About the property
- Estate1632 sqft
- Half Baths0
- Minimum Stay4 - 5 nights
VOLCANO UPDATE: The Onion House and Kona, HI are doing fine and are largely unaffected by the eruptions and seismic activity on the other side of the Big Island, nearly 100 miles away. Kilauea has had a continuous lava flow for the past 35 years but this particular eruption and flow stands out because it has impacted residential areas.
Depending on wind direction, we are having occasional bouts of vog. Checking the weatherunderground air quality for Holualoa, HI as well as the vog forecast from weather.hawaii.edu is recommended for individuals with respiratory difficulties.
Created for the McCormick Spice family, the Onion House is a unique architectural treasure with stunning visual aesthetics. It has been featured on MTV, Travel Channel, Learning Channel, Fine Living Channel, HGTV, Global Architecture Magazine, and Architectural Digest.
You will have the entire estate to yourselves. Swim and sunbathe in privacy on the huge lot that is well screened via foliage. You'll feel alone in your world, enjoying the 70' pool, gardens and lily ponds. The terrace faces sunsets and Kailua Bay, providing the ideal setting for candlelight dinners. The translucent roof and walls of stained glass allow filtered sunlight throughout. The detached master suite features a private walled garden. A covered outdoor walkway leading to the master bedroom structure is flanked by lily ponds and the turquoise pool overlooking the sea.
With grounds of nearly an acre, five minutes from town or beach, this is the perfect base camp for exploring the Big Island. If you google this property name, you can learn a great deal more about it from our personal website. Read the page "Vacation at the Onion House" for more information on your stay.
The Onion House does have limitations that make it unsuitable for younger children (under 12) or individuals who have difficulties with stairs and/or mobility. Please contact us for further information.
- Response rate:
- Response time:
- within one hour
- Calendar last updated:
- May 25, 2018
About Terri Watson
The Onion House was recently purchased by Harry and Barbara Last. Barbara had wanted to visit this architectural wonder some time ago and when she learned that the property was for sale, she insisted that they book their stay immediately. Upon awakening in the Onion House the very first morning, Harry fell in love with the unique architecture and as well the engineering structural aspects of the overall property. They both decided that they wanted to be the purchasers, not only to enjoy for their family, but also to continue to preserve and maintain this wonderful property for guests as well. Pouring over the construction details of the Onion House also brought back memories. Many years ago in the late 1970’s, Barbara and Harry, a mechanical engineer and inventor, designed, and built by hand a hillside home in the Vancouver, B.C. area, complete with an indoor swimming pool for their three children, all in competitive swimming. In order to combat humidity in the pool area, Harry soon became interested in automatic pool covers, which eventually led to him founding a business in that industry, which still exist as a closely held family business today. Barbara and Harry will continue to connect with Beth McCormick (the former owner) as an advisor on the maintenance and preservation of the property. Guest contact will be facilitated by Terri Watson, who has also managed guest relations on another Hawaii property for the Lasts. Property Manager Jeanne Awaii, along with her staff, who have managed the gardening and maintenance and welcomed the guests to the property for many years, will be staying on as well.
Terri Watson purchased this Estate in 2017
Why Terri Watson chose Hōlualoa
There's no place on earth like this. It's a wildly original form of architecture, distinct from any other structure, hand-built by architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg. It combines the indoor-outdoor living that defines Hawaii with visionary, organic architecture. You've never seen anything like this.
What makes this Estate unique
A unique part of Hawaiian history, the Onion House is a pivotal piece of the McCormick family history, commissioned by prior owner Beth McCormick's favorite aunt, 'Auntie Dofeen.' and build by well known architect Kendrick Kellogg Bangs of organic architecture renown. This home is Kellogg's first piece as both architect and builder, and launched the Organic Architecture movement of the Mid-Century Modern craze that dominated Southern California. Kellogg went on to build well-known works such as The High Desert House in Joshua Tree, CA, Lotus House, Wingsweep, the Hoshino Wedding Chapel in Japan and Charthouse restaurant in Rancho Mirage, CA. We have the opportunity to share this home with guests from around the world, who bring friends and family to celebrate special moments in their lives. Many of our guests are repeat visitors, and the "Onion House Family" spans the globe. Of note: The Onion House isn't for everyone...... The Onion House is not suitable for families with young children (less than 12), or for those who have difficulty with steps, due to safety considerations inherent in its design. We make no representation of the house as accessible. Smoking outside only, please. The Onion House is true Organic Architecture - it is not a climate controlled, sterile resort- like location. There is no air-conditioning (we use many fans!). It is truly indoor/outdoor living in a shelter of roof, screen, glass and rock cooled by nature passive design.
