Hawaii 2012 - Day 6: Abandoned Coco Palms Resort - Flight to Maui

Kauai Travel Blog

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Local fauna in the Lydgate Beach Park

Unfortunately already the last day on the Garden Island as Kaua’i is called. I kinda like this island and I am "afraid" I will have to come back some day. We had to catch a flight to Maui at 4:15 pm today, so, no time for extensive canyon hikes etc. We saved some sights that are close the Lihu'e Airport for this day.

A nice breakfast in the Lydgate Beach Park was a great start of the day. Eating while overlooking the blue sea, yellow beach and green vegetation is not a horrible thing! On our first day on the island we visited the upper section of the Wailua River, today we were right at its delta, the place where the river's fresh water mingles with the salty Pacific Ocean.

 At the other bank of the Wailua River was our today's first "attraction". A ghost hotel: the abandoned Coco Palms Resort.

Abandoned for more than 20 years, but the lamps are still hanging in Coco Palms Resort!
The Coco Palms used to be the first and most luxury resort on Hawaii. It was constructed in the biggest of three coconut groves in the state. It started simple in 1953 with only 24 rooms, but in 1970 it got extended with 400 (!) more luxury rooms in several wings. The hotel played a role in several TV and movie productions, of which Elvis Presley's 1961 movie Blue Hawaii is probably the most famous one.

Exact 20 years, one month and 5 days ago (yes that is 9/11 !) the Island of Kaua'i was heavily hit by hurricane Iniki. Coco Palms also fell victim to the force of nature, was heavily damaged and closed. Until today, it has never opened again. Several revival efforts failed and now the hotel is like a 20-year-old snapshot slowly falling victim to mold, termites, and other decaying factors. The coconut grove, however, is still a beautiful place.

Huge signs state that any trespasser would be prosecuted "to the full extend of the law".

Our rental Dodge in the Ford (photo: Stephan van Gessel)
So, although the terrain is very accessible, we just stayed out of the gates. The road from our hotel to the airport actually runs over the grounds of the former resort so, after parking the car, we actually still had a pretty good view on the beautiful, but sad, hotel that has been waiting for guests so long. I do not foresee any revival of the resort in its current form. The buildings are way too damaged. Besides, who wants a hotel room that is a few meters away from a busy road? An interesting website about the hotel is here, and here, a nice article with up-to-date pictures is here.

A visit to our next attraction, a Hindu Monastery in the jungle, failed, since it closed already at noon. Since we were around we drove a little further uphill to the Keahua Arboretum, a pleasant and cooler place that invited for a hike.

Our GO! flight to Maui
In order to get to the parking we had to ford (i.e. drive right trough) the Keahua Stream. No problem at all for our tough Dodge Avenger rental car.

We had a take out lunch from Shrimp Station, a local chain that serves really great coconut battered shrimp. I ordered the shrimp, Stephan indulged himself with that typical Hawaiian specialty called "French Fries". These delicacies were enjoyed on the bank of the great Wailua River.

After that it was time to head to the airport, say goodbye to our rental car, check in, the TSA circus, etc. We were flying with GO! Airlines a local low cost airline that applies the nice and small Bombardier CRJ200 jets. GO! does not assign seat numbers, so there was a free seating. To our pleasant surprise there were not many people waiting at the gate.

Flying above Honolulu, Waikiki, and the Diamond Head Crater on the island of O'ahu
So, we had a half empty flight and plenty possibilities to change seats from the left to the right of the plane. A good thing since our 350-km (217-mile) long flight gave nice views on the the islands of O'ahu, the capital Honolulu, the famous Pearl Harbor with the USS Arizona monument, the hotel we stayed in during the previous Hawaii trip, the Diamond Head Crater which we had visited, the islands of Moloka'i and Lana'i, Molokini Crater, and of course our destination: Maui (The Valley Island).

More pictures below!

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Local fauna in the Lydgate Beach P…
Local fauna in the Lydgate Beach …
Abandoned for more than 20 years, …
Abandoned for more than 20 years,…
Our rental Dodge in the Ford (phot…
Our rental Dodge in the Ford (pho…
Our GO! flight to Maui
Our GO! flight to Maui
Flying above Honolulu, Waikiki, an…
Flying above Honolulu, Waikiki, a…
Breakfast view in Lydgate Beach Pa…
Breakfast view in Lydgate Beach P…
Breakfast view in Lydgate Beach Pa…
Breakfast view in Lydgate Beach P…
The Wailua River meeting the Pacif…
The Wailua River meeting the Paci…
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
Abandoned Coco Palms Resort
The Coconut Grove of abandoned Coc…
The Coconut Grove of abandoned Co…
The ford in the Keahua Arboretum n…
The ford in the Keahua Arboretum …
Keahua Arboretum near Wailua
Keahua Arboretum near Wailua
Our double upgraded rental Dodge i…
Our double upgraded rental Dodge …
Wailua River, seen from Wailua Riv…
Wailua River, seen from Wailua Ri…
Our GO! flight to Maui
Our GO! flight to Maui
The first tip of the island of Oa…
The first tip of the island of O'…
Flying to Maui
Flying to Maui
Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu
Pearl Harbor on the island of O'ahu
The USS Missouri and USS Arizona (…
The USS Missouri and USS Arizona …
The island Oahu, with the Hawaiia…
The island O'ahu, with the Hawaii…
The island of Molokai
The island of Moloka'i
The island of Lanai
The island of Lana'i
The partially sunken crater of Mol…
The partially sunken crater of Mo…
Map of the Coco Palms Resort (map:…
Map of the Coco Palms Resort (map…
The entrance of Coco Palms during …
The entrance of Coco Palms during…
Our flight from Kauai (LIH) to Ma…
Our flight from Kaua'i (LIH) to M…
Kauai
photo by: hauteboy