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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Beautiful Ohana with Swimming Pool in Historic Estate

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,500 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 4 nights


About the property

Country living in former sugar plantation ambiance.

Enter the magnificent Royal Palm lined drive and experience Big Island history. Enjoy the unique ambiance of this one of a kind grounds of the former Ola’a Sugar Plantation residence and its directors cottage, now the guest house.

It has been completely and tastefully restored. The floors and walls are still preserved in the original 120-year-old redwood and it has been refurbished with new tropical island and teak furnishing. It features two twin master bedrooms, both with queen-sized beds, with wood and marble bathrooms. It also includes a fully equipped kitchen with all appliances.

From the verandah you enjoy the expanse of a large front lawn with the swimming pool and a view of the Pacific Ocean in the distance.

The property is not suited for toddlers and small children. The nearness of the pool and the old brick walkway to the cottage which is uneven and slippery when wet, are of danger.

It is also not ideal for people who are sensitive to the night noises (tree frogs, roosters, screeching owls etc). Since it sits in the middle of a rainforest with no fencing around, wildlife is roaming it freely.

It is also not ideal for people who are used to live in the city and afraid of the dark and open country.


Centrally located on the east side of the Big Island, you will be convenient to Hilo, Kilauea Volcano National Park, the snowy summit of the Mauna Kea observatories, Onizuka Center for International Astronomy, black sand beaches, tropical gardens, waterfalls, hiking, the historical villages of Kea'au, Pahoa and Kapoho area where the hot ponds have succumbed to the new lava flow.

Just a 1 mile distance covers all your shopping needs at the Keaau shopping center and the daily Keaau farmers market. It is also not far to downtown Hilo, its shops and shopping centers and the famous Hilo farmers market (10 to 20 minutes).

To Hilo beaches it is 10 to 15 minutes, as well as to rainbow falls.

The distance to the historical village of Pahoa and Kapoho area with it's black sand beaches, warm water ponds, hiking and excursions to the lava flows, is 30 to 40 minutes.

To Hawaii Volcanoes National Park the ride is 30 minutes, to the snowy summits of Mauna Kea and its observatories about one hour.

The guest house is also ideal for those who just need peace and quiet and want to enjoy absolute privacy and just take walks through the beautiful 9.5 acres of lush tropical grounds with flowers (orchids, ginger blossoms, magnolias, plumerias etc.), fruit trees, rare plants and trees. The town's largest Banyan tree and Elephant Ear trees are dwarfing the house and lawn.

The mango forest hides the remains of an ancient heiau.


The residence was built by and for the first manager of Ola’a Sugar, Mr. F.B. McStocker. He planted the large Banyan tree in 1902.

He had a horse drawn lawn mower. He built a wine cellar in the basement which is still in existence.

The Main House, nineteenth century Queen Anne architecture, has been used in many photography sessions for movies, recordings, magazines, books and commercials.

A 1950’s photo is shown in the book “The Hawaiians”.

At times it was also the home of Herbert Shipman, who was known to have saved the nene bird from extinction (Hawaii's State bird). He also played an important role in bringing the orchid Industry to Hawaii. His passion for exotic plants is still noticeable to the present day, as there are shrubs and trees and grasses on the property, not seen anywhere else.

Herbert also used to hold parties for all the prominent people of his time, who came visit the Island. The Roosevelt's, Rockefeller, movie stars, and the legendary Amelia Earhart are known to have graced the residence with their presence.

(Ref. Emmett Cahill 'The Shipmans of East Hawaii')

After the plantation closed and sold the residence in the early 1980’s, it fell in disrepair until the present owners acquired it and worked for several years to restore it to its original beauty.

There is also a rich spiritual history dating back to ancient Hawaiian legends and fairytales. The most known is of the Hawaiian Princess La'ieikawaii, finding refuge in a place called Paliuli.

The Hawaiian movie Choreographer Henry Pa, recounts in an interview: "When I was involved in the movie, "Bird of Paradise," my grandmother Grace Kealiiaua Pa told me to go to the island of Hawaiʻi, to Olaʻa, at Keʻeau. I was to sit beneath a certain tree, which was the birthplace of my grandfather and his former home. There I was to gaze out at the water and look for two stones, one of which was Hiʻiaka-ika-poli-o-Pele, and the other was Lohiau. I was to meditate on the task before me. By doing this, I would receive the strength and inspiration that I needed to choreograph the dance scene for this movie."

More Details

Property Manager
Gisella Coleman
Member since: 2006
Premier Partner

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

Speaks: english, german, italian
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
August 19, 2018

What makes this house unique

The unique and special aspect of our location is, that we are very central to everything, yet very private, an oasis of peace and quiet in the middle of modern day conveniences.


Keaau House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: Flexible
  • /
  • Check-out: Flexible
  • Max. occupancy: 4
  • Min. age of primary renter: 8
  • Not suitable for children ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
  • Please avoid anything that creates mildew, like wet hair on the pillows and wet things in cupboards and drawers.
  • Do not keep the lights on all night (attracts noisy tree frogs and bugs)
  • Avoid ants and bugs by not keeping open food containers in the kitchen.
Location Type:
  • Ocean View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Broadband Access ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Covered Parking
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
  • Catering Available
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 -
    Bathroom 2 -
  • showers
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
  • Queen size Beds (in both)
  • Books
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television
  • Bicycles ...
  • Deck / Patio
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • 2 bicycles
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • horseback riding
  • luaus
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • shuffleboard
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
Coolers, boogie boards, etc. available upon request.


