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“Perfect Retreat” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hale Ko'olau

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Hale Ko'olau
Kailua, Hawaii
2 reviews
“Perfect Retreat”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 4, 2013

We stayed at Nani Kai Hale and the home was absolutely gorgeous. The kitchen was stocked with everything that we needed to prepare our meals. It was even stocked with a crockpot. The hottub was awesome in the evenings as you enjoyed the cool tradewinds. The staff was so helpful and made sure that our every need was met. I will definitely recommend this property to all of my friends and family looking to stay out of Waikiki.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank kristeenm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, General Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, May 6, 2013
Aloha and mahalo for your kind words. Our family and staff really do try to go the extra mile in providing affordable oceanfront accommodations with small-town Aloha spirit. Anyone reading this review and, of course, some of our stinkers, should note that each of our properties are different and provide varying degrees of amenities, privacy, and luxury. Of course, they are also priced accordingly and we have everything from super-budget studios to this luxury beach house. Please be sure to visit our direct website and carefully review each property description to determine which one would be best for your needs. We are always available to answer questions and assist you before, during, and after your stay...just ask!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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160 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    7
    10
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2013

Awesome service, friendly staff. Ocean front, beautiful property. Just what we needed for a relaxing vacation. We were greeted as soon as we got there, we felt welcome from the time we got there, until we left. We used the hot tubs and beach chairs. We enjoyed just sitting on the beach and winding down after site seeing and roaming the island. We would def return here when we return!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank aly071208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, General Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, April 23, 2013
Aloha and mahalo nui loa for your kind words. We're happy that you felt welcome as we really do try to create a unique atmosphere where you can feel that you are in your home away from home. Please remember that as a past guest you'll be entitled to an additional 10% discount on any future stays with us. Once again, mahalo nui loa.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abbotsford, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 7, 2013

We loved our stay. We are a family of 5. Dave went out of his way to make sure we had accomodations with them for the full 2 weeks. I left booking late, so we had to move a couple of times within their rentals. Otilani was very helpful too. We rented snorkeling gear from the office and it was great quality. On one of the sunny days at the beach we rented a brand new beach umbrella... also fabulous! The units were clean and well cared for and equipped with everything we needed to make the most of our stay.

The weather was pretty crappy for most of our stay, so we did experience some leaks in skylights and some windows. Easy to deal with.. put a pot underneath. :) This was our biggest disappointment with Oahu.. the weather. But, apparently it was unusual for that time of the year. Mar 14-29.

The only other disappointment was the beach right outside the units. We had hoped that it was swimmable, but it really isnt. It is all reef. It is possible to go out at high tide, but don't put your feet down you could very well step on an urchin. One of our daughter's did. A walk further down the beach takes you to a beach that is swimmable.

Pounders beach was our favourite in the area. A few minutes drive north to Laie Beach - absolutely gorgeous! The waves were still huge at the time, so we spent some days at Waimea beach just watching the surf. (and the lifeguards pulling the tourists out that didn't heed their warnings)

It was a good holiday, but due to the weather, not great. Apparently Maui would have been a better choice. :)

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JPerky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, General Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Aloha & mahalo for your review.

We're happy we were able to accommodate your group and that you were satisfied with our hospitality. The skylights mentioned are scheduled to be removed and closed this May/June...so no more leaks. We thought they were a nice touch when we installed them years ago, but no matter what we do they always leak! Auwe!

Also, we will be installing all new seating throughout our rentals this May/June with 8" quality mattresses for comfortable bed conversions as well as making other general upgrades. We invested more than USD$750,000.00 in upgrades in 2007 just before the recession and, unfortunately, we really had to wait until now to have the money to make further improvements. Houses only 10-15 feet from the ocean demand a lot of money for maintenance and upkeep and we also have 3 full time employees and many part time employees, etc., etc. to pay for. All of this combined means we'll probably have a rate increase by the end of summer, unfortunately, but we hope that our rentals will continue to be a special, affordable, family-friendly destination on the North Shore.

Finally, I'd like to point out that our direct website has an extensive FAQ section which covers all questions about our rentals, including the beach, weather, floor plans, etc. We encourage anyone considering our property to visit our direct website to learn more.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Level Contributor
119 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 26, 2013

If 'location, location, location' were everything then this place has it! It's literally just a few simple steps from the water, in fact I felt as if we were sleeping on a house boat the first night. The customer service we experienced both online and over the phone when making the reservation as well as at check in was fantastic and we have no complaints about the costumer service we were provided, they were very warm and hospitable people.

However sadly there were a few disappointments that would have us looking else were next time we visit Oahu. We booked here because the space looked great & ample enough to hold our party of four, the location near perfect (and on the water!) but that together with the costumer service was the end of the warm and fuzzy feelings toward Hale Ko'olau.

We stayed in the Ko'olani Kai or 'tranquil sea' rental for 3 nights just 2 short weeks ago. The place looks much nicer when viewed on my laptop then with our own eyes in person. We have stayed in MANY rental homes in the US and have been generally pleased although some quirks are to be expected with a home rental. We felt as if the furniture specifically in this rental had been switched or terribly warn since the pictures to advertise the rental were taken. We are talking lumpy, old couches covered in a slip-cover, I would have cringed to see the fold away bed inside of it. A considerably warn kitchen table that was very slanted and askew with 3 random, warn kitchen chairs. I understand things may need to occasionally changed out but I would think that replacing it with something equal to or greater than the customer is expecting would be in keeping with good business practice.

I also recognize that with the proximity to the ocean the property will show some wear and tear but we were unable to open most of the windows because of rust that had rendered the hinges un-operable or with missing handles.
So much for the lovely ocean breezes, wall switches randomly placed that seem to operate nothing, curtains that were mismatched and didn't completely close enough for privacy (good thing I travel with safety pins), broken lamp shades that you didn't dare touch or they would fall apart completely. It just wasn't the kind of place you felt was clean enough that you could get really comfortable in. As I like to say, it's a 'keep your flip-flops on' type of place. So sad because we really wanted to love our stay here. There are more 'picturesque' beaches down the road toward Haleiwa. As one reviewer mentioned, 'stay somewhere nicer than your home', well I don't know what this says about your home, but I couldn't agree more. And thankfully with the view out to the window to the beach aside, it's nice to be back home.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank FiveLthree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, General Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Aloha and mahalo for your review. As with all of our reviews, whether good, bad, or ugly, we do appreciate your valuable feedback.

For potential guests reading this I want you to know that we do have what we call our "Clean Guarantee". This is a detailed cleaning check-list which covers all aspects of the rentals and is reviewed by our full-time housekeeping Manager. During arrival our guests are presented with this document and asked to review it before accepting possession of the homes. If there is anything on the list which was not cleaned to your satisfaction then all you have to do is point it out and we'll clean it to your satisfaction...guaranteed.

These guests say they've stayed in many rental homes,but I'm not sure how many they've stayed in only 10 feet from the surf on a tropical island. There will always, no matter how much we do, be some rust, some moistness, etc. in a beachfront home. In 2007 we invested more than USD$750,000.00 in expansive upgrades to all our properties...including new windows, kitchens, travertine stone floors, granite countertops, apppliances, pillow-top beds, mini-split A/Cs, sofas, etc. Of course, being on the ocean takes its toll.

I agree that our sofas are at the end of their useful life. This is partly why we only charged these guests $212/night for a party of 4 in a direct beachfront home. The average hotel rate on O'ahu right now is $250/night for double occupancy which doesn't include parking or a kitchen. So things really do need to be balanced. That being said, we have budgeted and will install brand new maximum quality seating in all our rentals in May/June this year. The new seating will have quality, 8" mattresses so they can convert into comfortable beds. All rentals will be touched up with new paint and linens as well. Of course, with these improvements we'll also, unfortunately, have to increase our rates to cover the costs.

Finally, anyone reading this guests reviews of Hale Ko'olau should also read their other reviews of local North Shore locations. It seems they were not happy/satisfied with any of our most popular locals, eating establishments, etc. Perhaps the North Shore of O'ahu isn't for them?
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queen Creek, Arizona
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2013 via mobile

Enjoyed the Tree house unit for 4 days! Everything was exactly as management said! Location was great! Hubby snorkeled right out the back of the property and the staff was helpful and kind! Will definitely recommend this place!

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Lyn a
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, General Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, April 15, 2013
Aloha and mahalo for your kind review. We know we aren't perfect, but we really do try hard to provide affordable direct beachfront rentals on the North Shore of O'ahu.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Munich, Germany
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 21, 2013

After a very long and exhausting flight we arrived late at night at the Hale Ko´olau. We booked the studio for 5 nights, also because of the good ratings on this website. To be short, the studio was so disgusting that we left 15 min. later in order to drive back to Honolulu and find a hotel for $300 a night. It was the worst start of any of our vacations ever.
We entered the studio and an awful smell- somehing between urine and sharp cleaning agent-welcomed us. The patio-door was broken so we could only aerate through the main door, which was not a reflief anyway. We found stains on the shets and the towels. The kitchen was not cleaned well and we found oily dust on the kitchenware as well as on the clock radio. The fridge was rusty. Last but not least the bathroom had seen better times before.
All in all it was a disaster. So although we could hardly stay awake we hit the road again an drove another hour back to Honolulu. Since almost every room in every hotel on the island was booked out it almost riuned our vacation- since we had a little baby with us.
To the owner David...WTF! I wrote him to contact me and talk about theese issues- he never did. He did not give back any of the money, even worse he probably rerented the studio as fast as he could to earn (ripp off) douple. So in case he writes in this forum and tries to downplay my report/rating and mark me as not reliable- do not believe a word. I usualy am forgiving with these sort of things, if it is not to bad- but not in this case- as I said it was a DISASTER!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Wolfman77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, General Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, February 26, 2013
As with all reviews, whether negative or positive, we thank this guest for their feedback and hope to provide anyone reading this response with information which they will find useful in making a decision about whether or not to stay at Hale Ko'olau.

They actually booked the studio for 2 guests but were a party of 3, of which we were unaware. This studio is only suitable for a maximum of 2 people and they violated our rental agreement.

They contacted our on-site manager, Otilani Lombard, for their check-in and never once mentioned any complaint to her on the night of their arrival. In fact, we hadn't heard from them until late in the afternoon of the following day. Upon inspecting the rental we found that the bed had been used, the kitchen sink was dirty with food residue, and the refrigerator was also dirty. The exact length of time they were in the rental is unknown to us, but they did indeed use it for more than the 15 minutes they claim.

We have a "clean guarantee" document which contains a detailed check-list of all the areas of our rentals to be cleaned and listing which of our cleaners was responsible. Upon arrival guests are encouraged to review the list and make sure everything is to their satisfaction. If they are not satisfied we will, upon request, re-clean any of our rentals.

As for the claim of a bad smell...I can only speculate it was the glass cleaner or simple green which our housekeepers us to clean.

The patio door is not broken. In fact, being oceanfront and with salt air we regularly replace the hardware on our properties and employ a full-time maintenance person. The tracks and hardware of that door were replaced in December 2012 and it functions perfectly. We do have a wooden brace in all our sliding glass door tracks for security and perhaps this guest didn't realize they had to remove it to open the door?

If someone wants us to switch out towels or linen we will do so and have a large stock readily available. Our sheets and linen are not stained and I personally inspected this unit and couldn't identify any stains as claimed with the exception of a few bleach stains. There are some small rust spots on the fridge, but nothing out of the ordinary for a property only 80 feet from the beach on the North Shore. The bathroom, which was remodeled in 2008, is exactly as depicted in our photos. Other reviews on Trip Advisor attest to the fact that we provide exactly what we advertise and they have no surprises, so this particular review is outside of our trend.

According to our onsite manager the only negative comment during their arrival was about our location and distance to Waikiki/Honolulu. This is exactly what we love most about our properties. If you are reading this and you prefer a more traditional resort atmosphere then Hale Ko'olau certainly is not for you.

The guest did email me as stated and we did respond to him immediately and courteously as we always do. We explained that we had held their reservation for them and turned down countless others who wanted to rent this unit, so we would have to enforce our cancellation policies.

Upon finding out n they had left to Waikiki I immediately posted notices on Facebook and Craigslist and attempted to rebook the rental. Perhaps if they had been courteous enough to contact us we could have resolved and/or responded to their concerns and may have been able to re-rent the property. Unfortunately we did not re-rent the property and he is correct that I did not refund his money.

I'm particularly offended at the accusation that I would re-rent the property and keep double or that my word is not to be trusted. I think our excellent ratings and our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, etc. all speak to the fact that we are a legitimate and honest business. I think that our active Facebook Page and positive guest feedback speak volumes about the incredible value we provide and the Aloha we show our guests.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2013

I was so afraid after booking this online, that it wouldn't live up to my expectations but it exceeded them. My sister and I took our first vacation together and Otalani and her family made us feel like we were family too. The condo we stayed in is more like a cute beach house, just feet from the sandy beach. We had an amazing view from our window (I highly reccomend the condo we stayed in, its called "Tranquil Sea"). My only regret is that we didn't book the entire week here. Next time we will fly in and spend every night at the beach house.
The beach is beautiful, no high rises, few tourists. You can find sea glass after almost every high tide. It isn't a swimming beach due to the coral but you can go just up the road to find that, and Otalani can hook you up with surfboards, snorkels, kyacks, you name it. You are minutes from the Polynesian Cultural Center or a grocery store. Definitely plan on eating a meal or three at Papa Ole's where the locals eat. You can also buy fresh fish and shrimp right off the boats, from road stand stands, Which brings up..oh my god, the pinnapple. You haven't lived if you haven't eaten fresh pinnaple grown by locals NOT DOLE, the fruit is unbelievably good. North shore is the only way to go and I'll never stay anywhere else. I found my Hawaiian home. We almost cried when we had to leave, it was so restful and made us so happy.

Room Tip: Tranquil Sea is the name of the house we stayed in.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bluelab200
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hale_koolau_llc, Owner at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this review, July 18, 2013
Aloha and mahalo for your kind words. Everyone at Hale Ko'olau is extremely happy you found your tropical paradise with us. We hope to see you again someday.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hale Ko'olau

Property: Hale Ko'olau
Address: 54-223 Kamehameha Hwy, PO Box 223, Hauula, Oahu, HI 96717-9522
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Hauula
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Hauula
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hale Ko'olau Hawaii Vacation Rentals on the North Shore of Oahu is a family owned & operated business rated "excellent" on TripAdvisor and ranked the #1 specialty lodging in our area. Our oceanfront & beachfront vacation rental homes are located next door to one another in Honolulu, Hawaii in the small fishing town of Hauula on Oahu's North Shore near the Polynesian Cultural Center, Turtle Bay, Sacred Falls, Sunset Beach, Pipeline, Kualoa Ranch and many other wonderful Oahu attractions. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Hale Ko`Olau Hotel Hauula
Hale Ko'Olau Hauula, Hawaii - Oahu

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