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From our signature services to the finest amenities and custom-created itineraries, your happiness is our one and only priority.
The tallest sea mountain and the biggest volcano in the world are found on the Island of Hawaii, also known as the Big Island. Visitors spending their vacations here should really take a week to travel around to get a good picture of what Big Island living is all about. Huge mountains take the spotlight in the scenery and cut through the island landscape riddled with delicate orchids. Big Island features eight of the world’s 13 bio-zones, with spots ranging from arid desert to polar tundra on the winter mountain caps. Its waters are alive with amazing sea life such as manta rays, dolphins, and sea turtles. Big Island hosts a number of festivals, including everything from a coffee festival to a national marathon to rodeos, and film festivals. It just depends on what vacation travelers are wanting to experience. In any case, Big Island is an ideal location for the adventurer in all luxury vacationers.
During every guest’s entire stay on Big Island, the dedicated Luxury Vacation Home LVH team ensures the ultimate in service and satisfaction are provided at all times. LVH can arrange for private chefs, private jets, exotic cars, luxury yachts, and anything else guests require to make their Big Island vacation stay remarkable.
Big Island luxury rentals can be arranged through LVH to accommodate families, large groups and are perfect for hosting lavish events. Vacationers seeking Big Island luxury vacation rentals have the largest selection from which to choose when booking their stays.
These six areas on Big Island have something for every traveler:
Hilo is replete with breathtaking natural beauty and all the amenities of a lively town. Visitors will see dramatic waterfalls, fertile rainforests and gardens overflowing with colorful blooms. Downtown Hilo is a charming area offering visitors museums, shops, art galleries and a number of restaurants. Hilo is also home to the nation’s only rainforest zoo.
Holualoa is an art center in the heart of Kona coffee country. This is a great place to taste the rich flavors of 100% pure Kona coffee, a rare commodity exclusively grown in north and south Kona. There are about 600 coffee farms in the Kona area and many offer tours. Each November the village has a Coffee and Art Stroll when vacationers can taste exotic Kona coffee blends while shopping for handcrafted goods and meeting local farmers and artists.
This resort area has emerged as one of the Island of Hawaii’s great cultural destinations. The area is bordered on the north coast by beautiful Kahaluu Bay with the famous Kona coffee country of Holualoa just up the slopes of Hualalai volcano. It is the ideal perfect water spot for snorkeling, diving and kayaking. At night, the area attracts manta rays that feed on microscopic plankton.
The sunny Kona District stretches almost two-thirds of the entire west side of Big Island. Shielded from winds by Maunaloa, south Kona’s calm and clear waters are perfect for snorkeling, diving, sailing and spotting dolphins and honu (Hawaiian green sea turtles). The area has a number of shops, restaurants and a healthy nightlife scene. The district is also famous for its deep-sea fishing, and hosting the annual International Billfish Tournament.
The North Kohala peninsula, having risen first from the sea, is the oldest section of Big Island. The upcountry hamlets of Hawi and Kapaʻau cater to tourists in inventive, offbeat ways. Take a peek inside the boutiques, galleries, eateries and gift shops that line the main drag in both towns. The drive to the Pololu Valley Lookout, beyond Hawi and Kapa’au, is spectacular. Once there, consider hiking into the valley before heading back to rest at one of the most amazing luxury vacation homes Big Island has to offer.
This charming town, on the northwest side of Big Island, is ideal for travelers wishing for easy ocean access just a short drive from world-class shopping and dining. The area is a wonderful mixture of beach cottages, classic Hawaiian plantation-style homes, and upgraded luxury properties such as Villa Ezmy, a flawless choice for a romantic getaway or a family vacation in an endless summer. The villa frames Haleakala, Maui's highest peak, directly from the gorgeous lanai across from the heated infinity pool. This gorgeously-designed home is topped off with a third story whale watching retreat offering a 360-degree view.
