Whales are Back: Maui Whale Watching Tips

by admin on February 10, 2014

Whale watching season is here in Maui Whale watching season is here!

February – March is the peak of whale season in Maui. Humpback whales head to the Au’Au Channel to enjoy the warmer waters of spring. We have many beachfront properties where you can literally see whales from your front porch. You can also see whales from your beach towel on DT Fleming, Launiupoko and Ka’anapali Beach. If you are planning your trip around whale watching, you might want to stay in Lahaina or Ma’alaea as their harbors are the jumping off point for the whale tours. One of the largest tour companies, the Pacific Whale Foundation, offers tours from both harbors.

Insider Tips for Whale Watching in Maui:

  • Take the ferry from Lahaina to Lanai for an affordable tour and great day outing. The ferry departs in the morning, afternoon and evening giving you time to explore Lanai during the day before heading back in the evening. One-way tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children.
  • If you are looking for a more intimate encounter with the whales you can take a tour in a rigid inflatable boat that accommodates groups up to 12 people. You will be lower in the water and might even get splashed by a whale!
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, is a great place to spot the whales from land. If you look closely you are bound to see a mother-child pair breaching and flapping the water.
  • Bring binoculars on the ferry, especially if it is a little bit windy, as it will make it easier to spot the whales.
  • Catamaran cruises are another fun (and romantic) option for whale sitings. There are several outfitters offering two-hour sunset cruises.
  • Ocean kayak tours are also available for adventurous whale watchers. Humpback whales are an Endangered Species so if you do go on a kayak adventure be sure to stay at least 300 feet away from these marine mammoths.


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Top 5 Hawaiian Homes for Large Groups

by admin on January 7, 2014

Hawaii is a popular destinations for weddings, family or college reunions or beach vacations with a large group of friends. Vacation rentals can make a Hawaiian vacation for groups hassle free: the per person rate for a vacation rental is usually less than it is at a hotel, all vacation homes have kitchens, places to store beach gear and common areas for relaxation or game night. For destination weddings, it is not uncommon to have several vacation rentals for one wedding — the bride and groom’s family can each rent a home making it easy to host gatherings and prepare for the big day.  We highlight our top five homes here, but be sure to browse our homes that sleep 10+ comfortably before planning your next Hawaiian vacation.

1. Paul Mitchell Estate, Lanikai, Windward Side, Oahu

Paul Mitchell Estate

The Paul Mitchell estate is one of the most beautiful villas in all of Hawaii. Offering one of the best ocean views in the world, this tropical oasis is a collection of seven uniquely crafted bungalows styled by a serene blend of South Pacific and Indonesian grace.

Situated in gorgeous Lanikai, it is far enough away from it all to find absolute tranquility yet close enough to Honolulu and Waikiki to enjoy a fine meal. The estate combines contemporary amenities with superb traditional island craftsmanship.

In the main house, the ceiling soars high above the living room, supported by hand-selected ohia trees. The estate includes a two-bedroom guesthouse, a Japanese bathhouse with a furo bath and sauna, an entertainment pavilion, pool cabana with waterfall and secluded hot tub, staff quarters/carriage house, and a garage with wine cellar and storage rooms.

2. Oahu Lani, Kailua, Windward Side, Oahu

Oahu Lani home

Come to Oahu Lani to relax and enjoy Hawaii in utmost luxury. This incredible home has 10 spacious, independently air-conditioned, bedrooms.

Most bedrooms have a full bathroom, television and private lanai. The home also boasts a large custom pool in the courtyard as well as two indoor/outdoor wading pools and an outdoor hot tub. Other amenities include a game room, nursery and entertainment area.

3. Beachfront Villa Lanikai, Windward Side, Oahu

Lanikai Beach

This unique Mediterranean style villa is located directly on Lanikai Beach. With two-levels and six bedrooms there is plenty of room for everyone to relax. All bedrooms are located upstairs with a small wet bar area and half of the rooms overlooking the water. Amenities include central air-conditioning, pool, spa, high speed Internet Access and a gated entry.


4. Lilio Lana I Ka Wai, Mauna Kea, Big Island 

lilio lana

Truly a one of a kind luxury vacation home, the Lilio Lana I Ka Wai offers first class amenities, stunning archecticture and beautiful pacific furnishings. The home overlooks the ocean and perfectly blends indoor and outdoor living to create a uniquely Hawaiian feel.

