Thursday, January 31, 2013

Walking Tour of Historic Kailua Village

Hulihe‘e Palace
The essence of Kona can be found in its historic downtown village along the shores of Ali‘i Drive. Visitors to the Big Island will surely want to spend some time exploring the many landmarks, shops and sights of this relaxing, seaside destination.

The town's most historically significant site,  Ahu‘ena Heiau at Kamakahonu, is located near the Kailua Pier by King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. This centuries-old temple and royal complex once served as Hawaiian Kingdom's first capital under King Kamehameha the Great. The restored temple stands sentry over Kailua Bay, and is an iconic site in Historic Kailua Village.

Mokuaikaua Church
A short walk down the street leads to Mokauikaua Church, the oldest Christian church in the state of Hawai‘i. You can still see the lava rock and coral/limestone mortar used to build the church in 1837. Directly across the street, Huluhe‘e Palace is one of only three royal palaces in the United States; the other two are located on O‘ahu.

Built in 1938 by the second governor of the Island of Hawai‘i, John Kuakini, the Palace was remodeled by King Kalakaua in the style of royal palaces he'd seen during his travels in Europe. Visitors can take guided tours of the Palace, which showcases beautiful koa antique furnishings, artifacts, paintings, sculptures and priceless objects belonging to Hawaiian royalty.

Holualoa Inn is located just a five minute drive above downtown Kailua-Kona. Our Holualoa Inn ohana will treat you like royalty from the moment you enter our stately tropical retreat.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival

It's cherry blossom time in Waimea, where dozens of beautiful cherry trees come into full bloom at Church Row Park along Mamalahoa Highway. Held each year on the first Saturday of February, the Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival celebrates the iconic trees of this upcountry Big Island town. Taking place at various venues throughout town, the festival features lots of activities including mochi pounding, traditional tea ceremonies, home tours, bonsai demonstrations, multi-cultural performances, origami and more.

Planted in 1972 by the Waimea Lions Club, the cherry trees offer plenty of photo opportunities for residents and visitors, who can picnic or relax beneath the canopy of pink flowers. Artists set up their easels to paint the scenic vista. This year's all-day event takes place on Saturday, February 2 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Look for the pink banners that identify site locations. Shuttle buses and vans transport visitors through town for free. The festival marks the 20th year with a special anniversary exhibit and live entertainment.

Located less than an hour's drive from Holualoa Inn, the ranching community of Waimea is home to the famous Parker Ranch. Rolling green hills, clear blue skies, magnificent cloud formations and views of Mauna Kea in the distance combine to make Waimea one of Hawai‘i's most unique destinations. If you are visiting the Big Island during Cherry Blossom time, be sure to make the trip and experience this very special event.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Discovering Kona History

History abounds in Kona, whether its rich ranching heritage, multi-ethnic cultural lineage, agricultural significance or coffee farming legacy. The best place to learn about Kona's fascinating past is to make a visit to the Kona Historical Society.

Located in Kealakekua just a 15-minute drive from Holualoa, Kona Historical Society offers two living history programs: H.N. Greenwell Store Museum and the Kona Coffee Living History Farm. Occupying the original building built in 1870, the restored Greenwell Store is like a step back into time, featuring an array of nostalgic goods on display like woolen long johns, calico fabric, paniolo saddle soap and more. A costumed docent tells the story of daily life during the bygone era of Kona's ranching heyday. The store is open Mondays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The beautiful grounds of the Historical Society includes old pasture lands where an authentic Portuguese Stone Oven takes center stage. On Thursdays, the Society bakes its own Portuguese sweet bread in the oven, welcoming guests to partake in the dough-making process. The finished product is offered for a small donation. Also on site, Greenwell Kona Coffee Farms offers samples and tours.

Farther on down the road on Mamalahoa Highway, the Kona Coffee Living History Farm unveils an authentic historic home representative of Kona's coffee pioneers during the years 1926-1945. Costumed historians cook meals over an open flame and talk story with visitors about Kona's coffee heritage.

A 30-acre coffee estate, Holualoa Inn is located in the heart of Kona Coffee Country. Guest wake up to the aroma of freshly brewed 100-percent Kona coffee grown on site. History comes alive on our grounds, where ancient footpaths and coffee trails traverse the property.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Monday, January 7, 2013

Holualoa Inn Makes Top 10 Zen Inns

It's official! Holualoa Inn has been named among the Top-10 Relaxing Inns in the country to find inner peace and tranquility. Featured on, the Inn was the only property in Hawai‘i to make the list.

Here's what the publisher wrote: "Sometimes, a getaway is all about adventure and exploration. Other times, you simply need to escape from everyday stress and find some R&R. These 10 inns will pamper and rejuvenate you, giving you the opportunity to unplug and leave with some pep in your step. Whether you want to revel in mountain views on a private patio, do a walking meditation in a labyrinth, or stroll along a quiet beach, these soothing B&Bs will help you find Zen."

We certainly agree that at Holualoa Inn, our guests find replenishment for the soul amid the Zen backdrop of our 30-acre private coffee estate. Whether savoring the aroma of freshly brewed coffee harvested on site, or enjoying a gourmet farm-to-table breakfast featuring tropical ingredients grown on our property, our guests are nourished with food from the land. The Inn's open-air massage hale provides stellar ocean views beneath the shade of a mango tree. Ancient footpaths meander through botanical gardens and orchids, where an abundance of tropical fruits and flowers overflow. Six artfully appointed rooms and suites offer romantic settings for rest and relaxation. In the Great Room, the glow of the fireplace illuminates quiet, tropical nights.

Our Holualoa Inn ohana are here to ensure that your vacation in paradise is the getaway of a lifetime. At Holualoa Inn, peace and tranquility are our finest amenities.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn