My husband and I stayed at this VRBO #134630 location from July 29 to August 28, 2013, which for most tourists and vacationers is a long time on the island. After about 30 days here on Oahu we got to know the location, building, and rental unit very well. The VRBO condo is located along Route 83 (Kam Hwy) north and about 40 miles from the Honolulu airport. It takes about 50-65 minutes to arrive from the airport if renting a car. The location is Oahu “country style living” on the upper east side of the island also considered the North Shore area. The drive is spectacular with many miles of the road north from the city just 20 to 30 feet from the water’s edge. The colors of the ocean water are beautiful. There are numerous beaches along the way. It’s a leisurely drive with a 35 MPH speed limit all the way on Route 83 north and south.
The building itself (Pat’s at Punaluu), is apartment/condo style living. The building itself is “dated” and was built 38 years ago. There is not much that one can upgrade to a 38 year old building. You are provided with your own private parking area, and for this unit it is covered parking, close to the elevators. There are two elevators, and you need a special electronic key fob in order to activate the lift. Each condo unit is independently owned...My husband and I stayed at this VRBO #134630 location from July 29 to August 28, 2013, which for most tourists and vacationers is a long time on the island. After about 30 days here on Oahu we got to know the location, building, and rental unit very well. The VRBO condo is located along Route 83 (Kam Hwy) north and about 40 miles from the Honolulu airport. It takes about 50-65 minutes to arrive from the airport if renting a car. The location is Oahu “country style living” on the upper east side of the island also considered the North Shore area. The drive is spectacular with many miles of the road north from the city just 20 to 30 feet from the water’s edge. The colors of the ocean water are beautiful. There are numerous beaches along the way. It’s a leisurely drive with a 35 MPH speed limit all the way on Route 83 north and south.
The building itself (Pat’s at Punaluu), is apartment/condo style living. The building itself is “dated” and was built 38 years ago. There is not much that one can upgrade to a 38 year old building. You are provided with your own private parking area, and for this unit it is covered parking, close to the elevators. There are two elevators, and you need a special electronic key fob in order to activate the lift. Each condo unit is independently owned and very few of the units have full time residents. Most have been purchased by investors as vacation rental units. This unit is located on the 8th floor and is a corner unit facing the ocean and south towards a range of mountains. The view from the east balcony or Lanai facing the ocean water is spectacular. The view from the side balcony (Lanai) to the south is ok. You look at a 7 story condo/apartment building and you look down upon the huge roof of an old restaurant building that has been closed/vacant for many years. However, just stand at the cook top while preparing a meal and your view is just spectacular over-looking the ocean, palm trees from both the east and south east. It is just spectacular. Majestic mountains, rich in foliage stand in the background to the southwest. On many days you may see folks parasailing in distant valleys. One day we saw someone fly right into the clouds over the mountains.
The unit is “nicely appointed” with modern maple cabinets, black galaxy granite counter tops and stainless appliances. The dishwasher was replaced about one year ago. The condo is nice, with a nice ambience. The unit is considered a “penthouse” as it’s an 8th floor apartment/condo with a spectacular ocean view. The building has units that are as high as 9 floors so you’re not quite up to the top. All units within the building, however, face the ocean and the views are totally awesome. The owner has a team to address repairs and housekeeping concerns. Kathy, the housekeeper, has a great personality and was very responsive to us. She left us her personal telephone number to call if we needed anything household related. Eric, the handyman, was also very nice, and was called out to the unit to replace 3 electrical sockets/switches, burned out light bulb, and to reset a failed ceiling fan due to an electrical outage from a storm. Both Kathy and Eric are valuable assets to the owner.
The unit is equipped with a large screen flat panel TV and Bose surround sound. A small amount of free on-demand movies are available with Oceanic Time Warner cable service, so expect basic service and HD channels that you would find on the mainland. The remote control for the cable TV needs to be replaced from the cable company, as the buttons stick and is frustrating to use. The unit also has a secure high speed wi-fi internet connection which was great to have. Bring your laptop or iPad. Cell phone service for calling is excellent if wanting to make calls back to the mainland. No problems getting ATT or Verizon service. The unit is equipped with quality cookware, utensils, plates, and glasses. The kitchen island and state of the art cook top was very nice. All you need to do is supply your own food items. Some basic sundry items like shampoo, bar soaps, and lotions like that of a hotel are stocked for the guest. Bring your own toothpaste, sun blocks and other personal care items that you might use on a regular basis.The California king size bed was very firm. A stacked washer/dryer is in the unit. You can wash and dry clothes during your stay and even have clean clothes in your suitcase before going home. Linens are of high quality. The shower is great, with nice hot, soft water. There is no air-conditioning in the unit but you get nice breezes that flow through the condo unit. When trade winds are not present, the unit can get warm. There are remote controlled ceiling fans in the living area and bedroom. Remember you are located on the windward side of the island which usually has nice constant ocean/Pacific breezes and intermittent rain showers.
