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Love at First Sight: The Big Island of Hawaii

Words by Jennifer Stein
Love at First Sight: The Big Island of Hawaii
By John Roark
It’s been called a land of contrasts, and the Big Island of Hawaii lives up to the legend. Where else can you find active volcanoes, lush rain forests with storybook waterfalls, technicolor sunsets, unlimited outdoor adventure and luxury resorts with spectacular Pacific Ocean views?
 
Hawaii is a paradise as rich in heritage as it is in natural beauty. The pride that the locals feel is irresistible; once you’ve experienced the gentle breezes, easy living and warm island hospitality, you’ll be reluctant to leave and you’ll soon be dreaming of your return.
 
 
STAY
Hilton Waikoloa Village
www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com
Sixty-two oceanfront acres of five-star luxury and unrivaled beauty. Hilton Waikoloa will dazzle you - nine onsite island-oriented restaurants, world-class golf, sparkling swimming pools and the state-of-the-art Kohala Spa. Dare to dream it, and the Hilton Waikoloa’s wedding specialists can make it happen, stress-free. Complete “one-stop shop” wedding/honeymoon packages available.
 
Kona Village Resort
www.konavillage.com
Find serenity at one of the Big Island’s most romantic resorts. A community of 25 individual Polynesian thatched bungalows on the beach or among lagoons, this TV- and Internet-free village is truly peaceful, but still offers a full range of amenities and adventures. Explore their complete wedding and honeymoon packages.
 
Fairmont Orchid
www.fairmont.com/orchid
This 32-acre resort includes waterfalls, sweeping oceanfront views and a variety of indoor and outdoor sites to suit your occasion. Romance specialists will help you create a tailored event that exceeds your expectations and stays within your budget.
 
Kings’ Land, Hilton Grand Vacations Club
http://www.hiltongrandvacations.com/
It’s a given you’ll want to return to the Big Island of Hawaii. Consider joining Hilton Grand Vacations Club, where you’ll have access to luxurious accommodations all over the world! The 116-acre Kings’ Land plantation-style resort includes championship golf, a 20,000 square-foot pool complex, kids club and state-of-the-art fitness center. One- and two-bedroom suites offer all of the convenience of home, including separate living and dining areas and a fully-equipped kitchen.
 
 
EAT
KPC (Kamuela Provision Company)
www.hiltonwaikoloavillage.com/dining/kamuela_provision_company.cfm
Winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 2005 and 2006, KPC is a sophisticated Waikoloa Beach restaurant featuring fresh island fish and steaks. Don’t miss the spectacular Pacific sunset while enjoying KPC’s signature “180 Seconds” - a cocktail made with three different rums, tropical fruit juices and grenadine - served every evening in conjunction with the amount of time it takes for the sun to set once it hits the horizon.
 
 
Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar
www.sanseihawaii.com
Named one of “America’s Best Sushi Bars” by Bon Appetit magazine, Sansei serves up contemporary sushi and new-wave Asia-inspired dishes in a lively setting. It’s a favorite of the locals, so you know it’s good. Sansei’s sushi chefs are known for their highly imaginative creations; don’t miss their signature Panko Crusted Ahi Roll, and the prize-winning Asian Shrimp Cake with Ginger Lime Butter and Cilantro Pesto.
 
PLAY
Dolphin Quest
www.dolphinquest.org
One of the few places on earth where you can touch, feed, play, learn and swim with dolphins! Located within the grounds of the majestic Hilton Waikoloa in an ocean-fed pool, Dolphin Quest offers an environment of fun and education, and memories to last a lifetime. Reservations required.
 
Hawaii Forest & Trail
www.hawaii-forest.com
Book an adventure with one of the few companies allowed access to Hawaii’s private lands and wildlife refuges. Your knowledgeable guide - with a true passion for Hawaii’s history and nature - will lead your ecotour, an unforgettable journey through some of the Hawaii’s most spectacular natural terrain. Don’t miss the Waipio Rim Hike Adventure. Hike more than 1,000 feet above the valley floor, with panoramic views of rivers, ocean vistas, native forests and waterfalls, including a secret view of world-renowned 1,600-foot Hiilawe Falls. No other trail in Hawaii can match the beauty and history of this exclusive three-mile rim hike.
 
 
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