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Hale Ko'olau
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Reviews (161)
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Reviewed 30 July 2015

Met up here with other family that rented a total of three units. Only one of the units performed as it should for the entire week we were there. Our unit, the Kamai, had a plumbing leak that was discovered very early on in our stay. Second floor sewage leaked down into our bathroom and if you timed things wrong (used the bathroom at the same time the second floor folks did) you would get dripped on. DISGUSTING! Called and left a message about the problem and never received any feedback. Had it just been my wife and I, I would have had real issue with this but since we were with a group we were able to adapt and overcome. Also, in the Kamai, you can hear absolutely every move the second floor guests above you make. The other unit family was in had sliding door issues (door would not fully close allowing bugs in), a/c issues (would not cool down) and refrigerator issues (would not cool). To my knowledge none of these issues were addressed other than by basically being told "for the price you are paying to stay here you have to expect such things". What? Um, no, that's not how it works, Dave. You advertise an amenity, it needs to work for you customer. I am sure there is some clever little clause in the rental agreement, however, that you will point to saying you don't have to fix anything during someone's stay and that you work very hard. LOL

Other's reports of the place being in disrepair seems accurate. Place needs a bunch of TLC. Appeared to us they are doing just enough to keep the place presentable as I was told it is or will soon be on the market....which would make sense considering an appraiser interrupted my wife and I during a nap to ask if he could come in, measure and take a few pictures! Why sure, come on in total stranger with no forewarning from management. LOL. Just how things are done on the island, right? LOL

I would also completely agree that the beach directly in front of these units is not ideal for swimming. There is no sand and one would have to walk over a fairly sizeable field of lava stones to get to deep enough water to swim. There is sand beach within easy walking distance but I would not call it "touristy" and the sand only extends into the water a short way before turning back into coral....I did briefly snorkel at this beach and found quite a nice variety of fish...unfortunately the tide was ripping pretty strong when I went and did not get to fully investigate.

Kitchens were well equipped...had everything we needed and the bed was comfortable.

Bottom line, the value is there at this place if you don't need perfect. If you do need perfect, spend more elsewhere because you will be disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ken C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hale K, Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2015

Aloha & mahalo for your candid review. We do appreciate your feedback and will consider it towards improving our property and guest experience.

We are sorry that the guests staying in the rental above yours didn't supervise their small children in the shower and allowed water to overflow onto the bathroom floor. This was, as I explained to you, the cause of the drip into your bathroom below. It was not, in any way, sewage as you claim.

The property you rented was a complete 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom with kitchen and A/C on direct beachfront property for only $110/night plus taxes and fees. By comparison the motel in Laie would be $300/night for a standard room without kitchen and they charge $10/day for parking. We couldn't disagree with you more about the pricing. The problems you mentioned with the other guests was by their own fault. The refrigerator in their rental was left ajar and that caused it to freeze up. I explained this to the guests but they insisted that it was not the problem. After they departed I defrosted the refrigerator and plugged it back in and it works fine. The A/C in that rental is also working as designed...it just wasn't "cold enough" for those guests. The third set of guests, who originally booked with us and booked one of our direct oceanfront 2 bedrooms were very pleased. They told me they encouraged you and the other guests to book the adjacent rental to theirs but that you waited too long and it was no longer available. I cannot help but feel that you are taking your frustrations of not getting the rental you originally wanted out on us through this unflattering review.

We receive all our guests with a professional greeting and then provide them with the opportunity to review the homes upon arrival. We ask them to sign our Clean Guarantee. The Clean Guarantee is a detailed check-list of all areas of the home which our cleaning staff have cleaned. We invite each guest to take their time and review the home to make sure it meets their satisfaction. If there is anything a guest is not satisfied with regarding cleaning all they have to do is let us know and we’ll spot clean the home until they are satisfied…guaranteed. Even if its something they don’t notice upon arrival they can always call us or visit our office between 10am and 6pm and we’ll respond to their reasonable cleaning and other requests.

In addition to the Clean Guarantee we have all guests sign our Receipt of Possession that states the rental is as shown online and in our marketing and that they are satisfied and are taking possession of the rental. Afterwards we go through our Guest Services Directory and give a tour of our property. All guests know that if they need anything at all we are available to assist them, however if they stay the length of stay and then upon departure or afterwards come back to us with complaints there is little or nothing we can do.

