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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

The Onion House "Architecture so full of life it seems to breathe"

People6
Bedrooms 2
Bathrooms2
Space 1,632 sq ft
Property type estate
Minimum Stay 4 - 5 nights

Overview

About the property

VOLCANO UPDATE: The Onion House and Kona, HI are doing fine and are largely unaffected by the eruptions and seismic activity on the other side of the Big Island, more than 70 to 90 miles away. Read most recent guest review (Anthony F., June 26) for first-hand report. We can provide resources for you to check areas of concern if you contact us.

Created for the McCormick Spice family, the Onion House is a unique architectural treasure with stunning visual aesthetics. It has been featured on MTV, Travel Channel, Learning Channel, Fine Living Channel, HGTV, Global Architecture Magazine, and Architectural Digest.

You will have the entire estate to yourselves. Swim and sunbathe in privacy on the huge lot that is well screened via foliage. You'll feel alone in your world, enjoying the 70' pool, gardens and lily ponds. The terrace faces sunsets and Kailua Bay, providing the ideal setting for candlelight dinners. The translucent roof and walls of stained glass allow filtered sunlight throughout. The detached master suite features a private walled garden. A covered outdoor walkway leading to the master bedroom structure is flanked by lily ponds and the turquoise pool overlooking the sea.

With grounds of nearly an acre, five minutes from town or beach, this is the perfect base camp for exploring the Big Island. If you google this property name, you can learn a great deal more about it from our personal website. Read the page "Vacation at the Onion House" for more information on your stay.

The Onion House does have limitations that make it unsuitable for younger children (under 12) or individuals who have difficulties with stairs and/or mobility. Please contact us for further information.

More Details

Property Manager
Terri Watson
Member since: 2009
Premier Partner

This partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks English
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
100%
Calendar last updated:
18 August, 2018

About Terri Watson

The Onion House was recently purchased by Harry and Barbara Last. Barbara had wanted to visit this architectural wonder some time ago and when she learned that the property was for sale, she insisted that they book their stay immediately. Upon awakening in the Onion House the very first morning, Harry fell in love with the unique architecture and as well the engineering structural aspects of the overall property. They both decided that they wanted to be the purchasers, not only to enjoy for their family, but also to continue to preserve and maintain this wonderful property for guests as well. Pouring over the construction details of the Onion House also brought back memories. Many years ago in the late 1970’s, Barbara and Harry, a mechanical engineer and inventor, designed, and built by hand a hillside home in the Vancouver, B.C. area, complete with an indoor swimming pool for their three children, all in competitive swimming. In order to combat humidity in the pool area, Harry soon became interested in automatic pool covers, which eventually led to him founding a business in that industry, which still exist as a closely held family business today.

Barbara and Harry will continue to connect with Beth McCormick (the former owner) as an advisor on the maintenance and preservation of the property. Guest contact will be facilitated by Terri Watson, who has also managed guest relations on another Hawaii property for the Lasts. Property Manager Jeanne Awaii, along with her staff, who have managed the gardening and maintenance and welcomed the guests to the property for many years, will be staying on as well.

Terri Watson purchased this estate in 2017

Why Terri Watson chose Kailua-Kona

There's no place on earth like this. It's a wildly original form of architecture, distinct from any other structure, hand-built by architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg. It combines the indoor-outdoor living that defines Hawaii with visionary, organic architecture. You've never seen anything like this.

What makes this estate unique

A unique part of Hawaiian history, the Onion House is a pivotal piece of the McCormick family history, commissioned by prior owner Beth McCormick's favorite aunt, 'Auntie Dofeen.' and build by well known architect Kendrick Kellogg Bangs of organic architecture renown.

This home is Kellogg's first piece as both architect and builder, and launched the Organic Architecture movement of the Mid-Century Modern craze that dominated Southern California. Kellogg went on to build well-known works such as The High Desert House in Joshua Tree, CA, Lotus House, Wingsweep, the Hoshino Wedding Chapel in Japan and Charthouse restaurant in Rancho Mirage, CA.

