A Town Built Around Coffee
A slight detour off Highway 11 leads to the funky upcountry village of Holualoa.
You’ll know you’ve reached this eclectic little town when you see a fluorescent-pink building called the Kona Hotel. Built in 1926, the hotel is still maintained by its founding family members. With the exception of the exterior paint job, there’s not much to indicate the passage of time—it has maintained its original early-1900s style. The homey 11-unit establishment offers rooms with shared bathrooms at rates that range from $20 to $30 a night.
In Holualoa, you’ll find an interesting blend of artisans and crafters. The half-mile stretch of Mamalahoa Highway (180) that is Holualoa Village features more than a dozen historical buildings that have now become world-class art galleries, studios and shops, along with a cafe and restaurant, bed-and-breakfast inns that range from cozy to exclusive, and a general store that features farm-fresh Kona coffee and produce.
A three-mile winding drive up the mountainside reveals a cool, lush Kona most visitors never see, a step back in time to a lifestyle centered around art, coffee and history.