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."