I’m so excited to announce that my online booking engine, powered by Classic Vacations a part of the Expedia family, is up and running! You now have the convenience of searching and booking your own vacations, along with the added support of having a personal representative (me ) should you have any questions, need additional information or run into any issues after booking. Try finding that personal touch on one of those mega booking sites.
So take a look and see what amazing destinations are awaiting you! Click on the logo below or on the Online Booking tab on the menu bar above to connect to the booking engine.
Where will life take you?
“I love the sea’s sounds and the way it reflects the sky. The colours that shimmer across its surface are unbelievable. This, combined with the colour of the water over white sand, surprises me every time.” John Dyer
Thanks to all of you who have submitted your travel photos to be featured. Please keep them coming ~ Share your beautiful destination photos with us! See here
My vacation on Hawaii’s Big Island has come and gone, but I must say that I think I made the most of it and I had an incredible time.
I stayed at the Four Seasons Hualalai (see post here) which was an amazing experience as it is one of the nicest beach resorts I have ever been to. The resort truly evokes the epitome of “old school” Hawaii. However, what really made the trip a success was experiencing the island and all it has to offer.
So having said that, here is SKEdaddle’s Top Ten Must Do’s on the Big Island.
- Take an Outrigger Canoe Ride. Nothing screams Hawaii more than an Outrigger Canoe. I was enamored with the unique shape and look of it, I found it really easy to paddle (with the help of the two men on-board) and I love nothing more than gliding around the water and enjoying the surrounding wildlife. We took the time to jump off the canoe and snorkel for awhile, spotting some sea turtles being “cleaned” by fish who nibble on the algae on their back.
- Visit Kikaua Point Park. If Kikaua Point Park doesn’t evoke the image of paradise for you, then you might as well pack it up and head home. The soft, white sand beach against the black lava rock, the crystal clear blue water as well as the beautiful dancing trees are a stunning sight.
- Take a Helicopter Ride. Many suppliers offer helicopter rides on the island. You can catch a ride from both the Kona and Hilo side of the island, depending on what location is closer to where you are staying. There are several different scenic routes offered but the most popular routes are to the volcano and waterfalls. Word of warning, although this is an expensive adventure, it is not unusual for these companies to be booked out days in advance so be sure to make reservations beforehand. We were one of the unfortunate ones that did not commit early enough and then couldn’t get in on our last day there.
- Revel and Appreciate a Stunning Sunset. Be sure to take at least one night (if not all) to sit still and relax with a drink in hand to witness and truly appreciate the beauty of a Hawaiian sunset.
- Do a Nightime Snorkel with the Manta Rays. This is another very popular adventure where you will do a nightime snorkel with Manta Rays. The guides who take you will light up the water so you can see the Manta Rays swim up to you. As with the helicopters, this is a very popular adventure so be sure to make reservations days in advance to secure your spot.
- Be Sure to See a White, Green and Black Sand Beach. Kona is famous not only for their white sand beaches but also for their black sand beaches which derive their color from the surrounding lava rocks that are so prevalent in this area. Kona also is home to one of the rare green sand beaches which is rich in olivine also known as peridot when of gem quality.
- Make a Pit-Stop at Punalu’u Bake Shop. If you are on the south side of the island as your tummy starts to grumble, or even if it’s not, be sure to stop at the Punalu’u Bake Shop and get yourself a sandwich made with their famous sweet bread. I guarantee you, you won’t be able to resist picking up a sweet somethin’-somethin’ for dessert either. FYI, be prepared to share your meal.
- Visit an Active Volcano at Kilauea. Well, you just don’t go to the Big Island and not see an active volcano. Kīlauea means “spewing” or “much spreading” in the Hawaiian language, referring to its frequent outpouring of lava. This volcano has been continuously erupting since 1983. We witnessed it from the state park visitor’s area which only allowed us to see the smoke billowing out, but other options are to take a helicopter ride to see it from above or to hike in and get closer to the lava flow.
- Visit the Botanical Gardens and North Coast of the Island. Unfortunately for us, driving around the island was a longer excursion than we planned (and I suppose we got side-tracked too many times which is easy to do) but a visit to the north side of the island was highly recommended. We were told that botanical gardens, The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden is in Captain Cook and waterfalls were definitely something worth seeing. Another activity suggested by many was horseback riding. I guess this just gives me a good reason to go back!
- Bring Home Donkey Balls! We all like to bring home gifts that are indigenous to the location, and although the Big Island’s Kona coffee and macadamia nuts are great, let’s face it ~ a little over done. Bring home a little humor and some Donkey Balls as a different treat. This is the best of all world’s as these are yummy chocolate covered macadamia nuts with 100% Kona coffee…BAM! You can not find these anywhere, you have to go to a Donkey Ball Factory Outlet so be sure to find out where one is located. (Images from internet)
Okay folks, there you have it. These are my recommendations for some fun activities while on the Big Island of Hawaii. My trip went by way too fast and I cannot wait to head back again in the future. Aloha and Mahalo!
