A tip from our all-new Winter Getaways Guide.
Sustainable travel is in, especially in Hawaii. The islands took the pandemic closure period to reevaluate tourism goals since visitation is already back at 89% of 2019 levels. Many Hawaii resorts are now upping their cultural programs and environmental initiatives. Hanalei Colony Resort, literally at the end of the road on the North Shore of Kauai, is as unspoiled as it gets. They encourage visitors to shop local with a discount, reusable shopping bags and a guide to the island’s farmer’s markets and farms.
There are family voluntourism programs that can offer hotel savings, as well as the satisfaction that comes from giving back. At the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, for example, the Malama package offers a 5th Night Free for guests who do a beach cleanup. A new Hawaiian Cultural Center offers classes (lei making anyone?) while local artisans show off their wares in the lobby.
Visit the farm at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore where you might Kayak with the giant sea turtles. At the Four Seasons Oahu Ko Olina, about a half hour north of Honolulu, The Kids for All Seasons program, unlike at many luxury hotels, is complimentary for kids 5-12. (Younger kids may visit the appealing sunlit space with an adult.) Activities focused on sustainability and local culture are listed by the time offered so kids may come for what they like. Think fish feeding around the resort, lei making, Hawaiian stories and legends, working with artisans. Seasonally, enroll teens in exclusive activities — a sail and snorkel around the resort, for example or a guided hike.
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach on Oahu announced last month that it is on track to become the first carbon neutral hotel in the state of Hawaii. The resort is now powered by 100% renewable electricity, has pledged to plant 100,000 indigenous trees with the Hawaii Legacy Reforestation Initiative and has introduced a sustainable food and cocktail happy hour series centered on locally sourced products.