At the end of May, we visited to the Big Island of Hawaii. Our first two nights were spent in “the upcountry.” This is the area around Parker Ranch, which was once the largest cattle ranch in the US. Today, the ranch has downsized due to a number of issues and with those cutbacks, the little town with two names where Parker Ranch began, has changed.
It had been many years since our last visit to this area and with a few scenes in the next McKenna Mystery taking place in the upcountry, I wanted to get a renewed sense of the area. For this part of our trip, we stayed at the Jacaranda Inn, which is located on the outskirts of Waimea.
I called Waimea the little town with two names. The first of those two names, and the original, is Waimea. However, a series of US Postal Service instructions to postmasters in the 1890s restricted multiple post offices in one state from having the same name. As a result, Waimea is also known as Kamuela. If you do an online search for either name you’ll get the same place.
The Jacaranda Inn was a pleasant surprise. Our first night there, we arrived late and the place was very quiet. There were other guests, but they were either off having dinner or already in their rooms. We were in the Hibiscus Room, a stunning green-flowered bungalow with a very large bath. The room was stuffy when we entered and my first reaction was, “What? No air?” It was definitely the wrong reaction.
First off, the buildings at the Jacaranda Inn are somewhere on the order of 100 years old. Second, there’s no need for air conditioning. With the windows opened, the cooler outside air filtered in and the room temperature quickly became very pleasant.
The following morning, it was time to explore the rest of the property. The more I saw, the more I loved it. Each room is decorated differently, but all maintain that elegance and grace so prominent in years past.
The only downside to the inn is that the front doors are left open until well after dark to allow guests to enter. Unfortunately, some of those guests are the flying kind. After providing the local mosquitos with a good source of food on our first night, we decided the main house was off limits after dark. Other than that, the Jacaranda Inn turned out to be a wonderful spot to forget the rest of the world and revel in the beauty of Hawaii’s past.