The home features a Koi pond, outdoor bar, pool, hot tub and movie viewing room. Six bedrooms easily sleep 12 while offering privacy when your large group wants to split up into smaller groups. Several sitting areas with a view – the upper balcony for the whale-watchers, by the pool for the sun-worshipers.  Lilio even includes a place to clean your fish from your charter boat fishing outing in nearby Kawaihae harbor.

5. Keiki Kai, Lahaina, West Side, Maui

keiki kai home

This five bedroom home is located in Lahaina on a closed street. It’s a well-designed, two story home that offers comfort and relaxation, with easy access to the beach across the street. A relaxing stroll into Lahaina town is a just few blocks so leave the car at home and skip the parking meters!

DMX surround sound entertainment system with speakers in each room, chefs kitchen, baby grand piano, and large living area make this a favorite for entertaining.

Safe Travels,

The Hawaiian Beach Rentals Team


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Five Best Day Hikes on Kauai, Hawaii

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on June 13, 2013

There are many great hikes to choose from on the Garden Island of Kauai. Here are five great day hikes suitable for those who want to spend a morning or afternoon enjoying the remarkable scenery and verdant beauty of the island.

1. Kee Beach to Hanakapiai Valley on the Na Pali Coast

One of Kauai’s most popular day hikes, this coastal trail along the Na Pali Coast will reward you with great views of a rugged and remote shoreline on the northwest side of the island.

The hike is four miles round trip, and when you reach Hanakapiai Valley two miles in you have the option of hiking another two more miles, up the valley along the stream, to the spectacular cascade of Hanakapiai waterfall. Hiking up to the waterfall extends the hike to 8 miles round trip, and the trail up the valley is much more rigorous than the first two miles to the valley, but well worth the journey if you’re feeling energetic.

Swimming at Hanakapiai Beach is not recommended due to potentially dangerous currents, though when you finish the hike you will be back at Kee Beach which is a lifeguarded beach with a protected lagoon area for swimming and snorkeling, and incidentally this is one of Kauai’s finest beaches. Just down the road from Kee is Tunnels (Makua Beach) which has some of the island’s best snorkeling.

2. Awaawapuhi Trail in Kokee State Park

Stunning vistas await you on this high mountain trail on Kauai’s west side in Kokee State Park. The trail descends about 1,600 feet to a lookout about 2,500 feet above sea level providing great views into both Awaawapuhi and Nualolo valleys of the Na Pali Coast, a landscape of spired pinnacles and furrowed cliffs that you will never forget.

Marked plants along the Awaawapuhi Trail help you learn about Kauai’s native flora. If this interests you then you may want to stop in at the Kokee Museum before your hike and pick up the Awaawapuhi Botanical Trail Guide. The hike is 6.4 miles overall (3.2 each way).

3. Hike to the Top of Waipo Falls in Waimea Canyon

This hike leads from the upper rim of Waimea Canyon down to Waipoo Falls which cascades 800 feet into the canyon. Great views along the way give you a unique perspective on this region. The trail leads to a lovely pool atop the falls surrounded by fragrant awapuhi ginger plants. A protected area along the stream provides a nice area for a refreshing dip in the water.

This is a great family hike, about 3.6 miles in all and only moderately difficult. When you are done you can drive up into Kokee State Park and gaze over the Na Pali Coast from the Kalalau Lookout which provides another unforgettable view of the Na Pali’s furrowed cliffs and peaks rising steeply up from the blue Pacific.

4. Sleeping Giant Hike on Nounou Mountain

This is a moderately difficult hike about 4 miles round trip and takes you to the top of one the east side’s most prominent peaks. The forested trail begins at an elevation of about 200 feet and climbs to the peak at 1,300 feet where you can take in panoramic views inland toward Mt. Waialeale – known as “the wettest spot on Earth” – as well as seaward over Kapaa and Wailua with the blue Pacific beyond.

When you are passing through Kapaa town before or after the hike take a moment to notice the view of Nounou Mountain (to the west) and its upper profile which resembles, you guessed it, a sleeping giant!

5. Mahaulepu Heritage Trail Along Southern Coastline

This scenic coastal hike along one of the south shore’s last undeveloped areas is relatively easy and about four miles round trip. The hike begins on the sand dune cliffs near Shipwreck Beach and leads to rocky inlets, tidepools and unique limestone, sandstone and lava formations.

