First, thank you for all that you do! Your guidebook was invaluable & the maps made navigating the island with ease! We stayed at the Waipouli Beach Resort & it was beyond words. We booked through a rental agent & saved about $700 than if we had booked directly through Outrigger. The Oasis Restaurant there had amazing food (& the BEST mai tai’s!) but it is worth it if you can afford to splurge! The service was very attentive. We ate at 2 restaurants that weren’t in the book. The first was the Lava Lava Beach Club. Great food, great service, great ambience (it takes a few minutes to get used to your chair in the sand but who doesn’t love “toes in the sand” dining?) & great view! Definitely deserves an ONO. The other was Lemongrass; good food, bad service. Also, as my 2 girls were deciding what to drink since they didn’t have root beer, the waitress recommended a “smoothie.” Well, 4 smoothies later & we find they charged us for $6 each for 4 virgin drinks. NOT ono! As for breakfast, we at the Ono Family Restaurant, Olympic Café & Waipouli Restaurant. All 3 had fair service (I think you should cut some slack to those restaurants that seem more owned & operated by “locals”, as they probably operate on HI time & therefore are just in no rush to get you your food). The one all 4 of us liked the best & would have returned to again if we weren’t leaving? Ono Family Restaurant. Hee Fat’s keiki size shave ice was 1/2 the price & same size as a regular at Jo Jo’s (both delicious!). Catch a sunset at Ke’e Beach–it’s breathtaking. Overheard as the sun was setting: “See you same time tomorrow!” If you weren’t able to tell already, it was important to save money where we could as we’re a family of 4 & had a limited budget. So my best bet if you can’t splurge on some more expensive activities? Do the Smith’s River boat tour. You get serenaded with local songs & hula dances along the way, & they sing the Hawaiin Wedding Song when you get to the Fern Grotto. It was very pretty, even though you can no longer walk up to the grotto. Also, the food was pretty good at the Smith’s luau (agree they are lacking desserts) but the service was exceptional. Why don’t you mention the ABC stores in your book? (they don’t have them where I live)? Great place for reasonably priced gifts. They feature your book too!
What Readers Have to Say
“My wife and I just completed a 10-day trip of The Big Island. Our third trip to Hawaii and our second time on Hawai’i, but our first with one of your guides. That book has to have been one of the best travel investments we’ve made! Thanks for making our trip an exciting voyage of discovery yet letting us do that in an efficient manner by telling us just what to see and what we could afford to skip. The accurate, descriptive, candid, and sometimes funny guide was our greatest resource and constant companion throughout the trip. Our copy returned home dog-eared, bent, folded, rained-on and dried-out, and looking exactly as a companion on such an adventure should! The book alone could tell our friends and families tons of stories about our trip. My wife mentioned that it was so decsriptive it would almost be interesting to read even if you weren’t traveling. But of course, after reading it, who could resist the urge to go?”