Kailua – Kona, Hawaii
Hawaii’s Big Island, the state’s easternmost point, has long been one of the most exciting vacation destinations in the world, and every Royal Holiday member owes it to himself or herself to experience life in the shadow of Mauna Kea. While Hawaii has a reputation for tropical temperatures, the Big Island contains much of the state’s climate diversity, with 11 of the 13 recognized climate zones existing somewhere on the island. While it snows on the peak of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, the lush tropical jungles at the mountains’ feet have all the warmth for which Hawaii is famous. While the entire island is well worth exploring, Royal Holiday members have a chance to stay in beautiful Kailua-Kona, a charming village on the Kohala coast with some of the best resorts in the state.
At Kona Coast II Resort, the Royal Holiday affiliate on the Big Island, members will enjoy a full five-star experience on 21 acres of Hawaiian paradise. Near Keauhou Bay, Kona Coast offers a range of lodging options for Royal Holiday members, all featuring fabulous views of the surrounding mountains or ocean. Golfers will enjoy access to some of the island’s best courses, while the resort’s full-time activities director will ensure that every visitor finds something to enjoy, such as diving with manta rays, snorkeling in Keauhou Bay, or just taking in the handsomely manicured landscape surrounding the resort. The suites at Kona Coast come well-equipped with modern amenities, and a nearby shopping center will keep any visitor stocked with provisions. In addition, some of Hawaii’s greatest treasures are within walking distance of the resort.
The Kona District, which spans some 60 miles of the island’s coastline, includes many of the region’s important historic landmarks. King Kamehameha himself spent his last years in Kailua-Kona, and the village that remains there provides numerous opportunities to learn about the island’s history, as well as modern restaurants and shopping outlets. Formerly a place for Hawaiian royalty to visit during their summer vacations, Hulihee Palace sits in the heart of Kailua-Kona and serves visitors as a museum displaying many of the treasures from the island’s royal era. Many Royal Holiday members have enjoyed taking in Hulihee Palace, which is located near other important landmarks like Mokuaikaua Church or Ahuena Heiau.
The Kona coast also features pristine and calm ocean water, with Mauna Loa breaking the wind. Water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving are common pastimes. A world capital for deep sea fishing, Kona serves as home to the International Billfish Tournament every August, and many Royal Holiday members have enjoyed joining fishing parties as they cruise along the Hawaiian coast. Kona has also become famous as the site of the Ironamn World Championship, a grueling triathlon that draws some of the best athletes from around the globe.
For those Royal Holiday members seeking to relax, however, the Big Island offers many opportunities to kick back and enjoy the memorable Hawaiian sunsets. On the cooler slopes, towns like Holualoa provide a chance to enjoy a cup of Kona coffee, while nature preserves like Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park or Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park feature stunning landscapes and the remains of historic Hawaiian tribal temples. However, no visit to the island would be complete without a trip up to the peak of Mauna Kea, which, when measured from the base of the sea floor, is actually the world’s tallest mountain.