reviews for: listing #846 - Hanalei, Hawaii House rental

River Estate - Rated 1of10 Most Romantic Hawaii Properties!
  • bedrooms  2
  • pool  no
  • type  House
  • baths  2
  • hot tub  yes
  • community  Hanalei
  • sleeps  4
  • pets allowed  no
  • rates (USD) $275 - $300 /nt
    $1,875 - $1,975 /wk

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A Bliss -ed, exotic, romantic, fun stay in paradise!

Review submitted: March 2, 2014   Date of arrival: February 7, 2014

In our imperfect world, we found our stay at River Estate to be a fulfilling, fun experience. The setting is romantic, the accommodations are modern and immaculate, very comfortable with peaceful sounds of the nearby river flowing by. The spirit of a place- important to any traveler or for those just pulling the plug on vacation- is blissful, you'll be surrounded with well attended beautifully landscaped gardens. A short drive to any number of wonderful beaches. You'll find yourself bliss-ed in exotic tropical settings that offer excellent value and privacy! Can't wait to return soon!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

The Guest House didn't meet our expectations.

Review submitted: February 10, 2014   Date of arrival: January 18, 2014

We stayed in the Guest House for 4 nights, after spending 10 nights at a wonderful beach house just down the road (that cost $35/night more). We expected to be in an idyllic garden setting that would give us a different (but still great) experience from the beach. The Guest House was generally tidy and reasonably well appointed. The bed was comfortable and the bedroom was pleasant. The appliances and equipment worked fine.

However, overall we were disappointed because the house and property didn't meet our expectations, particularly considering the rave reviews we'd read. While we were there, it was so humid the first night that everything inside the house was extremely wet the next morning...two of our laptops stopped working due to the excessive moisture in the house and they didn't dry out enough to work again until after we flew home several days later. The wifi access was unsecured. Kitchen cabinets wouldn't stay closed and there were other signs of poor quality materials and workmanship. One of the kitchen cabinets under the counter had not been cleaned out and contained spilled packages of food from a prior guest. The master bathtub was badly rusted out in one corner. There were screens on the windows but the bugs were relentless in coming in every time the door was open for a few seconds, and we couldn't be out on the deck in the evenings at all. (Although we recognize that weather is outside of the owner's control, we didn't have the bug and humidity problems during the prior 10 nights just down the road.) The house had a land line but no cell service, which was problematic for us as we needed to be accessible by cell/text for work and family reasons. This should be better communicated on the vrbo listing. The house did not have a dead bolt on the door and we did not feel that the property was secure, especially since someone stole the propane tank for the barbecue grill from just outside the door while we were there. In the evenings, we could hear the people in the neighboring property yelling obscenities and fighting.

We wanted to like the River Estate but there were just so many things that disappointed us. We regretted making the move from the beach house and would not recommend the River Estate to others.

Owners response: Thank's for the heads up…My top priority here is serving my guests. Most important to my guests is the home they stay in. Extremely well maintained homes and grounds are my stock in trade and I enjoy providing that and much more to my guests. Let me be clear on that. So let’s address the issues. The quality of construction and level of care these homes enjoy is beyond reproach. I built the Guest House myself and am a master craftsman. Humidity causing computer failure as soon as you got there? There’s air conditioning installed specifically to dehumidify the homes between guests during cleaning as well as guest comfort. It’s easy to close the windows and turn it on. We do right before you arrive. The hand out we leave explains all of this. Computers don’t die on the spot from moisture and staying on the beach for 10 days near here before arriving means they were exposed to onshore salt spray prior to your arrival in my home. I have expensive antiques in these homes. I’ve seen paintings, sofas, sheets mold elsewhere. Not in these homes ever. Air conditioning is run during every cleaning to dehumidify them. There was not a “humidity” problem and it could have easily been addressed with a call to me or by reading the hand out I provided. Hinges and rust? The 2 or so hinges you mention the springs had just failed and new ones were on my counter at home so they’ve already been replaced. That rust on the tub has been on my mind for a while. Not an easy fix. Now I’ll attend to it. Mosquitos in the house? The screens fit perfectly but if you leave a door open without closing it directly and lights on as the hand out explains some will come in for sure at times. Most of my guest's favorite spot in the Guest House is the Lanai. Thievery and feeling insecure? Both my biggest concern of your review. That was the first thievery in 20 years. That propane tank you asked about and I thought might have been taken? I found the responsible kid and the police were notified. Never had a break in here. It’s a very safe neighborhood. Dead bolt? Why ruin my favorite door? Don't need it. Wouldn't make a difference. Cell phone? Most people have asked before arrival and don't mind no service there but I will add a mention in my advertising now. Neighbors fighting? Can't help you there. It's life. I can only do so much for my guests. I encourage my guests to call me before and during their stay, give them a detailed fact sheet and am available 24/7 for them. The rest is up to them...

