|Mauna Kea Beach Hotel sits on one of the most romantic beaches in Hawaii.|
Travel Agent recently told you where to send clients looking to celebrate Valentine's Day in Kauai and last week we did the same for love birds heading to Maui. Now, we bring you the most romantic spots when celebrating a romantic getaway to The Big Island.
Most Romantic Resort
Widely considered the best hotel on The Big Island, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel has become a landmark on Hawaii Island, having recently completed its 50th year of pampering A-listers in the Aloha State.
The hotel entices older couples and smaller families with its prime location on Hawaii’s best beach, Kauna‘oa Beach, and uses its tastefully designed rooms and views to keep them from wanting to leave.
When Travel Agent toured the property last year, we stayed in a Plumeria Beachfront Suite. There’s one of these per floor. Ours had two bathrooms, a living room with a dining area, and a bedroom with a king-sized bed. The best part of the room is that the terrace offers both garden and full ocean views. The flatscreen LG TV in the living area rotates so guests can be entertained while dining or while sitting on the couch. There are also ocean views from the king bed and the tub located in the bathroom.
The spa has four single treatment rooms and one “luxury” couples suite, which includes a whirlpool Jacuzzi tub. Couples interested in a tasty pre-dinner cocktail should sip on Mauna Kea’s signature drink, The Frederico, which is made of Bacardi Light rum, Jack Daniel’s, pineapple, passion fruit, guava and orange juices with a splash of grenadine. Be careful though, as these cocktails pack quite a punch and are easily deceiving since the taste of the whiskey and rum are overshadowed by all the fruit juices.
For love birds looking to tie the knot, with any three-night stay, full wedding coordination services are available, including assistance with venue location, bride and groom lei, officiant, photography services, cake, music and salon services. Packages are also available.
Couples in love should be sure to sneak a photo at the Akaka Falls State Park, located along the northeastern Hamakua Coast. Couples can take in two gorgeous waterfalls on one short hike. As you follow the paved footpath, you'll first see 100-foot Kahuna Falls. Clients should then continue to follow the loop around the bend, where they'll discover Akaka Falls, which plummets 442-feet into a stream-eroded gorge. This hike takes less than an hour.
For Thrill-Seeking Couples
|View above Hawaii's Big Island on board Paradise Helicopters. // Photo by Joe Pike|
Flying in a helicopter may require a little taste for adventure, but there is also nothing more romantic than holding hands with your loved one as you literally fly somewhere over the rainbow.
We highly recommend Paradise Helicopters, which just wrapped up its 15th year in business. It offers A-listers tours of everything from active volcanoes oozing with plumes of molten lava to valley tours where countless numbers of waterfalls can be spotted to coffee tours where passengers can land and taste some traditional Kona coffee.
The company is located in several of the Hawaii islands and its Kona office is located at the Kona International Airport (KOA), which is about 45 minutes south of the resort. Paradise Helicopters can arrange transportation for all guests.
There are a total of 17 pilots working for Paradise Helicopters. We were told three of Paradise Helicopters’ pilots are former Marine One pilots. Marine One is the call sign of any United States Marine Corps aircraft carrying the president of the United States. Many of the other pilots are ex-military pilots. Besides perhaps some of the safest pilots you can hope for, all pilots are experts in the topography of the island.
We experienced the Volcano & Kohala Landing tour, in which we were supposed to see lava activity and also land at one of the many waterfalls on the way. The waterfalls were spectacular and require a short hike to get to.
We weren’t lucky enough to see any lava because of poor visibility and generally poor weather conditions, but we did fly over a few rainbows. In fact, rainbows are quite common to spot, but also aren’t a guarantee. If VIPs see one, however, spotting one from the ground will never be the same. High above, they appear to be closer to full circles than simple arches.
Should the volcano portion of the tour be canceled due to unsafe weather conditions, the company will offer guests the opportunity for a modified tour to the Kohala mountains, where the waterfalls and valleys are absolutely spectacular. We were told the valleys and waterfalls are the pilots’ favorite tours.
Dining on The Big Island
Two of The Big Island's most touted restaurants tend to be Merriman’s Restaurant in Waimea and Roy’s Waikoloa Bar & Grill on the Kohala Coast. Honolulu Magazine has named Merriman’s the best Hawaii Island Restaurant for 13 consecutive years. And Roy Yamaguchi is a James Beard Award winner based on Oahu, but has locations in Waikoloa as well as Poipu on Kauai, and Lahaina on Maui, as well as Waikiki, Hawaii Kai and Koolina on Oahu.