Worth every penny and then some....
This cottage had a beautiful secluded beach steps from the door. We started every morning and evening on the porch, then headed a few more steps to the gazeebo, then a few more steps onto the beach. It was a safe area: limited beachcombers, safe swimming area, and super close to the house. Lelia and Michael had chairs, lounges, and boogie boards to make the beach even more enjoyable. They were great hosts: I emailed an inquiry on 7-25 and they were able to accommodate us for 7-30, alerted us to the timing of the full moon, and suggested places to eat and shop. The Polynesioan Cultural Center, BYU, The Mormon Temple, my brother's house, the grocery store, and The Hukilau (from 50 first dates) we all within 10 minutes walking distance. In Hawaii, EVERYONE walks, skateboards, bikes, or takes the bus. Walking was fun, but the rented convertible was a hoot!. The cottage was really more of an artist's retreat: whimsical artwork; large antique masterbed; stained glasswork; vases and statues. We did use the air-conditioner in the masterbed room at night, but my daughter like the opened windows and sounds of the surf. We used the kitchen mostly for left overs (portion sizes are very large and we were trying to keep down expenses), fresh fruit (shop around b/c prices really vary) and coffee. The grocery store that is within walking distance is more expensive than Tumaras which is a short drive down the road. If you do shop at the one within walking distance there are two prices for most everything. To get the cheaper price, buy one or two things and sign up for their shopping card by giving them your phone number. The next time that you shop, you will get much cheaper prices. However, before you buy anything, check out what the cottage has. Guests leave items that can not travel: shampoo, creme rinse, sunburn cream, coffee filters, etc. To save costs: buy your friends stuff at the swap meet on Wednesdays and Saturdays at the Aloha Bowl or DonQuijotes in Honolulu. Kailua Beach Park is the best and super family friendly. However, I bought a few things there and then bought them cheaper at the swap meet....groan. The car rentals have books with coupons and a map--get two of them. For the best Hawaiian value you NEED to take the boat tour, meals, and swim with the dolphins: Hoku Nai'a via Boss Frogs from the car rental coupon book. I didn't snorkel- just used my mask and a boogy board because I'm not a strong swimmer. Fantastic experience.
LOVE THE OCEAN, HEAR, SEE AND BREATHE THE EXPERIENCE