Big Island hotels
Hotels on the Big Island of Hawaii are as diverse as the island's landscape. If swank digs on a white-sand beach are your fantasy Hawaiian vacation, you'll want to be based on the Kohala Coast, where the high-end luxury resorts, spas, and golf coursesFour Seasons Hualalai, the Mauna Lani, and the Fairmont Orchidhave their prime acreage. If you prefer cooler temps and higher elevations, check into the plantation-style Jacaranda Inn in Waimea or the historic Shipman House B&B in tropical-green Hilo. If you've come to the Big Island to gawk at the active volcano, Kilauea, Kilauea Lodge is within toe-warming distance of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
One tip with all hotels in Hawaii: You'll always pay extra for an ocean view, but a garden room is likely just as close to the beachand a lot less expensive. If falling asleep to the sound of breaking waves appeals, be sure to ask if staying oceanfront will actually provide that. And consider a ground-floor beachfront room if the hotel has patio access via a footpath right to the beach.