With luxury resorts, quaint motels, condo rentals, and campgrounds, the Big Island offers a wide variety of accommodations. If you’re looking for high-end resorts, the Kona area on the west side of the island is your best bet, while travelers who prefer a low-key condo or B&B will be better off on the eastern Hilo side. Be sure to book in advance, especially during events such as the Ironman Race in September and the Merrie Monarch Festival in April.
The sweet smell of plumeria floats on gentle trade winds into each guest room at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. When entering the room, you may be surprised that floor-to-ceiling picture windows and a beautiful private lanai (patio) beckon you to step...
Photo courtesy of Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
In many ways, the Fairmont Orchid is the quintessential Hawaiian luxury resort. It has a big, elegant lobby, blooming with purple orchids and birds of paradise. An enormous swimming pool—open 24 hours—wends its way around black rock...
Photo courtesy of Four Seasons Hualalai, Big Island
A favorite among Hollywood royalty, the Big Island’s Four Seasons is more secluded than its sister property on Maui. It sits on 863 acres of palm-fringed coastline, with little else for miles in any direction, other than two exclusive golf...
Photo courtesy of Hale Ohia Cottages
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...
Photo courtesy of Hawaii Island Retreat
A clifftop eco-hotel surrounded by 50 barely touched acres on the bucolic North Kohala coast, Hawaii Island Retreat feels as far away as it gets. There are no TVs in the guest rooms, no air-con, and Wi-Fi only in certain spots. Solar and wind...
Photo courtesy of Ka’awa Loa Plantation & Guesthouse
Far 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...
Photo courtesy of Shipman House
Historic B&Bs are rare in Hawaii; appealing ones even rarer. To be fair, the Shipman House, in the old sugar town of Hilo, sets the bar impossibly high. A capacious late-Victorian landmark, turret and all, is a sunny and immaculate treasure...
Photo by Wowi Zowi
Turning off the highway into Volcano Village, the one-street town leading into Volcanoes National Park, first-time visitors might think they just made a right turn into Oregon. Cool, misty, and thick with giant ferns, this corner of the Big Island...
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