Helpful votes: 2 / 3

 

Home away from home

Review submitted: December 20, 2013   Date of arrival: October 21, 2013

Peace-filled, kind, comforting. Symphony of baritone frog, strident roosters, and quiet--no sound--surround you. The yard is very pleasant in the morning. Sit by the slow clear stream behind this home while birds feast on guava and java fruit (which sometimes plunk into the river), enjoy the flap of banana tree leaves across the road, or practice tai chi. The tall ti plants with purple leaf crowns are a constant comfort, graceful, beautiful, and strong. The leaves (luau) once wrapped goodies baked at the prime Hawaiian feast. We found ourselves getting up early and just listening on the lanai, keeping the doors and windows open. We didn’t want to busy up all our days. This is a clean, well maintained and elegantly presented home. Kitchen is well stocked, former guests keep the cupboards unbare. We added to the offerings. The master bedroom is gorgeous—spacious, very comfortable bed, hardwood floors (throughout home), lovely view out its sliding glass doors to its own deck. The two bedrooms on the other end of the house are lovely—with views, places to sit on small porches, tasteful furnishings. The owner, Mark, knows how to decorate with quality—antiques, solid furnishings. No bargain basement feeling here, whatsoever, lots of attention to detail. And oh so clean and fresh. Great water pressure in showers, amazing really. Lots of white towels in the linen closets and beach towels too. Washer and dryer in utility room that both work very well. So easy to feel right at home the very first day. We hung out here and felt happy, even blessed. Mark leaves all that you need at the beach—mats and chairs, boogie boards, handy cooler for packing drinks and lunches. Because the North Shore offers so much to its visitors, we stayed local—great restaurants and bars in Hanalei, many hikes and beaches, cute little places to shop in town. We were very impressed with how friendly and helpful the merchants were to us. But at day’s end, you’ll be glad to return to Riverhouse and its seclusion, its quiet, its beauty. Soak in the feel-so-good hottub on the lanai, open your pores to Aloha time and the peace this slice of paradise offers you. Mahalo Nui Loa, Mark, for this gem. We shall return to Riverhouse and practice Aloha in between.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 3

 

Paradise Lives!

Review submitted: November 7, 2013   Date of arrival: October 21, 2013

Peace-filled, kind, comforting. Symphony of baritone frog, strident roosters, and quiet--no sound--surround you.

The yard is very pleasant in the morning. Sit by the slow clear stream behind this home while birds feast on guava and java fruit (which sometimes plunk into the river), enjoy the flap of banana tree leaves across the road, or practice tai chi. The tall ti plants with purple leaf crowns are a constant comfort, graceful, beautiful, and strong. The leaves (luau) once wrapped goodies baked at the prime Hawaiian feast.

We found ourselves getting up early and just listening on the lanai, keeping the doors and windows open. We didn’t want to busy up all our days.

This is a clean, well maintained and elegantly presented home. Kitchen is well stocked, former guests keep the cupboards unbare. We added to the offerings. The master bedroom is gorgeous—spacious, very comfortable bed, hardwood floors (throughout home), lovely view out its sliding glass doors to its own deck. The two bedrooms on the other end of the house are lovely—with views, places to sit on small porches, tasteful furnishings. The owner, Mark, knows how to decorate with quality—antiques, solid furnishings. No bargain basement feeling here, whatsoever, lots of attention to detail. And oh so clean and fresh. Great water pressure in showers, amazing really. Lots of white towels in the linen closets and beach towels too. Washer and dryer in utility room that both work very well. So easy to feel right at home the very first day. We hung out here and felt happy, even blessed.

When we did venture from this vacation rental, we drove to the beaches, several are within minutes of this house, or we drove to town to pick up food at the grocery store or pick up wonderful vegies and fruits at the farmer’s markets.

