Kona Hawaii: During a recent interview with celebrated architect Rees Jones about his golf course at Kohanaiki, he quickly boasted, “The community is unprecedented. It may never be repeated in Hawaii.”

I am willing to go one step further. Kohanaiki may never be repeated in America. With 450 acres of oceanfront property and over a mile and a half of shoreline, Kohanaiki has set the standard for luxury island living. Expansive amenities range from a Rees Jones golf course (with six oceanfront holes) to a Shay Zak designed, 67,000 square-foot clubhouse. 

The multi-level building includes an extensive curated Hawaiian art collection; a spa with four indoor/outdoor treatment rooms; a fitness center overlooking the Pacific Ocean; a 25-meter lap pool; and a 120-seat, open-air restaurant. The lower level is dedicated to recreation with a four-lane bowling alley, a 21-seat movie theater, an arcade, a card lounge, and wine tasting rooms. The newest addition is a microbrewery.

“At this level of design and finish, just about everything was custom made and best in class,” said Steven Rose, director of member services. “This meant sourcing the right materials and hiring the best craftsmen from around the world.”

Other member facilities include multiple tennis courts, a batting cage, an outdoor K-Fit exercise course, a family pool with water slide, biking trails, an organic community farm, and a beachfront hale with experienced watermen for escorted ocean sports.

Since opening, real estate sales have totaled in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Its achievement can be traced in-part to its vast array of member amenities.

Clearly, Kohanaiki’s family centric focus receives equal billing for its reputation as one of America’s most successful private communities this decade.

“Our family had an amazing week at Kohanaiki last year,” said Annika Sorenstam, winner of 90 professional tournaments including 10 majors. “There really aren’t enough superlatives to describe our experience. The amenities are off the charts. We enjoyed every aspect of the club from water sports to the bowling alley. Members we met were fun and the staff was extremely friendly. It was simply first-class all the way.”

Festive Season

Kohanaiki shines during winter with a full calendar of member events—several with a unique twist. “Kona is world famous for the Ironman Triathlon,” reported Ikaika Kanuha, Adventure Team manager at Kohanaiki. “So, we created the Kohanaiki Relay as a family-friendly twist to the Ironman for our members. Instead of an endurance test of swim, bike, run—our trio of challenges includes golf [where you putt with a pool stick], boat races, and a fitness obstacle course [where a limber back is your best friend].”

“We also feature a complete schedule of golf tournaments,” explained Marty Keiter, director of golf. “Several years ago we started ‘The Q’ which is a takeoff of the famous Pebble Beach Clambake. After the Mitsubishi Champions Tour event at Hualalai, we invite players [including Scott McCarren and Rocco Mediate] over for a friendly competition. The following of players grows larger each year.”

Sweeping Ocean Views

Abundant sunshine and Kona’s warm ocean water make for an idyllic setting. Just offshore is Ono Lane, one of the island’s most bountiful fishing and diving regions. Kona is known for its fishing tournaments, including the Hawaiian International Billfish Tournament. Summer in Kona brings canoe regatta season and canoe clubs from around the island and state gather for a weekend of paddling contests, culminating in long-distance canoe races on Labor Day weekend.

Kohanaiki’s residents have access to the community’s 39-foot boat, named Kai Kea. “It’s a popular member amenity for snorkeling, scuba, or possibility trolling popular fishing spots in the hope of catching dinner!” smiled Rose. 

For more information, please visit Kohanaiki.com.

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