Kohanaiki, a Private Residential Equity Club, located near the town of Kailua Kona, was built to perfectly blend into the sparkling waters and hardened lava that envelop it. A few of the many outstanding features is the 67,000 sq. ft. clubhouse with sports club and spa and the 7,329 yard golf course with six ocean front holes designed by Rees Jones. The ocean team will treat Members and guests to anything imaginable, from surfing, snorkeling and scuba to deep sea fishing, kayaking, sailing or just enjoying the white sand beach. Landscaped to blend with the surroundings and provide its Members with the natural experience required to forget the harried world outside, this community is really a playground by the sea.
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Real Estate in Kohanaiki, HI
Exclusive tropical paradise— that is what people imagine when they hear of Kohanaiki. And that is exactly what they get. Located on the beautiful Kona Coast in the Big Island, Kohanaiki is a very special place, executed with extraordinary vision, quality, and attention to detail.
Kohanaiki is a 450-acre, invitation-only community on the Kona Coast, which stretches along the western side of the island of Hawai’i (also known as Big Island). At the heart of living in Kohanaiki is that “private club experience,” where members can enjoy 5-star service and an array of resort amenities only a lucky few can access.
Kohanaiki at a glance:
- 450 acres of beautiful oceanfront land
- 67,000 sq. ft. Clubhouse
- 400 home lots
- The only 18-hole golf course in Hawaii designed by Rees Jones
- A private Beach Club
- Dedicated Adventure Team for Kona Coast and Big Island explorations
- Home prices range from $3 million to $30 million
History of Kohanaiki
Let’s rewind to several hundred years ago, when the entire Hawaiian archipelago was a collection of chiefdoms that constantly warred against each other for expansion. In 1795, one ruler united everyone under the Kingdom of Hawai’i: King Kamehameha I (the Great), whose royal house ruled the islands until the late 19th century.
It’s also Kamehameha the Great who once roamed around the area we know today as Kohanaiki and treated it as his own personal playground. And why not? In this special place, the lava flowed directly to the ocean, creating stunning black formations that have come to define the Kona coastline. Throughout Kohanaiki’s 450 acres of oceanfront land, members and residents will find archaeological sites that are preserved under the watchful eye of the community’s conservation team.
Fast forward to 1997: the land was purchased by Kennedy Wilson, a global investment company. By 2013, golf and ocean lots entered the market. Three years later, Kohanaiki’s luxurious clubhouse opened its doors to members. Today, the community is run by a Kennedy Wilson subsidiary: Kohanaiki Shores LLC.
KOHANAIKI REAL ESTATE
Real estate options in Kohanaiki include move-in ready homes designed by renowned architecture firms and custom home sites, where you can build your ideal tropical hideaway from the ground up. Prices for the former range from $2 million to $14 million, while custom luxury estates can fetch up to $30 million depending on size and features.
Kohanaiki real estate is divided into five smaller enclaves, each with something different to offer:
- ‘Ohi Kai: Comprising 18 private luxury residences along the 10th fairway of the 18-hole golf course, ‘Ohi Kai is ideally situated a short walking distance away from the Clubhouse and everything it has to offer. Properties here are designed with the family in mind; floor plans typically feature three to four bedrooms and lots of in-between spaces for fun, entertainment, and relaxation. Indoor-outdoor living is also a key aspect of the homes in ‘Ohi Kai.
- ‘Alani: Located between the 7th and 8th fairways, ‘Alani features move-in ready homes designed by Glazier Le Architects. These properties range from 2,936 sq. ft. to 3,594 sq. ft. in size. Blending Hawaiian and modern design sensibilities, a typical estate in ‘Alani has stucco or western cedar exteriors and copper standing seam roofing. Big picture windows and seamless indoor-outdoor living allow you to enjoy vistas of the ocean, the mountains, and the golf course from almost any point in the home.
- Mai’a: This neighborhood in the heart of Kohanaiki is home to both custom sites as well as move-in ready properties designed by the likes of Shay Zak, Warren Sunnland, and Jim McLaughlin. As a result, a variety of designs are available and possible in Mai’a— ideal if you want more options to choose from. And with the Clubhouse only a short walk away, 5-star service and amenities are easily within reach.
- Hinahina: Located along the 7th fairway, Hinahina is the most private of all neighborhoods in Kohanaiki. From this setting, you can enjoy unobstructed sunrise and sunset views and easy access to the community’s sports complex. If you want a quick outdoor excursion, the Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park is also nearby. In Hinahina, luxury homes feature covered lanais, expansive primary suites, great rooms, outdoor swimming pools, and spas.
