The guests are on their way back home, the hangovers have worn off and the vows pronounced. Kick travel vaccines, passport processing and temperamental weather to the curb. After months of wedding planning, there is no simpler answer to your dream honeymoon than America’s 50th shining star: the Hawaiian Islands.
A Hawaiian honeymoon is no cliché when vacationing far away from Honolulu’s Waikiki Beach. Known as the Neighbor Islands, the five islands flanking Oahu make an ideal first trip as a married couple with lush environs, unrivaled panoramic ocean views and trademark Hawaiian hospitality. As to where to stay, opt for intimacy at one of the charming cottages and B & Bs dotting the Aloha State. Be it a coffee plantation or a cliff-side ocean-view outside your window, there’s no going wrong with one of these quaint properties. Check-in to island time and discover the bountiful beauty of Hawaii through slow travel.
Ka’awa Loa Plantation
KEALAKEKUA, BIG ISLAND
When exploring the Big Island, make a point of waking up at the Ka’awa Loa Plantation above Kealakekua Bay. All guests at this bed & breakfast are treated to a locavore’s dream spread pulling on fresh organic plantation fruits from the property as well as local Kona coffee. Ka’awa Loa makes a convenient base to visit Kailua Village and to learn about the Big Island’s biodiversity first hand in neighboring Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park.
On the most southerly point of the Big Island, stop off for a stroll along Punalu’u Black Sand Beach or Papakolea Green Sand Beach. After drying off from the outdoor hot tub and a rinse under the lava rock showers, cuddle up with your loved one on the expansive lanai surrounding the main house.
KONA, BIG ISLAND
Further north on the Big Island in the historic village of Holualoa, lovebirds can lounge out at the opulent Holualoa Inn. Situated on Mt. Hualalai, the Kona bed & breakfast marries modern amenities with Hawaiian touches as seen in their approach to luxurious indoor-outdoor living. Carole, the Estate Manager, suggests that couples ease themselves into married life with a 90-minute couples’ massage hosted in the comfort of their room or outdoors in the Inn’s hale luana with views of the Pacific.
This bed & breakfast puts a delicious accent on the latter with technicolored platters of garden tropical fruits and other gourmet creations from resident chef, Crystal Butori. The Holualoa Inn’s grounds aren’t just limited to the main house and the mosaic pool; guests are invited to spread out and explore the adjacent nursery as well as the flora and fauna lining the nature trails.
Waimea Plantation Cottages
For complete privacy on Kauai, bunk at one of the converted sugar plantation homes at Waimea Plantation Cottages. Set in a coconut grove, each of the 15 uniquely-appointed cottages is equipped with a full kitchen and a lanai to catch the cool ocean breezes. Honeymooners will fall in love with the stunning tangerine sunset views from the cottages pressed against Waimea Bay as well as the hammocks swaying throughout the former plantation property.
In case the ocean waters are too rough, guests can conveniently go for a dip in the Plantation’s beachfront-facing pool. Couples will love the old sugarcane cottages as a departure point to score the impressive vistas at Waimea Canyon State Park and for a couples’ surfing lesson on the south side of Kauai in Koloa.
Dressed in wood accents, Ho’olio House on Maui takes its inspiration from the tranquility of Bali. Each of the six rooms of this B & B are unmistakably Hawaiian however, in their nature-inspired names like Nalu (wave) and Wailele (waterfall). This emphasis on the environment pulses through Ho’olio House with reusable water bottles for guests, Gilchrist & Soames bath amenities, a fully-integrated recycling program and the property’s self-reliance on solar energy.
Romantic touches like the private outdoor showers and soak tubs make the difference at this West Maui Mountains outpost. It is no coincidence that one of Ho’olio House’s rooms is named Kohola (whale). Lahaina, a historic whaling village, still honors these graceful leviathans with whale watching tours leaving in the winter months from nearby Lahaina Harbor. Amy, one of Ho’olio House’s hosts, recommends that couples treat themselves to a romantic sunset dinner in Lahaina or for ultimate intimacy, pre-arrange a private dinner on their lanai back at Ho’olio House.
Hale Ohia Cottages
VOLCANO, BIG ISLAND
If Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ranks high on your honeymoon itinerary, check-in to one of the private Hale Ohia Cottages just one mile away from the Park’s gates. Built in 1931, this historic B & B has wonderfully preserved the charms of its former post as a summer house. Honeymooners should make a point of reserving a night in Cottage 44, a converted redwood water tank or the Hale Lehua Cottage with its lava rock fireplace.
For an introduction to Volcanoes National Park, get behind the wheel along the Crater Rim Drive or for active newlyweds, lace up for the Kilauea Iki hike. Hale Ohia’s attention to detail in its furnishings lets ‘Old Hawaii’ shine through at this sophisticated Big Island property.