Whether looking for an authentic island dish or wanting something with an international flair, Big Island has many restaurants from which to choose. Here are seven that come highly recommended:
The place belongs on a postcard. It’s just that lovely. Beach Tree is located in the Four Seasons Resort in Hualalai and offers breezy covered seating or beachside dining and an outdoor lounge featuring nightly musical entertainment. With world-class cocktails and gourmet dining, guests are hard-pressed to find a disappointing item on the four- course and casual menus.
Copper Bar is a place to gather with friends and family to enjoy creative cuisine based on abundance and sharing, along with crafted cocktails, beers and wines. Of course, the centerpiece was and remains the sweeping views of Kauna'oa Bay that have beckoned travelers for decades.
This is surfside dining at its most exquisite. Dine inches above the waves on an open-air lanai on delicious dishes which incorporate tender beef prime rib or the freshest island seafood. Diners at Huggo's will savor influences from Japanese, Chinese and Southeast Asian ports. Vegetarians will enjoy artfully prepared selections. This family-owned restaurant has become an island tradition since offering its first seafood platter in 1969.
This upscale French restaurant in Waikiki has been awarded five stars by Forbes Travel Guide. The fare resembles neo-classical French cooking, inspired by local and tropical delicacies. Each dish is superbly prepared and diners will find everything from foie gras and caviar to decadent fish and meat dishes to satisfy their palates.
Manta is known for its breakfast buffets, but a must-try is one of their most popular dinner entrees: the macadamia nut-encrusted mahi mahi. The fish is super tender with a hint of nutty sweetness. No matter when guests visit, they’ll experience open-air fine dining on a gorgeous patio overlooking Kauna’oa Bay.
Merrimen’s uses fresh Big Island products prepared in an exciting contemporary manner. Merrimen’s has been a Big Island treasure for more than 20 years. The restaurant has all the authentic flavors of Hawaii and is the original home of Hawaiian regional cuisine. Merrimen’s owner is critically-acclaimed Chef Paul Merrimen.
Roy’s specializes in Pacific Rim cuisine, dazzling diners with Szechuan-style baby back ribs, a kiawe-grilled rib-eye, and curry seared ahi tuna. The best tables at this upscale restaurant offer clear views of either an adjacent golf course or a nearby lake. Roy’s is one of the more romantic restaurants on the island. The ambiance is outstanding.
There is a great appreciation of the arts in Hawaii. These four sites are located on Big Island:
The Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art (HMOCA) exhibition galleries showcase local arts, culture, theater, special events as well as exhibitions from around the world. Although the museum has a small permanent collection of art by artists living in the state of Hawaii, its primary focus is on temporary exhibitions and arts education offerings to the public.
Built in 1838 as a summer vacation home for Hawaiian royalty, today Hulihee Palace is a museum showcasing Victorian artifacts from the era of King Kalakaua and Queen Kapiolani. The palace features beautiful koa wood furniture, ornaments and artifacts from Hawaii’s royal past. On one Sunday each month, the Hulihee Palace Concert features free music and performances from the Hulihee Palace Band and the Merrie Monarchs Chorale.
Visitors are able to learn about the history and culture of Hawaiian quilting, unique to the Hawaiian Islands, and view traditional vintage quilts as well as contemporary pieces. Trace a Hawaiian quilt pattern to take home and browse Hawaiian style and island-themed quilts for sale in the gallery.
The Lyman Museum began as the Lyman Mission House, originally built for New England missionaries David and Sarah Lyman in 1839. Nearly 100 years later, in 1931, the museum was established by their descendants. It now houses a superb collection of artifacts and natural history exhibits as well as special exhibitions, and archives, giving visitors a rare and well-rounded view of the real Hawaii.
Big Island establishments aren’t known for staying open late into the night. However, they still offer some great entertainment earlier in the evening. Check these three out:
Gertude's Jazz Bar is a music lover's paradise, offering live music nightly, ranging from jazz and blues to Latin, reggae and rock. The venue hosts talented and diverse musicians from Hawaii and around the world and is dedicated to creating a collaborative, musical and artistic environment to showcase their talents.
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon or evening here with a favorite tropical libation, nibble from a delectable pupu (appetizer) menu while relaxing in comfortable furnishes. Guests are surrounded by local Big Island art and the glorious Kohala sunset. Live Hawaiian entertainment is provided by a solo guitarist and hula dancer.
