Celebrate 50 Acts of Aloha with Mauna Kea in Hawaii
To celebrate its 50th anniversary this year, the iconic Mauna Kea resort, a member of the AFAR Collection, set out to perform 50 Acts of Aloha by the end of 2015. Gestures range from six weeks of complimentary ten- nis lessons for local middle-school kids to beach cleanups and benefits to sup- port local hospitals. While the resort is named for its perfect white sand beach, the aloha also extends to the Big Island’s other natural wonders, including the dormant Mauna Kea volcano. The resort can arrange for guests to give back too by spending a day planting trees and clearing trails in the mountain’s unique dry forest, home to an endangered bird known as the palila. From $325.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Glow Stand-Up Paddling and Canoeing
Kauna’oa Bay’s large plankton population attracts manta rays, and you’ll find yourself gliding alongside them during this nocturnal excursion. Thanks to LED lights carefully strapped on your board, your hour-long jaunt may also include a parrotfish sighting (they’re intrigued by the boards’ shimmery glow.) You can treat stand-up paddle boarding as a workout, or simply stargaze as you float.
It’s the latest adventure unveiled by the Mauna Kea Beach Club, whose aquatic lineup also features whale-watching, deep-sea fishing, and canoe excursions. New paddlers can take an introductory canoe ride while more seasoned guests can explore the Kohala Coast’s caves and coves on a private group charter. And why not wind down the day with a sunset canoe paddle? Given Mauna Kea’s spectacular beach setting, you’ll want to maximize your time outdoors.
Follow your sun salutations with sauvignon blanc and your planks with pinot noir at this weekly class-slash-happy hour held ocean-side on Friday evenings. It’s only fitting that the sessions focus on Vinyasa, a yoga style that synchronizes movement with breath, because you’ll want to inhale the salty sea air deeply as you gaze at a fiery Big Island sunset.
This 3,500-square-foot ballroom debuted in January 2016 with a beach-friendly color scheme of cream, ivory, and taupe. The elegant venue accommodates nearly 400 guests for meetings, weddings and other functions—and that’s not counting a spacious outdoor area. It’s wreathed by a succession of airy floor-to-ceiling windows with uninterrupted views of its namesake bay, one of the few white-sand shores on the storied Kohala Coast.