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“Remote, romantic, and great food” 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   |  
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Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapaau
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Seattle
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Remote, romantic, and great food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

If you'd like your Hawaiian vacation to feel like a monastic retreat on a dramatic ocean cliff, then this is the place for you. Great for romance or feeling remote, and the meals were incredible! I was traveling by bike, and the next day climbing over the mountain pass I was fueled by cinnamon rolls they sent with me!

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
hawaiiislandretreat, General Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, May 10, 2014
Yes, our wellness retreat is private and secluded. Our primary focus is to provide a place where our guests can get away from the daily stress of life in order to relax and regain a sense of balance and wellness in nature. Yet, at the same time, we are within minutes from major activities and sites in North Kohala. We are pleased that you enjoyed your stay with us and hope to see you again at Hawaii Island Retreat.
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88 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    70
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    4
    3
    1
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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 (30)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2014

I will admit that driving in the dark from the airport in Kona to find this hotel made me a bit nervous once the GPS started to take me down one long, beat-up dirt road after another, but once I got there I was very pleased. The first 3 nights I stayed in a yurt which was a great experience but presented a challenge due to the rainy weather. There of course were also the occasional bugs or small geckos, but this was to be expected. I am an earthy kind of girl, so I fit right in. After 3 nights in the yurt it had everything had become so damp that they allowed me to move into one of the guest rooms in the hotel for no extra charge which I greatly appreciated. It was such a treat to get to experience both.
The hotel is a very secluded place, but I personally did not mind having to drive 30min-1hr to find beaches and other points of interest because I was by myself and it was a good way to explore more of the island. The meals that I did eat there were amazing, but quite expensive and I was hoping for a glass of wine to be served with dinner at $45 per person.
I will say that about a month has gone by and I sometimes find myself missing the time I spent at the Hawaii Island Retreat and hope that I can spend some time there again someday.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hawaiiislandretreat, General Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, May 5, 2014
Thank you so much for your review. Our yurts are for those travelers who are looking for a “glamping” glamorous camping experience without actually having to camp outside. Although occasionally they do get in, we work very hard at keeping “geckos” and “bugs” out of the structures. All of our yurts have screens which also help in keeping them out. Our location is both private and secluded yet within a few minutes driving distance from restaurants and cafes in both Hawi and Kapaau. The closest sandy beach is a 35 minute drive away. However, there is good snorkeling at Mahukona and Kapa’a Park which are roughly seven miles to the south of Hawi. We are also at the hub of outdoor activities including zip lines, horseback riding, and hiking. Our chefs are on call as needed to prepare meals for our guests. Meals are prepared with dietary restrictions in mind, using vegetables and fruits organically grown on our property. Lastly, I am so glad we were able to accommodate you regarding the room upgrade. We try and work with our guests as much as possible in making their stay a great experience. Again, thank you for your feedback.
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Honolulu, Hawaii
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

We traveled here as part of our valentine's day getaway and we're both "one of those people who do yoga in the morning together and consider our relationship as helping us grow spiritually together" so we truly loved our experience here because it allows us to be completely present with each other and marvel in the beauty of nature and silence. We were able to tap into the beautiful and healing energies of this retreat and it was amazing! A different experience from the noisy and filled-with-distraction big resorts/hotels. And that's what we wanted. We had the beautiful room upstairs with nice jacuzzi and beautiful wood floor. Mahalo!

Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
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hawaiiislandretreat, General Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, May 5, 2014
We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay at Hawaii Island Retreat! Thank you so much for your amazing review, it captures the essence of what the” Hawaii Island Retreat Experience” is all about.
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Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

