Big Island of Hawaii Vacation Pictures at the Ritz Carlton
A Bit of Paradise
You are invited to come along and take a look at some photos that were taken on the first day of our vacation after arriving on the Big Island of Hawaii.
In May of 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 ResortClick thumbnail to view full-size
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 was getting to see 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
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 which was 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 turndown service, marble bathrooms, plush terry cloth bathrobes, a stocked and refrigerated bar that was on the honor system, radios, 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 alongside 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. This day prior to sunset these photos shown here are simply some of what we were enjoying on our late afternoon stroll.
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. One of those days we would take a helicopter ride over the island and see it from that perspective. Another day we took an all day land tour of the Big Island.
By the way, the resort is under new management since we were there. It is now called The Orchid at Mauna Lani.
Have you vacationed in Hawaii?
© 2009 Peggy Woods