Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Artists Gather at Malulani Pavilion

Some of the Big Island's most prestigious artists gathered together on Saturday, October 20 for the second-annual Hawai‘i Collaboration art auction, held at Holualoa Inn's newly unveiled Malulani Pavilion.

Brimming with catered cuisine and artisan brew on tap, the pavilion provided the ideal setting for residents and visitors to bid on 63 different works of art created collaboratively by artists of varying backgrounds and genres. World-renowned woodworker, Tai Lake, of Holualoa, spearheaded the collaboration project with fellow woodworker, Cliff Johns, whose gallery is located next to the Inn.

For four days prior to the auction, 32 artists combined their skills to create many wonderful, unique and sometimes wacky art pieces that raised more than $30,000 for future Hawai‘i Collaboration events, and to fund scholarships for young artists and arts programs.

"Our hope is that this event raises enough funds that our next event can be 100 artists strong, so we can give back to our community of young artists, art teachers and artists from around the world," said Cliff Johns. "We also hope that this event will inspire other mini collaborations around the Islands."

Located at Holualoa Inn and showcasing sweeping views of the Kona Coast, Malulani Pavilion is the perfect venue for special events, corporate meetings, weddings, workshops and more. The covered facility includes an enclosed kitchen that makes catering a breeze. Situated on a large, grassy bluff, the pavilion seats 120 comfortably and offers an upscale, yet casual setting for gatherings and meetings.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Horseback Riding Tours on the Big Island

Of all the islands in the Hawaiian Islands chain, the Big Island is the most steeped with ranching and paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) history. Featuring acres of rolling, green pastures, historic ranches and miles of equestrian trails, Hawai‘i's Big Island offers many scenic destinations for visitors wanting to explore the great outdoors by horseback.

Kings' Trail Rides above Kealakekua Bay
While most of the trail rides/tours take place on the north side of the island, Kings' Trail Rides provides a guided horseback tour down Kaawaloa Trail to the ocean near Kealakekua Bay in South Kona. In business in South Kona for decades, Kings' Trail Rides includes snorkeling and swimming (conditions permitting), plus a packed lunch.

One of the best ways to see Waipio Valley is by horseback. There are several tours in the valley, including Waipio On Horseback, which offers a two-and-a-half ride through the lush jungles, taro patches and ancient Hawaiian villages on the way to view the incredible waterfalls of Waipio. Located in North Kohala above Waimea, historic Kahua Ranch offers a horseback adventure across its expansive cattle and sheep ranch. Unlike the standard "head-to-tail" trail ride, Kahua Ranch Horseback Adventure allows experienced riders to enjoy cantering and open-range riding.

Waipio On Horseback
Owned and operated by a Native Hawaiian family, Dahana Ranch offers open-range rides, cattle drives, trail rides and more across the beautiful backcountry of Waimea, with breathtaking views of Waipio and Mauna Kea. The ranch also offers horsemanship camps and "roughrider " getaways.

Here at Holualoa Inn, our 33-acre coffee estate is situated on historic land that features an ancient Hawaiian trail as well as a donkey trail that was utilized for hauling coffee. With cattle grazing in the distance, our Kona Hawai‘i bed and breakfast affords beautiful views of the Kona coastline and the lush greenery that surrounds our spacious property.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ironman is Here!

"Twas the night before Ironman, and all throughout Kona, the athletes are hopefully getting a good night's sleep in preparation for a grueling day ahead."

That right, sports fans, it's the countdown to the 2012 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, where the hardiest of body and soul vie to complete a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run. The 140.6-mile journey tests the will, spirit and physical endurance of every participant striving to earn the coveted title of "Ironman."

Visitors to Kona can get an up-close and personal view of the athletes in action throughout the day. The race begins first thing in the morning at Kailua Pier. The difficulty is measured by the amount of swell that day (and by the sounds of the ocean tonight, we suspect there might be a bit of chop in the water tomorrow, which will ultimately impact the course). Then it's onto the bikes, where riders embark on the grueling trek down Queen Kaahumanu Highway all the way to the north end of the island to the town of Hawi. Upon returning to downtown Kailua-Kona, riders transition to the run portion of the event, a marathon down Ali‘i Drive and out toward the airport  that leaves many in the dust at the Natural Energy Lab. If you have the stamina to make it back to Historic Kailua Village, you will be greeted by throngs of excited fans from all over the world cheering friends and loved ones as they cross the finish line near the pier.

For spectators, the excitement mounts throughout the day. Helicopters follow the elite triathletes in the lead, adding to the suspense. TV crews, reporters, and hundreds of volunteers at aid stations can be seen everywhere you look. There's also plenty of sponsor booths in town to visit. You might even want to join a "Kokua Crew," helping volunteers to distribute water and Gatorade to participants as they pass by.

Here at Holualoa Inn, our ohana can give you insider tips on where best to observe the race, and the approximate times that the lead finishers will be crossing the finish line. Our Hawai‘i Bed and Breakfast boutique hotel is just minutes away from Historic Kailua Village, home of the world-famous Ironman World Championship.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bird Watching in Hawai‘i

Birding enthusiasts will find plenty of unique destinations on the Big Island for observing rare native forest birds as well as other types of feathered friends including the Hawai‘i State bird, the Nene.

I‘iwi Bird
For serious birders, Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge is home to three species of endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers (akiapola‘au, akepa and Hawai‘i creeper). Located on the slopes of Mauna Kea off the Saddle Road, the area is not generally open to the public, so in order to visit, you must book a permitted tour. Hawai‘i Forest and Trail, based in Kailua-Kona, offers guided tours of the Pua Akala meadow at the refuge. The higher the elevation, the better chance you have of seeing a rare i‘iwi bird feasting on lehua blossoms with its curved beak.

Also located off the Saddle Road, the Pu‘u O‘o Trail features a well-marked trails where small koa "islands" (kipuka) offer forested homesteads for birds. You might even see a Hawaiian hawk (‘io) flying overhead.

At Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, there are many good areas for bird lovers to explore. Birds that frequent  the trails include oma‘o, elepaio, apapane and amakihi. Resembling geese, the adorable Nene birds roam the cindery areas of the Volcano, feeding on opelo berries that grow in the barren lava fields.

Here at Holualoa Inn, guests wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed Kona coffee and the sounds of birds chirping in our banyan tree. In fact, we've often spotted Hawaiian owls (Pue‘o) or hawks hovering above the Inn. Our Holualoa Inn ohana are happy to give you advice on how to get to some of the more remote destinations on the Big Island, or where to book the best tours. 

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn