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Kona Village Resort

Big Island, Hawaii

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Hawaii’s Big Island is, per square mile, one of the most thinly populated islands in the archipelago state. However, it’s also one of the most popular with tourists. This has led, in recent years, to an increase in the diversity of vacation options open to tourists visiting the island, as hotel and resort companies fight to keep abreast of the latest trends in vacationing.

The hotel certainly isn’t dead, but a number of variations on the hotel theme are becoming increasingly popular, all of them designed to offer vacationers greater privacy and freedom while at the same time not driving prices up too high nor denying them the usual amenities of a hotel-based resort. One of the most popular solutions to this challenge as been the holiday village, where all the services and activities of a standard resort are on offer, but guests are housed in bungalows or condos in the resort’s grounds rather than in a single monolithic hotel building.

One of the most popular and successful examples of this type of vacation destination on the Big Island is the Kona Village Resort. It’s been so successful, in fact, that it’s won a string of awards – in 2004 Travel and Leisure Magazine voted it one of the top five hundred hotels in the entire world – that’s some kind of recommendation!

But despite all the plaudits that it’s won, the Kona Village Resort remains refreshingly relaxed, easygoing and fun. As already noted, the accommodation is a great reflection of the resort’s atmosphere. Most guests are accommodated in hale, traditional Hawaiian huts. These are spread out among the Kona Village Resort’s 82 acre grounds, and you get a choice of a location by the beach, in he area of the resort’s very own lagoon, or even right on top of the lava flow (now solidified, thankfully) of a volcanic eruption that took place on the island in 1812.

All hale are beautifully equipped with large beds, TVs and a selection of quality sheets and linens. Because the water of the lagoon is slightly salty, there’s no need to worry about bugs and no-see-ums: you can enjoy a bite-free night! Hale vary in size from a single bedroom to duplexes with sitting rooms.

Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, you’ll be delighted by the range of things available to do at Kona Village Resort. This is not just any vacation destination, and, as you might expect, it doesn’t offer just any vacation activities. One of the ‘must do’ activities on offer is a helicopter ride up to Red Roof House. The house, on the shoulder of Kilauea volcano, is unique. The nearby vent of the volcano has been steadily and continuously erupting since 1982 – the longest known volcano eruption in history. The Red Roof House, owned and occupied by Jack Thompson, is the only building on this side of the mountain that hasn’t been gradually consumed by the lava and had its owners driven away. The chopper ride up to the house is an experience in itself, and, once you get there, Jack will tell you all about what it’s like to live with one of the world’s most active volcanoes as your next door neighbor! Jack is completely cut off from the rest of the island by lava flows. Fortunately, most of these have now solidified, and he’s able to jump on his mountain bike and ride into town when he needs to shop.

There are even more wonders of nature on display than Jack and his volcano. North Pacific Humpback whales are common in the offshore waters between April and December, and you can spot them during a catamaran tour (they’re regularly organized by the resort) or with a pair of binoculars from the shore. At night, there’s usually an even more mysterious creature of the deep hanging around – manta rays swim into the shallows just a few feet from the shore, every evening of the month except if there’s a full moon. While you’re out enjoying the cool night air, you can also participate in the stargazing activities the resort often lays on.

Dining at the Kona Village Resort is a treat: there are two restaurants, the Hale Moana and the Hale Somoa. Both offer dishes made from ingredients which have been locally sourced, and, where possible, organically grown. Try the excellent seafood curry, or Hawaiian spiny lobster tail in garlic and lime butter sauce – the food is prepared by local chefs who really care about the island’s cuisine and its ingredients, so you can be sure that you’ll east some very special meals indeed during your stay.

The Kona Village Resort leads the way in Hawaiian vacation destinations. It offers quality without demanding VIP prices, and a range of activities that stimulate the mind and the imagination just as much as the legs and the lungs!

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