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Kepharts' Hawaiian Ocean-view Hale

Bedrooms 5
Space 2,300 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

5BR Oceanview Vacation Rental Kamuela, Hawaii USA

This five-bedroom/three-bath home sits on five acres of land in the Kohala Estates. We specifically designed the house as a family vacation gathering spot, and we built it ourselves in 1989. Its high ceilings and 760 square feet of windows make it particularly light and airy. Tradewinds and 13 ceiling fans will help to keep you cool. The kitchen and the master bedroom have 180-degree ocean views. You can also see the Kohala Mountains, Mauna Kea, Hualalai, Maua Loa, and nearly the entire Kohala Coast. With luck and timing, you can spot Hawaiian spinner dolphins, humpback whales, or the occasional green flash. We can't guarantee blue skies and no mosquitoes; but your odds are better here than anywhere else in the central Pacific. The house sits in the rain shadow of the Kohala Mountains, and annual rainfall totals are typically in the low single digits! We have tried hard to make our house a comfortable 'home away from home' for our guests. The library boasts plenty of books and movies.

Extras: You'll find enough kitchenware and linens to choke a flea market! Kids will enjoy several cubic feet of Legos, building blocks, and other toys.. Puzzles and board games abound. Binoculars, beach towels, coolers, beach chairs, boogie boards and hammocks are left out for your use. You won't need to bring much besides your clothes and your camera.

Many of our guests consider this 'their' second home; and accordingly, our most popular times can be booked over a year in advance. Fall and late spring usually have the best availability.

You will also enjoy a VCR in every bedroom, a satellite TV with Hi-Def in the living room, a phone for making local calls, and WiFi Internet access.

Location, Location, Location: Most of our guests appreciate where the house is located. It is in a semi-rural neighborhood, which has no street lights and a myriad of stars at night. Weather is usually warm and dry. Within easy driving distance to the Big Island's premiere beaches and golf courses, it is also conveniently located between Kailua-Kona and Hilo. Good restaurants are only three miles away. Neighboring houses are quite a distance away, and the neighborhood is quiet and safe.

The ocean view is spectacular, and in the winter months you can watch the humpback whales right from the lanai. Sunsets are beautiful, and some times you will even catch a green flash.

Home away from home: The house is very comfortable. Many of our guests say that they feel right at home as soon as they walk in the door. The living room walls are lined with books. Each room has a television (four of which are flat screens) and a VCR/DVD player. You may bring your own DVDs or videos or watch some of the 600 videos available in the house. The living room has satellite TV. The floor plan allows for privacy as well as communal activities.

More Details

Kerrill or Don
Member since: 2002
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 5, 2018

About Kerrill or Don

Don grew up in California, earned his B.S. and M.S. from Stanford University, and his PhD in biology from the University of Chicago. Kerrill moved to California from Michigan. She earned a B.A. from Eastern Michigan University and an M.A. in English literature from California State University in Long Beach. We both finished our teaching careers at Long Beach Polytechnic High School, where we were able to teach the subjects we loved to students who made us laugh and think every day we spent with them.

We built Hale Kephart in 1989 during nine weeks of our summer vacation with the help of family and friends. We enjoyed staying in the house during spring, winter, and summer breaks for 14 years. Then we retired and built our current residence on the same five acres as the vacation rental and thus began another chapter in our lives.

Hawaii is our home now, and we cannot imagine wanting to live anywhere else. We love the climate, the dark and quiet nights, the fresh air, the ever-changing views of ocean, mountains, and sky. We have embraced the aloha spirit and the whole concept of ohana.

We also love the people. We have made friends from many walks of life; each one of them has enriched in our lives in some meaningful way. Some of them have been guests at our vacation rental who kept coming back until our relationship metamorphosed into a deep friendship. Others we met while writing articles for the local newspaper or playing tennis at Mauna Kea's Seaside Tennis Club. Most we met through other friends.

