By No Vacation Required, on June 28, 2016

LGBT wedding and honeymoon guide: Hawaii Island

From the snowcapped peaks of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea to the sun-soaked white sands of the Kohala Coast, Hawaii Island is a geographically diverse, natural wonderland. But it is not just the landscape that is diverse, so too are the options for individuals of all walks of life who want to celebrate their wedding or honeymoon on Hawaii’s youngest island.

As LGBT couples enjoy the right to legally recognized marriage, decisions about where to hold and celebrate those special events move front of mind. We’re familiar with a host of properties on Hawaii Island and know several with long-standing cultures of equality. In many cases, we have met with property leaders to confirm their commitment to creating outstanding wedding and honeymoon experiences, regardless of a visitor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Fairmont Orchid – Once you’ve visited the Fairmont Orchid and explored the 32 acres of oceanfront property on the sun-drenched Kohala Coast, you’ll understand why the honu (sea turtles) return each evening for some R&R. You’ll also understand why so many couples get married at Fairmont Orchid and then return each year for their honeymoon. Beyond the splendid setting, the Fairmont delights guests with a unique brand of tradition and aloha. Nothing exemplifies this better than the Spa Without Walls, a blend of the traditional intimate spa that you would expect at a luxury resort, but with an expansive outdoor treatment area that simply must be experienced to be believed.

When you visit, we suggest that you—like us—secure a room on the Gold Floor. This will give you access to the Gold Lounge, where you can enjoy daily breakfast and heavy apps in the evening (among many other benefits that take your stay to a whole new level). Most importantly, though, we suggest you simply experience one of the resorts most remarkable offerings, a long history of treating all couples with the respect and care they deserve during the special moments in their lives.

Hawaii Island's Kohala Coast as seen from the Fairmont Orchid
Hawaii Island’s Kohala Coast as seen from the Fairmont Orchid

Holualoa Inn – High above the Kona Coast, in the tiny artist community of Holualoa, sits the charming Holualoa Inn. With grand views of the Pacific Ocean and lush grounds, including acres of Kona coffee trees, the setting is ideal for an intimate wedding. The ability to rent out the entire historic coffee estate for your gathering makes the Inn a perfect destination for a small wedding or group honeymoon celebration.

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai – For couples with deep pockets, there are few places in the world that offer the level of luxury and exclusivity afforded by the Four Seasons Hualalai. It is, after all, the only five-star, five-diamond resort on the Island of Hawaii. If you’re planning a destination wedding, the on-site wedding manager can help you plan every last detail. And for eco-conscious couples (and you should be an eco-conscious couple!), the resort offers a “Care of the Land” package that includes meals made with sustainable, regional, and seasonal resources.

Viewfinder Tip: When on Hawaii Island, make a point to visit the Mauna Kea observatory (or at least the visitor’s center lower on the volcano) for awe-inspiring views often above the clouds.

Ka’awa Loa Plantation Guesthouse and Retreat – The small (just four rooms!) B&B is a perfect spot for an intimate gathering, especially for environmentally minded gay travelers. With thoughtful amenities like options for grilling and on-site laundry, this eco-retreat is an excellent choice for tiny weddings on a budget or for couples who decide to celebrate their honeymoon with a few friends or maybe even bring the kids along.

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection – For the design-savvy couple, the only Autograph Collection hotel in the State of Hawaii is a no brainer. The renovated hotel, which was founded by Laurance S. Rockefeller in 1965, has retained its mid-century modern design while elevating the experience to the standards of today’s level of luxury. As the sun was setting over the ocean, we enjoyed a romantic evening of tropical, craft cocktails from the iconic Copper Bar. We suggest you do the same.

What do you feel makes a destination perfect for a wedding or honeymoon?