Lodge with a lot of love
One of only a few such facilities in the state, Waianuhea was converted from a rustic private home to a 6,737-square-foot, artfully designed lodge by owner Carol Salisbury, who opened the doors to her first guests 12 years ago this month. She recently placed the lodge and a single-family residence on the property, which now serves as the home of the resident manager, on the market.
After acquiring the Ahualoa Homesteads property in 1998, Salisbury obtained a special use permit to operate a lodge on agricultural land and spent four years redesigning and remodeling the original structures. She added the two-story front section that houses the Great Room and other common areas, a variety of viewing decks, and indoor and outdoor lounging areas. The open design of the main living room affords idyllic views both from the interior and glassed-in Great Room.
With five bedroom and bath suites, one a “deluxe” suite with private enclosed courtyard and hot tub, and a certified commercial kitchen, the facility qualifies as a guest lodge. A paved area by the main entrance accommodates guest vehicles. All rooms have satellite TV, CD and DVD players and plug-in Internet access. Wi-Fi is available in the common areas. The lodge also includes a spa, library with DVDs and books and a snack bar.
Salisbury, who has lived on a neighboring property since 1987 and in Kahala prior to that, considers Ahualoa one of the most beautiful and naturally favored parts of the Big Island in terms of scenery and weather, and wants to share it with others. Guests who have returned many times over the years agree with her assessment.
“The beauty, peacefulness and great service of Waianuhea make it an ideal place to retreat away from the cares of the world. Guests who want a different experience of Hawaii than the usual resort-based visit seek us out — solo travelers needing respite, couples on honeymoon or exploring Hawaii together, yoga and meditation groups, and biking tours,” Salisbury said. “Waianuhea is also available for weddings, family reunions, workshops and corporate retreats. Guests can stay for one night or as long as they like, but for wedding parties and corporate groups who take over the entire lodge, we have a three-day minimum. We serve a full gourmet breakfast every morning, lunch and dinner on request, and can handle food service for receptions and large groups, if requested.”
Salisbury and her staff arrange a variety of “outback” activities for guests, including guided hikes, Mauna Kea tours, shuttle service to Waipio Valley and horseback riding. Guests come from Hawaii, the Mainland, Asia and Europe.
Situated at an elevation of 2,500 feet in the Hamakua district, Waianuhea offers panoramic views of Mauna Kea, the ocean and the manicured grounds and lily pond. Vegetation is lush, primarily open pastureland with stands of cedar, cypress and eucalyptus.
Salisbury noted that guests often opt to spend their time on the grounds, viewing the gardens, picnicking, and just relaxing or exploring the neighborhood’s country roads. Those who want to shop for necessities or local art and crafts have the option of a short trip down the hill to the old plantation town of Honokaa or the half-hour drive to Waimea.
The property is energy self-sufficient with a photovoltaic system and propane generator back-up; three wood-burning fireplaces and four gas stoves are sources of heating. Water is supplied by a 30,000-gallon catchment tank as well as the County water system for the commercial kitchen.
Waianuhea is being sold together with the two-bedroom, one-bath cottage with attached garage, currently the manager’s house, which occupies oneand-a-half-plus acres in the lower corner of the seven-acre parcel. The two-unit CPR’d property is offered at $2.25 million fee simple and is shown by appointment with listing Realtors Bud Norwood and Casey Kinney of Coldwell Banker Maryl Realty.