If you have been to this island, please feel free to share your favorites as well. For instance, I did not go to a coffee plantation on this trip so I would love to hear from someone who has. And if you are interested, here are some other posts on my trip to Hawaii.
True luxury is not something that is accommodated as an after-thought when a void has been discovered, true luxury is providing for your every need before you even anticipate what your need or want is. The Four Seasons Hualalai located on the Kona Coast of the Big Island, Hawaii understands this concept.
From the moment we arrived, we were greeted by a bevy of Bellman who personally addressed us by name, which I assume was information relayed to them by the guard at the front gate. I was immediately adorned with a beautiful flower lei and my husband with kukui beads.
Within a minute, a reception relations manager introduced himself and led us to a private seating area in the open-air lobby designed in a luxurious Polynesian style decor with rich woods, wicker weave furniture, authentic art work and stunning orchids scattered throughout. We were handed a cold towel and a refreshing island beverage as the relations manager reviewed our reservation paperwork and within no time, we were being escorted to our room.
Well, let me clarify that statement ~ if I were married to an ordinary man, we would have been on our way to the room, however…we (meaning my husband) had to see every room available in our category to be sure he was getting the best room. The staff was extremely patient and accommodating with him. So the reality is that it took some time to check into our room as we had to wait for the room he wanted. However, I humbly admit, it was worth the wait.
All the rooms at the resort are spacious and comfortable in square footage. Since we stayed for a week, we opted for the Ocean View room for our maximum viewing pleasure. The rooms, like the lobby, are designed with the Polynesian flavor and offer all the convenient amenities that we look for in this day and age.
I mentioned in my opening statement that a true luxury property anticipates your needs before you even realize what your needs are; as we were unpacking our 3 cell phones, iPad, laptop computer, camera battery chargers and more, we jokingly stated that the next time we travel, we should bring a strip cord with us to accommodate all our devices. Well, low and behold, what do you think we found tucked away in a drawer but a strip cord for our use. This is a simple accommodation but it puts a huge smile on my face to know that someone anticipated this need and it exemplifies the type of service that the Four Seasons brand provides.
Below, was the view from our room. I woke up early each morning, made a pot of coffee and sat on the balcony listening to the ocean waves crashing, the birds chirping and watching dolphins as they playfully swam by ~ it was quite a treat.
Old School Hawaiian Feel
One of the aspects that I love most about this resort is what I consider the “old school” Hawaiian charm that the resort evokes. There is lush vegetation throughout the property and the bungalow style accommodations feel more authentic than being in a high-rise hotel. The attention to detail in creating this oasis is what makes this resort stand out above the rest.
This resort is a village unto itself. Quite honestly there is no need to leave this property as it offers all the amenities you could want in a resort. Along with the white sand beach, there are numerous pools scattered throughout the property from extremely kid-friendly including a salt water pool stocked with local fish for snorkeling, all the way to the adult tranquility pool which is a no-cell phone and whispering zone with the convenience of a swim up bar…the latter was my preference.
There are three main restaurants on property along with several snack shacks and an adorable grocery store designed with the characteristics and details of an authentic store that you might find remotely on the island.
And don’t think for a moment that you will be bored, your activity choices include the likes of a world class spa, gym, outdoor yoga classes, golf course, tennis courts, a rock climbing wall, a kids program, outrigger canoe – paddle boards – diving or snorkeling rentals, along with a some high-end boutique shops and a cultural center to mention just a few of the attractions on the property.
If you’re celebrating a special occasion, arrange for a romantic dinner on the beach.
We witnessed many amazing sunsets throughout the week.
And once the sun goes down, the resort takes on a whole new ambiance. The warm glow from the tiki torches, the twinkle lights in the trees and sound of the ukulele playing in the background cradles you into a fantasy world you never want to leave.
If you witness an upset patron at check out, it’s not because there is a mistake on their bill or they are unhappy with their experience, it’s because they are shouting “Don’t make me leave this paradise!”. It’s not a pretty sight, at least that’s what I was told upon my departure.
*sigh* You’ve stolen my heart Four Seasons Hualalai….until next time. *sniff*sniff*
For more information on this resort or to book your own stay in paradise, contact me at email@example.com.
I’m heading to the Big Island, Hawaii in a few days and I would love to hear from people who have been there with suggestions on things to do. I don’t know much about this island other than it seems to be mostly about the volcano and black rock.
So please share your experience on this island, give me suggestions on what to see and do and if you have pictures that I could post of this island, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Aloha!