Recent Big Island reviews
"We stayed at two vacation rentals while on the Island of Hawaii. In this rental, we were able to sit out on the patio and watch the stars, the clouds moving in, and the sunrise over the ocean without being bit by mosquitoes (note the other rental up the Hamakua Coast had great views, but we couldn't enjoy them much due to all the mosquitoes...not so with this rental). The location gave us great access to snorkel in the heated Champagne Pond, to travel to Volcano, and to watch the waves crash against the lava rocks a short distance away. Kitchen facilities were great, and allowed us to make great dinners from Suisun fish market and fresh vegetables from Hilo's farmers market. GREAT PLACE."Guest: Trusting JESUS Date of Stay: August 2014 Review Submitted: September 14, 2014View listing
"We joined our two sons and their families, a total of nine of us, for a fantastic family reunion of ten days at Mauna Kea South Fairways #20. Everything was ready to go. Lots of towels, coffee filters and spices for the barbeque. You do need to bring hair dryers. We stopped at Costco and loaded up and then stopped at the Foodland Farms grocery at Mauna Lani. Lots of refrigerator space including the one in the garage. Registration at Mauna Kea for the amenities program was easy and it gave us an additional two access cards plus a key card to the fitness center. The temperature was easy to control. we used the a/c in the bedrooms and then opened all the sliding doors at night for a gentle breeze. Most of our meals were outside. Parking for two vehicles is not a problem. The pool is really the high point of the house. It was used every day. We would not recommend it for children that don't know how to swim as it doesn't have much shallow space. Our grandkids are water babies and played in it virtually all day. We used the boogie boards and other stuff at the beach. Easy to park at Mauna Kea - take the first right hand turn, swipe the access card and park near that end. Take the path on the right side of the parking lot down past the tennis center. We were there for the 4th of July. Some went to the beach and some stayed at the house. Fireworks visible by the pool at the house! Every evening we watched the sunset and voted on how beautiful it was. Usually either a 9 or 10. Activities we did included Golf at Waikoloa Village (great price and wonderful course), horseback riding at Paniolo Stables, day trip down to the Place of Refuge and shopping in Kona, snorkel cruise on the Fairwind II to the Capt Cook monument and a day trip to the Volcano Nat Park. We used the Saddle road and found it to be in really great shape. Most of it has been realigned and repaved. Only the last 10 miles above Hilo are still narrow and curvy. Drive up past Waikoloa Village, turn right and follow the signs. Make sure you have plenty of gas as there is nothing up there. When we checked out we refueled at Costco. Best price by far. Again, highly recommended!"Guest: Dennis W. Date of Stay: June 2014 Review Submitted: July 17, 2014View listing
"Hello, It was a great property with everything you need for a beach vacation. The owners were very easy to deal with for the reservation and any other questions you may have. Strongly recommended. Thank you Jay"Guest: Jay Date of Stay: March 2014 Review Submitted: March 26, 2014View listing
"Our family spent a magical 3 weeks at Hale Aouli this summer. The house and grounds are truly spectacular - we spent many hours lounging by the pool, taking in the unbeatable view, and watching our little ones enjoy the water. The interior furnishings are also of the highest quality and very well put together - visiting Hale Aouli is like coming home to vacation property you've always dreamt of having - no detail has been overlooked. While the house itself is truly breathtaking, what really put the icing on the cake for us was the easy access to the grounds of the Fairmont Orchid right next door. Being able to walk down to the beach and order drinks and food by the water was a terrific benefit, especially since we had our little kids with us. The house management staff, the daily cleaning staff, and everyone associated with this property were complete professionals - we couldn't have asked for a better experience. We can't wait to be able to go back and spend some more time in this true Hawaiian paradise."Guest: Michael Date of Stay: June 2014 Review Submitted: August 31, 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.