Nestled in a sheltered bay along the northerly Kohala Coast, this towering hotel offers sweeping Pacific views from almost every one of its 540 rooms and suites. (Conveniently, every unit has its own lanai—private balcony—for enjoying them.) The Fairmont Orchid’s 32-acre property centers around its lovely half-moon beach, where snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking—as well as good old swimming and sunning—are all top-notch. But there’s also a 10,000-square-foot swimming pool, tennis courts (reservations are a must), and a 36-hole golf course. The spa is one of the island’s most impressive, serving up Kona-coffee body scrubs and couples’ massages in open-air, oceanfront hales (huts).
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.