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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992
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Beautiful Ocean View Home With Private Pool & Tropical Garden on Kealakekua Bay

Bedrooms 4
Space 2,800 sq ft
Property type house
Minimum Stay 5 - 6 nights


About the property

Spacious 4 bedroom/3 bathroom Traditional Open-Air Home

If you're planning a visit to the Big Island of Hawai'i, the Pagoda House is a lovely place to get away from it all with family and friends. It's also a great base for exploring the beautiful and historic neighboring area, snorkeling or kayaking the pristine and protected waters of Kealakekua Bay, or exploring all the Big Island has to offer. No need to get in your car to get to the ocean as it's just across our narrow, one-lane road. We are only 12 miles from Kailua-Kona but it feels like a world away.

This traditional Hawai'ian screen house sleeps eight, but if you have small children in your party we can always creatively rearrange to fit one or two more. There are two master bedrooms (one with king-sized bed, one with queen-sized bed) and both have en-suite bathrooms. There are also two additional guest bedrooms (one with queen bed, one with two twin beds) that share a common bathroom.

What I Love About The House

One of my favorite things about the house is its traditional Hawaiian-style architecture.

The house has screens across its front and sides (instead of glass windows) and this lets the off-shore ocean breezes flow through so the house stays cool. The screens also let in the sound of ocean waves and - especially in the morning - bird-song. The ocean, garden and cliff views out every window make you feel like you're in a big, very private tree-house or giant screened porch. This is not a sealed up, air-conditioned home. The open-air concept makes it more like upscale 'glamping' and lets you experience the sounds and beauty of a neighborhood that still feels like 'Old Hawai'i.'

Pagoda House is nicely but not overly renovated -- more local (kama'aina) and summer cabin-like than fancy. We have comfy beds and quality bedding but this isn't the Four Seasons. The gourmet kitchen has a Sub-Zero refrigerator and dual freezers, a Wolf oven, limestone counters, and is well-stocked. It's a great place to gather and cook with family -- either in the kitchen or at the gas barbecue down by the pool.

As an open-air screen home in the most tropical neighborhood on the island, you also will see colorful geckos both inside and outside the home. We love them, as do most of our guests, but if this would be upsetting to you or any member of your party, you should look for accommodations elsewhere.

The house is pretty big (almost 2800 square feet) and there are plenty of places for everyone to come together for a meal, a conversation, a swim or a game. But there are plenty of places to retreat for some privacy too.

What I Love About The Area

Kealakekua (pronounced Kay-ala-kay-koo-a -- Hawai'ian for 'Pathway to the Gods') Bay is a protected marine life sanctuary and state park. It's widely considered one of the top snorkeling sites in all of the Hawaiian Islands because of clarity of the water and the abundance of marine life -- pods of spinner dolphins, all manner of tropical fish, and sometimes even whales. There are only three kayak companies with licenses to rent kayaks or give tours of the bay -- and they all put in at the Napo'opo'o wharf, which is just across the street and down two lots from Pagoda House.

The history of this particular spot on the Big Island is extraordinarily rich. Some of Hawaii's earliest settlements were established right here over a thousand years ago. This is where the ali'i (Hawai'ian royalty) lived. And, to protect a kings' 'mana' (spiritual power) after death, his bones were buried in the steep cliffs you can see from the Pagoda House upstairs master bedroom window.

This also is where the first extensive contact between the West and Native Hawaiians took place. It's hard to believe given how sleepy the neighborhood is now, but when Captain James Cook landed here in 1779, this village was home to thousands of native Hawaiians who rowed and paddled out to greet him. Unfortunately for Cook, he was killed here (the monument marking the spot is where most folks kayak out to snorkel).

