Hawaiian Island Retreat: a Model of Elegant & Sustainable Living



Designed as a model of sustainability and elegant earth-friendly living, this 50-acre retreat on Hawaii’s Big Island is owned and operated by 2 minions on the pulse of sustainable living. Meet Jeanne Sunderland and Robert Watkins!

JEANNE SUNDERLAND is Hawaii Island Retreat’s innkeeper and lead therapist. Respected in the Hawaiian community for her healing energy skills, she has studied with noted Hawaiian healers both la’au lapa’au, the traditional Hawaiian art of healing with plants, and lomilomi, traditional Hawaiian massage.

ROBERT WATKINS has been a North Kohala primary care physician for 30 years and now serves as Director of Emergency Services at Kohala Hospital. While in private practice he incorporated complementary medicine into his work, such as la’au lapa’au (the Hawaiian art of healing with plants), lomilomi (massage), applied kinesiology and homeopathy. The authentic spa cuisine features his fresh, homegrown fruits and veggies.

Together, this dynamic duo has created 6 carefully coiffed Signature Retreats that encompass the many levels of healing incorporated into this special property. Guests can pick from the Signature Spa Vacation, the Return to Self Personal Getaway, Yoga Retreat, Couples Romance, Detox Retreat, and Girlfriends’ Getaway.

With any of these retreat options, comes fresh meals from the organic gardens, spa treatments, and personal consultations with the experts on property to better hone in on the guests’ goals for their specific retreat. What I love is the very personal aspect of each retreat, guests get first-hand attention in a carefully put together schedule very specific to their own goals.

Hawaiian Island RetreatPrivate yoga classes, Hawaiian massages, a Kohala Legends and Lore walking tour, and mediation are sprinkled into the experiences and journals are thoughtfully handed out in order for the retreater to record and remember.

It’s always a big help to read recommendations from those that have attended retreats like this because it seems that all have very different, unique stories to tell about their experience. Take a look at a few, keeping in mind that this unique property has a very high overall rating regarding guest satisfaction!

– A return to the TRUE Aloha Spirit of 50 years ago. A haven of nourishing tranquility and an atmosphere of harmony. If you want to recharge and spent valuable time with loved ones there is NO better place.

– My compliments to the chef. The location is incredible. The spa service is wonderful. The yoga trainer is top notch. The view is unparalleled but the food is wonderful and one of the main attractions. We stayed in the penthouse and were spoiled by the very personal service. Also, the infinity pool and hot tub are a great addition.

– This was the most magical and spiritual place for my god-child’s wedding. We were welcomed by the owners, Jeanne and Robert, with Aloha right from the start. Our room’s decor, “the red room”, was the perfect blend of warmth and class with a spectacular view of the wild Kohala Coast. As we all gathered from different ends of the globe, we immediately felt at home. The attention to details on the grounds and spectacular plantings was obvious at every turn with beautiful, surprising little areas with which to explore and find a peaceful connect. The staff was amazing, helpful and available always. I can’t say enough about the food. Organic greens and sumptuous meals created by Mo never disappointed. I came away with a joy for the union as well as a feeling of inner peace with my spirit soothed. Don’t miss this experience!! You will know what ALOHA truly means.

– My daughter was recently married at Hawaii Island Retreat. What a fantastic experience! We felt aloha and welcomed from the moment we arrived. The Retreat is breathtakingly beautiful, peaceful and serene, also unique in that it is off the grid-what an accomplishment! The wedding ceremony was on the cliff overlooking the ocean. The reception was held in the dining room and courtyard-we danced for hours to a great band. The food at the reception was fabulous, and each day that we stayed (3) we were treated to a beautiful breakfast and dinner with organic fruits and veggies grown right there on the property. There are goats, chickens and bees and a large organic garden. We had fresh eggs, yogurt, cheeses, ice cream and honey!

– The rooms were large and beautifully appointed. The honeymoon suite was so cool-on the third floor it has a claw foot tub, its own patio and lovely views. The Retreat is so amazing-everywhere we looked a delight to the senses. We swam in the salt water infinity pool overlooking a lush valley and relaxed in the hot tub.

– Jeanne and her staff were so warm and helpful and incredibly knowledgeable about Hawaii and the land.

– This is definitely the way to do a wedding. From the rehearsal dinner to the breakfast the day after-everything was perfect. I highly recommend the Hawaii Island Retreat to anyone who wants a magical, amazing wedding or just wants to get away to an awesomely beautiful place.

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