Up until my recent visit to Kohanaiki, the 450-acre private residential community on the Big Island, I’ve always been more of a sailor than a golfer. But that’s just because I’ve never been exposed to the private perfection of the Kohanaiki golf program. The Rees Jones-designed golf course, which winds its way through striking lava fields along Kona Coast is as rewarding to play as it is breathtakingly beautiful. Numerous air conditioned comfort stations are stocked with everything from beer and ice-cold cocktails to homemade ice cream sandwiches. And pro-level caddies are available to help newcomers with rusty swings like mine around the course.
Since only club members are allowed to play on the immaculate yet relaxed course, and club membership includes a healthy number of VIPs, my all-too-kind playing partners were not surprised when Academy Award-nominated actor Don Cheadle joined our group on the back nine. The benefit of belonging to such an exclusive golf club is just one example of Kohanaiki’s special brand of privacy, community, and world-class services that a growing number of individuals and families want in a vacation home.
The adventure team is another example of private membership perfection. As you’d expect, they have more than a few masks and snorkels for guests wanting to explore the nearby reefs. The smiling beach captain who showed me how to paddle and catch waves on an outrigger canoe was none other than two-time longboard surfing World Champion Bonga Perkins. In fact, Kohanaiki’s A-team can arrange anything: surfing, stand-up paddling, snorkeling, and diving and deep-sea fishing on the Kai Kea, Kohanaiki’s powerful 39-foot center console boat. They even organized a fun fishing tournament for kids while I was there.
Meanwhile, I’m not surprised that active families and professional athletes alike are attracted to Kohanaiki. The comprehensive sports complex includes state-of-the-art tennis and basketball courts as well as countless fitness and yoga classes. And its signature K-fit program was developed specifically to help guests enjoy their surroundings while also working out with Kohanaiki’s onsite personal trainers.
Now if all this activity is making you tired, don’t worry. Kohanaiki’s main clubhouse is a stunning, 67,000-square-foot shrine to relaxation and wellness. It has everything you’ll ever need—full-service spa, infinity pools, hot tubs, yoga lawns, relaxation areas, and sweeping views of the ocean—to ease even the most stressed mind and body. It also features a bowling alley, movie theater, private dining rooms, wine and cheese tasting room, spectacular wine collection, cigar room, and poker room. There’s even a master brewer crafting one-of-a-kind beers onsite.
The clubhouse is also home Kōnane, Kohanaiki’s most sophisticated restaurant. But that hardly means the other dining options are anything less than spectacular. Daily menus feature only the finest ingredients from around the world, including the best banana cream pie I’ve ever tasted! The Beach Bar offers a huge selection of snacks and drinks and the Beach Restaurant (pictured on the cover of this issue) is an idyllic spot for a casual dinner under the stars. Kohanaiki’s philosophy is to anticipate members’ needs, so, the dining staff can fly something special, prepare vegan or gluten-free dishes, or even bake a cake for a birthday. All you need to do is ask.
The Kohanaiki lifestyle sounds pretty great, right? It is. Some choose to design and build their own home. Others have Kohanaiki Builders design and build it for them. A wide range of completed homes designed by Zak Architecture, Jim McLaughlin, and Warren Sunnland are available. And best of all, once you’ve decided to buy, Kohanaiki’s exquisite Hale Club homes are move-in ready and provide new owners with full membership privileges during the time their home is under construction.
Take it from me, Kohanaiki is a very special place.