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“A serene, tropical treasure on the Big Island of Hawaii”
Review of Aloha Guest House

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Aloha Guest House
Ranked #2 of 15 Captain Cook B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 23 August 2006

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.

  • Stayed: August 2006, travelled with family
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6  Thank BoraBora13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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356 - 362 of 408 reviews

Reviewed 21 July 2006

Not wanting to miss anything at the volcano, we booked a night in the little town of Volcano before coming over to the Kona coast for a few days. We wish we had stayed here and drove to see the volcano from here. Two days was not enough! First, their web site pictures unbelievable rooms and scenery - believe it, it really is that gorgeous. The road was a real adventure; the bumps ensure that you take it slow enough to enjoy the passing coffee trees, macadamias, mongoose, rooster, chickens, dogs, cats and whatever else comes into view. I'd recommend travelling the road for your first time in daylight, first, so you have a visual for the right way (the directions are perfect, don't forget them) and second, so you don't miss the sunset. Greg met us and gave us a tour including a great dinner suggestion; Teshima's. Unfortunately, we missed breakfast our first morning because we had to leave early to go swim with dolphins (AMAZING: BOOK WITH PHILLIPA AT DOLPHIN BOAT EXCURSIONS AT ONELOVEONESPIRIT.COM -PICTURE SNORKLING IN THE OCEAN SURROUNDED BY DOZENS OF PLAYFUL SPINNER DOLPHINS). Greg left us cereal bowls, cereal, and their own Kona coffee though. They have a rule about no beachwear in the hot tub, so if you're squeemish about running into other guests in your undies or birthday suit, bring along something that has never seen sand to wear. The house DVD collection is huge and the rooms all have great screens in addition to the common room TV which is comfy and welcoming; we enjoyed sitting and talking with other guests. Breakfast on our last day was fantastic, Greg is a gourmet chef among his other talents (he's also a Physicist). We missed Johann and Lino, off on vacation, but Greg was a wonderful host. The only thing I wish we had here was a bit more privacy - with windows open, and lanais so near, we felt like we had to quiet our private time to avoid embarrassment in the morning. Other than that, it was quite romantic! Don't let the road scare you from staying at this great place!

  • Stayed: July 2006, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Jan_and_Stephen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 July 2006

We really enjoyed Aloha Guest House. These guys do a great job of making you feel like you are staying at a friend's house. It's a very relaxed, laidback environment, but they have the conveniences you might want: TV/DVD players in all rooms, hot tub, loaner beach supplies, a small kitchen, etc. They cook an awesome breakfast each morning and serve good Kona coffee. It is a 20 minute drive from busy Kailua town up a dirt road, so a 4X4 or high clearance car is needed. Yes, the road is a bit rough, but it's worth it; you really feel away from it all. I would not recommend this place if you like staying in a hotel with lots of people around and a pool. My only complaints (very minor) were that the room we stayed in was a bit dark (the two less expensive rooms are, but who cares, you're not sitting in your room all day anyway), and the room we stayed in was a bit small. These were very minor, and I would not hesitate to stay here again. The biggest problem was that we headed off to Kauai right after, and Aloha Guest House had set the bar so high, we were a bit disappointed by our B&B in Kauai.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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4  Thank inSD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 June 2006

My name is Eugene and my wife's name is Ana. We just returned from a five night stay at the Aloha guesthouse.

What a great experience.

Johann, Greg and Lino are some of the nicest people we met in Hawaii. Great breakfasts and they made us feel very comfortable...like a second home. Because of their tremendous hospitality, their home was like ours for our stay. Ana enjoyed getting movies from the common area as well as working the puzzles left in the room for guests to use. The place left me soo relaxed I slept so well and was made to feel at ease.

Highly recommended. And all the stuff about the road.....get over it.....4x4 or a patient driver in a regular car will do fine.....I personally loved it....going up and down the road was fun and made it feel like I was on an adventure. Its all about the journey and these guys made our journey fun and relaxing.

All the best Johann, Lino and Greg.

