MAUNA LOA -- Once you get accustomed to the fact that the west end
of Molokai is barren, rocky and dry, the new Molokai Ranch Lodge
becomes more palatable as a vacation spot.
Don't expect the lush, green paradise that most Hawaii brochures
portray. This is 54,000 acres of real Hawaiian ranch. The 22-room
lodge, which opened in September, sits on a high bluff overlooking
a grand expanse of red dirt that eventually disappears into the
If at first the scrubby, desolate landscape throws you, after a
few hours you realize that solitude can be a good thing on
vacation. Looking out over a few miles of flat land and an infinity
of ocean is calming.
Besides the views and the solitude, most guests lodge come for its
extensive recreation program. Guests can take part in horse
roundups, cattle drives, mountain biking, guided hikes, snorkeling,
kayaking, canoeing, archery, a ropes course, and Hawaiian crafts,
all of which range from $25 to $125.
And inside the lodge, the locals who work there make the visit
Being one of the least populated islands with only about 6,000
people, Molokai is down to earth.
Here is an example: A restaurant waiter from the lodge
approached a couple at the airport who had stayed at the lodge the
previous night, enquired about their meal and offered an apology
for the tardy check. The couple were quite stunned at such a
gesture from an off-duty waiter but nonetheless grateful.
As for food at the lodge, it is quite good. There is one main
restaurant and a bar and lounge that also serves fine food.
The only other dining option is across the street at the Village
Grill, which serves fish dishes, burgers, Asian stir fry and
Both the restaurant and the lounge in the lodge have ocean and
The lodge offers two types of rooms at single or double
occupancy prices: deluxe for $295 a night and luxury for $350 a
night. A third person charge is $75 a night.
Transfers to the lodge from the airport are $20 per person
The lodge has a large central room with a fireplace, a game
room, a heated swimming pool, a fitness center, a spa with massage
service and a meeting room.
The lodge also has a wedding package for $1,500. Included are a
ceremony on the beach or in a garden at the lodge with a
nondenominational service, a bottle of wine and a wedding cake.
Also included are the service of a solo Hawaiian musician, a
floral bouquet for the bride and boutonniere for the groom, the
services of a photographer who will supply 24 4-by-6-inch photos
with a photo album, a wedding coordinator for one hour,
transportation to obtain a marriage license and airport transfers.
Accommodations are extra.
Phone: (877) 726-4656.