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Tropical Adventure Paradise: Hawaii Travel Guide & Top Luxury Hotels

Plan a well-deserved break in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, where you can roast under the scorching sun on the colourful beaches, explore endless beauty through the hiking trails, and discover the magical island’s unique history.

Despite being gifted with great weather year-round, the island offers the best weather in June, July and September, as there is a lower chance of rain and the water temperatures will be warm.

It is recommended to spend at least 10 days on the island, as the time difference means that jet lag is likely to disrupt your trip for up to the first three days. Have a look at our ultimate travel guide for Hawaii, to ensure that you don’t miss any of the main sights and activities!


Things to See

Hawaii is unique in that it features a fascinating contrast of sights, including rocks and volcanoes, soft sand and glittering water, as well as a tropical rainforest – all in one place!

Visit the iconic Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you will find two active volcanoes: Mauna Loa and Kilauea, which is the most active volcano in the world. Drive down the Chain of Craters Road to admire extraordinary views of lava fields, rock formations, and the crystal blue sea.

Discover the world-famous coastline of Kona which is bursting with creativity from the local art scene, the impressive science community and the historical sites. Visit the former fishing village of Kailau, which has transformed into a bustling town filled with stylish boutiques and restaurants.

Admire the beauty of the most stunning waterfalls during a hike through Alaka Falls State Park, with the first being Kahuna Falls at 100 feet tall and Alaka Falls at 442 feet.

Immerse yourself in the rich history of the island, starting with Ahu’ena Heiau which is a reconstructed temple and the former home of a past king, Kamehameha. A statue of the king can also be found in Kapa’au, a small town close to where he was born. Hulihe’e Palace is also of historical significance, as it was the former vacation residence for Hawaiian royalty and is now used for community events.

Other sights you must be sure not to miss include Haleakalā National Park, Diamond Head, Hana Highway, Nā Pali Coast State Wilderness Park and Hanauma Bay.


Things to Do

Hawaii combines a relaxing beach holiday with extreme adventure offering a vast variety of things to do during your stay, including tours, snorkelling, cruises, whale watching and ziplining!

Rise with the sun and the whales in the morning with Ocean Sports, who will take you on a whale watching adventure in the early hours of the morning on a cruise. Spot the whales along the picturesque Kohala Coast with Mauna Lani Sea Adventures or plunge 100 feet underwater to admire the incredible coral reefs of the Kona Coast, guided by Atlantis Submarines. You can also experience diving with a professional who will show you the small historical wreck on the ocean floor, as well as the exotic longnose hawkfish and Tinker’s butterflyfish.

Explore the ocean in the evenings as the water activities continue! Take a sunset cruise down Kona Coast or embark on an evening blackwater dive with the manta rays, clear larval fish and cephalopods. If you prefer to stay above sea level or in shallow waters, kayaking and reef diving are also available.

Change out of your swimwear and into comfortable hiking gear to discover the natural beauty of the island’s volcanic landscapes, breath-taking waterfalls and beautiful viewpoints through the trails and paths.

Follow the popular Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail which is 175 miles long or book with the Hawaii Forest and Trail guided tours and learn about the range of exotic birds which live on the island.

Join the birds above the forests and waterfalls as you glide across the island at 35mph with Umauma Falls Zipline & Rappel Experience. Sign up to KapohoKine Adventures’ tour of the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park before taking part in an 8-mile zip course or capture panoramic views across the island in an exhilarating helicopter tour.

Take a shopping trip after your adventures at the popular shopping centres, souvenir shops and quirky boutiques, before unwinding at the range of incredible beaches including the most popular Punaluu Black Sand Beach and Hapuna Beach State Park.

Plan your trip according to the variety of Hawaii’s vibrant events every month, including the world-famous and top triathlon, IRONMAN World Championship in October.


Places to Eat

The island is home to a range of cafes and restaurants to cater for any meal and our list of the top places to eat features the must-try Hawaiian Plate on its menu.

