Experts' Choice 2018: Hawaii wins Best Beach Destination

We're pleased to announce that the winner of our inaugural Experts' Choice Award for best beach destination is Hawaii.

February 17, 2018

by Meghan Nayyar

by 24

Our Experts’ Choice awards are are based on recommendations from leading travel media. Winners are determined by taking into account placement in published “best of 2018” lists, as well as the quantity and quality of reviews for hotels, restaurants and attractions.  Hawaii has earned this year’s Best Beach Destination designation.

Coastal Living puts the archipelago “back at the top of the A-list” for 2018 while Islands seconds the motion, saying vacationing in Hawaii is “always a good idea, but it’s an even better one now.” The critics are excited about new and renovated hotels and resorts and keen on rediscovering this classic island destination with its perfect weather and gorgeous beaches.


Kapalua Bay Beach

US News & World Report lists Oahu and Maui among the top five best places to visit in the USA, respectively, and the North Shore of Oahu is featured on National Geographic’s list of Places You Need to Visit in 2018. Kapalua Bay Beach on Maui, treasured for its “wonderfully private feel” and “clear azure waters” is one of Insider’s top picks for Best Beaches to Visit in 2018.

Whether you’re island-hopping or settling in on your favorite beach, an experience of luxury awaits. Nine Hawaii hotels have a TripExpert score of 90+ and more than 50 hotels have a score of 80+. The top 4 hotels are found on Oahu, the Big Island, Kauai, and Maui. Newcomer Four Seasons Oahu is much buzzed about and recently renovated Four Seasons Resort Lanai 89 is an exciting draw this year.

Waikiki, in Oahu’s Honolulu, boasts both TripExpert’s #1 hotel in Hawaii, the Halekulani Hotel 92. Guests of the Halekulani receive complimentary access to Experts’ Choice award-winning attractions like Iolani Palace 90 and the Bishop Museum 84.


Halekulani Hotel

Oahu is also home to Hawaii’s #1 restaurant, Chef Mavro 93 as well as Experts’ Choice winners La Mer and Alan Wong's Restaurant 85Alohilani Resort in Honolulu is a new arrival of Fall 2017, featured on Travel + Leisure’s Hotel Openings to Watch Out for in 2017 for its dazzling centerpiece, “a fantastic Oceanarium in the lobby, which will filter water in directly from the ocean and serve as home to more than 1,000 protected marine life.”

Kauai and the Big Island offer spectacular natural wonders including Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where, if you’re lucky, you may get a glimpse of flowing lava along the ancient, jet-black lava rocks. Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area offers, an Experts’ Choice winner, offers a more rustic way to experience the natural beauty of Hawaii’s beaches with cabins overlooking the ocean.


Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area

Waimea Canyon State Park 87 and the Kauai’s Na Pali Coast feature breathtaking peaks and valleys full of hidden, cascading waterfalls and lush rainforest. Inaccessible by land, the only way to experience these magnificent natural sights are by helicopter tour, an activity well worth its price.

Plan your exploration of our 2018 Experts’ Choice Best Beach Destination for the best hotels, restaurants, and attractions in the Aloha State. We’ve got Hawaii covered from every angle and for every budget.