Coconut Palms

Part of any adventure with me is getting to do something different each time. Each trip brings new activities, and each car ride takes a different route. You see, doing the same thing every day is not vacation; its called every day. So on my family vacations, we tend to try new things and new places every time, even if we are going to the same place again (like Hawaii!). And that extends to lodging.

I’ve found vacation lodging on Craigslist before, and still think it’s a fantastic way to find a good deal for just about anything. As with any type of discount travel, you need to be a little bit flexible; most of the good deals will be last minute specials. If you have the need to play a particular golf course or are looking for full room service and a massage every day, go ahead and pay $300 per night for one of the many fine resorts. I prefer to find a house for rent. I like having the full kitchen (preparing your own food is a great money-saver) and the privacy that a rental house offers.

vacation rentalThis trip I found a house in Kalapana-Seaview in Kalapana, which is near Pahoa. We stayed at the Coconut Palms vacation rental. The house is about a half-hour drive from Hilo and Seaview is right on the coast on Kapoho-Kalapana Road/HI 137. I contacted Andre through the property website from the Craigslist ad, and Andre contacted me within about 20 minutes. We worked out the pricing and schedule and I got a 10% discount for paying with a credit card. All done within about 10 minutes. I had a receipt and directions to the house in my inbox within another 10 minutes. Very fast!

I was warned that the house could be a little tricky to find, and Andre offered to meet us up the road at a very visible landmark, but we had no problem finding the house. The only problem was there is no cell phone reception anywhere near the house, so we had to backtrack a bit to get signal enough to let Andre know we were here. Once connection was made, we met at the house and got the keys and a quick tour – 5 minutes tops.

The first night we stayed in 2 separate rooms. Each room has its own bathroom, mini-fridge and microwave. One room with 1 bed and the other with 2, it was perfect for the family. The rooms are connected by the lanai on the outside and a hallway on the inside. The deal was we would rent the 2 rooms for the first night, then move into the main house for the rest of our stay. Since we were getting in so late, there was no problem with that arrangement as the family was ready for bed by the time we got there anyway.

The next day we moved into the rental house, which is across the indoor hallway and takes up half of the first and second floors. The house is a 2 bedroom 2 bath and is about 1400 sq ft. As with most rental vacation houses, it was fully furnished with bedding, dishes and household furniture. This house went beyond that to provide toiletries and it’s own washer and dryer. There are even bikes in the garage for your use. (yes, we tried them out)

You can rent the house or individual rooms, and we took one of the extra rooms for one night. We didn’t really need the space, but took it anyway. Why not stretch out a little when you can? Especially on vacation!

One of the best features of the house is the view. From the lanai, accessible to the rental rooms and the main house, you have a pretty good view of the ocean. The neighborhood is quiet and very beautiful. Take a walk or drive down a few of the nearby streets and you will see a very wide variety of architectures. Very cool.

The house gets water from a rain catchment system, so there is a large storage tank on the side of the house. The water is treated by 3 different filtration systems and is good to drink and fantastic for showering.

The only part we didn’t like about the house was the lack of connectivity. ¬† Andre warned us ahead of time, but the location and price had us staying here anyway. ¬†There is a satellite dish for the TV and a regular land line telephone, but that’s it. There is no cell reception (the nearest place with reception is nearly a mile away) and no high-speed internet. I was was able to tap into an unprotected wifi, but almost always had to be in one corner of the lanai or by the kitchen window to get signal. If you don’t mind working a little for your connectivity, this is a fantastic deal in a beautiful location.

Overall it has been a very nice stay. Andre is very friendly, responsive and easy to work with. The house is very clean, open, airy and has an excellent view. The price is very reasonable and the view is fantastic. If you are looking to stay on the East side of the big island, I recommend you check out the Coconut Palms.

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