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Archive for the Category "The Best of the Big Island Hawaii"

Kona Coffee Cultural Festival Celebrates 46 Years Nov 04

Coffee Cherry

The Kona Coffee Festival  is celebrating its 46th anniversary making it Hawaii’s oldest food festival. The celebration lasts for 10 days of annual fan favorites and new exciting events promoting and perpetuating the culture, heritage, artistry and rich history behind Kona’s nearly 200 year old world famous cup of coffee. This years  celebration runs from Friday November 4th – Sunday November 13th 2016. Check the website above for the updated schedule of events for the festival and set your calendar accordingly.

Also check out my blog post on Kona Coffee for one of my favorite Kona Coffee farm tours.

For more information on Hawaii Island, contact Linda Dancer  Hawaii Master Destination Specialist   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  or Direct Line 931-337-0770

Email  Linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai Nov 20

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Arriving to the Four Seasons Resort at Historic Hualalai on Hawaii Island is like returning to the gracious Hawai’i of old and following a recent revitalization this award-winning resort is even better than ever. These revitalizations include:

* The new Beach Tree restaurant and lounge- rejuvenated seaside haven, serving handcrafted cocktails, a creative new menu and nightly bonfires in Hualalai’s own outdoor living room.

* The Hualalai Spa and Sports Club has been transformed with new hales, a relaxing outdoor botanical water garden for complimentary pre-treatment rituals and all-new fitness equipment.

* The Alaka’i Nalu ocean activities program- only a three-minute walk from the Sea Shell Pool on Kahuwai Bay, where guests enjoy snorkeling, paddling and swimming at one of Hawai’i’s best beaches

*New Four Seasons Suites – the essence of Hawaiian design reinterpreted in 20 new ocean-view suites with expansive indoor/outdoor living rooms with dramatic views of the Pacific

* Retail expansion– resort retail with Seaside Beach featuring renowned designers and Seaside Luxe a fusion of high-fashion and home linens.

 

Of course this resort is already know for fabulous pools – including Palm Grove Pool for adults only and King’s Pond-a natural aquarium in the lava, a beautiful beach, Pahu i’a Restaurant continues to gain accolades, a world class spa and championship golf.

To get started planning your visit to the Hawaiian Islands contact Linda Dancer Hawaii Master Destination Specialist

Email  Linda@honeymoonsinc.com  Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331  Direct Line 828-256-1520

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Waterfalls & Gardens on Hawaii Island Aug 07

 

 

Umauma Falls

Umauma Falls

World Botanical Gardens and Umauma Falls  is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in all of Hawai’i, and a must to include on your list of things to do while visiting Hawaii Island Visitors Bureau and to experience Hawaii’s Natural Beauty. Visitors can experience this beautiful garden by car and on foot. Drive to view exotic palms, banana, kukui and hala trees en route to the spectacular triple-tiered Umauma Falls. Along the way you wind through hau, hibiscus and native Hawaiian plants to the lush Rainforest Walk  that grow along the Honopueo Stream and grims with tropical plants such as ginger, heliconia, green and red jade vine and bamboo. Rainbow Gardens filled with orchids, bromeliads, palms, ti, cinnamon, allspice, the pencil tree and other tropical species. Allow time during your visit to see the adjacent Arboreteum and the Children’s Maze to wander around at your own pace.

The guided tour of the gardens takes approximately 2 hours with horticulturist and Garden Director Dr. Lanny Neel, every Monday and Thursday or by appointment with catered lunch or bring a picnic lunch.

Enjoy the gardens via Segway Tour  or through the air by zipline

Call (808) 963-5427 to schedule your guided tour- Reservations are required or 1-888-947-4753

Directions : From Kona: Take Hwy 19 through Waimea south to Mile Marker 16 and turn right at the sign.  From Hilo: Take Hwy 19 north to Mile Marker 16- left at the sign.

