A fantasy playland for kids of all ages.
Over the top and swanky, this 62-acre, 1,242-room resort is located about 40 minutes from the Keahole-Kona International Airport. A massive playland, it offers everything from its own saltwater lagoon to swimming with the resident dolphins. Getting to and from the guest rooms requires a tram or shuttle boat, which wind through the waterways and tropical landscaping past restaurants, pools and exotic wildlife. Or guests can take a lengthy stroll on the mile-long museum walkway filled with a $7 million collection of Polynesian, Asian and European art. Rooms here are well appointed and comfortable, with the ocean view and oceanfront rooms being the most private and spectacular. There are three freshwater swimming pools (two with slides) and a four-acre saltwater snorkeling lagoon, along with several dining and drinking venues. The Kohala Sports Club & Spa is a 25,000-square-foot health oasis blending Hawaiian philosophies and European treatments; it's one of the finest health facilities on the island. As for recreation, there are eight tennis courts, two championship golf courses and an eighteen-hole seaside putting course. For added value and special events, the annual Dolphin Days celebration (mid-June) is the best time to visit.