Eco-Conscious Hawaii Resort on 50 Acres of Banana Orchards and Tropical Gardens
It's hard to deny the mystical quality of the Hawaiian Islands’ black volcanic rock, cloud forests, and crashing waterfalls. In fact, early Hawaiians believed the forests, waves, and skies were spiritual beings that were to be treated with the utmost respect. At Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho'omaluhia, innkeepers Jeanne Sunderland and Robert Watkins bring a similar reverence to their 50-acre patch of island paradise. Robert harvests sunrise papaya and avocados for the garden restaurant, and Jeanne incorporates kukui nuts and exotic oils into the onsite spa's holistic treatments.
Inside the breezy spa bungalows, therapists give traditional lomilomi massages to rhythmically loosen muscles and seaweed baths to stimulate the metabolism. Take a dip in the saltwater infinity pool, or spend a few relaxing minutes in the spa’s hot tub.
In keeping with its eco-friendly efforts, the retreat uses solar panels and windmills to provide electricity for its ocean-view rooms. Fresh blooms enliven the spaces. In the Crimson Poinciana room, bold red walls bring an exotic flair, and a marigold palette brightens the Golden Penthouse room, where a lanai balcony opens onto views of the ocean.
North Kohala, Hawaii: Quiet Beachside Towns and Diverse Geography
On the northernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, North Kohala boasts black sand beaches, dormant volcanoes, waterfalls, and cloud forests—tropical forests with an ever-present fog. A scenic drive southeast of the hotel takes visitors through Pololu Valley, where they can watch waves crash from atop strikingly green bluffs. Zipline tours and horseback rides are also offered nearby. After exploring North Kohala's landscape, nearby Keokea Beach and Mahukona Beach Park make for peaceful spots to gather seashells, head off on scuba trips, or recruit an army of hermit crabs.
Although North Kohala possesses the exotic allure Hawaii is known for, its small towns are a welcome respite from crowded tourist hot spots. In the tiny town of Kapaau, you can observe 19th-century architecture and the gilded Kamehameha I statue, built in the late 1800s to honor Hawaii's first and most beloved king (who was born in Kohala). Nearby, in the former sugar town of Hawi, handmade jewelry stores, coffee shops, and art galleries have moved into the old plantation buildings.
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