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Kolahala rustic?

Seattle
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Kolahala rustic?

We like the sound of the Kohala area but find the condo/resort scene rather soul-less. Or at least that's what we thought when we went to Kihei on Maui. We would prefer something with more outdoor living, lots of light, no air-conditioning, that sort of thing. Perhaps that doesn't exist? And maybe I'm not being fair, but I see more appealing alternative in the Kona lodgings. Any thoughts? Are there such things as cottages near Kohala? Thanks!

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Kolahala rustic?

Hi seattledahlia. I am wondering if you had a chance to go through the links on the right hand side of the page. NOT this page, but the main Island of Hawaii page. There are some links that may help you. There are the ones that discuss why people like staying in the Kailua - Kona area, and there are also some links about accommodations for Kona as well.

Have you had a look through vrbo? You can plunk in your specific dates and even add some filters. How many bedrooms, bathrooms, ocean view, beachfront, and others. And then see what comes up. There are usually some private homes listed as well. You do want to be careful with those ones though, to make sure they are a legal vacation rental.

Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Kolahala rustic?

Kailua Kona is actually much more soulless and like Kihei to me than the Kohala area. Kailua Kona is basically lines of condos and houses all jammed up next to each other on the rocky shoreline and a few rather unappealing hotels and tshirt shops What lodgings appealed to you there? What you're describing isn't very common in the Kailua Kona, particularly as a legal rental.

Some of the Kohala Coast resorts are among the most Hawaiiana in the state with ancient fishponds, cultural centers, replanted native vegetation, cultural talk story events, and restaurants committed more to local farmers, fresh fish and food than the (mostly) tourist traps in Kailua Kona. Also they're closer to the upcountry charming town of Waimea and cute villages like Hawi and Honokaa, and the amazing preserved heiaus and historical parks of north Hawaii.

There are cottages in the Puako and Waialea areas on the Kohala Coast if you're looking at beach or oceanfront. If you're looking upcountry then the Hawi and Waimea areas are possibilities.

Edited: 01 March 2014, 21:33
Island of Hawaii...
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3. Re: Kolahala rustic?

hi,

excellent question.

The beautiful newer condos in the Mauna Lani resort area incorporate the features you speak of, particularly the love of indoor-outdoor living.

The rustic part of North Kohala is not great for outdoor living due to the prevalence of mosquitoes. You can only sit outside with mosquito coils burning, and they donʻt fully repel the pests.

The South Kohala coast was overrun by lava flows in decades past, and it was not developed at all prior to 1963. The Native Hawaiians utilized this coastline extensively, but there were no Western style communities and there was not even a motor vehicle highway through the area until the early 60ʻs when the resorts began breaking ground.

Puako was the exception, and had summer cottages that were reached by boat. It still has some funky cottages, but the money has arrived there also. This island has few sandy beaches, so all real estate that is close to the beaches is too expensive to build rustic cottages on the land now.

Early western settlement of the island concentrated in port and harbor areas and the desirable land was prime agricultural land getting rainfall, not sunny, desert climate vacation prime land. There are numerous villages remaining that were based on agriculture, primarily sugar, but they are not near good ocean access for the most part, especially if you desire to swim.

Kailua Kona is an example of development without good planning, and has way too many condos from the "fugly" school of condo building design. If you find the exterior shots of the buildings you will see.

If you see something you like, post a link? We can comment on the location.

Big Island, Hawaii
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4. Re: Kolahala rustic?

Waialea Bay has some awesome beach houses that are really comfortable but rustic. No air conditioning but decent airflow, indoor/outdoor loving definitely, some with great BBQ lawns and patios, on one of the best beaches on the island with great snorkeling. Of course they are not cheap. Same with Puako. You definitely want to be on the makai (ocean) side of Puako, particularly in summer though or you will be very hot.

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: Kolahala rustic?

Waialea Bay is fabulous, the only obstacle is the money for the premium location.

Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: Kolahala rustic?

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29217-i268-k61167…

Here is the link for why people love to stay in the Kona neighbourhood.

There is also one for the Kohala Coast area.

Do you a per night budget in mind?

Edited: 01 March 2014, 22:39
Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Kolahala rustic?

So for clarity's sake, and to help the OP who may be looking at vrbos or similar, Kona isn't a neighborhood, it refers to two large districts that encompass several hundred square miles. It includes the small towns of South Kona, the larg-ish town of Kailua Kona which extends to Keauhou, and the resort areas (Kukio and Hualalai) in North Kona.

Many of the cottage or house rentals outside of Kailua Kona (and even in several residential areas within Kailua Kona) are not legal. In addition the residential as well as more rural neighborhoods can have some problems with noise, dogs, etc. it's a good idea to post links to proposed rentals as many photos and descriptions can be misleading as to location.

Also in choosing a location it can be wise to first get a rough idea of what interests you and how you see your days playing out before you choose lodging. For instance if you don't plan to spend a lot of time on the beach and you want to be closer to Kailua Kona town or South Kona or if you want to dive most days and your boat leaves from Kailua Kona, then you don't want to stay up north and drive two hours every day.

Similarly if you see lots of beach or ocean time in your trip or hiking north Hawaii interests you, you don't want to base an hour or more south.

ON, Canada
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8. Re: Kolahala rustic?

Kihei and the Kohala coast are nothing alike. One way to get a visual idea of the area is to do a 'drive by' on google street view. You can 'drive' down Alii drive in Kailua Kona, and go into the Mauna Lani resort on the Kohala Coast. The other areas that Shea and KK describe are also viewable on google street view.

I think it's hard to get away from a/c in the Kohala resorts but we didn't need or use it for a 9 night stay last April. We really enjoyed exploring the ancient fishponds, walking on the fishermen's trail through the lava, and along the beach...and also the Puako Petroglyphs (the trail starts at the north end of the ML resort.) Plus, easy access to good beaches and snorkelling were a plus.

Others prefer Kailua Kona and maybe you'll find that too ... but my feeling is that if you didn't like Kihei, you might not like Kailua Kona.

Alaska
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9. Re: Kolahala rustic?

Very often people make the choices they make according to their budget, and if I can get an amazing condo for $75 a night across from La'aloa Beach, formerly only known to me as White Sands Beach, but now I am educated, as opposed to twice as much or even more to stay in Kohala..,,,..I am happily choosing my better budget option. Many people would make the same choice. I pay the least amount of money for my best option and for that reason, I prefer Kailua-Kona. Deb

10. Re: Kolahala rustic?

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