World Botanical Gardens & Umauma Falls  Hours  Open Daily 9am – 5:30pm

To get started planning your visit to Hawaii  contact  Linda Dancer  Hawaii Master Destination Specialist

via  Email Linda@honeymoonsinc.com  Direct Line 828-256-1520   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Fairmont Resorts of Hawaii- Updates Apr 17

Since my last blog post about the Fairmont Resorts of Hawaii there have been some wonderful renovations so I wanted to share some of these updates with you from my recent visits:

Fairmont Kea Lani – Maui

Recently completing a $70 million dollar renovation project Fairmont Kea Lani offers luxurious one-bedroom suites as well as 2 and 3 bedroom villas.  Rebuilt Ko Restaurant showcases sugar-cane-era inspired cuisine the new décor looks great

The Willow Stream Spa was named Hawaii’s Top Spa by Travel and Leisure Magazine

Corridors, landscaping and public areas have been refurbished, including the new poolside restaurant and swim-up bar, Ama

Fairmont Orchid – Hawaii Island  

Located on the Kohala Coast on Hawaii Island, this AAA Four Diamond resort  offers guest a tranquil environment to relax and enjoy themselves.  Guest rooms and suites were recently renovated and look amazing . Relax in the unique setting at the Spa without Walls where Massage Hales are found throughout the waterfall , this  32 acre resort sits on a gorgeous beach  where guest can stand up paddle board, experience outrigger canoe  or  hike through the largest petroglyph field in the Pacific.  Visit the Fairmont Orchid Hui Holokai Beach Ambassadors and meet native Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles. Be sure and go to Brown’s Beach House Restaurant  for dinner or Brown’s Deli for lunch and order freshly made ginger-ale – so refreshing.

Thinking of visiting more than one island during your Hawaii vacation then a split stay with Maui and Hawaii Island would be perfect to experience the Fairmont Resorts of Hawaii.

To get started planning your trip to Hawaii contact Linda Dancer  Direct Line 828-256-1520  or Toll Free  1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email  Linda@honeymoonsinc.com

Farm to Table in Hawai’i Aug 15

 

Working with a trainer for the last six months or so, I have developed a whole new appreciation for holistic living, organic produce and ingredients and am learning to incorporate fresh ingredients in cooking whenever possible.  Naturally, visiting the Hawaii islands several times a year, I am aware first hand of the amazing dining opportunities being offered with many chefs at some of the most amazing resorts on all the islands. Several resorts such as  Hawai’i Island RetreatGrand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, and  Four Seasons Hualalai  now have their own organic gardens and produce a good amount of their own fruits, vegetables and culinary herbs for the resorts use.

Hawai’i is blessed with perfect conditions to grow amazing produce , the waters of the pacific provide incredible fresh fish and seafood and with many working farms producing  cattle  farm to table dining is just another reason  why I think  Hawai’i is one of the interesting places to visit on earth.

Contact: Linda Dancer  Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com   Direct Line 828-256-1520

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NaWahi Pana (Respecting Hawaiian Sacred Sites) Jul 11

When visiting the many sacred sites throughout the Hawaii Islands you must first understand the history, the usage of the site and the spirituality of the place. Developing the proper attitude of humility helps you to shift your focus from  yourself to your surroundings. Before approaching sacred sites, traditional protocol requires you ask permission of the kupuna(ancestors) and give thanks for the privilege of visiting and to apologize for any negative energy you might bring to the site. Always respect the boundaries and kupu(off limits) areas of the sacred sites. If not marked, use the outer edge of the stone markers that normally surround the sites as your boundary.

 

SITES TO VISIT :

Heiau were constructed under the direction of the ali’i nui (high chiefs) and Kahuna (priests)- these Heiau were dedicated  to different Gods for various purposes such as treating the sick and training in the art of healing, dedicated to the war -god Ku , and dedicated for peace,fertility and agricultural productivity.

A number of heiau and whai pana can be visited in various national,state and county parks,botanical gardens and resort communities- some suggestions are:

Hawai’i Island

Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site, Hapaiali’i Heiau at Keauhou Resort and Hale O Keawe,Piu’uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park

Kaua’i

Wailua Complex of Heiau,Wailua River State Park(Hikinaakala,Kalaeokamanu & Poliahu Heiau)

Maui

Haleki’i-Pihana Heiau State Historic Park

Oahu

Pu’u O Mahuka Heiau State Historic Site and Kukaniloko Birthstones State Historic Site Nation

To Learn More & Get Directions check out these sites:

Department of Land & Natural Resources Division of State Parks ; National Park Service Hawai’i Parks ;  National Tropical Botanical Garden Kahanu Garden,Haha Maui 

Please Take Note: Since Hawaiians used a technique called pa pohaku or dry stone masonry these sites are very fragile so please do not walk on or over any of these structures  for your safety and for the protection of the sites to help preserve these sacred sites for the future.

Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line: 828-256-1520  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

 

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Watching Mushrooms Grow Jun 27

One of the great things about visiting the Hawaiian Islands is the diversity of activities and tours available to visitors. One of the fastest segments of tours  are foodie , farm or farm to table tours.  Hamakua Mushroom Farm located on Hawaii Island is one such tour that I have had the pleasure of personally experiencing and found the process so interesting. Hamakua Mushrooms are a speciality and exotic mushroom grown in a mixture of corncob, wheat bran and grandis eucalyptus sawdust. Mushrooms are carefully cultivated to grow out of a bottle (shown in my photos above) a method originally developed in Japan. Using the now available automated processes that have been developed allows growers to produce their product commercially. This process has allowed Hamakua Mushrooms to develop their signature “Ali’i” Mushroom.

Hamakua Mushroom Farm  is located in Laupahoehoe on Hawaii Island (Big Island), so think about adding this tour when visiting the Hilo side of the island.  Hawai’i County gives Hawaii Island farmers a chance to showcase their agricultural products while giving visitors a taste of a real farming experience through Hawaii AG Tours.

For larger groups and special events the farm also has an Events House – chef catered menus can be created for your special celebration for groups of 4-50 people or information email  reservations@hamakuamushrooms.com  

Contact them directly to book a tour on the Tour Line  (808) 962-0305 

To get started planning your visit to Hawaii contact Linda Dancer  Direct Line (828) 256-1520 Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

Email  linda@honeymoonsinc.com

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Fairmont Resorts in Hawai’i Jan 03

 

The Fairmont Orchid – located on Hawai’i Island (The Big Island) is a AAA Four Diamond resort located on the sunny Kohala Coast. A 32-acre oceanfront luxury paradise the Fairmont Orchid offers guests access to golf, tennis,six restaurants, year round children’s facilities and a white sand lagoon.

Home to the famous  Spa Without Walls,which features massage hales(huts), indoor treatment rooms,a steam room,dry sauna, oceanfront massage options as well as a boutique with spa products. The Fitness Center features all the latest in fitness equipment, daily seaside yoga, pool aerobics and a world-class tennis pavilion.

Complimentary Daily activities include Hawaii Arts & Crafts and cultural hikes around the resort exploring ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs and lava shelter caves.

A golfer’s paradise The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii Golf Courses  provides a challenge for pros and amateurs alike with two award winning- Par 72-  18 hold courses the North and the South, which are consistently listed as one of the world’s top golf resorts by readers of Conde Nast Traveler magazine – amazing scenery featuring dramatic ocean views, lush tropical greenery with black lava as a backdrop.

Six Restaurants and Lounges can be found on property including Brown’s Beach House Restaurant(order the fresh ginger ale) ,Norio’s Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar, Hale Kai Restaurant, Brown’s Deli, The Orchid Court, In room dining, Kahakai Bar and Luana Lounge.  In addition several other great local restaurants within the Mauna Lani Resort Complex are available as well.

Weddings are available with many romantic locations throughout the resort available to choose from , the wedding and event staff can hand every small detail to make your special day perfect, whether you want a formal backdrop, barefoot with toes in the sand, waterfalls and lush foliage, a coconut palm grove or incorporate a Hawaii Outrigger Canoe.

It is said a little slice of Heaven waits for you at The Fairmont Orchid , visitors will not be disappointed.

White sand beach lagoon

White sand beach lagoon

Massage Hale at Spa Falls

Massage Hale at Spa Falls

Oceanfront pool area

Oceanfront pool area

Fairmont Kea Lani located on Wailea’s Polo Beach, Maui is Hawaii’s one of a kind villa luxury oceanfront resort. Offering spacious (860 square feet of living space)one bedroom suites and two story villas that are just teps from the ocean and include a private courtyard with plunge pool, fully equipped kitchen and barbecue grill – perfect for a family home away from home or for two couples traveling together on vacation. In addition to 24 hour in suite dining, Caffe Ciao Bakery & Deli( I suggest you grab a picnic basket to go when driving the Road to Hana or exploring the island), Polo Beach Grille and Bar, Kea Lani Restaurant or award winning fine dining fine options are available at Nick’s Fishmarket Maui offering the freshest in sea food and Ko which features plantation era cuisine influences by Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Portugese, Korean and Japanese cultures. After dinner I suggest you watch the sunset from the open-air Luana Lounge – serving some of the world’s finest rums, extensive wine list, all your tropical Hawaiian favorites, Pupus and specialty martinis all while enjoying live entertainment.The Fairmont Kea Lani offers something for every traveler from the 140-foot water slide, toddler pool,free laundry facilities and sandy-bottom swimming beach. For couples on their honeymoon or anniversary trip they have an adults-only pool,two whirlpools and a swim-up bar. For those that are on a fitness regiment  they have a 24 hour fitness center, nearby tennis and adjacent to championship Wailea golf courses, a beauty salon and the new Willow Stream Spa. Fairmont Kea Lani also offers an award-winning Hawaiian Cultural Program. In addition to all the wonderful amenities on property so much is located nearby , world class shopping at the Shops at Wailea and other local restaurants.