Sincerely,
Eugene and Ana

P.S. we miss your warm and caring ways already.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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4  Thank energia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Vacaville, CA
14
Reviewed 2 June 2006

I thought the Aloha Guest House was very nice, I really didn't like the road to the guest house, really bumpy. Stayed 4 days, towels wern't changed, I think that should have been done at least once without us asking. Other than that, I thought the grounds and the house were very nice and the hosts very friendly. I like their dog Mango.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
A TripAdvisor Member
Oakland, CA
17
Reviewed 31 May 2006

My boyfriend and I stayed four four wonderful nights. The house is beautiful, spacious, and comfortably and thoughtfully furnished. Our hosts Lino and Greg were charming (we suspect Johann is charming too, but he was out of town) -- welcoming, interested and engaged with us, and helpful at every turn, from getting checked in and oriented, to getting outfitted for kayaking and snorkeling, to feeding and caffeinating us every morning, to chatting when there was time to relax. The other guests were fun too, and made us look forward to breakfast each morning to catch up on what we'd all done the day before.

The house's lanais (screened porches) seamlessly connect the indoor spaces to the lush gardens, lawns and the sea. There seems to be a perfect mix of privacy when you want it, and community when you want that. We really did immediately feel like we lived there ourselves. It's hard to describe. Imagine being awakened in the morning by birdsong from the adjacent forest, with a gentle breeze scented with tropical flowers wafting through the room, and sun streaming in, and you walk barefoot out the door and across the dewy lawn and gaze at the sea... and you feel like you own the place and that the others there are your guests, and not only are you happy they're there, they're gotten up early to cook breakfast for you. It's kind of like that.

The breakfasts were wonderful and emphasized local fruits, vegetables and fish (smoked marlin in the scrambled eggs, does it get any better?), and the room amenites were great -- our room (the Honu room) had a private kitchette, though all rooms have access to a shared kitchette. We grilled some ono steaks one night -- yum! Mango the dog is a real treat. She's shaped sort of like a cork with ears, and has sky blue eyes, and will be your best friend if you scratch her head.

As you read other reviews you'll get the impression that the road up from the highway can seem daunting, If you arrive at night, you are going to get a little worried. Just go slow. Have their phone number handy so that you can call them while driving up, for reassurance. (You: "I think I missed a turn and am now driving up a goat trail." Them: "No, you're fine, just keep coming up") But after the first time, it's not so bad, and you get used to it, and really, it's what gives the house its serene isolation. Hundreds of us made it and want to go back.

  • Stayed: May 2006
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7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2006

We stayed at the Aloha Guest House in early April for 3 glorious nights. Firstly, the road leading up to the house is not as terrifying as some others have stated. We drove in around 1000 pm and had no difficulty navigating the bumps and turns in the inky darkness, we had an SUV booked and it proved to be a good choice given where we also visited on the Island. Lino was on hand to take a phone call when we were a little lost. Greg, Lino and Johann were there to greet us and after a brief introduction we were shown our room. The Kohala Suite is stunning! Made for a truly memorable stay. The website photos of the property are a true indication of the beauty of this house. Each morning we had a terrific breakfast, all gourmet meals prepared by Greg. The other guests we encountered were all wonderful, the hosts were knowledgable and very accommodating with items for us to use while out for the day. Secondly, the kitchen area for our use was filled with everything to pack a picnic lunch with! We were provided with coolers, towels, snorkel gear etc, current tour books to use etc. Parking was sloce by so there is no dragging your suitcases across parking lots and worrying about break ins. The view when we woke up was stunning, the bay, the orchard and chirping of critters outside. We also were there during the workers arriving to do the roof, the noise was minimal and we were on our way out for a day in the surf! After a stay at this property, we will likely not go the hotel route unless necessary. The suite was clean, lacked for no ammenities. As this trip was booked in mid February during the heaviest of the rainfalls the Islands have seen in nearly 4 decades, I emailed Greg a few times to check in and all the concerns I had were alleviated when I was told its was 'sunny' outside and no rain was in there area. Incidentally, the only rain we experienced was up in the mountains, sunny and hot at beach level! At the close of our stay, we purchased organic coffee beans for home use, roasted just days before! Traveling abroad is to meet others and see other lands, check out this lovely home and enjoy the true spirit of aloha with Greg, Lino and Johann.

  • Stayed: April 2006
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6  Thank plang
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Aloha Guest House

Address: 84-4780 Mamalahoa Hwy, Captain Cook, Island of Hawaii, HI 96704-8402
Region: United States > Hawaii > Island of Hawaii > Captain Cook
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 15 B&Bs / Inns in Captain Cook
Price Range: £91 - £242 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
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

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