We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Los Angeles, CA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
4,224 posts
39 reviews
Save Topic
Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Yes, I could kick myself. Why? Well for several reasons:

I listened to all the negative reports on the Big Island. To people that said things like: 1. It feels as if you just landed on the moon. 2. It isn’t what you think of when you think of an island, 3. people who would tell me they hated it and 4. people who would write that they would not return.

What I found was a magnificent Island, a grand, beautiful, awesome, mystical, spiritual, mysterious and beautiful island.

Verdict: We loved it!

Unfortunately, all of the negative comments kept me away all of these years and I kept going to other islands but never to the Big Island. Now I can hardly even think of a future trip to Hawaii without including the BI.

We returned on Monday at 2:00am after a 3-island vacation that took us to the Big Island, Oahu and Kauai. I returned to tons of work and 3 huge deadlines.

On this trip I decided not to do a “live” trip report. I did them last year and frankly, it took too much out of my vacation time and spending time with my family. I know you all would understand. But now I am ready to start sharing some of my trip with you.

Thanks to all who gave me advice on the Big Island including, KK, Bips and Honu. I will post a day at a time. Day 1 coming soon….

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
Level Contributor
21,977 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Yeah scorch...I'm now doing the "I told you so" dance of joy!!! Simply amazing wasn't it? We're heading back in Feb. and can't wait!

Santa Monica, CA
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
15,486 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

scorchestra: Could not agree more. Looking forward to your trip reports.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
14,284 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

We were hesistant and we had an "escape plan" but we absolutely loved this island. My two favorites are Kauai and Hawaii, that's it. No more Maui and Oahu for us.

Los Angeles, CA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
4,224 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

<<we had an "escape plan">>

LOL!

Los Angeles, CA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
4,224 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

<<I'm now doing the "I told you so" dance of joy!!! >>

Well, you were right!!! Mahalo!

Los Angeles, CA
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
4,224 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Day 1

Our original flight on United from Los Angeles to Kona was bumped so we had to take a flight from L.A. to San Francisco then on to Kona. Though I had been pretty bummed about this before I had now finally accepted it and was ready for a great trip.

We ended up renting a car at the Burbank airport that we picked up the day before. We left our house at 3:30am. Retuned the car to Alamo then boarded the shuttle to catch our flight.

After a nice smooth flight across the Pacific Ocean and a mai tai we arrived on Kona at 11:15am.

Kona Airport: Wow, why hasn’t anyone ever written about this airport before? What a great charming little airport they have there! You don’t have to go thru any hallways or buildings. It is like little huts! Very cute, very Hawaiian and we loved it! The weather was a perfect 80 degrees.

We got our car from Dollar and off we went to go find the Hilton Waikoloa. There is absolutely nothing between the airport and the Hilton, not even a stop light, which was all fine by us. The drive was 20 minutes. And it was 20 minutes of sheer beauty. We loved, loved, loved the black lava rock, the blue ocean in the far background. We loved seeing the grass growing from the lava, it had hues of gold, yellow, green but mostly gold, an occasional bougainvillea plant with it’s purple flowers springing right out of the lava… magnificent! We smiled the entire 20 minutes.

We arrived at the Hilton and our smiles just grew…. Wow! Check-in was a breeze. We took the monorail to our building, which was the Ocean Tower. I know others have compared this monorail to the one at Disneyland. Now, I know the monorail at Disneyland because we’ve been there dozens of times. And the monorail at the Hilton is a lot nicer!

Our room was an ocean front room and I could not have asked for a better view. We could see only ocean and the Buddha statue that is on the property… looooovely!

Ok, on to business… swimsuits on and sunscreen on and my husband and I along with our brand new minted teenage, just turned 13, son were off to the swimming pools.

Now, I must admit we love swimming pools and have enjoyed some of the best in Hawaii including the pools at the Grand Wailea, so we know our pools. We loved the Hilton’s pools. Loved every single one of them. I am surprised that our faces did not hurt at the end of the day from so much smiling that we did. We spent a few hours in the resort’s pools after thoroughly checking out the entire resort property. I wanted to get acquainted with everything they had so that we could know what to return to.

While at the pools we ordered mai tais and a virgin lava flow for my son, along with a large order of onion rings (good-bye diet.) We enjoyed finding the hidden hot tubs in little caves and swimming in the immense pool. By late afternoon we almost had the pool to ourselves.

Back to the rooms for showers. We don't really like to drive when we arrive on the first day so we decided to have dinner at the resort at the Kamuela Provision Company despite the recent bad reviews.

We enjoyed our first Big Island sunset while drinking a mai tai and eating an incredibly delicious meal. My husband had the Sesame Crusted Ahi Filet with ginger sweet soy, ali‘i mushroom served with a soba noodle cake. My son and I had Kalbi Style Beef Short Rib served with creamy mashed potatoes and pearl onions. The view was magnificent and we did not have to pay the silly outdoor seating fee. We enjoyed the way everyone applauded when the sun set, so we joined in. Our waiter Cornelius was charming, informative, had tons of aloha and he enjoyed taking our picture.

We walked back to our room. The darkness of the night and the magnificent smells of plumeria and sounds of the crashing waves were welcoming signs that we were indeed back in Hawaii.

Tired and still on L.A. time we went to sleep at 7:30pm, but not before looking up at the dark sky and seeing the thousands of stars you can see while on the Big Island.

Maui
Destination Expert
for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
Level Contributor
45,671 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Aloha,

Ahhh, Scorch......I can't wait for more! I too love BI and am so glad you have "discovered" it.

La Mirada...
Destination Expert
for Kauai
Level Contributor
15,207 posts
134 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Yes, loving every minute! We've only been to the BI once, but am so hoping to return one day - I want my Kauai and BI on one very, very long trip!

3Chihuahuas

Canada
Level Contributor
8,971 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

Such a terrific report...can't wait for upcoming installments. It is always good to hear when someone discovers a "Real Gem"

We too put off the Big Island for years...listening to others slant of things. After that first visit,, we were hooked (especially South Kohala weather in the winter)

It's a shame you missed the whales...they frolic just off the shore there...amazing.

The Big Island will indeed call you back.....

Island of Hawaii...
Level Contributor
7,943 posts
24 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Big Island Trip Report: I could kick myself.

"My two favorites are Kauai and Hawaii, that's it. No more Maui and Oahu for us."

Damn, the secrets are out! :):):)