|Space||2,300 sq. ft.|
|Minimum Stay||3 nights|
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.
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
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.
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.
We chose this rental because we needed room for 7 adults, two kids and a baby! We also had our youngest son's wedding rehearsal dinner at the rental with approval. The place has everything you need to cook and entertain many people. A caterer's dream! There wasn't anything we couldn't find for all of the cooking and cleaning!
We had a lovely time watching sunsets every night. The gardens are amazing! We are recyclers so the fact that they cater to that option as well is a huge plus for us.
Huge wrap around lanai gave the 4 year old twins a track to race around!
All in all, a fab place to stay. Didn't need for anything the whole time!
Spent a few days at close-by Hapuna Beach, the wedding party all stayed at Hapuna Prince Resort so it was nice to be nearby.
Loved reading about the building of the house and the comments left by other guests.
Thanks Kerrill and Don!
When I first walk into the house, I thought I went into a library. Very spacious and organized. We are able to find everything we need, suck as spice, zipbag, surf board, beach chair, umbrella and much more. The kids are so happy they get to watch DVD that they chose for themselves. The most important thing is the property is close to mauna key beach which we went a few times because kids love that beach.
We chose this house for our family vacation based on the location and previous reviews. After our week there, I can say without hesitation that we chose the right place. The house itself was perfect for our large group. I absolutely loved the layout of the house - very light and open. This house is not a new build, but it is very well maintained. The view from the lanai was amazing. Many of us enjoyed quiet time with our coffee (or adult beverage in the evening) at one of the many patio tables. I cooked several meals while there and never had an issue finding what I needed in the way of kitchen supplies. Also, in addition to all the books and movies, we were very appreciative of the flashlights, binoculars, ice chests and boogie boards provided. Don and Kerrill have truly thought of everything!
As far as the location goes, there were some great beaches nearby. We covered many highlights of the island during our week there (Pololu Valley Lookout, Captain Cook, Volcano, Hilo, Mauna Kea Observatory) all on day trips. Waimea seemed to be the best place to go for supplies if you didn't want to drive all the way back to Kailua-Kona.
Finally, I want give a shout out to Don and Kerrill! They were the perfect hosts. They were there when we needed them, yet not intrusive in any way. We had a person with mobility issues in our party and they went above and beyond to accommodated her needs. They also kindly shipped some items back to me after I absentmindedly forgot them when packing up!
Mahalo Don and Kerrill! We miss Hale Kephart already!
The house is fantastic for a group with 5 bedrooms, and has all the little things you may have forgot to pack. The views are amazing, and a great location. The wrap around deck is a perfect little track for kids. I would recommend going to the house before hitting stores up for shopping and groceries. We doubled up on a lot of things they are nice enough to have at the home for guest use. I would highly recommend staying here and we intend on returning.
I could sit on the lanai with a view of Mauna Kea, cool breezes off the ocean, and cooing birds all day, and feel good about it. Comfortable house with anything you might need at hand, perfect place for a quiet relaxing stay. Nearby beaches are nice. The house is on the dry side, but sits amid a forest of palms and shrubs maintained with irrigation, so the lanai views are fringed in green. The house is high ceilinged and open, the living room is lined with books and videos, But we spent our time at the tables (5) and chairs on the lanai. Kephart's Hale is really about being away from the hubbub.
Don and Kerril have a fantastic place. We hosted a large family group and enjoyed a wonderful stay. The lanai is a perfect place to hang out with a superb view. Well equipped and comfortable. Mahalo Don and Kerril.
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
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
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
taking in some of the free concerts at the Kings Shops and the
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
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
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly *||Event|
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
|Notes: Rates are based on 10 guests; add $10 per night, per additional guest|
|Refundable damage deposit||$400|
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.
* Approximate monthly rate. Actual rate will depend on the days of the month you stay.