Resort-Like Home on Hawaii's Big Island

Jeanne Sunderland, owner of Hawaii Island Retreat at Ahu Pohaku Ho'omaluhia, created a personal Hawaiian resort for herself and her family. Take a tour of the home, which boasts indoor/outdoor living spaces with incredible ocean views.
By: Susan Hornik
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Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Photo By: Lia Wailani Watkins

Front Entrance

The front porte-cochere features classical columned porticos and hand-chosen lava rocks.

Water Entrance

Sunderland is a big believer in feng shui. “As you make your way through the classical columns, you travel over a reflective pool and water fountain,” she says. “One of the most effective and popular feng shui choices, front entrance water brings good luck, prosperity and abundance to the home. It activates and retains positive chi, allowing it to freely enter into the home.”

Living Room

“This is our quintessential family room,” Sunderland says. “Though hard to believe, we often light this fireplace in the winter. The Big Island of Hawaii boasts 10 of the 13 climate zones in the world, and there is even snow on Mauna Kea in the winter.”

Kitchen

A large kitchen with a granite-topped island has become the most social room in the Sunderlands’ home. “Two ovens and three countertops allow the entire family and friends to cook and spend time together,” Sunderland says.

Dining Room

The dining room was designed to display beauty in every direction. Curved windows face northwest toward the Pacific Ocean, while a handcrafted skylight reflects rainbows of color onto the white maple wood dining table.

Bathroom

Sunderland feels the bathroom is the most important room in the house, as her family loves taking baths. “We created this bathroom to offer a spa-like atmosphere, with upscale amenities that include granite countertops, stylish lavatories and a bidet,” she says. “It’s all designed to complement the star feature: our two-person hydrotherapy bathtub.”

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom is separated from the main house by the Venetian chandelier hallway. “This offers privacy and separation from the ‘main house’ activities and boasts the best views of Maui. The morning light reflects vividly on the cliffs and valleys of Maui,” Sunderland says.

Serenity Room

The house’s serenity room overlooks the meandering lily pond and fish sanctuary. Vibrant flowering plants and exotic succulents surround the pond.

Blue Room

Sunderland chose the color of this room to reflect the water and endless sky you can see from every window of their home. “Our blue room is full of peace and tranquility,” she says.

Puakea Etched Glass

Local artist Patty Van Asperen lovingly created this hand-etched glass surrounding the dining room. “The scene features the moon rising over the Pacific Ocean; a moment reflected in the windows adjacent every full moon,” Sunderland says.

Saltwater Pool

The saltwater pool features amazing views of the Pacific Ocean and Hana, Maui. “Edged by natural lava rock collected from the surrounding land, this is a perfect spot to watch the humpback whales breach in the winter,” Sunderland explains.

Lanai

The Hawaiian word “lanai” means “porch, veranda, balcony; a temporary roofed construction with open sides near a house.” Sunderland created the quintessential Hawaiian lanai, complete with pillars and open on three sides. “This is a wonderful place to relax and reflect,” she says.

Rainbow Over Pool

The warm Kohala rains that usually last a few minutes, weekly create the most amazing rainbows. “A common occurrence is that it will be raining on the west side of the house while the sun is bright and shining on the east side,” Sunderland says.

Poolside Seating

Sunderland’s poolside patio overlooks bougainvillea, palm trees, wispy clouds and the Pacific Ocean. “It’s a perfect day when we can spend time in the saltwater pool gazing at Maui,” she says. “The antique sundial reminds me that there is no need for a watch in Hawaii.”

View at Sunset

A Hawaiian sunset with Maui silhouetted in the background is a sight not to be missed. The palm trees and saltwater pool are beautiful additions.