Our lives have developed a rhythm to them that is both interesting and comfortable. Every year we take at least one trip to the mainland to touch bases with friends and family. Almost every other year we take a longer trip. We have enjoyed sojourns in Alaska, Australia, New England, Washington D.C, New Zealand, Micronesia, and the Pacific Northwest. We have seen spectacular places and had breathtaking experiences, but we are always glad to come home.

Kerrill or Don purchased this house in 1989

Why Kerrill or Don chose Kohala Estates

Our son taught high-school mathematics for a year in Kona. We came out during spring break to see him and to see the Big Island--the only major Hawaiian island we had not visited. We fell in love with the spaciousness and the diversity of the island and kept finding ourselves drawn to Hapuna Beach, which is six miles south of us.

A few years later we came back and stayed at Puako. We began looking for property. Kerrill kept coming back to a windswept, almost barren piece of land on a hillside in the Kohala Estates. Don finally said, "If you can find anything green on that lot, I'll consider buying it with you." We are not sure that we ever did find anything green--only sere buffle grass and dead kiawe trees. But we kept coming back because the view was better than anywhere else we had looked. And, finally, the land spoke to Don, too, and we put in an offer.

Our offer was refused because someone else offered more money--in cash. It turned out he didn't really have the cash, so he agreed to sell us five of the nine acres if we would float him a second mortgage so that he could come up with the money on the day escrow closed. We both knew the owner would come to realize that his asking price was below market and we might not be able to afford what it was really worth. So we loaned him the money, and right after escrow closed for him, he sold us the bottom five acres.

We've never regretted it. We enjoyed the vacation rental for 14 years and then built our retirement home behind it on the same lot.

When we are not traveling or maintaining the property, we enjoy reading and writing--we have a library of close to 12,000 books. Don does woodworking, builds model wooden ships, makes and shoots off rockets, hunts feral goats and pigs, makes knives, and enjoys photography. Kerrill enjoys tennis and gardening. We both like to take out our Boston Whaler, especially when the humpbacks are here.

What makes this house unique

The unique benefits are self-explanatory to anyone who has visited our property. It enjoys an ideal location and an especially beautiful view. It is in a quiet neighborhood, one that so far has been so safe that most of our neighbors don't bother to lock their homes and cars. Besides, where else can you watch whales breaching against the backdrop of a full-sky sunset from your own front porch?

When we return to the mainland--as much as we enjoy seeing family and friends and taking in some of what it has to offer (theater, museums, specialty stores, national parks, restaurants, swap meets, etc.)--we soon become a little homesick. We especially appreciate the lower population density here. A traffic jam here would be considered a mild slowdown in most parts of Southern California.

When we are away we find ourselves missing the raucous calls of the gray francolins in the mornings, the trade winds blowing (sometimes gusting) through our palm trees and making their clattering fronds sound like falling rain, the panoramic and ever-changing vista that our eyes drink in as we look in any direction. We miss the fragrance of plumerias and gardenias, the bright and gaudy colors of the hibiscus and plumbagos and poincianas. We miss the fresh and soft air. We even miss the physical labor that it takes to keep up two houses and five acres of land.

We like to think that we have been here long enough now to consider ourselves kama'aina even though we weren't born here.


Kohala Estates House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2300 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 16
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Near The Ocean ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Rural
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telephone
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Freezer ...
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Microwave ...
  • Mini Refrigerator
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 14 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • Bathrooms are also well-ventilated with windows and ceiling fans.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 16
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , 1 sleep sofa /futon
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen , 1 baby crib
    Bedroom 5 - 1 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon
  • Bedrooms are all roomy and well-ventilated with windows and ceiling fans. Beds are relatively new, and mattresses are firm. All of them are next to a bathroom. We sometimes accommodate more than 16 people by using cots and air mattresses. Each bedroom has a TV monitor and a DVD player.
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • Books for Kids
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Games for Kids
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys ...
  • VCR ...
  • Video Library ...
  • Barbecue
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Binoculars
  • Golf ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Large Cooler
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Small Cooler
  • Tennis ...
  • Unscreened Porch / Veranda
  • Water Sports Gear ...
  • Wood Deck
  • 20 beach chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • arboretum
  • botanical garden
  • caves
  • churches
  • forests
  • health/beauty spa
  • live theater
  • marina
  • playground
  • reefs
  • restaurants
  • ruins
  • volcano
  • waterfalls
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • horseback riding
  • luaus
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shelling
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • spelunking
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • wind-surfing
Kitchen has more than enough dishes, glassware, flatware, cooking utensils, cutlery, and linens to host a large party. It also has a bar-sized refrigerator as well as a full-sized refrigerator with freezer and ice-maker. It has almost any small appliance you would want to use on a vacation as well as two microwave ovens. The front lanai is 84' x 10' feet and has three tables, 14 chairs, a couple of hammocks, and a barbecue. It also has a beautiful ocean view, which is visible also from the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(34 traveler reviews)

