We were very excited to book this property and based on the many excellent reviews we had high expectations. Upon arrival it was apparent that things were not quite as expected or in one case as advertised.
We booked through VRBO, there were many photos of the property, and one pic in particular of the building we were staying in that was taken from the beach area looking in. The photo showed a pretty sandy beach all the way up to the sea wall and directly in front of the lanai. (as listed: the beach is 20 feet from your door) That part is partially true but because the photo was obviously years old since the time that photo was taken there was no longer sand on the beach...just large rocks that had been washing up to the seawall for god knows how long. No beach...
Minor problem, we'll deal with it.
Upon arrival and before we could even get settled we were in the kitchen and asked to sign a number of papers, agreements, contracts or whatever they called them. Because we were late afternoon arrivals the person had to come back to met us and she was obviously in a hurry to go somewhere else. BTW if your plane is late they charge you a fee for a late check in. Having just experienced a long flight we initialed and signed the documents...one of which stated that we approved of the cleaning crews work (there were a few ladies names on the paper as the maids) Also there was another agreement that stated if we "stained" the sheets we were to pay for new ones and other little stipulations like that which we signed off on.
That was done and their person left. We started to get into the house and exploring the 3 bedrooms and the bathroom. The bathroom was an eye opener, the top of the tile hadn't been cleaned in possibly months or longer and there was a black sticky residue on it. I actually took a sponge to it to see if if could be removed and sure enough...with some elbow grease it started to come clean. The linen closet doors looked like a dust catching filter or device. There were other things like dried food on the half wall in the kitchen which my wife cleaned up later, stained and frayed curtains, windows that were broken, didn't lock our even close properly.
By now my wife is talking me into leaving, she calls the representative's cell phone who doesn't get back to her until the next afternoon. I explain to my wife that there are no cancellations as per their contract, in fact there are extra or penalty charges for just about everything. $4.00 Coin Laundry in your room, toilet paper $1.00 per roll, if you want to use one of the room safes they hit for something $5.00 per day. Oh the best one...remember that we signed an agreement stating that if we were to "stain" the sheets we would pay to have them replaced? Well upon inspection in the master bedroom we see...you guessed it. Stained sheets! How convenient...
Long story short; we did some cleaning to make the apartment comfortable for us, and we made the best of it. There is little to do on their property so we visited beaches and other areas during the day and returned back in the evening.
The day before leaving we get an email with instructions of our responsibilities which include CLEANING DISHES, GLASSES AND SILVERWARE! Now I know who their cleaning people are, it's their guests because those items were about the only things that were clean when we arrived.
Our trip continued on to Kaui where we rented a cliff house suite above the Marriott. The bi-level unit was modern, clean, completely equipped with everything we would need including a complete cabinet of sundries. Brand new clothes washer and drier (free or course with soap and dryer sheets) And the kitchen itself would have made Guy Fieri proud. We had two private balconies with incredible views and full access to the Marriott facilities and we spent a little less than we did for the Hale Ko'olau property.
Obviously we were not happy with the facility however, I would with a clear conscious recommend Hale Ko'olau if the prices were significantly lower and they stepped up and monitored their cleaning/maintenance program better. The location is ok if you don't want a beach.
- 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