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This is a great place for a peaceful vacation if you like avoiding the tourist areas and just want to snorkel. Manini Beach is a short walk to the end of the street, and there are plenty of fish, dolphins, and sea turtles here or just down the road at Two-Step. The nearest stores are about 20 - 30 minutes away in Kona, which was fine with us. The outdoor shower and kitchen were wonderful. The caretaker, Shelly, is a marine conservationist and a terrific guide to the area. ***If you go here, especially if you are a white American or European, please be humble and respectful of the local / native people and the environment and don't make the rest of us look bad!! No rednecks! Aloha spirit matters!
Hale Nai'a is a cottage in a very natural part of the Big Island, located directly at Kealakekua Bay. We stayed twelve nights (July to August) there. All descriptions are very accurate, as well as the other reviews. This is indeed a very beautiful place that contains everything one needs for a carefree vacation. The Cal King size bed in the master bedroom is extremely comfortable, the outdoor shower is great and very convenient (we only used the indoor shower once because its so much nicer to shower outside), and the outdoor kitchen contains every amenity one may need. The snorkel gear (many different sizes) and the body boards were also great. Also, the Wifi is fast (~30MBit) and reliable, which is always important for staying in contact and for planning your trips.
During our stay, our hosts (Rusty and Janice) were not on the island and Shelly, your direct neigbhour who normally acts as the local contact, was not there for the first week. But because Rusty provided such detailed information and replied to mail very fast, we never had any trouble and all of our small questions were answered really fast and very friendly.
Although we arrived quite late on our first day (it was already dark), we did not have any trouble finding the location.
We also rented Rusty's car, a 1996 Toyota 4-Runner, which was really helpfull to get around on the island. For some places, the 4 wheel drive is necessary, and the car dealt with any road condition flawlessly. We picked up the car at the airport (Rusty organized everything) and Shelly returned us again to the airport, which was also very nice. Ask Rusty about it if you plan to rent a car (and you definitely should, because this location is comparably remote).
All in all, thanks to Rusty, Janice and Shelly this was a great vaccation and we are eager to return. We would definitely encorage anyone who wants to enjoy beatiful nature in a quiet and private hideout to rent the Hale Nai'a Cottage!
PS: One important tip: Hawaii is a tropical island, as such you will have mosquitos outdoors. Use the mosquito coils (stored under the outdoor sink) in the evenings or the mornings, they really work!
Our accommodations were all we expected and more. The bungalow was equipped with everything one needed for a carefree vacation. The location was very close to the water and you could see and hear the waves crashing over the lava. The fully equipped outdoor kitchen is the hilight of this rental. We ate all our meals out there enjoying the beautiful scenery. The hosts are wonderful, friendly people who help to make your stay very pleasant.
The Dolphin House was incredible--clean, convenient, and an amazing location. But the real treat was meeting the hosts, Janice and Rusty, whose generosity and welcoming spirit completed our experience. We can't wait to return someday.
Although the photos are fabulous, they pale in comparison to what the site looks like. I've traveled a lot and spent time in everything from shanty to castle, but this is the prize. The outdoor kitchen was modern and complete. The outdoor shower was wonderful and private. Our host family was out of town, but they made sure I had everything I needed to make myself at home. Instructions and helpful hints were given to me before I arrived, so I had no surprises. The neighbors were delightful and a perfect blend of island, mainland, and western Europe. Shelly acted as host in their absence and felt like a true friend, in addition to being an ocean conservationist. It was an absolute pleasure AND the island neighbors taught me how to appropriately hand feed the 3 sea turtles in the pristine cove at the foot of the driveway!
Hale Nai'a ist sehr ursprünglich und es ist sehr ruhig. Am besten fanden wir die Aussenküche und die Aussendusche.. In der Früh wacht man mit Vogelgezwitscher und Meeresrauschen auf - was will man mehr...
Hale Nai'a is a very nice place, you can hear the birds singing and the waves.. We love the outside kitchen and the outside shower, because this is not possible in Germany!!
Mahalo to Janice and Rusty