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(32 traveler reviews)

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Beautiful Ohana with Swimming Pool in Historic Estate
average rating of 4.96875 based on 32 reviews


  • 5 of 5

We would stay here again in a heartbeat. It was wonderful. We stayed the last week of July and completely enjoyed ourselves. The bungalow is charming, the estate is beautiful, with rambling lawns and flowers everywhere. Gisella, the owner, is gracious and welcoming, and we enjoyed meeting her very much. The bungalow is well stocked with everything you would need. Nice dishes, plenty of towels, sparkling clean. We loved having breakfast on the large front porch, lounging in the plantation chairs, greeting the kitties and Mama chickens with their chicks that come by to say Hi. We liked hearing the coqui frogs in the evening, and it became very musical, soothing, chirpy white noise at night. Great to fall asleep to. Wonderful stay, we loved every minute of it!

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Oceanside, CA

Beautiful jewel in the jungle

  • 5 of 5

We really enjoyed our stay and we took full advantage of many of the amenities. The first night we made brownies. We also used the pool and the bbq. We used both bedrooms (two couples).

Gisella is a wonderful hostess and part of the charm of this place. We would definitely stay here again if our travels bring us back to Hilo and it isn’t booked up.

Close enough to go downtown for dinner or the farmers market. Secluded and private enough that we felt quite peaceful and secure once back from our adventures.

We also enjoyed sitting on the lanai (porch or veranda), drinking tea (or adult beverage of choice) and watching the chickens, pigs and cats roam the grounds.

  • Submitted: May 27, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Oakland CA

Perfect Big Island experience

  • 5 of 5

This Cottage and location perfectly represent the Big Island. It's historic and beautiful and Gisella is a perfect host. She is so gracious and welcoming. Very conveniently located in between the volcano and Hilo and the waterfalls. Obviously it's a little damp because it's the east side of the island, but it's incredibly lush and tropical feeling. The kitchen is fully stocked with condiments and tea and a real coffee maker, and the bathroom has anything you might have accidentally forgotten. The cottage is immaculate. Just know that it is a lot of nature: frogs that sound like birds, chickens everywhere and crowing well before dawn. It took us a night to get used to it because we are from an urban area. But we slept like babies other than the chickens which are actually very sweet except at 6 in the morning. Loved our stay and highly recommend it!

  • Submitted: Apr 28, 2018
  • Stayed: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Unique Experience in Gorgeous Setting

  • 5 of 5

We were delighted by our stay in Gisela's guest cottage on her beautiful estate. The cottage is charming, very clean and well equipped. There's a wonderful veranda to look out over the surrounding gardens with a towering banyan tree, exotic flowering bushes everywhere. Swimming in your own private pool is a joy. The estate is a lovely haven, and it's very well situated to visit the volcano park (about 25 minute drive), Hilo (about 10 minutes away), or Pahoa. Gisela is a perfect host, providing amazing bouquets and fresh eggs and always ready to help while respecting the guests privacy. Such a great experience!

  • Submitted: Apr 14, 2018
  • Stayed: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Enjoyed our stay in this guest house

  • 5 of 5

Enjoyed our stay in this guest house. We stayed 11 nights. Loved the tropical gardens and spacious grounds. The kitchen was well equipped. The bath & bed linens were nice. The photos of the rooms and furniture and house were accurate. Loved sititing on the veranda rain or shine. We enjoyed fresh eggs every morning. Left the windows open all night. Location was great for touring sights on this side of the island. Short drive to restaurants in Hilo. Gisella was an excellent host.

  • Submitted: Feb 25, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Even better than we had hoped for

  • 5 of 5

We recently got back from our vacation at Gisella's property and it was even better than we had imagined. Gisella was a wonderful host - very helpful, communicative, and quick to respond to emails. She was very gracious and even brought us bananas from the trees and eggs from the chickens on the property. As per her description of the property, this is a place of wildlife and nature - this was exactly what we were looking for.

The cottage was immaculate. I have very high standards when it comes to cleanliness and let me tell you, this place was CLEAN. She provided everything we needed - pots and pans, dishes, dish detergent, towels, books on Hawaii, and even coolers to take to the beach.

This property is on the rainier side of the island, but it didn't bother us. It's right by the highway and there are so many things to do in the area that we didn't get to do them all. When it was raining, we just drove somewhere that it wasn't raining on the island. Very convenient and everything you need (grocery stores, drug stores, coffee shopsetc.) is about a 3-minute drive away.

Our favourite part of the property was the frogs, cats, and chickens that you could listen to at night and in the morning. The grounds are incredible all by themselves, and we loved having our morning coffee on the porch while listening to the wildlife.

We were worried that we would be hot with no air conditioning (note that there are many fans and windows), but that was not the case at all. We visited in February and we were not hot once - it cools down in the evening and we were always comfortable.

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about our stay. If you want something that is "away from it all", around nature, not a packed resort, and private, Gisella's place is for you.

  • Submitted: Feb 24, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
8 Miles
Hilo Airport
Nearest Beach
10 Miles
Hilo beaches
Car: necessary

Whale-Watching (winter); Dolphins and Sea Turtles (year round), Water Falls; Lava Flows; Botanical gardens. Warm water ponds and tide pool snorkeling at Kapoho. Horse back Riding; star gazing; boat and helicopter tours.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

cleaning fee $100 + Tax

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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