Big Island

Kulalani at Mauna Lani: An Investor’s Guide to One of the Big Island’s Most Desirable Luxury Communities

You don’t need to look far on the Big Island of Hawaii’s vast western coastline to locate intriguing luxury investment opportunities. Discerning what makes a property interesting versus investment-worthy, however, can get tricky in this market. Information detailed in our Hawaii Vacation Rental Property Statement of Facts & Trends Report. Starting with the Big Island, we are using our expertise in Hawaii real estate since 2008 to unravel the mysteries of the state’s luxury vacation rental market.

When considering the island’s many luxury properties, Kulalani at Mauna Lani is an obvious selection for our short list. It is important to note that Kulalani at Mauna Lani is available exclusively to cash buyers at this time. Keep reading for insider details on the reason for this, as well as why Kulalani is well worth your consideration and everything you need to know when planning an investment in this complex.

kulalani entrance

Driving into the Mauna Lani’s resort leaves a lasting impression on all who visit. Turn off the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway and you’ll be struck by the property’s natural beauty, sparkling blue waters, lush foliage, and rugged volcanic terrain. 

Situated at its northern end nearest Fairmont Orchid and the Shops at Mauna Lani, Kulalani is one of Mauna Lani’s newest townhome complexes. Its fortunate position affords enviable proximity to white sand beaches and nearby resorts, which we will detail later. Kulalani has managed to encapsulate what many envision as the ideal Hawai’i getaway and driving through the gates into the complex feels akin to coming home to a hidden tropical paradise.

pool at kulalani big island

This sense of wonder continues throughout Kulalani’s 25-acre complex. The gated community offers both security and privacy with 24-hour on site security staff. From the members only clubhouse to the state of the art fitness center, the developers at Kulalani pulled out all the stops to provide exclusive on-site amenities designed for upscale luxury and ease. 

An adults only lap pool and hot tub, as well as a family friendly lagoon-style pool and hottub, provide ample options for various tastes. Residents also enjoy the spacious clubhouse that includes a covered pavilion with gas barbecues and extensive manicured lawns ideal for gatherings.

While these features make it easy to stay close to home, Mauna Lani is a best-in-class resort property designed to explore. One thing that distinguishes Kulalani and the other residences at Mauna Lani is its members’ access to amenities at the newly renovated Mauna Lani Auberge Resort. This includes discounts at its two championship golf courses, and access to tennis courts and white sand beaches for swimming and snorkeling. Residents can also gather for Hawaiian cultural talks by an expert-on-staff and green sea turtle releases right on the property.

Groceries, dining, and shopping at the upscale Shops at Mauna Lani are close enough to walk or take a golf cart to from Kulalani. And residents appreciate the coveted free parking access at beachside Napua Restaurant and Makaiwa Bay, which allows them to bypass public parking entirely. Unlike Waikoloa, Mauna Lani trails and roads allow easy golf cart access, so it is not uncommon to see residents navigating their carts between these various gathering points.

kitchen in kulalani home

The magic continues when you enter any of the townhomes at Kulalani. Some of the distinct features that investors appreciate about Kulalani is that all the townhomes are two stories (so no upstairs or downstairs neighbors) and Kulalani’s buildings are either 4 or 6-plexes. It is important to note there are different floor plans for the 4 and 6-plexes. Of interest to investors and a distinction from neighboring complexes, some floor plans in the 6-plexes feature first-floor master suites with the additional bedrooms located upstairs — an attractive layout for mobility-minded and multigenerational vacationers. 

The bright, open interiors of units are highly attractive for investors who seek distinguished island-style luxury, embodied in elements like winding staircases, gourmet kitchens, and spacious master suites. A consistent theme throughout the complex is the crescent-shaped layout of each building, which allows for elevated privacy, with ground floor lanais positioned to offer each its own views of tropical foliage and the fairway of the Francis H. I’i Brown North Golf Course.

kulalani at mauna lani

Mauna Lani was the first development on this part of the island’s western coastline, even before the Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway was constructed. Kulalani was a later townhome development started in 2006 and now in its final phase of construction.

view from kulalani townhome

Investors appreciate Kulalani at Mauna Lani for its world class location and on-site amenities, unique townhome layouts and interior features, and the elevated lifestyle on the Big Island’s sunny west side. Mauna Lani also offers a markedly different environment from its livelier neighbors Waikoloa Beach and Waikoloa Village, and that is exactly what residents are drawn to. Mauna Lani, and Kulalani specifically, harken back to the quieter days of the Big Island, allowing vacationers to set their own pace.

It is also important to note that due to ongoing litigation between the Kulalani HOA and the developer of the complex, Kulalani at Mauna Lani is currently available exclusively to cash buyers. The rumor mill has been swirling that a settlement to the lawsuit may be on the horizon, which would result in lenders being able to finance the purchase of units in the complex.  If this were to happen it would likely result in a big increase in buyer demand for what is already extremely desirable real estate. 

living room in kulalani townhome

As of June 2023, Mauna Lani boasts a total of 104 completed units. 6-plexes feature units with two bedrooms two baths, or two bedrooms two and a half baths. 4-plexes feature units with two bedrooms two and a half baths, and three bedrooms two and a half baths. Additional units are planned, presenting an exciting opportunity for buyers interested in new builds.

Depending on the floor plan, investors can expect maintenance fees to be approximately $1000 to $1500 per month.

The Big Island’s vacation rental market is as lucrative as ever, making now an ideal time to invest in one of the desirable residences at Kulalani at Mauna Lani. To gain insights on the Big Island as a whole and see our top three picks for luxury vacation rentals, refer to our Big Island Overview article.

If you’re an investor interested in Kulalani, we encourage you to work with a Realtor who has a deep understanding of the unique luxury vacation rental market on the Big Island. We invite interested parties to reach out to the Hawai’i Life team directly regarding Kulalani at Mauna Lani listings. Inquire to learn more about active and potential units for sale at Waikoloa Beach VillasThe Hawai’i Life team who specializes in Big Island investment properties and are well-equipped to help you navigate your options. We’re here to help you make the most informed investment decisions possible.

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