Does anyone have any hotel and/or restaurant recommendations on the Big Island? Going to be in Maui for my cousin's wedding and some friends and family might join, so something that a group of adults can do would be great. Thanks!
For food, go to the restaurant at Manago Hotel, which is famous for its plate lunch style. Right on the ocean side of the road in Captain Cook. I'd probably opt for Teshima's Restaurant (down the road towards Kona and more on that in a bit), but if you're hankering for a pork chop, this is a good, inexpensive option. Very blue collar Hawaiian. Also known as a good budget option hotel if you want to stay in the Captain Cook area for any reason. The CanoeHouseat the Mauni Lani hotel is also a good spot.
Teshima's Restaurant is an old school Japanese restaurant off the road on your way from Kailua-Kona to Captain Cook. More like Japanese, blue collar food. Inexpensive and no bells and whistles, but very good. Probably the freshest Ahi sashimi we've ever had. Been in the same building since the 40s (or earlier). The matriarch of the Teshima clan, still acts as the hostess (she was 100+ when we were there a few years ago... hope she's still alive). Good food, kinda dingy, but feels like you're in Hawaii of yester-year. Nice option if you're driving in the area around meal time. This is the best plate lunch around. You can get plate lunch to go and take it down to Two Step (great snorkeling) or Kealeakakua (Captain Cook monument), but i like to eat here to get the old school feel.
Another good place is Holuakoa Cafe. Up the mountain from the town of Kona up in coffee country. Great, organic restaurant set in a beautiful garden. Very cool place that's away from the normal tourist-visitor scene. Could be the best non-resort restaurant on the island. Organic, "slow food" restaurant set in a beautiful garden in a small town up--country in the coffee growing area. Great place for a relaxing lunch (or dinner). Interesting place to drive around if you want to check out some different parts of the island (either driving back from the Captain Cook/Kealeakakua area, driving up from the town of Kailua or as a destination if you want something differente). Also an option to take the non-coast highway to/from here to Waimea, if you want to do a different route than the coast.
If you are in the town of Kailua-Kona (downtown) and want a good meal and don't care about the setting, Rapanui Island Cafe is a good option. Very good, inventive food by a New Zealand chef. At the back of the banyan tree shopping center. Bizarre location, which keeps prices down.
Another option is Kilauea Lodge & Restaurant. This restaurant is supposed to be one of the best options near the Volcanoes National Park and the Hilo side. Haven't eaten here, but went in to take a look for future reference. The town of Volcano Village is a pretty weird/interesting little place (quirky and kind of mountainy, bunch of artists, etc.). This place fits in with a big fireplace, etc. Also a B&B if you want to stay up by the Volcano National Park.
For fine dining, Brown's Beach House - The Fairmont Orchid - Kohala Coast is a great beach front restaurant at the Fairmont Orchid Hotel. One of the best restaurants on the Big Island. If you eat here, good bar for an after dinner drink inside the hotel. Nice option for beach front dining. Call for a reservation and get a table up front/on the water. Great food and setting. Hotel bar is pretty cool for a night cap too.
If you need a place to stay, Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa is my random recommendation for an inexpensive place to stay around Kona. This is a very old hotel that Sheraton did a big renovation on, went through bankruptcy, etc. It has no beach, but is perched on some dynamic black lava shoreline south of the main part of town. The pool is very good, the staff was very friendly when I was there. Rooms are so-so (but many have great views). What I really like about this place is the Manta Ray bar. At night, you can have a drink and watch giant Manta Rays swim below the cliffs (that they illuminate with lights and give a presentation on many nights). Not the nicest hotel, by any means, but has a lot to offer for the price (especially if you feel like hanging at the pool). Worth going by even for the Manta Rays at night. Also, the famous Manta Ray dives leave right next door, so if you want to do the dive, may make sense to stay here a night so you don't have to drive the 45 minutes to your hotel up on the Kohala coast.
Another nice hotel is the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. Make sure to have a Frederico at the beach bar. Named after Fred Allen.
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