Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Review 416: Anini Beach Vacation Rentals, Olin House
3bed/2bath house on the northern end of Kauai, Hawaii
In July of 1998 our family (myself, wife, and two teenaged boys), rented the Olin House from Anini Beach Vacation Rentals. The Olin house is located on a quiet dead end beach road on the north shore of Kauai. Sylvester Stallone is reputed to own a house down the street but Sly never appeared to be around while we were there. We spent time on three "corners" of the Kauai but the bulk of our vacation was at the house on the north shore.
Anini Beach itself would be a fine location for families with small children. The water is both very calm in the summer and very shallow. At low tide you could walk out on dead coral for 200 yards or so and not get your knees wet. At high tide you could teach the little ones beginning snorkeling. But for adults the water is really too shallow to be enjoyable for swimming or snorkeling.
All that said, we would return to the Olin House in a heartbeat. It was one of the nicest properties we have ever rented. The house is about three or fours doors down from Anini Beach State Park which we thought might be a problem. To the contrary, the only time there were a significant number of people there was on the weekend when a number of local families pitched tents and had what appeared to be a reunion. There is also a polo field down the road with Sunday afternoon matches. Very informal – you sit on the grass – and there is little or no admission.
Anini Beach is ideally situated for spending time on the north shore and not a bad drive to Kapaa for serious shopping. Hanalei is a pleasant little town and Princeville is nearby for the golfers. The North shore beaches are absolutely the best for snorkeling in the summer, although I understand the North shore is stormier in the winter. When one thinks of lush, wet, tropical Hawaii, you are thinking about the North shore of Kauai. There are also some fine hikes along the Na Pali coast originating from the North shore.
The Olin House is located on a small lot where the road makes its nearest point to the ocean. It has two twin bedrooms, full bath, laundry, kitchen, dining, and family area on the main level. Upstairs is a master bedroom with a killer ocean view, walk in closet, and large bathroom. There is also a screened porch and deck on the lower level. The lower level is an open plan which gives the home a spacious feeling.
We particularly like the way the house was appointed. In some rental houses you have the feeling that the owners are paranoid about their tenants being thieves so they strip the house of all non-essential items. The Olin House made you feel that they had just gone away for a week and left you the keys. There were books and magazines, fresh flowers on the table, and spices in the cupboard. The kitchen was very well appointed and the furnishings looked practically new. The house provided lots of natural light with many windows and light colored furnishings.
The agency (Anini Beach Vacation Rentals) had cleaned the house to perfection. There is even a little sign at the front door that asks that you leave your shoes at the door as you come in. I suppose some might find this annoying – we found it to be an indication of the general condition of the property. Besides we were mostly shoeless in Hawaii anyway. (Pauline's Note: Every vacation rental house in Kauai has this same sign. I think it is because of the red dirt that attaches itself to your shoes.)
This is a definite "rent again" property and comes with a high recommendation. The property is not cheap – in fact it was the most our family has ever spent on a vacation rental - but we justified it by staying a few nights in one of the cabins at Kokee State Park (see next review). By sharing with a couple, or for a family group, the cost certainly is less than a good quality motel and affords lots of room and the feeling of "settling in" that comes with renting a house.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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