About this listing
This is a custom designed treehouse, built by the same crew you see in Treehouse Masters on TV. The Jurassic attitude of the rainforest is preserved on the grounds. The Pu'u O'o eruption in East Hawaii does not threaten the treehouse or park access.
Here is the living room. The TV shows video and plays music. The red leather chairs may be rearranged into a love seat for snuggling.
Mahinui Na Lani hangs in ohia trees growing over a lava tube in the rainforest that extends into Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. The treehouse was conceived as a companion to our rainforest pavilion, a Bali style structure a couple of blocks away, intended as an intimate wedding venue. Both may be reserved, and there are a couple of photos of the pavilion included in this series.
The treehouse is accessed via a path that is about 100 meandering feet in the forest, lava boulders set into the side of the lava tube, and ladders. The ascent is somewhat steep once you reach the lava rocks. For your safety and comfort, we provide day packs to transfer whatever clothing is needed for your stay from your luggage into the abode. There is a special recessed corner dedicated to your stuff, with hooks for clothes, and a couple of night stands with drawers that can hold less bulky items. It's Hawaii, and the climate is mild, the atmosphere everywhere very casual. We also provide bathrobes.
The treehouse itself is built on two levels, connected via a ship's ladder. The main level includes the living room, with two chairs and an ottoman, flat screen for viewing films & playing CDs, built in indoor window table & stools, small kitchen, outdoor shower, and composting toilet & vanity. The indoor fireplace is a Jotul propane stove vented to the outside. Outdoors on the lanai there is a cedar hot tub, and a teak table and chairs for al fresco dining in the trees. The upper level is also upper canopy, with birds actually flying around beneath you sometimes. There is a queen sized bed with a memory foam mattress, the tiny "closet corner" and another lanai. The windows other than the french doors onto the lanai are stained glass, made by a local artist.
The house was built primarily of recycled materials. The fir floors and redwood and cedar siding were once a church.
This particular area is adjacent to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where Kilauea has been active for decades. There are hiking trails in and around the park through rainforest, desert, volcanic devastation, even a path with footprints preserved from an eruption over a hundred years ago. There are petroglyphs. Less than a mile from the treehouse there is Volcano Village, with restaurants and art galleries, a couple of places to buy gas. The entrance park itself is about two miles away. The neighborhood is rainforest, with many unbuilt upon lots. The reason there is no view of the treehouse through the forest is because the rainforest is very dense. There is the floor, very jungly with ginger, native ferns, and trees. Mid canopy are the tree ferns, some twenty feet tall, and over a hundred years old. The upper canopy is a mixture of ohia trees with red lehua flowers, Hawaiian holly, and others.
We are asked from time to time if more than two people can stay in the treehouse. We can especially understand that families would like to bring their children to share this experience. the treehouse is a two person space. Everything is designed to be a honeymoon experience. While it is possible for more than two people to sit together and chat, only two can sleep over. There is no rollaway bed, nor is there room for one or for any other furniture beyond what is there already.
Hall of Fame:
The treehouse has been featured in Extreme Cribs, on episode 13.
The Ellen Show: Kim Douglas's Tropical Vacation
Ke Ola Magazine Volcano Tree House story in July - August 2011 edition
Trip Advisor: One of the Ten Most Romantic Places to Stay (global selections)
Treehouses of the World, Travel Channel European segment, by Treehouse Masters series
blogs and news articles published globally
You will have access to the entire property, including the small structure below the treehouse near where you park your car. You may safely lock your luggage inside that room and use the day packs inside during your stay.
If you use a CPAP machine, please contact us prior to making a reservation.
There is only one treehouse on the property.
Interaction with Guests
We live nearby and come by regularly to maintain the treehouse. It is likely we will meet you on arrival. Otherwise, we are available by cell phone, text, email. When we are away, someone else who lives locally will be available to greet you and take care of your needs. The treehouse requires daily attention because it is off grid. This is generally done between 11 am and 4 pm, and most guests are away for that portion of the day. We do ask that if you are staying all day at the treehouse, that you communicate with us to let us know when one of us can come up and take care of the place.
The neighborhood is mostly old growth rainforest with a few houses here and there. When you drive up, you will notice there are neighbors across the street and next door. You will forget about them once you walk through the moongate and enter the world of the treehouse. Sometimes of a late afternoon and evening you may hear a local hula halau practicing. We hope you find the sounds of laughter and Hawaiian language and music adds to the ambience.
