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There is no place on this planet like the Big Island of Hawai’i — beaches of white, green, black or red sand; extinct volcanoes so tall that it snows at their peaks; active volcanoes that ooze bright red lava into the ocean; lush jungles and arid, unearthly lavascapes.  There is no place where nature feels so close, so “in your face” as Hawaii, and the best any traveler can do (especially one from an urban jungle) is embrace it as fully and deeply as possible.

Or, you can let it embrace you.

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A stay at the Dragonfly Ranch is just this kind a warm embrace that only the island of Hawai’i can provide.  Located on the West coast of the Big Island, just outside of the quaint town of Captain Cooke, The Dragonfly Ranch is an ecologically forward, bohemian influenced Bed and Breakfast, tucked into the lush surroundings, and unlike any place you have stayed before. The term “barefoot luxury ” seems to have been created specifically with The Dragonfly Ranch in mind, as it’s relaxed, patchwork of rooms envelops guests in the kind of luxury that encourages them to kick off their shoes, breath deeply, and savor life.  And on the island Hawai’i, there is oh so much to savor!

To begin, you can start your day savoring the hands down best breakfast spread of any B&B we’ve stayed at. Sun ripened fruits of a mind-blowing variety (most of which are grown in the on site garden), hot, organic cereals, all sorts of organic breads (even sprouted grain and gluten free), and all the marvelous decadent-meets-healthy fixings: nut butters, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, coconut, you name it. We defy anyone who says this is not the TRUE “breakfast of champions.”

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Energized with this healthy sustinence, move on to savor the natural playground at your fingertips. Just down the road is one of the best snorkeling destinations in all of Hawaii, Keoneele Cove.  The quiet, petite cove belies the magnificence it contains below the water’s surface. Luckily for its guests, The Dragonfly Ranch has a vast supply of snorkeling gear on hand for just such aquatic adventures.

This magical cove also happens to be right at the foot of one of the most interesting archeological sites in Hawaii, Pu’uhonua O Honaunau, City of Refuge. Beyond these two fantastic spots, mere minutes from the Dragonfly, there are no less than five pristine bays, ensuring visitors many a full day of immersion into the natural beauty of Hawai’i.

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After a long day in the sun and surf, there is nothing like the welcome feeling that the rooms and atmosphere of the Dragonfly Ranch inspire.  The indoor-outdoor aspect of most of the rooms give you the feeling of being truly one with nature, and the kind, warmth of owner, Barbara “Kenonilani” Moore, and her staff, give you a deep feeling of home away from home.

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The resoundingly positive depth of the Dragonfly Ranch experience is no coincidence. Barbara has lovingly and thoughtfully infused every aspect of her B&B with the intention of creating a unique environment that really inspires creativity and promotes healing–something that stressed and jaded New Yorkers can very much appreciate. She also has created a holistic epicenter and community in The Dragonfly Ranch, frequently offering workshops and classes with topics that include the ancient, Hawaiian lomilomi massage, aroma therapy, chi gung, and yoga.  Guests are not only welcome to take part in the workshops, they are heartily encouraged to incorporate this remarkable aspect of The Dragonfly Ranch’s offerings into their stay.  Check out their workshops page to see their current offerings, and plan a trip around one!

– Ava Fedorov

Photographs by Jeff Owens and Ava Fedorov for Socially Superlative

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