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“Our Kind Of Luxury”

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Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapaau
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed February 25, 2012

This boutique hotel is peaceful, tranquil, inviting and generous in hospitality and warmth. We stayed in one of their yurts, which was our kind of luxury--a beautiful private space with luxury interior and indoor plumbing (no outdoor walks in the middle of the night :). Showers were in a separate building a few steps away. We walked a short distance through the organic gardens to the 'lodge' for our complementary 2-course breakfast each morning of Hawaiian fruits, grain products, egg and goat cheese dishes grown and raised on retreat grounds. There are trails to explore the 50+ acres surrounding the lodgings--one was only a short 30 minutes. Yoga & water classes are available, as are various spa treatments by appointment, extra charge. I enjoyed a massage upon arrival and ohhhh what a wonderful massage--the best I've had in my many years of receiving massages. We will definitely return as this special sacred place of healing felt like home. A don't miss on The Big Island!

  • Stayed: February 2012
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2  Thank Suenken
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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105 - 111 of 139 reviews

Reviewed February 12, 2012

After reading the resort info about an up coming yoga retreat I was excited to get away to a beautiful oasis in Hawaii. The package was very expensive and therefore I was expecting 5 star Organic luxury. The resort was beautiful, but not worth the daily rate.

We felt that their website details were very misleading and therefore making this place disappointing. I love the concept of this place and none of the rules bothered me at all. I love that it is not party central and it is quiet, intimate and serene. What I did not like was my expectations being let down. The pool is not heated so unless it is really hot you can't use it. The beach is not walking distance. You can walk down to the water but it is rocky and really rough. If you want a proper beach you need to drive a long distance to a white sand beach. The food was good but very minimal. There were limited choices and no real dessert. I lost weight which in hindsight is a great thing but I couldn't stop thinking I paid so much for so little.

I would absolutely go back but only if they bring the prices down. I think if the cost was more appropriate the place would really fill up!!!!

Room Tip: Definitely stay in the main house. Several people complained about the Yurts.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with friends
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8  Thank adam_harrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacque W, Manager at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this reviewResponded February 29, 2012

We truly appreciate all feedback from guests. We especially appreciate feedback while a guest is here, so we can remedy any problems and make the most of their stay.

It is true our salt purified pool is not heated. the technology to heat a salt purified pool has not been perfected, and though we have been researching possibilities, we have not come up with a solution as of yet. We will continue to look for solutions and welcome ideas.

When group leaders bring their following or students to Hawaii Island Retreat, the leader determines the menu, frequency of meals, and limitations for the group. This particular leader requested 2 meals a day and no sugar, which we provided. Though there were two large meals a day plus snack, there was certainly no shortage of food and there was often food left over. We can appreciate how someone who is working out hard every day between the yoga sessions would need more fuel. We would have been happy to provide additional food had we known. Thank you for your perspective. We hope to welcome you back in the future.

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Reviewed January 2, 2012

Hawaii Island Retreat is the best place I've stayed for a peaceful, restful, and healthy vacation. The environment is unique in Hawaii -- a small, beautiful lodge on over 50 acres of North Kohala landscape. The owners and staff treat everyone as long lost friends. The food, much of it grown on sight, is exceptional. Yoga and Massage also available in beautiful settings, both inside and out. This is an extraordinary place to relax and recharge.

The Retreat is also located near Hawi, one of Hawaii's most charming, traditional small towns. And near the beautiful black sand beach at Polulu and some significant Hawaii historic sites.

Highly, highly recommended.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled solo
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1  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2011

My wife and I really wanted to like this place, but we had to leave after just one night (we planned to stay for three nights).

We are very discriminating travelers who expect good excellent value and service. The yurts have holes in the netting, and therefore we got eaten up by mosquitoes during the night. That is simply unacceptable for $200/night. We did stay during a stormy period, so I don't fault the resort for the high winds. However, the cheap, overused velcro on the yurt windows were no match for the wind, meaning we got little sleep as we lessened to the windows slam open and bang around the interior wood curtain hanger all night. The wind was strong, but not exactly hurricane strength. I tried to re-seal the velcro but it was cheap and worn. My $300 tent from REI has much stronger velcro and I would have been more secure in it than this $200/night yurt.

This is EXACTLY the type of location I want to be successful: it is eco-friendly, serves locally-sourced food, and promotes environmental stewardship. I hope the owners improve the yurt quality and change their advertisements about the facilities to make it a bit more honest: they advertise a "fitness room" and "wellness classes" on their website. The "fitness room" as a few dumbbells and mats and a couple very old machines. I expect better from a Holiday Inn, much less a "luxury retreat." We did not hear about any classes while we were there, but we stayed for only one night.

Customer service was adequate, but not lacking in comparison to more reasonably priced eco-boutique retreats and inns we've enjoyed in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and the mainland U.S. At 10:00 p.m., when I called the owner to ask if they could address the windows banging around, she immediately offered to move us to another yurt and was slightly apologetic on the phone, but did not convey a strong commitment to customer service. We already were in bed and did not want to move (in the rain), and the appropriate fix would have been to send a maintenance worker over to seal the velcro flaps with duct tape. There was no reason we thought a different yurt would be better.

They had almost nobody staying there, so I'm not sure why they did not offer to move us into one of their "hotel rooms" in the main building. It would have been appropriate customer service instead of offering us a different yurt. Although they sold the hotel rooms at $450/night instead of the $200 night, they missed the opportunity to keep us there for three nights.

