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Aspire to escape at the eco-luxury membership resort Kohanaiki

A view of the expansive front lawn at the Kohanaiki Clubhouse.

There’s a lot that could be (and has been) said about Kohanaiki, an invitation-only private club community located on the Big Island of Hawaii. It features amenities most people couldn’t dream of indulging in. Its luxuries include an 18- hole championship golf course designed by Rees Jones Inc., a decked-out beach club that houses a restaurant, bar and pool and a 67,000-square- foot clubhouse that’s home to a world-class spa, wine-tasting room and bowling alley. But what the majority of people miss in the conversation around Kohanaiki is the club’s unwavering commitment to and investment in the preservation and restoration of Hawaiian land and culture.

An aerial view of the Kohanaiki.
A team dive at Kohanaiki.

Located at the foot of the lava flows from the active volcano, Hualālai, Kohanaiki draws its name from a traditional land division called an ahupua`a and was once home to a thriving community that harvested fish and cultivated crops. All of these details and more are celebrated and infused into the offerings at Kohanaiki, which was built around an environmentally sustainable infrastructure that protects local archaeological sites and natural resources. Since 2007, the club has partnered with lineal descendants of the land’s original dwellers to retain the island’s magic through everything from educational programs to eco-sensitive building practices.

Inside the dynamic Beach Restaurant Bar.

Let’s talk about those buildings, which more than live up to the community’s environmentally friendly brand of luxury. Properties at Kohanaiki range in size and price from $3M to over $20M and members have the option of designing and building their own homes or choosing from a range of move- in ready finishes and offerings designed by firms like Glazier Le, Zak Architecture, Jim McLaughlin and Warren Sunnland. Home ownership isn’t a must at Kohanaiki, however: Hale Club members can use one of the Shay Zak-designed residences plus all club amenities when on-site. A limited number of these invitation-only memberships are available and members are eligible for 45 days or 120 room nights per year, whichever is reached first.

Outside a Kohanaiki Hale Club Home during the magic hour. 

Kae Elledge, Kohanaiki’s director of design, says the architecture and interiors of the residences embody “casual elegance.” Elledge, who also curates accessories and art that reflect the island’s natural surroundings, adds, “We have interiors that connect with the outdoors–wide, sliding pocket doors that create a seamless space between indoors and outdoors. The homes’ interiors, which are free of clutter, allow the homeowner to gravitate toward the amazing Kona weather, lush landscaped outdoor areas and views.” – Michelle Konstantinovsky

Rich, natural textures are prevelant in the interiors of the Kohanaiki Hale Club.