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Hawaii’s sublime scenery calls to travelers craving oneness with nature. While visitors can easily find ways to feel in sync with the islands by day, the connection doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down.
Rather than book a mainstream Hawaii hotel, clients can try one of the following off-the-beaten-path lodgings. From down-home cabins to lovely yurts, these unconventional digs help guests ditch the distractions and focus on the now.
Cabins at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii IslandHotel rooms at the historic Volcano House are warm and cozy, but Namakanipaio Campground — just 3 miles away — offers 10 furnished, one-room cabins that bring clients that much closer to nature.
Embraced by eucalyptus trees and a mesmerizing volcanic landscape at the 4,000-foot elevation, each cabin sleeps up to four people and comes with an outside firepit and barbecue grill. Volcano House supplies bed linens, towels and electricity, and a community bathroom provides hot showers, soap and toilets.
For folks who want to get even closer with nature, Volcano House rents two-person tents that are set up beforehand, complete with bedding, a cooler, a lantern and two folding chairs.
Cabins at Kokee State Park, KauaiWhen it’s time to get off the grid, these remote cabins do the trick. With no television, phones, Wi-Fi access or cell service, they please clients who are eager to unplug from technology and to connect instead with fellow travelers and the great outdoors.
Each cabin kitchen is furnished with an oven, a microwave, a refrigerator, cleaning supplies and basic cooking and eating utensils. The bathroom has towels, soap and shampoo.
Set above the 3,000-foot elevation, Kokee gets cold at night, but the cabins are heated by wood-burning stoves, and beds are topped with blankets. They’re a fitting home base for exploring the 4,345-acre park, known for hiking trails, dramatic views and rare Hawaiian birds.
Glamping at Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko OlinaAt the west Oahu luxury resort, guests ages 5 to 12 can take part in the glamping program, a kids-only outdoor overnighter. Throughout the evening, upbeat staffers lead children in activities honoring the hotel’s unique setting, from watching the sunset and playing Hawaiian games to storytelling and stargazing. An alfresco movie adds to the fun.
Campers enjoy a dinner of goodies such as chicken tenders, pizza, sliders, fruits, veggies and s’mores, then wake up to a breakfast of pancakes and cereal.
Tents are set up on a rooftop deck, with mountain and ocean views. Kids have the choice of sleeping in a tent or under the stars on a giant pillow.
Tentalows at Camp Olowalu, MauiWith the west Maui mountains as its backdrop, this oceanfront campground serves up several options for roughing it, starting with tentalows (platform tents with canvas covers). Each unit comes with beds, linens, a private open-air shower, a sink, towels, interior solar lights, a cooler and a wooden chest. Better yet, guests get their own lanai with Adirondack chairs.
The 700-acre spread also features A-frame cabins for groups and families. Clients might prefer to car camp or pitch their own tent at one of the property’s campsites.
No matter how visitors experience Camp Olowalu, they’re not far from communal bathrooms, picnic benches, grills, an outdoor dishwashing station and an internet hot spot.
Yurts at Hawaii Island RetreatAlong with its eco-boutique hotel rooms, Hawaii Island Retreat presents seven charming yurts tucked in a grove of ironwood trees. With a back-to-nature vibe, each yurt features two single beds or one king bed, a private toilet and sink, organic toiletries and proximity to indoor and outdoor showers.
Yurt guests can access the retreat’s wellness activities and facilities, including massage bungalows, a movement room, an infinity pool, a Jacuzzi, a library, an open-air living room and healthful meals in the main hotel.
Designed with a circular hole in the roof for views of the stars, the yurts are an ideal way for travelers to feel fulfilled as they rough it in Hawaii.