3 Hawaiian islands land on World's Best lists


POSTED: Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kauai is the No. 4 island in the world, according to Travel + Leisure magazine's 2009 World's Best lists, compiled following its annual reader survey.

Maui fell to No. 6 from No. 3, and the Big Island jumped into the top 10 after being iced out of last year's top tier, hitting No. 9 this year.

The magazine also breaks out Hawaii separately from other islands around the world. Using its point system, the first three are the same, while Oahu moved up to No. 4 from being the fifth favorite last year, and Lanai swapped places with Oahu.

Halekulani has unseated the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai as the top resort in Hawaii in Travel + Leisure magazine in its “;2009 World's Best”; readers survey. It was second-ranked last year.

This year Halekulani is No. 41 among the 100 world's best hotels, a bit of a slip from No. 38 last year but not as precipitous as the Four Seasons Hualalai's plummet to No. 63 from last year's No. 9 ranking.

Hotel Hana-Maui & Honua Spa on Maui might be doing cartwheels, were it not a bricks-and-mortar complex—as it made No. 83 among the top 100 this year. It was not on last year's list.

That also means it popped in at No. 3 on the magazine's Top 25 Resorts in Hawaii list, pushing others down a notch or two, though Nos. 5 and 6, the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay and the Fairmont Kea Lani, and ninth-ranked Kahala Hotel & Resort were able to stand their ground.

Other hotels not on last year's top 25 that placed this year are the Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel on the Big Island at No. 10; the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa at No. 13; Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa, No. 15; and the newly reopened Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, No. 19. The Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach and Turtle Bay Resort got Nos. 20, 21 and 22, respectively. Kona Village Resort is at No. 24 this year, and at No. 25 is the Moana Surfrider.

Hawaiian Airlines is still among T+L reader's Top 10 domestic airlines, at No. 7, a bit of a dip from the No. 5 ranking of last year.

The top-ranked domestic airline is Virgin America with 83.23 points versus Hawaiian's 67.91.

Millionaire ranks shrinking

The number of millionaires in Hawaii and the nation is not surprisingly on the decline, according to a study by New Jersey-based Phoenix Marketing International. Nationally, millionaire ranks have dropped 14 percent since 2007.

Hawaii still has the highest percentage of millionaires in the U.S., which Phoenix defines as a household with $1 million or more in investable or liquid assets, excluding sponsored retirement plans and real estate.



Source: Phoenix Marketing International


Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Reach her by e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).