- Pānānā: Uninterrupted views of the ocean and the 18-hole golf course, as well as more privacy, are the main draws of the Pānānā neighborhood, situated on the northern edge of Kohanaiki. Because it’s farther away compared to the other enclaves, it’s ideal for those who truly want to get away. Getting to the Clubhouse requires a short golf cart ride, but it’s alright— generously sized home sites as well as breathtaking views of the Kona Coast make it all worth it.
Move-in ready and custom Kohanaiki real estate are designed by the creative minds of some of the best architects and builders. The result? Luxury estates that blend classic Hawaiian architecture with the contemporary design of today’s beach homes.
Kohanaiki’s partner architects include:
- Shay Zak: Shay is a Mill Valley, CA native who pursued his Masters in Architecture at Harvard University. Today, he’s one of the leading architects that specialize in modern Hawaiian and tropical residential architecture.
- Warren Sunnland: Sunnland Architects is well-known across the globe for their custom resort residences that emphasize seamless indoor-outdoor living. Their works can be found across Hawaii as well as Bali, Indonesia. The firm is currently run by Tai Sunnland, a second-generation architect and Hawaii local.
- Jim McLaughlin: McLaughlin and Associates is an Idaho-based architecture firm with over 40 years of experience designing resort-style custom residences.
- Khoi Le: Le Architects has over 20 years of experience designing destination resorts and custom properties under their belt. Their portfolio ps continents, from North America to the Middle East. In addition to Kohanaiki, some of Le Architects’ big-ticket clients include St. Regis, Four Seasons, and Ritz Carlton. A Le home always takes into consideration the natural surroundings and features building elements that are traditional to the area.
LIVING IN KOHANAIKI
Below are some of the things to look forward to when you receive that coveted invite to join the club.
The Hale Club
A membership to the Hale Club is a non-equity type of membership that allows people use of luxurious residences (the Hale Club Residences) located within the Kohanaiki residential community.
“In Residence” members receive membership to the Kohanaiki Club. This comes with access to the golf course and the practice facilities, beach club, restaurant and bar, pool complexes, tennis courts and, most importantly, the Clubhouse complex. That is where you can also enjoy dining, spa, fitness, and swim facilities.
The Kohanaiki Club
At the heart of Kohanaiki is the 67,000 sq. ft. Kohanaiki Club, a private equity club where membership is only extended to Kohanaiki property owners. Members can enjoy the full privileges of living at Kohanaiki, including the following:
- Main clubhouse: Designed by Shay Zak, this is one of the largest clubhouses in the world. Inside, you’ll find a games and billiard room with its own bowling alley; private dining rooms for members; an on-site movie theater; a modern fitness center with dedicated pools and locker areas; and a library and museum that houses over 200 cultural items as well as a collection of Hawaiian literature. If you’re lucky, you might find a hidden door that leads to a “secret” speakeasy-style room designed for intimate gatherings.
- Kohanaiki Spa: Located within the spa complex, the Kohanaiki Spa’s line-up of features include a fitness studio, plunge pools and outdoor showers surrounded by lush foliage, a yoga lawn if you prefer to do your routine outside, and a relaxation garden to help you with your meditation practice. The spa is also home to its own salon where you can refresh your look and free-standing treatment rooms, one of which can accommodate couples. Each treatment, from massages to skincare, are rooted in ancient Native Hawaiian techniques and feature ingredients that are specifically created for Kohanaiki Spa. Check out the spa brochure here.
- Organic community farm: As part of Kohanaiki’s sustainability and conservation efforts, the community manages its own 2-acre biodynamic farm in the heart of the development. The farm grows a wide range of produce, including dragonfruit, okra, eggplant, figs, bananas, mangos, and taro. These fruits and vegetables make their way to Kohanaiki’s on-site restaurants. Herbs are also grown in the farm; these are used for the treatments at Kohanaiki Spa.
- Kōnane: One of Kohanaiki’s on-site restaurants, you’ll find Kōnane at the top floor of the main clubhouse. This chop house and sushi bar serves coastal cuisine alongside international favorites from breakfast to dinner. If you’d like to experience more of Hawaii’s culture, ask the chef for the day’s traditional special. Indoor and outdoor dining are both available in this 120-seat restaurant; since Kōnane is at the top level of the building, you can enjoy magnificent sunset views from your table if you choose to dine outside.