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Kepharts' Hawaiian Ocean-view Hale
average rating of 4.9117646 based on 34 reviews
Plamer Alaska

Best family vacation rental we’ve ever had!

  • 5 of 5

We were a multi generational family. Tutu and Poppi and two adult family with two two year olds and two four year olds. The house has everything as far as spices, baggies, cook wear, bbq, beach stuff and the keiki loved loved the toys. After beach days bringing out a different toy box each day after nap was amazing. We know the area well and for parking we hit all the local beaches that are so close, Spencer’s, Mauna Kea, Haupuna and kukio baby beach. Two keiki parks we enjoyed were one in Waimea and kamehameha community park. Great for all ages and we even watched a baseball game. We mostly cooked n bbq at the house but you must go to cafe pesto, bamboo and the seafood place. The shaved ice place was a delight and trust me we went a lot! The whale viewing was wonderful from the lani. We had friends over twice and the house is huge so cooking and enjoying food on the lani was very relaxing. Go to the botonical garden one day, very nice and the host taught us sooo much. Don and Kerril were very easy to communicate with and where there if we needed anything and great about letting our family feel at home. We love North Kohala and soon within the year may be moving to the area, we go every yr for a month or so and have visited friends and stayed for long period of time on all sides of the island n vrbo and Airbnb. The kephart house is on my top three list now! It is comfortable, clean, relaxing for family’s of all ages and tons of room for all! Once you see what’s there just make a Costco run n your set! Forget Kona and all that crazy tourist crap! The lil fruit stand down by blue dragon has every fruit n veggies you need. Hawi farmers market on sat was perfect for us too! Do the zip line, we babysat and the adult kids went and had a ball. Even tough there are TVs in each room we rarely watched them. The bird and ocean and many books were relaxing. Some of us painted and scetched. Oh n the geckos! Great kid fun. Each day we put a small piece of papaya out on a table n they would entertain us feeding. One day we filled a cooler with water n bought squirt guns and had a lovely time in the big parking space having a water fight and refilling from the cooler. One more thing with the toys.... there is a treasure chest of blocks. Even if your all adults have fun n build something. Lol! Each night I’d build a huge castle and tell the kids the lil menehune built it! The Kephart house is the Ono place to rent! So do it!!!! Pick Kephart house!!!! Much Mahalo

  • Submitted: Mar 4, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

Great place

  • 5 of 5

We found everything as expected or better. Our group of 15 plus 6 that joined us from another property for a couple meals had enough room. All appliance were in good condition. Beds were comfortable including sofa sleepers.Good supply of towels. Great selection of DVDs and books. Owners were good to work with. I had an opportunity to meet the owners and enjoyed our visit.Good people.

  • Submitted: Feb 18, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are always happy when our guests are happy.
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0 0

Wonderful home, had a great stay.

