Usually, if you hear that a destination has bugs, you tend to avoid it at all costs. And you certainly wouldn’t book a hotel room if insects were involved. But that’s exactly what’s happening at this new hotel in Okinawa, Japan. Yes, Halekulani Okinawa is a stunning luxury hotel on the coastline that’s giving guests access to a light show courtesy of fireflies.
Having just opened in July 2019, the property is celebrating its first holiday season by offering the Firefly Nature Discovery experience, something available exclusively to guests of the hotel. During your stay, a local naturalist and guide will take you into Yambaru National Park shortly before sunset. Here you will climb into a kayak and paddle through mangrove trees to view the captivating display of twinkling lights created by thousands of fireflies. While there are 50 types of fireflies in the Asian country, half of them inhabit Okinawa thanks to lush vegetation and biodiversity of the islands.
Beyond witnessing the ethereal beauty of the natural phenomenon, the immersive adventure also includes dinner at the signature restaurant SHIROUX—run by famed chef Hiroyasu Kawate—and private transportation. And after spending the evening enjoying entertainment courtesy of Mother Earth, you’ll get to retire back to the 360-room hotel located within the Okinawa Kaigan Quasi-National Park. Opt to stay in a suite or villa, and you’ll get a private pool and hot spring with unobstructed shoreline views.
And when you’re not venturing out into nature, you can enjoy the surroundings of the hotel where there are seven dining outlets from which to choose, a world-class spa with traditional Hawaiian treatments, and five different indoor and outdoor swimming pools (one of which was made with 1.5 million mosaic tiles). Of course, there’s always the white sand beach to relax and take in a bit more of the natural beauty in the area.
While the hotel is worth a visit all year, the Firefly Nature Walk is only available through the end of the year, making the excursion even more unique and exclusive.