A rental car is a necessity. While there is public transportation, it is long slow trip up the mountain. The park is a couple of miles down the road, and so large you will want to drive and not attempt to walk. Volcano Village is about a mile up the road. You might like to stroll up and back. If walking into the village for dinner, a flashlight for your return is an absolute must. We provide - please take it with you!
Other Things to Note
If you are planning a first trip to our island, we suggest that you stay between 2 and 4 nights tops at the treehouse. Please contact us for for discussion before you reserve if you wish. The island is truly big, and most people would rather spend the night on the west side of the island rather than return to Volcano after a day of play over there.
When you decide you want to stay at the treehouse, you are coming to a place unlike any other. There are other treehouses, but each is unique. This treehouse is off grid. This means it requires hands on service, every day. For most people, this is a seamless thing that happens while they are off adventuring. Every once in awhile, people come and do not want to leave, at all. We understand, but we do want to let you know that we must enter the treehouse on a daily basis to service the composting toilet. The hot tub also requires attention.
The treehouse is in the forest. It is inside the trees, and this means easy critter access. To keep them outside, we carry your rubbish away and make sure your food is stored adequately. It is not a good idea to leave unwashed dishes, pots and pans, for these same reasons.
Spiders are residents of the forest. They are food for the birds. If you love the birds, please tolerate their food supply. We empty the house of spiders daily but we do not poison. The spiders come back at will. They are small, and stay in the corners. They leave evidence of their visit in the form of webs. We do our best to be inhospitable to them, but they persist.
When there is weather, like hard rains and winds, from your perch in the trees you will experience the sound and feel in ways you may have not before. The house is tight - the weather does not enter if the doors and windows are closed. But the sounds can be formidable. You will feel close to nature.
Because of the size of the treehouse and the fact that it is off grid, it is not possible to offer a regular kitchen. There is no oven, but there is a microwave. There is a hotplate. There is no dishwasher. To create full on gourmet meals in the little kitchen is a challenge that no amount of special cookware can address. The storage space is inadequate for more than a couple of days worth of food supplies.
And finally, regarding the hot tub. The price point for the treehouse rental is as it is in part because it is seriously difficult to heat the hot tub in the trees and remain off grid. We began with a non-electric system that let us offer the hot tub heated up in the evening. After the tsunami in Japan, the company that made the heater we used was gone, and there is nothing available that approximates it. We switched to an electric system that has the advantage of allowing us to keep the tub hot all evening, so it may be used both late in the day and again at night, but the costs of doing this are significantly higher than you pay for a standard hot tub on the ground with an on grid system. We have been seeking a more elegant and less costly solution for some time now. Off grid is not easy!
A word about fees:
In addition to the room charges, there is Hawaii tax of 13.42% effective 2010. Tax payment will be due on arrival.
The $85 cleaning fee repeats after one week as there will be a complete change of linens, and there are daily services for your comfort of garbage removal, hot tub attention, and off grid systems maintenance.
There is no smoking inside or outside the treehouse. Thank you for respecting this.
Please do not burn any candles other than in the holders provided, and be careful not to leave candles burning out of your sight.
The heater will scorch clothing or linens left upon it. Please use the various branches in and out of doors for clothes and towel drying. We will see to your damp towels on a daily basis.
Off grid necessities: In a normal house, there is unlimited power, water, and gas. In the life you come from, internet streams through cable and is also limitless. Here, we are not connected to anything other than the trees and our own off grid systems. Power failures at the treehouse are actually less common than on the mountain for grid connected houses, but they can still happen. There are candles in the treehouse for your use, and the hot tub will ordinarily still be hot. The heater will still work. The off grid experience is always a little different, and we are available to resolve any issues that arise.
If you elect to use our wireless connection, please note that it too is not unlimited. There will be a charge for any use over one gigabyte during your stay. If you let us know in advance you will be using the wifi, we will have it ready for you on arrival.
And finally, before using the hot tub, please shower. And no bath salts, or other goodies in the hot tub. Just you. :)
Should you need to change your reservation, we will work with you to find a time that will work. If you are making your change within 45 days of your reservation, there will be a change fee if we cannot re-book your dates.
We absolutely fell in love with this place from the moment we saw it in pictures. When we got to the tree house in real life it was even more breathtaking! My wife and I didn't want to go anywhere, all we wanted to do was stay there the whole time! Gail was very nice and welcoming. She gives you a tour of the place the day you get there and there was even fresh local fruit waiting for us! We're already planning on coming back to the big island just so we can stay here again!
