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Relaxation is paramount at lodge amid rain forest – Hawaii News -
Honolulu Star-Advertiser StarAdvertiser.com 12/1/2013
Relaxation is paramount at lodge amid rain forest
By Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi
In the Hawaiian forest, birds converse in soft, sweet sonnets. Fronds bend and sway in response to the
whispers of the wind. The sound of gently falling rain soothes the soul like a lullaby.
Here, amid the peace and verdant finery of nature, Volcano Village Lodge lures guests away from the
hubbub of everyday life.
» . Volcano Village is a haven for artists. Volcano Garden Arts (volcanogardenarts.com)Volcano Village
features lovely gardens, outdoor art studios and installations, a vegetarian cafe, and a gallery of
treasures created by more than 100 Hawaii island artists (most from Volcano), all for sale. It’s open from
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily; admission is free. » . A free guided walkVolcano Art Center, Niaulani Campus
through the Niaulani rain forest is offered Mondays at 9:30 a.m. and Saturdays at 11 a.m. Meet on the
center’s front porch; advance reservations aren’t needed. The trail is open for self-guided walks during
daylight hours. The center is at 19-4074 Old Volcano Road. Call 967-8222 for more information. » Hawaii
. The Volcano Village Lodge is 2 miles from the entrance to Hawaii VolcanoesVolcanoes National Park
National Park, which is open round the clock throughout the year, including holidays. For information
about programs, hiking trails, guided walks, special events and more, check out the website, www.nps.
Warmed by a wood-burning fireplace, the reception area is a welcoming entrance to a marvelous escape.
Freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, available throughout the day, are a tasty treat. Games, CDs, books
about Hawaii and about 200 DVD movies can be borrowed free of charge. Out the sliding door and down
a wraparound lanai is a hot tub that melts away stress and muscle aches in minutes.
IF YOU GO … VOLCANO VILLAGE LODGE
Address: 19-4183 Road E, Volcano Village, Hawaii island Rates: Starting at $280 per night based on aRates
two-night minimum stay, including breakfast. Rates are based on single or double occupancy (except the
Mauna Loa room, which is based on three guests). There’s a $25 fee per night per additional guest.
Phone: 985-9500 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.emmaspencerliving.com/
Notes: Kamaaina discounts are periodically offered for Hawaii residents planningvolcano-village-lodgeNotes
to travel within 60 days. Ask about availability. A Wine & Cheese Package ($75) and a Champagne &
Chocolates Package ($95) can be added at the time of booking. Temperatures in Volcano Village, which
is 4,000 feet above sea level, average in the high 60s to low 70s. Be sure to pack a jacket and/or
Gravel paths lead to five beautifully appointed rooms, each with a covered lanai and large glass doors and
windows that frame thick stands of bamboo, ohia trees and hapuu ferns. Positioned for privacy, no two
rooms are exactly alike.
Glass walls on three sides immerse Hale Kilauea in natural light and showcase the vivid greenery outside.
So close and expansive are the views, it’s like being wrapped in nature’s arms.
Guests who’ve reserved Hale Manaluna have the adjoining library all to themselves when the reception
area is closed from 6 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. daily.
A two-room suite, Mauna Loa delights visitors with its vaulted ceiling, rain-fed koi pond, and meditation loft
with zafu cushions, yoga mats and a prayer table.
Mahogany French doors, antique Balinese furniture and high, open-beam ceilings make the octagonal
Haleakala room the epitome of tropical elegance.It’s said the presence of Pele, the Hawaiian volcano
goddess, can be felt strongly there.
Mauna Kea mirrors the shape of Haleakala, albeit on higher ground. It has been dubbed the “Treehouse
Room” because it overlooks the tops of giant hapuu ferns.
All accommodations are furnished with the conveniences of home, including a microwave, refrigerator,
teakettle, coffee maker, toaster oven, Wi-Fi connection, CD and iPod players, and a gas fireplace. To
preserve the quiet, secluded ambience, there are no phones in the rooms, and the flat-screen TV is set up
to play just movies.
MORNINGS begin with a breakfast of yogurt, cereals, fresh fruit (longan and rambutan are luscious
surprises) and a delicious entrée (think sweet bread French toast, spinach-and-mushroom quiche, and
sausage-and-potato casserole). Vegan and vegetarian options are available upon request, and a basket is
kept filled with popcorn, candy bars, granola bars, macadamia nuts and other snacks.
The lodge’s growing ohana of return guests includes an author and motivational speaker from Hono-lulu
who keeps a hectic schedule. So rejuvenating is her time at the lodge, she has booked a stay there every
year since it opened in 2006.
A couple from rural Illinois brings a different family member with them on their lodge getaways — usually a
young grandchild who loves discovering the wonders of the rain forest.
Three years ago, an artist spent several hours relaxing on his lanai every day of his visit. A few weeks
after he returned home, a package arrived at the lodge, containing a drawing of the lush scene that had
inspired him. That gift now hangs in the reception area for everyone to enjoy.
Inhaling the fragrance of the forest, listening to birdsong, admiring dew on a leaf — the Volcano Village
Lodge reminds travelers that the simplest pleasures sometimes add up to the most memorable vacations.
Cheryl Chee Tsutsumi is a Honolulu-based freelance writer whose travel features for the Star-Advertiser
have won several Society of American Travel Writers awards.
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