Back deck looking over the grass and ocean at Sweet Escape villa rentalBack deck looking over the grass and ocean at Sweet Escape villa rentalBack deck looking over the grass and ocean at Sweet Escape villa rental

Hawaii Hideaways
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Hawaii Hideaways, Inc. Specializing in Luxury Vacation Home and Villa Rentals in Hawaii

December 2007

By John Fischer

I’ve never written much about vacation rentals in Hawaii. There are literally thousands of them scattered around each of the main Hawaiian Islands. The main problem with vacation rentals is that unless you know the owner or listing agent it’s very much a hit or miss proposition.

Even if you decide to rent a condominium through one of the major, reputable companies such as ResortQuest, you’re just as likely to be dissatisfied with your choice as not. Within the same building, quality of accommodations can vary widely. The problem gets even worse when you decide to rent a vacation home or villa for you and your group of family or friends. As the price gets higher your chance of mistake becomes more of a worry.

I was recently delighted to learn that there is a company which can not only handle all of the details of booking for you, but also – more importantly – match you and your group with the right home for your needs and expectations. The company I’m talking about is Hawaii Hideaways, Inc., headquartered on Maui with agents on each of the main Hawaiian Islands. Their inventory consists of over 200 of the best vacation homes and villas in Hawaii.

Frankly, Hawaii Hideaways is not for the majority of people planning a trip to Hawaii. They deal only with the creme de la creme of rentals in the islands, so these rentals are not cheap. However, if you’re looking for the amenities of a luxury resort with the privacy of home, you should consider renting a property from Hawaii Hideaways.

Each of the luxury homes and villas in their inventory comes with amenities such as optional 24-hour concierge service, private chef, yoga instructor, and personal spa therapists. For a perfect honeymoon hideaway, family reunion or place for a group of friends to share, a luxury vacation home rental from Hawaii Hideaways is definitely an option worth considering.

Before I describe some of the exceptional homes in their Maui inventory, let me tell you a bit about the company and its president and founder, Anne Pawsat-Dressler. It’s hard to believe, but before Anne started her venture, there was no similar Hawaii based company in existence. It was definitely a void that was screaming to be filled.

Anne earned a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Yale University, where she studied behavioral neuroscience. Before heading to Hawaii, Anne streamlined computer operations at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s midtown Manhattan office, produced a documentary film, and managed the million-dollar auction purchases of clients at Christie’s in London, while finding time to extensively travel the world.

Anne’s travels throughout Europe and Central America gave her a unique insight into the preferences of upper-echelon travelers. Thanks to Anne’s long-standing record for service and client satisfaction, she has been named a 2006 Conde Nast Traveler “Villa Rental Specialist,” one of three for the United States and the only recommended agent for the state of Hawaii.

In just a few short years, Anne and her exceptional associates have established a service-intensive business that matches top-echelon leisure travelers and corporate clients with idyllic rental homes. Anne’s success comes from perfect timing and the outstanding customer service skills needed to satisfy a new trend in luxury travel: the demand for personalized attention, unparalleled privacy and a choice of properties that match or surpass the luxury of the guests’ year-round homes.

Autumn Quintero, Hawaii Hideaways’ Director of Guest Services brings thirteen years of first-hand Hawaii knowledge and experience to the business. Having lived on Kauai, Oahu and, for the past six years, on Maui, Autumn brings extraordinary knowledge of each of the beautiful islands of Hawaii and is eager to share her passion for fun and adventure. Autumn is an accomplished kite surfer which tells you a lot about her love for the outdoors. Autumn is extremely attentive to the needs of Hawaii Hideaways’ guests assuring that each client has an unforgettable experience.

Hawaii Hideaways focuses on matching affluent leisure travelers and corporate clients with exclusive luxury villas ranging from $2 – $34 million in property values. Daily rentals range from $1,000 to $7,500 per night, with a minimum rental of seven nights. A security deposit and departure cleaning fee is also required.

I realize that for many of you these types of nightly rates are way beyond your vacation budget. But for others of you it is within your means, especially when you consider the benefits and amenities available and compare the price to what you might pay for a much smaller suite at one of Hawaii’s top resorts (which offer excellent, but less personal – and sometimes spotty – service.)

Also, many of the homes in Hawaii Hideaways’ inventory have between three, four and up to ten bedrooms! For a group of close friends or relatives who are willing to pool their funds, the rates per couple become much more affordable. For a couple who intends to marry in Hawaii, a private home or villa is the perfect place for members of the wedding party to stay or for that perfect private honeymoon.

Let’s look at some of the numerous concierge services available through Hawaii Hideaways.

