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“A little bit of secluded peace” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia

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Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   250 Maluhia Road, Box 185, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Kapaau
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Columbia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“A little bit of secluded peace”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 31, 2013

The road to the retreat can be a bit bumpy - slow riding is recommended. It seems they level the road out on a regular basis.
Arriving at the retreat is breathtaking. Kelly at the reception was extremly friendly and kind, a welcome I had hoped for in this retreat.
The rooms are very spacious and clean.
Note that no pesticides are used and that this is a "connect to nature" place. So yes, you might find a spider in your room or a gecko (happened to us) or unfortunately what happened to another guest a scorpion. This being said, I don't like spiders but don't mind them because of their benefit. So if it freaks you out, keep in mind that you might see one or two on the outside of the mosquito screen. Upon our arrival the terrace had quite a few webs but when mentioned, the following day they were all removed.
There is coffee and tea available in a thermos 24/7 in the breakfast area which is welcome because on the day of departure, if you need to leave early no breakfast will be served. We were informed that breakfast is given to us as an extra and not really included in the price. Although it shows up as an itemized line on your bill.
Breakfast is cooked daily. You don't have a choice of what you want to eat but they breakfasts are wholesome. We had a glutenfree fellow resident so our breakfast was also a glutenfree pancake. Didn't bother us but one might take offense.
Jeanne the innkeeper is nice but can be opinionated.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hawaiiislandretreat, Kelli Lehman, Retreat Coordinator at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, February 2, 2013
Thank you for sharing your experience with us and others. We appreciate the fact you acknowledged that we are an organic, “green property” and do not use chemical pesticides. We choose to use organic products that repel insects. With such products, geckos and other insects due show up on occasion.

Our meals... including breakfast, include fresh fruits and vegetables from our gardens as well as eggs from our happy chickens. Our chef excels at preparing delicious, hearty and healthy meals and strives to meet the dietary needs of all our guests when those requests are communicated.

Mahalo and we look forward to seeing you again.
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87 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
DC
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We just spent five days--four days in a yurt and one day in the Violet Room--and regretted having to leave and return to the real world. The yurts are amazingly comfortable and conveniently located next to the spa complex overlooking the valley containing the council stone archaeological site--a Hawaiian Stonehenge. Most days we enjoyed sole use of the salt water infinity lap pool (20 yards), yoga pavilion, lounge and locker room. At night, we frequented the hot tub and occasionally caught a glimpse of a falling star. We had been to the Big Island many times before this (I'm originally from Honolulu but live in DC now) so this trip was all about finding a place to wind down and relax rather than to sight see. Ahu Pohaku more than fit the bill. You don't want to miss a tour of the valley from Jeanne, the gracious owner of the retreat. The council stones have great historical and religious importance--it was here that King Kamehameha met with his advisors and decided it was necessary to conquer the chiefs of the other islands to bring peace to the Hawaiian Islands. The valley resembles a well groomed amphitheater with hula platforms carved on the hillside and large boulders placed roughly in a circle in the middle of the valley floor. We spent our last night in one of the nine luxurious rooms in the main house--a large square building open to a central courtyard. The spa complex is no more than a five minute walk from the main house. Our ocean view room was enormous and featured gorgeous hardwood floors, a walk-in shower and a huge soaking tub. The rear lawn of the house rolls down to the edge of a very steep cliff overlooking the sea. After breakfast we would walk down to the edge and rock on a swinging bench under the ironwood and Norfolk pine trees. Breakfast, only $12.50 per person, was a treat. It's served only between 8 and 8:30 AM but it's worth getting up for. In addition to coffee and tea, breakfast included fresh passion fruit, papaya, strawberries, apple bananas, granola with greek yoghurt, scrambled eggs, home made bread and fresh passion fruit juice. Most of the produce is grown on the grounds of the retreat. One morning we were served french toast made with the pumpkin bread. If you're still hungry, the cook will offer you another serving. Dinner can be ordered by arrangement. We were served shrimp with couscous and green beans, pumpkin curry soup, a green salad with pomegranate seeds and a dessert made with fried apple bananas and house made mango sorbet. If you can bring yourself to leave the retreat, there are several great dining destinations nearby, including Minnie's on Friday nights and Sushi Rock. Be sure to arrive during daylight. The end of the drive to the retreat includes a mile or two over unpaved roads, several turns at forks in the road and needless to say no street lamps. But then there's paradise at the end of the road.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anchorage, Alaska
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Our daughter was married at Hawaii Island Retreat,it was beautiful,delicious ,relaxing and magical! We can not praise the retreat and staff enough.they are very professional and personable,we choose the two day buyout,which was so enjoyable to our group of 80 whom 3/4 flew in for the wedding.This is our second daughter to be married, so we know a Little something about wedding organization and last minute details, Jacque ,Jill ,Jeanne,and their staff anticipated and resolved all issues with a smile and grace.The day of the wedding our bride had yoga with her bridal party,a massage and was than sitting by the pool awaiting to have her hair done when she told me this was the most "relaxing and wonderful day of her life" What more can the mother of the bride wish for on her daughters wedding day?We also loved having everyone in one place for the whole weekend,from the rehearsal dinner thru the breakfast the day after the wedding no one had to drive anywhere.Thank you Hawaii Island Retreat We can't wait to return to your enchanted retreat.Robin Lane

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2012

At the end of our vacation last week, we traveled towards the airport. While I looked at the sea to memorialize the experience at the Retreat, suddenly, a whale jumped out of the waters of Kohala and plunged back creating a spectacular splash--an unforgettable parting gift of the island. We had been here for a whole week over Christmas and we highly recommend this intimate Retreat. I refrain from calling it a hotel because to do so is to defame it as a corporate entity, which it is not. We found the Retreat after reviewing many hotels on the Island of Hawaii. We rejected hotels in Hilo because of rain and rejected hotels in Kona because its similarity to suburbs of Las Vegas.

