The listing photos of this place look amazing, but they were taken a long long time ago. The property has fallen into disrepair since. At this point continuing to use those photos is deceptive advertising.
The property is huge with large gardens. The pool room was great. Dinners on the deck overlooking the ocean were very enjoyable.
The lovely looking picnic table and palm tree down near the ocean. That's no longer there. The rotted remains of the picnic table are however there, and the stump of the tree that was long ago cut-down. That's how old the photos are. In it's place are two plastic chairs and no table. Forget having diner sitting down near the ocean the way the pictures show is possible.
All those huge sliding doors on the upper level, most of them are NAILED shut. As the wooden tracks have failed the owners have simply nailed the doors in place rather than fix them.
The one front facing door that has a chance of being opened to let the lovely ocean breezes into the property, while it wasn't nailed shut when we stayed there was a sign saying it was broken and to please not open it. We opened it anyway to try and enjoy the property and ocean breeze and the tracks were on their last legs, requiring several people to basically lift and reseat the door to open and close it.
The pool looks lovely in the photos too. As of late 2016 the water was a touch green and the surrounds covered in slimy black growth, needing a good pressure wash. The pool filter was recently replaced, but it's either undersized or hooked up incorrectly to barely move any water through the filter. The pool floor was covered in grime, with no proper pool vacuum on site to clean it. The state of the pool filter wouldn't support it anyway. They had a cheap "hook up to the garden hose" venturi effect plastic attachment to try and act as a , but it doesn't even close to work either. End result, pool was green and unusable.
Access to downstairs is by an exterior stairway, which we knew. However the automatic motion light on the stairway is long since broken, heavily rusted and no bulb. The stairway is covered in mold so very slippery. The handrail is so rusted that is broke off the walls in our hands mid-stay.
The site we booked through spruiked about a "subzero" refrigerator\freezer in the kitchen. On arrival there was a note saying the freezer was broken and the use the chest freezer outside instead. Rather than fixing the freezer in the kitchen they'd just plugged in a chest freezer outside.
Many of the blinds in the property are broken, and with the master bedroom facing onto the upper deck having the ability to close the blinds would be nice at times.
We were 2 couples visiting the Big Island for the first time and were very excited to rent this home. Upon arrival, we quickly became dismayed but contacted the property manager at Hawaii Holiday Vacation Rentals to see what we could remedy. I'll list out all of the items we found noteworthy but first would like to say that the property manager for this home was super great to work with despite the negative items we had to speak with him about. He is very aware of the issues of the property but since he is not the owner, he is limited in his ability to change things.
Pro's - This is on a gorgeous piece of property with cliffside ocean views. Very large, secluded lot and we loved the tropical feel. Home is very large and for 2 couples it afforded the privacy and gave us the space that we were looking for. Kitchen was a nice size and contained almost everything we needed. Outdoor grill has seen quite a bit of wear but it was functional. We prepared and ate many meals during our stay. There is a laundry room on the lower floor that has new large load washer and dryer. Both upper and lower lanai's were spacious and gave us fantastic views of the ocean. This location was great and allowed us to explore everything we wanted to see on the east side of the island with reasonable driving distances to the lava flow and also the area above and around Hilo.
The cocqui frogs are very loud as are the birds but we found this pleasurable. There are also many toads that come out to the lawn at night and we enjoyed venturing around them.
We were there during whale season and viewed whales from the home. Some were fairly close to the shore which was exciting!
Con's - The home was probably once a grand place but is now in great need of TLC. We felt like we were camping which is not the experience we were looking for. There is no AC here which is fine with us since Hawaii has great trade winds much of the time and you are able to open doors and windows. As other past guests have noted, many of the large sliding doors are unable to be opened and those that do open have rotted wood tracks that are no longer functioning. Screens on many of these doors are torn. Locks on the upper and lower sliding doors are very difficult to open and close. When we arrived, all bedding and cushions on lower floor contained a musty smell. Shower curtain liner was moldy. Granted, this is an oceanfront property in the jungle area and has high humidity but with some attention, could be updated to deal with these issues. For people with allergies, this home would be a challenge. There is a dehumidifier in the lower area which constantly ran and we repeatedly emptied the reservoir. Beds on lower floor were not the most comfortable and there was damaged (rotted) dry wall in one of the bedrooms. All window treatments in the lower floor badly need replaced. They are vertical blinds, some are broken and are unable to be opened. We also had the same issue with the sliding doors in the lower units as the upper doors. You cannot access the upper to lower floor without going outside. This also was not an issue for us but may be for families.
While the landscaping is done, it could also use some TLC which would enhance the property. Not a big deal to us but it's worth noting. The picnic table pictured online is no longer at the oceanside but instead there is a fire pit with a couple of chairs. We did use this area quite a bit.
When we arrived, we could not utilize the billiard room (separate building) due to the overpowering musty smell but property manager had the cleaning crew come back to clean and it made it tolerable. The pool table itself though is in great shape and the guys did play a few games out there once it was cleaned. This too was probably once a great space but needs updating.
All in all, we did enjoy ourselves once some items were addressed. It is sad that this property is not getting the updated maintenance that it badly needs such as the attention of the door tracks/door screens and locks. If much needed home maintenance updates were made I would have no trouble recommending this property.
Our stay at Hale Kakahi was absolutely beautiful. The property is approximately 5 acres of tropical paradise about ten miles from Pahoa. As you enter the gate, the driveway meanders through a tropical rainforest. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with various palm trees, lush flowering plants, rock walls, footpaths, fountains, waterfalls, fish ponds and a swimming pool. Beyond the huge yard is the ocean and from the viewing bench, we were lucky enough, one day, to spot a group of whales swimming by.
The house surpassed all expectations. The main floor is huge and provided lots of living space for ourselves, my daughter, son in law and three grandchildren. It is tastefully decorated with mahogany, lovely furniture and area rugs. The living and dining room are open concept to the kitchen and offer a beautiful view with glass walls and multiple sliding doors to access the covered deck on three sides of the house. The view is as spectacular from the master bedroom. We woke to the marvellous ocean view each day and could look at the stars through the skylight at night. The kitchen is a dream with tons of counter space featuring a bar and barstools, a huge stove, two ovens, beautiful table ware and stemware, and every cooking utensil ever needed. We most often cooked at the end of each day and enjoyed a candle light dinner on the covered deck as we were serenaded by the frogs and sounds of the waves.
The lower level features two separate suites, which easily accommodated my daughter's family. The oldest grandson was delighted to have his very own self contained suite and the T.V. to go with it. There were laundry rooms on both levels. The children enjoyed easy access to the backyard from their level and often played outside before breakfast.
The owners have paid attention to every detail truly making Hale Kakahi a home away from home. We enjoyed having the large office and WIFI for laptops and other personal devices and the billiard room for a game or two in the evening. Several coolers and picnic dishes, as well as umbrellas, walking sticks and snorkel equipment were all provided for our day trips. We had a wonderful time at Hale Kakahi and often wished that the days had been longer to enjoy, just a little more, our beautiful home away from home in paradise.
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