Private Jet Charters

What better way to fly to Hawaii than on your own private jet?. Hawaii Hideaways works with the top charter aircraft companies which offer Learjets, Hawkers, Gulfstreams and Challengers. Air travel from anywhere in North America can be arranged for up to 18 passengers, eliminating all the worries and headaches of commercial air travel.

Limousine Arrangements

Limousines, black town cars or luggage vans are available for island transportation. Most limousines are available for six passengers and luggage. Of course, Hawaii Hideaways will also arrange standard car rentals as well as exotic car and Harley-Davidson motorcycle rentals.

Inter-Island Travel

Many guests want to visit another of Hawaii’s islands, whether to see one of Hawaii’s National Parks, or other natural wonders, or just for a round of golf at one of the islands’ premier golf courses. Hawaii Hideaways can arrange your inter-island transportation by commercial aircraft, private plane and even helicopter. In fact, they’ll be happy to arrange all of your needs when visiting another island including transportation, activity and meal reservations, tee times at golf courses and even personal tour guides.

Personal Chefs

What better way to enjoy island cuisine than having it prepared by your own personal chef right there at your villa or perhaps at a private farm in Upcountry Maui?. I had the pleasure of enjoying the cuisine of three of the personal chefs that work with Hawaii Hideways: Chef Jana McMahon, Chef Dan Fiske and Chef Ralph Giles. Each brings his or her unique talents to the table and each will work with you and your food tastes to prepare anything from (made to order) breakfasts, delicious brunches or gourmet dinners. The price for dinner can range from $100 to $150 per guest, excluding wine which you can select yourself or have the chef purchase and serve. Each of the chefs has an extensive culinary background on the mainland as well as in Hawaii. Many operate their own catering companies. Hawaii Hideaways will work with you to find the chef that best matches your individual tastes and culinary preferences.


If a personal chef is not your choice, Hawaii Hideways will arrange for reservations at any of the fine dining establishments available in the islands as well as at the islands’ most highly regarded luaus.

Activity Reservations

Whether it be a whale watch or sunset cruise, private sail, deep sea fishing expedition, horseback riding, hiking, private island tour or one of Hawaii’s wonderful evening shows and entertainment, Hawaii Hideways will arrange virtually any activity for you. Our group was fortunate to have a wonderful sail on the Hina Sailing Canoe, owned and operated by Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Adventures from Polo Beach in Wailea, Maui. We also enjoyed a hike through the lava fields and ancient Hawaiian village at the Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Preserve led by Hawaiian Cultural Expert Barry Pono Fried of Open Eye Tours & Photos.

Day Spas, Pilates & Yoga, Manicures and Massages

Chefs are not the only personal services which can easily be arranged by Hawaii Hideaways. Guests who wish to experience one of the programs available at the finer resort spas in the islands can easily be accommodated at spas at the Ritz Carlton, Grand Wailea and Four Seasons Maui, to name just a few. Even more popular, Hawaii Hideaways can arrange spa treatments in the privacy of your own luxury vacation home. They have relationships with a select group of trained professionals in the fields of massage, manicures/pedicures, hairstyling and spa-ology. I was privileged to experience both a manicure and massage while relaxing at Villa Kumulani, one of Hawaii Hideways’ amazing properties. Hawaii Hideways also is able to arrange for one-on-one fitness programs such as Pilates or yoga, which allow you to continue your exercise program while on vacation. Don’t worry, you won’t have to pack up and head to the gym. You can exercise right by the pool of your villa if that’s your choice. We enjoyed a one hour yoga session with Alison Miller, Founder of Maui Yoga Experiences.

Now let’s look at a few of the houses and villas available through Hawaii Hideaways.

Maui’s Villa Kumulani is located on two acres of prime real estate where Makena and Wailea meet. Across the street is the lovely Palaueau Bay and within easy walking distance is Polo Beach and the Fairmount Kea Lani Resort. It’s just a short drive or 15 minute walk to the Shops at Wailea along the Wailea Beach Walk.

The 7,500 square foot Villa Kumulani was the host villa for my three night stay with Hawaii Hideways. This one-of-a-kind home was designed by renowned architect Tan Hock Beng, who also designed the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu on Hawaii’s Big Island. In fact, valued at approximately $20 million, Villa Kumulani will remind guests of the Hualalai Resort.

The home follows a quad design with a beautifully landscaped grassy courtyard at the center. Covered walkways connect the living pods to bedroom suites. Each of the four main structures are connected by elaborate rust-colored pillars and wooden covered passages. Tropical greenery, water features and the ocean create dynamic and amazingly peaceful views.