The next morning, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, served by a very friendly waiter. The eggs, chicken sausage, and local fruit was good. They also served some kind of yogurt parfait my wife and I couldn't eat because it looked and tasted like it had been premixed and sitting in a refrigerator from some time.

Had they offered to move us into a regular room for the next two nights of our planned three-night stay, we would have done so. They did offer us discount to "upgrade" to one of those rooms for $300/night, but this place simply did not seem worth it to us. We returned to the Sheraton Keaohou Bay for $170/night, breakfast included, where we enjoyed the final two nights of our trip.

I do hope the owners take our feedback to heart and turn things around. The location here is very beautiful, and it's great that they serve meat from animals they own and raise on the property. They just need to take their customer service from "adequate" to "excellent" and provide greater value and honest advertising about what they really mean by "luxury yurt" and "fitness room."

Room Tip: Do not stay in the yurts unless they repair the screens so you don't get eaten by mosquitoes and...
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  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank DougAtlanta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jacque12456, Owner at Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia, responded to this reviewResponded January 1, 2012

Hawaii Island Retreat is a destination of intentional peace and connection to nature as healer. Persons come to this special place because they recognize and cherish the beauty and magnificents of its natural setting, and want a quieter experience than large hotels provide. Understandably, your visit was during the most intense rain and wind storm we have had in 9 years. I can understand that this was more "nature" than you could appreciate, and a poor nights sleep due to the sound of rain and wind would get in the way of appreciating anything. I am happy you found affordable accomodations to your liking.

Our intimate environment is unique and guests comes here for such an experience. We provide a generous discount for those that enjoying longer stays to encourage visitors to fully appreciate this special place. It is unfortunate that your brief visit and the unusual weather did not provide the opportunity for you to appreciate this experience of "nature as healer". The storm has now passed, the air sparkles with warm sunshine and balmy breezes. Our three weeks of Winter is over.

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Reviewed December 17, 2011

The Hawaii Island Retreat was a true oasis and retreat. The staff treats you like family and Moe whips up the most amazing meals. I have never eaten so well! Fresh fruit and veggies from the estate gardens. The Spa and Pool are not to be missed. Our couples massage on the lania over looking the valley was a highlight of our trip. The rooms are beautiful, with amazing bathrooms. We enjoyed leaving our windows open and listening to the sound of the water crashing below. The only downside to the room is with the beautiful hardwood floors, if you have any "heavy walkers" in the room above you, you will hear it. Also don't miss the night blooming jasmine as you come home in the evening.

Room Tip: Higher floors so you don't have to worry about someone walking above you.
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  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Erin G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2011

A slightly overdue review from me here as we actually spent last Christmas at the Hawaii Island Retreat. It was absolutely wonderful. Our room (we had the Golden Penthouse) was beautiful; airy, light-filled and with a big veranda/lanai outside double doors, with a view of the sea through some pine trees. We saw some lovely sunsets as well as some interesting local bird life.

The grounds of the retreat are possibly the main draw. They're pretty extensive, and you can walk all the way down to the sea if you're reasonably fit. While we were there we kept hearing some loud bangs that sounded like a car door slamming, and we thought nothing of it until it occurred to us that there weren't that many cars around; what we were actually hearing was humpback whales coming in really close to shore and slapping their tail fins on the water! As soon as we realised, we rushed to the edge of the property overlooking the sea (see hammock picture below), and we had quite a few sightings of whales, including the very occasional sighting of a baby whale with its mother, also slapping its tail fin. It was magical, especially in such a beautiful setting.

The proprietors were lovely, and happy to give you as much attention or not as you wanted; if you wanted to be left alone they'd leave you to it, but they made everybody feel included too, which was very nice, especially over the festive season.

To state the (possibly) obvious, there are no phones or TVs in the rooms; you don't need them! There is internet access in the common areas if you really can't live without it. The swimming pool is beautiful, particularly when the sun's setting.

Logistics-wise, actually getting to the retreat is a bit of a challenge, especially in the dark as it's down quite a rough, unpaved road. It's ok though; we didn't need a 4X4 to get down it (it's too far to walk though). There is a small town nearby called Hawi, which has some nice restaurants and gift shops. (They do provide food at the retreat if you request it, but it needs to be requested in advance, so it's useful to know where the restaurants and wine shops are too!)

All in all this is a wonderful place to stay, and if I'm ever in Hawaii again I would love to go back.

Room Tip: We booked well in advance and took advantage of a special offer on the hotel's own website.
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  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank LondonAnonymouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 17, 2011

We loved everything about it. the yurts are a fabulous bargain.

  • Stayed: August 2011
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Thank ilovesocal
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 Lokahi Road, Box 185, Kapaau, Island of Hawaii, HI 96755
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Kapaau
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Kapaau
Price Range: $435 - $621 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho`omaluhia 4*
Number of rooms: 17
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled among towering pines and cooling ocean breezes Hawaii Island Retreat and Spa is unique among Hawaii Destinations. Located on 50 acres of North Kohala's coastal land, this boutique hotel is the ultimate in sustainability merged with a luxury spa retreat. Our elite 17 room boutique lodge features farm-to-table dining, spacious yoga studios with polished hardwood floors, and luxurious guest rooms with roomy private bath and balcony. We offer elegant venues in a distinctly Hawaiian setting. Perfect for group retreats, weddings, reunions, and corporate retreats. ... 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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