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Anahola mixed reviews

Arcata, California
5 posts
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Anahola mixed reviews

My family and I have rented a vacation home in Anahola for Christmas 2013. After booking, my father-in-law (he is providing the trip for all of us) had a friend of a friend check out the neighborhood. Her review was that the house was in "low income" area and that the beach park was full of campers and very dirty. I have been scouring reviews ever since. I am still confused. Thanks to many of other reviews, I have learned about Hawaiian Homeland, that break-ins can happen anywhere and that there is a registry for vacation rentals. I have contacted the rental agency as our house is listed as denied on the TVR list. As for low-income, based on street view on Google Maps, IMHO, the houses are clean, kept up and very friendly neighborhood looking. For those extremely familiar, the house we are renting is toward to north end of the beach front homes between the park and the river mouth. My FIL is tempted to cancel the reservation but I want to trust that all will be well. Any and all help is greatly appreciated.

25 replies to this topic
Batesville
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507 posts
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11. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

My wife and I stayed in Anahola for a week in late December a few years ago. The ocean was rough . . . except when it wasn't. We never felt unwelcome, and the beach itself was clean and beautiful. Anahola Bay is lovely and picture-worthy.

Our biggest problem with our stay--and the reason that we haven't returned to that spot--was access to services and other beaches. By the time you drive up to the highway and then into Kapaa, followed by standing in traffic and finding parking, you begin to feel that you are back home, running weekly errands. No. Fun.

And while there are a few nice beaches in that area in addition to Anahola itself--Moloaa, Aliomanu, Larsen's, Kealia--you are sort of in limbo land when it comes to the great, great beaches of the North and the South. It's at least a half hour from Anahola to the start of the great NS beaches and almost twice that time--particularly when you hit traffic in Kapaa and Lihue--to the great SS beaches.

So I'd definitely add access/driving hassles to the other good reasons cited for perhaps looking at another spot.

Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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12. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I know several people who live in the OHA lands (Office of Hawaiian Affairs) homes in the Anahola area. I would never call them "low income" but I will agree that to a visitor a normal home in the area would probably not be what they'd consider a nice home on the mainland or a vacation rental home here.

I have never had any bad experiences in Anahola, and although I tend to be more on the West Side than up in Anahola, the many times I've been at the beach park, as well as the other beach areas there, were perfectly fine and the visitors and residents were both enjoying themselves.

Not speaking to any specific rental in the area, but I would never decide not "not" stay there simply because of isolated incidents you might have heard. Heck, we have those here in the Po'ipu area!

Malama Pono,

Janet

Arcata, California
5 posts
1 review
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13. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

Ok all of my new found Kauai expert friends -- Just got a call from the Planning Department and the TVR on the home is legit, just not updated on site. Phew. We are seriously taking your other concerns about traffic, surf, etc. into consideration for that time of year. We have however already paid the deposit and as it is a large home it comes with a large deposit. In lieu of losing it, we are hoping to rent the other large home that the rental agency rents on the island. It is in Kekaha. What do you all think of that for a large group with littles?

La Mirada...
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14. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

This is just my opinion, but first trip, I would never stay in Kekaha. It's way West. I like the area, but it's very isolated. It's also the driest area, so it doesn't really look very tropical. You'll need to drive to Waimea for any restaurant, groceries, etc and even then, there's not much. There's an ongoing problem with the beach(s) eroding away, literally to where it's just a drop off down to the water from the hwy. The ocean is a bit tricky along there too...mostly open without any reef protection at all. I've waded around in the water, but never very far out. Also, most of the houses are across the hwy from the ocean. The hwy along there is pretty much a long, straightway.......I've seen local trucks barreling along, way too fast. Do you the have the address of the house in Kekaha? Googlemaps has street view for Kaua‘i. I would stay in Anahola anytime over Kekaha.

3Chihuahuas

Kaua'i, HI
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15. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I've lived on Kaua'i for 15 years now and while my home is in the Po'ipu area, my favorite part of the island is the West Side, and I am out at Kekaha every Sunday morning before sunrise. I love it there and if I had my "druthers", I'd live there in a heartbeat!

The West Side is the least touristy, the most rural, and the most "Hawaiian" literally of all parts of Kaua'i.....there are more Native Hawaiians that live there and that speak Hawaiian as a first language than anyplace else in the state (except for the privately owned island of Ni'ihau, which is off the coast of Kaua'i and easily seen from Kekaha).

It isn't filled with visitor type places, no fancy hotels, condos, restaurants, shops, etc......but it does have wonderful, "local" spots to eat and the beauty of the West Side may not be what many visitors think of as "tropical" - since it is always the warmest and driest part of the island at any time of the year, but I love the beauty of the ocean and the mountains, and find the feel of "community" that you get there the most appealing on island personally.

The people are friendly and really reflect the true feeling of "aloha" in my opinion.

