Great low-key location, away from the tourist traps.
The girlfriend and I rented the guest house for four nights in April 2011. I would say we are an active couple in our 30s. The pictures posted are accurate; what you see is what you get. It’s a studio guest house with a bathroom. There is a fully stocked kitchenette with some small appliances (microwave, minifridge, plugin range, etc), but not a full kitchen. Nothing wrong with that, just be sure it’s what you expect. The area is a bit out of the way, but we thought it was great. About 20 minutes from groceries and restaurants, but the east side of the island is much more laidback than the resort-based west side. If staying at the guest house, hiking the lava fields (which is basically everywhere), and snorkeling in the ponds are really the two top activities in my opinion. Saddle Road, which cuts through the center of the island used to have horror stories of rough road and terrible conditions, but it’s not true anymore. The road is being upgraded and is a fantastic drive. Don’t worry about rental car issues, all companies allow their cars on the road now. The furnishings at the guest house are basic, but clean and functional (fyi – the chair frames are metal and we kicked them several times while walking around at night, oww!). There is no TV, but we liked that. There is a WiFi signal, but it’s weak; good enough for reading websites and looking up maps, but streaming video or music is not reliable. While the description for the rental claims access to the laundry facility, the owner did not allow us to use them and instead suggested a local laundromat. It ended up not being an issue for us, but I’m still upset about the denial since it was stated in the property description. The owner, who is actually a very friendly lady, claimed previous guests may have damaged the washer/dryer in the past. While that may be true, it would be best not to claim the w/d are available for use if they are not. Be advised, the area is overrun with chirping frogs that are super loud at night. We got used to them after the first night, but some people can’t handle them. There is no a/c, so you will be sleeping with your windows open. But I found the frogs easier to sleep with than your standard hotel a/c unit, so you be the judge. We enjoyed the east side of the island way more than the west side. It rained every day, but usually in the very early morning and it was a good temperature for hiking/swimming. Wear sunblock no matter how cloudy.
Oliana Cottage - Near Kalapana (allergy friendly)