We have the opportunity to share this home with guests from around the world, who bring friends and family to celebrate special moments in their lives. Many of our guests are repeat visitors, and the "Onion House Family" spans the globe.

Of note: The Onion House isn't for everyone......

The Onion House is not suitable for families with young children (less than 12), or for those who have difficulty with steps, due to safety considerations inherent in its design. We make no representation of the house as accessible.

Smoking outside only, please.

The Onion House is true Organic Architecture - it is not a climate controlled, sterile resort- like location. There is no air-conditioning (we use many fans!). It is truly indoor/outdoor living in a shelter of roof, screen, glass and rock cooled by nature passive design.

Guestbook comments from the manager

This is the only place I want to stay in hawaii. I wanted to for years and now that I can you're booked (for the rest of this year.) So sad. But I will make it one day. Thank you.
Jun 2014
  • 1 of 9

Facilities

Accommodation and facilities for this holiday estate in the Kailua-Kona in the North Kona

Property Type:
  • estate
Meals:
  • Self-catering
Floor Area:
  • 1632 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 16:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Max. adults: 6
  • Min. age of primary renter: 12 ...
  • Not suitable for children ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
  • Property not suitable for younger children (under 12) nor for individuals with mobility issues due to non-standard construction techniques.
Location Type:
  • Ocean View
Theme:
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
General:
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wireless Internet
Kitchen:
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
Dining:
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
Bathrooms:
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Both bathrooms are quite large, have a large shower, and have private views out to private gardens.
Bedrooms:
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , Master Bedroom in separate structure from main house
    Guest Bedroom 2 - 1 Double Bed , Shares a bathroom with other guest room and main house.
    Guest Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed , Shares a bath with other guest bedroom and main house
  • The two guest bedrooms in the main house share a common bath. Due to the open layout as well as screen/glass as walls to the home, there is less privacy in the third (smallest) bedroom due to the ability to see over a shoulder high wall into the common area and across the pool into the master suite. Ask us and we can explain more and help answer your questions.
Entertainment:
  • Books
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
Outside:
  • Terrace ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue
Suitability:
  • wheelchair inaccessible ...
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Notes:
More information, photos and video, plus my suggestions for restaurants, adventures, hikes, and snorkel spots, can be seen on the website: http://www.onionhousehawaii.com Hawaii State Tax ID # GE-157-258-9568-01

Reviews

Exceptional! 5/5 -
(48 traveller reviews)

95% Complete
4% Complete
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The Onion House "Architecture so full of life it seems to breathe"
average rating of 4.9583335 based on 57 reviews
San Francisco, CA
5

I wish I could live there

  • 5 of 5

This place was amazing. Very peaceful, and very beautiful. If you have the chance, stay at the Onion House. My boyfriends father took seven of us around new years, there was plenty of room. I can't think of one thing that turned me off about this house. There are almost no real walls, its all beautiful stained glass and secure screens that seperate indoor from outdoor. Inside of course there are walls, it's private. My favorite thing, making breakfast in the morning and eating outside on the patio next to the pool. Having coffee and playing with the geckos, (they love scrambled eggs!). If you're going take me with you! To the owner: Thanking you for sharing such a great and special place! I'll remember it forever!

  • Review Submitted: 18-Feb-2007
  • Date of Stay: December 2006
  • Source: HomeAway
Property under previous ownership / management during this stay
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27 2
5

Kudos to theses enlightened owners

  • 5 of 5

One of the most amazing houses I’ve ever seen, and to be able to rent it? Unbelievable!!! The setting is spectacular and the gardens are amazing. I’ll be back.

  • Review Submitted: 19-Aug-2018
  • Date of Stay: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

The Onion House is more amazing in person.

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay at the Onion House. We were immediately captivated by the unique structure and found new architectural surprises around every corner. Outside we enjoyed identifying the variety of citrus trees, watching a variety of birds flying into the enormous hibiscus tree and water fountains, exploring many “secret” passageways, and picking papaya.

We especially enjoyed our conversations with the caretaker Jeanne who shared her love of the area and the house. Her efforts in the gardens beautifully complement the house and provide a tranquil setting for enjoying the sunset or breakfast in one of the many private patio lanais. We hated to leave.