There are some very nice beaches just 5 to 20 minutes away from the condo. The condo is equipped with beach towels, beach chairs and some snorkeling equipment for guests. The North Shore beaches are spectacular and the small historic town of Haleiwa is about 30 minutes away. Route 83, the main road, can get heavy and slow with traffic both to the north and south. It is a 2 lane road. Waimea Falls, the Dole Plantation and Polynesian Culture Center are within a 30 minute drive, with the Polynesian Cultural Center just 7-10 minutes up the road. Shopping at a new Long’s Drug (CVS) is just 5-10 minutes away and there is a Foodland grocery store about 6 miles up the road. McDonald’s and Domino’s Pizza are close by as are numerous food trucks. Don’t miss the burgers at either the Kahuka Grill or Seven Brothers. The food store and other retail stores in La’ie, the nearest town to the condo, are closed on Sunday due to the Mormon religion. No alcoholic beverages are sold in La’ie at any stores or restaurants. They are available at many other locations along the way.
Sleeping in the unit is not the best as the bedroom is located in the rear of the unit, ( as with all units at Pat’s at Punaluu) and just off the main Route 83 road. Emergency vehicles can be heard throughout the day and night. It is difficult to sleep-in past 5:30 AM or 6:00 AM as traffic and commercial vehicles are busy back and forth quite early. There is also an Oahu public bus stop (known as The Bus) in front of the building so you get occasional bus noises. The local Marine base training station (MCAS) uses the perimeter of the island as a flight path (for helicopters), so be prepared for a daily occurrence of helicopters flying back and forth. We noticed most of the training occurs between 5:00 PM to about 10:00 PM weekdays. They are fun to watch but a bit noisy. In my opinion, what you are paying for here are the views, the apartment style living, and a relaxed location in the country, away from the massive crowds and traffic of the Honolulu area.
There is 3 night minimum in this condo. Despite some minor issues we enjoyed our stay; the condo location was great for us and out of the way from the large tourist crowds. We had the ability to dine in, cook, and relax, and walk along the beach. The ocean water is just about a 100 foot walk, and the pool area is clean but not heated. The beach is secluded, clean, with aquamarine clear smooth waters, as the waters are protected by a natural coral reef which breaks waves. The workers at Pat’s at Punaluu are constantly maintaining the outside of the building. The building is a non-smoking building, only service animals are permitted. The building does employ a one person security man on duty at night. We felt safe and secure staying here.
Since we stayed for nearly a full month, our daily rate was reduced to make this location affordable and a “good value” for what we received. I wanted to provide an objective and honest review of our accommodations. Many potential visitors to this unit will have flown from far distances, spending lots of money for a vacation, not knowing what they might be getting for the rental costs until they open the door and live in the unit. Overall we rate this unit and month long accommodation an 8 out of 10 rating. Views rated 10/10 to the East (ocean view) from the balcony. Views to southeast rated 7/10, due to the 7 story building and old restaurant roof being visible. Appliances rated 9/10 (only because the water dispenser and ice maker did not work correctly). Comfort level 9/10. Noise level 7/10.
The owner also owns unit PH11 in the same building just next door to our unit. After seeing unit PH11 (VRBO #420507) our opinion is that PH11 is “elegant”, newly remodeled and quite nice. I would recommend unit PH11 over PH12 if available, with PH11 as my 1st choice. You won’t be disappointed with either unit. PH12 does have double balconies (called “lanais” in Hawaii) but PH11 seemed brighter. Both units have some furniture out on the balconies to sit and enjoy morning coffee or an evening dinner.
The owner is responsive to concerns to make your stay a memorable one. There are factors to the complex property that are beyond the owner’s control. We have used the VRBO concept many times and really enjoy this way of traveling. We have traveled the world. We would consider this unit again. I suggest you complete your research and due diligence before renting any unit at Pat’s at Punaluu. After traveling so far, and spending lots of money, you don’t want any disappointing surprises when you open the door and live in your rental unit. Some units in the building are dated and not as nice as PH11 and PH12. PH11 and PH12 units are full one-bedroom units, while others in the complex are considered studios with small alcoves for sleeping. PH11 has a queen bed; PH12 has a California King bed. The owners of these two units understand quality; they have good communication between owner and renter, and will do whatever is necessary to make your stay very memorable. They did for us. Make your reservation for PH11 or PH12 early. The owner requires you to sign a rental agreement. You can feel comfortable by working with Damien and Lynn making advanced deposits since it is a long distance rental. They accept a credit card for both deposit and final payment. We had no problems paying in-full well in advance, which they did not require. Contact the owners directly for rental terms. We hope you enjoy your stay as much as we did. Once you open the doors to PH12, your spectacular vacation starts. The unit quickly becomes, “your home away from home.” If you have any specific questions about PH12, don’t hesitate to ask.
The website for Vacation Rentals by Owner is www.vrbo.com – a link to PH12 can be found here http://www.vrbo.com/134630More