On Big Island, it’s always booze o’clock. Thanks to the eclectic variety of venues, there’s no shortage of cool spots to knock back beers, stick an umbrella in a fruity cocktail, uncork a bottle of wine, or pop some champagne. These five amazing watering holes are the best on the island, the places at which you definitely want to relax with your favorite beverage.
Spa at Four Seasons HualalaiSpa at Four Seasons Hualalai
What we love about Four Seasons Hualalai is that they never say no to requests. Couples come to this 28,000 square foot spa (you heard that right… it’s massive) to booze up, and get lost within its tropical gardens, outdoor water journey (think hot tub and outdoor showers), and adult-only lap pool. While the spa is obviously not a bar, it’s definitely the best place to drink on property, which is why when you get here you’ll realize you’re not the only couple with this brilliant plan. Not to worry though: it’s quiet, it’s romantic, it’s stunning, and staff will bring you a bottle of Veuve without question. For an even more romantic affair, shack up in the new Couple’s Hale (or house), which features outdoor showers, a Japanese soaking tub, and even a private garden for a private moment right after that couples massage.
Lava Lava Beach ClubLava Lava Beach Club - Waikoloa, Ku'uali'i Place, Waikoloa Village, HI, United States
Opened in 2012, LLBC is the only bar on the island that’s actually on the beach. You can listen to live music and knock back humongous tropical cocktails while burying your toes in the sand, or you can sit in the open air restaurant. Either way, you’ll be charmed by the low-key atmosphere and wowed by some of the best local musicians. LLBC gets packed, especially on weekends, so come for happy hour to grab a table, enjoy the amazing sunset, and drink until closing time. Even better: stay in one of the cottages, so you’re never more than twenty steps from your bed.
hBar and Huggo’s On the RockshBar and Huggo’s On the Rocks
The oceanfront restaurant Huggo’s opened in 1969 and is an institution, so everyone includes this famed spot in their Big Island plans. Huggo’s is mostly known for its traditionally Hawaiian pupu menu, but they also serve up a mean cocktail. One of the fanciest places in Big Island, Huggo’s is fine dining at its best. But the bar, called hBar, is equally impressive. It’s the only true craft cocktail bar you’ll find on the island (they make their own syrups, infuse liquor with herbs and fruit, handcraft cocktails, etc). They perfected the Mai Tai, too. Order something that has island vibes like the Piña Fresh (pineapple vodka, coconut milk, lime, pineapple), which definitely captures the aloha spirit. If you want to sit outside while you drink, Huggo’s has you covered with Huggo’s On the Rocks right next door, another watering hole with patio seating and live music.
Sam’s HideawaySam's Hideaway, Kailua-Kona, HI, United States
Let’s make one thing clear: Hawaiians aren’t just friendly locals who wear leis and smile at tourists 24/7. They know how to get down. They can party like rockstars, and they do so en masse at Sam’s Hideaway. This locals bar is in Kona (about a thirty minute drive from the main tourist area), but it’s well worth the drive. The sports bar serves up cheap drinks and major fun: nightly karaoke, games, drinks on fire, and all sorts of other things thrown in with great, friendly service. It’s as wild as they come on Big Island, and you’ll probably make a gazillion new Facebook friends here.
The Mask-queradeThe Mask-querade
The Mask-querade may be a gay bar, but it’s more mixed than anything considering the gay community here is fairly small. That said, it’s the place everyone ends up at the end of the night. Regardless of sexuality, anyone who wants to party hard, do shots, and dance until dawn comes here, whether honeymooners, gaggles of girlfriends, or local barflies. It’s basically the only spot on the island that has a real dance floor (the DJ pumps out house and pop music), and the later it goes, the wilder it gets. Roll in with your girl after midnight on the weekends to catch it in its prime.