Hawaii Island Retreat Opens on Hawaii's Big Island

Boutique, oceanfront eco-lodge and spa occupies former lands of Hawaiian kings 

By: By Marty Wentzel

The newest luxury property on the Big Island of Hawaii is Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Hoomaluhia, a boutique, eco-friendly lodge and destination spa located on 50 oceanfront acres.

Reminiscent of royal Hawaiian summer palaces, the architectural style of the sanctuary includes a welcoming 15,000-square-foot main lodge with elegant archways, a porte cochere, winding staircases and wood floors. All eight guest suites are lavishly appointed with large soaking tubs, and there are plentiful ocean views through a grove of pine trees. Even the 1,200-square-foot yoga studio overlooks the ocean, and an outdoor amphitheater is meant for hula performances, luaus and inspired gatherings. Guests can unwind with body work, enjoy healthful meals in the garden-side dining room, and hike the serene property.

But it could be an undeniable presence of Hawaiian mana (divine power) that draws guests to this intimate spa lodge. A walk around the 50-acre oceanfront property reveals a natural amphitheater within a hidden valley, where a cluster of large pohaku, or boulders, are shaded by mature noni and kukui nut trees. Elders from the area say this is where Hawaii's greatest ruler, King Kamehameha the Great, often consulted with his advisors before he and his warriors set out to unify all the Hawaiian Islands under his rule in the early 1800s.

Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku is run by renowned island body therapist Jeanne Sunderland, who helped pioneer the outdoor spa trend in Hawaii, and her husband Dr. Robert Watkins, an emergency room physician. The property is ideal for family reunions and girlfriend getaways, and the entire lodge and surrounding grounds can be booked for wedding parties. Grand opening rates start from $250-$450 per night, based on double occupancy, and are available through June 30 with a three-night minimum stay.

Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Hoomaluhia