The 120-foot Kulaniapia waterfall provides more than dazzling views at this secluded retreat 4 miles north of Hilo—it generates all the power for the two large guesthouses, private cottage, and spa building. A narrow paved road winds through macadamia and banana orchards up the hill to this 22-acre gem, which includes a 1.5-mile trail to the falls through a bamboo garden and along the Waiau River. Guests in the Asian-themed Harmony House and Hawaiian-themed Residences enjoy made-to-order egg dishes and macadamia-nut waffles with breakfast, while the full kitchen in the Pagoda Cottage is stocked daily with breakfast supplies, including pancake batter. Massages are available by appointment; swimming is allowed in the waterfall pool when deemed safe. Waterfall views (some from balconies) vary by room, so read descriptions carefully when booking online or ask for input by phone.
- Jeanne Cooper