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Aloha Bruce is joined by Volcano Eco Retreat owners Gabby and Tony Aziz for the latest Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast to talk about their unique Big Island vacation property on the slopes of Kilauea Volcano. Tony and Gabby found out about Bruce and Hawaii Aloha Travel through the Hawaii Vacation connection podcast in 2018, They used tips from the podcast to plan their first trip and have since come to call Hawaii home.
Gabby and Tony tell talk about visiting Oahu and the Big Island and how they found opened the Volcano Eco retreat. They had hoped to open and operate a small vacation property, planning on something out of the United States, before their Hawaii vacation. A series of fortunate events during and after their Hawaii vacation led to Tony and Abby finding their place of serenity in the Puna rainforest.
They talk briefly about their lives and careers before creating the Eco Volcano Retreat and describe the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on their plans and operations. “It was a slow start,” says Abby. The property is located in the Mountain View area, and Gabby and Tony say they are “kind of exactly halfway between Hilo and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.”
Abby and Tony share some details about the property, which includes four bamboo bungalows on four acres of rainforest land. They are LEED-certified and very eco-friendly. They discuss some of the many modern amenities of the accommodations (including a hot tub). Bruce notes that there has always been a lack of options for vacation properties in that part of the Big Island.
They also talk about their sustainability practices and growing some of their own food, while also relying on area farmers to help the community. Gabby says Volcano Eco Retreat is “more like a bed and brunch” than a traditional B&B and talks about their popular daily gourmet plant-based breakfast. Gabby says that, surprisingly, those who have been most enthusiastic about the cuisine at the retreat are meat-eaters despite the meatless menu.
Abby and Tony discuss how to find and book the Volcano Eco Retreat, and say that they have seen an encouraging bump in booking due both to the recent spectacular eruption at the Kilauea Volcano and Hawaii’s reopening to tourism.
“You just have to listen to your gut!” says Gabby.