It was a 'wow' moment when we opened the door to the Moon Studio, the view was spectacular. The living area had a feeling of inside/outside with the view of the valley from the curved lanai. We also loved the traditional decor with bamboo furniture and Hawaiian prints on the wall - it gave the place an added touch.
The location was not as remote as I was expecting with a small store at the bottom of the street and a 10 min drive to Hanalei. We spent the week cruising around the North shore and location wise this is spot on if you want to be away from big resorts. It is close enough to Hanalei bay for dinner/groceries etc and the Napali coast and amazing beaches on the North Shore. It was also great value for money, the Moon studio is so spacious for two so was also great to hang out in on rainy mornings and evenings when we ate in. Ray was on hand to help with any local knowledge, plus there were boogie boards, snorkels, fins and chairs on hand to borrow for beach days. I think this place is amazing and you know what the frogs didn't bother me.
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My husband and I had a great stay in the Lilly pad studio this summer. It's fairly close to the beach, but we ended up driving to other beaches for snorkeling. It's fairly close to town, but it's really too far to walk there. Plus the roads are really narrow so there's not really a safe place to walk. Tunnels beach (great for snorkeling) is a short drive away, but watch out for sharks :-)
The studio was nice and comfortable. The only thing we were missing was a stove & oven, but there is a hot plate. All in all it was a great stay. Can't wait to go to the north shore again.
We booked 7 nights in the Moon Unit. The rental is large and spacious. The king-size bed was comfortable but the nightly loud croaking from frogs in the lovely pond was too much. We had to shut windows in the bathroom and sliding glass door in the bedroom and turn the overhead fan on and we could still hear the frogs. The unit is on solar which is great when the days are sunny. We had 2 overcast days which resulted in cool showers the morning we checked out. We could not access wifi from the unit. The kitchen and dining/lanai areas were nice. The furniture in front of the tv area was not very comfortable and a coffee table in front of the low, small clam-shaped couch would have been nice. The setting is lovely but the frogs are a problem.
Lily pad has beautiful woodwork and is like living in the treetops. Great lanai overlooking a lily pond that has ducks and blooming lilies. The trees outside are blooming, and the birds flit between the trees and lanai. You can lay in bed and see the mountains beyond the bamboo, palms and blooming trees. The kitchen includes a two burner hot plate, on which we fixed breakfast most mornings, a fridge that froze our eggs, a small micro and other useful small appliances. It has everything you need as long as you aren't preparing elaborate meals. Great bathroom, but hot water can be a problem in the morning. The water heater is solar, switching only to electric heat when there is no sun. Every morning the water was warm, but not hot, so we showered at night. Neighbors have dogs in a kennel, and the barking can be annoying. Most of the time you can't hear them, but if you sleep lightly, bring ear plugs because the combo of free roaming Kauai chickens, barking dogs and croaking frogs can be too much. My husband thought it was too noisy and it didn't bother me at all. I think it will be hot in summer because of the western exposure, but it was lovely in winter! The ceilings are very high and there is a ceiling fan, as well as lots of jalousied windows to let in the breeze. No wifi or cellphone service, but free phone use and cable internet if you bring a computer that can hard wire to it. The owner is a little quirky, asking his guests to help clean up when they leave (wash dishes, take out trash,...), but there is no added cleanup charge so his requests were reasonable. Definitely a nice place, only five minutes from Hanalei and 10 minutes from ke'e beach and the limihuli botanical gardens. I would stay there again!
If you're looking for fun & frolic with lively entertainment, PLEASE, look elsewhere. You'll hate it, and your neighbors probably will be annoyed...
HOWEVER, if you've always wanted to experience living the beautiful sights and sounds of nature at tree level, this rental is just what you're looking for! This was my first "real" (more on that below) stop after traveling from the mainland and I just wanted to kick back. Of course if you want to dash in, drop off your stuff, change to your shorts & swim suit and hit the beach, you can do that too. Beaches are no more that 15 min. away. But, be warned--parking may take a while. Back to the accommodations. I was in "Dawn studio" which is a large space with a queen-size bed in a little alcove and a full-size futon. The space is filled with interesting furniture, paintings & sculptures, and many natural finishes. And the views from the deck are amazing--from the Lily Pond below you and the trees around you to the mountain ranges in the distance. The studio includes a full bathroom (beautiful large open tiled & marbled shower; bath linen; outside bathtub via door from bathroom) and a fully furnished kitchenette.
In addition to beaches (swimming, snorkeling) there are lots of other things to keep you busy within short driving distances. The trailhead for the Kalalau Trail is 15-20 min. away, depending on traffic. In my book, this is a "must"; but it is a pretty strenuous trail--especially if you go past the first half mile or so. The views are nothing short of spectacular!! I've hiked 4 miles (8 mi. roundtrip) only once. (This is as far as one is supposed to go without permission.) But I've gone half that distance at least a couple of times. There are wet and dry caves to explore along the road to the trailhead. Going in the other direction from the house there are more beaches and scenic areas, and of course the town/village of Hanalei. There are some nifty places to eat there, and the Bay is most picturesque. I can go on and on. (Did you guess?!) Point is, there is lots to do on the North Shore and Dawn Studio is the perfect place in the area to stay as a home base. It's also a place to just relax and read, or write, or simply enjoy the natural surroundings. The property has a small elevator, so you needn't worry about having access if you're unable to climb stairs. A washer & dryer are on the site. I didn't need them since I'd just arrived. A couple of notes: 1. You will be in an eco system and there are nocturnal animals. More that one person commented about the "bullfrogs". Yes, you will hear them. The first night I noticed them at first. But then they were no more bother than crickets. 2. There is no air conditioning. You don't need it! There are the natural trade winds and ceiling fans. You can even shed your clothes, no one will see you. Honest! 3. Although there is a small "general store" nearby, I'd suggest that you buy your food in Hanalei on your way in. I will next time. The store isn't very well stocked, IMO. This time I had to turn around and return to Hanalei for even the basics. 4. Especially if you are visiting for the first time, I'd suggest that you plan to arrive in Lihue (airport) in the early afternoon. The last several miles to Hanalei & beyond are a winding two lane road--with several one-lane bridges. You really don't want to experience the drive for the first time in dusk or dark. (It also will be most difficult to find the street you're looking for!) If you're coming from the mainland, just plan to spend the first night in Lihue or Kapaa. (I stayed in Kapaa.) You'll also be sure to find the stores in Hanalei open. 5. Last but not least, make sure to get detailed directions from the manager before you leave home, or at least the airport. Your mobile may not work once you pass Hanalei. If you're still reading--HAVE FUN!!