We are now totally sold on vacation rental homes, we will forever avoid hotels and resorts. (We visited Big Island a few years ago and had a nice trip, except that we spent too much $$ on a mere room in a basic beach-side inn.) Now we know we can have a far better vacation for less money in a vacation rental. And Kapehu Retreat House is way beyond your usual vac rental - so classy & elegant & tasteful & gracious & comfy & homey.
There were 6 of us: my husband, myself, my parents, and our 2 teenage sons. We could really spread out in the spacious home and each of the boys had his own room. We let my parents have the master suite, which has no blinds, because they don’t mind waking with the sun. Mom said she felt pampered, “cradled” by the pillow-top king mattress. My husband and I took the wailele bedroom above the stream, and loved listening to the rainforest sounds at night - gurgling water, crickets, coqui frogs. I slept so well. The wailele room’s mattress is not pillow-top but firm support which I need for my back, yet with a cushy layer of memory foam on top, one of the best beds I ever slept on.
The extraordinarily beautiful home surrounded by huge sweeping views made us feel like lords of a royal manor. The location is great: everything we wanted to do was nearby. Of course the boys had to go to BOTH of the nearby zip line tours. We joined them for the one that zips across 400-ft Akaka Falls: thrilling, gorgeous, terrifying, wonderful. We swam at a black sand beach with giant turtles. Snorkeled at Kapoho Tide Pools among spectacular reef fishes. Hired a bird guide to show us incredible native birds in the nearby Hakalau Forest Reserve. Rode horseback through Waipio Canyon beside twin 1,000-ft waterfalls. Spent a couple of days (not enough) exploring Volcanoes National Park and its hiking trails, craters, steaming vents, lava tubes, etc. Most evenings we got “home” early enough to cook dinner in the beautiful well-outfitted kitchen & ate our meals on the lanai overlooking expanses of green valley and sparkling ocean. Talk about paradise!
You'll adore the caretaker Kealani, a “kanaka maoli” (real Hawaiian native) - we sure enjoyed “talking story” with her. And before your trip, look at the list of sights to see on the Kapehu website.