Joyce Craddock has visited Hawaii’s Big Island many times over the past 35 years, so she has seen it change dramatically over time. Still, what she loves most about the island are the things that don’t change, from the drama of Kilauea Volcano to the waterfalls of Hilo. Craddock recently joined a Big Island Visitors Bureau fam trip and returned with these comments.
Where did you stay on the Big Island and what did you think of it?
Of all the properties I experienced, my top award goes to King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel for its fabulous job renovating and reestablishing the hotel as a solid three-star resort. The location can’t be beat, with a wonderful little beach and easy access to the shops of Kona.
What activities did you do during the fam trip?
One of my favorite activities was Fair Wind’s Night Manta Snorkel and Dive. It’s extremely safe and an experience to cherish forever. I loved the ATV adventure at Paani Ranch, which is a family-friendly attraction. I also enjoyed Kapohokine Adventures’ small van tour. The local guides were informative and brought the island’s past to life.
What one piece of advice would you give clients heading to the Big Island?
I’d suggest that they begin their stay in Hilo, which is extremely different from the Kona side. I actually prefer the Hilo side because of its historical aspects and natural beauty.
What was your favorite dining experience?
Hands down, my favorite meal was at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. I applaud executive chef George Gomes Jr., for the fine work he does in creating artistic and savory dishes.