Gentle breezes keep things cool at Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea’s Lobby Lounge. // © 2015 Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea
Feature image (above): The elegant St. Regis Bar on Kauai capitalizes on views of Hanalei Bay. // © 2015 The St. Regis Princeville Resort
After a full day of activities during the downtime before evening festivities, the best bars in Hawaii might be the ones closest to your room. And, luckily, Hawaii’s top lobby bars feature some mixture of exceptional views, live entertainment, island-style pupus and tropical cocktails.
Some, such as the following five bars, are even destinations within their own right.
Alaloa Lounge (The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui)
Like the hotel that hosts it, Alaloa Lounge feels at once classy and casual. Guests can take a seat at the sleek bar, gather around an indoor table or relax by one of the fire pits on the lanai. With ocean views during daylight and live music after sunset, visit any time the craving for a Maui-inspired mai tai or a grilled mahi-mahi sandwich hits.
Botero Bar (Grand Wailea Resort, Maui)
Voluptuous sculptures by Fernando Botero define this lively bar. Handcrafted cocktails include the Late Check Out made with Maui’s Ocean Vodka, passion fruit puree, coconut water, sweet-and-sour mix, pineapple juice and toasted coconut froth. Snack on duck confit garlic fries while enjoying nightly live entertainment.
Don’s Mai Tai Bar (Royal Kona Resort, Hawaii Island)
Under a thatched hut and surrounded by tiki statues, Don’s Mai Tai Bar is Kailua-Kona’s largest open-air oceanfront lounge. No matter where guests sit at the half-moon-shaped bar, they’re guaranteed panoramic ocean and bay views. Clients can also relax at tables and on comfy sofas while sipping and supping. Hawaiian music legends perform Thursdays from 5-7 p.m.
Lobby Lounge (Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea)
Open-air sunset views and hula dancers launch the evening in style at this sophisticated gathering place. Fresh sushi and sashimi headline the pupu list. After-dinner drinks are enhanced by signature desserts, twinkling lights and live tunes by contemporary bands. From September through November, the lounge hosts spirited Maui-made beer tastings.
St. Regis Bar (The St. Regis Princeville Resort, Kauai)
Floor-to-ceiling views of Hanalei Bay and Makana Mountain (Bali Hai in the movie “South Pacific”) create an unforgettable backdrop at St. Regis Bar. Daily afternoon tea comes with yummy sandwiches and sweets. At sunset, staffers open champagne bottles using sabers and guests exchange toasts on the lanai. Stop by for live jazz every other Saturday night.
Surfer, The Bar (Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu)
It’s all about the sea at this North Shore hangout. In a mixed-media setting, big screens show surfing footage and hang-10 legends take the stage for lively Q&As. Aptly-named cocktails include the Sunset, with vanilla vodka, pineapple juice and grenadine. The suitably casual food menu ranges from salads and sushi to burgers and pizza.
The Study (The Modern Honolulu, Oahu)
Behind a wall of books, The Study is a relaxed lounge complete with cushy chairs, oversized ottomans and a sexy white bar. In keeping with the literary theme, drinks are named after classic novels such as “War and Peace.” Pair drinks with food such as hummus, soft tacos and fried calamari. Live music keeps things humming at this intimate Hawaii bar.