Four-Star Eco-Conscious Hawaiian Resort on 50 Acres of Tropical Gardens
It's hard to deny the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands’ black volcanic rock, cloud forests, and crashing waterfalls. To early Hawaiians, these things were sacred—they 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 organic vegetables, sunrise papaya, and avocados from the retreat’s own gardens to use in the kitchen, and Jeanne incorporates local kukui nuts and exotic oils into the onsite spa's holistic treatments.
Inside the breezy spa bungalows, therapists administer traditional lomilomi massages and seaweed baths. You can also take a dip in the saltwater infinity pool or relax in the hot tub.
In keeping with its eco-friendly efforts, the retreat uses solar panels and windmills to provide electricity. Each garden-view room features a large soaking tub and a balcony with chairs. Set among ironwood trees, yurts offer a private setting near the spa.
Highlights of North Kohala, Hawaii
- Beautiful landscape: Located on the northernmost tip of Hawaii's Big Island, North Kohala boasts black-sand beaches, dormant volcanoes, waterfalls, and cloud forests.
- Pololu Valley: Take a scenic drive along green bluffs, where you can watch waves crashing below. Zipline tours and horseback rides are also offered nearby.
- Keokea Beach and Mahukona Beach Park make for peaceful spots to gather seashells or head off on scuba-driving trips.
- Seaside villages: North Kohala's small towns supply a welcome respite from crowded tourist spots. In the village of Kapaau, you can see the gilded Kamehameha I statue, built in the late 1800s to honor Hawaii's first and most beloved king (who was born in Kohala). In the former sugar town of Hawi, shops selling coffee, art, and handmade jewelry occupy former plantation buildings.