The biggest travel news this week is that, finally, since October 15, Hawaii has lifted its quarantine restrictions. The state now requires visitors to take a negative Covid-19 test 72 hours before arrival. Additionally, Maui and Kauai require voluntary secondary testing for visitors, while the Big Island of Hawaii requires rapid secondary screening on arrival. Visit this link to view the details of the Hawaii Safe Travel FAQs.
While it’s too early to say how successful this will be, visitors have already started to arrive and those looking for a winter retreat are looking for villa rentals. Exotic Estates, a company that has one of the best selections of island properties I’ve come across, offers a range of luxury properties in Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island that seem ideal for social distancing. All benefit from being designed for the type of indoor / outdoor living that defines a Hawaiian vacation home.
These are spacious properties that seek a lot of privacy, with great views, private pools, and often easy beach access. Most have multiple outdoor lanai areas designed to maximize privacy. Expect high-end furnishings and stylish decor. With multiple bedrooms and living spaces, they work well for large families, extended families, or a protective “bubble” of friends. All would be ideal for extended stays, especially as travelers seek to get away from urban centers and opt for homeschooling their children from afar. Cancellation policies are generous but differ between properties. Here are three exceptional villas to make you want to travel.
Honu Pani, Hawaii
There are those who love the Big Island of Hawaii for its wilderness and expanse and I count myself among them. Honu Pani corresponds to this sense of the big country. This is essentially a resort, but located on the grounds of the Mauna Lani Resort, one of the island’s main luxury enclaves. I first stayed at this resort over three decades ago and then, as now, it remains the island’s gold standard. Honu Pani sits on over an acre of beachfront property, with lava rock walls, koi ponds, and lush plantations as well as that awe-inspiring view of the Pacific Ocean, with turtles swimming right in the middle. large. Offered as both a Four Bedroom Villa and a Five Bedroom Villa, it can accommodate up to 10 people in decadent comfort. Sliding glass doors to the ocean side of the house open to connect to the covered lanai overlooking the heated infinity pool and hot tub. There is a built-in barbecue and tiki torches to light up the outdoor dining area, as well as gated access to the beach path that runs along the ocean beyond the house. Other facilities include a theater room and access to the private Pauoa Beach Club. The greatest luxury of all, I think, is all that space to enjoy the best views of the Big Island.
Turtle Cove, Maui
Maui is always a good idea, and Turtle Cove sits on Napili Bay in West Maui and offers southwest views of the Pacific and the Outer Islands of Moloka’i and Lana’i. It’s just about the perfect perch for witnessing the annual humpback whale migration between December and May.There are three bedrooms with king beds and en-suite bathrooms. There is also a companion suite with an office and a total of five bathrooms. Napili Bay is a personal favorite, an intimate beach perfect for turtle watching, hence the villa’s well-deserved name.
Dali Hale, Kauai
With its spectacular mountains, Kauai is incredibly beautiful. A fitting bolt hole to reflect on this beauty is Dali Hale, a gated villa with ocean views. The 6,000-square-foot Dali Hale villa features seven luxurious bedrooms, six full bathrooms, and a half-bath. The villa overlooks Secret Beach, which is a five-minute walk away. The property has a private pool, hot tub and outdoor showers, as well as a private tennis court. The house’s covered veranda extends around the exterior, so that it looks like a vintage island plantation. Expect a state-of-the-art kitchen, as well as a media room. That said, with Kauai on your doorstep, nature, not virtual reality, is likely to triumph.