Mark leaves good guidebooks on the coffee table and he is so accessible to ask for guidance but he does not intrude. Just email or call him when you need some travel guidance. He is specific, detailed and just knows, somehow, what fits you. Mark leaves all that you need at the beach—mats and chairs, boogie boards, handy cooler for packing drinks and lunches.

Because the North Shore offers so much to its visitors, we stayed local—several great restaurants and bars in Hanalei, many hikes and beaches, cute little places to shop in town. We were very impressed with how friendly and helpful the merchants were to us. Check out local bars, restaurants, and the Com

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

This is the place to rent in Kauai!

Review submitted: November 26, 2012   Date of arrival: July 27, 2012

This is the place to rent in Kauai! It has it all--great views, great location, great decor, great amenities. The owner was very helpful and thought of everrything--from the music selection to the hot tub on the lanai, you won't want to leave. Wow!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 3

 

Exactly the atmosphere I hoped for!

Review submitted: July 9, 2012   Date of arrival: March 20, 2012

When searching for where we would stay, my primary hope in renting a house was to be in the 'real' environment. I wanted to really see and hear Hawaii. This did exactly that.
The drive to the Guest House is down a long driveway lined with spectaluarly huge foliage, that I can only describe as prehistoric as I would imagine it. The sound of the rushing river just feet away from the house is soothing beyond belief. The sound of the frogs just after sunset lets you know you really are something tropical and amazing.
The house worked really well for us. We went with another couple and we each had 18 month olds. I worried about being some place that wasn't 'childproof' and my concerns vanished quickly. Though the house is raised up (I don't now what that is called there) and there are stairs to the front door, it was simple to block access for the kids to get outside. If we had wanted to leave the doors open, we knew a quick stop at Walmart for a baby gate for the stairs would have done the trick. Inside, there really wasn't anything they could get into. The only issue was the coffee table, but what child doesn't find a way to get hurt with a coffee table around?!
If you want secluded, tranquil, beautiful, peaceful, wonderful and waterfront, this is the place for you!

Recommended for: families with young children, girls getaway, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Fabulous Kauai property!

Review submitted: March 1, 2012   Date of arrival: January 22, 2012

The River House is a wonderful place to stay on Kauai! We can't wait to return there. The listing description and pictures are very accurate. What you see at the website is what you get. On second thought--no it is not--it is even nicer than portrayed. The house is spotlessly clean and well maintained. The wood floors gleam. It is nicely and comfortably decorated. The kitchen is well equipped. We prepared most of our meals there and walked past the beautiful dining table to eat on the table on the lanai with the fantastic view of the river and all the beautiful trees and flowers. We picked our own grapefruit, tangelos, lime, and avocado. What a treat for us coming from a snowy climate. The spa on the lanai feels wonderful after a day of touring. The grill is nice and large enough for four. We all slept very well as the beds were quite comfortable.
The owner, Mark, was very helpful and I now call him a friend. He answered our questions about the area--especially where to snorkel and hike. He watched the weather and figured out the best times for us to do the activities we wanted. He made our bookings for a catamaran tour, helicopter tour, and luau. We were very well taken care of and everything went very seamlessly.
Hanalei is a nice location. Don't miss stopping in at Tahiti Nui and sit in the George Clooney chair. Sunsets off of Ke'e beach and Hanalei beach and pier. Hike the Napali coast. Snorkel at Tunnels and Anini Beach. Drive to Princeville and enjoy the Kilauea lighthouse. Go to church at the Waioli Hui mission church and enjoy the hymns sung in hawaiian--they are very welcoming and it was a beautiful service. Take a day and drive to Waimea canyon and Koke'e park. It is a bit of a drive, but the scenery is breathtaking. Don't miss seeing the Napali coast by catamaran or a helicopter tour of the island. Yes, they cost quite a bit but we are glad we did both of them. The luau at Tahiti Nui is not to be missed. As you can see, you won't be bored if you want to go out and do things. Or do nothing and enjoy the island ambience right there at the River House. It is located in a beautiful and quiet setting and it is nice to just sit back and enjoy the property.
Yes, we would definately recommend the River House to our friends and relatives. In fact, we already have. WE CAN NOT WAIT TO GO BACK!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 7 / 7

 

