We love hotels (obviously). But at the same time, it’s really hard for us to pass up villa living when visiting island destinations. For one, renting a private estate means more seclusion and less noisy neighbors disrupting an otherwise peaceful vacation. And, they are unique. You get to stay in a place that was stylishly-designed and unlike any other property around. When scoping out Hawaii’s best villas, it wasn’t very hard to find beautiful estates on every island. But if you’re looking for the most exquisite, luxurious and stunning residences to book on your next holiday, these eight may just be what you’re searching for:
This four-bedroom villa offers 5,000 square feet of space and was designed by Lucky Bennet along Pauoa Beach on the Big Island. Hale Aouli’s expansive, 3,000-square-foot terrace sits across from the 40-foot long, free-form, salt-system swimming pool and waterfalls. Offering a wet bar, stereo system, comfortable seats, fridge and ice-maker, the lanai will most likely be your favorite spot during your stay. The heated pool also includes a Jacuzzi, and both overlook the Pacific Ocean and Maui. Inside, marble floors and countertops are paired with dark hardwoods and blue and brown color schemes. Each room has its own cooling system, but with ceiling fans and plenty of windows and sliding doors welcoming in the breezes, you may not need it. With room for nine guests, the interiors are spacious and elegantly designed with a modern, yet laid-back beachside feel. Included in your rental is light daily housekeeping, security, a manager and complimentary access to the Beach Club located at Mauna Lani Resort.
Nightly Rate: $3,500 to $4,850
KAPALUA HORIZON OF GOLD
Encompassing a private nine-hole golf course with two greens, six tee boxes and four sand bunkers, this property is a golfer’s dream. Kapalua Horizon of Gold is located in the resort community of Plantation Estates/Honolua Ridge at Kapalua in Maui. With four bedrooms and a den, the villa can hold up to 10 guests in its airy, open-plan layout. Marble and rattan decorate its interiors as well as hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors. On its patio are loungers, a BBQ area and al fresco showers, all sitting next to the large swimming pool and Jacuzzi. In the evenings, guests can dine outdoors and watch the sunset vanishing into the Pacific Ocean. If you really love the villa, it is also available for a six-month rental at $30,000 a month.
Nightly Rate: $2,500 to $2,995
JEWEL OF MAUI
Let’s take a minute to pause and gush over that full, two-wall opening that leads out onto the patio. I mean, c’mon! This kind of villa is the stuff dreams are made of; which is probably why they named it the Jewel of Maui. Featured on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, this five-bedroom, five bath (plus two half baths) estate sits beachfront in Kapalua. Designed by celebrity interior designer Steven Cordrey, the home is meant to embody tropical opulence while still complementing its natural surroundings. With 40-foot-high ceilings, the villa is extremely spacious and airy. It also boasts world-class art on its walls. Along with a grand living room, the estate features a media room with a nine-foot projection screen, a 30-foot wraparound sofa, gourmet kitchen, TV/DVD/CD/Digital cable stereo systems in every room, and a private gym. As the owner is a world-renowned artist, the villa is furnished with handcrafted treasures imported from around the globe.
Nightly Rate: $7,000 to $8,950
While Honolulu is one of the busier spots in Hawaii, Banyan House is the perfect villa for those who want to be close enough to the hustle-and-bustle of Waikiki but still far enough away to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep. Located in a cove at the foot of Diamond Head, just off of the famous Kahala Avenue, this luxury retreat boasts seven bedrooms and 8.5 baths across 14,000 square feet of gated space. Banyan House is an architectural masterpiece with fine, chic furnishings decorating each area of the house. Along with the main house’s bedrooms, the villa also includes a one-bedroom guest house. Many bedrooms include terraces and the master suite comes with its own balcony, ocean-view bath tub, walk-in closet and den. Additional amenities include a gym, oceanfront office, game room with pool table, gourmet kitchen, salt water fish tank, grand piano and a floating staircase with coral banisters. Outside along with the pool is a BBQ area, gazebo and Jacuzzi.
Nightly Rate: $7,000 to $10,500
One thing you’ll immediately notice about Thousand Waves is its emphasis on tranquility and a Zen state of mind. The eight-bedroom, 11,000-square-foot villa sits on Kahekili Beach in Maui and features elegant Indonesian design. From soothing lotus ponds to lush gardens and a Chinese pool pavilion, Thousand Waves’ ambiance is serene. Outside, the long swimming pool is bordered by large stones and neighboring palm trees. The home features a two-story retractable wall that opens up the living room out onto the patio with its multiple lanais shelter lounge sets. There is also seating for 20, a BBQ and wet bar. Split evenly between the two floors are the bedrooms, each individually designed and inclusive of en-suite bathrooms and premium fixtures. Downstairs, all guestrooms have direct garden access and upstairs bedrooms have private balconies. The villa can accommodate up to 16 guests.
Nightly Rate: $6,500 to $10,500
HALE PAU HANA
Hale Pau Hana seamlessly brings the outdoors inside. Blurring the line between architecture and nature, the five-bedroom villa features large stone and brick walls decorating its interiors as well as floor-to-ceiling windows and retractable walls. Blending Hawaiian décor and Asian themes, the estate’s three pavilions are connected by open breezeways that wind through elegant gardens and water features. Located on the grounds of the Big Island\’s Mauna Kea Resort, the home sits on a little less than an acre of private land. On the patio, guests can lounge on outdoor furniture, take a swim in the sparkling pool or wade over to the Palapa bar for swim-up bar drinks on submerged lava rock stools. The pool also features a Jacuzzi tucked behind a 15-foot waterfall. Guests also have access to Mauna Kea Resort’s amenities which includes the world-famous Robert Trent Jones golf course (hotel rates apply). Two housekeepers and a manager are included in the rental.
Nightly Rate: $3,500 to $4,000
VILLA LANIKAI ALI\’I
From downstairs, every room of Villa Lanikai Ali’i opens up onto the pool and beach areas through sliding glass doors—which is our first reason for loving this property. Located in Oahu, the residence is decorated with blue marble, hardwood floors, a dining room, salt water aquarium and a grand open kitchen. The five-bedroom villa includes 4.5 en-suite bathrooms and ocean views in every room. Outdoors, the gated property boasts patio furniture, a solar-heated ionized pool, Jacuzzi, BBQ grill and an al fresco shower. Guests are treated to concierge services and villa pre-stocking can be arranged prior to arrival.
Nightly Rate: $3,275 to $6,625
ROYAL BEACH ESTATE
Our last villa pick is the Royal Beach Estate located in Kailua in Honolulu County. The residence is made up of two homes encompassing eight bedrooms that can accommodate up to 14 guests. Built only seven years ago, the residences are separated by a resort-style pool and expansive lanai. Pairing stainless steel appliances with hardwood floors and wall-length windows with granite elements, the villa was clearly designed for discerning guests. In the main house, the two master bedrooms face the ocean and come with deep-soaking tubs in the bathrooms. The gourmet kitchen opens to the living room which faces the lush green countryside to one side and the pool on the other. Sliding glass doors open out onto the patio and second home. The guest house holds a sauna, four suites and a movie theater. From either house, guests can access the beach below. With its umbrella’d lounge chairs and al fresco dining area, this is the perfect house for hosting a party or luau.
Nightly Rate: $6,875 to $10,000