Much of the time the water is calm, flat and clear - with visibility up to 100 ft. But occasionally, when there is south-facing swell, there is a left surf break at Manini Beach Park just around the corner (not for beginners!) There's another more reliable left reef break (also not for beginners) just a few minutes drive or a short bike ride from the house at sleepy and secluded Ke'ei Beach. This is my favorite beach close to the house and it is down a bumpy pot-holed road so you need a vehicle with good clearance. For beginnners, surf lessons are available just 15 minutes north in Kailua-Kona.

It's also only a few minutes drive down the road from Pagoda House to another beautiful historical and sacred spot: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Park -- or the "Place of Refuge." If you'd broken a kapu (a strict law) in ancient Hawai'i, the penalty was often death -- unless you ran, swam or canoe'd like crazy and made it here. Then you were absolved by the kahuna (priests) and safe from your pursuers. Just outside the gates of the National Park is my (and most locals') favorite snorkel spot called "Two Step." It's easy-access snorkeling right from shore and you'll see all manner of tropical fish, manta rays, sea turtles, etc. and, if you are lucky with your timing (early mornings are best) dolphins.

There's great farmland just up the hill from us. This is the heart of Kona coffee country but our neighbors grow and raise a lot more. I love spending an afternoon exploring, tasting and chatting at the local Captain Cook farmer's market (Sunday only), the various Kona coffee farms, or our local honey farm.

And, of course, the Big Island's main attraction -- Madam Pele / Hawaii Volcanoes National Park -- is just a 70 mile picturesque drive around the southern tip of the island. The Waipi'o Valley is about the same distance heading north.

More Details

Member since: 2016
Speaks English
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
23 July, 2018

About Mary

Aloha! We are Mary (mom) and Jaya (daughter). We currently live in the San Francisco Bay Area but I've spent a lot of time traveling - and some time working - in the Hawaiian Islands, and the Big Island is home number #2.

We travel a lot! Many of our trips have been for surfing (Costa Rica, Mexico, Bali, Fiji, Tahiti, Lombok, various Hawaiian islands), but many more have been 'just because.' And when we travel we love to stay somewhere that is beautiful but not necessarily fancy -- ideally, somewhere that reflects the essence of the place we are visiting and makes us feel like we've truly lived in and experienced the place -- instead of being isolated in a tourist-filled, generic resort.

Mary purchased this house in 2016

Why Mary chose Captain Cook

We fell in love with our Pagoda House the first minute we laid eyes on it. It is the essence of all the things I love about the Hawaiian Islands. We love the open air design of the house and the way it brings in the sound of ocean waves and tropical birds. We love that it feels like a giant, well-furnished tree-house. We love the open air shower upstairs (and the outdoor shower in the back-yard). We love the half-acre+ tropical gardens with mangos, bananas and tropical flowers blooming everywhere. We love that the house is renovated 'just enough' (high quality appliances and everything up to date, but not overly-fancy).

We love that plumeria flowers fall into the pool while we are swimming in it and that the birds and geckos come to visit us there. We love the sleepy, one-lane road qualities of the neighborhood, and that it is a mix of local families and vacation rentals. We love that we don't have to get in the car to dive into the pristine waters of the Kealakekua Bay Marine Sanctuary (it's just across the one lane road and is widely considered some of the best snorkeling in the islands). We love our neighborhood beach park and community garden -- and that 'Aunty Sandy' who watches over it will sometimes share its local bounty if the particular thing I need was missing up at the ChoiceMart that day.

What makes this house unique

The resorts (and big-box stores) of Kailua-Kona are only 15 minutes away but, at Pagoda House, you feel a world away. Our four-mile road down from the main highway protects us from the hustle and bustle. Just sleepy nature and ocean here and, at night, a sky filled with stars. You can get to the 'resorty' areas very easily. But you aren't going to see any of that down here.