Rays on the Bay is the only oceanfront restaurant in the world where diners can view mantas while eating their dinners. Along with the mantas, the restaurant is known for its fresh, local seafood, farm-to-table cuisine and handmade artisan pizzas. Live music, romantic sunsets, a rum bar, and fire pit lounges make for a truly stupendous or snuggly evening.
The Hawaiian people have a great respect for their culture and the arts. To pay tribute to them, a number of festivals are held throughout the year. Here are four:
The festival is part of the Kamehameha Day celebration first established in 1871 as a national holiday of the Kingdom of Hawai‘i. The day was created to honor the memory of Kamehameha the Great (c. 1758-1819) who united the Hawaiian Islands in 1810 to become Hawaii's first king. Today the festival continues to pay tribute to Kamehameha and acts to protect, preserve, and perpetuate, the Hawaiian culture by featuring traditional Hawaiian dance, music, chant, practices, arts and crafts, and ‘ono (delicious) food. Thousands of residents as well as visitors from around the world, partake in the festivities.
This festival is a cornucopia of the world’s most famous brew. Fine coffee lovers can learn how to brew a perfect cup of Ka’u coffee, attend coffee college, meet farmers, watch and listen to hula dancers and Hawaiian music. And stock up on some of the world’s finest coffee beans.
The Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is one of the oldest and most successful food festivals in Hawaii. The four-day festival promotes Hawaii’s unique culture and diversity and supports the missions to preserve, perpetuate and promote Kona’s unique coffee heritage. Every day, there are cultural displays and demos, coffee 101 seminars, daily quilt shows, displays, events, contests and entertainment. This is a festival travelers interested in coffee, food and culture should consider attending.
The Merrie Monarch Festival is a non-profit organization honoring the legacy of King David Kalakaua, who inspired the perpetuation of Hawaiian traditions, native language and arts. King David was known as the “Merrie Monarch” for his flamboyant and fun-loving ways. The week-long celebrations feature an internationally acclaimed hula competition, an invitational Hawaiian arts fair, hula shows, and a grand parade through Hilo town.
Whether it’s land or sea adventures (or both) vacationers to Big Island are looking for, these five sound very memorable:
Being in this extraordinary park is like being on an entirely different planet. Extending from sea level to 13,677 feet, the park encompasses the summits of two of the world's most active volcanoes, Kilauea and Mauna Loa. Getting the opportunity to see the primal process of creation and destruction makes it one of the most popular visitor attractions in Hawaii and a sacred place for the Hawaiian people. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is a wild place. The dramatic landscape of Kilauea volcano is constantly being shaped by powerful and uncontrollable natural forces.
The center aims to build a bridge between science and culture through the stars and Mauna Kea Mountain, where the world’s greatest collection of astronomical observatories are located. Educational and cultural programs are offered for visitors through exhibits, activities, and a full-dome planetarium. The planetarium is a must-include on any star-lover’s itinerary.
Many of the coffee farms and plantations on Big Island offer coffee tours. The prettiest time to visit is between January and May, when the rainy season brings white blossoms known as “Kona snow.” Harvesting is by hand (one reason Kona coffee is so costly) from July through January. At least 40 farms of about 600 offer regular tours with tastings, and many more provide samples. Travelers can make impromptu stops along Mamalahoa Highway for some of these.
To really see manta rays up close and personal, go on a snorkeling or diving excursion at night and swim with these rays. These mantas are some of the largest in the world, but they are known to be very gentle. For those who are diving, a diver’s flashlight attracts plankton which mantas love, so they swoop in about two feet away from the diver’s light. It is a magical experience and one luxury travelers who like adventure, are sure to appreciate.
With no less than 13 telescopes, the Maunakea volcano hosts the world’s largest astronomical observatory and offers optimal visibility. There’s no better location to watch the nightly skies than the Onizuka Center visitor information area at 9,200 feet. Since the air is thinner at this altitude, visitors should be in good health. If so, then the summit is the place to be for the ultimate Hawaiian sunrise.