Big Island of Hawaii ~ Vacation Pictures ~ Ritz Carlton
Big Island of Hawaii - View from Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani Resort
Paradise...here we come!
This hub will address Day 1 of our vacation trip to the Big Island of Hawaii and will share many pictures that were taken on that day.
You are invited to come along and take a look!
In May of the year 1993 my husband and I were rewarded with a wonderful vacation trip to the big island of Hawaii.
Airfare, the hotel stay and a few organized events were paid for by a major paper supplier in appreciation for the hard work people like my husband had done for them the previous year.
My husband used to be Vice-President and General Manager of a paper distribution company in Houston, Texas.
Lush foliage at the Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani resort
We knew some of the other people also included on this trip so we were prepared to simply relax and enjoy ourselves.
Of course, day 1 was all about getting there.
Hawaii is quite a distance from Houston, Texas and by the time we arrived and were shuttled from the Keahole-Kona Airport to our hotel, the Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani, most of the day had been eaten up by traveling.
Neither of us had previously been to Hawaii and in my imagination I thought that the entire island would be lush and tropical.
Lo and behold, when we arrived at the airport and were driven to our resort through barren black volcanic fields which bore no vegetation, I was most surprised.
This was on the west side of the island which is along the sun-drenched Kohala Coast where many beautifully landscaped resorts are purposely located.
We learned that all of the palm trees and other plantings were added as the resorts were developed. Thus, each resort is a man-made oasis of sorts which we would soon discover.
One note of interest on the ride to our hotel...one sees graffiti alongside the road. How is this possible you might think? After all, I have just described a pretty barren palate of dark lava.
The answer...white coral that is washed up on the beaches is placed in patterns to spell out words and is highlighted as such against the dark background. Where there's a will...there's a way!
Map showing Big Island of Hawaii
Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani Hotel in Hawaii
The Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani
As we left the black volcanic fields and were driven onto the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani Resort, the lushness of what can grow and flourish in Hawaii unfolded before our eyes.
A luxuriant tropical paradise now surrounded us, even if it was designed and implemented by human minds and hands.
The hotel was opened in December of 1990 so it was only 2 1/2 years old when we arrived. Everything was elegant as one might expect from the reputation of a Ritz Hotel.
We were directed to our room, one of 541 at this resort. Each guest room has a private lanai with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and mountain views. Amenities included twice daily maid service, evening turn-down service, marble bathrooms, plush terry cloth bathrobes, a stocked and refrigerated bar that was on the honor system, radios and televisions and more.
After divesting ourselves of our luggage, we decided to walk around and explore our surroundings. With camera in hand, we strolled through some of the 32 acres of verdantly landscaped grounds. Set along-side the Pacific Ocean we proceeded to follow pathways dotted with waterfalls, palm trees, fish ponds, and we enjoyed views of green and colorfully blooming tropical foliage of every description along the way.
Having lived in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas for most of my teenage years, I was familiar with many of the plants, however some of the vegetation was new to me.
More pictures will follow in subsequent days of our stay here at the Ritz-Carlton with some interior camera shots, but this day prior to sunset, these photos shown here are simply some of what we were enjoying on our late afternoon stroll.
Photos of the gorgeous Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani groundsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Some photos pieced together to give a panoramic view + one purchased that gives an overview of the Ritz-Carlton Mauna Lani resortClick thumbnail to view full-size
Flower lei greeting and poolside buffet...
At 7:30 PM that first evening we were invited to begin our first evening on the Big Island with a traditional fresh flower lei greeting. This was presented poolside and we sipped on some refreshing drinks while visiting with friends and talking to new acquaintances.
A delicious buffet dinner was served all the while background music was provided by a Hawaiian trio playing traditional island sounds.
The tropical breezes were rustling the branches of palm trees and we watched a most beautiful sunset as night fell over the Pacific Ocean.
Torches were lit and flames flickered. That together with other illumination made the surrounding scenery beautiful at night as it had been during daylight hours.
As we retired to our room, we were ready to sleep and get ready for the exciting days ahead.
By the way...the resort is under new management since we were there. It is now called The Orchid at Mauna Lani.
Our first sunset in Hawaii...Click thumbnail to view full-size
More of Hawaii by Peggy W...
- Hawaii Island Vacation - All Day Tour of Big Island - Pictures
This fabulous day long tour had us experiencing a black sand beach, Volcanoes National Park, a lava tube, spectacular garden, large cattle ranch and so much more. Photos and videos!
- Hawaii Island Vacation in Papillon Helicopter Ride with Pictures
Our first helicopter ride ever and what better place than the Big Island of Hawaii with an active volcano putting on a show? Kahala coastline waterfalls spilling into the ocean and other sites made this so very memorable!
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© 2009 Peggy Woods
More by this Author
This fabulous day long tour had us experiencing a black sand beach, Volcanoes National Park, a lava tube, spectacular garden, large cattle ranch & much more. Photos & videos!
Our first helicopter ride ever & what better place to experience it than the Big Island of Hawaii with an active volcano putting on a show? See photos & videos.
It rarely snows in Houston bringing out the child in everyone as this city just about shuts down for a day of play and wonderment.