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Beautiful Ohana with Swimming Pool in Historic Estate

Keaau, HI, USA
  • House1500 sqft
  • Bedrooms2
  • Sleeps4
  • Bathrooms2
  • Half Baths0
  • Minimum Stay4 nights

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, warm water ponds, hiking, the historical villages of Kea'au, Pahoa and Kapoho area with it's wonderful snorkeling spots.

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."

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.
Response rate:
Response time:
within a few hours
english, german, italian
Calendar last updated:
Apr 21, 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.


    • Internet
    • Air Conditioning
    • Swimming pool
    • Satellite or Cable
    • Washer & Dryer
    • Parking
    • TV
    • No Smoking


      • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 4
        • Queen size Beds (in both)


        • 2 Bathrooms
          • showers

          Location Type

            • Ocean View


                • Adventure
                • Away From It All
                • Family
                • Historic
                • Romantic
                • Tourist Attractions


                    • Guests provide their own meals


                        • Iron & Board
                        • Air Conditioning
                          Ceiling fans and moveable fans only
                        • Clothes Dryer
                        • Covered Parking
                        • Hair Dryer
                        • Internet
                        • Broadband Access
                        • Linens Provided
                        • Living Room
                        • Parking
                        • Towels Provided
                        • Washing Machine
                          In the basement of the main house
                        • Wireless Internet
                          WIFI password is 'internet'.


                            • Kitchen
                            • Catering Available
                            • Cooking Utensils
                            • Dishes & Utensils
                            • Dishwasher
                            • Ice Maker
                            • Coffee Maker
                            • Microwave
                            • Oven
                              glass top
                            • Pantry Items
                              Salt, pepper, sugar, tee etc.
                            • Refrigerator
                            • Stove
                            • Toaster


                                • Dining
                                • Dining Area
                                • comfy seating for 4 people


                                    • Books
                                    • Satellite / Cable
                                      Oceanic Time Warner Cable
                                    • Television
                                      Smart TV with Netflix access


                                        • Bicycles
                                          at request
                                        • Deck / Patio
                                        • Lanai / Gazebo
                                        • Lawn / Garden
                                        • Outdoor Grill
                                          at request


                                            • not suitable for children
                                            • wheelchair inaccessible

                                              Pool / Spa

                                                • Private Pool
                                                  Saltwater pool


                                                    • botanical garden
                                                    • churches
                                                    • cinemas
                                                    • library
                                                    • live theater
                                                    • marina
                                                    • museums
                                                    • playground
                                                    • restaurants
                                                    • zoo

                                                      Leisure Activities

                                                        • scenic drives
                                                        • beachcombing
                                                        • boating
                                                        • horseback riding
                                                        • luaus
                                                        • outlet shopping
                                                        • photography
                                                        • bird watching
                                                        • shopping
                                                        • shuffleboard
                                                        • sight seeing
                                                        • walking
                                                        • whale watching
                                                        • wildlife viewing

                                                          Local Services & Businesses

                                                            • ATM/bank
                                                            • groceries
                                                            • laundromat
                                                            • medical services

                                                              Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                                • mountain biking
                                                                • cycling
                                                                • equestrian events
                                                                • fishing
                                                                • fly fishing
                                                                • golf
                                                                • hiking
                                                                • jet skiing
                                                                • kayaking
                                                                • deepsea fishing
                                                                • pier fishing
                                                                • sailing
                                                                • scuba diving or snorkeling
                                                                • snorkeling
                                                                • snorkeling/diving
                                                                • surfing
                                                                • swimming
                                                                • tennis


                                                                    • Coolers, boogie boards, etc. available upon request.

                                                                      House Rules

                                                                      Check-in: Flexible

                                                                      Check-out: Flexible

                                                                      Cancellation Policy

                                                                      100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date. 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date. You must contact the owner directly to request cancellation.

                                                                      29 Reviews


                                                                      Latest reviews

                                                                      Unique Experience in Gorgeous Setting

                                                                      Jane D.

                                                                      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!

                                                                      Even better than we had hoped for

                                                                      Kendra H.

                                                                      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.

                                                                      Enjoyed our stay in this guest house

                                                                      John A.

                                                                      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.

                                                                      A little of old Hawaii

                                                                      Larry T.

                                                                      A wonderful host, the grounds were wonderful with room to walk around with chickens, other wildlife and birds, and fresh fruit picked off the tree. Easy access to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the southeast part of the island (Hilo to Naalehu).

                                                                      A unique place with a gracious host!

                                                                      Jed F.Minneapolis, USA

                                                                      This cottage in the jungle is truly unique and historic. If you love history, privacy and antiques this place will hold your interest! The cottage has been restored but almost everything is original still including the runny plate glass windows and French front porch doors. The property and main house are an amazing trip back in time. There are lots of beautiful chickens to watch grazing in the yard and fruit trees to pick fresh fruit from. The jungle is all around and yet the grocery store and many attractions are only minutes away. Truly unique! Thank you Gisella!

                                                                      Delightful Hawaiian experience

                                                                      Peter G.

                                                                      This ohana is a unique property, located on the spacious grounds of an old Hawaiian estate. There are many positives, starting with the gracious owner who lives in the main house (and brought us a bowl of freshly collected eggs one evening.) There are two large bedrooms on either side of the ohana, each with a spacious bath with a walk-in closet. The kitchen is well-equipped, with an unusually extensive set of good quality pots and pans, many dishes and utensils, and even a cocktail shaker. The Wi-Fi was fast and reliable. The setting is incredibly private (you won't mind that the curtains don't fully cover the windows). There is absolutely no noise from the road or neighbors (although the coqui frogs make quite a racket in the evening--annoyingly, so do the roosters, starting at 3 AM). The location (6 miles south of downtown Hilo) is convenient, and there is a Foodland grocery nearby. The sparkling pool would be inviting in warmer weather. The front porch is a delightful place to spend quiet time with one of the many books or magazines provided by the owner.

                                                                      Negatives are few. One of the beds squeaked loudly with any movement, and the water flow in one shower was insufficient. One window couldn't be closed, and others couldn't be latched. The living room comfortably seats only three. Oddly, although many esoteric supplies were provided, there were no tissues. Although several spices were on the counter and several sauces in the refrigerator, there was no salt, pepper, or cooking oil.

                                                                      The biggest problem was dealing with VRBO, which inexplicably changed the dates and length of our reservation on the final bill (although the owner continued to expect us on the originally planned dates.) The owner was apparently unable or get this corrected. It took me 40 minutes on the phone, escalating the matter to a supervisor, to get the matter resolved.

                                                                      This property offers a Hawaiian experience from another era. The arrangement with separated bedrooms, each with an en suite bathroom, is ideal for two couples traveling together. If we were to return to Hilo, I'd clearly consider staying here again--although I'd certainly book it through a different agency instead of VRBO.


                                                                      Keaau, HI, USA

                                                                      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

                                                                      Additional information about rental rates

                                                                      Cleaning Fee
                                                                      Additional Guest Fee
                                                                      Tax Rate
                                                                      29 Reviews
                                                                      Exceptional 5/5
                                                                      Premier Partner
                                                                      Enter dates for accurate pricing
                                                                      For booking assistance, call 888-640-7927

                                                                      Property # 95530