Puako is my idea of a perfect place to stay. It's small and charming, with a quaint country store and walkable streets. Why stay in a cookie cutter resort? This condo is typical of the time it was built, unpretentious and comfortable. Although unit is on the first floor, it is very quiet and the shrubs shield the lanai so it doesn't feel exposed (just ask the gekkos). Having 2 full bathrooms is a big plus. The small galley style kitchen is well equipped (I'd love to see a liquid measuring cup,but that's just me). The condo has a closet of assorted beach gear to use and lots of towels. The washer & dryer came in handy and we used the gas grill daily. Bedrooms all have ceiling fans. (NOTE: keeping sliding doors and entry door open allows air to flow freely and condo stays cool ) The condo bldg has a great pool or you could walk a few minutes to access Puako bay for swimming and snorkeling. The building has recycling bins (yeah!! - I love to recycle - feels like home) Bonus feature: building has its own lemon, lime, and grapefruit trees and we were lucky enough to get some of the fruit.
Puako is centrally located and we easily drove up and down the coast for touring , beaching (Hapuna and A' beach), and shopping. I highly recommend going to the local fish market in Kawaihae ( on Hgwy 270, about a 10 minute drive) and across the street from the fish market is Avenue Shave Ice, the BEST shave ice we found on the island.
The condo owner is very nice to work with and takes time to make sure instructions and everything are in order. She even called me by phone to answer my questions directly rather than play tag with email. It's chancey to rent off the web, but Karen is trustworthy.
I'm saving my pennies to go back there.