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Hale Ko'olau
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Reviews (161)
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Reviewed 16 November 2010

We stayed in the Molokai Studio for a week in Nov 2010. The trip was mostly to catch up with friends around the island and was perfect for what we had in mind. Perfect location, inbetween North Shore and Honolulu. Also very close drive if your going to any of the bases on island. Service was great, Oti Lani met us for check in and checked in with us during the week to make sure we were ok. Great value for rooms, and no charge for parking, which you won't find at any of the hotel in Honolulu. Would definitely recommend staying here, this is where I would put my friends or family up.

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank fbooth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2010

We recently stayed for 5 days at Hale Ko'olau in the Hale Makua ("The House Above"). Zack Oda (Cousin #2) promptly answered every question we had about the place before we came and was very friendly and quick to respond to the very few issues we had while we stayed there.

Pros:
--Check-in: When we arrived, the on-site staff was there to meet us and our check-in took only a few minutes. She showed us where everything was, gave us paddles for the kayaks, and provided us with some tips on where to eat.
--Location: Hale Ko'olau was only about a 30 minute drive from Honolulu Airport and a gorgeous drive at that. It was central to everything we wanted to do on the North Shore. 30 min drive to Waimea Bay, Waimea Valley, and Hale'iwa and maybe 45 minutes south to Kailua Beach (the BEST beach on Oahu!) Plus, our unit was RIGHT ON THE BEACH. I absolutely loved waking up and sitting in our living room to watch the sun rise. Stunning view from every window. The shoreline in front is a bit rocky, but it was fun to walk the beach (there's a good swimming beach just down the shore a bit) and our kids ended up playing in the surf in front of the unit too.
--Great service: The coffee machine in our unit didn't work but we let Zack know and it was replaced the same day with a functioning one.
--Size: Hale Makua was actually a little TOO big for our family of 4, which was a nice surprise. If we go back, we may pick one of the smaller units. We were really only there at night and found we didn't even need the full kitchen so much. It was very open and airy in the living/dining room/kitchen area.
--Rooms: Our unit had two bedrooms - one with a queen and one with a king bed. Both beds were comfy and the rooms were well-maintained. Our two bathrooms were also clean and the showers were nice.
--Washer/Dryer: There was a washing machine and dryer in the unit, which was convenient. The cost for each load was only $4 ($2 to wash, $2 to dry) which was actually pretty cheap compared to the local laundromat.
--Free Wi-fi: Helpful for us. We used the internet to research and decide what we're going to do in the area the next day. (Con: The signal strength for the wifi was bad, and even when you could connect, access to the internet was spotty at best, but we didn't mind -- we weren't there to use the internet and were rarely in the unit!)
--Extras: The hot tub located between our house and the other unit was clean and had a view of the ocean. Lots of gear for you to use while you're staying there, including boogie boards, sea kayaks, and snorkel gear.

Cons:
--Kitchen: We opened the dishwasher to run our dishes, only to find that there was egg in standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher. We ran the dishwasher with soap but without any dishes in it and that seemed to take care of it. Some of the dishes and pans were put away dirty.
--Condition of Unit/Appliances: The unit itself wasn't exactly as pictured on the website. I think the photos may be a few years old. Time, wind, rain, sun, and salt water have taken their toll on the outside of the house and much of the inside too. The couches were comfy, but had a sticky feel to them, likely due to the salt air from the windows being constantly open. Many of the windows in the Hale Makua unit did not close, which was a bit awkward when we had two days of stormy weather. A palm tree branch kept pounding into one our windows during the entire stay (it was very windy!) and woke us up a few times. We let Zack know about it, but it wasn't taken care of before we left. The TV worked, but the volume control on the set was broken (you could only turn it up, not down) and Zack wasn't able to find the remote for us. Many of the dishes/pans were put away kind of dirty, but we were able to wash them ok before using.
--No AC: Not a huge deal. The fans seem to keep air circulating just fine.
--Phone: Didn't work in our unit, but wasn't a huge deal for us since our cell phones had strong reception. We neglected to tell Zack about this while we were there. (Sorry, Zack!)

Some of the other reviews were a bit harsh on Hale Ko'olau and I suspect those people are used to very upscale, swanky hotels. Let's be clear: Hale Ko'olau is not a four star luxury resort. It is exactly as they pitch it: a nice, clean, affordable place right on the beach! If we're lucky enough to afford another vacation to Oahu, we'll definitely stay at Hale Ko'olau again!