The Beach Club
The oceanfront alternative to Kohanaiki’s sprawling clubhouse, the Beach Club has its own set of amenities that maximize its location as well as your enjoyment:
- Beach Restaurant: The Beach Restaurant features an ever-changing menu that reflects what’s currently in season from fresh produce to seafood. Come by for breakfast or lunch (or both) and breathe in fresh trade winds as you dine. For dinner and cocktails, head to the Beach Bar, which is also one of the best spots in the entire Kona Coast to watch dolphins and humpback whales during their annual migration. This can start as early as October and lasts well through April.
- ‘Ohana Pool: One of the most favorite and family-friendly hangout spots in Kohanaiki, the ‘Ohana pool has water slides as well as poolside dining available.
- Event lawn: At the Beach Club’s waterfront event lawn, you can set up a friendly game of volleyball, football, or even croquet with other club members. Kohanaiki also regularly hosts activities here throughout the year, from parties to outdoor movie screenings.
Kohanaiki is the only place in the entire state of Hawaii where you can play at an 18-hole golf course designed by Rees Jones, one of the leading names in golf course architecture. He learned his trade from the best— his father, who is none other than Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
Beautiful and challenging, Rees Jones designed a par-72, 7,329-yard oceanfront golf course that’s completely exposed to the elements, with 6 of the holes located along the oceanfront. The fairway’s SeaDwarf paspalum turf intertwines with anchialine ponds and volcanic rock, while 14 ancient Ahu or rock shrines can be found at numerous points along the course.
With the golf course spread across over 100 acres of land, it must cost a lot of resources to maintain it. But in line with Kohanaiki’s conservation and sustainability program, the community uses a reverse-osmosis, solar-powered desalination system to keep the grounds green. Such are the efforts of Kohanaiki and Rees Jones that the course was successfully registered with the Audubon International Silver Program.
Read more about each individual hole to prepare for your eventual tee time.
Kohanaiki’s private club service extends to excursions beyond the community. As a member and resident, you don’t need to look and arrange for tours on your own— the Adventure Team (also known as the A-team) will take care of it for you.
The A-team can arrange just about anything, from tennis matches at the Kohanaiki Clubhouse to open-water trips for deep-sea fishing and scuba diving. Members can join pre-packaged tours by Kohanaiki or create their own customized itineraries based on their preferences and schedule.
Kohanaiki’s Adventure Team is led by Dominic “Ikaika” Kanuha, who is a Kailua-Kona native and a PADI master scuba diver, among many other things. He is assisted by Paulo Costa, a Brazilian transplant and former professional surfer, while children’s programs and activities are handled by Mele McPherson, who hails from the island of Moloka’i.
OUTSIDE KOHANAIKI: NEARBY ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
Kohanaiki’s incredible array of members-only amenities is only the beginning. You’re in Big Island, which is both the largest and the youngest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. From the private club, you’re only a drive away from some of the state’s most beautiful and majestic destinations. These include:
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park: Learn more about Big Island’s volcanic history and activity and, at the same time, behold the sheer power of Mother Nature. The national park encompasses two of the world’s most active volcanoes— Mauna Loa and Kilauea— plus some of the most surreal landscapes you’ll see. If you’re lucky, you might chance upon a hālau paying tribute to Pele, the volcano goddess and the Hawaiian islands’ creator. The park is a two-hour drive away from Kohanaiki.
- Punalu’u Beach: One of the most popular black-sand beaches in Hawaii, Punalu’u Beach is located along the Ka’ū Coast, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Kohanaiki.
- Kahalu’u Beach Park: For some great surfing and snorkeling, head to Kahalu’u Beach Park, which is only 12 miles south of Kohanaiki. Surf classes are available for beginners and surfboard rentals are plentiful in the area. Kahalu’u is also said to have the best snorkeling in the Big Island; some of the fish you’ll see include yellow tang, moorish idol, and bullethead parrotfish.
- Banyans: For more advanced surfing, Banyans is just minutes away from Kahalu’u Beach Park. Because it generates consistent barrel waves throughout the year, it’s a popular contest spot for local surfers. You may have to earn your spot here as Banyans is generally considered a locals-only wave.
Join the club with Metzler Realty
Joni Metzler has helped several clients find their ideal tropical getaways in Kohanaiki and the Kona-Kohala Coast, but her experience in resort project sales goes far back with over 30+ years in the industry. Meanwhile, her husband John has been helping build exquisite resort homes, turning designs into reality with Metzler Contracting.