Pool / Spa
Check-in: 4:00 PM
Check-out: 10:00 AM
100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.
Architectural Masterpiece in Paradise
The Onion House is an Architectural Masterpiece. Starting with the stained glass, then to the massive concrete octopus like arms that support the dome shape, the fiberglass roof panels which make the home translucent,the screened walls which connect you with the sounds of nature, to the privacy of the master suite, the lanai connecting the master & main house, the amazing pool which spans the length of the main house, the beautiful gardens and finally the amazing patio where our family spent most of our time enjoying coffee, food, feeling the warmth of the sun and enjoying the Hawaiian breeze. This home is amazing, comfortable and is well equipped with about anything you might need. It is convenient to beaches, snorkeling, historic sites, restaurants and gift shops.
This trip was in celebration of my youngest son's 21st birthday and the Onion House and the Big Island of Hawaii, certainly checked off an item on his bucket list in a big way.
Terri, the booking manager, was an efficient wealth of knowledge to point us in the direction of a book about the big island prior to our trip. We visited the Onion House the week after the earthquake and initial volcano eruptions in May of 2018 and were a little nervous about traveling to the big island during a time when some families were losing their homes and there was a "state of emergency" for a part of the island. Terri was amazing and helpful to give us facts about the home, things to do, complete information needed for our stay and to alleviate our concerns about the earthquake and volcano. She was able to fully alleviate our concerns about the volcano before the trip.
We feel in love with the Aloha spirit of the Big Island and can hardly wait to book our next stay at the Onion House. We hope you enjoy your stay there as much as we did. Many thanks to the owners for sharing this amazing home with our family.
Debbie, Judson and Josh
A Private Paradise
All of the reviews here paint an accurate portrait of a week in the Onion House-it truly feels like living in a work of art. Everywhere you look there is beauty, from the architectural details to the geckos that meander through the house. If you really don't like bugs or things that crawl in the house, this is not the place for you-it is VERY open. However, if you want to be awakened by birds, walk into the pool steps from your bed...this is the perfect place. We visited while the volcano was very active (5/6/18-5/11/18), and honestly, the vog was VERY bad. It was very hard to find accurate information about the air quality online before we went (even emailing the house manager), but the blue skies in the photos were not present and the ocean view was lost behind the smog-looking sky. Locals also said that the vog was significantly worse than the typical amount of vog expected in Kona. The air quality did affect us (lots of buildup feeling in the lungs-kind of like allergies or a cold, trouble sleeping), but it was still beautiful. We did catch one sunset during our stay and once we were able to see the ocean, but other than that, the view was completely nonexistent. If you are visiting within the next few weeks/months, we found the TripAdvisor forum section to be the most timely and reliable source for local conditions. If you can visit when the sky is clear, honestly nothing would be lacking.
So unique, like living in a jungle but 5 min. From town.
Like 5 star camping. Fabulous pool and view. We all loved the experience.
Ono Onion House
We love the Onion House! It's ono--the Hawaiian word for delicious. We live on the other side of the island, but the Onion House is one of our favorite places in the world. It's an engineering and architectural marvel, and everyone is super nice, too! And it's within walking distance of one of the best restaurants in Hawaii, La Bourgogne. Mahalo nui loa!!
This was our 3rd stay in 6 years as the Onion House is so inviting, private, and serene. Can’t wait to plan our next stay.
A Uniquely Wonderful experience
The Onion House is a special place to be enjoyed by the intrepid traveler. It takes a minute to acclimate to the lack of walls and curves and bends, but we fell more in love each day. The view is lovely, the sounds are captivating, the vibe is exotic. It’s kind of like glamping. (Glamorous camping). The house is stocked with everything you’ll need and location is perfect for exploring all that the Kona side has to offer. Come and revel in the magic of The Onion House. Leave your worries behind.
Rates & Availability
Additional information about rental rates
More information, photos and video, plus my suggestions for restaurants, adventures, hikes, and snorkel spots, can be seen on the website: http://www.onionhousehawaii.com Hawaii State Tax ID # GE-157-258-9568-01