The Big Island creates some big memories.
That gorgeous room cost a bit more than our average lodgings, and that's not a bad thing. When people ask me what I write about, I always say "where to save and when to splurge". I know I cover the savings side of things - A LOT. (Case in point: Check out this piece on how I make Hawaii a truly affordable destination). But I really believe a well timed splurge is just as important. After all, what's the fun in being frugal all the time if you can't let loose every now and then? And Hawaii's Big Island is the perfect place to splurge! Here's what you should not miss.
More about that ocean front room
While the views are lovely during the day, they're truly spectacular at night when the waves smash against the volcanic rock, sending plumes of spray several dozen feet into the air. And on good nights, the hotel spotlights pick up the friendly faces of the manta rays who love to surf in the evening swell. Just remember to close your balcony doors - you are so close to the waves you might not be able to sleep over their noise.
I also love that they're one of the very few Sheraton hotels that is exempt from using Starbucks coffee products so they can showcase local Kona coffee. Their onsite Keauhou Coffee Company cafe features 100% Kona coffee, grown just a few miles away.
A helicopter tour
I think a lot depends on each individual and how windy the conditions are. I was doing fine for the first half of the trip (though it didn't do me any favors when our pilot very considerately would turn the helicopter around so all passengers could see all attractions. The gesture was appreciated but the swooping was a bit much!)
I'm very, VERY glad I was in a forward facing seat - that definitely helped with motion sickness control. If this is critical for you, speak to the staff well in advance to see what can be arranged for you.
Tour and shop at the Hawaiian Vanilla Co.
Drive up Mauna Kea summit.
I'm really, really glad we dressed as warmly as we did. It's weird to be around snow in Hawaii and - guess what - it's just like Canadian snow. Cold and miserable stuff. Not that everyone feels the same way!
And do NOT forget the coffee!
There's no memory like a Hawaiian memory
What's the best travel splurge you've ever indulged in?
Heading to Hawaii soon? These articles will help:
Is Hawaii Affordable?
Visiting Lava Tree State Monument
The Big Island's Kilauea Lodge
Some activities mentioned here were sponsored in part or in whole and we thank local businesses for their support. As always, all research, writing, and opinions are our own.