The Aloha Guest House B&B combines a heavenly location with luxurious facilities and gracious hospitality. This place is a find for those seeking peace and quiet on the South-West side of the Big Island. This is not a good place for people who like shopping or night-life or who plan on many excursions every day with the B&B as headquarters.
Located about 16 miles south of Kona off the windy main highway one should count on at least 35 minutes to get there from town or about 50 minutes to get there from the airport (depending on traffic). The one mile access road seems terrible at first but one can get used to it easily. Previous reviews have criticized the road but it is also the road which makes the B&B so private. A 4-wheel drive car is not needed if you drive slowly. In a normal mid-sized rental car it takes about 8 minutes to reach the B&B from the highway. However, the first time you drive this road it will appear to take much longer (I guessed 25 minutes the first time I drove it). If you do have a 4-wheel drive then it should take no more than 4 minutes to get to the B&B from the highway. You should avoid driving this road for the first time in the dark, if at all possible. Be prepared for a bad road and you'll be fine. Expect an urban driveway and you'll be unhappy.
The Inn is located in a big house in a tropical setting and the lower floor of the house is dedicated to 5 guest rooms and a shared kitchen facility. One room also has its own kitchenette and all rooms have refrigerators, flat-panel TV/DVD systems, and of course bathrooms. Room sizes and views vary. Two rooms have spectacular ocean views. Beds and bedding quality are super luxurious. Furnishings are tasteful/tropical. Four of the rooms have direct access to a big, shared, screened-off Lanai that is beautifully furnished and has ocean and garden views. A perfect place for morning coffee, take-out dinner, or a bottle of wine. The Lanai is furnished with several rattan couches and other teak furniture that allow mingling or sitting with your party only. (The fifth and nicest room of the B&B has a separate entrance and does not have a direct connection with the Lanai but one can get to the Lanai via a separate door.)
The second floor of the building contains another big screened-off Lanai where breakfast is served. For guests there is also a shared living room with a plasma TV, many DVDs, as well as a broadband-connected PC. This floor also contains a kitchen and the hosts’ private living area. The kitchen itself is off-limits for guests (there is the downstairs guest kitchen area) but there is a coffee/tea area that is intended for guests and available 24/7. (For coffee aficionados: The machine brews individual cups of coffee using Kona Peaberry beans from the adjacent coffee farm.)
The hosts are Johann, Lino, and Greg. They are helpful, friendly, and accommodating and if you are new to the island you should definitely seek their advice on beaches, activities, and restaurants. This is best done during breakfast which is enjoyed upstairs together with the hosts and the other guests. Breakfast is ample and delicious and different every day. We found the guest-host dynamic to be flawless. At breakfast you feel like you are with family but when you are downstairs in your room or on the Lanai it is a much more private atmosphere.
Rooms have everything you need. The shared kitchen and an outside grill allow for simple meal preparation. There is a Jacuzzi in a very private tropical setting. Beach towels are provided and there is an extensive selection of beach gear (mats, snorkel equipment, chairs, coolers, etc.) that guests can help themselves to free of charge or paper-work. Rental kayaks and roof carriers are available for rent. Washing machine and dryer may be used for $5 a load. There is excellent Cingular and Verizon coverage at the B&B and free wireless broadband (Wi-Fi) access is available in the guest rooms and the shared Lanai.
Rooms are not air-conditioned but even in August it got nice and cool during the night because of the 1500 ft elevation.
Is this a place for singles, couples, or families? Well, on my first stay I came by myself for 6 days and then was joined by my wife for three days. On our second stay we came as a family with our 10/13 year old daughters. Each of these three different experiences was very positive.
(1) During my 'alone' stay my purpose was to go diving. While the location is not ideal to reach the Honokahau yacht harbor (it takes about 45 minutes) the price/performance ratio is so much better than for the Kohala resorts or Kona hotels that I never regretted the choice. Additionally, there is some very good shore-diving nearby (Honanau) and taking care of my dive gear was much easier at the B&B than at any hotel (by the way I recommend "Jack's Dive Locker" or "Dive Makai" for charters). I skipped breakfasts and basically used the place to sleep and prep my gear between dives.
(2) When my wife arrived we spent a lot of time on the Lanai, ate breakfasts with our hosts and enjoyed the Jacuzzi. We spent a bit of time on the beaches and drove to restaurants but overall life was centered around the B&B.
(3) When we stayed as a family we rented two adjacent rooms which worked out perfectly. We had privacy but were also able to easily supervise the girls. Days started leisurely and unhurried and even our kids liked the breakfast. Then we'd put together gear for the day and head out to the beach. Our daughters fell in love with Mango the dog and Kai the cat.
What's not to like? Very, very little if you want to be in that part of the island and value a serene and tasteful environment. There are limited shopping and restaurant choices nearby. The shared Lanai is an incredible space but if you don't like your fellow guests (this never happened to us) then it may not be so enticing. Eating breakfast together proved to be very pleasant for us but some people may be disappointed that breakfast is not served in the rooms. Breakfast is at 8am and some people may want to start their days earlier (especially due to jet-lag).
My wife and I have been visiting the Big Island for about 20 years and have stayed in Kohala resorts, rental houses, condos and a sailboat over the years. We love the Aloha Guest House, plan on returning soon and recommend the place to our friends and family.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Casually elegant, secluded, relaxed atmosphere with panoramic ocean views. Five guest rooms with private baths, premium linens, HDTV with DirecTV satellite programing. Generous fresh organic breakfasts sourced locally from Aloha Guest House's own fruit farm, farmer's markets, or the local natural food store; served with organic 100% Kona coffee. Snorkel gear, beach umbrellas, ice coolers available free of charge. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Aloha Guest House Hotel Captain Cook
- Aloha Guest House Hawaii/Captain Cook