Molokai Journals

Slow Down - This is Moloka'i

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2006 trip to Molokai by John Denholm

Paddlers Inn Photo, More Photos
Quote: The places, people, and experiences that made us fall in love with this island.

Slow Down - This is Moloka'i

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Island Air Dash 8 Photo,
Quote:
The quintessential Molokai experience is a mule ride to the former leper colony at Kalapaupa. While you can hike the 1,600 feet down and back up again, riding gives you time to take in the immense beauty of the trail. The third option is catching a flight ‘topside’ to the small airport on the peninsula. Molokai Air Shuttle, Paragon Air, and Pacific Wings all offer service to the peninsula from Molokai, Maui, and Oahu. Molokai is not for everyone. That is the sentiment I heard echoed by all the former Hawaiian residents I talked to. There is no deluge of brochures offering tours and activities when you step off the plane. A trip to Molokai truly needs planning to get the most out of the trip. There is ...Read More

Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch

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Hotel | "Molokai Ranch - Overview"

Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch Photo, Molokai, Hawaii
Quote:
Molokai Ranch is a sprawling enterprise that occupies most of the western side of the island. It was a Sheraton property until 2004 and is now part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group. If you have done some research about Molokai, you know choice in lodging is fairly limited. There are condos, b&b's, the Molokai Ranch and the Molokai Hotel in Kaunakakai.The ranch offers two experiences for your stay. The first is a room in the lodge complex (22 rooms and the only elevator on the island). The main lodge building houses the Maunaloa Room restaurant, the Paniolo Bar & Grill and an amazing lobby on the main floor. The fitness center and spa are downstairs. Upstairs there are 6 rooms, lou...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2006

Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch
100 Maunaloa Highway
Molokai, Hawaii 96770
(808) 660-2824

Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Molokai Ranch - Lodge Rooms"

Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch Photo, Molokai, Hawaii
Quote:
In my journal entry overview of the hotel, I describe the overall resort amenities. This entry focuses on our room at the Molokai Ranch Lodge. The Lodge offers standard and deluxe rooms at comparatively reasonable prices. The standard room is offered for approximately $250 per night while the deluxe room is offered at approximately $300 per night. Both room types are uniquely decorated with ranch-themed artifacts from the area. The cowboy-themed throw pillows on our bed were hand-stitched by a local artist. You may be wondering about the difference between the two room types....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Lodge & Beach Village at Moloka'i Ranch
100 Maunaloa Highway
Molokai, Hawaii 96770
(808) 660-2824

Paddlers' Inn

Restaurant

Paddlers' Inn Photo,
Quote:
Paddlers' Inn is Moloka'i's newest restaurant, opening its doors in 2004. The menu is fairly simple and they cater to the tastes of the locals. We had a casual dinner on the patio and breakfast inside during a rainstorm. Both meals were very good but the service was slow (even for island standards) during breakfast. This restaurant pays homage to the island's non-official sport of paddling.The patio and outside bar is lively and about as close as you are going to get to nightlife on the island. The local patrons are very friendly and will strike up a conversation and make sure the bartender knows you are thirsty. If you are going to be on Moloka'i for several days, I recommend visiting Paddler's ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 27, 2006

Paddlers' Inn
Highway 450 and Mohala St.
Molokai, Hawaii
NA

Hula Shores

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Restaurant

Hula Shores Photo,
Quote:
Billed as the best dining on the island, we visited Hula Shores twice; once for drinks and returned for dinner. The island's reef makes the ocean glassy so there is not the constant sea spray and wind that is sometimes associated with ocean front dining.Reservations are recommended in the high season but visiting in September, we never had a problem getting oceanfront tables to admire the sunset painting the island of Lana'i unreal colors.Nightly entertainment is a nice touch and features talented local performers performing popular and original Hawaiian songs. One night we were treated to a song called 'Holo Holo Bucky' that paid tribute to the local FedEx driver. The next visit we were tre...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Hula Shores

Molokai, Hawaii
(808) 553-5347

Kualapu'u Cookhouse

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Restaurant

Kualapu'u Cookhouse Photo, Molokai, Hawaii
Quote:
Before our mule ride to the Kalapaupa peninsula, we had planned on having breakfast at the Kamuela Cookhouse. It was surprising to find that the one restaurant in the tiny, former plantation town of Kualapu'u was not named Kamuela, but Kualapu'u. Clearly the name change had occurred between the publication of our guidebook. Kualapu'u Cookhouse once served as the cookhouse for workers at the nearby Dole Pineapple plantation. The building is quaint yet was alive with animated discussion on the Saturday morning we dropped by. We were the only haoles in the place but were welcomed like long lost family members. When a table became available, some of the other patrons went out of their way to round...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Kualapu'u Cookhouse
102 Farrington Ave.
Molokai, Hawaii 96729
(808) 567-9655

Molokai Drive-Inn

Restaurant

Molokai Drive-Inn Photo, Molokai, Hawaii
Quote:
For the most part, ‘fast food’ does not exist on Molokai. While there is one Subway, most people are not in much of a hurry to do anything, let alone eat. Somewhere in between sit-down and fast food exists Molokai Drive Inn. Located on the main highway as you head east out of town, the Drive Inn is something out of a bygone era. Like other Molokai restaurants, the building’s diminutive size fools one to believe there are only a few offerings. Stepping inside the enclosed ordering lobby, the menu covers nearly all of the glass windows that separate the waiting area from the kitchen. Traditional American fare coexists with Hawaiian and Asian specialties. There is an extensive breakfast menu and several ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Molokai Drive-Inn
Farrington Highway
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
+1 808 553 5655

