Recent Big Island reviews
"This is our second stay at Kona Reef-our first time in this unit. Beautiful view of the ocean off the lanai. The unit had everything we needed. Well stocked with kitchen utensils, detergent, paper products, etc. Lots of other extras such as boogie boards, beach chairs, beach towels. This unit was very quiet. Easy walking distance to shops and restaurants. Enjoyed the wonderful sunsets from the lawn area just on the other side of the pool. Short drive (less than 4 miles) to Kahalu"u state beach which is an excellent snorkel beach, as well as 2 step or Pu'uhonua state park (about 35 miles) which is another good snorkeling area. Took a guided snorkeling boat ride to Kealakekua Bay to snorkel, also. This is our 5th trip to the Big Island and we are always discovering new places to go. We would highly recommend staying in this condo and would rent again when returning. The owner got back to us quickly when requesting information. The rental process went very smoothly and orderly."Guest: D.G. Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: September 1, 2014View listing
"We just loved the Sure House Condo. It was even nicer in person than in the pictures. The Condo complex is on a Golf Course and the Sure House is on the second floor. You have a very distant ocean view. The Condo is not air conditioned, but the island Trade Winds ensure that the temperature stays quite comfortable with the windows open. There are beaches a short drive away, a grocery store 5 minutes away as well as many restaurants within a half hour's drive. The Sure House is very well equipped with every amenity we needed - and then some! The owner was amazing and provides excellent information as well as suggestions for day excursions. I will definitely be recommending this to family and friends and wouldn't hesitate to stay here again in future."Guest: Lita's Mom Date of Stay: February 2014 Review Submitted: March 4, 2014View listing
"We have stayed at the Four Seasons resort 4-5 times, but this was our first time to stay outside the hotel at one of the Villas. I would highly recommend this type of vacation, especially for families. The Villa itself was wonderful and very well maintained. Its a ways from the beach, but with the golf carts it takes only a few minutes to be at the ocean. The feel of the Villa is very upscale and even more luxurious than the rooms at the four seasons for sure. Sitting on the deck looking across the golf course towards the ocean you get a great sense that you are staying in somewhere special. I can not say if its the nicest Villa in Hualalai, but if you are used to staying at the four seasons this villa is a very nice step up in the luxury scale."Guest: Anonymous Date of Stay: January 2014 Review Submitted: January 20, 2014View listing
"We had a fantastic stay at this unit. It was just two of us so we were happy to find a place that was less expensive but not far from the water. The unit had everything we needed. In the closet were lots of things we found useful at the beach. Chairs, boogie boards. snorkel/fins, cooler, etc. We were even surprised to have a nice gift basket of food goodies which we enjoyed. It is very convenient to getting to Hapuna Beach and Beach 69 (10 minute drives) which are some of my favorites on the island. The complex was very quiet. There is a road in front of the unit but the traffic was pretty minimal. We appreciated the peek-a-boo views of the water from the lanai. We also enjoyed walking/jogging out of the unit along the public access trail that goes to A-Bay nearby. There is a grocery store in the resort village a few minutes drive away that has the usual groceries and some nice del options for breakfast/lunch/dinner if you want alternatives to going out to the restaurants. Groceries are less expensive though closer to the airport at the Safeway and Costco so if stocking up may want to go there. Robert the owner was easy to work with and trustworthy and got my deposit back promptly."Guest: Jim L. Date of Stay: December 2013 Review Submitted: January 20, 2014View listing
Big Island Travel Tips
Hawaii is hands-down one of the most sought-after destinations in the U.S. There are eight main islands, and the largest and northernmost is called the Island of Hawaii -- better known as The Big Island -- to avoid confusing it with the rest of the state. It is a paradise filled with unparalleled natural wonders and all but two of the world’s climate zones, which serve as a home for a wealth of biodiversity. Come get your own slice of heaven on earth.
What’s a better sight to see than an active volcano spewing lava? Visit the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to see it for yourself. The Big Island is not only big, it’s still growing! Kilauea has been erupting since 1983. Situated 30 miles southwest of Hilo, it is one of the most active volcanoes on the planet. As a whole, the park boasts more than 150 miles of hiking trails through craters, rainforests, deserts and the volcanoes themselves. It is even considered a World Heritage Site. Amazingly, 250,000 to 650,000 cubic yards of lava are produced each day, which is enough to cover a road 20 miles long. Hurry, because no one knows when Kilauea will stop erupting! Catch this phenomenal natural event while supplies last! The visitor center is open from 7:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For the science behind it, take a walk through the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum for geologic displays, videos and maps. Besides the volcano, you and the family can explore Crater Rim Drive, an 11-mile scenic drive within the park.
Along the western edge you will find the black lava fields of the Kohala Coast. However, a little further south lies the yang to its ying, Hapuna Beach, which is bursting with Hawaii’s biggest white-sand beaches. Let’s put it this way: Hapuna has hit international top ten lists year after year. The landscape are pristine, and the vistas couldn’t get much better. At Puako Petroglyph Archaeological Preserve, you’ll discover lava rock carvings etched hundreds of years ago by native Hawaiians. No one is exactly sure what they mean, but it is generally thought that these carvings are records of birth and deaths from the ancient culture. There’s no better time than now, so treat yourself to luxury living as you can freshen up at top-tier spas to recharge and feel yourself again. Don’t forget to hit a round of golf on the world-class fairways and greens. Jack Nicklaus designed Hualalai Golf Course, while Robert Trent Jones Sr. had his hand at Mauna Kea Resort. Rest assured, you won’t go wrong.
Hamakua Coast, on the eastern side, is famous for its waterfalls and riveting rainforest. Explore the heart-stopping Akaka Falls, where waters spill 442 feet through a gorge into the river below. You’ll be surrounded by bamboo, birds of paradise and huge ti plants along the way. The coast is ribbed with valleys and gulches that you’ll see during your drive at the Hamakua Heritage Corridor, a trip that passes rainforests and waterfalls alike. Unwind in 275 acres of beauty at the World Botanical Garden, home to the Umauma Falls, before you go zip-lining along vistas of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a perfect adventure for thrill-seekers young and old!
You’ll be shouting “ahola” as you arrive in Hilo International Airport in this eastern region. The landscape brims with more rainforests and gardens than you will know what to do with. For science lovers, enjoy the amazing exhibits in the Pacific Museum and Imiloa Astronomy Center, Hilo’s newest top-notch attraction. To get a fresh bite to eat, pick out your favorite exotic fruit at Hilo Farmers Market, a knockout among locals. Cafe Pesto serves seafood caught the same day that will leave you and your family wowed.
Puna packs those black-sand beaches that Hawaii is known for. Tourists flock to Kalapana, a historic town destroyed by lava. Today, the site is the prime spot to see the lava reach the sea. A few miles away, you can see Keaau, where lands used to be covered in sugar canes. At the Lava Tree State Park, there are molds of trees that lava formed in the 1700s. Swim in pools heated by the volcanoes beside regions rich in tropical fruits and vegetation. Isaac Hale Beach Park provides one of the island’s most coveted surf spots, although swimming is not recommended due to the strong currents.
In Hawaii, you’ll leave with more than just a lei around your neck, you’ll come home with zip-line extravaganzas, volcano explosions and Pacific seafood dinners floating on your mind.