On the big island of Hawaii adventure awaits where the different microclimates and forces of nature characterize the island- from the snow capped vertiginous peak of Mauna Kea to the flowing lava of Kilauea volcano and the tropical rainforests of Kona. Unlike its developed sister islands of Oahu and Maui, the big island still retains its unspoiled rugged beauty that existed since its inception thousands of years ago where you can drive in solitude without any signs of civilization against a dramatic backdrop of the deep blue ocean, mountain peaks, and unending fields of rust red black lava rock. The most ideal spot to find your slice of paradise is along the sunny Kohala Coast known for its placid white sand beaches and aquamarine waters making it the ideal spot to explore the island’s most luxurious oceanfront resorts.
For family friendly options the Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort and Spa and Hilton Waikoloa Village offer an abundance of activities and amenities for relaxation or fun in the sun. The Marriott is set on 15 acres and faces the Anaeho’omalu Bay beach and ancient fish ponds, with access to a private sheltered beach. The lush tropical pool is surrounded by fragrant flora and fauna to capture the essence of the exotic beauty of Hawaii. For foodies, embark on the Chef Shuttle with Executive Chef Jayson Kanekoa where he will personally escort you to the Hawaiian Homestead Farmers’ on the first Saturday of the month for an intimate look at the island way of life. Meet local farmers and vendors and shop for produce, seafood, and seasonal items which will be prepared that evening for an exquisite personal feast at the Hawaii Calls Restaurant & Lounge to experience Chef Kanekoa’s range of creativity and culinary skills.
The Hilton Waikoloa Village is a mega destination onto itself with its own monorail system to transport guests amongst its 62 oceanfront acres landscaped with lush tropical gardens and wildlife. An expansive 4 acre ocean fed lagoon is the centerpiece of the property that offers a white sand beach with snorkeling and kayaking activities amongst the tropical fish and sea turtles. Choose from three sparkling pools accented with cascading waterfalls to soak in the sun or cool off whether you want to slide down a 175 foot waterslide or enjoy a romantic moment at the secluded adults only pool. Get up close with the dolphins at Dolphin Quest where you can wade in shallow and deep water where these loving animals will swim beside you. Take in the glorious sunset views from the oceanfront Kamuela Provision Company serving Hawaiian specialties such as ahi poke, Kona lobster, grilled Kona kampachi, or Maui sugar scrubbed ribeye. For some of the best views on the island stay in the exclusive Makai rooms in the Lagoon tower overlooking the dolphins and the awe inspiring Pacific Ocean.
For a truly luxurious experience, stay at the breathtaking Fairmont Orchid and splurge on the exclusiveGold level rooms on the sixth floor that offer a private concierge and lounge serving a sumptuous breakfast, afternoon tea, and canapes in the evening. These elegant and spacious rooms feature private lanais with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean or lush Hawaiian gardens. Bask in paradise amongst their 32 tropical oceanfront acres choose from swimming with the sea turtles in the white sand lagoon with calm aquamarine waters, or simply laze by the curved heated pool. Enjoy a romantic beachside dinner at one of the island’s top award winning fine dining restaurant, Brown’s Beach House, where the menu changes daily to reflect locally purveyed seafood and seasonal ingredients that have a distinctive Hawaiian flair.
Indulge in spa treatments island style at the luxurious Four Seasons Resort Hualalai. Every full body treatment incorporates the soothing natural elements of Hawaii from black lava salt, hibiscus and crushed macadamia nut scrubs to fragrant botanical oils. This 28,000 square foot spa is nestled amongst tranquil tropical gardens with meditative trickling streams. Enjoy your treatment in a private outdoor thatched roof hale (hut) to become one with nature as any signs of stress melt away. Treatments range from traditional aromatherapy and deep tissue to sacred ancient Hawaiian healing methods like the lomi lomi, and Eastern style Ashiatsu massage with deep foot pressure and reiki to channel energy and rid the body of blockage to emerge a new rejuvenated self.
Enjoy the deep blue ocean and take in the majestic Kohala coastline on Ocean Sports’ sunset champagne sail cruise and you may spot dolphins and whales that playfully swim alongside the vessel.
No trip would be complete without an authentic Hawaiian luau, which was first created at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in the 60s and quickly became an island tradition. Experience the magic of Hawaii as you feast on an abundant oceanfront buffet of traditional Hawaiian dishes like roasted pig, lomi salmon, island fish, and sashimi and learn about the history and culture of the big island through native dance, music, and fiery entertainment while learning how to hula dance.
To experience and fall in love with the breathtaking and otherworldly paradise of the Kohala Coast, Hawaiian Airlines offers daily direct flights from JFK to Honolulu that connect to Kona, who knows you may never want to leave.
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