this B&B, spread out over a sprawling 30 acres. 
  • Mauna Kea Beach Hotel: Located along Kauna‘oa Bay on the Kohala coast, this five-star resort has plenty of activities on-site, including tennis courts and a golf course. 

Oahu: Best for a Cosmopolitan Honeymoon

If a quiet island isn’t quite your style, head to Oahu. Not only will you have gorgeous beaches and stunning mountains, but you’ll also have nightlife you won’t find on any other island. Check out our five day Oahu itinerary to visit all of the best spots. 

If you’re looking for romantic hotels right in the middle of it all (Waikiki), head to:

  • The Royal Hawaiian: This iconic hotel is smack-dab in the middle of Waikiki, so you’re certain to be in the middle of it all. It’s been featured in movies, frequented by movie stars, and features architecture from the 1920s with modern updates. 
  • Turtle Bay: Possibly our favorite hotel in all of Hawaii, this resort offers sprawling amenities on the North Shore and everything you could need all at your fingertips. Horseback riding, snorkeling, golf, excellent food, and picturesque sunsets.
  • Four Seasons at KoOlina: A spectacular hotel on the leeward side of Oahu, you’ll find fewer crowds than in Waikiki and more reliable weather than the North Shore of Oahu. Plus, the Four Seasons service is hard to beat. 
Hawaii Oahu Honeymoon itinerary

Erica on our balcony at the Turtle Bay Resort. Every room gets a view of the ocean.

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Hawaii Honeymoon Itineraries

If you decide to head to Maui for your honeymoon and stay put on one island, there’s plenty to do — you definitely won’t get bored. Below we outline a luxury honeymoon itinerary on Maui for eight beautiful days. We know that on a honeymoon it’s important to balance relaxation with sightseeing, and in this itinerary, we did just that. 

 

Luxury Maui Honeymoon Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive, check into your hotel, and head to happy hour at Monkeypod Kitchen

Day 2: Grab your snorkeling gear and beach hop, and visit our favorite snorkeling spots

Day 3: Resort day (because you’re recovering after a wedding!) and dinner at Mama’s Fish House

Day 4: Lunch at Hali’imaile General Store, Upcountry, Haleakala sunset, and dinner at 

Day 5: Half-day snorkel boat and explore Lahaina

Day 6: Road to Hana

Day 7: Resort and spa day

Day 8: Leave and promise to return again someday!

You can get the full 8-day Maui honeymoon itinerary (with the need to know details) here

The Cost to Honeymoon in Hawaii

Assuming your honeymoon funds aren’t infinite, there will be a point where you need to consider the cost of a honeymoon in Hawaii. Is it within your budget? 

Don’t worry, we’ve crunched the numbers for you. Previously, we estimated that a one-week trip to Maui for two people would cost $5,120. 

But what about a more luxurious honeymoon? The average length of a honeymoon is eight days, so we’ll use that to estimate. 

Flight$1,200 round trip ($600 per person)
Hotel$3,500 for seven nights ($500 per night, including resort costs and parking)
Food and drink $1,800 (this includes a generous budget for poolside drinks)
Luau$250 (be sure to book a good one)
Snorkel trip$220 (or rent your own set of snorkeling gear and visit the best spots)
Total$7,370

 

How does that compare to the cost of honeymooning elsewhere? Hawaii isn’t cheap. The average couple spends $4,466 on their honeymoon and luxury honeymooners spend an average of $9,954. 

Hawaii is a luxury honeymoon destination and one of the most popular places couples opt for. Costs may be high, but they are in line with other luxury honeymoon spots. And when you get sunsets like this, it  might just be worth it:

 

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Erica Gellerman

Erica Gellerman

Author

I'm the co-founder, with my husband Jordan, of The Hawaii Vacation Guide. We live on Maui with our toddler Henry and our sweet but quirky dog Hattie. You will most likely find me on the water on a SUP or swimming in the waves.

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