Real Honeymoon: Hawaii

My sister’s friends Ashley and David really knew their priorities when it came to planning their honeymoon: tropical weather and absolute relaxation.  They got what they wanted by honeymooning on the Big Island of Hawaii, and it sounds like they were blown away by everything that their resort had to offer.  Read all about their amazing Hawaiian honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We honeymooned on the big island of Hawaii from October 28th- November 7th [2013]. We stayed on the Kohala coast which is about 25 min from Kona International Airport.

Hawaii Honeymoon

How long was your trip?

We were on our trip for 10 amazing nights
.

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

Originally when we began discussing our honeymoon we were dead set on going to Spain. After telling several of our friends and family about our desire to travel abroad they suggested that we think about the amount of travel time that is involved in going to Europe as well as what level of relaxation we were trying to accomplish on our trip. We knew that we wanted to spend as much quality time together as possible, and that we did in fact only want to relax. We had to be honest with ourselves and know that we are the go-go-go type, and if we went to Europe we would be on our feet all day trying to see every single thing we could. That is when the discussion of Hawaii began.

Hawaii honeymoon

I was initially hesitant and thought maybe Hawaii wasn’t exotic or unique enough for our honeymoon. I expressed these feelings to one of my close friends, and my bridesmaid Melanie, who had gone to Hawaii on her honeymoon. She shared with me that she too was hesitant about Hawaii as a honeymoon destination, but that it wound up being her most favorite vacation of her life. That reassured me, and shortly thereafter David and I booked our trip to Hawaii. We knew that it would be the perfect locale: tropical weather, beautiful landscapes, and a place that would offer us the opportunity to decompress and relax after all of the wedding craziness.


The best part about our honeymoon was…

Oh my goodness, I do not know how I can possibly choose. I really loved almost everything about our trip, but if I had to choose my favorite aspect it would be the resort where we stayed and the amenities that were offered. We stayed at the Fairmont Orchid. It is the most gorgeous property I have ever seen. The resort is located in a secluded part of the Kohala Coast which offers a lot of privacy. From the moment you walk into the hotel and are greeted with a Kekui nut Lei you instantly feel like you are in paradise.

Hawaii honeymoon

The lobby opens up to a view of expansive lawns with gorgeous flowers, a beautiful pool, and the ocean. The staff at the Orchid are incredible, everyone is so kind and helpful. The staff really goes out of their way to make sure that you have a perfect trip. The rooms are beautiful, the bed was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in, turn down service is offered every night, and they leave water bottles on your night stands.

The food at the resort is fabulous as well. There is casual dining at Hale Kai Restaurant,  fine dining at Brown’s Beach House, amazing breakfast at The Orchid Court, and quick and easy snacks and sandwiches at Brown’s Deli (we loved the staff at the deli and visited them every day). We ate at all of the aforementioned places and were never disappointed. Some of our favorite items were the vegetable quiche at the deli, the burger at HaleKai, and the crab crusted Kompachi at Brown’s. Brown’s is one of the premiere restaurants on the island of Hawaii, and it overlooks the ocean. I recommend making a reservation at sunset, it was magical.

The resort offers a plethora of options for daytime activities. We spent so much time at the pool, and rented a cabana a few times which was so awesome! The cost of renting a cabana is minimal and it provides you with a day of comfort, optional shade, and snacks. I would have rented a cabana every day if David would have let me. David loved the activity pass that he purchased for $75.00 which included unlimited rentals of stand up paddle boards, boogie boards, kayaks, rafts, and snorkel gear for our entire stay. I loved using his paddle board and even did some yoga on the water. The snorkeling was awesome as the water is very calm on the Kohala Coast, and the resort has a private lagoon. We snorkeled a lot and I wish we would have done it even more. We saw thousands of fish, and several sea turtles every day.

