North America

Honeymooners Eye Hawaii

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2009

Those who want to spend their time watching coconuts ripen will want to stay at the historic Waimea Plantation Cottages on the west side of the island. This unpretentious spread of 61 cottages overlooking the water is an homage to Old Hawaii in every way. It was the residential quarry of the Waimea Sugar Mill a century ago and preserves much of the character of its original ownership—from the 1930s-style bungalows, to the great house where everyone took their meals. Plenty of photos and antiques here tell the story. Today it is an Aston Resort (formerly Resort Quest) and a destination for Hollywood stars (Cameron Diaz likes to vacation here) as well as unassuming honeymooners. For clients who do not want to bust their bank account, the Plantation, for all its rarefied ambiance and simplicity, might offer the most honeymoon for the money.

The cottages range from studios to 3-bedroom, 2-bath oceanfront accommodations, to the 5-bedroom oceanfront Manager’s House, all separate with their own porch or lawn area. Mahogany and wicker/rattan furnishings in small rooms with hardwood flooring seem right out of a noir-genre movie set. A crisp and inviting pool, an expansive and quiet great lawn, a black sand beach to look out to while sitting in a couple of Adirondacks, make this throwback experience almost magical. Morning yoga is offered on the beach every day for $15.

And then there is the hideaway spa, offering hour-long treatments for under $100 and customized couples’ massages in-room, on the spa porch or on the beach.

Tell clients not to miss the onsite restaurant and brewery that serves handcrafted beers and casual food, often with live Hawaiian music, or taking a detour into the nearby town of Waimea, a quaint place with local eateries and fun flea markets on the weekend.

Although romance packages are not available, accommodations here start at $224 per night for a 1-bedroom cottage. A 1-bedroom oceanfront cottage starts at $367, published rates.

oahu Oahu is best known for busy Waikiki and the touring to be done from Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor, to the Bishop Art Complex and the ornate Doris Duke residence, as well as shopping along Kalakaua Avenue and dining at restaurants that put Hawaii on the culinary map.

But a far richer experience awaits honeymooners who dare to venture to the wilder north side of the island where it’s all about the ocean. About an hour’s drive from Honolulu International Airport, Oahu’s North Shore offers a look at the real Hawaii—the local Hawaii. Couples can dine off shrimp trucks selling the freshest seafood plates right off the farm, or enjoy a whopper of a shaved ice experience at the notorious Matsumoto’s, which has been serving up these sensual snow cones for more than 60 years.

But the accommodations here are emphatically Turtle Bay Resort. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” may have helped to cinch the Turtle Bay experience. It was shot almost entirely on property and gave a bird’s-eye view into the resort’s layout. The setting could not be more romantic. The ocean here combines the confluence of several infamous surf spots—including Sunset Beach, the Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay, so it is nearly impossible not to see a posse of surfers from your oceanview cottage at all hours of the day.

The property’s 375 luxury guestrooms, 26 suites, 42 beach cottages and luxury ocean villas offer picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and are some of the top guestroom offerings on Oahu. The resort offers nearly five miles of beachfront expanse and this is what people come for. Guests can walk down to the ocean from their accommodations and just keep walking for miles, either on the beach or through lovely thickets of trails. In winter, waves up to 30 ft. break offshore. From December through April, guests can stand on their lanai to watch the playful humpback whales during their annual migration from Alaska.

Book a helicopter tour for your clients through Paradise Helicopters. For rates starting at $204 pp for 60 minutes they can fly from Turtle Bay Resort for a look at the whole island.

The property offers guided hiking, horseback riding, surf clinics and lessons, tennis clinics and kayaking for those clients who want to kick the sand a little. Golf is available on the 18-hole championship Arnold Palmer Course and on a separate George Fazio-designed course.