Volcano Village Estates

11-3968 Hale Ohia Rd., Volcano, Island of Hawaii

In the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village of Volcano, on the slopes of Mauna Loa and just outside of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, are a handful of B&Bs and cottage rentals (see also Volcano Rainforest Retreat). Among the oldest—but no less charming for its 25 years—is Volcano Village Estate (previously known as Hale Ohia).

It’s a small cottage colony, with guest quarters scattered around a two-acre estate thickly carpeted in emerald-green moss and shaded by stands of soaring sugi (Japanese cedar) trees. The main house, a quirky Queen Anne style Victorian with a miniature turret and stone chimney that make it look like it was lifted right out of a children’s storybook, dates back to the 1930s when the manager of a sugar plantation built it as a summer holiday home. The gardens were planted by the same master landscape architects responsible for the Liliʻuokalani Gardens in Hilo (at one time the largest Edo style garden outside of Japan).

All guest quarters are sweetly decorated, in a largely Craftsman style with ceramic tiles and soft woods; some have pretty, stained-glass windows. But on a chilly Volcano night—and most of them are since the town sits at 4,000 feet—nothing is quite as romantic as curling up by the fireplace in one of the three stand-alone cottages, unless, of course, it’s sitting in the garden and watching the dazzling night sky, which is reason enough to stay on this side of the island.

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