This place is exceptional. The pictures don't do it justice. In fact, we suggested to the owner that they hire a professional photographer to show off how gorgeous the property really is.
The home is spacious, grand, and meticulously cared for. The grounds are spacious, grand, and meticulously cared for. We visit Hawaii often and we've stayed at a lot of vacation rentals, but even the ones that cost twice as much aren't as beautifully designed and elegant as the Kapehu Retreat House. Wish we could live there - we hated having to leave. In fact, we were thinking of buying a home in Hawaii, but after staying at Kapehu we've decided were going to build a home instead, and model it after the Kapehu house. Hope we can track down their architect.
The location is great - close to beaches, zip lines, botanical gardens, the volcano, everything. We spent a great day at the zip line below Akaka Falls, just a few minutes away. The botanical garden at nearby Onomea was so beautiful we went back to see it a second time. We spent 3 days exploring the volcanoes national park south of Hilo, then a day up north horseback riding in the spectacular Waipio valley in Honokaa, and topped off that day at a Hawaiian music concert in Honokaa Peoples Theater. One day we went up on the mountain to see the telescopes, and we stumbled upon a native Hawaiian ceremony going on up there, colorful sarongs and haunting singing. We packed a lot of activities into our 7 days, and it was sweet to be able to come "home" to such a gracious and welcoming place every evening. Can't recommend it highly enough.