Lowell Tom of Philpotts & Associates of Honolulu, created interiors with a Far East inspiration traveling to China for many furnishings and artwork. Bensley Design Studios of Bangkok are the creators of the exterior landscape, sculpture and artwork utilizing all five of the earthly elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood in their design.

Amenities include a fully-equipped gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances and cookware, wireless internet with MAC port, satellite television, five HDTVs including a 52″ television in the media room, DVD/CD surround sound system, central stereo and saline infinity pool with spa.

Rental starts at around $5000 per night depending on choice of ammenities such as personal chef, concierge etc.

The 2000 square foot, $8 million Aquarium at La La Perouse is located on Maui’s Makena Coast near the entrance to the Ahihi-Kinau Natural Area Reserve. The property offers superb views of the nearby lava fields of Haleakala, the island of Kahoolawe and Molokini Atol. Right next door is ‘Ahihi Cove which offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving. It’s just a short drive to Makena’s famous Big Beach. You couldn’t ask for a lovelier spot for a honeymoon or romantic retreat.

The main house is composed of an open-air master suite on the second story. The Master bath offers his and her bathrooms. The Master bedroom is spectacular with King bed and stunning art adorning the walls. Downstairs, the living room, dinning room, kitchen and full bath open onto the pool and garden. All of the windows facing the ocean are fully-retractable doors. The infinity pool is a saline heated pool with waterfall.

The guest pod is its own structure composed of bath with Jacuzzi tub and Queen bedroom. It is an elevated structure allowing for a circle drive and car port underneath.

The dual-pod residence is perfect for two traveling couples or a small family. At $2250 per night, this is one of Hawaii Hideaways’ most reasonably priced homes and well worth consideration.

My two favorite properties that I visited were both designed by the late Brian Boelter of RSK Architects. \

The first of these properties is called Sea Glass whose interior design was done by Persis Haparia and, while it’s not located near the beach, its elevated location features fanstastic views of D.T. Fleming Beach and the island of Molokai. In fact every room at Sea Glass has access to the outdoors including each of its four bedrooms. In addition the property is located on the world famous 663 yard 18th hole of the Kapalua Plantation Golf Course.

It’s also just a short walk or drive to the Plantation House Restaurant where, by the way, you can order from their highly affordable breakfast and lunch menu from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every day! In the evening it transforms into one of Maui’s fine dining restaurants.

The decor of Sea Glass is contemporary with tasteful appointments and artwork. All counter tops are granite, and the floors are marble throughout with the exception of the lush carpets in the four bedrooms. The open-flow design splits with three bedrooms in the North wing and the Master suite in the South Wing offering complete privacy. The home is fully air conditioned and offers ceiling fans as well. All bedrooms have an en-suite bath, retractable blinds and their own television set.

In fact, Sea Glass is an electronics aficionado’s dream with a Sony 60″ HDTV, DVD, CD, VCR, and a central stereo system that provides music in each room of the house with convenient sound controls. The entire house has access to high-speed wireless Internet. The gourmet kitchen offers two islands – one with stove top, the other with a small sink, two dishwashers, a double sub-zero refrigerator, and other major and small appliances.

At $3,200 – $3,400 per night, Sea Glass is well worth consideration.

My favorite home was also designed by the late Brian Boelter of RSK Architects. Called Kapalua Cret it is one of just four homes overlooking Oneloa Beach in the stunning Kapalua area of West Maui. It’s a great spot to watch the surfers in the bay. In the winter you can see humpback whales right from the lanai.

The home is a blend of Polynesia, Asia, and the Caribbean with touches of classical colonialism. It is filled with elegant furnishings, rich exotic textiles, mahogany and bamboo woods, granite countertops, limestone floors and fine art. The interior decor presents the warm beauty of Hawaiiana design. The media room with its 64″ rear projection HDTV features vintage movie posters from several of the many motion pictures made in Hawaii.

Kapalua Crest features Smart Home technology allowing for Satellite radio and CDs to play throughout the entire estate and the ability to turn off all of the lights in the house with one button.

Fully retractable doors bring the manicured tropical garden, the spacious lanai, Infinity saline pool, Jacuzzi and the Pacific Ocean to your door step.

With 4.5 bedrooms, 5.5 baths and 8,000 sq. ft. of living space, Kapalua Crest can accommodate 8-10 guests. Its $6,400-$6,650 per night rate puts it at the top rung of Maui properties.

Contacting Hawaii Hideaways

For more information about Hawaii Hideaways and the numerous properties that they represent on each of the main Hawaiian Islands, visit their website at or call them toll free at (866) 96-ALOHA.

Call Toll Free: 866-962-5642