Molokai Plumeria

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Attraction

Molokai Plumeria Photo,
Quote:
Molokai Plumeria offers a chance to make your own lei by hand-picking plumeria blossoms in their orchards. After a brief lesson on how to pick plumeria and which blossoms are most desirable, they turn you loose to pick as many blossoms as you care to. They recommend picking about 50, but we were so caught up in the hunt, we probably ended up with more than twice what was needed. The blossoms are rinsed in a special solution to remove the sugars before hitting the sewing table. This was a chance to talk to the proprietors about the business and some of the challenges they face. We learned the orchid leis that are so commonplace (we would receive them that evening when checking into the Westin Maui) are...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Molokai Plumeria
P.O. Box 557
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
+1 808 553 3391

Post-A-Nut - Hoolehua Post Office

Attraction | "Post-A-Nut at the Ho'olehua Post Office"

Post-A-Nut - Hoolehua Post Office Photo, Molokai, Hawaii
Quote:
Post-A-Nut is a unique offering at the post office in the small agricultural town of Ho'olehua which lies just north of the airport. The office has bins full of dry, brown coconuts. These are lighter than ones fresh off the tree because they do not contain water. Pens and markers are provided and you can decorate your coconut in any manner, as long as there is enough room for a return and destination address. The coconuts are shipped priority mail and arrive at their mainland destination in 3 to 5 days. Each coconut costs approximately $6 to ship, depending on weight.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Post-A-Nut - Hoolehua Post Office
Puu Peela Ave
Ho'olehua, HI
(808) 567-6144

Molokai Fish & Dive

Attraction | "Molokai Fish & Dive"

Quote:
It seems everyone describes this downtown staple with superlatives. I don't know if there has been a change of ownership but this was the one negative experience we had on the island. One day we were in to browse and were treated with absolute indifference. A few days later, we met at the shop to leave for the reef kayak/snorkeling trip that they offer. The same middle-aged Caucasian guy was sitting at the register and apparently we inconvenienced him when he had to fit us for fins and masks (that are included in the trip). After bagging our gear up, he held the bag out to my girlfriend and flatly told her "I'm not your porter". This was after spending over $200 in his store. Unfortunately, one has to...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Molokai Fish & Dive
Ala Malama St.
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
(808) 553 5926

Molokai Fish & Dive

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Attraction | "Molokai Fish & Dive"

Molokai Fish & Dive Photo, Molokai, Hawaii
Quote:
This being our first time on Molokai, we decided to sign on with Molokai Fish & Dive to do their Palau sea kayak trip. We met at the store at the prescribed time and were told to drive to the boat ramp to meet our guides. Thankfully it is a small place because no directions were offered. Our guides eventually showed up but had to run back to the store for something. Thankfully the weather and company was pleasant because we did not launch for at least 45 minutes. In a testament to the friendliness of the local people, a group was returning with their catch and volunteered to show us the local seafood.Eventually, we paddled a ways out from shore and anchored in three foot deep water. This w...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Molokai Fish & Dive
Ala Malama St.
Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748
(808) 553 5926

Moloka'i Museum & Cultural Center

Attraction | "Mokolai Museum and Cultural Center"

Moloka'i Museum & Cultural Center Photo,
Quote:
The Molokai Museum operates on the grounds of the R.W. Meyer Sugar Mill. Rudolph Meyer was on his way to seek his fortune in the California Gold Rush but was detained in Hawaii and decided to stay. The fascinating history of his family is intertwined with that of the island.Admission to the museum is $3.50 for adults. The museum building is fairly new and very modern. There are many photographs of the island and it's people. Upon entrance, the docent sets you up with two films to watch. One is a documentary on the construction and restoration of the mill and the other is a National Park Service film about the former leper colony at Kalapaupa and the restoration efforts and challenges being fac...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 28, 2006

Moloka'i Museum & Cultural Center
Highway 470
Molokai, Hawaii 96748
(808) 567 6436

Moloka'i Mule Ride

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Attraction | "Molokai Mule Ride"

Moloka'i Mule Ride Photo,
Quote:
What is more "Molokai" than the Molokai Mule Ride? The Mule Ride is simply the thing to do on Molokai. Anyone that has been to Molokai will ask if you "rode a mule down to the leper colony". You can either respond "no" or "yes, and I have the diploma to prove it!".The mules are there to solve the pesky problem of getting down (and more importantly, back up) a trail that drops over 1,600 feet in less than 3 miles. The extreme vertical nature is only surpassed by the natural beauty that encompasses it. Molokai Mule Ride has a very informative website. There you can find the latest pricing (about $175 at the time of writing), check availability and...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 2, 2006

Moloka'i Mule Ride
Mule Route 1
Molokai, Hawaii 96757
+1 808 567 6088

Island Air

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Story/Tip

Island Air Dash 8 Photo,
Quote:
Flying to small airports usually means small planes. Aviation enthusiasts thrill while others cringe at the thought of a 'puddle jumper'. If you are worried about flying in these relatively small planes, I will do my best to allay your fears. Most likely, your flight will originate in Honolulu or Maui’s Kahului airport. Flights depart through standard gates in Maui. If arriving from the mainland in Honolulu, you must claim your bags, exit the airport, and walk (or ride the Wiki Wiki shuttle) to the commuter terminal. Regularly scheduled airlines operating from this terminal include Island Air, Go!, and Pacific Wings. If you are planning on having something to eat between flights, don’t count on t...Read More