Try a comforting breakfast at Gramma’s Kitchen located in Honoka’a, which is celebrated for its comforting menu, or build your own plate lunch at The Feeding Leaf Kitchen & Okazuya using locally sourced ingredients. Most of Merriman’s Waimea’s menu is also sourced from the island, including the wok-charred ‘ahi, the Hirabara greens and goat chevre salad.

Enjoy a casual breakfast, lunch or dinner with a spectacular view of the ocean at Huggo’s which has been a favourite of locals and tourists for 50 years, or fine dine at Magic’s Beach Grill in Kailua-Kona at sunset with an incredible view. Alternatively, pick up a quick bite at the restaurant’s Beach Shack and head down to the beach!


Top Luxury Hotels

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Wake up to the view of the Pacific Ocean at the Four Seasons Resort along the Kona-Kohala coast, in Hawaiian inspired suites with a sleek style and warm tones.

This hotel captures all of the main features of the island of Hawaii in its resort, including rocks, sea and sand with its very own private beaches. Make use of the 15,000 square feet of excellent fitness facilities or enjoy the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus signature Hualalai Golf Course before unwinding at the luxurious spa. Dine at one of the variety of restaurants on site, offering a mix of cuisines including Italian and Mediterranean.


Ritz Carlton Kapalua

This tropical resort offers colourful and contemporary suites with dark wooden floors and modern bathrooms, as well as a full kitchen in some rooms.

Start your day with a range of thrilling activities both on-site and nearby, including basketball, boogie boarding, sailing, kayaking, whale watching and snorkelling! Stay active at the hotel’s fitness centre hosting daily fitness classes and make use of the two tennis courts. With a shuttle available to transport you to anywhere you want on the island, you will never struggle to stay entertained.

Relax afterwards at the Ritz-Carlton Spa, with traditional Hawaiian body treatments, facials and massages, and soak in the 3-level outdoor pool before dining at Kai Café, the Alaloa Lounge or the Banyan Tree.


Fairmont Kea Lani

Stay in the luxurious suites of the glamorous resort featuring a deep soaking tub and wide-stretched balconies providing exceptional views of the ocean.

Swim in the three outdoor pools, with one featuring a 138 feet high waterslide and another being specifically for adults only to suit all guests. Enjoy free fitness classes and excellent facilities at the 24-hour gym, as well as a free shuttle service to the Wailea Golf Club.

Book yourself in for a canoe or walking tour with the hotel before tasting the delicious cuisine at one of the three dining facilities. Live entertainment and specialty martinis are also offered at The Luana Lounge.


The Ritz-Carlton Residences Waikiki Beach

With floor-to-ceiling windows and fresh, spacious rooms, this exquisite accommodation offers studios, residential suites and penthouses with unmatched views.

Take a dip in the impressive elevated infinity pool next to private cabanas and reduce any stress in the resort spa, which offers a variety of traditional treatments from different cultures.

Choose from a wide range of cuisines from a contemporary, American-style restaurant offering new menus every day with locally sourced ingredients, to the new gourmet market and sushi restaurant led by well-respected chefs.


Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort

This eco-friendly resort located on 15 acres of Mokapu Beach boasts beautiful, fascinating interior and a choice of suites or villas for accommodation. Every room features a private balcony, an en-suite bathroom and rain shower, with select suites offering a separate living room and specific villas providing a kitchen and private hot tub or plunge pool.

Learn how to canoe, paddle board, kayak and surf by the on-site instructors, who also offer tours. Enjoy the luxury of four outdoor infinity pools, a full-service spa, two poolside bars and two restaurants serving Japanese and American cuisine as well as specialty cocktails.


By Layla Maguire

keikeitravels
keikeitravels

KeiKei is a London-based award-winning journalist and videographer with a degree in Broadcast Media and Journalism from the University of the West of Scotland and an extensive reporting background in news, entertainment, travel, and lifestyle.

KeiKei has travelled the globe interviewing, reporting and reviewing. Her work has been published in worldwide media outlets including, The New York Post, The Guardian, The Mirror, The Daily Mail, National Geographic and Conde Nast publications.

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