MAGICAL! trip of a lifetime! We loved every minute. The kids haven't stopped talking about treehouses since our stay (and doing jobs to earn money to build their own). Everything was perfect. We were only staying a night so they accommodated our request for an early check in (and extra eggs). Directions were spot on. Walking the path in the rain to bring in our stuff was zen-like (we pre-packed the kids' stuff in bags so we could grab what we needed fast). The banana bread, eggs, fruit, coffee, cream provided for breakfast were awesome. The fridge is a big half fridge, not a dorm size fridge (you could buy half gallons of milk or juice). The freezer was good for ice packs but not very big (don't bring big tubs of ice cream). There is one induction burner that heats very quickly. Kitchen had everything we needed except a strainer and a covered sauce pan for cooking pasta - but we easily made due with a large covered saute pan. Filtered water is available for drinking and the tap water is fine for washing/cooking. We slept upstairs and our 3 kids slept downstairs on 2 twin air mattresses and a bed made of the two red chairs. The kids played Chinese checkers and mostly ignored the dvd player (they watched some cool lava videos). There are plenty of outlets on both levels if you need to charge something. The outdoor shower has plenty of hot water and is de-lightful (shampoo and body wash that are safe for the environment provided; lots of fluffy towels). Being there in the rain with the small stove on was so cozy I didn't want to leave to see the evening glow of the volcano -- but it is such a quick trip from the treehouse I'm glad we did go. The steps and ladders were easy to navigate by our three kids. They provide umbrellas and headlamps to use. The bathroom smells amazing - maybe it's what they add to the compost toilet to break stuff down or the lavender spray. Whatever it is, it smelled nice and it was totally easy to use the compost toilet. The soaking tub is bigger/more elliptical than it appeared in the website photos. It could fit 2-3 people. If we had stayed longer I'm sure we would have soaked in the tub everynight. Being in the middle of a rain forest in a tree house is pretty darn cool - I loved hearing the rain on the roof. Our stay was everything we expected and more. It was really hard to leave. We would live there if we could.
Absolutely amazing. Once in a lifetime type of experience to live in a treehouse. The host is very gracious and the couple of people they have maintaining things necessary to keep this wonderful treehouse up and running are professional and completely invisible to you during your stay. If you need any recommendations on things to do around the island, Gail is very helpful. I give the whole experience a 10/10 and I absolutely would do it again.
Just as a side note, don't let the stairs/ladder fool you, everything about this place is very relaxing, even for an out of shape guy like myself. This made for a perfect honeymoon for me and my wife.
Robert met us at the treehouse and showed us around and how things worked. Gail was always available by text if needed.
My husband and I had an amazing time at the Hawaii treehouse. Upon arrival, we were greeted by the house caretaker Rose and were able to check in earlier than 4pm which was nice. She showed us around the house and gave us her contact info just in case we needed something. There was a binder on the kitchen counter with a welcome note, info on history of treehouse, and recommended places to see. The kitchen was stocked with breakfast items like banana bread and instructions on how to make yummy papaya boats. Treehouse was very cozy and the outdoor shower was incredible. What a magical experience! This is something we will always remember. Thanks Gail and Robert!
We had a fantastic honeymoon stay at the Volcano treehouse. One can tell the love and dedication that went into constructing this forest get-away just a short drive from the National Park. Thank you Gail for welcoming us so kindly and stocking the fridge with some breakfast goodies. The deck area was perfect for morning coffee or some yoga. A phenomenal and relaxing getaway into nature!
This host has 18 reviews for other properties.View Other Reviews
About the Host, Mahinui
Aloha. My husband Robert and I offer a Big Island wedding destination near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. We offer a full service wedding, with everything from the conch shell blowing to the honeymoon at the treehouse, and photography too.
We have two property locations. One contains the treehouse, and the other the wedding pavilion and main house. The main house can serve to stage the wedding and it can also house guests of the bride and groom.
For the photography, we go to places on the island that are particularly photogenic. We offer this service to both those who married with us and those who are married elsewhere and come to the Big Island to honeymoon.
For an up close and personal view of what we do, you may visit us online at Rainforest Weddings on Face book. There you will find photos, updates on what is going on here on the island, and comments from people who have been (email hidden) Lani. Mahinui Na Lani was recently featured on MTV Extreme Cribs. The treehouse was featured on the Today Show, and has been written up in Keola Magazine. Forbes has mentioned it in an article about our builder, Roderick Romero.
We also work with other amazing Big Island venues if you are looking for a larger wedding celebration.
We welcome any travelers who are seeking a wonderful place to stay on the Big Island. Aloha!