I cut my stay short because it was just too secluded and quiet for me. There was almost no one else at the hotel (which felt like a very empty, dark palace at night time when I was there). If you truly want complete silence and solitude, this is the place to get it. Nice pool. Steep walk down to the water. Rooms are quite fancy - like 5 star rooms with a lanai and fancy bathroom with shower and tub. I would suggest this place to someone who REALLY wanted solitude, or to a group of people that were all going together and going to fill up the place with their numbers. The food was very good, though a little odd that you had to put an order in in advance to let them know if you'd be there the next day for breakfast &/or dinner. No lunch available, but there are 2 small, cute towns nearby to visit for meals, as long as you have a car (you need a car!). I did not stay in a yurt but heard they were pretty bug infested and very loud when the wind blew, which was often, with the tarps slapping against the wood frames. Very little light on site at night so you NEED a good flashlight, even at the hotel. The place has a disorganized feel that strikes me as rather Hawaiian. Make sure you talk a lot with the employees to be clear about what you need and when, to make sure it happens.

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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, General Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, April 18, 2014
Thank you for your input. Most of our guests come from very stressful and busy lives and really just want to rest and rejuvenate. Although we do not have a restaurant on the premises, we have private Chefs on staff to provide meals with advance notice. When preparing meals we cater to what is in season and organic as well as our guest’s individual dietary restrictions and preferences. The advance notice is required so we can ensure we have fresh ingredients necessary to prepare the desired meals. In addition as you stated, both Hawi and Kapaau have a number of small restaurants/cafes providing area travelers with a variety of choices. Both towns are within 5 minutes driving distance of our Wellness Retreat. Yes, a car is a must, but this is true of the Big Island. Public transportation choices are limited and very expensive; and unless you sign up with a tour company you will need a car to get around. We are a green and self-sustainable property. We do not limit our guests on the lighting they require, we only ask that they remember to turn off lights when not in use, particularly in our common areas. Yes, you will need a flashlight to get around at night when walking the grounds. All our room keys come with a flashlight. We strive for excellence in service and do our best to ensure that guests walk away comfortably knowing that all their needs are being met without having to double-check. Thank you. We strive for the Hawaiian feel-heart and soul.
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New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014

This hotel for sure caters to a specific clientele. If you're looking for remote, relaxing and are interested in yoga, then this place will be perfect for you.

We stayed two nights at the Hawaiian Island Retreat and while the service was friendly, I was disappointed that the hotel was not quite what the website would suggest.

The whole hotel felt as though it could use a power washing. All of the crystal blue ponds/fountains featured on the websites pictures were filled with algae. The pool was not heated (and could also use a cleaning) and the furniture around the pool felt like they needed cleaning as well.

Our room (the penthouse) was very nice and had a "private" balcony, which wasn't private at all. The balcony had a staircase that connected back down to the lower floors of the hotel. So any of the hotel guests could have easily come up for an uninvited visit. It also didn't help that the room itself didn't have much privacy either. The double doors leading out to the balcony had only shears and no curtains.

We had dinner one night at the hotel. The dinner was tasty. However, we were only given water at dinner. It didn't occur to us to ask in advance if anything else was served with dinner (wine at least), in hindsight we should have. Also, if you're looking for coffee in the morning, the hotel won't have it until close to 8am.

If you're looking for a remote hotel that feels close to nature, this is a good option. However, note, the hotels location is remote and the surrounding charming town shuts down early (8pm).

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 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, General Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
We are sorry you were disappointed. There is a privacy chain restricting access to the exterior penthouse lanai for our guests to use at their discretion. Most of our guests are very respectful of private areas and to date we have not had anyone access the penthouse lanai without our knowledge or permission. Although we understand your concern about the lack of privacy regarding the use of shears rather than curtains, the penthouse is set back enough from the back of the building that it would be difficult to view the inside even at night. The backside of the property faces the ocean. There are no other structures. Privacy is further enhanced by the presence of trees that serve as a privacy and wind screen. Your observations regarding the pool and pool furniture have been noted and action is being taken to correct those issues. The “algae” is not algae but duck weed, part of the pond ecosystem. All of our ponds are cleaned on a regular basis.
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Los Angeles, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2014

