My wife and I really wanted to like this place, but we had to leave after just one night (we planned to stay for three nights).
We are very discriminating travelers who expect good excellent value and service. The yurts have holes in the netting, and therefore we got eaten up by mosquitoes during the night. That is simply unacceptable for $200/night. We did stay during a stormy period, so I don't fault the resort for the high winds. However, the cheap, overused velcro on the yurt windows were no match for the wind, meaning we got little sleep as we lessened to the windows slam open and bang around the interior wood curtain hanger all night. The wind was strong, but not exactly hurricane strength. I tried to re-seal the velcro but it was cheap and worn. My $300 tent from REI has much stronger velcro and I would have been more secure in it than this $200/night yurt.
This is EXACTLY the type of location I want to be successful: it is eco-friendly, serves locally-sourced food, and promotes environmental stewardship. I hope the owners improve the yurt quality and change their advertisements about the facilities to make it a bit more honest: they advertise a "fitness room" and "wellness classes" on their website. The "fitness room" as a few dumbbells and mats and a couple very old machines. I expect better from a Holiday Inn, much less a "luxury retreat." We did not hear about any classes while we were there, but we stayed for only one night.
Customer service was adequate, but not lacking in comparison to more reasonably priced eco-boutique retreats and inns we've enjoyed in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and the mainland U.S. At 10:00 p.m., when I called the owner to ask if they could address the windows banging around, she immediately offered to move us to another yurt and was slightly apologetic on the phone, but did not convey a strong commitment to customer service. We already were in bed and did not want to move (in the rain), and the appropriate fix would have been to send a maintenance worker over to seal the velcro flaps with duct tape. There was no reason we thought a different yurt would be better.
They had almost nobody staying there, so I'm not sure why they did not offer to move us into one of their "hotel rooms" in the main building. It would have been appropriate customer service instead of offering us a different yurt. Although they sold the hotel rooms at $450/night instead of the $200 night, they missed the opportunity to keep us there for three nights.
The next morning, we enjoyed a nice breakfast, served by a very friendly waiter. The eggs, chicken sausage, and local fruit was good. They also served some kind of yogurt parfait my wife and I couldn't eat because it looked and tasted like it had been premixed and sitting in a refrigerator from some time.
Had they offered to move us into a regular room for the next two nights of our planned three-night stay, we would have done so. They did offer us discount to "upgrade" to one of those rooms for $300/night, but this place simply did not seem worth it to us. We returned to the Sheraton Keaohou Bay for $170/night, breakfast included, where we enjoyed the final two nights of our trip.
I do hope the owners take our feedback to heart and turn things around. The location here is very beautiful, and it's great that they serve meat from animals they own and raise on the property. They just need to take their customer service from "adequate" to "excellent" and provide greater value and honest advertising about what they really mean by "luxury yurt" and "fitness room."
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Nestled among towering pines and cooling ocean breezes Hawaii Island Retreat and Spa is unique among Hawaii Destinations. Located on 50 acres of North Kohala's coastal land, this boutique hotel is the ultimate in sustainability merged with a luxury spa retreat. Our elite 17 room boutique lodge features farm-to-table dining, spacious yoga studios with polished hardwood floors, and luxurious guest rooms with roomy private bath and balcony. We offer elegant venues in a distinctly Hawaiian setting. Perfect for group retreats, weddings, reunions, and corporate retreats. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hawaii Island Retreat At Ahu Pohaku Ho`Omaluhia Hotel Kapaau
- Hawaii Island Retreat At Ahu Pohaku Ho`Omaluhia Kapaau