If there’s one big pay off to the time, money, and stress put towards planning your wedding, it’s the honeymoon. That beacon of hope at the end of the tunnel is the only thing that could dull the boisterous sound of wedding bells in my ears. While my new hubby, Chris, and I are more off-the-beaten-path explorers, we wanted our honeymoon to be relaxing, fun, and most of all, easy. As conventional as it may be, Hawaii seemed like the ideal destination for us to kick back and toast mai tais to our new life together.
While active volcanoes and pristine sandy beaches are the big kahunas on Hawaiian vacations, the Hawaii Island’s illustrious hotels are often overlooked. As honeymooners, your newlywed suite is where a good portion of the post-marital magic happens and it’s worth it to splurge on a hotel that’s comfortable and inviting. From the customary beachfront retreat to cozy bed and breakfasts, Hawaii, the Big Island offers a little something for every type of newlywed.
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel boasts the quintessential romantic experience for honeymooners. With easy access from Highway 19 and situated in between dense palm trees and a beautiful beach, this resort makes you and your beloved feel like you’ve stumbled upon the island from LOST. Skipping the bizarre polar bears and smoke monsters, this resort offers manta rays, spa treatments, and an array of other luxuries to be enjoyed.
Walking into the Mauna Kea is like being greeted into heaven. That is, if heaven offers you fresh-pressed juice and a fragrant lei by a woman who insists you call her “Aunty.” First impressions hold true at this resort and the friendly staff will make you feel as if you’re part of the Mauna Kea family in no time.
Our newlywed suite had a jaw-dropping ocean view that lended itself to some of the best sunsets and people-watching on the island. Overlooking the white-sand crescent beach, we basked in newlywed bliss by drinking mimosas on our balcony in the morning and searching for giant manta rays cruising the waters at night. These gentle giants can easily be spotted feeding along the hotel’s shores and one even treated Chris to a mid-morning ocean frolic.
The draw of the Mauna Kea is that it seems like it’s cut off from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. And while it’s the perfect place to relax, it might provide a challenge to those that want to explore the rest of the island and are without a car. Although with all this hotel offers, what more could you desire?
At the Crater’s Edge
If you and your new spouse are looking to hunker down for some cozy quality time, search no further than At the Crater’s Edge Bed and Breakfast. Situated one mile from the entrance of Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and near a famous black-sand beach, the charming bed and breakfast features fully furnished luxurious rooms offering easy access to the island’s iconic landmarks.
This tropical bed and breakfast offers two private vacation rental studios and entire home rentals of the Forest and Volcano Deck Houses. The latter is our favorite, with its massive timbers and open beam ceiling. This bungalow also comes decked with its own lava rock fireplace and fully stocked honor system bar. Romantic fireside nightcaps have never been so accessible.
If you can pull yourselves away from the romantic sanctuary of your room, check out the unique forest spa. You’ll feel as if you’re a member of the Swiss Family Robinson, only more relaxed as you soak in the outdoor hot tub and unwind in the two-person infrared sauna.
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel
You know what they say: It’s all about location, location, location. The King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriott has front row seats to all the action of bustling Kailua-Kona Village. This is the hotel for the honeymooners that want it all. It features beachfront access, spa treatments, and a culturally-rich art gallery. It’s also within walking distance of a legion of restaurants and local boutiques.
Viewfinder Tip: The King Kamehameha Courtyard is HQ for the Ironman Triathlon. We enjoyed watching future competitors train for the swimming portion alongside the resident dolphin pod.
The rooms are typical of what you might find at most Courtyard Marriotts. But what it might lack in glamour, it makes up for in its strong ties to Hawaiian history. The big man himself, King Kamehameha, unifier of the Hawaiian islands, actually lived on the resort site. Walking through the main floor of the hotel, we found beautifully preserved artifacts and portraits from former Hawaiian royal families. Those family ties remain here today, as the hotel is very family-friendly, making for an ideal base for a Hawaii vacation once you have little rugrats running around.
The perfect snorkeling cove at the King Kamehameha Courtyard Marriott
Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay
While we didn’t spend the night here, we did get a firsthand experience after our visit to the property that left us spending most of our time at the hotel’s rum bar. Rays on the Bay is the Sheraton Kona’s restaurant that features not only an extensive rum selection but also, you guessed it, majestic manta rays. Sip on a fruity Pelee’s Passion – a perfect blend of light rum, coconut, pineapple juice, passion fruit, and strawberry – as you watch the mesmerizing ballet of the giant rays from the comfort of your table.
The rooms at this Sheraton are spacious and filled with natural light. Guests to the hotel can also enjoy its numerous pools (including a 200-foot lava tube water slide) and complimentary daily cultural activities like hula and lei-making classes. If you’re not looking to spend the night, at least stop by at night for a little Hawaiian libation and manta ray performance.
Whether you’re researching your honeymoon options or just need a little one-on-one getaway with your loved one, give these hotels some serious consideration. Hawaii, the Big Island is calling your name.
Which Hawaiian honeymoon hotel suits your style?