This is the right place to go if you are looking to decompress. I went with a yoga group so that was my purpose. The weather there is very questionable, not the usual Hawaiian climate that one might expect. This part of the Island where the retreat is located, seems to attract more windy days with spotty rain throughout the day and evenings. Not sure if its a winter thing but I believe it may very well occur year round. If you are on a budget, like camping and sleeping in a place surrounded my nature's noises and are not tied to super comfortable accommodations, then a Yurt can be for you. Ours was unfortunately unclean, damp and musty. I felt that the Yurt was overpriced for what it was. For a little more you can upgrade to the main building and stay in a comfortable suite which has most conveniences of a 3 or 4 star hotel. The land is vast and interesting with stories of special stones. For a more well rounded vacation experience, I suggest a rental car to have access to other parts of the Island to grab some sunshine and to sightsee.

Room Tip: My ratings above are mostly for the Yurt. Choose a Suite, the Yurts are have other guests who may j...
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Green Features: This place is all about environmentally-friendly food and practices.
  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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, General Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
The yurts at Hawaii Island Retreat are for guests that are looking for a close to nature experience without sacrificing some of the comforts associated with a room. They are not as luxurious as our regular rooms nor are they meant to be. We are sorry about the condition of your yurt and appreciate the feedback provided; and are taking steps to ensure that future guests do not encounter the same problems. Unfortunately, this is the rainy season and there is nothing we can do to control the weather. As you stated in your review, we strongly encourage our guests to rent a car in order to enjoy all the attractions and beautiful scenery North Kohala has to offer. Again thank you for your feedback, our goal is to make our guest’s stay as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.
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San Francisco
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
54 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2014

We loved our three nights at HIR and would definitely return. We originally booked a YURT for something different (& to balance out next 5 days at the Four Seasons.)

When we checked in, we asked to see the rooms in the hotel, and Jeanne showed us the wonderful suite with the deck and views through the trees to the sea. We were offered it at a supplement, and there was no way I could resist. I loved this room! We spent evenings on the lounge chairs looking at the stars, we spent mornings with coffee on the deck, & enjoyed a Victorian bathtub with a view. It was tastefully decorated and warmly painted. It has windows galore! We slept with the French doors open so that we could hear the waves....and be awaken by the plethora of birds chirping at dawn.

In addition, I have to RAVE about the meals. The fresh cooking with all the ingredients from their gardens was just delicious. So much so, we could have eaten there for breakfast, lunch AND dinner every day. We had breakfast every morning and one lunch and one dinner. I'm still dreaming about their fresh yogurt to which I added their homemade honey, granola and sliced apple banana's. I never knew I could get so excited over lettuce! Even our farmer's market doesn't carry anything like their right out of the garden variety. The chef Rebecca had such a personality that I would love to take a cooking class with her. Her stories were priceless.

The infinity pool is beautiful and relaxing. We enjoyed the long walks around the property. We had a very warm and informative tour of the vegetable garden with Mia, who radiates her love of the land. We also had a totally soothing massage, but had to do it indoors since it was raining. iI certainly didn't take away from my treatment.

Another benefit is that a place like this attracted the nicest group of guests. Everyone was friendly and they shared some wonderful Big Island tips that we used. (like remembering to rent chairs, boogie board and an umbrella before you enter Hapuna Beach).

Activities nearby are the "don't miss" Big Island Eco Adventures zip-lining, a walk down to see the black sand and beautiful beach at Pololu, a little drive to Hapuna Beach and we thought it was culturally important to visit Pu'ukohola Heiau.

My last morning I took a yoga class; it was so peaceful with the trees and ocean in front of us and the teacher was exceptional.

We will return, and I think next time I would do the inclusive package with daily yoga, and all meals. We are city people and this really was a 'getting away from it all' place. PLUS, the staff and owner Jeanne are absolutely lovely. You will feel so welcome the whole visit and revitalized when you leave, though you won't want too! It's a special, special place.

Room Tip: You can't go wrong and even the YURTs look comfortable
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  • Stayed March 2014, 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Phone Number:
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*
Number of rooms: 16
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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