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I knew from the pictures that the view was beautiful and the location allowed us equal access to Hilo and Kailua-Kona as well as a less 'touristy' home base. When we arrived, the other 3 memebers of our party were awestruck by the views from our lanai. I had seen the pictures while booking, so you would think I was prepared for what we would see...I wasn't. We watched the sun come up in the east every morning (thanks to the 5 hour time difference between Hawaii and home) we were in bed shortly after dark and awake before dawn. It was like watching the sun gild the cliffs and ocean every morning. The house sits just east of the mouth of the Waipi'o Valley and you look down on the sheltered cove of beach there. You are also quite literally down the street from the road that will take you to the floor of the Waipi'o Valley and you can drive your own 4-wheel drive (an absolute must! don't try it without!) you can walk down to the valley and beach or take one of the tour buses (recommended!) that meet at and leave from the local Valley Arts Gallery owned and operated by the Cliffhouse owner, Richard. As your eyes move west past the mouth of the valley, two waterfalls are visible cascading over the cliffs to the rocky beach below. (if you use the binoculars provided on the coffee table, you can see a third waterfall in the distance) Continue looking west at the rocky cliffs and notice the huge dark presence to the north and west and realize you are looking at Maui. After having circumnavigated the Big Island, driven to the top of Mauna Kea, crossed from Hilo to Kona, I really believe the best view of Hawaii is on the lanai of the Cliffhouse! (or maybe a helicopter, but I don't think they'll let me wake up in the sky every morning...) As for the Cliffhouse itself, the views are spectacular from inside as well. The larger bedroom has lanai access and lots of room, the living room and kitchen have spectacular picture windows. Things I was happy to see, but didn't expect:a cooler, backpack, 5 beach towels. Richard provided us with a beautiful welcom basket with the best banana bread you will ever eat. Local places to try:Tex Drive-in and Country Market. The organic grass-fed beef from Country Market is stellar and both Country Market's meat and Tex's malasadas were recommended from residents in Hilo and Kona! You will not be disappointed with Cliffhouse or the Big Island!!