Hotel concierges often have the best insider tips for exploring the islands, from secluded romantic restaurants to family-friendly activities. Here we talk to experienced concierges to find out what to do and see during your next tropical vacation.
Wailea Beach Villas, Maui
Tracy Dill, the concierge manager at the Wailea Beach Villas, knows Maui — he's worked as a concierge on the island for more than a decade. There's just one hitch for Dill when it comes to island itineraries: "There are so many wonderful things to do and places to eat on Maui, [it's] difficult to narrow them down."
Guests can start with the snorkel trip to Molokini and Turtle Town with Maui Classic Charters to see the island's last lava flows and sea caves — plus, Dill said, Turtle Town will definitely live up to its name. "You are guaranteed to snorkel with the turtles."
For a not-too-touristy experience, Wailea Beach Villas has its own personal guide on staff, offering guests private surf lessons, stand-up paddle board lessons or hikes through Maui's rain forest. 866.901.5207; www.waileabeachvillas.com
Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
Fairmont Orchid concierge Gerald Farm gives guests the lowdown when it comes to what's
up on the Big Island.
For a family affair, try snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay or an outrigger canoe ride, which "really makes people feel like they are doing something authentically local," said Farm.
Sign up for a historic hike with the hotel's talented team of local tour guides and explore ancient fishponds, caves and the Puako Petroglyph Preserve.
When it's time for dinner, Norio's Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar serves up a variety of fresh sushi, sashimi and other Japanese delicacies at the Fairmont. "I love the more traditional style of cuisine that Chef Norio Yamamoto offers," Farm said. 808.885.2000; www.fairmont.com/orchid
Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay
Longtime Four Seasons concierge Pamela Haban has plenty of to-dos for Lanai guests.
"I truly enjoy renting a jeep and exploring the island," she said. "Driving through the former pineapple fields and coming upon the Garden of the Gods is truly an amazing sight."
For romance Lanai-style, try a couple's massage in a private cabana overlooking Hulopoe Bay just before sunset, followed by a romantic dinner with panoramic views of the Pacific. "Couples have their own private server and can add elements such as a musical playlist of their favorite songs, a solo guitarist, hula dancer and more to complete the evening," said Haban.
The Four Seasons only offers one of these special dinners per night, so it's best to book in advance. 808.565.2000; www.fourseasons.com/manelebay
Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach
From surfing to nature walks, Outrigger concierge Ritsuko Tsunashima-Kukonu keeps families busy during a trip to Oahu.
Get schooled in authentic Hawaiiana with a hula or surf lesson, or sign up for one of Outrigger's lei-making classes. "The instructors explain about history and background [of lei-making]," said Tsunashima-Kukonu. "We use dendrobium orchids, which are safe to handle, especially for kids."
For a little romance, the resort offers a free — yes, free — vow renewal ceremony on Waikiki Beach. 800.442.7304; www.outriggerwaikikihotel.com