After our first trip to the Big Island back in 2014, Cody and I promised each other that on our next visit we would spend at least a weekend on the Hilo side. The guidebooks aren’t kidding when they say that the Big Island is BIG — believe me, we learned our lesson the hard way on our first visit. If you’re short on time, or perhaps a rebel without a cause, you can try to cram a whole day of activities into one extremely-long-run-until-you’re-almost-dead kind of day (like we did); however, on this trip we were interested in getting on “island time” and slowly exploring the area.
So we turned to AirBnb in order to find the perfect place to “live like the locals” (if only for a few days). A few years ago I was lucky to find one of my favorite rentals to date (who could forget that incredible hidden gem on Maui), and luckily for us, I struck gold again on this most recent trip. Time to plan a trip to Vegas, baby!
We chose the Kapoho Tiki Cottage because of its location in secluded Kapoho — 30 minutes south of Hilo, a palm-tree-lined drive gives way to a quiet community fronting the famous Kapoho Tide Pools — and just inside the gorgeous community is the Kapoho Tiki Cottage. This one bedroom cottage is spacious, very clean, and has a plethora of amenities for your stay, including: a grill, a picnic table, beach towels, a cooler, beach chairs, guidebooks, and the cherry on top is that it has its very own fish pond.
Each evening we settled into the loungers and relaxed on the wrap around lanai while we listened to the sounds of the jungle — those coqui frogs and their nightly lullaby are something else — and because we were just down the street from the Kapoho Tide Pools, one afternoon I took a little walk and got my snorkel on. (Side note: the snorkeling is better in the tide pools that are closer to the ocean).
We wanted a safe, clean, and secluded place to stay over on the east side and this cottage delivered on all points. We even met a few friends during our stay (okay, most of them were friendly lizards out on the lanai, but we did meet some new friends from across the street who graciously shared cocos from their coconut tree. And let me just tell you… you haven’t tasted coconut water until you’ve tasted it from a coconut that was cut off a tree ten seconds ago! So ONO!).
The Kapoho Tiki Cottage was exactly as described on AirBnb and the hosts could not have been any more charming. Bryn and Danny were exceptional — before our arrival Bryn provided excellent suggestions on local places to explore, and after our arrival she sent a quick text to make sure we found the place okay and had settled in. One afternoon Danny stopped by to fix a small maintenance issue on the cottage and we began talking story about our travels. I enjoyed listening to the amazing destinations he had explored and appreciated the destination suggestions he offered for our future travels. (Mahalo, Danny!)
Our decision to split up our trip into time spent exploring the east side and beach days on the west side was a wise choice; and on our next visit to the Big Island I would split our itinerary again. So if you’re looking for a charming rental on the east side of the Big Island, check out the Kapoho Tiki Cottage. It’s a comfortable cottage that we completely enjoyed and a place we look forward to visiting again.