  • Stayed: August 2010, travelled with family
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2  Thank tackyspoons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2010

This is where you want to stay when you want to be out of the city. The accomadations were perfect and just as described in the website. The area was beautiful. The staff was warm and friendly. All our needs were met and we would stay here again and again.

  • Stayed: July 2010
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Thank didiers_4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2010

We stayed in the Molokai Studio at Hale Koolau for 2 weeks, its small but all we needed. It's a great place to see Oahu because it's sort of in between North Shore attractions and Waikiki. If you're looking for a hotel where you get pampered and you just relax on the beach and don't leave your hotel, Hale Koolau is probably not for you. Hale Koolau is simple and private. My fiance and I wanted to see a lot of Oahu and this was the perfect place to stay! We had a lanai right outside of our studio where we ate most of our meals! Also, there was a hot tub right in front of our studio that we used ALOT, esp after a long day (you can see the ocean from the hot tub and the lanai). They kept the hot tub reallyl clean. The hot tub is a shared one but there was rarely anyone else in it. The only thing between our studio and the ocean was another rental house. There were people staying in the house, but we didn't see them often. We also rarely saw other people on the beach, which was nice. The grounds were nicely landscaped with tropical plants everywhere. The people who work there are very friendly. The first day we were there, we got boogie boards and snorkel gear from the office that we used for our entire stay. On the negative side: there was a rooster that would crow every morning around 5 AM. But after 2 days, I didn't even hear it anymore. Also, the beach in front of the house is not good for swimming because of rocks. But, its just a short drive or walk to other sandy beaches. Some of the things my fiance and I did while we were there was: visiting a bunch of beaches (Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, Turtle Beach, Malaekahana Beach, Laie Beach, Waimanalo.. ), hiked to Maunawili Falls, snorkeled at Hanauma Bay, Luau at Hale Koa Hotel in Waikiki, hiked Diamond Head, visited Pearl Harbor, surfing lessons at Malaekahana Beach with Sunset Suzy, Hawaii Shark encounter, Horseback Riding Tour at Kualoa Ranch, visited Laie Point.. ect. I recommend doing all of those things. We also waded to Chinaman's Hat, which is an island off the beach right across from Kualoa Ranch. We climbed to the top of the island, too. Waimea Bay was our favorite beach and you have to jump off the rock into the ocean! Plus, we saw ALOT of sea turtles there. Make sure you go to the shrimp trucks on the North Shore. We went to Fumi's 3 times and we loved the spicy garlic shrimp! We bought groceries at this market that was about a mile up the road, so we made most of our food. The studio had all we needed to cook. Try not to leave valuables on the beach.. we had our bag stolen while we were swimming to Chinaman's Hat, but all we had in it was towels and shirts.. a local person found our bag in the bathroom.. so it worked out okay, just be careful. We did the Shark encounter our last morning and the boat broke down, which caused us to be two hours late checking out of Hale Koolau. We called Zack at the hotel and he was really cool about it and we didn't get charged extra or anything. Definately recommend staying there!

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BubbaWade
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2010

This is a quote from my 15 year old son; very insightful!!

We stayed in the "Tree House" for 5 nights. When we arrived (don't count on your mainland GPS being helpful on the Islands) we underwent the "business" from Mark, the property manager. We felt like we had to sign our lives away to spend a week in the "Tree House". There were warnings about mold, asbestos, lead paint, etc. We were told this is typical of local vacation rental properties in this area.

The properties on this side of the Island have septic systems. It was pretty obvious when entering the unit. Tamara's grocery store sells Glade candles..two burning constantly seemed to help a bit.

Mark, the person who introduced us to the property was great about helping us find the place (when we were off track for a few hours), but was no where to be found the remainder of our trip.

We were left to discover the safe (for which we had paid an additional fee) did not work. We also called him re the DVD player (and the safe) - with no returned calls. We were strictly on our own.

Do not expect to be bowled over by the accommodations. They will meet your needs and nothing more. The beach is not particularly inviting - although there are beautiful beaches within driving distance.

It was awkward trying to hang out near the beach, since the decks and hot tubs near the beach are located in close proximity to other rentals - and we felt like we were trespassing onto another vacationer's property.

A good place to sleep and prepare your own meals while exploring the North Shore - which by the way, is nothing short of heaven!

  • Stayed: April 2010, travelled with family
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6  Thank bluebird25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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