Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Amazing Resorts on Hawaii Island

Hawaii Island has four resort areas clustered in South Kohala and North Kona on the sunny, west side of the island.   The contained, coastal resorts are large properties with one or more luxury hotels, white sand beaches, restaurants, shops, golf courses, and ancient Hawaiian sites.  The resorts, Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani, Waikoloa Beach, and Hualalai, are located north of Kona airport. The resorts have condominiums and individual homes that share the hotels’ amenities on the property.

One of the special things about Hawaii Island’s resorts are the unusually pristine white sand beaches with no crowds.  When we visit Waikiki, we have to squeeze into a spot among the throngs of noisy people.  By the time we’ve had breakfast on Maui, all the lounge chairs around the pool are taken. Lying on the quiet, soft sandy beaches on Hawaii Island, the world feels a million miles away.

Mauna Kea Resort
Mauna Kea Resort was developed in the 1960’s by Lawrence Rockefeller. The resort has two hotels, golf course, restaurants, and beaches.  
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel

The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has 1600 pieces of Asian and Polynesian art on display and sits in front of one of the most perfect beaches in the world, Mauna Kea Beach (Kauna’oa Bay)

Hapuna Beach
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel was built in the 1990’s in front of another pristine, white sand beach, Hapuna Beach. 
Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel
The resort was purchased in 1989 by Yoshiaki Tsutsumi of Seibu Railway and is managed by the Prince Hotels.

Mauna Lani Resort
The 3200 acre Mauna Lani Resort was developed by Francis Hyde Ii Brown a state senator for 20 years and Noboru Gotoh, chairman of the Tokyu Corporation in the 1970s. 
Mauna Lani golf tee
The resort has two hotels, golf courses, and a small shopping center with stores, restaurants, and a grocery store.  Within the resort are the ancient Kalahuipua’a fish ponds and trails along incredible coastline.
Bridge over fish ponds to Mauna Lani Bay Hotel
Mauna Lani Bay Hotel opened in 1983 in front of a protected reef next to ancient Hawaiian fish ponds.  

Turtle sunning on Mauna Lani coast
The hotel raises turtles in their lobby and releases the “Honu” every July.  Ocean front dining is available at several restaurants in the resort.  
Beach in Mauna Lani Resort
Nearby are spectacular beaches to swim and snorkel. There are trails circling the fishponds perfect for walking or biking. The resort and hotel are owned by Tokyu Corporation which own railroads, bus operations, and department stores in Japan. 
Petroglyph Reserve next to Fairmont Hotel
The Fairmont Orchid opened in Mauna Lani Resort in December 1990 as a Ritz Carlton and has been managed by Fairmont Hotel since December 2003.  The hotel has a rugged coastline with several protected coves for swimming.  The upscale hotel has pools, hot tubs, spa, luau, and restaurants.  Next to the Fairmont is a trail to the Puako Petroglyph Reserve. 

Waikoloa Beach Resort
The 1350 acre Waikoloa Beach Resort has two hotels and golf courses. 
Waikoloa Beach Queens Marketplace

The resort’s two shopping centers have restaurants, fast food, and stores. 
Fish ponds at Waikoloa

Anaehoomalu Bay at Waikoloa

The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort, originally the Royal Waikoloan, faces the white sand beach of Anaehoomalu Bay behind two ancient Hawaiian fishponds.  
Marriott Hotel  pool in Waikoloa Beach Resort
Pathway around fish ponds in front of Marriott
Across the road from the Marriott is the ancient Kings Trail and a petroglyph preserve.

Entrance to Kings Trail and petroglyphs in golf course
Kings Trail to petroglyphs in Waikoloa

The Hilton Waikoloa Village is a resort within a resort with a train and canal boat roaming through the property.  
Hilton pool and protected lagoon below

Hilton canal boat

Rail track across Hilton property

Hilton ocean view from the lobby
The Hilton has a protected lagoon with a sandy beach, covered walking paths, exotic birds, and huge swimming pools.  The hallways have a large art collection.  Dolphin Quest is on the property.

Hualalai Resort

Hualalai Resort has the upscale Four Seasons Hotel with a spa, restaurants, golf courses, and gorgeous coastline.  

Four Seasons Ka'upulehu beach

Four Seasons path way along the coast

Four Seasons protected lagoon
The hotel is in front of Ka‘upulehu white sand beach with great walking paths.  The shuttered Kona Village Resort in Hualalai Resort was opened in 1965 but destroyed by the 2011 tsunami.  

Kikaua Point Park at Kuhio
South of Hualalai Resort is Kuhio, an exclusive residential area for billionaires with a great man-made beach in front. 

Check out Your Ideal Hawaii Island Vacation: A Guide for Visiting the Big Island of Hawaii just published by the authors of hiloliving blog ! 

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