Paradise on Earth

Review submitted: February 22, 2012   Date of arrival: July 20, 2008

My husband and I stayed at the river estate 7/2008 it was an amazing experience. The best beach is only a short drive, the best spa as well (great Ayurveda treatments). When your here you unwind, slow down and just enjoy living. This home is where it all begins....what are you waiting for...book it.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Aloha Marilyn. It's so very kind of you review my property and recommend it after so many years. It took me completely by surprise and totally made my day today! I'm so grateful to know your experience here has been with you for this amount of time. Times like this let me know I'm doing a good job. Aloha Nui Loa!
Mark Barbanell
River Estate

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Our favorite place on Kauai, great for cooks, very well maintained.

Review submitted: December 5, 2010   Date of arrival: November 25, 2010

I regret posting this because it will probably mean the schedule will fill up even more now :)

River Estate is our favorite place to stay on Kauai, and its owner, Mark, is one of the most helpful, nicest guys you could ever meet.

I will try to describe our style and that will indicate if it's right for you:
- We went to the Kapa'a and Hanalei Sunshine (Farmers) markets, Hoku foods, and bought all our groceries for the week. We did all our cooking ourselves, except for the last night. The appliances are modern, the kitchen is clean and well-maintained, and the utensils are diverse and well-organized.
- We spent most of our time vegging on the beaches, taking day-trips out around the island, and going for hikes.
- On the rainier days, we were happy to sit out on the porch or inside in the living room and just read for a while. River Estate is a great place for this. Very comfortable environment.
- The stereo has an iPod dock. NICE.
- The house has A/C, even though you probably won't want to use it

The master bedroom is all windows, but the location and privacy from trees mean you don't have to worry about neighbors looking in.

I think what makes River Estate different from a lot of places is the amount of detail and care put into its presentation. We've stayed other places where everything just felt cheap and temporary, the owners knowing that the customers were going to trash it. River Estate is not this way. You treat it like your own home because it's kept clean and maintained so well.

Just so I can provide some comments about who this isn't right for:

I would say this is not the right location for someone who can't buy their own groceries or cook. Not the river estate in particular, but Haena/Eastern Hanalei. You're 15 minutes from food at all times by car (there's a little shop nearby but it's a convenience store).

It's also not the right spot for someone who can't take a little rain here and there. The north shore is beautiful because of the rainfall. We didn't mind at all, and had no problem hanging out on the beach while rain clouds passed by, knowing they'd be followed with sunshine.

Overall, A++, our favorite place on the island so far, and Mark is super helpful.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, families with young children, families with teenagers, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 6 / 6

 

WONDERFUL HONEYMOON! We're coming back!

Review submitted: October 27, 2010   Date of arrival: October 3, 2010

I had been looking at different housing options for our honeymoon and was really hoping to find someplace that was private and secluded but was also close enough to the things that we wanted to do/see. I also was looking for a house that was in beautiful surrounding... I found that and more with the River Estate!

The place was immaculate and had everything we could want... full kitchen, hot tub, A/C in all the rooms! We spent almost every morning eating breakfast on the lanai watching the river flow by... I wish we were back there right now!

I've been to Kauai as well as Maui, Oahu and the Big Island before and this was the best place I've stayed by far and was exactly what we needed to relax and feel at home.\

The owner was wonderful to talk to and was very helpful over the phone!

We had a wonderful time exploring the island and always looked forward to coming back to the house at the end of the day. We also spent a few days sleeping in, walking to the beach or around Hanalei town and watching a DVD while eating dinner.

The north shore of Kauai is probably my favorite area in the world and the River Estate is now my favorite place.

Thanks to Mark for making our time in Kauai such a dream honeymoon and for offering such a wonderful place for travelers to experience the majestic island of Kauai!

