Cedar Living at the Champagne Pond in Kapoho on the Big Island of Hawaii
In a gated community outside of the little town of Pahoa lives a natural marvel vacationers flock to. They don’t come for the houses, although there are many gorgeous ones to choose from. They don’t come for the fresh breadfruit and cherimoya growing in the front yard. No, they come for the Champagne Pond this area is known for.
The actual town of Kapoho was washed away in a lava flow years back, but the Kapoho Beach Community and one other subdivision still remain. Many of the houses in this community have their own hot spring fed pond. Some homeowners have cleaned up their ponds to create an outdoor swimming pool. Other houses have a clear saltwater lake winding its way past several homes with stairs leading in from each house. For those houses without a pond of their own, there is easy access to the Champagne Pond that everyone in the community is able to enjoy.
This is where we set up camp on the east side of the island. I chose a cedar house in our price range with its very own pond. We had friends telling us all about the houses they saw with sea turtles swimming in the larger pond and tropical fish in the smaller ones. I couldn’t wait to get down there and see what our pond looked like outside of the pictures.
Unfortunately our pond was not as nice as many of the others. It was more, well, like a pond. The water was pretty shallow while we were there. Bugs flew around and a few fish and tadpoles swam by. It was very pretty to look at, but we would not be jumping in during our stay. Too bad, I was really looking forward to it taking a swim while Dek napped. This was not a devastating turn of events, just a little disappointing. The house was still nice with a great view of the neighborhood and ocean from the lanai.
The interior boasted 3 bedrooms. It was the same price, even less, than smaller 2-bedroom houses in the same area. We grabbed the front room and put Dek in the next room in the travel crib that came with the house. The bedrooms were on one side of the house while the common areas were on the other. I always love when a home is set up this way. You don’t have to worry about being too quiet when the baby is sleeping. You can watch a little TV, or play some music while you do the dishes or sit out on the lanai looking at the stars.
The bathroom set up was a little strange, but works if you are a close family. The main bathroom is in the middle of the house. You can access it from the bedroom side or from the living room. The walls do not go all the way to the ceiling, so everyone in the house can hear what you are up to in the bathroom. There was only a shower, no tub. It also housed all of the beach gear that comes with the house; rafts, boogie boards, snorkel gear, beach balls, water shoes, etc. The powder room was right next to the main bathroom with access from the living room. Again, no floor to ceiling walls, so anyone watching TV or reading a book will know what you are doing in there. This was probably the most inconvenient aspect of the house. We are a small family, so it wasn’t a big deal. If we’d had friends traveling with us it could have been a little awkward.
The main living area had an open floor plan including the living room, dining room and kitchen. It was great to have so many areas to take over, but also all be together. Dek could play by the couch or out on the lanai while I got dinner ready or did a little writing at the dining room table. The kitchen was well stocked with dishes, pots, pans and cutlery. A small grill was stashed on the lanai for us to grill up some burgers throughout the week. An older model TV with satellite cable was housed in the living room. Wi-Fi Internet access was fantastic and included in the price of the house. A powerful storm knocked out the cable TV for a few hours, but we didn’t mind. We weren’t there to watch TV.
Screens covered all of the windows, but not the large sliding doors that ran throughout the living room and dining room. We loved having the doors open because it let in a nice breeze to cool down the house. However at night the bugs came in with the breeze and we were eaten alive. Sliding screen doors would have been a godsend, but it would have also taken away from the aesthetic of the house. Citronella candles and bug spray were a must on our shopping list.
Almost every day we took a walk around the neighborhood checking out the other houses, swimming ponds and beaches. The whole development reminded me a little of the Jersey Shore. Houses ran from subtle, smaller dwellings to huge monstrosities that took over the landscape. The houses farther from the beach blended into the surrounding foliage very nicely, no matter what the size, while the houses closer to the beach were sometimes monuments to themselves with only a few palm trees to break up the landscape.
There were no gorgeous white sand beaches to camp out on for the day. We strolled along rocky paths out onto the equally rocky black beaches. Rough waves crashed onto shore or poured over black boulders blocking their paths. Access to the Champagne Pond was just a few minutes walk from our house. There was a walk way out to the pond that you could dive right into or you could walk around and gradually go in, which is what we opted to do with Dek. It was always quiet whenever we went down and hardly anyone was there with us. Dek got to throw rocks until his heart content while Mike and I soaked up a little warm water and watched the fish swim by.
The house might have had some quirks, our swimming pond was definitely a bust, but the area was gorgeous and a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle we had experienced in Kona. To put it simply, I got a lot of reading done at this house. I was in the mood to veg out in between our excursions and the house definitely allowed me to do that in the comfort of a nice home and beautiful surroundings. It doesn’t hurt that we could hear the ocean and even catch a peak of it from our lanai either.
- VRBO #16316
Nitty Gritty Details
- 3 bedrooms (two rooms with queen beds and one room with 2 twin beds) + 1.5 baths
- Travel crib available upon request
- Snorkel gear and boogie boards on sight. A few pairs of water shoes and some water toys are also available.
- Beach towels are available along with all bed linens
- Free Wi-Fi and satellite TV in the living room (TV can go out in major thunder storms)
- No a/c but large windows with screens keep it cool. Large doors in the common areas also help keep it cool but there are no screens. Several portable fans were available throughout the house, but no ceiling fans.
- Beware of mosquitoes. Pack your bug spray and don’t leave the doors open if the bugs are really biting.
- Washer and Dryer are in the house
- This is a private beach community with many other rental properties and full-time residents. It is much more beach living than city living.
- Smoke free home, smoking is permitted on the deck only
- No pets allowed
Note: I was in no way compensated or asked to write a review or mention any of the links in this post. This is simply my opinion based on our stay.