Hale Kai (House of the Ocean)
Hale Kai is a beautiful, off-the-grid retreat center situated in a traditional Hawaiian village next to Ho’Okena Beach, about 30 miles south of the busy tourist area of Kona. It consists of traditional Balinese-style huts constructed of hardwoods and bamboo. You feel as if you’ve flown half-way around world and have landed in a remote village in South East Asia. Hale Kai really gives you the sense of escape from your daily life, making it easier to unplug from your digital life and more fully engage in the natural beauty all around you. Many of the guest rooms are individual huts situated in the lush tropical gardens of Hale Kai. They are open-air structures, for the most part, giving you direct contact with the sounds and fragrances of Mother Nature. For a yoga retreat, with an intention of getting in touch with your body and Nature, I can’t think of a better spot in all of Hawai’i to host our group.
Hale Kai has its own open-air yoga studio that looks out onto the Pacific. We have seen hump back whales cruising by as we practice. It has an open-air dining space and a large lanai with chairs, couches, a day bed and hammocks that provide gathering space for socializing, lounging and napping.
Between the property and the ocean is a narrow band of lava field, where we will do some hiking and yoga practice. At night, I love to go lounge on the still-warm-from-the-sun lava rocks and gaze up at the stars. The Big Island is one of the best places in the world to stargaze, as they have special street lights that limit light pollution. Some of the most power telescopes on the planet are situated on the top of Mauna Kea. You have never seen a carpet of stars like that seen from the Big Island.
The Hale Kai staff provides delicious meals for our group during the retreat, sourced as much as possible from local farms and fishermen. The organic coffee they serve is top-of-the-line Kona from a friend’s farm. They are full of the Aloha welcome, and always super helpful in providing for our group during our stay.
Matahari is the owner’s suite at Hale Kai at the front of the property with sweeping ocean views. It has a large bedroom that includes a King bed and a Full bed, armoire and writing desk. The spacious private bathroom has a 7-foot, hot-water soaking tub and shower. This is a fabulous room that will make you feel like the queen of the roost.
Ganesha is a very spacious guest room with a Queen sized bed and attached private bathroom with hot-water shower. This room is fully screened in.
Bali is also at the front of the property nearest the ocean and front garden. It has 2 Full beds and its own private bathroom with ambient shower.
This is a large room with 1 Queen bed and 2 single beds. Plenty of room to spread out, even if you are sharing the space with another yogi. Sanang has its own private bathroom with open-air ambient shower.
This is also a larger room with 1 Queen bed and 1 single bed. Garden has its own private bathroom with ambient shower.
Gecko is a large guest room with 1 Queen bed and 1 single bed. It is towards the back of the property next to the owner’s apartment. It has a private bathroom, though the hot water shower is just outside the room in a shared garden space. A pyramidal thatched palm tree wall maintains privacy around the shower space.
Rose is a reconstruction of a ceremonial hut with a Queen bed and writing desk. This guest room shares a bathroom with Naia. The ambient water shower is exposed in the garden. Guests in this room often use the Gecko shower, which has more privacy.
Naia, which is Hawaiian for dolphin, is a sweet guest room with 1 King bed. It is nestled within the tropical Garden of Hale Kai and shares a bathroom with Rose. The ambient water shower is exposed in the garden. Guests in this room often use the Gecko shower, which has more privacy.
As this is an off-the-grid property running on solar power, not all of the guest rooms have hot-water showers. However, the ambient water temperature is quite warm in the afternoons, as the water is heated by the sun as it makes its way down the hill from the water source. A common hot-water shower is available to the group in the garden. A pyramidal thatched palm tree wall maintains privacy around the shower space.
The solar panels do not generate enough electricity to power hairdryers, flat irons, or anything else that heats up. Further, you will be asked to recharge your phone, camera, etc., between 9 am and 5 pm when the sun is charging the solar panels, and to conserve energy at night, when running off energy stored on the solar cells.