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The Onion House

USA / Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
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A breathtaking work of art in natural architecture, perfectly positioned on Hawaii's awe-inspiring Kona coast.

Not only does The Onion House have its very own Wikipedia page, but the spectacular home has also been featured in the global media on numerous occasions - including MTV's ‘Extreme Cribs'.

A true testament to innovation and determination, The Onion House was designed by the acclaimed architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg...who also crafted it himself, after his ambitious plans were rejected by local contractors.

Perfectly positioned on a hill that overlooks Kona's beautiful shoreline, the house is a striking example of organic architecture - buildings that are designed to live and breathe in harmony with their surroundings.  

In direct contrast to luxury five-star hotel suites, a stay at The Onion House allows you to live amongst nature in unique ‘tropical glamping' style. So expect the occasional gecko or lizard visitor, and don't expect to be able to switch on the air-con!

Crafted from locally-sourced materials wherever possible, the home's clever roof panels are translucent (just like onion skin), allowing sunlight to flood inside by day, while screened walls and stained glass panels beautifully integrate the outdoors into the living areas.  

Prefer to relax in the Great Outdoors itself? Then the spacious ocean-view terrace, immaculately carved from the home's lava rock base, is perfect. Oh, and there's also a 70-foot pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens - ideal for those who enjoy a pre-dinner swim in surroundings that genuinely feel like paradise.

While the house is ideal for two couples, it can sleep up to six people. You'll find two comfortable bedrooms in the main house, and a separate, large master bedroom accessed by a covered outdoor walkway.  Not only does each bedroom step right out into the gardens, but you'll also discover a private, walled meditation garden. What better excuse to switch off and unwind?

The main house is, of course, also home to every holiday need, including a well-equipped kitchen and the guest bathroom. The master suite is in a separate building with its own unique bathroom, and the two structures are connected by a breezeway. There's an outdoor shower, plus all the mod-cons you might expect in the form of WiFi, TV and a stereo system.

While it's easy to feel as though you're blissfully worlds away from ‘real life', the town of Kona, beaches and excellent snorkelling spots are a mere five minutes away.  

The Onion House is also an ideal ‘base camp' to explore all the culture and beauty of Hawaii - the Big Island - which features everything from tropical rainforests and beaches, to snow-covered mountains and an active volcano.

If you're in the mood for some extra luxury (or you simply don't feel like venturing out!), you can make arrangements for a private chef to whip up some local specialities, or even book an in-house massage.

So if you're suffering from a creative block, or you simply feel like spiriting yourselves away to an authentic tropical haven, you're sure to find that a break spent at The Onion House will transform your view of the humble holiday forevermore.

Things to note

Young children are not suitable to stay under the age of 12, and the property is not suited to those with restricted mobility. Although there are three bedrooms, the third/smallest bedroom has a double bed, as well as only a low wall separating it from the house. Thus, parties of 6 will experience less privacy than parties of 4. No smoking. No pets permitted. No parties or gatherings of outside guests.  Quiet hours are between 9pm and 8am via local ordinance. 

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The basics

Region: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Cost (from): £315 per night
Sleeps: Up to 6
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
Minimum stay: 4 nights (5 over Christmas)
Property ref: 965

Facilities

Ideal for four but sleeps up to 6, king bedroom, queen bedroom, double bedroom, two bathrooms with large showers, bedding & towels provided, fully equipped kitchen, oven, fridge, dishwasher, microwave, Keurig coffee machine, toaster, kitchen equipment, dining area for 4, fans, laundry, washer & dryer, telephone, iron & board, lounge area, Wi-Fi, satellite TV, stereo, books, outdoor shower, terrace, grill, outdoor furniture, outdoor swimming pool, parking.

Local activities

Surfing, waterfalls, beaches, swimming, rainforest, mountain hiking, cycling, diving, snorkeling, watersports, Volcanos National Park.

At a glance

  • The Onion House is a breathtaking, architect-designed home ideal for four but that sleeps up to six people on Hawaii's stunning Kona coast.
  • The house is an example of organic architecture, and as such is more reminiscent of a tropical glamping experience than a five-star hotel suite. Expect the occasional lizard or gecko to visit, and don't expect ‘luxuries' such as aircon!
  • Regrettably, the house is not suitable for children under twelve, or for those who have accessibility requirements, due to numerous stairs and uneven surfaces.
  • Delightfully private, the house is a mere five minutes from the local town and beaches. Guests can arrange in-house services including massage and private catering on request.
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