But most importantly the most important amenity found at the Fairmont Kea Lani is the gracious aloha spirit from the resort staff add all this together and it is no wonder that year after year Fairmont Kea Lani wins so many awards and is the perfect vacation destination regardless of the reason for your trip to Hawaii.

To book your Hawaii Vacation at either Fairmont resort  Contact: Linda Dancer 

Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888ext 331  Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Email: linda@honeymoonsinc.com

 

Luana Lounge

Luana Lounge

Main pool area

Kea Lani-Main Pool

Kea Lani-Main Lobby

Kea Lani-Main Lobby

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens Dec 13

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens  located on Hawaii Island has the perfect thing for that hard to buy person on your gift list, my photos of just a few of the beautiful orchids on display in their Orchid show room in Volcano, Hawaii. It might be too late to receive a live plant by Christmas, but they have several opportunities such as their Holiday Orchid Club, several fun items such as socks, beauty products and t-shirts on  their website.

To see if you can still place an order for Christmas this year call them toll free 1-888-967-6669  or email them info@akatsukaorchid.com

Akatsuka Orchid Gardens has one of the larger orchid collections in the state of Hawai’i with over 1000 plants on display, do yourself a favor and schedule a Orchid Greenhouse Tour (last about 1 hour)- I never knew that orchids came in so many beautiful colors and variations, not to mention all the other tropical flowers on display as well. You will even have the opportunity to see an orchid valued at $20,000, and  they have an exclusive collection of Cattleya hobby plants.

Located on Hwy 11 (between mile marker 22 and 23)  on the way to Volcano Town and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

Showroom is wheelchair accessible

For more information on booking your trip to Hawai’i Island  contact  Linda Dancer  Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331 Direct Line 828-256-1520

 

Orchids

Orchids

Mom in Hawaii 2007 081

Mom in Hawaii 2007 078

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Exploring Hawaiian Culture Nov 01

Flower Lei

The Hawaiian Lei is a garland made most often from a variety of fresh flowers and for many the symbol of ALOHA welcoming visitors to the islands, but it also plays a huge role historically as one of the romantic icons of Hawaiian Culture for it is given as a gesture of love.  Women normally prefer the fresh blossoms of tropical flowers such as orchids while men prefer the glossy maile vine draped untied around the neck.
**Take the smell of your fresh lei home with you by purchasing at the airport after you clear security check point or many shops will arrange for your lei to be packaged and shipped directly to your home.

Amazing WillieK

Hawaiian Music such as local favorite WillieK shown here plays a huge part in Hawaiian Culture and through out the islands there are several Slack Key Guitar and ‘ukulele festivals and weekly performances for visitors to enjoy check with your hotel concierge to see who might be playing. I have purchased several of these Hawaiian music CD’s to transport me back to the islands. In addition to Slack Key and ‘ukulele look for performances of Hawaiian reggae, hip hop and modern beats as well.

Hula

Born in Hawai’i the Hula uses the entire body to tell the story of myths and legends of Hawaiian culture. Hula tells the story through dance,stories,language,chants,mele(song), as well as through the plants  that many of the instruments and adornments the performers wear are made from.
The world’s premier hula event-The Merrie Monarch(named  after King David Kalakaua) is held every year on Hawai’i Island, the week long festival features both kahiko ancient hula(before 1820) and ‘auwana modern hula(after 1915). **King Kalakaua felt that “Hula” is the language of the heart,and the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.

Lei Making Classes

Throughout the islands, resorts (such as Hyatt Regency Waikiki shown here)offer cultural lessons such as lei making and hula lessons so check with your hotel concierge to see what opportunities might be available for you to enjoy.
Hawai’i is an experience that stays in your heart forever-enhance your experience by participating in Hawaiian Culture.
For more information on Hawaiian Culture
Contact: Linda Dancer  Direct Line: 828-256-1520 Toll Free: 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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