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Eco-Cultural, Eco-Tourism, Eco-Friendly : Kona Village Resort

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Vicky Kometani  Jun 04, 2008

How Kona Village Resort has made a difference for more than 40 years
(Eco-Cultural):
Our commitment is to the ancients that came before us. We have deep respect for the `aina (land) and Ka`upulehu (the area). The spirituality of Kona Village is derived from the mana (spirit) that comes from the land. By respecting the land, we in turn share that respect with each other and with our guests. The Big Island community at large is appreciative of the protection afforded the ancient Hawaiian fish ponds and 3.2 acre petroglyph field at Kona Village. These efforts have been recognized by the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau in their “Kahili/Keep it Hawaii” annual awards. The natural environment here is among the reasons guests visit Kona Village and have for more than 40 years. It is paramount that the environment be sustained for future generations. It is not a trend, it is rather, our kuleana (responsibility) and one that Kona Village has always embraced.

Community support: (Eco-Tourism)
In the kitchens of Kona Village, the executive chef’s first choice for product is from on-island farmers. Locally grown fruits and greens, hearts of palm, goat cheese, famous Kona Coffee, and so much more “island-grown” is purchased by a chef who has nurtured relationships with key growers island-wide.
While Hawai‘i is well-known for its mouthwatering deep sea fish, those supplies of fish are dwindling. To supplement and still offer the freshest possible seafood, the chef purchases Kampachi, a delicious sushi-grade fish with amazing versatility. This Hawaiian yellowtail fish is receiving significant attention from chefs who are increasingly impressed with the healthy fish, extremely rich in omega-3 fish oil and without detectable levels of mercury. Grown in the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean off the Kona coast, this fish is the first farm raised fish grown from hatch-to-harvest in the United States.
Chef has also begun to utilize island wild boar, prepped and dressed by local hunters, in tantalizing ways on the menus at Kona Village and is the only one on-island to do so.

Wildlife protection: (Eco-friendly)
Often described as our most frequent visitors, each afternoon the beach fronting Kona Village Resort is dotted with green sea turtles basking in the warm Hawaiian sun. Attentive beach staff ensures that guests maintain a safe distance from the protected species while still being able to photograph and appreciate their close proximity. Within the Bay itself, while snorkeling or diving, turtles along with dozens of other amazing tropical fish, Pacific Spinner Dolphins and seasonally, humpback whales, can often be seen. Before snorkel gear is provided, a quick rundown on ocean etiquette helps ensure that guests understand there is much to see but it is all best left untouched. One beach staff member, a twenty-year veteran at the resort, has been dubbed Makua Bubba or Uncle Bubba. Guests are comfortable chatting with Uncle Bubba and his local-boy love of the ocean is infectious. In kind but clear words, Uncle Bubba helps guests appreciate and respect the ocean.

How we care for the environment:
Kona Village achieves the ultimate in recycling. The roofing material on the restaurants, fitness center and the 125 individual thatched-roof hale (bungalows) is grown from the more than 2,000 coconut trees that dot the 82-acre resort. Fronds from the trees are dried and a team of “thatchers” cover roofs year round on a rotational basis. The roofing lasts approximately five years before having to be replaced with newly dried fronds.
From these same coconut trees come the resort’s Do Not Disturb signs. For guests not wanting to be disturbed, a coconut placed just outside the hale door will ensure privacy.
Cool ocean breezes and ever-present tropical trade winds are more than sufficient air conditioning at Kona Village Resort. Guest hale do have ceiling fans but carbon-burning, fuel-using, emission-producing air conditioning is not present. Kona Village is also an unplugged resort. In hale there are no televisions, radios or telephones which can result in both visual and sound pollution and needless electricity consumption.
We are dedicated to reduce the waste we produce. Plastic and glass bottles on the resort are sorted and recycled. In-room, unobtrusive cards remind guests of how they can save energy and water through a towel and bed linen re-use program.

Greening Here and There:
We do our best to make certain that all guests participate in the experience that is uniquely Kona Village Resort while also understanding the fragile environment of Ka`upulehu. Children happily fish from bamboo poles in the ancient Hawaiian fish ponds and gleefully throw back whatever they catch. Likewise, one of the most anticipated children’s activities during the week is the making of ti-leaf skirts and flower lei….all of course completely recyclable materials. Sandy paths and low-density lighting are the norm rather than concrete sidewalks and bright lights. No elevators or lengthy enclosed hallways here! Vegetation is allowed to grow mostly as nature intended rather than being pruned to precise heights and shapes.

Ultimately, it comes back to the land, the mana (spirit) of that land, and recognizing the responsibility today and far beyond so others who follow will also be fortunate enough to experience Kona Village.
Unplugged, unpretentious, unmatched.

www.KonaVillage.com
1-808-325-5555

Eco-Cultural, Eco-Tourism, Eco-Friendly : Kona Village Resort



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