This is the first VRBO home I have ever rented, and I was so pleased with all the wonderful amenities! I booked this for a family Christmas vacation, with myself, my husband, our three children, (age 17, 17, 10) and my parents. My parents enjoyed their own suite with private bathroom, and stunning views. I packed the kids' stockings, hoping to make Hawaii feel like our Alaska Christmas', and arrived at Mala a Kai to find the owners had lovingly decorated the entire house with wreaths, a Christmas tree, dishes and linens just for us! We had a wonderful Christmas, and my daughter slept under the tree the entire stay.
The location is peaceful, with no neighbors able to see in your home. The view from the lanai was relaxing. We saw wild goats, birds, and geckos. We saved money not eating out, and cooked on the BBQ almost nightly. Our kids loved how close Pebble Beach was, and I loved relaxing. The snorkeling was wonderful, and we appreciated using the owners beach equipment! Troy and Mary have truly thought of everything! We appreciated the book of recommended sites/vendors to use, and the list of open air markets.
I recommend this location because it is close to Kona to access shopping, the harbor, and other excursions. If you must have the nightlife, and be free of driving...stay in Kona. If you are looking for a relaxing, "people-free" environment without ambient noise, stay at Mala a Kai! We loved it and plan on coming back someday!
For first time VRBO users, make sure you disclose the number of people who intend to stay at the unit with you. I didn't know that the price is set by how many occupants plan to stay, and that makes sense considering water has to be delivered to this area and utilities increase with the # of people using. This may seem like common sense, unless you're like me, who is used to a private well and unlimited water.