Kona Village Resort
Big Island, Hawaii
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!