Featured Hotel: GayHawaii Guesthouse Will Seduce You With Rare Island Beauty

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The island of Hawaii, or “Big Island” as it’s more commonly referred, is unlike any place on Earth, and that’s no hyperbole. There you’ll find the world’s largest active volcano, Mauna Loa — the spirit of which permeates life on the island. Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire (and not someone you want to mess with) is said to live in its glowing pit, and lava flows on the surrounding hills are as common as thunderstorms.


Far from the big resorts with their infinity pools and room service, nestled into the lush jungle coastline of the Big Island’s eastern side, rests the GayHawaii Guesthouse — a come-as-you-are haven for gay travelers looking to experience the “real Hawaii.” And for those who may perk at the notion but haven’t the foggiest clue what it might entail, the owner, Dwight, is more than happy to set you on the right course.

The first thing he’ll tell you to do is tour the property, and as you head towards the coastline you’ll get a sense of why Hawaiians feel a strong connection to the land. One tree on your path drops gargantuan avocados (feel free to grab a few), while others bear alien looking noni fruit. Flowers and plants you’ve never imagined seem to burst from every direction.

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unnamed-3The path breaks through the thicket and you’re met with a sight that very well may take your breath away — a wide coastline of iridescent volcanic glass (the picture does it no justice). As Dwight will tell you, this particular stretch of coast was formed during a 1989-91 flow, and as you explore its surface you’ll see the rippled patterns where molten lava cooled to rest. You can’t help but feel the power of nature, and that’s barely breaking the seal when it comes to awe inspiring experiences on the island.

unnamed-6Within an hour’s drive of the guesthouse — everybody here rents a car — are countless things to do and see, and Dwight is a better resource than any guidebook. He’ll tell you about the area’s black sand beaches (Kehena beach is just down the road and clothing optional, as is the guesthouse itself), when to visit Volcanos National Park to see the glowing lava and the best coral reef to snorkel with wild sea turtles (for the record, it’s at Richardson Beach). Every Wednesday theres a fantastic night market with live music just a mile away at Uncle Awa’s Club Bar. Or perhaps you’ll hear about the “banana boys” — a gay couple who owns a banana farm and hosts a weekly naked volley ball game.

When you return home from a long day of exploring and rinse off in the dreamy outdoor shower, you’ll have no trouble drifting off to sleep to the hypnotic sounds of the jungle. Dwight is also certified in massage and “aqua nirvana,” a bodywork practice conducted in a skin-temperature pool located on the grounds — not a bad way to get your next day of adventure started.

The guesthouse certainly isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking to mentally check out and be pampered poolside (and there’s certainly no shame in that), GayHawaii Guesthouse isn’t your best bet. But if you want to check into the world, feel connected to nature and experience something truly unique, Dwight’s hale — that’s Hawaiian for “home” — in the jungle may be the breath of fresh air you’ve been searching for.

Many thanks to Dwight for being the most gracious of hosts. Oh, and if 4:20 is your favorite check-out time, he can help you out there as well.

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