Ka’awa Loa Plantation & Guesthouse
82-5990 Nāpo’opo’o Rd., Captain Cook, Island of Hawaii
Photo courtesy of Ka’awa Loa Plantation & Guesthouse
Ka’awa Loa Plantation & GuesthouseFar from the big resorts, in a lush, hilly corner of the Big Island that the locals consider the real Hawaii, is Ka’awa Loa Plantation & Guesthouse. This tremendously charming bed-and-breakfast is set on a small coffee farm and fruit orchard. It’s on the slopes of Mauna Loa, some 1,200 feet above Kealakekua Bay (where Captain Cook met his fate), delivering bird’s-eye ocean views to the guesthouse and its expansive lawn. The two-story main house has five guest rooms (four have half baths, one has a shared bath), and there’s also a stand-alone cottage for those looking for more privacy. Guests tend to hang out on the large wraparound veranda with Kula (the resident pooch) or in the tree-shaded gardens, where there are countless pretty places to curl up with a book and idle away the day. Also outside, for all guests to use when they wish, is a hot tub, a cedar-walled steam hut, and two (outdoor) lava-rock showers, which are particularly pleasant after a day of hiking on the nearby trails or snorkeling with turtles at Honaunau Bay. The inn’s amiable owners, Michael Martinage and Greg Nunn, are usually on hand to lend beach towels, umbrellas, boogie boards, and coolers, and give the lowdown on locals’ favorite island spots, from hidden beaches to hole-in-the-wall poke shacks.