Hawaii honeymoon

Another gem at the Fairmont Orchid is their spa. The Spa Without Walls is an oasis of relaxation. The spa is located outside in a private location of the resort. Your services are performed in private huts, or you can opt to have your service in an oceanfront cabana. We had an ocean front couple’s massage that was gifted to us by David’s parents. The experience of being mere feet from the ocean, at sunset, getting the most fantastic massage I have ever had with the love of my life was just perfect! The spa has wonderful amenities for before and after your service, and we loved enjoying a cup of tea together after our service.

hawaii honeymoon

I could really go on for days about how perfect our time at the Fairmont Orchid was. I think any couple traveling to Hawaii must stay at this resort.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Real Honeymoon: Hawaii

When people submit their honeymoons to the blog, I almost exclusively hear things from the brides’ perspective.  So when Steph asked her husband Matthew to chime in on the honeymoon advice as well, I was pretty excited.  (Don’t be shy, guys!  You can send me your honeymoons, too!)  It sounded like Matthew did a lot of the planning for their hawaiian honeymoon, so I’m really glad that he was able to share his enthusiasm about their trip as well.  Read all about their honeymoon on the big island of Hawaii below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Steph: The Big Island in Hawaii.

Matthew: Hawaii:  The “Big Island” [May/June 2012]

Hawaii honeymoon

How long was your trip?

10 days.

Hawaii honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

S: We knew we wanted something tropical, and we really wrestled with how far away we wanted to travel.  We definitely wanted to relax, experience something new, and really treat ourselves, but we knew that the amount of time we could take off would be limited.  Knowing that we were taking time off before the wedding, we settled on traveling to somewhere closer to California but still exotic.  We threw around Mexico, but I (Stephanie) has a bad history of food poisoning and the like when traveling there, so we ruled it out.  Growing up in North Carolina, Matthew had never been to Hawaii because of the distance, and I (Stephanie) had only ever been to Maui, so we landed on the islands.  Matthew really spearheaded and executed all the planning, the accommodations, the research — you name it, Matthew was on top of it!

The best part about our honeymoon was…

S: sitting down to a late dinner at Hualalai, enjoying incredible food and wine but most of all recounting all our favorite parts from the wedding weekend and all our future plans ahead.

M: Going on dates with the love of my life for 9 straight nights :)

Hawaii honeymoon

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

S: how long we were there!  I could have done at least 2 more days.

M:  Completely agree with Steph!  When your co-workers have their heads down on their own projects, especially during the summer, what’s one week versus two?  (Or three?).  You only get one honeymoon, so fight for your time off!  People understand.  As long as it’s within your budget, take advantage of this once in a lifetime trip and take a few more days off :)

IMG_0245

Continue reading

Real Honeymoon: Aruba… oh wait, just kidding – Hawaii!

A few weeks back I received an email from Sarah (a friend of a friend) that said, “My actual honeymoon isn’t that original… but the story on how we ended up there is.”  First of all, I honestly love hearing about all types of honeymoons: budget-conscious to wildly extravagant, close-to-home to far-far-away.  But secondly, I was intrigued.  I don’t want to give too much away in the introduction, so read all about Sarah and Patrick’s honeymoon switcheroo below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Big Island, Hawaii, September 2007

Hawaii

How long was your trip?

One week.

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

I had always dreamed of going somewhere in the Caribbean – I’d been to Hawaii a few times already, so was looking to get to the “other” tropical getaway. My now-husband, Patrick, was in charge of all the planning and had a great surprise trip to Aruba all picked out. He had chosen Aruba because it was the “least hurricane prone” of the Caribbean islands – and we were heading out in hurricane season. Playing it safe. The day before our wedding, news broke of a potential hurricane headed towards Aruba. We were honestly so pre-occupied with wedding plans that we brushed it off. I distinctly remember during the father-daughter dance at my reception, my dad “breaking the news” that the hurricane had actually hit Aruba. Uh oh. We were scheduled to fly out that next afternoon!

We spent the morning after our wedding on the phone with the airline and hotel. The hotel said, “The hurricane has passed,there is no problem to come.” Luckily I had the good sense to ask how the conditions were post-hurricane. “Well, the beach and the pools are closed for about a week, but other than that all is fine.” Ha! Not my idea of tropical. We quickly re-booked a last-minute trip to Hawaii and left the next morning for the Big Island.

Parasailing

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Finally getting a chance to breathe (and sleep!) after non-stop weddingness. Hawaii is perfect for re-charging and lazing around. Oh, and seeing my husband experiencing Hawaii for the first time! We fell in love in the mountains, so I had no idea what a little fish I had married! He was in heaven.

Hotel Room

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

Avoid the Caribbean during hurricane season! Also, we didn’t rent a car when we first arrived, but quickly realized we would want one. Oh, and book a manta-ray snorkel. Still bummed we missed that one.

Continue reading