There is a reason they call this 'the Big Island' -- you could fit every other Hawaiian Island within its borders. But, with a little planning, almost everything this spectacular and diverse island has to offer is a day trip from Pagoda House. It's just 70 miles around the south tip of the Island to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park and about the same distance North and East to the Waipi'o Valley. This island is unique in that it has 10 of the world's 14 climate zones. You don't like the weather where you are? Drive somewhere else! ;-)

Guestbook comments from the owner

Just an amazing place in a beautiful, secluded bay, pure joy for a unique relaxing experience. We had a fantastic vacation. Thank you Mary for sharing the Pagoda House with us!
Aug 2016
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Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in the Captain Cook in the South Kona

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
  • Housekeeper Optional
Floor Area:
  • 2800 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Min. age of primary renter: 30
  • Children welcome
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • near the sea ...
  • Ocean View ...
  • Oceanfront ...
  • rural ...
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 3 Bathrooms
  • Upstairs Master Bath - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , Bidet , Outdoor Shower , shower is screened and open to the private backyard
    first floor master bath - Toilet , Shower Enclosure , bathroom is en-suite to first floor master
    Common area bath - Toilet , Bath with Shower , This bathroom is shared by the guest bedrooms
    Bathroom 4 - Outdoor Shower , there is an outdoor shower in the backyard ...
  • 4 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Upstairs Master Suite - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed
    first floor master suite - 1 Large Double Bed
    Guest Bedroom - 1 Large Double Bed
    Guest bedroom - 2 Single Bed
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Terrace
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
Leisure Activities:
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • eco tourism
  • luaus
  • paddle boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • whale watching
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • golf
  • Kayaking
  • sailing
  • surf fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(33 traveller reviews)

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Beautiful Ocean View Home With Private Pool & Tropical Garden on Kealakekua Bay
average rating of 4.848485 based on 34 reviews

Vacation of a Lifetime

  • 5 of 5

What a fabulous vacation we had at Pagoda house. If you want to feel close to nature in Hawaii rather than have a more sterile resort vacation this is the place for you. Here are the things we will miss the most!

1. Walking 5 minutes from the house and swimming with dolphins. 30-50 Dolphins were hanging out for hours every morning we were there. You can swim with them and watch them play. Hard to describe how magical this was.

2. Watching the resident geckos hunt bugs on the screens of the house at night. These little guys were adorable and fascinating to watch.

3. Filling the bird feeder outside the dining room window and watching the wild birds and mongoose fight over the seed. Hilarious.

4. THE HAMMOCK. Indoor hammock with a view of the ocean. You can rock yourself to sleep listening to the waves and feeling the ocean breeze.

5. Listening to rain pour down on the house at night during the brief intermittent rain storms that came through. So beautiful.

6. Taking a boat ride to see the lava flows on the other side of the island. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a volcano in action. Very moving experience. You would never know there was an eruption if you are on the west side of the island but if you want to experience it you can drive a couple of hours south east. No reason to avoid the island because of the volcano eruption. It was still paradise.

  • Review Submitted: 06-Jul-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Absolutely amazing home for vacation

  • 5 of 5

I can't express in words the amazing time we had at the Pagoda House last week - you just have to go to experience it. The location is more isolated that others but lends itself to utter peace and quiet. Definitely do a big shopping trip on the way in. The pool and gardens are very private, the bird life is active. The snorkeling is incredible right by the house and if you want more the Pu'uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park only 10 mins drive away is amazing. The amenities in the house are wonderful, the kitchen is stocked with all the cookware you could possibly need. Read the visitor book when you arrive, it has maps and tips on local beaches and things to do. Truly an an amazing experience.

  • Review Submitted: 18-Jun-2018
  • Date of Stay: June 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mahalo for the lovely review, Gavin. We are so glad you had a great stay and that it wasn’t at all impacted by Madame Pele’s antics over on the east side of the island — especially with family joining you all the way from Australia. Come back and visit again sometime.
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Berkeley, CA

Wonderful property, lovely location

  • 5 of 5

What an idyllic place - we couldn’t have been happier. This is a gracious, comfortable, and well-appointed home. We loved its open air aspects, the pool and gardens, and its resident geckos. Snorkeling was practically across the street. Thank you for a fabulous stay!

