Island of Hawaii

Hawaiʻi Island Fact Sheet

See also: Why Hawaiʻi, Map of Hawaiʻi Island (PDF)

Hawaiʻi Island Highlights

  • The youngest and largest of the Hawaiian Islands (all the other Hawaiian Islands can fit within Hawaiʻi Island)
  • Capital City: Hilo
  • Population: 200,629
  • Number of Rooms: more than 6,598 *based on the Digital MH guide produced for the 2021 IMEX
  • Top Venue Regions: Kohala Coast, Kona, Hilo

Hawaiʻi Island Overview

The island of Hawaiʻi is often referred to as "Big Island," not due to its population, but rather its size. All of the other Hawaiian Islands can easily fit within its periphery (or perimeter or boundaries). With active volcanoes, Hawaiʻi's energy is one of creation and discovery, a state-of-mind that sets the stage for rewarding and productive events.

With all but four of the world's climate zones represented in its diverse terrains, Hawaiʻi provides inspiration at every turn – in the deep blue ocean and sandy beaches, at cultural and historical sites or while hiking its lush valleys and rainforests.

Take a road trip into the great wide open on the youngest and largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Nearly twice as big as all of the other Hawaiian Islands combined, the island of Hawaiʻi’s vast, isolated expanses are awe-inspiring. Program attendees can see some of the most pivotal sites in Hawaiian history and visit a volcano, while traveling through all but four of the world’s different climate sub-zones. From the crystal blue waters of the Kona and Kohala Coasts to the black sands of Punaluʻu to the lush botanical gardens and waterfalls of the Hāmākua Heritage Corridor, there is a world of diversity to experience on this rich, storied island that invites exploration, adventure and restoration.

Each of the island's towns has a distinctive flair — from the paniolo (cowboy) feel of upcountry Waimea to the artist vibe of Hāwī. Hawaiʻi Island is also a place to indulge in culinary adventures and world-class spas to heal spirit and soul.

Planners will find Hawaiʻi's meeting and convention options as distinct as the island itself, from elegant ballrooms to oceanfront settings perfect for corporate retreats. Hawaiʻi Island has more than 6,000 hotel guest rooms (not including alternative accommodations such as retreats/lodges, vacation rentals, bed and breakfasts and more).

Outside of the major resorts, off-property venues can be found in verdant pastures (Kahuā Ranch), amidst acres of coffee farms (Hōlualoa Inn) or on manicured, emerald green lawns surrounded by pitch-black lava (Waikoloa Bowl at Queens' Garden).

Hawaiʻi Island Activities

Home to Maunakea, the world's tallest sea mountain; Maunaloa, the world's most massive mountain; and Kīlauea, one of the planet's most continuously erupting active volcanoes, Hawaiʻi offers adventures that form lifelong memories:

  • Snorkeling some of the 266 miles of coastline and the most marine conservation districts in the state
  • Learning ancient methods of ocean navigation by the stars at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center
  • Interpreting the natural science, culture and history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and surrounding marine environment at Mokupāpapa Discovery Center
  • Witnessing primal geological formations and processes at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park

Kohala Coast Accommodations & Venues

While individual properties are equipped to accommodate meetings and events, the Kohala Coast — home to many fine resorts and meeting facilities, all located within a 20-minute drive from each other — is often referred to as the "convention center without walls," with its year-round ideal weather and numerous outdoor venues:

  • Celebrate 50+ years of timeless magic at Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the new glass-walled Kaunaʻoa Ballroom, where groups can enjoy the hotel's beachfront wing for an unparalleled "hotel within a hotel" experience
  • The Westin Hāpuna Beach Resort, Mauna Kea's sister property, sits on one of Hawaiʻi's most beautiful white sand beaches; the resort offers four conference rooms, two executive boardrooms and 8,000 square feet of outdoor courtyard space
  • The Fairmont Orchid, a luxurious resort inspired by culture, well-being and genuine aloha; the 540-room property offers 36,000 square feet of indoor space and 76,000 square feet of outdoor venues
  • Mauna Lani, Auberge Resorts Collection offers spacious indoor and outdoor meeting facilities, including the popular 10,800-square-foot Hale Hoaloha Pavilion, and an attentive event staff, making this Hawaiʻi conference venue a great destination for productive and enjoyable corporate events
  • Soft ocean breezes and tropical foliage inspire creativity and ingenuity at Hilton Waikoloa Village, where stunningly beautiful indoor and outdoor meeting spaces offer an ideal setting for special events, from the resort’s 235,000-square-foot convention center to from free-form pool decks, lawn areas and more than 175,000 square feet of outdoor space
  • The Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa offers an array of outdoor event areas and indoor meeting rooms, conveniently located at ʻAnaehoʻomalu Bay, home of Ocean Sports, offering an array of Pacific adventures right off the bay

Kona Accommodations & Venues

  • Meeting planners can choose from indoor and outdoor venues at the Five-Star, Five-Diamond Four Seasons Resort Hualālai at in North Kona
  • Further south, Historic Kailua Village is a lively seaside town in the heart of Kona and a destination for accommodations, dining and great souvenir shopping, all within walking distance along historic Aliʻi Drive
  • More than 20,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting and function space, including the oceanfront Lūau Grounds, await at The Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel
  • Nearby, Royal Kona Resort offers 10,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space with breathtaking views, perfect for events from 20 to 500 people
  • Still further south, next to Keauhou Bay, is the Outrigger Kona Resort & Spa; with 17,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, the resort is perfect for larger groups, corporate seminars and private functions

Hilo Accommodations & Venues

Flipside of the Kohala Coast is the district of Hilo, a gateway to Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park, accented by dramatic waterfalls and lush tropical gardens:

  • Roughly one mile from downtown, the 286-room Hilo Hawaiian Hotel offers stunning views of Mokuola (nicknamed Coconut Island), Maunakea and the dramatic North Hilo coastline. This recently renovated classic has nearly 6,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space.
  • The Queen's Court restaurant (5,600 square feet) can also be used as a private dining option for luncheon meetings.
  • Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo - a DoubleTree by Hilton. Oceanside hotel located 10 minutes from Hilo International Airport (ITO) with panoramic tropical views, 9-hole golf course, watersports equipment, and more. 12,504 sq. ft. of event space, largest room set-up 4,500 square feet, 5 meeting rooms and 379 guest rooms.