Windward Oahu Beachfront Retreats – Kailua Beach
Sixth in a series
One of Hawaii’s most scenically varied and dramatically beautiful coastal regions, Windward Oahu embraces long stretches of white sand beach washed by turquoise waters and backed by the forested cliffs of the Koolaus. Along the approximately 50 mile coast between Makapuu Point and Kahuku are beaches rated among the best in the world. Rating a beach is a subjective process, but the basic ingredients are a sandy, rock free shore and clean, clear water. However, while swimmers prefer calm waters, surfers have other criteria, generally breaking waves – many beaches offer both. Hawaii’s beachfront property ranks as some of the world’s most prized real estate. The homes that front the beaches of Windward Oahu are as varied as the scenery, from vintage cottages priced at under $1 million to grand estates commanding upwards of $10 million.
When the national travel media began “discovering” Kailua Beach approximately 30 years ago and proclaimed it the best in Hawaii, and among the best in the world, escalation of real estate values would not be far behind. Today, Kailua Beach properties have reached multi million dollar price points rivaling Kahala and Diamond Head.
Along the three-mile sandy shore of Kailua Bay, century-old Hawaiian-style beach homes contrast with modern mansions incorporating every luxury and amenity. Some of the newer estates have replaced multiple older homes on parcels extending from Kalaheo Avenue to the beach and can be accurately described as private resorts.
The waves that wash the white, powdery sands of Kailua Beach are generally gentle, making it favorable for swimming throughout the year. The shore is rock and coral free. Although there are only a few areas where the waves break large enough for board surfing, Kailua Bay attracts windsurfers and kite surfers from all over the world.
The boundaries of Kailua Beach can be set geographically at Kapoho Point to the north and Alala Point to the south, which marks the border with Lanikai Beach. Between Kailua and Lanikai is the 35.2 acre Kailua Beach Park, one of Oahu’s finest City and County Beach Parks. The Lani-Kailua Outdoor Circle, active with beautification projects throughout the community, was responsible in part for its size and the quality of its facilities. About midway on Kailua Beach is the unique Kalama Beach Park. The former Boettcher Estate, the 4.28 acre City and County park incorporates the original Boettcher home designed by Vladimir Ossipoff in 1937 and restored by Mason Architects, Inc. in phases between 1999 and 2003. It is listed on both the State and the National Register of Historic Places.
The Kalama area was Kailua’s first housing tract, developed in the mid 1920s by one of the area’s major landowners, Harold K.L. Castle. The Castle family home, one of Kailua’s largest private estates, was sold in 2007 for $11 million by Case Properties International; the section of Kailua Beach bordering the property is sometimes referred to as Castle Beach.
Currently a resort-like compound with a four-year-old luxury home and guest houses extending from Kalaheo Avenue to the beach is being offered by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties for $24,950,000.
Choi International has listed a vacant 3/4 acre lot on Kaiholu Place with 128.76 linear feet of sandy beach frontage for $16,000,000. Realtor Barbara Baehler, a Kailua specialist, who has co-listed the property with Patricia Choi, noted that it presents a rare opportunity to own one of the last large parcels on Kailua Beach. “The lot is flat, walled, and gated for privacy,” Baehler said. “It’s the perfect location to build a new estate that will take advantage of the fabulous views of the sandy crescent of white sand beach, the turquoise ocean, and brilliant sunrises. Kailua Bay is a natural playground offering endless opportunities for recreation. The drive to Kailua Town for shopping and dining is just a few minutes…and Kailua is bike-friendly, another option to enjoy the surroundings in this charming suburban community that continues to preserve its small town atmosphere.”
Photo by Phil Spalding III