#CatTravels: A weekend in Volcano


Even though I travel to the Big Island fairly often — oh, about three times a year — I rarely make it to Volcano, the sleepy little village that borders Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

When I was attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa, I took a ton of geology classes. (In fact, I worked in the department office for several years.) I was completely obsessed with rocks growing up, so geology tapped into that passion. I took as many classes as possible — without having to take four semesters of physics and a mineralogy class that most majors dreaded — and seriously considered ditching my dreams of being a writer for a career in rock science.

(Plus, I dig science guys.)

That didn’t happen, clearly, but I did satisfy my desire to play with rocks during college.

And part of that was tagging along with the Geology 101 class field trip to the Big Island to witness the world’s most active volcano.

After college, though, I probably only visited Hawaii Volcanoes National Park maybe once since. That had to change.

So when I got an assignment to do a story on the Hawaiian Legacy Hardwoods forest project in Honokaa, I decided to find a place in Volcano for the weekend.

And I couldn’t have a more perfect place to relax and unwind than at the uber tranquil Volcano Village Lodge. This luxe bed-and-breakfast opened in 2006 with just two guest rooms. Today, there are five beautifully designed lodges that sprawl over one acre of land, surrounded by koa and ohia lehua trees and 200-year-old hapuu ferns. You feel like you’re camping — in luxury, of course — in the middle of a Hawaiian rainforest.

This was our lodge, Hale Manaluna, nestled amid ohia lehua trees and hapuu ferns. This is the newest addition to the B&B’s suite of lodges and includes a private jacuzzi bath, in-room breakfast, a fireplace and a great covered deck where you can listen to the native birds singing in the trees around you. (Rates are about $320 a night here.)

This is what our front porch looked like. We ate dinner here on the first night, with views of the rainforest just outside.

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Here’s what inside one of the lodges looks like. I love that the dining area is set up right at the large picture window. There’s nothing better — save for an ocean view — than eating dinner with a bottle of wine with views of the forest.

Here’s what it looked like just outside our lodge. Talk about secluded! And we woke up to the singing of apapane, a Hawaiian honeycreeper endemic to the Islands.

The in-room breakfast is stealthily placed in the room during the afternoon, ready to be warmed up in the morning. On the first day, we had a spinach frittata with a plate of fresh fruits. On the second day, we had French toast (above) with chicken-apple sausage and fruits.

The lodges come equipped with all the amenities you need: private bath and shower, robes and slippers, a kitchenette with a microwave and toaster oven, covered lanais with views of the forest, large picture windows that invite the outside in, umbrellas, flashlights, a basket of snacks like bananas and cereal, a bottle of wine (with opener), and one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in.

Oh, and did I mention free WiFi?

It was the perfect place to recharge before spending an entire Saturday morning in Honokaa, about a two-hour drive away.

And I couldn’t think of a better place to crash after planting koa trees in the forest.

But that’s tomorrow’s blog!

Thanks to the Volcano Village Lodge for putting me up for two nights! If you’re interesting in booking a lodge at the Volcano Village Lodge, call (808) 985-9500 or click here. Rates start at $280 per night based on a two-night minimum stay. Includes breakfast.

Follow me on my #CatTravel adventures on Twitter @thedailydish and Instagram @catherinetoth>.

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7 Responses to “#CatTravels: A weekend in Volcano”

  1. Annoddah Dave February 25, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    CAT: is that the Kamaaina rate?

    • Catherine Toth February 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      Good question — I don’t know. But I’ll find out!

  2. 808pooh February 25, 2014 at 4:09 pm #

    What a life! Sounds like you had a nice getaway! the life of a writer…but honestly I enjoy reading all your different topics you blog about from your real life all the way to comp shopping.

    • Catherine Toth February 26, 2014 at 2:51 pm #

      LOL, thanks for your message! I’m glad you enjoy reading the blog. Hopefully, I’ll start to have more time come March 1 — that’s another blog — to write more!

  3. M February 26, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    Hello Cat!

    We? we had dinner? we woke up? Thought was for work? :)


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