For our accommodation on the eastern side of the island, we decided to use Airbnb and found Zen Garden Room in Keaa'u to be ideal. It was in a central location, price was right ($90/night), and, most importantly, it seemed like an experience in itself to stay there. Chickens roaming the property! Freshly-picked fruit and just-laid eggs for breakfast! An outdoor shower!! I was sold.
I will start off and say that the property was just as advertised. Here are our pictures of the zen garden room:
(bug spray was a must)
Doesn't seem too bad, right?
But the longer we stayed, things got progressively worse. I will list them:
- the traffic noise. our room backed to a busy road.
- the roosters cock-o-doodle-do'ing all night long.
- there was nowhere to lay anything.
- no daily service so our towels, sheets, blankets, pretty much everything were always damp due to the rainy weather. It got gross.
- the floor...also got gross with our wet shoes in and out of the room.
- lastly, the biggie, the outdoor bathroom sounded like a romantic idea...until you have to use the toilet in the middle of the night...during pouring rain...which happened often. haha, the hubs and i have some funny stories to tell for the rest of our lives.
(on the flip side, it was cool and rustic to shower outdoor when it was dry)
I will say that I think zen garden room is great for a max of 2-night stay. We stayed for 4 and the whole "roughing it" got old and we craved for some modern conveniences, like not having to hold a flashlight while using the bathroom.
All that aside, Bryn, our lovely hostess, and her husband were warm and welcoming. They gave us the best suggestions on where to go, what to see. We saw each other once a day (over breakfast) and we were on our own the rest of the time. It was perfect. One afternoon we came back and the electricity was out. I texted Bryn and she immediately took care of it.
The property itself was beautiful. Plants, plants, and more plants! We saw a number of fruit trees. I counted banana, papaya, pineapple, avocado, lemon, and probably a lot more. I would love to have an avo tree! They even have a pond full of guppies that Luke got really excited over.
Every morning, we went to their home for breakfast. Always fresh fruit to start, followed by scrambled eggs and toast. On the last day, she made banana pancakes. Everything organically homegrown and deliciously homemade!
I know that once I get back home, I am going to miss zen garden room because overall it was a fun experience :) But for now I am glad we are at a nice, posh hotel where the bed doesn't smell like mosquito repellent.