The minute we walked through the doors of the Kohala Village Inn, we knew we had found the perfect venue for the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat. Thank you, KonaBob, for leading us here.
Located in the historic plantation town of Hawi, in the northernmost corner of the Big Island, the Kohala Village Inn had everything we were looking for: quaint, but modern, guest rooms; numerous communal areas that invite small group gatherings; a number of well-appointed and comfortable classrooms for workshops; and a dedicated performance area—all within the confines of this lovingly renovated historic inn. It’s big enough to accommodate all of our participants but small enough that we can occupy every room.
It is also part of a larger complex known as the Kohala Village Hub with ongoing classes in Hawaiian arts and crafts, dance, music, and yoga, so there will be plenty to do for companions who do not play the ‘ukulele.
And the food! Did we mention the food? The HUB provides our meals and beverages featuring ingedients from local farmers and value-added producers to provide a variety of fresh, organic, and delicious dishes, grown from Kohala ‘āina (land) including:
- Bee Divine Kohala Honey
- Big Island Coffee Roasters
- Blue Dragon Farm
- Inspired By The Sun
- Lokahi Sanctuary Gardens
- Hamakua Mac Nuts
- Kohala Organic Produce
- Kuaiwi Farm
- Lone Palm
- Mamane Bakery
- Punalu’u Sweet Bread
- Rincon Family Farms
- Sage Farms
- Sunrise Farm
The historic town of Hawi also has much to commend it: a number of great restaurants within walking distance (if the food at the Inn is not sufficient); a coffee/ice cream shop; and some fun little stores to poke around in, including an ‘ukulele store full of vintage ‘ukuleles and Hawaiian shirts!
And we’re just minutes away from some fabulous swimming beaches, and wonderful spots for snorkeling and lovely hikes down to secluded beaches and valleys. There are also myriad opportunities for adventure nearby such as horseback riding, ATV touring, or riding the flume. And, just a little farther away, are the beautiful beaches of the Kohala Coast (deemed by many to be the most beautiful beaches in the world), the rolling ranch lands of the paniolo, and much more.
As you can see from the pictures, the guest rooms are lovely and there are a number of options:
Queen rooms with or without private bath for singles.
And myriad opportunities for those looking to share, including the “ohana” rooms–two private rooms with a shared bathroom between them.
We think you’ll all agree that our new island home in Hawi is sensational and provides the perfect place to share the many joys of the ‘ukulele with each other.
Hawai’i Island: Historic Paradise
But the Kohala Village Inn and Kohala Coast are not the only attractions on this side of the island! Though Mauna Kea and Kilaua get most of the attention, Kohala was actually the first volcano on Hawai’i Island to breach the ocean’s surface and, as such, is the oldest volcano on the Big Island–its age evident by lush rain forests and deep valleys carved by water runoff. And though the Big Island is known for the mega-resorts on its eastern shores, most of Kohala is still wild and untamed. It’s north coast is famous for Waipi’o Valley, a storybook tropical valley with a lot of history and a picturesque black sand beach at one end and thousand-foot waterfalls (most notably Hi’ilawe) at the other, and traditional farmlands in between.
Plus there is no shortage of ancient historic sites along the Kohala Coast, for those who are so inclined: the Mo’okini Heiau, an ancient temple dedicated to human sacrifice; the Puʻukoholā Heiau National Historic Site, with ancient temples from several time periods, including a submerged temple in the bay next to the site that was dedicated to sharks; the Puakō Malama Petroglyph Preserve, one of the most extensive petroglyph fields on the island; and more.
But even with all these other diversions, the emphasis for the week will be on playing your ukulele, making new friends, and learning new music. And we can’t think of a better place for that, than the Hawai’i Island ‘Ukulele Retreat at the Kohala Village Inn in Hawi.
In case you’re still on the fence: