Guide to Hawaii's Best Glamping Activities: Big Island

By Jessica Armstrong

How 'bout that boat ride in? We know Kauai sure made a huge impression, but we saved the biggest and best for last! What is a trip to Hawaii without visiting the grandest island of them all: The Big Island.

altSpectacular Villa Rental Amidst Tropical Paradise in Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Not only is the selection of glamping accommodations on the Big Island, well…big—and so are the adventures. A peek at your Big Island bucket list would likely reveal volcanoes, black sand beaches, Kona coffee, history, culture, and waterfalls, right? If so, then you’re in luck because we have handpicked these Big Island tours not only because will they show you the best the Big Island has to offer, they’ll do so in a way that makes your Hawaiian vacation simply spectacular.

altCharming Family-Friendly Cottage Rental with Ocean View near Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii

The Volcano Van: No trip to the Big Island would be complete without touring the volcanoes and surrounding areas, and that’s where The Volcano Van comes in. Tour the famous Kilauea (caldera, summit, and steaming bluffs), Thurston Lava Tube, Rainbow Falls and Boiling Pots, Waimea Town, Akaka Falls, Onomea Bay, and so much more. They can even customize a tour just for your party. Plus, their knowledgeable guides are flexible, keep groups small (or private if you prefer), and focus on fun.

altLuxury Cottage Rental with Lava Rock Swimming Pool on Kohala Coast, Hawaii

Safari Helicopters: Do you want to easily tour the Big Island and enjoy the best seat in the house, too? Want to explore the volcanoes and lava in the safest way possible? Then an island tour with Safari Helicopters is the way to go. Their expert guides will have you zooming over Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to spot bubbling lava lakes, craters, and lava tree forests. You’ll even see entire neighborhoods that have been consumed by the unforgiving lava. Then, “cool off” with views of waterfalls and the Hilo Bayfront if you’d like…ahhh!

altBeautiful Ocean-View Studio with Secluded Beach Access on Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Forest and Trail: There are tours; and there are tours that offer a profound insight into the natural history, geology, and flora and fauna that make the Big Island so unique. That insight, imparted by expert guides with a passion for the island, is what you’ll find at Hawaii Forest and Trail. Their half-day and full-day tours cover a variety of breathtaking experiences: hiking pristine rain forests; stargazing atop Mauna Kea; bird watching for some of the world’s rarest and endangered species; zooming along a zip line; swimming amazing waterfalls; and touring Kona coffee farms. There’s something for everyone at Hawaii Forest and Trail.

altBeautiful Ocean-View Studio with Secluded Beach Access on Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii Forest and Trail: There are tours; and there are tours that offer a profound insight into the natural history, geology, and flora and fauna that make the Big Island so unique. That insight, imparted by expert guides with a passion for the island, is what you’ll find at Hawaii Forest and Trail. Their half-day and full-day tours cover a variety of breathtaking experiences: hiking pristine rain forests; stargazing atop Mauna Kea; bird-watching for some of the world’s rarest and endangered species; zooming along a zip-line; swimming amazing waterfalls; and touring Kona coffee farms. There’s something for everyone at Hawaii Forest and Trail.

Hope you all enjoyed the best activities and adventures brought to you by Hawaii Guide!


Check out Hawaii Guide on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and pick your fantasy Big Island getaways, here.

Blogger Spotlight: Jessica and Carla

By Jessica Armstrong

The weather is getting warmer, the sun is shining, and the East Coast is looking like a pretty good place to be right about now. Travel blogger BFFs, Jessica and Carla of Dining Traveler and Spicy Candy DC, would surely agree.

Just this March, they grabbed their bags, hubbies, and glamping must-haves to make their way over to the coziest cabin in Lexington, Virginia. A little getaway from Washington, D.C., to disconnect in the great outdoors was just what the doctor ordered!

alt

But what makes a glamping stay with your squad that much better? Find out below, as Jessica and Carla give Glamping Hub the full scoop on their most recent stay, and do's and don'ts:

What is your favorite thing about travel and glamping in Virginia? On the East Coast?

Jessica: Love the nature of Virginia. It's lovely to be able to live in such a dynamic city such as D.C. and have Shenandoah and the Blue Ridge mountains. The East Coast is so diverse. Would love for my next glamping experience to be in upstate NY. Having gone to high school and college in the area, I have an appreciation for the nature of the region, especially in fall.

alt

Does the time of year affect your preference for accommodation?

Jessica: It depends what you want. If you want to be outside, I recommend spring or fall. Our trip was at the end of winter, which made it nice to stay in by the fire and hang out at the cabin.

Carla: I think so! I'm not a big fan of insects (who is though?) but like I can't deal with mosquitoes so I prefer to travel to outdoorsy places during the fall.

alt

What is your go-to must-have for traveling?

Jessica: My camera. Love capturing the moments of my travels. When I was younger, I didn't take that many photos and I regret that. I've been to places like Kenya, Ethiopia, and Qatar and don't have many photos from those experiences.

Carla: I bring dry shampoo with me every time I travel! This minimizes the time in getting ready.

What is your absolute favorite activity to do when glamping? Why?

Jessica: Having a glass of wine by the fireplace with my friends. Love that cozy feeling!

Carla: Having a good glass of wine by a fireplace! There is something so soothing about the sounds of wood burning.

alt

alt

If you could pack your bags to go glamping anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why?

Jessica: To New Zealand. It's been my dream destination for years, and I would love to be as close to nature as possible.

Carla: Oh man! I'd love to visit Colorado, but Tulum is also on my radar.

alt

Do you prefer glamping trips with a couple people or a large group?

Jessica: Rather do it with a small group, five people max.

Carla: Large group is always more fun! But I can totally see the romantic moments you can have if you go with just your significant other.

What is your most memorable experience from your stay in Virginia?

Jessica: Being able to share the experience with my close friends and family.

Carla: The bonding time we had during our cooking sessions!

alt

What do you recommend the most for a glamping stay?

Jessica: Staying in at least one night and cooking together. Really brings people together.

Carla: This glamping site would be perfect for anyone that is looking for a fun adventure outdoors!

This glamping site would be perfect for...

Jessica: A small group of friends or a family. I traveled with my four-month baby, and the experience was fantastic.

alt


To find more staycations close to home, check out the Virginia Getaways Portal, here, and follow Jessica and Carla's future travels on their blogs: Dining Traveler and Spicy Candy DC.

Give Back to the Community with Glamping Hub and Faucet Face

By Jessica Armstrong

Hey there, glampers! We have a special treat for you this week. With all the excitement of 2017, Glamping Hub has some new surprises up its trees. So, let's introduce you to our new friends over at Faucet Face.

alt

What makes Faucet Face and Glamping Hub the perfect pair, you ask?

We here at Glamping Hub strive to find the best sites that both provide an unforgettable experience, as well as preserve nature's wonder and beauty. Now it's time to give back to those who strive to tackle another challenge—how to provide potable water all over the globe.

alt

alt

Here's how you can get involved and have fun, too! For every water bottle purchased on Faucet Face, that equals a contribution to providing the funds towards new filtration systems first in India, and later, all over the world. How cool to be a part of something so important, right? We thought so, too, and would love your help!

Enter to win your very own gift card for a glamping getaway and three Faucet Face glass water bottles with the design of your choice to help spread awareness for their 1 for 100 program by subscribing to their newsletter and Facebook page.

Just picture yourself enjoying your relaxing getaway with your new glass bottles while knowing you are helping make a difference.

alt

alt

Together, we can bring more awareness to ways we can benefit the community and environment.

To participate enter, here.


Stay tuned for more fun partnerships coming this spring and summer. You will not want to miss out on all the ways to give back—and get some fun goodies while doing so. In the meantime, start planning your summer getaway here!

Host Spotlight: Beth

By Jackie Dreyer

Editor's note: Each month, we'd like to introduce you to one of our wonderful Glamping Hub hosts and what inspired them to create a glamping site. This month, we have Beth, who manages this incredibly unique villa in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.

The glamping property and its pool at sunset

An exterior shot at sunset of the villa.

1. When was the first time you heard the term glamping?

From your website!

2. What inspired you to have your own glamping site?

The Onion House is something like five-star luxury camping. With no outside walls (only screen and stained glass), you are fully immersed in the lush tropical environment. I had a hunch that travelers would delight in it as much as I do.

3. If you could describe your property or the glamping experience you offer in three words, what would they be?

Artistic, Joyful, Transformational.

The glamping property

The entire property in Kailua Kona, Hawaii.

4. What was your first glamping /camping experience?

When I spent the summer at our property when I was 10 years old.

5. Why would you recommend people to go glamping?

To expand your concept of the possible. The built environment has a profound effect on the psyche. As Winston Churchill said, "First we shape our buildings. Afterward, they shape us." Becoming attuned to the rhythms of an unusual setting can awaken and invigorate the senses.

6. What should people expect when they come to your glamping site?

An unforgettable experience of delight, with privacy to swim and immerse yourself in nature. One guest said, "I feel like a butterfly living under a leaf!" Guests have the place to themselves, with the freedom to swim 'au naturel,' sharing an eccentric slice of Hawaii's history.

A view from the pool.

The villa's pool, accompanied by the property's gorgeous views.

7. What makes your property unique?

The visual aesthetics are like nowhere else on earth. This wildly original structure, a landmark of organic architecture, was built for the McCormick Spice family, with a history of colorful characters. Guests' vacations provide funds to renovate and maintain this unique architectural legacy.

8. What’s your favorite part about owning a glamping property?

I love the impact that this unique place has had on so many people's lives. Some come to celebrate their marriage, anniversary, or a special birthday. Others give themselves a personal creative retreat. Families often say it is the best vacation they've ever had together.

The master bedroom of the property.

The villa's master bedroom.

**9. What makes your property eco-friendly?

We try to reduce, reuse, and recycle, all while growing tropical fruits, some of which guests may have never experienced, like jaboticaba, guanabana, pomelo, and loquat. Organic architecture seeks to embody natural forms within the built environment—in this case, the shape of a sea shell.

The unique shower in the bathroom.

The luxury shower in one of the villa's bathrooms.

10. Anything else you’d like to add?

A private retreat in a work of art can have a profound transformative effect. One guest wrote, "There was my life BEFORE the Onion House, and my life AFTER the Onion House." Just as the unorthodox setting of the Onion House nourished my own artwork, it continues to spark creativity among our guests. The environment of 'no boundaries' without walls and square corners conveys a sense of the unexpected possibilities in life, and people tell me their lives have been transformed.


*Interested in a glamping escape to Hawaii? See more of what Beth's one-of-a-kind, tropical villa can offer here!

Blogger Spotlight: Sonal and Sandro

By Jessica Armstrong

South Asia has become a hot spot for globe-trotters, and we can see why! From the tranquil beaches to the bustle of city life, all the meanwhile being surrounded by thick forests and luscious greenery.

alt

It makes sense why Sonal and Sandro of Drifter Planet wanted to spend a getaway glamping in Sri Lanka at this unbelievable tree house. Being travelers on-the-go, planning and choosing each spot to visit has some important steps, and they are here to help you out, glampers!

For the ins-and-outs of quick glamping getaways, take a page out of their book, and read below:

alt

What is your favorite part about glamping and why?

I love being outdoors and staying in a place that's off-the-grid. I really enjoy camping, but every once in a while, I treat myself to a little luxury and indulge in a "glamping break." My favorite part about glamping is the comfort, which is not always there when I'm camping.

Do you prefer to go glamping solo as a couple? In small groups or big group?

I prefer going with my husband or solo. I usually don't like going in groups.

alt

What is one of your most memorable glamping or travel experiences?

My most memorable glamping experience was when my husband and I stayed in the middle of the jungle in Sri Lanka. This place was completely off-the-grid, and we had a little tree house to ourselves! It was very adventurous because we slept with the sounds of forest and romantic because we woke up to the music of birds. The best part was the glamping location because it was very beautiful and peaceful.

alt

What has glamping taught you about travel and nature, especially from this last stay at the tree house?

Based on our few conversations with the property manager at our last stay, we realized how important it is to understand the ways of the land before building anything new. As humans, we are always intruding, but it is very important to understand the ecological impact of our actions and to minimize it. More than this, I learned about a few more species of birds, insects, and trees.

alt

What is your favorite type of accommodation and why?

My favorite type of accommodation is the one that runs on the principle of responsible tourism, where there is a sustainable source of energy, where every kind of waste is recycled, and where rainwater is collected and harvested. Of course, the rainwater collection may not be possible in dry areas, but I really love places where every effort is taken to "leave no trace."

What trends do you follow when planning a glamping getaway?

I don't follow anything, but just pick a place where I can be closer to nature.

alt


For more info on trips and travel around South Asia, check out Sonal and Sandro's blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.