There are two reasons why we always go back to the Big Island of Hawaii. Well, there are many reasons, but the top two are the weather and the many golf courses. As the southern-most island in the Hawaiian chain, the island of Hawaii or “the Big Island” (as it is called by the Hawaiians) offers up the sunniest days, mild tropical breezes and some of the best golf in all of the islands. This is a review of the highlights from a 7-day vacation that included two types of accommodations:
Aston Kona by the Sea, Kailua-Kona
We enjoy doing the condo experience in Hawaii for the convenience of space, kitchen amenities and relaxation aspects. Kona by the Sea is right on the ocean with recent renovations and updating. The exterior looks fresh and there is a brand new, much larger pool deck with nice pool furniture. A beach sand area between the pool and the ocean breakwater wall has beach chairs and some umbrellas. You can watch the surfers right out from the resort and we saw huge sea turtles resting on the lava rocks. Accommodations all along this part of Kailua Kona are built on lava, so there are very few beaches but there are spectacular waves crashing on the lava rocks. These units are spacious and comfortable with large lanais for watching sunsets. The staff is very friendly and offers up authentic “Ohana” (family warmth and aloha spirit). Oh, and we grilled Big Island Parker Ranch grass-fed beef steaks (look for the PR on the meat label in the grocery store.)
Four Seasons Hualalai
Most discerning Hawaii travelers consider this the number one resort in all of Hawaii and we agree. We enjoyed an ocean view lower level room (with the fabulous outdoor shower) at the Kings Pool area. Our room location was very private and peaceful with a view out toward the ocean waves. Four Seasons top quality furnishings were found throughout and the king bed was extremely comfortable and plush. They have re-done the Sea Shell Pool area and added more private cabanas (rustic “hales”) by taking out some of the landscaping. It is a nice area for families with a shallow sand pool for very young children. The service at the large lap pool was outstanding: ice water constantly refilled, comfortable lounge chairs and attentive food/beverage service. We enjoyed a fantastic round of golf on the Hualalai course and, as one of the best courses in Hawaii; it hosts the annual PGA Senior Tour Mastercard Tournament. The black lava, ocean views and finishing holes combine for that perfect golf experience. $250 greens fees (and yes, it was worth every penny for my memorable round and photos of the spectacular views).
Your Stellar Travel vacation advisor will help you select Hawaii accommodations and activities that match your interests and your budget. Hawaii is offering significant price reductions and free night incentives for 2009 travel dates.
Susan Bluhm, Co – President, Golf Travel Specialist