Keep an eye out for sea turtles as well as Hawaiian monk seals, and during the winter months humpback whales often pass by offshore. Swimming is not recommended at Mahaulepu Beach due to currents though it’s great for beachcombing and enjoying the scenery and wide variety of terrain. Mahaulepu is one of Kauai’s hidden treasures and great way to spend the morning, when it will typically be a little less windy than the afternoon.

Planning Your Kauai Vacation

Next time you start planning for a family vacation in Hawaii, consider Kauai as your destination. Hawaiian Beach Rentals offers exceptional Kauai accommodations. Browse our site or talk to a live, local agent at 800-853-0787.

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Oahu Hike Takes in Windward Coast Views

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on April 5, 2013

Hiking Above Lanikai Beach Provides Spectacular Hawaii Vistas

Everyone knows Lanikai on Oahu for its beautiful beach but if you don’t mind a short hike you may also want to check it out. There is a hiking trail called Lanikai Pillboxes which takes you above Lanikai and provides you with beautiful views of the Mokulua Islands, Lanikai, Kailua and Waimanalo.

The hike up to the pillboxes will take you about 15-20 minutes and is somewhat steep in the very beginning but the little bit of work is worth the beauty you will see when you get up to the top.  Make sure you wear shoes with grip as walking down tends to be a little slippery.

If you are planning on visiting Oahu, Hawaiian Beach Rentals offers exceptional accommodations including many affordable and luxurious Lanikai Vacation Rentals. Browse our site or talk to a live, local agent at 800-853-0787.

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West Maui Vacation Offers Luxury and Relaxation

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on March 26, 2013

Hidden Hawaii treasure at the upscale Hale Napili

I’m often asked where to find a home in Maui that is on the ocean or within walking distance to it, reasonably priced, upscale and able to accommodate a large family. I tell my clients to check out the Hale Napili.

I spent a tranquil week at Hale Napili with my family this past May. It was the perfect family reunion home and provided a great location for the many different needs of everyone. With 4000 sq.ft. and two separate living areas we didn’t feel on top of each other. There are five spacious bedrooms and the house can easily accommodate 12 guests plus a couple little ones.

The back deck was a favorite for everyone especially in the mornings. We’d sip our tea and coffee while listening to the ocean with tropical birds singing in the background. Grandpa would watch the kids play in the large grassy yard, he said it was so relaxing and very private. He even fell asleep out there on a lounger.

There is a small stone path that takes you down to the community pool and a little cove where you can swim or snorkel. The pool is a nice bonus, there is a grass area to play as well as a covered area for those who want out of the sun.  Since some of us like the ocean and a few others don’t it was nice to be together and have the ocean and a pool right there.

If you are lucky like us, you may see a few turtles swimming around. Just under a mile from the house you also have the nice white sandy beach of Napili Bay. Don’t worry if you don’t want to leave the house, we didn’t either! There is a grocery store with several restaurants just a five minute walk from the house at the Naplili Plaza. Try Maui tacos, we loved the Maui Mex Bowls.

If you are planning on visiting Maui, Hawaiian Beach Rentals offers exceptional accommodations including many affordable and luxurious Maui Vacation RentalsBrowse our site or talk to a live, local agent at 800-853-0787.

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Kilauea Volcano is Highlight of Big Island Vacation

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on February 26, 2013

Volcanoes National Park Offers an Unforgettable Adventure

Peer into the depths of massive summit craters, walk through fields of ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs carved into the rocks, and hike through a lush jungle of tropical growth – all in Volcanoes National Park!

Sights and Attractions in Big Island’s Volcanoes National Park

When visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park make sure and stop in at the Kilauea Visitor Center located on the summit of Kilauea volcano along Crater Rim Drive. You will see interesting educational exhibits and get tips on enjoying your park visit. Close by is the Jaggar Museum with more great volcano exhibits.

A great way to explore the summit area is to take a drive along the 11-mile Crater Rim Drive which includes numerous places to stop and hike and explore the many attractions. Along this route is the famed Thurston Lava Tube where you can walk underground where lava once flowed.

Arguably the most remarkable site atop the volcano is the 2.5-mile-wide Kilauea Caldera, and within it the sheer-walled Halemaumau Crater. A lookout at the Jaggar Museum provides great views into Halemaumau.