Kekaha is a beautiful area....most of the vacation rentals are along the ocean (with the road inbetween the "beach" and the homes) and have amazing sunsets with the island of Ni'ihau easily seen. There has been substantial erosion of Kekaha "beach" in the last year or so, and it is now to the point where there is virtually no beach at all until you get to MacArthur Park. But there is a great walking path that goes along the ocean.

I know many visitors don't like the West Side due to the lack of visitor amenities and the comparative "dryness" of the West Side also. However there are many people who would stay nowhere else and that rent the vacation homes that line the ocean road. It just depends on you and what you are looking for in your Kaua'i vacation.

As for swimming? No, nothing in Waimea or Kekaha...you'd need to drive about 15..20 minutes to Hanapepe to Salt Pond County Park to get to a safe swimming area and a great beach park.

All depends on you.....the West Side is not for everyone, but it is a wonderful place for those that appreciate it!

Malama Pono,

Janet

San Diego...
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16. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

Everyone likes different things. Some like the West side, I'd be bored stiff out there as there are virtually no services for tourists beyond 1 decent restaurant and a couple of shave ice stands and casual restaurants. Most of the year I'd take Anahola over Kekaha in a heartbeat, but in Dec, the sunshine difference might swing it. It was pretty nice down that way yesterday though it's almost as nice here today.

But I don't much care for Princeville either though many love that area. Too manicured and poor beach access for me. You're really going to have to read reviews and get a sense of what works for your group. Some will love your chosen spot, others will hate it and while you can look at the pro/con list, ultimately you have to decide for yourself.

Bit surprised you'd have to forfeit a deposit a year out. That seems BS. most refund 100% (less a handling fee) if more than 90 or 120 days out. Might want to do your research before booking if you sign contracts that onerous ;>).

California
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121 reviews
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17. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

If other people are reading this thread, they need to take this warning. Do not rent/put a deposit down etc on a home/condo etc until you do all your homework and that includes reviews, TA, Yelp, reading books etc especially when the rental is in an isolated area and not the tourist spots.

If you really want to be isolated and away from everything, then that is fine, but know the island first. I think a second or third trip to Kauai and staying in Anohola or Kekaha is fine but for a first time (and during a holiday) stay a bit more central to activities, beaches you can actually enjoy, and things to do. I'm not saying you have to stay in the middle of Poipu, but consider what everyone is saying.... BEFORE you put down the big bucks.

Arcata, California
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1 review
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18. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

Thanks everyone. As usual you have given us lots to think about. I will be talking with my FIL today about all the options and letting the rest of the family make the final decision. If we all want to stay together than it obviously limits our options of places to stay on this particular island.

As for the deposit, yes, we may be able to get it back since it is so far out and they should not have trouble re-renting as it is a holiday time. We have rented homes all over and never run into this kind of stuff. And yes, HUGE lesson learned on more research first. Now a lifetime member of this site for sure!! You are all fantastic!

Milwaukie, Oregon
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19. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

I have stayed in Kekaha and loved it! It is a short drive into Waimea and not much farther to Hanapepe. I thought both towns had a nice variety of small shops and eateries...however I am not a foodie nor a shopaholic. Salt Pond Beach Park, one of the best swimming beaches in winter, is quite close. We also drove to Poipu Beach with ease. One huge advantage to both of these beach parks, particularly with children, is that they have lifeguards to warn you when conditions are not safe, and give you a better sense of safety and security.

I also liked the dry, sunny weather, which is a major factor for someone from the soggy Northwest. I think of Anahola as being more isolated. Funny how opinions vary! Hopefully you will look on Google Earth or some such program to get an idea of both locales.

shelton, wa
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20. Re: Anahola mixed reviews

If you are referring to the large (seven bedroom) house at the north end of several houses just south of the "park", I can comment. The house is very large and comfortable. The pictures you can see give an accurate depiction of the inside of the house. There are minor issues with things inside the house, more annoyances than anything. The house can accommodate a lot of people quite comfortably. The house is in a low-mid income area of single family homes owned by locals. The homes aren't impressive but they are not dumps either. However, the one thing you don't see at resorts is the resentment some locals have against the tourists. When you rent a home like this, you are more exposed to that. Now, let me tell you what you have not been told if this is the house I am thinking of. The "park" next door has very small places to stay and it costs next to nothing. Because of that, it attracts crack heads. The police have been called to the house numerous times. Recently, on two occations, gas lines on vehicles have been slashed. The other issue relates to the fact that the house, while portrayed as being on the water, really is not. Granted, there is no development between the house and the beach, so the beach is a clear shot about 100 yards (maybe a bit less) away. However, it appears the park property has a leg which cuts in front of the property. While the park has no buildings there, there is a dirt road that cuts right in front of the house that is used by locals to access the beach, sometimes to surf, sometimes to smoke pot. Consequently, often there are pickup trucks in front of the house and it feels a bit uncomfortable to go down to the beach when they are there as some of the people were not at all friendly. These trucks will be down there at most any time. There were several times they were there at 3 am. As for the beach, the water would not be suitable for children. There is a beach a few miles south that is suitable. However, at that time of year, the water may be a bit too cold.

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