I recently had the opportunity to attend The Hawaii Travel Exchange in Kona, an event for pre-qualified agents who actively book vacations to Hawaii to meet with local suppliers representing hotels and resorts, spas, destinations, tour operators, transportation companies, airlines and activities. It was a great opportunity for some educational programs on the latest goings on and provided good networking.
As I have been selling Hawaii vacations for over 10 years, it was great for me to see what the Kona area has to offer. I also sell a lot of Mexico and Caribbean, but the culture and heritage of Hawaii really sets it apart. It's quite a different feel compared to the all-inclusive-type of vacations so popular in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Part of a travel agent's role is to see hotels and resorts, because having firsthand information is so important when selling a vacation. Of those I visited a couple resorts stood out: the Mauna Lani Bay & Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai. The Mauna Lani Bay had a beautiful open air lobby with turtle & fish ponds as well as cascade waterfalls. The rooms were very spacious with stunning views of the ocean.
Four Seasons Resort at Hualalai was amazing. All guestrooms and suites are in one- or two-story bungalows steps away from the ocean. Some rooms also include an indoor and outdoor shower surrounded by lava rock. This wonderful resort offers 5 pools including snorkeling in the King’s pond, which has over 4,000 fish. This resort also has a Jack Nicklaus golf course as well as a newly expended spa. Wonderful for families, honeymooners and friends traveling together.