Friday, March 29, 2013

Touring Historic Kailua Village

When visiting Kona, smartphone users can now download a free app to learn more about local history, significant sites and things to do along Ali‘i Drive in Historic Kailua Village. The app, called "Royal Footsteps Along the Kona Coast," puts the focus squarely on Kailua-Kona's seven-mile, oceanside corridor that features centuries-old archaeological sites and more than two dozen important points of interest.

The state's second official Hawai‘i Scenic Byway, Ali‘i Drive offers visitors a wealth of places to go and things to see, from snorkeling, diving, surfing and standup paddleboarding to relaxing at cafes, shopping the boutiques and village galleries, and savoring regional cuisine at one of many fabulous oceanfront dining destinations.

More importantly, Hawaiian heritage comes alive on the newly launched visitor app, which highlights such sites as the oldest Christian church in the state of Hawai‘i (Mokuaikaua Church), a royal palace (Hulihe‘e Palace) and a sacred Hawaiian temple (Ahuena Heiau).

In addition to a plethora of historical information and photos, the smartphone app also contains tidbits about recent history. For example, did you know that the famous Boogie Board was invented at Honls surf spot in downtown Kailua-Kona? When exploring Kailua-Kona with the smartphone app, there truly is more to our downtown than meets the eye!

Located just a short five-minute drive down the hill to Historic Kailua Village, Holualoa Inn is perfectly situated for your Hawaiian vacation in paradise. Our Kona bed and breakfast boutique hotel offers an off-the-beaten-path location in the heart of the Kona Coast, close to restaurants, recreational activities, heritage sites, Kona coffee farms and much, much more.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kava in Hawai‘i

Consumed for centuries by Polynesians and Hawaiians, Kava (or awa) is a soothing beverage made from the root of the kava plant. Touted for its medicinal qualities, kava is said to alleviate anxiety while promoting a heightened sense of well-being and mental clarity.

Here in Kona, there are several places where you can try kava. Kanaka Kava in Historic Kailua Village is the perfect spot to hang out and enjoy Kava prepared in a huge wooden bowl and served in coconut cups. And if you're hungry, there's also an excellent menu that features traditional Hawaiian food and appetizers. The outdoor setting and picnic table-style seating promotes a communal atmosphere among patrons. You might even imagine yourself seated with royalty in the days of the ali‘i, when kava was used as a sacred ceremonial drink of kings.

Those who  drink kava will notice a slight numbing sensation of the mouth and tongue. A tad bitter, the brothy beverage is made with pulverized kava root strained through a cloth and mixed with fresh water. There are at least 15 varieties of Hawaiian kava, each with its own qualities, flavors and potencies. Drinking kava on an empty stomach reportedly provides the most potency.

Guests of Holualoa Inn have the opportunity to experience the bounty of local foods that grow on the Big Island. Our garden, orchard, nursery and coffee estate provide much of the flavors you'll enjoy at the breakfast table. Be sure to make Holualoa Inn your home away from home on the Islands. And don't forget to make a trip to the kava bar.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sam Choy's Poke Contest

Poke, anyone? It's the appetizer of choice in the Hawaiian Islands, so when you're enjoying a sunset cocktail or an afternoon snack at a local cafe or restaurant, be sure to order some poke, a raw fish dish similar to ceviche, but with its own Hawaiian twist.

The word "poke" means "cubed," and that's precisely how the fresh, raw fish is cut when served as poke. Traditional poke is made with raw tuna (ahi), soy sauce or sesame oil, onions, seaweed and finely chopped kukui nuts, but there are many, many variations for this classic local pupu (appetizer). 

For those of you who are in town this weekend, be sure to attend the annual Sam Choy's Keauhou Poke Contest, Sunday, March 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa. Just a short drive from Holualoa Inn, the Poke Contest features competition in six categories for both professional chefs and amateurs.

Attendees of the poke festival will get the chance to sample all kinds of recipes, whether tradition, spicy, and cooked. Renowned Chef Sam Choy, whose namesake restaurant is right up the street, will be on hand for an in-person poke demonstration. Live music, cultural practitioners and a zany celebrity cookoff are all part of the fun. A free shuttle will operated from Keauhou Shopping Center (pickup near Longs). The poke contest is part of the King Kamehamha III celebration taking place March 15 thru 17 in Keauhou.

Holualoa Inn is a Kona Hawaii Bed and Breakfast located in the heart of Kona Coffee Country in historic Holualoa Village. The Inn is centrally located to the best attractions on Hawai‘i Islands' West Side, and just a short drive down the hill to the beaches and bays of Kailua-Kona.

Innkeeper Holualoa Inn