  • 5 of 5

Lovely home, plenty of space. For the most part, there were only two of us using the home, but I could see where there would be plenty of room for a larger crowd. Our time was spent on the beautiful deck watching for whales. The home had everything you could think of in the way of dishes, appliances, sheets, towels, etc. The rooms were good sized and inviting. Decor was homey and comfortable. Had an issue with the TV and needed a new mattress pad, but Don and Kerrill (lovely people) answered our concerns quickly. Would recommend this home for anyone. Bill and Diane Mueller Jan. 25-Feb 2, 2018

  • Submitted: Feb 17, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: We appreciated Bill and Diane's patience with the two issues they mentioned. Even though both have been resolved, we regret any inconvenience they (or any of our guests) may have experienced. We are grateful when guests call our attention to problems because otherwise we may not even know they exist and thus cannot correct them. We live close by and try to resolve issues as quickly as we can.
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  • 5 of 5

Just an all around beautiful stay! I initially planned for a work trip with our staff, however when reading how kid friendly the property was, one which btw the owners have put so much love and care into, I just had to bring our two daughters!! The sunsets, the patio, the panoramic ocean views...we will definitely be back!! It was wonderful and even with six adults and two kids, not once did I ever feel on top of anyone. Wonderful,

Wonderful property!!

  • Submitted: Jan 21, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm so glad Lorrie and her group had such an enjoyable time. We look forward to their return.
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0 0

Plenty of room for 13 friends to set up home base here for a week

  • 4 of 5

This place was absolutely perfect. Had 13 friends set up base camp here for the week to celebrate 2 birthdays. The home had plenty of space for everyone and plenty of parking for the 4 cars and 2 scooters. Was stocked with everything we could possibly need for the week including stuff pans and mixers to make a bday cake. The pictures really don't do it justice. The lanai was a magical place to to gather and watch the whales playing. Binoculars were even provided to get a better view. Don and Merrill were great hosts. We couldnt find the hammocks on the first night. I emailed them that night and they brought them down first thing in the morning. Only "real problem" was the patchy internet via Wi-Fi. Honestly it wasn't that bigot a deal for any of us cause we didn't visit Hawaii to hang out on the internet. I'm sure had I contacted them they would have fixed it right away but again for us it wasn't a big deal. The big island was also a lot bigger than I expected so if you plan on doing a lot of things in Kona or Hilo plan for at least an hour commute which made the scooters not super practical but also meant a lot more adventuring. The house was absolutely perfect for us and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for letting us call it home for the week. I will definitely be back! 🤙?

  • Submitted: Jan 18, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We are so glad that Keith's group had such a good time and that the house exceeded their expectations. We hadn't realized the Internet reception was patchy; it just isn't as reliable here on the Big Island as we would like it to be. We look forward to seeing Keith and his friends on their next visit.
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Apple Valley, California

Second stay in 6 months

  • 5 of 5

This is the second time that we have utilized Kepharts' Hale. The first time was in April when we were there visiting family. We had a party of 6, all adults, and the layout of the house allowed everyone to have their own personal space. I then secured the hale once more for more extended family to stay in, again, another party of six adults and again, the layout made it possible for everyone to feel like they weren't cramped. The location is close to the best beaches on the Big Island and we love staying away from the hustle and bustle of Kona Town.

  • Submitted: Oct 16, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
30 Miles
Kailua-Kona International
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Seafood Bar and Grill
Nearest Golf
5 Miles
Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Nearest Motorway
3 Miles
Rte #19 and Rte #270
Nearest Restaurant
3 Miles
Cafe Pesto
Nearest Beach
3 Miles
Spencer Beach Park
Car: necessary

The house is located on the Kohala Coast just three miles north of Kawaihae: The scenery is breathtaking---five volcanoes in view plus the Kona Coast to the south and the Kohala Coast to the north. The climate is nearly perfect--warm and breezy and dry. Snorkeling is wonderful along the Kohala coast because a coral reef extends out several hundred feet. You can watch the humpbacks breach and blow right from the roadside or the lanai during the winter months. Several premiere golf courses, beaches, and restaurants are within a short drive. The night sky is a gorgeous star scape. The rugged Kohala coast is a spectacular example of Hawaii as it was before it became so developed in other areas.

Hale Kephart is ideally located--45 minutes from Kailua-Kona, 20 minutes from Waimea (Kamuela), 20 minutes from Hawi and Kapa'au, 90 minutes from Hilo, and 120 minutes from Volcanoes National Park. In Kawaihae, there are several restaurants and two shave-ice vendors. Da Fish House sells fresh fish from local catches of the day. Kawaihae also has a dive shop and dive boat, a charter fishing boat, and a whale-watching or dolphin-watching boat that also offers sunset cruises.