Again, we appreciate your review and the opportunity to respond to it. We’re always working hard to improve our properties while continuing to provide affordable and family-friendly beachfront rentals on the North Shore of Oahu.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2015

We stayed here in the 3bd/1ba unit. We were in Hawaii to celebrate our 25th anniversary with our 2 adult children and one of my son's girlfriends. This place is very special. To be this close to the ocean for the price was amazing. The grounds were beautiful and Rea was very attentive and helpful during our check in. The unit was very clean and all appliances were in working order. You don't need AC as the ocean is 20 feet from your door. The kitchen was great and the beds were nice and comfortable.
Waking up every morning listening to the ocean and having our coffee on the lanai was very memorable. Having cocktails at night under the stars was a lot of fun. The location was great and it was really nice exploring the north shore from this location. we did drive down to wakiki several times, but it was nice knowing we were going back to our sanctuary on the North shore.
Great stay and we are looking forward to going back some day.
Thank you Hale Ko'olau.
Richie

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank ExploreronTheGo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hale K, Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2015

Aloha & mahalo for your kind review. We're happy that you enjoyed your stay with us and look forward to welcoming you back to the islands someday.

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Reviewed 26 May 2015 via mobile

We stayed here for 3 nights and were absolutely amazed at how close we were to the ocean. At high tide, the waves were lapping on our deck! It's a cute place and was very clean. However being so close to the sea, maintenance issues need to be ongoing. My husbands chair went thru a large gap on the deck, water spots on ceiling, rust, etc. Still it is nicely equipped and Dave was very accommodating.

Stayed: May 2015, travelled as a couple
3  Thank laurenjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hale K, Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2015

Aloha & mahalo for your review. We're glad to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and the proximity to the ocean. You are correct...any closer and you'll need a snorkel to sleep at night.

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Reviewed 22 May 2015

I spent 7 months on O'ahu and stayed at Hale Ko'olau during my last month. I wish I would have found this gem sooner. If you're looking for real Hawaii, this is the place to be. I had the pleasure of staying on three of the properties and I must say, Kuai Kai's one bed one/bath was my favorite. At the time of my stay, I was working at Fort Shafter. The property is about an hour drive from there which if you have ever been on H1, it takes an hour from Fort Shafter to Waikiki in rush hour. The drive is gorgeous, some of the most breathtaking views and scenery on the island. Also, the location is nearby two grocery stores, multiple convenience stores, plate lunch restaurants and food trucks, some of the best smoothies I have ever tasted and Polynesian Culture Center. After reading some of the other reviews about the beach, I counldn't disagree more. The beach is great for snorkeling, surfing, and more. There is a reef right offshore so I do recommend water shoes if you just plan to swim. While you are there, stop by the local fresh fruit stands and buy some apple bananas and papaya and enjoy a nice fruit breakfast right on the beach while enjoying the sunrise. Dave and his staff were very friendly and helpful and met all of my accomodation needs. I won't stay anywhere else when I return.

Room Tip: Ask the staff when making your reservation. I did and Dave gave me honest and great recommendations for which unit to rent.
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Raelyn I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hale K, Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this reviewResponded 6 September 2015

Aloha & mahalo for your kind review. We're happy to hear that you consider Hale Koolau to be a perfect island getaway...we certainly do, LOL. We look forward to welcoming you back to the islands someday.

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Reviewed 21 May 2015 via mobile

I am a returning visitor to hale koolau. My first experience was so wonderful we came back and brought my family for my mothers birthday. I will spare the details, but the man Dave has no customer service skills. He moved all of our belongings while we were gone without our permission into a different room. He was so angry about us inconveniencing him that he was yelling when we were upset as we returned. We had to leave mid trip because of this. Not to mention they haven't kept the place up. Sad really I used to love vacationing here.

Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
5  Thank Conmunn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hale K, Manager at Hale Ko'olau, responded to this reviewResponded 22 May 2015

I'm not at all surprised by this 1 star review. The facts are really quite different than they've stated. These guests originally booked a small non-oceanfront 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom rental but on their day of arrival we discovered that the kitchen sink was backed up. Because of this we offered them a complimentary 4 day upgrade to a larger direct oceanfront 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom rental with the understanding that they would have to relocate back to the rental they had originally booked for the remainder of their stay as we had other guests arriving for the oceanfront rental. We made this complimentary upgrade thinking the guests would appreciate it.
They knew that we would need to transfer them by 11am yet when I arrived onsite at 10am I discovered their vehicle was gone and nobody was home. I immediately called and sent text messages to them asking if they would return by 11am for the transfer but didn't receive a response. By noon, and with other guests scheduled to arrive at 3pm, we had no choice but to relocate their belongings to the original rental. The rental agreement does give us this power to move personal items when someone overstays in a rental, so the claim we didn't have permission is false...we have it in writing in a binding rental agreement signed by the guests.
I very carefully relocated all personal effects to the original rental and, again, called and sent text messages letting them know we had transferred them. Around 5:30 pm I received a call from the guest staying she was angry that we had moved them and touched their personal belongings. I explained to her that, as the general manager, I personally moved everything and made sure it was placed carefully into the other rental (I took me over an hour to do this). The guest then demanded that I "comp" their stay. I explained to them that we told them they would have to relocate them and they left us no choice by departing for the day and leaving their items left all around the rental. She then demanded again that I "comp" their stay. I told her that I would not be able to comp their stay but that if they were not satisfied with the rental they originally reserved they could check-out and I'd refund the nights they didn't stay. The guest then stated that she left a "very important" personal item hidden in the rental. I asked her to tell me what it was and where they hid it so I could retrieve it for them but she wouldn't tell me. I told her to come to my office and I'd walk over with her to the rental to retrieve it. Approximately 15 minutes later the guest, her husband, and daughter show up at my office yelling at me and using vulgar language. They had already taken it upon themselves to go directly to the rental and harass my other guests without my supervision, which I considered to be in poor taste (luckily the new guests are good spirited and appreciative that I took the necessary steps to have their rental ready for their arrival). Anyway, the guests said they were leaving and I offered to help them pack their belongings and supervise their departure. When we were in the rental, and despite everything being placed back with care (I even organized their shoes), the daughter and father were saying things like "check all the bags to see if they stole anything" and the mother threw what I could only describe as a temper tantrum...falling to the floor kicking and screaming. Out of concern my spouse ran to her to see if she needed medial assistance and the mother screamed "get off me...they're attacking me". It should be pointed out that during this tantrum the father and daughter were calmly going about packing bags and retrieving items from the refrigerator, which leads me to believe that the mother may have a history of reacting as she was.
Several times during this (and keep in mind she was yelling, stomping her feet and shaking furniture) she threatened to call the police. I told her that was her right and offered to call the police myself. She then proceeded to start taking pictures of me and my property saying that she worked for a law firm and was going to sue me. Several times it seemed as though she came close to hitting me while making statements like "you're ruining my vacation" and "this won't be the last time you see me". I tried, to no avail, to explain to her that I had only moved them back to their original rental and was hardly ruining her vacation.
Honestly, in all the years my family has owned this business and all the guests we've accommodated I've never seen anything like this. There are many times in the past when we've had to relocate guests mid-way during their stay for one reason or another and did so without any incident or complaint. It was simply bizarre behavior and I'm relieved they left early because I consider someone like that to be unstable and a liability.
My spouse and those who were witness to the events all agree that there wasn't anything I could do to appease the woman and that I acted professionally and appropriately given the circumstances. It occurs to us that these people thought they could avoid us on their transfer day and get the upgraded rental for the duration of their stay, thus inconveniencing other guests who has reserved and paid for the rental they were upgraded to. When they discovered that we took action (per the agreement) and moved them they thought they could demand a free stay and when we refused to capitulate they resorted to yelling us and using vulgar language.
I understand that we are in the hospitality industry and I always carry myself professionally and with courtesy, however there are some travelers who feel they can make threats and act up in order to receive refunds, discounts, and/or other concessions. We've all seen them during our travels (airports, planes, hotel desks, etc. ) berating service workers. Sometimes the customer is not always right and, as a small business, we have every right to defend ourselves and take action when we are being abused by guests. Anyone reading this review who feels differently is encouraged to book elsewhere as I will not tolerate this type of behavior at Hale Koolau.
I think its clear from the vast majority of our reviews, including recent reviews, that other guests consider us to be a good value and praise our professionalism and hard working employees.

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