The Retreat crowns the northern most portion of the Kohala Wilds on a cliff, which plunges into the sea while its crag remnants create a dramatic finish. The surf strikes these crags at night creates a soothing sound lulling us easily to sleep. The Retreat on the outside seems to have been designed by a committee as it looks more like a large home that is weathering from the elements. Inside, however, the room is very large in the vernacular of Hawaii's plantation style with tropical hardwood floor, large area rug, large brass bed painted white with white linen, a day bed, a round table with fresh flowers under which are two wood chairs with leather seats, a large closet, and a tropical fan. Multiple windows are dressed with sheer curtains and black-out curtains in a tropical flower motif. The bathroom is in a modern mainland vernacular with stone work, separate shower and generous tub facing a large window. One night when the moon was nearly full, it illuminated the Retreat in a silvery light. We were able to see through a light forest of pine shielding the Retreat from the gust of evening wind coming from the sea.

The Retreat is on 50 acres inclusive of the mentioned cliff and an adjacent valley that pours into the sea. Finding the valley was a delight especially on a sunny day because it is hidden among tall grasses and fallen trees revealing as if it were an elvish sanctuary. The locals are protective of this place and if you ask them how to get to it, they would direct you somewhere else.

This retreat is not for you if you dislike crickets, butterflies, tropical birds (they come in one if it is a wild turkey, two if they have chartreuse plumage, come in three if they are greyish with white "W" marking on their back, and a random grouping if each of them comes with a reddish head and a black cowlick), praying mantis, spiders, mongoose, goats, chicken, livestock, green geckos, and so on.

The food prepared at meals is taken from the land on which the Retreat is located. The flavor of each morsel of food is deep. But in a way, this is not surprising because the soil from which the food is grown is the rich lava spilled from deep inside mother earth on this youngest of all the Hawaiian islands (700,000 years old). Dinner was prepared by a Moroccan chef and all of it was delicious although he occasionally over-salted the vegetables. As we do not eat grains, the chef deftly adjust his preparation after noting at the first dinner that we did not eat any bread or pasta. (Although the chef comically triangulated this mystery by suggesting rice, quinoa, and other grains to come to the correct conclusion that we abstain from grains.) This careful attention to the diet of guests is personal and wonderful as we would not have received such care and attention at a corporate hotel.

We returned to the mainland and I visited our dry-cleaner and they noticed that the clothing has a fragrance to them. I told them it is the flagrance of a Lang Lang tree and a night Jasmine from a courtyard of a Retreat on the Island of Hawaii.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

Six of us stayed in the yurts and spent three wonderful days relishing the peace and nourishment that emanates from this sacred land. All the food is grown on the land-- and the cook is extraordinary! He treated us like royalty.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hawaiiislandretreat, Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Thank you so much for bringing the lovely laides here to enjoy this beautiful retreat. We really enjoyed your visit, and Mo did too! See you next year!
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Tacoma, Washington
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

My husband and I stayed a week at the Retreat and what a lovely place to unwind and remind yourself of who you really are. We have had a very hectic work schedule and looked forward to having one place to stay and going out for day excursions for our week-long vacation. It worked out perfectly!

We had a lovely room that faced the ocean side so although the view was moderated by trees, the big sounds of the ocean came through. The facility design is very welcoming and smartly takes advantage of the trade winds. So while you can stay in your room or on your deck, you can also read outside under the covered second floor balcony and enjoy the wafting scents from the cinnamon gardenia and the ylang ylang tree.

Our room came with breakfast cooked by the owner who delighted in serving home-baked banana bread, fresh fruits from their garden and eggs from their happy chickens. If you have a dietary concern they will accommodate you as well.

We also participated in and recommend the private yoga classes (with very wonderful instructors, Jamie and Jacque) as well as massages in the outdoor couples massage area. We took advantage of the invitation to visit the animals and the gardens on the property and spent a lovely evening pool-side with the nearby cardinals and doves chirping and cooing.

In the closest little town of Hawi, there are two restaurants we recommend - Zest and Sushi Rock. Both are eclectic but serve high quality food. The evening we ate at Zest the mahi served was caught at 11 that morning and it so delicious.

Last but not least, the owners and staff are friendly and welcoming and want you to have a wonderful experience. They are full of recommendations on attractions that can make your expedience unique to you. I felt that that spirit of Hawaii was present in the property and with the owners and staff and highly recommend you try it!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hawaiiislandretreat, Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
What a lovely review! We are so gratified that your stay was all you hoped it would be, and that you appreciated what a special jewel this place and this part of the island are. Thanks so much, and we'll see you again.
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Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

Staying at this resort was a great getaway, private but located close to town and tons of Big Island activities. Loved the facilities because it felt like a home and not a hotel. Relaxing, clean, spacious, good food and great staff.

Room Tip: The yurts are comfortable and private; ask for one away from the pool. They do get hot during the d...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hawaiiislandretreat, Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, November 15, 2012
Thank you for sharing your experience with us and others. We look forward to seeing you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia

Address: 250 Maluhia Road, Box 185, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kapaau
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Kapaau
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hawaii Island Retreat is unique among Hawaii's destinations, spas, and eco-retreats. Set among evergreens and ocean breezes, our 50 acre boutique hotel offers gracious accommodations in complete harmony with nature. It is the ideal location for weddings, spa vacations, and corporate retreats, offering elegant venues in a distinctly Hawaiian setting. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hawaii Island Retreat At Ahu Pohaku Ho`Omaluhia Hotel Kapaau
Hawaii Island Retreat At Ahu Pohaku Ho`Omaluhia Kapaau

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