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Travel Website’s Customers Big on Hualalai Resort, Hawaii Islands

Posted March 27, 2013, 10:56 AM HST Updated March 28, 2013, 09:19 AM HST
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Four Seasons Resort Hualalai made a clean sweep in four categories in the 2013 Travelers' Choice Awards. Courtesy photo.

Hawaii locales are being featured prominently in a survey of customers by TripAdvisor.com.

Billed as the “world’s largest travel site,” TripAdvisor has released its 2013 Travelers’ Choice Awards listing the most popular islands, hotels and other destinations as chosen by “millions” of reviews.

The Big Island placed eighth in the list of top islands in the US, trailing Kauai at No. 2 and Maui at No. 5.

San Juan Island in Washington topped the best island list and was the only US entry in the world’s top islands, coming in there at No. 4.

For the Big Island, the website suggests the “don’t miss” locations of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, the summit of Mauna Kea and Hapuna Beach.

It also offers 560 “things to do” that include 11 categories including activities, nightlife, shopping and other attractions.

The nightlife category was construed rather liberally with the Kona Pier in Kailua-Kona listed first among seven entries and the Ferrari Kona Coffee Mobile, a coffee shop on wheels, as No. 4. The remainder were bars and restaurants.

Under sports, the website offers a mix of activities including primarily golf courses and hiking trails, most of which are located in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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The 91 “outdoors” selections include numerous beaches and scenic spots such as Akaka Falls and Liliuokalani Park in Hilo.

TripAdvisor’s top ten US islands:

  1. San Juan Island, Washington
  2. Kauai, Hawaii
  3. Marco Island, Florida
  4. Anna Maria Island, Florida
  5. Maui, Hawaii
  6. Sanibel Island, Florida
  7. Chincoteague Island, Virginia
  8. Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
  9. Amelia Island, Florida
  10. Key West, Florida

When it came to the 25 best US beaches, Hawaii dominated the list with eight entries. However, only one was on the Big Island, Manini`owali Beach, located at  North Kona’s Kekaha Kai State Park, at No. 16.

Ka`anapali Beach on Maui topped that list and was the only US beach listed (at No. 14) under the best beaches in the world.

When it came to hotels, TripAdvisor customers were obviously enamored with the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in North Kona. It made a clean sweep of four categories: hotels in general and top luxury hotels, where in each it was ranked No. 1 in both in the US and world lists.

“The site of the hotel is beyond lovely — nestled on the shore among the blackened lava flows and banyan trees,” said one reviewer. “I can’t speak to the area around the resort, because it’s so beautiful that honestly, you don’t feel the desire to venture out.”

The only Hawaii resort to place in the list of best hotels for romance category was the Koa Kea Hotel and Resort on Kauai which placed No. 2 out of 10.

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