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Upcountry charm: Pā‘ia Inn.
Image: Angelina Hills, courtesy of Pā‘ia Inn

Whether you love luxury and resort architecture or rustic cabins on an organic farm, there are a number of green options. While some may wish all resorts and their manmade pools be razed and replaced by farms, the reality is, they’re probably not disappearing anytime soon and their potential to reduce waste is not insignificant.


Mahinani’s Farm

Choose from a one-bedroom or a two-bedroom cottage on a working farm with views of the ocean. Each cottage comes with a fully equipped kitchen and lots of space and privacy. The beach is a 15-minute walk away, which might make it hard to leave this peaceful pocket of Anahola to explore the rest of the island.

Rates start at $139 (not including tax and cleaning), [], (808) 728-3772

North Country Farms

North Country Farms, in Kilauea on the North Shore of Kauai, operates a community-supported agriculture program on its 3-acre farm, making this a bed-and-breakfast where you can pick your own breakfast.

Two wooden cottages, one sleeps up to six, the other sleeps up to four.

Rates start at $150/night for two (including tax), [], (808) 828-1513


Fairmont Kea Lani

The Fairmont Kea Lani was recently awarded a Green Business Award by Hawaii’s Green Business Program for such initiatives as re-using 200 gallons/week of cooking oils for bio-fuel and implementing a laundry water recycling system that recycles 80 percent of laundry water. Enjoy your mai tai in a compostable cup and float in the pool guilt-free, knowing a Rock Salt treating system cleans the pools instead of chlorine.

4100 Wailea Alanui Dr., Wailea, Suites sleep up to four people and start at $399, [], (808) 875-4100

Paia Inn

A charming boutique hotel in Paia, where the only comfort you have to give up in the name of “green” are those little shampoo bottles. They’ve been replaced with shampoo dispensers and vegan bath products made on Maui.

93 Hana Hwy., Paia, rates start at $189/night (a portion of profits are donated to three local charities), [], (808) 579-6000


Puu O Hoku Ranch

This is a retreat located on 14,000 acres of conservation land on the eastern side of Molokai. You could spend days exploring trails on the ranch or hiking (with a guide) nearby Halawa Valley, Molokai’s version of Waipio Valley. Request produce from Puu O Hoku’s organic farm to cook in your kitchen, since it’s a long, dark drive to the nearest restaurant.

Mile-marker 25 & Kamehameha V Hwy., Kaunakakai, rates start at $140 (not including tax) for a large cottage and go up to $1,250 per night for an 11 room lodge, [], (808) 558-8109

Big Island

Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Hoomaluhia

The amenities and comfort of a North Kohala resort with a sheen of eco-awareness. The hotel uses solar energy while the restaurant makes use of on-site vegetable gardens. Hawaii Island Retreat has plans to install a windmill as an additional energy source; maybe off-the-grid and luxury don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

250 Maluhia Rd., Kapaau, rates start at $275 a night, with 20 percent off for kamaaina, [], (808) 889-6336

Hedonisia Hawaii Eco-Hostel

Eco-tourism at its funkiest. Stay in a schoolbus to live out your Into the Wild fantasies (minus the death by starvation) or in a space built into a tractor left in this former junkyard. While toilet paper is provided, Hedonisia encourages use of the bidet and Pee Gardens, where you can “refresh” the coconut and papaya orchards. There are a thousand other points that make this an eco-hostel (geothermal power, accommodations built with salvaged materials), but it kind of had us at Pee Gardens.

13-657 Hinalo St., Pahoa, rates start at $25/person for a dorm, $35/$45 for single/double occupancy private rooms, and discounts are available in exchange for work on the farm, [], (808) 430-2545

Kilauea Lodge

It’s the little details that make this cozy bed and breakfast in Volcano Village eco-friendly, like giving back to the community and collecting rainwater. Some rooms come with a fireplace, which you’ll love for chilly Volcano nights; wood fires may not be the greenest option, but some pleasures can’t be put out by eco-guilt.

19-3948 Old Volcano Rd., Volcano Village, rooms start at $170 a night, [], (808) 967-7366