We visited the Akatsuka Orchid Gardens 3 years back and regretted we did not purchase any of the beautiful orchids we really liked. So upon our return to the Big Island, we made one of our first visits there. We recommend going early in the morning, before the tour buses arrive. It has a decent sized showroom, as well as a glass wall to look into the gren house next to it. It contains a small gift shop and have clean and large rest rooms for visitors to use.
We got there around 10am (it opens at 9), and we had the undivided attention of a staff member, who only only showed us the new and unusual orchids, including the $20,000 orchid that won top honors from the industry, but also took our pictures for us. We wanted to purchased an orchid that smells like chocolate and one with coconut aroma. She even put the two together to show us the "Mounds" scent. Unfortunately, the first orchid has already bloomed and they do not have any more stock, so we have to settle for the second one. She explained how best to transport the plant home with us, and carefully packed it so it can absorb moisture until we carried onto the flight back next week.
It is definitely work a visit.
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