|Hawaii has long been the American public’s go-to destination for idyllic vacations. Its landscapes are legendary, the warmth of its climate is matched only by the warmth of its residents and, although its name is|
vague (some Polynesian dialects have a similar word, ‘Hawai’i,’ that means something like “homeland”) what’s not vague is that the islands have been a potent draw for mainlanders since the earliest days of what was then a territory. It was chosen by Recommend readers, yet again, as the Sexiest Romance/Honeymoon Destination in the USA/Canada and only one glimpse of its green peaks rising over the Pacific while a ring of white waves crash against golden sands is enough to convince even the most jaded traveler that Hawaii is well deserving of the honor.
Julie Zadeh, managing director of travel trade marketing with the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau (HVCB), agrees. “[The islands have] everything that travel agents might find of value when choosing Hawaii as a destination for their clients,” she says.
Zadeh says there’s little doubt why the islands are solidly entrenched as the country’s premier exotic destination. “Hawaii,” she says, “is a place where couples can truly get away from it all, but still enjoy the conveniences of being in the United States.”
She adds that its diversity, along with superlative accommodations, make Hawaii the consummate romantic getaway. “The experiences found on each island will be different, yet there are many incredible beaches to relax on and activities to choose from,” she adds.
Zadeh also says that although the islands have no shortage of romantic retreats, visitors also “find great art, cultural opportunities, activities, attractions, restaurants, and other excitement.”
Hawaii offers a multitude of choices for those seeking a retreat. But some stand out for an atmosphere and ambiance conducive to turning a romantic trip or honeymoon into a lifelong memory.
Among these, the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa in Maui will exceed all expectations. This vast, 40-acre resort with 728 rooms and 52 suites lies on Maui’s southwest shore and is dotted with waterfalls, caves and a swim-up bar carved out of a grotto. It has what’s believed to be the world’s only water elevator and a stunning 46,000-sq.-ft. pool designated for adults only. A floating, thatched-roof restaurant accents its island atmosphere. Its 50,000-sq.-ft. ultra luxury spa is the largest in Hawaii and is a monument to pampering delights.
In Kauai, the little known, small, ultra personal and secluded Hanalei Colony Resort personifies understated elegance. This 48-room resort with sweeping views of Hanalei Bay or Kauai’s lush mountains lies off the beaten path and offers a different perspective than that gathered from larger properties. It has an exceptional honeymoon package and all couples receive special attention and a bottle of chilled champagne upon arrival.
According to Zadeh, HVCB has added a travel agent survey website (agents.gohawaii.com) where agents can share the survey with their clients to help identify which island would best fit the clients’ desires.
She adds that a major focus in 2012 will be to grow the number of travel specialists that HVBC has given different assignations: Hawaii destination specialists, island certified agents and island masters. “We’ll be working closely with our wholesale partners, supplier partners and island chapters to engage more agents in the program and have them visit the islands to complete their masters designations,” she explains.