  • Review Submitted: 15-Aug-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

Beautiful house

  • 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time at the Onion House. The kitchen was well stocked and there was plenty of pool/beach gear left from previous guests. We enjoyed relaxing in the pool and cooking on the outdoor grill.

There is no A/C, and it did get a little humid during our stay - as the usual tradewinds weren't very strong. There are several fans to help circulate air. We did find the circulation in the master bedroom to be more comfortable than the other two bedrooms.

Both Terri and Jeanne were very responsive and helpful.

Would love to visit again.

  • Review Submitted: 11-Aug-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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atlanta, ga
5

The photos don't do it justice

  • 5 of 5

Just a spectacular property, reasonably (possibly under) priced. Check in and out was seamless. Easy to find, covered parking and just exciting to look around. We were able to check in exactly at 4P and the house was spotless. Plenty of towels and floats, and we hit the pool right away. The pool is huge and perfect temperature for July. As you all know, the vog takes away a lot of the view, but early in the morning it is clear.

A few notes: You will get up with the sunrise unless you wear a sleeping mask. Also, the birds get excited at sunrise as well. We were on East coast time, so didn't mind at all. Also note, don't drop any crumbs anywhere, they will draw small ants.

The fans do the job and we were very comfortable with the breeze at night. I wouldn't have more than 4 people, as the bedrooms are small. Full kitchen. Just a stunning place.we took 100's of photos, just amazing to sit on a chair and stare at the details.

Thanks for making this available, it is a bucket list place to stay.

  • Review Submitted: 17-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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5

It's a wonderful house with many quirky things. The pool is great.

  • 5 of 5

We had a lovely time at the Onion House. It's a beautiful house with a great view. Very private

  • Review Submitted: 02-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Location

Nearest Airport
10 Miles
KOA
Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Huggo's
Nearest Golf
2 Miles
Keauhou
Nearest Restaurant
0.1 Miles
La Bourgogne
Nearest Beach
3 Miles
Kahaluu Beach Park, Magic Sands,

Photos

Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday estate in the Kailua-Kona, Big Island Hawaii

Rental Basis:
per property
Manager accepts payment in:
USD
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
 
Summer
1 May 2018 - 31 Aug 2018
4 night minimum stay
£1,683
for 4 nights
From
£337
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Sept 2018
1 Sep 2018 - 30 Sep 2018
4 night minimum stay
£1,593
for 4 nights
From
£314
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Fall 2018
1 Oct 2018 - 14 Nov 2018
4 night minimum stay
£1,772
for 4 nights
From
£359
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Fall
15 Nov 2018 - 23 Dec 2018
4 night minimum stay
£1,952
for 4 nights
From
£404
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Holiday
24 Dec 2018 - 1 Jan 2019
5 night minimum stay
£2,804
for 5 nights
From
£494
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Winter 2019
2 Jan 2019 - 30 Apr 2019
4 night minimum stay
£1,844
for 4 nights
From
£377
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Summer 2019
1 May 2019 - 31 Aug 2019
4 night minimum stay
£1,772
for 4 nights
From
£359
 
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
Special quote
11 Jan 2020 - 18 Jan 2020
4 night minimum stay
£1,916
for 4 nights
From
£395
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest
 
My Standard Rate
4 night minimum stay
£1,844
for 4 nights
From
£377
 
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £22 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Cleaning fee £294.15 + Tax
Refundable Damage Deposit £392.2

PLEASE consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Many people book months out, and "things happen." As per our rental agreement, we don't have the ability to absorb the loss when you need to cancel on short notice, even for the most legitimate of reasons. Consider protecting your trip investment with a policy from a provider like https://www.travelexinsurance.com/ We recommend purchasing this insurance within 2 weeks of your booking to ensure that your travels will be covered -- otherwise, the underwriter might not be willing to issue it.

More information, photos and video, plus my suggestions for restaurants, adventures, hikes, and snorkel spots, can be seen on the website: http://www.onionhousehawaii.com
Hawaii State Tax ID # GE-157-258-9568-01

Manager's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 30 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Ask Manager a Question
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