Long ago, I revealed our Hawaiian rental treasures to the hive. I was pretty excited about staying at all three rental places, but I wasn’t expecting the awful amount of rain that we encountered during our stay in Hawaii. We made the best of the weather though, and here I am to report back about the quality of the rental homes in case you happen to be planning a honeymoon (or vacation) to the islands.
Nightly Rate: $98-110
When we arrived at the first house, the sun was setting and Mr. Funnel Cake raced out excitedly to see the ocean from the property.
We had a lovely sunset the first night and before the rain started, Mr. Funnel Cake was completely impressed with the idea of living in Hawaii. You can see him here daydreaming about owning our own place some day…
Hawaii Dream was probably the most impressive property we stayed at during the holiday. It was huge and very private. On the less rainy days, we enjoyed eating out on the huge lanai or grilling in the evening.
Mr. Funnel Cake enjoying a nice Hawaiian breakfast, but not without his precious chocolate milk.
The house was fairly large and had everything we needed for cooking and relaxing. Towards the end of our stay, we had a fair amount of ants bothering us in the kitchen/bathroom. I think a covered trash can instead of an open basket below the sink would have been more helpful, or maybe a refresher for the ant traps. They weren’t too big a deal though, and we would probably still come back here because it’s such a nice affordable place.
Don’t ask me why, but I always take pictures of the bathrooms in places I visit. I think it’s important to know if they are clean and friendly! Ok, maybe I’m a bit of an architecture/floor plan nut as well. There was a washer and dryer in the bathroom here that we could use with some washing detergent already on site. It was so convenient after we went hiking! The bathroom door was like a wooden saloon door. Kind of flimsy and not very good at keeping sounds in the bathroom… (Thank God we’re married!)
Mr. Funnel Cake warmed up to the idea of cooking a few meals at home and we had a variety of steak meals. FC kept buying and ordering steak the entire vacation because it’s so much cheaper than in Switzerland! Men and their meat! We also started buying an abundance of taro bread, guava jelly, macadamia nuts and Kona coffee, all of which were very expensive but totally worth it. The freezer was full of ice to supply our margaritas and there were lots of condiments and spices on hand for cooking up yummy meals.
The bedroom had a sliding door to the lanai/hot tub.
House on the left and covered hot tub on the right.
The hot tub was the perfect place to hide from the rain and enjoy the palm trees with beer and margaritas.
There was a picnic table out by the ocean, but during our stay it was too rainy to get a chance to use it.
The lava shelf by the ocean was pretty incredible in the morning and having the force of the ocean waves so close to you was both relaxing and awe inspiring.
I would definitely recommend this property to bees planning their honeymoon. It may be on the rainier side of the island, but if you aren’t as unlucky as we were with the tropical storms, I’m sure it’s absolutely fine. We are already thinking of revisiting here in the future! We just happened to have the worst island storms in two years when we went. 😉
Nightly Rate: $99-115
The Poipu beach studio was the only place we were renting in a condominium complex. It was interesting seeing what life is like in a condo, but ultimately we agreed that we’d never want to buy this kind of property. The studio was extremely clean and neat, but also a bit cramped for our four checked luggage bags and 4 carry-ons. We had to move the chairs and tables in the place out of the way to make room for our things.
The condo did have an “ocean view” when you stepped out onto the balcony, but without a table to sit out on the balcony at meals we found ourselves spending very little time out there. There was also a lot of *cough* rain that made it almost impossible to enjoy the balcony that much. At this point I was really disappointed in Hawaiian weather. It rarely rains on the south side of Kauai, and the fact that we were encountering downpours off and on all day, every day, began to be a bit disheartening as we tried to sunbathe.
View from the bed to the bathroom. Everything in the studio was posh and well decorated. The owners had very nice taste!
View to the kitchen and entry door. This condo clears out ALL the food from previous owners, so don’t expect to find any leftover condiments to aid in your cooking. We even had to make all our own ice from two ice cube trays in the freezer. Luckily there were still a few spices, but it seemed like a step down in home cooking from the last place we had been to.
View from the bathroom to the bedroom. The sliding door here was also equally non-private like the last place. If I ever own a place in Hawaii, I swear I’m putting in real doors for real privacy when you need to go!
The marble shower and marble countertops were very impressive.
Another view from the balcony.
Sunset across the road was popular for the tourists. We definitely weren’t alone as we watched the sun set by a local restaurant bar.
I might recommend this condo to others, simply because it’s extremely well maintained and good quality, but the condominium life is not for us and the small space makes me second guess if we would book again. Maybe…
Nightly Rate: $99
When we walked into our north Kauai flat, we were both really surprised about the size of the apartment. It was huge!
Not only was the space enlarged by high ceilings, but it the floor space was actually also a lot bigger than we had imagined. We had so much room to put our luggage away!
With a lanai in the front entrance by the door, we also enjoyed this second lanai facing the lily pond below. The jacuzzi was a welcome addition after we skipped having one at the Poipu rental. It’s always the perfect thing to head to when it’s raining and cold.
View from the back lanai to the mountains.
Large stall shower and bathroom connecting to the toilet.
The kitchen at this apartment was definitely lacking. With a miniature sink and old/small appliances like a miniature coffee machine we mostly wanted to eat out to avoid cooking on the plugin hotplates here. We had originally thought that this was the best quality flat of all our choices, but a few nights here and we had changed our minds. Maybe it was the weather, but the draft that came in at night was simply freezing. We closed most of the windows that we could so it wouldn’t be quite so cold, but even when it was warmer sleeping we had trouble staying asleep with all the night time noise.
Visitors of Kauai might be familiar with roosters around the island being a little crazy and making noise any time they like. Well… we had the problem of dogs at this place. Someone, a neighbor, whoever, seemed to own a lot of dogs around here. We guessed they were hunting dogs. Anyway, they would bark ALL day. Like… during the day, during the night, whenever. And in the night, the dogs would wake up the crazy roosters so at 3am you would hear dogs and roosters barking and cock-a-doodle-dooing. It was freaking annoying. You couldn’t even enjoy a book during the day without hearing the dogs going crazy. We felt bad that they were so riled up all the time!
I am pretty sure the rental owner cannot really do anything about his noisy dog neighbors, but sad to say, the dogs are the main reason why we will probably never rent this flat again. They were extremely irritating. I was happy to go home to quiet Switzerland after sleeping with them for a several days!
I was really happy we chose to stay in vacation rentals rather than hotels and I enjoyed all of the perks like hot tubs and cooking when we felt like it. I would definitely recommend vacation rentals to anyone planning a vacation anywhere. We are starting to plan for our Easter holidays now, and you can bet I am looking into rentals as we look at hotel prices! Sometimes you just can’t beat the value!
Do you have any tips for places to stay in Hawaii? I know Mr. Funnel Cake and I are already planning to go back some day!
*All pictures are personal*