  • Review Submitted: 12-May-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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An Hawaiian paradise!

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I recently spent 5 nights at the Pagoda House and would have loved to spend more! Everything about our experience was wonderful, the beautiful Hawaiian home, the tropical and well maintained yard and being able to experience the Kealakekua Bay area.

We were met by the caretaker upon our arrival to make sure we had no questions, the house was fully cleaned and ready for us to enjoy.Though it was only two of us traveling the house is setup to very comfortably accommodate a larger group of people. The kitchen includes top of the line appliances with choices of either gas or charcoal grill on the patio (gas grill is very new). The kitchen is also well stocked with plates, glasses, utensils, pots, pans, etc., everything you'll need to feed your group.

We truly loved the traditional style of the Pagoda House, being able to hear the ocean at night was so soothing. Another favorite was the open air shower in the master bath on the second floor, because the yard is well surrounded by trees there never was a concern of neighbors.

Lastly the pool is outstanding, after going to nearby beaches in the mornings we would return to the house and enjoy the pool in the afternoons. It was great relaxing by the pool and jumping in to cool down as needed!

Mary, the home owner, was very helpful throughout our rental experience. She was prompt and very thorough in responding to any questions we had.

Both my wife and I definitely recommend the Pagoda House for anyone looking to have a true Hawaiian experience. We'll be looking to return at a future time with more of our family.

  • Review Submitted: 21-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: April 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so glad you had a terrific stay, Tom and Jeanne ... it is always a delight to host people who appreciate the unique charms of our open-air home as much as we do. We look forward to having you back sometime.
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Enchanting - Best family vacation ever!

  • 5 of 5

My multigenerational family (my kids, ages 6 and 8, my spouse and I, my two aunties in their 60s and my parents, also in their late 60s) stayed at Pagoda House for a week. BEST FAMILY VACATION EVER!

There was something for everyone. Those wanting a bit of adventure went down the road to snorkel each morning. Those wanting to relax spent their days in the pool. We ate most of our meals at the house and the kitchen was huge and well stocked with pots, pans, etc. Thee was plenty of room for all of us to help with meal prep. Lots of storage space and a huge beautiful fridge! The furniture is comfy and not so fancy that you feel like you have to tiptoe around.... the whole place is designed for relaxing. My kids ran around full of energy and it was just fine, nothing broke because it’s very open and spacious. By the way... open air means only screens on lots of the windows. We had lots of fresh air and we all slept like logs. I have to mention the open air bathroom... fabulous! Just screens so you can watch the birds and mongoose in the back yard. Don’t worry, no one can see you because of the stunning foliage.

This house worked really well for us because we wanted a relaxing stay and we enjoyed being away from town. I wish we’d planned on staying longer than a week... none of us wanted to return home.

  • Review Submitted: 03-Apr-2018
  • Date of Stay: March 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mahalo for your kind words, Leslie. We are so glad you and your ‘ohana had a wonderful stay. Thank you for taking great care of our home ... come back and visit us again sometime!
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Pagoda House hidden treasure

  • 5 of 5

This was the perfect house for our small group. The kids were in the pool for hours a day. The best snorkelling in Hawaii is only a few miles down the road. On arrival we found the house and grounds in perfect condition. We ate breakfast and were entertained by the birds at the feeder. Couldn't be any better

  • Review Submitted: 22-Mar-2018
  • Date of Stay: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Mahalo for your kind words, Brenda -- we hope to see you again sometime!
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Nearest Airport
19 Miles
Kona International Aiport
Car: necessary


Prices & Availability

Ask Owner a Question

Additional pricing information

Cleaning Fee £228.42
Refundable Damage Deposit £761.4

No refunds based upon weather, volcanic activity or other natural occurrences.

Hawai`i Tax ID Number W67329037-01

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 60 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

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