Hawaii Island Retreat
What We Love
- Meals and body care products made from organic fruits and veggies grown on-site
- Spa treatments grounded in Hawaiian healing traditions
- The property’s intimate size and homey feel
- A dedication to sustainability that's evident in every detail
What To Know
- Definitely for those who want to disconnect; this is an early-to-bed type of place and rooms are TV and phone-free
- You’ll need a car to reach restaurants and attractions
- Nature is the star of the show
- A $28 resort fee, per night, will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
The 16-room, eco-friendly Hawaii Island Retreat is off the beaten path — literally. Visitors have to drive down an unpaved road to reach the hideaway. But the payoff? Fifty acres of lush gardens and groves perched above a rocky cove that was once a favored stomping ground of King Kamehameha, Hawaii’s most famous ruler. The nine individually decorated rooms — decked out with sustainably harvested tiger wood, tropical prints and colonial-style furniture — are housed in the retreat’s bilevel main villa.
Bed & Bath
Rooms are designed to help guests embrace a green lifestyle. Open plans provide natural ventilation (no AC needed), low-flow toilets and showers conserve water and the resort runs solely on wind and solar power. Rooms have balconies or gardens with views of the ocean, valley or the lush estate, bringing you even closer to nature. The decor helps reorient your focus on the stunning surroundings.
The Retreat’s 50-acre estate doubles as a working farm, and much of what’s grown is used in the kitchen and spa. (Lotions are made from goat milk, exfoliants include kukui nuts and sunburn-soothers feature fresh-cut aloe vera.) Days here are meant to be spent among nature, with hikes past ancient rock formations, yoga classes at the ocean-view pavilion and spa services grounded in traditional healing techniques and ingredients, including one of the most authentic lomilomi experiences in Hawaii. Or you can help the gardener harvest vegetables for morning frittatas, learn how to make yogurt from the farm’s goat milk and take healthy-cooking classes. Afterwards, unwind with a dip in the saltwater infinity pool.
In the Area
The North Kohala region might be one of the Big Island’s sleepier districts, but it’s home to some of its most stunning scenery and important cultural sites. Cut out of the Kohala Mountain, the Pololu Valley is a verdant stretch of ocean-view land. Hike one of the steep paths down to the valley’s mouth, which is capped by a lovely black sand beach. Hawaii’s famed King Kamehameha was born in the Kohala region, and you can hike to his birthplace, which is located near the ruins of the Mookini Heiau, a sacred religious site dating back to 480 A.D. The charming town of Hawi is also worth a visit for its eclectic art galleries and cutesy cafés.
How to Get There
Beware. This place is a total scam. Overpriced to begin with, but terribly rundown and understaffed. Not to mention sketchy business practices, dishonesty, and sneaky fees.
The grounds are beautiful and it's certainly a peaceful place, but better for a day hike or quick visit than a weekend stay. That's mostly because of the staff.
When we arrived we were lead to an old, buggy yurt with a stained bedspread, located a couple of feet from several other yurts. It's less seclusion and more like a crowded summer camp environment. Showers were located in a separate building and it was very hot. Nothing luxurious about it. The grounds and lobby area are worn down and dilapidated, and the front office seemed surprised about our arrival. There was only one other guest on the property, and the entire place had a haunted house feel.
We decided to leave since this was not the kind of place where we wanted to spend any additional time, but the manager said it would cost us $300 (nearly the cost of our two nights at the yurt) in cancellation fees. She offered to show us one of the rooms in the (empty) house, and offered us an upgrade since no one else was staying on the property. We checked out the room which was significantly nicer than the yurts with a nice bathroom, good bed and sheets, and a nice view of the grounds. We still weren't thrilled about staying on the property, but didn't want to waste the $300 and struggle to find somewhere else to stay on a Friday afternoon. We agreed to stay in the room, and traded in our yurt keys for room keys. Note - There was no mention of fees then or at any other time during our stay.
When we checked out, we were emailed a bill which showed two $75 charges for "upgrade fees", something we had never heard about before. I inquired with the front desk who took 24 hours to get back to me, then made up a story about informing us of the fees and how we agreed. They then wrote a long list of all of the "value" we got from staying in the room, and how much money we "saved" by getting the upgrade. Keep in mind, we were charged additional money. Subsequent phone calls and explanations were dismissed.
It's very disappointing to write a review like this, especially when we loved the idea of a green place that's so close to nature, but we encourage everyone to stay somewhere else when visiting the Big Island, this place is sure to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.
Aloha. I LOVED my experience on my recent stay at Hawaii Island Retreat! I felt welcome the minute I arrived and was warmly greeted until the minute I left. The whole staff went above and beyond to ensure my stay was AWESOME.
HIR is a very special place full of peace and sacred energy all around. I feel fortunate to have been able to experience the incredible living example of where sustainability and permaculture mix with luxury and transformation. I highly recommend it.
The entire property is pesticide free, eco friendly, organic and is breathtakingly beautiful with views of the ocean from the seaside cliff. There is a fantastic salt water infinity pool which I felt like I was floating in heaven. I watched the stars at night and felt refreshed each morning. I stayed in one of the luxurious yurts and it was exactly what I wanted. I deeply enjoyed the peace and quiet since I value my privacy and love my solitude which was undisturbed. I dislike A/C so I really appreciated the fans and natural fresh air that breezed through my yurt windows. My bed was extremely comfortable. The yurts have their own private bathroom with a sink and toilet. The showers are conveniently located close to the yurts and have dispensers of organic body wash, shampoo and conditioner made from the land. They smelled so nice and made my hair and skin feel silky smooth. I felt a genuine connection to nature and I really enjoyed spending time in the gardens and the open courtyard. Positivity and good vibes abound. The architecture and construction of all the buildings on the premises are lovely.
The Legends & Lore Walk and visit with the Council Stones in the sacred valley was fun and I learned a lot about the sacred and medicinal plants of Hawai’i along with interesting facts about the culture, land, history and traditions which I thought was extremely cool. The food was healthy, delicious and delightfully fresh farm to table organic meals with lots of fruit and veggies which were beautifully prepared. There was a glass water bottle which I was provided with in my yurt so I was able to refill it with fresh, clean drinking water as often as I needed to stay hydrated. The Applied Kinesiology Massages and spa treatments were magical. I felt an authentic healing of mind, body and spirit. Jeanne is a gifted healer. I feel inspired by her love and dedication to transformational sustainability.
Thank you Robert, Jeanne, Daemion and the rest of your wonderful ‘Ohana at Hawaii Island Retreat for creating a slice of sustainable paradise and for making my stay truly exceptional, uniquely transformational and for treating me like family. I will forever cherish my experience and I am already looking forward to my next visit. Aloha.
Hawaii Island Retreat offered a beautiful, secluded, pristine, close-to-nature experience. Very welcoming vibe and lots of hospitality and warmth from all those running the centre. Something to keep in mind is that although wifi is supposed to be available in certain areas of the property, wifi connection was non-existent or minimal at best. Cell service was also very limited. The patio door in my room was broken, and although I tied a cord around the handles to help keep it closed, the wind banged the doors open and shut, keeping me awake several nights. No alternative solutions (i.e., repairing the door) were offered. Additionally, something to keep in mind is that due to environmentally-friendly practices (which are wonderful!), no chemical sprays are used for insects etc., so ant infestations are an issue, especially if you have any food in your room. Must be very diligent to wrap and seal all food and drink items. Overall, low cleanliness level. If attending a large group retreat or training, I would still recommend Hawaii Island Retreat due to the beauty, solitude, and sacred energy of the land.