Definitely a retreat rather than a hotel, Kalani Oceanside Retreat is the largest retreat center in the state of Hawaii, situated on Big Island's Puna coast in one of Hawaii's largest conservation areas. Existing for nearly 40 years, the retreat has grown significantly as they expand the open land and incorporate more communal areas for classes, gatherings and workshops. While accommodations are available by the night or for weeks, Kalani is much more than a place to spend the night.
Jungle bungalow — Photo courtesy of Kalani Oceanside Retreat
Time spent at Kalani is an experience within itself and opens up visitors to the culture and ways of not only traditional Hawaiian life, but also the current lifestyle of the area. The property is gay-friendly, but is not strictly a gay retreat. People from all walks of life find a haven at Kalani; it's also a nudist-friendly place.
Relax with Buddha by the pool — Photo courtesy of Kalani Oceanside Retreat
Although it isn't an oceanfront property, it's located across the street from cliffs over the sea. Located onsite are a sauna, pool and hot tub, and guests can even camp on the property for a close-to-nature experience. Kalani is quite different compared to other Big Island hotels.
Over 40 classes a week are offered, including Hawaiian culture classes, dance (hula, modern, and aerial), crafts, arts and even some language. It's located about a three-minute drive from Kehena Beach, a clothing-optional black sand beach where wild-spinner dolphins frequently swim, and 15 miles from spectacular lava-viewing. Kalani is a 501(c)(3) charity, meaning that your stay will support the preservation of Hawaiian culture within the poorest district in Hawaii.