Hosts Dave and Wendi spent decades working in hospitality—as a private pilot and flight attendant, respectively, for sultans, actors, rock stars, and other high-maintenance A-listers. If you’re lucky, Dave will fix you a Mai Tai and share some crazy stories from his past life… Someone get this man a book deal already!
The couple is kind, funny, easygoing, and immensely thoughtful. Want fresh towels for a trip to the beach? Wendi has a stack, plus snorkel gear, boogie boards, and a cooler packed with drinks and snacks. Wondering if your so-called “4WD” can really make it to Green Sand Beach? Dave is gonna tell you straight. Suffer a bad sunburn? Wendi has a war chest of aloe-based lotions. Need tips on cool antiques markets or the best place to stargaze outside Mauna Kea? They’re all over it and will draw you a map to boot.
Honu Kai’s lush, jungle-like grounds are Zen tranquil, in part because children are not permitted to stay. The property is 100 percent solar-powered, using biodegradable toiletries and energy-saving appliances. We spent a week here, dividing our time between the Lani suite with its treetop views and spacious sundeck, and the Mala Hala bungalow, complete with kitchenette, living room, and private lanai. There are four rooms total, starting at $245 per night. (Book five nights or longer for a 15 percent discount.) Guests also have access to a pretty koi pond, garden jacuzzi, granite outdoor kitchen with barbecue grill, and a private beach club at Mauna Lani. Breakfast always includes fresh Kona coffee and organic tropical fruit harvested on-site. Flowers grow in abundance, too—perfuming the air in a way you won’t soon forget.
To this day, Honu Kai remains our all-time favorite B&B. Not just in America, but the world.
74-1529 Hao Kuni St., Kailua-Kona, Hawaii; 808-329-8676.