Two helicopter-tour companies are only six and twelve miles away. Fixed-wing tours are available at Kailua-Kona Airport.

Some of the activities that our guests have raved about include:

professional snorkel and dive trips

zip-line adventures over rain forests and waterfalls

tours to the top of Mauna Kea, near to the top of Hualalai, into

the rain forest, into Waipio Valley

hikes along the coast, in the rain forest, and on the mountain


a flume tour through the Kohala Ditch system

a manta-ray dive at night

a charter fishing trip

ATV tours in North Kohala

horseback riding on local ranchlands

visits to coffee farms, a vanilla farm, and a chocolate farm

an over-night trip to Volcanoes National Park to allow time for

hiking and sightseeing

sampling the boutiques and restaurants in Hawi and Kapa'au in North Kohala or at the major hotels in South Kohala

visiting the museums--Lyman, Imiola, Kona Historic Society

visiting Hualalai Palace and the historic Mokuaikaua Church in

Kailua Kona

parasailing or jetskiing off the pier in Kailua-Kona

kayaking in the bays at Puako or Kealakakua

doing a circle drive around the island, allowing time to stop for

scenic views and to visit interesting spots

visiting Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden

buying a day pass at the Waikaloa Hilton and swimming in their

pools and enjoying their monorail, shops, and restaurants

driving to the top of the island and walking down into Pololu


walking the beaches at Koloko-Honokohau Natiional Park to

check out the sea turtles

walking down to Kiholo Bay to swim in a freshwater cave, check

out the king's and queen's baths, and to swim in a turquoise


boogie-boarding at Hapuna Beach

visiting the tide pools and enjoying swimming, snorkeling, and

reading beneath the shade of kiawe trees at Wailea State Beach


having lunch at the Lava Lava Beach Club right on the sand

visiting historic Pu'ukahala National Park only three miles away

visiting the Mauna Kea Visitors' Center and looking through

their telescopes at night

joining a bird-watching tour

taking a commercial snorkeling tour either out of Honokohau

Harbor or Ke'eau Bay

golfing at either the hotels' courses or at some of the municipal

courses nearby

taking a commercial snorkeling/adventure inflatable-raft tour out

of either Honokohau Harbor or Ke'eau Bay

taking advantage of the good food and live music at the Blue

Dragon Restaurant in Kawaihae and the Bamboo Restaurant

in Hawi

taking in some of the free concerts at the Kings Shops and the

Queens Marketplace

booking a bicycle tour

attending some of the performances at the Kahilu Theatre in

Waimea, the People's Theater in Hanaka'a, the school theaters

in Waimea, and the Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu

taking the time at night to watch the sunset, the possible green

flash, and the star-and-moon show

going to a luau or a clambake at a local hotel

taking a lava-boat tour

taking aerial tours of the volcano, the Kohala coast, or the

entire island

signing up in season for a whale-watching cruise

visiting Kona Bay or Hilo Bay Used Book Stores

participating in local events, such as farmers' markets and

rodeos and craft fairs

paddling at the Kawaihae Canoe Club--they welcome newbies

swimming with the dolphins at the Waikaloa Hilton

walking and picnicking in Waimea Park


visiting the Isaacs Art Gallery in Waimea

snorkeling offshore from Puako, the Mauna Lani hotels, Mauna

Kea Beach Hotel, Mahu Kona

visiting Lapikahi State Park, an ancient fishing village

family golfing at the inexpensive six-hole course

in Kamehameha Park

playing tennis at Waimea Park or at Kamehameha Park

sampling microbreweries in Kona and Waimea

wine-tasting at the Volcano Winery

reading a book in the hammock on the lanai




Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $400
cleaning $500 + Tax
Tax Rate 14.41%

We ask for a booking deposit of 25% of the total of the basic rent to reserve the property. The balance of the rent plus the taxes and cleaning/security deposit are due 30 days before arrival. If you cancel, we will retain the booking deposit unless we are able to re-rent the house.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.