The Kapehu Retreat House is pure elegance. Though built in 2007, it gives you the feel of "old Hawaii," with echoes of a plantation manager's mansion: wainscot paneling, high ceilings, craftsman-style windows, marble and hardwood floors, marble bathrooms, copper railings on the grand veranda, and many exquisite architectural details. Though elegant, it feels homey and inviting. And expansive: every room has windows facing 2 or 3 directions, looking out on beautiful views all around and bringing the outdoors in.
You can relax here.
When a rare chill blows down from the mountain, nothing is more comforting than to settle in by a cozy fire.
The large living room is octagonal in shape, with wrap-around windows displaying sweeping 180-degree views of the ocean and the lush Kapehu valley. There is a flat-screened TV on the wall not visible in this photo, connected to a satellite dish with more channels than you'll use. (But then, who goes to Hawaii to watch tv?)
You can look out at the ocean as you prepare your meals in this sunny kitchen. There's plenty of counter space on the granite counter tops, and everything you need is provided: gas range, electric oven, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, large refrigerator (with ice maker and chilled water dispenser), blender, cookware, dishes, silverware, serving bowls, platters, etc.
The south-facing windows catch a corner of the "studio" bedroom as well as the eucalyptus forest that hides the house from the road.
Facing east, you see the ocean through the kitchen window.
Your view looking out the east kitchen window.
The dining room is furnished with a large dining table made of richly hued mango wood, and 8 mango chairs.
Of course, you will most often prefer to dine on the lanai (veranda), where there is also seating for 8.
The scene above was snapped at sunset from the lanai table.
Vase made by Kealani's brother, on lanai table. Facing south.
North end of lanai, facing south.
THE 4 BEDROOMS and 4 BATHROOMS
The roomy Master bedroom has a king bed with a pillow-top mattress. Sliding glass doors lead from the master bedroom to the hot tub on the lanai. Through the window at the head of the bed you hear the sounds of the Kapehu stream.
The Master bathroom has a huge sunken tub and a sunken marble shower, marble tiled floors and marble counters with twin sinks.
"Pua" is Hawaiian for flower: the room is named for the flower paintings on its walls. The Pua room has a queen size bed and a writing desk.
"Wailele" means waterfall - literally "tumbling waters." This room is called the wailele bedroom because it is closest to and directly above the upper (mauka) waterfall. Though you can't see the waterfall from the windows, you hear the sounds most clearly here. It's a soothing sound to sleep to in this queen size bed. As one of our guests wrote on a vacation rental website: ". . . you can’t imagine how wonderful it is to lay your head on your pillow and be surrounded by sounds of nature and teeming life. It’s like sleeping outdoors deep in the wilderness - but better because you’re under a roof and between soft sheets instead of on the hard ground. Right outside your open window is the rumbling rushing stream, the singing coqui frogs, and the steady cheep-cheep of crickets keeping the rhythm. Magical."
Between the Pua and Wailele bedrooms is a 2nd beautiful bathroom, with marble floors, marble counter and marble shower, and a carved leaf-design cabinet.
The "Studio" bedroom with adjoiningbath, is a very spacious room separated from the rest of the house by the carport, yet under the same roof. It has its own separate entrance. We call it the studio bedroom because it's as big as an apartment. It can sleep up to 5 people.
Entrance to studio bedroom.
This quilt-covered sofa is actually a futon that sleeps two. Though we had to close the bamboo blinds to get the picture to show the interior, this room has beautiful ocean views through these windows. There are actually windows with views in 3 directions from this room.
On the left above is a bunk bed with a twin size mattress on top and a full size mattress below. Not shown are an armoire and a large elegant writing desk and chair. Behind the bunk in the picture you see a doorway - it leads to a full bathroom, pictured above right.
The hot tub is on the lanai, just outside the master bedroom . . .
How about a soak?
There is an outdoor shower next to the carport - if you've never tried it, an al fresco shower is a special treat on a hot afternoon.
You are welcome to use our front-loading washer and dryer.
After a day of outdoor adventures, you can watch a variety of satellite channels on the large TV in the living room.
Or, pop in a CD from our collection of Hawaiian music. The CD player is connected to speakers in the living room and also on the lanai, so you can listen to music while dining on the lanai.
You can connect with the world via high speed satellite internet, with WiFi throughout the house.
Private waterfall and swimming hole!
You're welcome to stroll around the property and walk down to the Kapehu Stream. At the lower "makai" border of the property, we've cleared two paths to the stream and waterfall. One path takes you to the top of the waterfall:
All photos marked "Lucid Photography" were taken by photographer Ryan Johnson, who stayed at our Kapehu Retreat House in 2012.
And the other path takes you to the swimming hole at the bottom of the waterfall, below. Both paths are quite primitive, so explore them at your own risk.
AMENITIES THAT WE DON'T PROVIDE:
A/C: There is no air conditioning. The continuous breezes off the ocean are heavenly all year around, and the elevation is just high enough (900 ft) that it rarely gets hot. Even in the hottest part of summer it cools off to around 70 at night. However, some people can't tolerate the high humidity of East Hawaii, and for them an air conditioned hotel room may be preferable.
Barbeque: We do not own a gas BBQ grill. Because the Kapehu Retreat House is our home where we plan to live in the near future, we are reluctant to invest in things we'd never use ourselves. There's a small charcoal grill you can use, but we don't supply charcoal or lighter fluid. Before purchasing some, check to see if previous guests left any.
Light-blocking curtains: The master bedroom has blinds on the sliding glass doors to the lanai but not on the windows. Again, it's our home: we love waking to the morning sun. If we were to install curtains for renters, we'd remove them when we move in, and then we'd have holes in the window frames. The other three bedrooms have bamboo blinds that block out more light.
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