Hollywood Hideouts — Hawaii’s 5 Hot Spots
Only Aspen and St. Barts can rival Hawaii for bragging rights as the biz’s top holiday destination. From a new entrant in the in-crowd sweepstakes to the most established A-list enclave, here are this winter’s favored five.
THE WAIKIKI EDITION
The Place: For pretty much forever, when people asked, “What’s cool in Hawaii?” regular visitors would shrug and shake their heads. Now, they may have an answer. With its Ian Schrager pedigree and beachy-meets-urban vibe, this 353-room hotel looks to be a shoo-in as the islands’ most chic property, six weeks into its debut.
Who Goes: Christina Aguilera (a day after filing her divorce papers), producer Beau Flynn.
The Amenities: Spare, white-on-beige rooms; outdoor movie theater; surf and yoga boot camp.
Insider Tip: The best table at Japanese restaurant Morimoto is the private cabana on the terrace, but some guests prefer to eat from the same menu at the laid-back Sunrise Bar, where you don’t have to dress for dinner. Flynn, now shooting Journey 2: The Mysterious Island on location, dines here weekly.
Rates from $345. 1775 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu, 800-466-9695, editionhotels.com
FOUR SEASONS MAUI AT WAILEA
The Place: This 380-room hotel has long been the ultimate power-player getaway on the islands, as immortalized in “Cabana Wars,” a 2003 essay by Gigi Levangie Grazer, who painted a picture of Hollywood VIPs competing in cutthroat fashion to secure the choice poolside chaises. Regulars know that, while cabana competition waxes and wanes, gold-standard service and a gorgeous ocean-facing setting make for “pure paradise,” says The Little Couple exec producer Ruth Rivin.
Who Goes: Steve Tisch, Kanye West, Steve Levitan (who set the first-season finale of Modern
The Amenities: A 21,000-square-foot spa with thatched massage huts; Hawaiian healing garden.
Insider Tip: A new adults-only pool (with underwater music) has increased the number of available chaises, but you still have to show up at 8 a.m. to nab one. In years past, a number of head honchos were rumored to have sent their nannies out at dawn to lock down a few, but a new, easier way is to pay for one of six champagne-stocked, HD-equipped luxury cabanas (rates from $350) on the Serenity level.
Rates from $465. 3900 Wailea Alanui, Maui, 808-874-8000, fourseasons.com/maui
ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE
The Place: Formerly the Prince-ville Resort, this 252-room Starwood stunner debuted under its new name/look in October 2009. The tiered property — lobby at the uppermost level, pool at the lowest — draws your eye toward Hanalei Bay, where South Pacific was filmed. It’s already giving the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea serious competition. “We thought we were getting away,” says one former CAA agent, “and we discovered 10 other agents there, too.”
Who Goes: George Clooney (while filming The Descendants), Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston
(both while filming Just Go With It). “Kauai was the most amazing place in the world to shoot,”
says Happy Madison film chief Heather Parry.
The Amenities: Nighttime snorkeling tours; two Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf courses.
Insider Tip: After an all-day fishing expedition, ask the hotel to prepare your catch at a private beachfront table.
Rates from $425. 5520 Ka Haku Road, Kauai, 808-826-9644, stregisprinceville.com
MAUNA LANI BAY HOTEL
The Place: Nicolas Cage and Lisa Marie Presley may have wed here (and the Kona Surf Film Festival is based here), but most industry names come to this Big Island resort to get far away from the industry. They gravitate to this 343-room property for the sweeping stretches of beach, quaint villages and whale sightings just offshore.
Who Goes: Kevin Costner, Legion director Scott Charles Stewart
The Amenities: Five bungalows with private pools; one of the most beautiful spas in the world, offering a lava-rock sauna and Watsu water massage.
Insider Tip: Head up the road to locals-favored Anaeho’omalu Beach. “I go out at 6:30 or 7 in the morning, and it’s like Woodstock for sea turtles,” says writer Ron Osborn (Meet Joe Black, The West Wing), who owns a house nearby.
Rates from $455. 68-1400 Mauna Lani Drive, Island of Hawaii, 808-885-6622, maunalani.com
FAIRMONT KEA LANI
The Place: Wailea’s beachside version of the Taj Mahal is a more family-friendly yet still five-star alternative to the nearby Four Seasons. All 450 guest units are fresh from a $17 million renovation. “We went with our two kids and loved it enough to Yelp about it,” says Gary Snoonian, the co-exec producer of Chelsea Lately.
Who Goes: Sheryl Crow, Universal Music Enterprises president Bruce Resnikoff, Kate Hudson.
The Amenities: 37 villas with private plunge pools; 140-foot-high water slide at the main pool.
Insider Tip: If you need a break from the kids, the Maui Film Festival is sponsoring Academy screenings at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahului.
Rates from $429. 4100 Wailea Alanui Dr., Maui, 866-540-4456, fairmont.com/kealani
WHAT TO PACK: Be ready for the infinity pool and the reservation-only cabana
Surf Gear: Hurley Phantom Series boardshorts, $95, at Barneys New York, Beverly Hills
Aviator Shades: Barton Perreira metal sunglasses, $520, at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills
Gold Flip-Flops: Prada metallic patent thongs, $220, at Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills
Beach-Inspired Jewelry: Vellum coral resin necklace, $134, at Ron Robinson|Fred Segal Melrose
Bright Bikini: Emilio Pucci Blue Orchid print bikini, $450, at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills