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Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

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Birmingham, UK
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Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

We are looking at renting a Kolea condo during September but there are lots of options available either renting direct with owners, through Tripadvisor, HomeAway, VRBO and Abbey Vacation Rentals and I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on which is the best way to go for renting - are we best advised to rent through one of the management organisations or direct with the owner.

If anyone has experience of whether one way is better than the other in terms of service, rate etc or are they all pretty much the same, just depending which unit we choose as the best for us?

Thanks for any advice.

Nanaimo, Canada
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1. Re: Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

There are merits to renting direct from an owner, but also from an agency. Agencies are great, because if you have a problem with your room or condo, you can contact them on island, and they may very well be able to move you to another unit right away.

From an owner directly, will often get you a better price, and sometimes they can give you a deal, especially during the slower time in September.

Do ready through this thread. It is from the Maui forum, from a while ago, but a lot of the information is still pertinent. The two most important things to me is PHONING the owner, and building a rapport with them, and confirming that they are indeed the owner, and it isn't a scam. And secondly, to make sure there is someone on the island to deal with any issues you may have while there.


Big Island, Hawaii
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2. Re: Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

That was a useful topic J0an linked.

For Kolea either one would work. The condos are fairly new and luxurious - you don't have to worry about getting a unit out of date. However I have noticed a pretty big price difference between units on vrbo, some owners are just far more willing to give discounts than you're likely to see through an agency. This is a relatively expensive complex and you could save a lot of money by finding and negotiating with a willing owner, especially if you're coming in a slower time and you see a puka, or opening, in a unit's availability calendar you can fill.

Bellevue, WA
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3. Re: Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

We've stayed at Kolea twice now and used a rental company each time. The one we used, Waikoloa Vacation Rentals, was responsive when we managed to lock ourselves out and when we misplaced our passes to the Hilton. (If you rent certain units thru them you get privileges at the hotel and can use the pools/restaurants without having to stay there). They also don't charge a cleaning fee which I found varied widely when looking at renting directly from an owner. No matter what it's a great place and you will be glad you chose it. We've been to Hawaii more than 20 times and this is one of the few places I've stayed at more than once.

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4. Re: Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

We have stayed at many South Kohala condo properties, and have had a 4 week stay at Kolea….a couple of years back.

I would say find the best unit for you, and then see how to achieve the best pricing for said unit.

You don't mention if this is your first visit to the area, or if you have had experience with vrbo.

As it turns out we initially booked our 4 week stay at Kolea through a Realtor that also handles Vacation rentals. We were notified roughly 3 months out from a Feb stay that the unit had gone into foreclosure. We had only put down a $500 deposit at this point.

They said they would attempt to find us another spot….something similar to what we had selected. We had carefully chosen a 2 BR Penthouse unit with a partial ocean view. You must be careful with the Building choice at Kolea…and really study the layout….as the building are staggered, and the views vary significantly.

What the Realty agency came up with was not to our satisfaction. The offer ranged from a ground floor no view unit at Hali'i Kai to a unit at the dismal condo complex in Puako ( shocking!).

We elected to have our $500 depost refunded ( which they were most willing to do)…and hunt down something for ourselves. Now , if I had placed that money in the hands of an owner and the unit had gone into foreclosure, it could have been a bit more of a run around. However vrbo now has the wonderfully reliable "Reservation Manager" that protects both owner and renter in a number of scenarios concerning payments.

As it turned out we found a 4 week opening through an agency called Kolea Luxury Vacations


The property and unit were lovely, and all details for payment and pricing went off without a hitch. I suspect the owner may have had a cancellation for the dates we were looking at couple with our 4 week stay…….we were able to negotiate at stellar deal. ( 2 BR Penthouse) Unfortunately the owner has since sold the unit.

Just to touch on the building placement at Kolea……..there are some ground floor back of the property situated units that have dreadful views…..basically of the backside of the building in front of you +/- parked cars. The units themselves are wonderful, but for us the view was also a pretty big factor. This is one of my pet peeves at Kolea, plus the less than impressive unheated pool ( we travel in winter).

Our experience does show that not always are there suitable alternatives by going through an agency. If a situation arises that a subtitute unit has to be found, depending on timing and availability…it does not always pan out. No guarantees that the agency managed unit will put you in a better position.

The location of Kolea within WBR is ideal….having a short walk to the beach, shops and restaurants.

5. Re: Kolea condo - rental advice, management company or owner?

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