Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 2802: Tropical Waters Hawaii, Mako Hale
3bed/2bath house on North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii
May 27-June 3, 2007, one week
This fabulous house is on the north shore of Oahu, and sits right on the beach that extends from Shark's Cove to Sunset Beach. It is within walking distance from a small "town" that is primarily Foodland and a few shops. The house actually looks out on to the edge of a lava field, and the beach begins about 50 feet or so from the steps. The beach could almost be considered "private," as there were few people there every day. The beach is gorgeous, clean and expansive. You can see an aerial view on the website which shows that the house has neighbors on either side, but trees and large plants give it much privacy.
The house is within walking distance of Foodland and Starbucks. We did most of our shopping there, but did make a trip to Hale'iwa (only six miles away) to buy fresh shrimp and mahi to grill, which was surprisingly hard to find on the island. The prices were a bit higher than what I pay at home, but I hear they are not nearly as high as on Maui.
The house is very new and in excellent condition. The pictures on the website really don't do it justice, as it was much better that we ever expected. There is a huge living/kitchen area that runs the length of the back of the house, and there are big glass doors along the entire wall, which provide an amazing view of the ocean and the sunset. The back deck (lanai) is partially covered, and has a gas grill, which we used twice. We thoroughly enjoyed sitting outside for breakfast and dinner, and spent the late evenings there listening to the roar of the ocean.
There is a fenced yard that is shared with the house next door. No pool necessary!
The house was immaculate, and very well furnished. The inside dining table seats six, as well as the outdoor table.
The beds were very comfortable, but the pillows were big, so if you like small squishy ones, take your own. The bathrooms were very nice, and we had plenty of towels for six people.
The kitchen is very well furnished, and is huge. I cooked several times, and never wished for anything I didn't have. We did have to buy the basics like salt & pepper, and sugar, but that wasn't a huge problem since Foodland was so close. I'd take those things with me next time.
Problems or Bonuses
We had a washer and dryer, which is always a bonus for me. Also, the gas grill worked great, and we had a couple of wonderful dinners cooked outdoors as the sun set. The only problem is with the A/C, as there is one unit in the master bedroom and one in the living area, making the back bedroom hard to cool off. A couple of floor fans would have been helpful to push the air around more. But overall, the house exceeded our expectations, and we will definitely stay there again if we make it back to Oahu.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We communicated totally by email, but the agent was extremely cordial and easy to work with. We were given instructions on how to enter the locked gate and house a few days prior to our arrival, which was good for us since we did not get in until midnight. If you go during "low season" months, you can stay for an incredible $275/night, which is far less than two hotel rooms would have been, and you get exceptional accommodations! Even in the "high season" months, I think the price is a great deal for six people and the setting we had.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay here again without hesitation! I think we had one of the premier places on the North Shore, and I would recommend the Mako Hale with enthusiasm to anyone!
Things to do in this area
We went snorkeling in Shark's Cove, which is just a block away, and the kids rented kayaks for a morning. We went to a luau at Germaines, close to Honolulu (food was marginal, but the show was great) and took a leisurely walk through the Waimea Valley Audubon Center. One day, we took a trip in to see the Pearl Harbor Memorial, and went parasailing in the afternoon. The rest of the time, we just enjoyed relaxing and playing on the beaches. A great evening out was to Hale'iwa Joe's (six miles away in Hale'iwa) for crab legs and lobster (both imported), and a trip to Matsumoto's Shaved Ice in Hale'iwa is a MUST. We went there twice!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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