KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii, December 31st, 2013 - The coming of the New Year draws a close to 2013, even as the sunset at the end of the day signals the dawn of a new beginning.
There’s nothing more romantic than a Hawaiian sunset, especially as New Year’s Eve is celebrated.
Here’s a look at some of the most romantic places on two of the Hawaiian Islands, and a few tips on where to find the greatest sunsets in the islands when a New Year’s resolution turns into a trip to Hawaii.
La Mer is an exquisite combination of French inspired cuisine and Hawaiian sensibility in Waikiki’s most elegant hotel. Michel’s has been a stalwart destination restaurant since 1962, and is located right on the beach just below Diamond Head.
Hotel Specials: Turtle Bay www.turtlebayresort.com is beautifully located on the world famous North Shore of Oahu and dominates a point of land extending out into the ocean. They are currently running five night luxury packages in their cottages and villas right on the bay starting at $999 a night.
Sunsets: There is no better place to watch the sun go down than on the beach at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s north shore, famous for the Quicksilver Eddie Aikau big wave surfing competition.
The Big Island – Restaurants: The Canoe House at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel www.maunalani.com and Ulu Ocean Grill at the Four Seasons Hualalai www.fourseasons.com/hualalai/ are the most romantic places to have dinner and watch the sun go down on the Big Island of Hawaii.
Under the steady hand of Chef de Cuisine Allen Hess, the Canoe House is the most innovative resort restaurant on the island. Ulu Ocean Grill is right on the beach, featuring impeccable cuisine and the class and brilliant service one can always expect at a Four Seasons resort.
Hotel specials: Royal Kona Resort www.royalkona.com and the Sheraton Kona Resort and Spa at Keauhou Bay www.sheratonkona.com are the two best values for your vacation dollar on the Big Island. The Royal Kona Resort regularly offers ocean view rooms at around $150 a night while the Sheraton Kona averages around $180 a night.
Sunsets: Huggo’s in downtown Kona and the bar at the Royal Kona Resort next door are wonderful places to watch the classic spectacular Kona sunsets. Both locations are easily accessible and popular with tourists and locals alike.
Air Fare: Round trip airfare from Washington DC to Kona is around $1000 from Washington DC and around $700 from the West Coast. Airfare to Honolulu is running about $750 from Washington and $450 from the West Coast.
Alaska Airlines, surprisingly, has more flights to Hawaii than any other airline. Hawaiian Airlines generally flies to Honolulu and then you must transfer to their inter-island flights to Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Both partner with other airlines for routes they do not serve directly.
Go Airlines www.iflygo.com is a low cost inter-island carrier based out of Honolulu and highly competitive. Their sister airline, Mokulele, offers service to Lanai, Molokai and Hana.
Of course, the major airlines, United, American and Delta all offer service to Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
Winter fares are generally lower until the end of May. Summer fares to Hawaii spike in June and then are lower again in September.
Joel Berliner is a travel writer based in Los Angeles.
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