Big Island

Your Hawai’i Life Big Island Vacation Rental Opportunity Guide: 3 Big Island Vacation Rental Complexes

One of Hawaii’s best kept secrets among property investors is the Big Island of Hawai’i. Far removed from the crowds of Waikiki, the largest island in the Hawaiian chain presents a unique opportunity to own a vacation rental property in one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. With its dramatic landscapes and growing reputation as an attractive haven for affluent vacationers, the Big Island is worth consideration for those looking to purchase a vacation rental property.

Traditionally the most affordable of the most populated islands, visitors to the Big Island can easily experience the best of Hawaii’s distinct Polynesian culture and natural beauty during their visit. While a stay on the island is by no means inexpensive, the opportunity to own property in idyllic Hawai’i while renting to vacationers who can help offset carrying costs drives many to seek out investment opportunities here. Information detailed in our Hawaii Vacation Rental Property Statement of Facts & Trends Report.

The Big Island traditionally attracts many types of travelers, from budget vacationers to high net worth individuals. As the island is fast becoming a playground for celebrities and those inclined to a more luxurious lifestyle, it is becoming more and more commonplace to see the Kona International Airport runway lined with private jets. It is also worth noting that the Hilo Airport on the island’s east side no longer accepts international flights, which has boosted the desirability of the Kona coast for vacation rental buyers.

The island’s expansive size is an important selling point for many. At over 4,000 square miles, large enough for all of the other Hawaiian islands to fit inside, the Big Island enjoys ample space for visitors to get out and explore all that the island has to offer.

With three major routes traversing the Big Island, traveling from one town to the next is a chance to take in ever changing views of the island’s eight independent climate zones. Scan the horizon as you drive and you’ll be met with scenes of the Pacific Ocean, towering tropical forests, and one or more of the island’s five major volcanoes, the most prominent being Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa.

With so much space and variety, there are nearly endless possibilities for outdoor exploration on both land and sea. Ocean enthusiasts flock to the coast, which is blocked by Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa for extreme calm waters and world class fishing. Boating and scuba diving are both popular activities on the island’s west side given the calm waters and extraordinary marine life. This is also the setting for world class events like the Ironman World Championship, an annual event that draws tens of thousands of visitors and racers from around the globe to Kailua-Kona. 

Given all the island’s allure and beauty, how do you discern which areas have the most qualified vacation rental investments? While there are pockets of opportunity across the island, several key factors converge on the Big Island’s western coastline to make it a highly attractive market. Let’s look at three specific properties to consider.

From the championship golf courses at Kulalani at Mauna Lani to the coveted sea views at Kanaloa, the Big Island excels at island-style, laidback luxury. Rental properties across the island’s western coast from South Kona to Puako cater to upscale vacation experiences with on-site amenities within walking (or golf carting) distance from the front door. Here are our top three complex recommendations for luxury property investments.

Nestled in coastal Waikoloa, Waikoloa Beach Villas sit directly across the street from Queens Marketplace, so guests can easily walk to premier restaurants, retailers, and a luxury cinema. Vacationers can enjoy two state of the art pools or take a two minute drive to the pristine waters of ‘Anaeho’omalu Beach. In fact, many visitors skip the car rental process entirely due to Waikoloa’s ample on-site and close-by amenities.

For those who find waterfront living appealing, Kanaloa is a high end property in Keauhou tucked in between a turquoise seascape and the manicured green at Kona Country Club. Known for its friendliness towards short-term rentals, it’s no wonder why visitors and residents alike appreciate the endless opportunities to relax at Kanaloa’s three pools, two tennis courts, and a myriad of scenic walking trails. In fact, Kanaloa’s cliffside trail offers the perfect viewpoint to spot whales playing in the waves during migration season.

Choices in luxury properties are no less impressive as you travel North to Mauna Lani, home to Kulalani. This serene, gated community provides cardholder access to the on-site, members only sports club and pool. The two-story residences provide coveted privacy in the heart of world renowned golf courses and rich foliage. Residents are free to navigate their golf carts along manicured trails to reach a refined selection of retail and dining options, including an oceanfront restaurant with direct beach access.

In recent years the Big Island has become an increasingly sought-after destination for affluent vacationers, making it an opportune time for property owners to consider adding a Hawai’i vacation rental to their portfolio. However, understanding market trends and finding the ideal place to invest isn’t always straightforward. 

At Hawaii Life, we have a unique team of Realtors who specialize in working with those focused on second home and vacation rental investments. Inquire to learn more about active and potential units for sale in these complexes. True experts in this field and a huge asset to anyone focused on this segment of the housing market, our team has decades of experience, in-depth on the ground knowledge, and access to critical data points that investors need. A commitment in providing clients with the necessary support to ensure well-informed choices.

Our in-house vacation rental management division generates nearly $30M in revenue and upwards of 74,000 bookings annually. And together with Hawai’i Life agents, we are the most well equipped Hawai’i real estate firm when it comes to helping vacation rental investors. 

In an upcoming article, we do a deep dive into each complex so potential investors can get comprehensive insight on why they should consider these complexes above others on the island. If you’d like to get insider advice on investing in real estate on the Big Island’s west coastline, we’re here to guide you to the property that best meets your real estate goals.

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