Talk about a room with a view. From my 18th-floor balcony, I could survey an expanse of placid Pacific waters and the full sweep of Waikiki Beach, as well as the jutting brown face of Diamond Head. At the Marriott Waikiki Beach Resort, every room has a view and a lanai, and after a just-completed renovation, 85 percent of the 1,310 guest rooms are in the “ocean deluxe” category.

Also new is the 6,000-square-foot Spa Olakino Salon. The spa's decor features soothing waterscapes cascading over faux lava rocks, lots of tropical plants, and, most spectacularly, a 75-foot expanse of windows.

The Marriott Waikiki is not the chain's only Oahu spa.The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort and Spa boasts a 35,000-square-foot spa voted one of the best in the world by readers of Condé Nast travel magazines.