Day hikes in the summit area allow you to explore some unique aspects of the park including hikes down into dormant craters and through lush rain forests areas. For more adventure take the 20-mile drive down Chain of Craters Road and see the ancient Hawaiian petroglyph fields.

Kilauea Volcano is the Most Active Volcano on Earth

The centerpiece of the Volcanoes National Park is Kilauea volcano, just one of six volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kilauea volcano holds the title of most continuously active volcano on Earth having erupted almost non-stop since 1983. Mauna Kea volcano is the Big Island’s tallest at 13,796 feet while Mauna Loa volcano is the largest in terms of sheer volume at 18,000 cubic miles (the largest on Earth). While those volcanoes are dormant, Kilauea continues to erupt.

During the last two decades Kilauea has poured countless tons of molten lava down the flank of the volcano and into the sea. As the lava enters the ocean it breaks apart into fine grains that wash up onto the nearby black sand beaches.

Vacation Accommodations on the Big Island

If you are planning on visiting the Big Island, Hawaiian Beach Rentals offers exceptional Big Island accommodations including many affordable and luxurious Volcano rentals. Browse our site or talk to a live, local agent at 800-853-0787.

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Kapalua Resort on Maui – Hawaii Vacation Paradise

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on December 19, 2012

Quiet Beaches and Five Star Amenities in Kapalua

Kapalua is located approximately ten miles North of Lahaina at the foot of the lush West Maui mountains. The breathtaking Kapalua shoreline is lined with five bays (two of which are marine sanctuaries) and three white-sand beaches. The Kapalua Resort is home to the Ritz Carlton Kapalua, several award-winning restaurants, boutique shops, two renowned golf courses and a luxurious Spa.

When I am asked where families can get away from the crowds, enjoy quite beaches and still have five star amenities available to them in Maui, I answer: A perfect five star family reunion getaway can be found at the seven bedroom Kapalua Manor in the Kapalua Resort.  Read the full article →

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Hawaii Hikes – Anaehoomalu Bay Shoreline Trail

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on November 7, 2012

Observing Nature on the Big Island of Hawaii’s A-Bay Trail

The Waikoloa Resort area on the Big Island has all the planned comforts of a modern visitor’s destination including shopping, restaurants and cultural events, all with easy access by car or on foot.

Nearby, however, just beyond the “edges” of Waikoloa are unpaved, winding trails perfect for visitors who want to see a more natural, unplanned side of this beautiful area. Part of the longer Ala Kahakai Trail, this local trail follows the rocky coastline for miles to the south of beautiful Anaehoomalu Bay (A-Bay for short). Read the full article →

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Kauai Vacation Tips – Coconut Coast Fun for Whole Family

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on October 29, 2012

Kauai’s Scenic Coconut Coast

Traveling to Kauai with the extended family? Little ones, teenagers, maybe Grandma and Grandpa too?

Consider booking your accommodations on the East side of the island known as the Coconut Coast which encompasses Wailua, Waipouli and Kapaa Town on Kauai.

Coconut Coast

Coconut Coast Offers Central Location for Exploring Kauai

This side of the island offers activities for all ages in your family or group, as well as being centrally located, so that time spent driving to explore other sides of the island is easier for all.

On the Coconut Coast you will find more oceanfront condominium units than on any other area of Kauai. For many extended families on vacation, easy access to the beach, having use of a swimming pool, and being within close proximity to larger grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants and shops are a must have! It’s even better if all are within walking distance. Read the full article →

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Best Kauai Activities – Hiking, Mini Golf and Hawaiian Music

by Charles Koehl - Your Vacation Rental Specialist on October 26, 2012

Lighthouse at Kilauea Point

The Historic Kilauea Point Lighthouse

Kauai the oldest Island in the Hawaiian chain, and I believe it’s also the most beautiful. Yet people often think it might be too quiet for them. Well, you can dance the night away at lots of places on the planet, however if you want to unwind and truly experience Mother nature at her best you need to visit the Garden Island of Kauai.

Hiking and Walking Trails On Kauai

For hardy hikers there’s the popular Kalalau trail, a grueling 11-mile hike through the mountains of the Napali Coast. Less experienced hikers will enjoy Kauai’s 7-mile paved path alongside the ocean. Read the full article →

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