A May 2003 trip
to Hawaii by icheapa
Quote: My girlfriend in Seattle invited me to Hawaii to get together with our Dutch friend flying in from Australia. We had no idea what to expect. Our only plan in action was a ticket to Oahu and one-day reservation in Waikiki before island hopping.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 15, 2004
Hale Kai Hawaii
111 Honolii Place
Hilo, Hawaii 96720
This has got to be one of the coolest places I've ever stayed at. It was recommended by a German couple we meet in Hilo. They raved about staying in a cliffhouse overlooking the great big ocean. It’s like a hidden secret.
So when we landed in Maui, our goal was to contact and/or find this place. There are no signs to find this place. We tried calling a few times for more info or to reserve but kept getting voicemail. Finally we saw an entrance with a few mailboxes, which then led into a long bumpy ride into the plantation. We found the place before sundown. It’s a pretty dark and confusing path of tropical forestry. I'm sure the rental car also took a beating from the unpaved road a few times.<.p>
From the office tower, you pretty much look out to the ocean. We were in luck with a few rooms available since we basically went to this place on a whim. We wanted to see the cliffhouse but the guy said it would be a bit tight for three people. It was perfect for a couple. It was basically a small bungalow and deck built on a cliff. It was great but it was too small for 3 adults. He suggested we try the treehouse. It was soooo cool. They built a stepping stone walk way which led up to the huge tree with a house in it. The kitchen and bathroom were housed in a separate house below the treehouse. As we climbed up the stairs, we noticed everything about this two-story house was built around the tree. No limbs were sawed off to accommodate the house. The first floor was equipped with a stereo (bring your own cd, or else listen to new age), table, chairs, and futon. Climbing up a latter takes you up to a nice loft bedroom with a deck that looks out from the lush plantation to the blue sea. It was very cozy and secluded. It’s a great place to clear your mind and relax. The rates weren't bad for the three of us, but don't plan on housekeeping everyday.
It’s a great retreat place for large gatherings, where everyone is separated from the different cottages/house all around the plantation. I came across a couple from New Zealand who've actually spent a month in the cliffhouse. I can understand why. We didn't think this place would make us love Maui, but it did. We ended up staying here for the rest of our hawaiian trip. Find out more at www.retreatmaui.com
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 15, 2004
Hotel | "The Rainbow Plantation Bed & Breakfast Inn"
A nice German couple named Marianna & Reiner are the host of this B&B. They've been running this B&B plantation for over 10 years. You can hear Reiner running a tractor somewhere and Marianna feeding the chickens and pheasants.
The place is a bit like a tropical junkyard with a lot of eclectic things. It’s mostly a macadamia farm, but you can find a few papaya and coconut trees scattered around. You can eat as much macadamia as you want because it falls all over the place. They provide a heavy-duty cracker contraption to break open the hard shell. It definitely took practice. The nuts won't be like the nice roasted and salted kind you find at the store but still good.
Wildlife birds and a potbelly pig run freely around the plantation but a white Labrador dog keeps all the animals within the grounds. A few chickens or peacocks usually come begging for some cracked macadamia morsels. Watch out. It gets a little crazy when there's ten birds fighting around you.
Every room has a theme and simply decorated. The two themed ones we wanted weren't available, the Crow's Nest (2-story bungalow with a watch tower loft bedroom) or Jungle Queen (converted 34-ft boat). We roamed around just to see the different themed lodging. A nice breakfast is included with our stay. There's meditation hut down the way for morning exercising or just to meditate. An outdoor kitchen is in the center of the grounds for anyone who wants to cook and grill.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 16, 2004
81-6327 Mamalahoa Highway
Captain Cook, Hawaii 96704
Thank god we weren't driving. It was dark & drizzling rain (did i mention the constant rain in Hilo?). When we got to the part of the flowing lava, the road that lead further down the mountain side was already covered with rock hard molten. It’s a surreal feeling to hike on top of the hard lava. Every step you make is a crackling crunch. It was like being on mars, except for the crashing sea sound. All I could see was an infinite sea of reflective blackness from the moonlight. Only with my flashlight was I able to make my way across the rocky molten. There is a trail of reflection markers but it stops at a certain point. You can feel a whiff of heat from the active volcano up ahead. I could see the red liquid at a distance, then hear it crash into the sea, when it makes its way down the cliff to the sea. It felt like we could have hiked for eternity so two of us decide to sit it out while the other two decide to hike further along and get closer view. After awhile, we decide to head back to the car and wait for them there. When we got to the paved road close by the car, we just laid in the middle of the road. We laid in the darkness while the clouds played peek-a-boo with the moon.
The next day we went back to the park to see it in the daylight. It was still an incredible view. There were stretches and stretches of black ripples of lava. I was amazed we had hiked on that all night long. During the day, you can go to different parts of the park to check out the huge craters and molten lava (some silent, some active).
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 15, 2004
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Hilo, Hawaii 96718