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The Hale (Bungalows) I - The lava

What made Kona Village unique?  Well, aside from the fact that there was no two-story building anywhere, the hale themselves did not have radios, TVs, telephones, room service, or (gasp!) air conditioning.  The absence of A/C alarmed some people, but trust me--the ceiling fans plus the ocean breezes were a pretty good substitute for it, and most folks got over that panicky, “Golly, can I really sleep without A/C?” feeling after the first night. In winter, I never turned my fan on, and in fact I slept under the blanket.  In July and August, the fan was welcome, but normally when I got up in the night I switched it off.

As for the rest of the alleged ‘necessities’ of life: People who had to remain connected with the world had cell phones, wireless web access, iPads, and portable radios. For those who didn’t have a computer, KVR provided 24/7 free access to two computers in the concierge office--one for Mac, one for Windows. The only thing really unavailable was TV.  To overcome that, I used to record the programs I absolutely didn’t want to miss, and sometimes I even watched some of them when I got home. 

There were three distinct areas in the village: the lava, the lagoon, and the garden/sand areas.  Each area had a unique appeal and some distinct differences. 

The lava. The vegetation in the lava area softened things a lot, compared to what it was when I first visited in 1972, as a comparison of these two pictures will attest.

Behind the rows of ocean view hale, that were surrounded by a wondrous lot of palm trees, flowers, and shrubs both big and small, lay the lava from which all that lush glory was wrested.  This picture was taken from the side entrance of Maori 7.

Looking from the lava back toward the main beach showed a dramatic shoreline.  This will all be black sand in 1000 years or so, but now it’s a rugged scene indeed.


The hale rested comfortably amid the rustle of leaves and the cheerful sound of the birds.

New Hebrides 5, left, sat on the point, a bit more isolated than the others.

Lava Samoan 8, sadly a casualty of the tsunami, shared the little black sand beach with Palau 1 & 2.

At the far northern end of the village, around the point, the Lava Tahitians had a different vista entirely.  From the lanai, where most of them had hot tubs, they had a closer look at the whales in the winter, and of Maui when it was clear.

A touch of humor here...