What a special place! We felt truly honored to be in such a gracious beautiful environment. Whoever designed the Kapehu house was an artist. The space is so welcoming, and every room has gorgeous views in every direction. This was our 4th trip to Hawaii, and though we stayed in lovely rentals every time, we never before felt so blessed by our lodging. In fact, calling the kapehu house “lodging” seems bizarre, because it didn’t feel like lodging, it felt like home (yet vastly more beautiful). I miss Kapehu already. The location is great, too – it's like you’re alone in a tropical wilderness valley, but you're just 20 minutes to everything in Hilo, and not far from all the beaches, waterfalls, botanical gardens, volcano, etc. We highly recommend it if you're going to the Big Island.
The owner made the booking process easy, answered all our many questions and offered good suggestions of sights to see, where to shop, etc. The caretaker Kealani, who welcomed us on our arrival, is a dear warm-hearted lady. She has grandchildren about the same age as our kids and she knows what children enjoy in Hawaii. She was also johnny-on-the-spot helpful when we needed her: one evening the stove wouldn’t light, so we called Kealani and she came right over, found the propane tank was empty, switched the valve from the empty tank to the full one, and we had dinner cooking in no time.
The highlight of our trip was the volcano, especially for our kids. The lava in the crater was higher than we’d seen it on previous trips – a once-in-lifetime spectacle of boiling fire, especially stunning at night. We had an awesome day at the zip line in Honomu, a couple miles north of the kapehu house. Another day we took a boat tour from Hilo to see the scenery along the beautiful Hamakua Coast. The snorkeling was great at the tide pools on the east point of the island – lots of colorful fish, yet no dangerous tide. Though grocery store prices in Hawaii are high, you can eat very well without spending a fortune because you can get fresh produce daily at the Hilo farmers market inexpensively, and fresh-caught fish daily at Suisan fish market.