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Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

Los Angeles
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Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

Hi all,

We are looking at two vacation rentals, one in Leilani Estates and one in Hawaiian Beaches. The latter is oceanfront, while Leilani Estates is inland.

We would like to be close to Pahoa Town so we can go to restaurants, stores, etc. On the other hand, who wouldn't want to be oceanfront in Hawaii?

We've been to the Big Island twice before, so we have some idea about the area. I know there aren't a lot of amenities or touristy things. On the other hand, we want to spend time in HVNP, which we haven't been able to do before (but I don't want to stay in the Village, as it is cold and wet up there). We've been in Kona; we've been in the Hilo area. Now we'd like to try Puna.

Of the two subdivisions, which might be better for a more-or-less retired couple? We aren't prissy or uptight (and yes, we know about the coqui frogs), but I don't want to be stepping over bodies on the sidewalk either -- assuming there are sidewalks :)

Any comments or insights? THANK YOU in advance.

Pahoa. HI
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1. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

I've lived in Leilani Estates for 20 years, and don't expect any sidewalks! You're looking at two very different experiences. LE - expect the "rainforest experience". How much of it depends on the actual location. LE goes from about 650 ft to about 900 ft above sealevel. Higher elevation - more rain and a more abundant vegetation. HB - and if this is really oceanfront (HB - goes inland for several miles) then yes, you will have a view of the ocean but it's just that - a view. Rugged and steep cliffs along the entire coast there and no access to the water. Expect sunny and windy conditions at the HB location and very calm conditions in LE (usually only a very light breeze), and still sunny but a bit more of a mixed cloud & sun scenario (which is quite pleasant). If you know the address of the place in LE you're welcome to send me a PM and I can give you info on that specific location. Don't want to do that here in your thread.

2. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

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3. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

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Hawaii
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4. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

Having looked at and almost bought property in Leilani, just want to reiterate the difference elevation makes in that subdivision, as HawaiiPalms says. The very wet part has an inclination to grow mold, although one hopes the rental is cared for to prevent that.

Upper Leilani is closer to Pahoa than the oceanfront HB.

Be aware that the road between HB and Four Corners is going to void your rental car contract, so you would want to drive in and out Kahakai to 130.

Both subdivisions require you to deal with the ridiculous traffic issues on Hwy 130, so would not be my choice for visiting VNP. I'd stay there (maybe) to relax in lower Puna, not as a touring base for the whole east side and the park. YMMV

PS. We encourage you to post the links to the rental ads for comments and evaluation from the forum. There is no need to do that by PM, as it does not help any other travelers. Of course, anyone not wishing to give feedback publicly, can understand that. But rentals themselves are hardly secret and we want as much info as we can have for those who come after you. Plus you get more specific responses.

Edited: 6:56 pm, November 22, 2015
Hawaii
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5. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

If you are following the dengue outbreak at all, just be aware that the latest map shows a case cluster in Leilani and one south of HB. This is not anything like a hot zone compared to Kona, but just know that it won't be easy to eradicate in this jungle area if it gets established. When is your trip?

As things stand right now, I personally wouldn't deliberately seek out a high mosquito volume area and a private rental for a stay here., but it appears that's what you are contemplating. I'll probably get a bunch of angry PMs from vacation rental owners for saying that, but it's what *I* would consider and you asked for comments.

Pahoa. HI
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6. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

A little update might be in order regarding Highway 130 and what KamaainaK refers to as "ridiculous traffic issues". This was certainly the case up until several months ago on the stretch that's referred to as the Kea'au Bypass - the two miles immediately south of Highway 11. The work to widen Highway 130 south of there seemed to be a never-ending project and it was not unusual to be delayed up to 20-30 minutes because of the bottleneck where two lanes had to merge into one lane, especially mid afternoon to early evening. However, the work was completed several months ago. The speed limit on this particular stretch of Highway 130 is 55 mph. I drive this road numerous times every week and as a general rule you can do 55 mph without problems. Driving time from LE to Hilo or from LE to HVNP: 30 minutes. And my suggestion to contact me via PM simply because I know all of these people personally. Not going to make comments publicly, one way or another. Simple common sense.

Edited: 9:01 pm, November 22, 2015
Hawaii
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7. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

hi,

>>> And my suggestion to contact me via PM simply because I know all of these people personally. Not going to make comments publicly, one way or another.

yes of course, that's why I said I understood. I was encouraging the OP to post the links, not saying you should respond on the forum.

I'm glad to hear the traffic has improved recently. Hard to imagine it all resolved given what I experienced not that long ago, but good to hear it is so. Noted.

I just can't imagine getting from Leilani/Pahoa to HVNP in 30 minutes doing the speed limit. It's pretty much 30 minutes from the Kea'au junction, what with the 35 mph zone and the 45 mph up the mountain. On the plus side, it won't be during rush hour, or will go against the peak traffic pattern.

Pahoa. HI
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8. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

Correction to my earlier post - average driving time Leilani Estates to HVNP: 45 minutes (not 30). Temporary mental lapse...

Edited: 12:40 am, November 23, 2015
Hawaii
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9. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

lol, OK, no problem with 45 minutes. Hey, I am often running late and trying to get there in 30 minutes, driving as fast as I can, but it never works out. Usually get behind some slowpoke on the Hwy 11 two lane section.

Los Angeles
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10. Re: Leilani Estates or Hawaiian Beaches?

Thanks, everyone. I think Leilani wins this one. We both love the lush jungle vegetation.