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Helpful votes: 4 / 4

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: July 9, 2010   Date of arrival: June 19, 2010

We were able to book four wonderful nights at River Estate and could not have asked for a better place to stay while on Kauai. This is our first trip to Hawaii and we decided to spend the first part of our honeymoon on the north shore. River Estate is perfect! Romantic, private, comfortable and luxurious all in one place. So wonderfully secluded we felt like we were the only people on the island surrounded by jungle. Kauai is just gorgeous and the views from every part of the island will never get old. Cook your meals here. There is nothing more relaxing than being out on the lanai drinking local beers to the sound of the river. Thanks Mark for such an amazing start to our honeymoon. We can't wait to see what else Hawaii has to offer but we're also very sad to leave! We will never forget our time at River Estate and will definitely be bac

Helpful votes: 1 / 2

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: July 9, 2010   Date of arrival: May 1, 2010

Nine years of visits and the romance goes on!!! Wow looking back to my comments from 2008 what can I add... The house is still the best and the view from the lanai is still my all time favorite. I can never get enough of the river and the sway of the bamboo. We're not much on sightseeing now because we love it here in paradise too much. Ya know between here and Hanalei is enough for us. Quiet evenings on the lanai with the whisper of the wind and a light rain...it's priceless. Mark is a treasure to share this paradise with us. Mahalo nui loa Mark! Thanks again for taking us out to Baracuda for the great dinner. We had a great time and next time we're there I propose cooking for us at the house. Speaking of next time we're thinking of a 3 or 4 week stay. I hope you'll be able to fit us in and we promise to leave! I can now face another few months of the grind! So sorry to go. xoxo

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 
Guest Comment entered by owner

Review submitted: July 9, 2010   Date of arrival: July 3, 2010

Aloha! We just spent the most amazing honeymoon at River Estate. What a great place to start the next chapter of our lives together. The house has the perfect setting, everything we needed and much more. We loved falling asleep and waking up the the sound of the river. Thank you so much Mark for sharing one of your homes with us. We are so lucky to have gotten to stay in such a wonderful place. We are both very sad to be leaving tomorrow but we know we'll be back

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

A little piece of heaven on earth

Review submitted: March 29, 2010   Date of arrival: March 22, 2010

The River Estate is, in my opinion, the absolute best place to stay in Kauai. These pictures are beautiful and true but do not capture this peaceful and private property with a lush tropical landscaping and a river running next to it. The house is raised in Hawaiian style giving one a feeling of living in a tree house. The interior is modern, convenient and tastefully decorated. If you decide to venture out, gorgeous beaches are close, as are rivers for kayaking and the Na Pali coast for hiking or snorkeling. The best part of venturing away, as we did for scuba diving in Poipu, is that you know you'll soon leave the crowds behind to return to your oasis of peace and tranquility.

My husband and I, along with my teen son, celebrated our 25th anniversary here. We had a blast zip lining over lush valleys in the morning, and then shopping in the afternoon at the Farmer's Market for luscious tropical mangoes, pineapples, bananas and salad makings, and at the Hanalei fish market for some of the freshest fish ever. That evening we put together and enjoyed quite a feast with a champagne toast and a tropical arrangement that would be a king's ransom state side. Forget the shi shi restaurant...this was far superior!

Our last day here came up too quickly and we awoke early knowing we needed to pack up for heading back home. One of my very favorite memories is of feeling a little chilly that morning, jumping back into bed with my cup of coffee with my husband of 25 years by my side, and watching the sun rise as we listened to the exotic birds call and the river rushing by. Now that's something to dream about until we can make our way back...

Mark is a tremendous host. He was very gracious in sharing this very special place with us, and we felt blessed to be there.

Recommended for: adventure seekers, age 55+, families with young children, families with teenagers, girls getaway, sight seeing, romantic getaway

Owners response: Kauai is truly a magical place to experience. Reading all the positive comments that are written by my guests is just as rewarding for me as the experience of being on Kauai is for them. Mahalo Nui Loa

Helpful votes: 1 / 1

 

Review submitted: July 9, 2009   Date of arrival: July 9, 2009

The River Estate is pure heaven. Every morning the birds woke us up to yet another beautiful day. Only a short drive to Haena, which we thoroughly enjoyed!! Mark, you have a little bit of paradise on one of the world's most spectacular islands. Thank You!!

Helpful votes: 2 / 2

 

Guestbook Comment

Review submitted: March 19, 2009   Date of arrival: March 1, 2009

This is a truly wonderful place to stay! Tucked into the forest next to a stream, the only sounds you hear are birds, the bubbling water, and the occasional dog. First-class and beautiful accommodations, tastefully furnished, high-speed internet, one of the best-equipped kitchens we've seen, and an incredibly helpful owner complete the package. First-class beaches are nearby, though not in walking distance.

Helpful votes: 3 / 3

 

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