Hawaii’s Big Island has become the epicenter for sustainable tourism, drawing on its local labor and local products to create a meaningful tourist destination. With a wealth of natural treasures, like Kona coffee, Waimea tomatoes, papayas, pineapples and Mauna Loa macadamia nuts, not to mention some of the most breathtaking landscape in the Pacific, there’s plenty to savor. Perhaps there’s not place better to experience the Big Island’s culinary magic then at the Four Seasons Hualālai at historic Ka‘ūpūlehu.
Recommended Resort: Four Seasons Hualālai. The resort has earned rave reviews for carefully and strategically laying out its plan to protect and integrate the marine ecosystem that surrounds the property. Natural materials like bamboo, rattan and black volcanic rock create an authentic ambiance that’s sure to please. As you’d expect from a Four Seasons, the rooms are plush and luxurious and the service exceptional all around.
Check In: 72-100 Ka’upulehu Drive Kailua-Kona in Hawaii. 808-325-8000, fourseasons.com/hualalai/
Check Out: For coffee enthusiasts, the Kona coast offers an opportunity to buy world-class beans at rock-bottom prices—you just might want to pack an extra suitcase. Now entering its 42nd year, the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival is to caffeine junkies what the Ironman World Championships is to adrenaline junkies. That this tiny piece of coastline plays host to both legendary events speaks to the diversity of the experiences available on the Big Island.
Don’t Miss: Epicurean Pleasures. If you’re serious about cuisine, consider booking your Hawaiian escape during the resort’s “La Dolce Vita” week, typically held in early June. Partly a homage to Chef Nick Mastrascusa’s Italian heritage, this annual series of gastronomic classes and meals recently featured one of SoCal’s most popular wine making duos, Steve and Chrystal Clifton of Palmina and Brewer-Clifton wines. The Palmina label is devoted to Californian interpretations of classic Italian varietals, which complemented the dolce vita theme particularly well.
Guest opportunities range from an excursion to the acclaimed Wow Farm in Waimea for pick-your-own tomatoes to the “Ultimate Catch” dinner, where just-caught native Hawaiian fish are grilled right on the beach. Chef Nick is as much a teacher as a cook, and La Dolce Vita guests are welcome to participate in his make-your-own-gnocchi class, just as Nick’s grandmother did it. The personalized gnocchi, handpicked organic tomatoes from Wow and Clifton’s barbera wine make for a brilliantly integrated meal that’s light-years away from boring hotel food.
Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Always a Bridesmaid Columnist, Darren Elms.
Photos courtesy of and copyright Four Seasons Hualālai.