"Sybil's Bamboo Gatehouse at Papalani was a place of tranquility, the perfect spot for my husband and I to escape from the biting cold winter and fast-paced work stress that we left behind Anchorage. When we arrived, Sybil welcomed us and encouraged us to take advantage of the bounty in her own backyard, which we did: we ate tangerines and starfruit plucked straight from the tree every morning for breakfast, and enjoyed banana bread, guavas, papaya, avocado and radishes from the local farm stands. What I loved most about Hana was the process of discovery; the beautiful beaches and swimming pools were within walking distance, but you had to know where to look. Fortunately, Sybil provided us with her own maps and guidebook to make the trips easier: follow the small dirt path through a cow pasture and down the cliff to a beautiful, private, black sand beach where you can watch the sunrise. Or follow that same path slightly south to the Venus Pools, where you can jump from the rocks into the deep water and use snorkeling gear to check out the colorful fish swimming underneath you. Just a short drive (5 minutes) will take you to the white sand, Hamoa Beach, which is great for body surfing, but be careful--we bent one of our boogie boards. Don't try to fight the waves, they win every time. The Red Sand Beach is also very close and quite stunning. If you have time, check out the Lava Tube and the temple at Mile Marker 31. The cottage, A O'Loko, has a deep tub big enough for two, and plenty of sleeping space for 5 people comfortably. I loved reading in the bay window in the morning while my husband slept. The kitchen is fully stocked with all of the equipment you'll need; just make sure to stop at the grocery stores by the airport for the basics before you make the trip to Hana. Hasegawa General Store has an odd assortment of supplies that are a bit costly, but the grass-fed beef is well worth it. Nature lovers will particularly enjoy this cottage, from the soundtrack of birds, to the geckos hanging out in the ceiling (just chillin'). We had to be mindful of the spiderwebs when using the outside shower, but the spiders were harmless and actually helpful by eating up the pesky bugs. There was one stealth ninja mosquito that I could not find, but it seemed to find me every night while I slept. Nevertheless, the few bites I took were well worth the price for paradise. We HIGHLY recommend staying at Papalani and will likely be back sooner than I'd thought!"
Guest: Bonnie and Loren
Date of Stay: January 2015
Review Submitted: January 15, 2015