Insider Luxury Travel Blog urn:uuid:4df7d76d-3dc2-b154-6923-c8f606ebb9bc 2017-02-10T17:07:43-07:00 Exotic Estates International Exotic Estates Maui Beach Guide urn:uuid:cd214a9a-09bd-b819-6a1d-7bc870daf456 2017-02-01T15:35:47-07:00 Exotic Estates Maui Beach Guide

Welcome to the beautiful island of Maui! Now that you have arrived in this fabled island, you might be wondering which beach you should visit first. Don't worry, we've got you covered!

The local Exotic Estates' team has crafted a Maui Beach guide to escort you through some of the world's most well-known and picturesque beaches. Grab your bathing suit and sunblock and head out to the best beach near your villa!

Maui Beach Guide Map

Top West Maui Beaches (from North to South)

Honolua Bay (no beach, strictly snorkeling)

This gorgeous bay is perfect for families or anyone who wants to get a front-row seat to Hawaiian Sea-Life. This beach is best for snorkeling and surfing, not for those who are looking to sunbathe.

Honolua Bay is part of a Marine Life Conservation District, so fishing of any kind is strictly prohibited.  This area is closely protected in order to preserve the abundant natural resources for future generations.

Honolua, which means “two harbors” in Hawaiian, is perfect for snorkeling and you will get to see fish, coral, and maybe even a sea turtle. However, be careful as there is not an actual sandy beach entry, and the beach is very rocky. The sea floor is also a bit rocky close to the shore, so you might need to swim further out for decent visibility. Be sure everyone in your party is a strong swimmer!

Slaughterhouse Beach

Located on Mokule’ia Bay, this beach is like Honolua Bay in that is it also part of the Marine Life Conservation district, but there is much sandier beach available making a great option for relaxing in the Maui sun.

The beach's namesake comes from an old Honolua Ranch Slaughterhouse and tanning facility that were located just on the cliff’s edge above the Pacific and although the buildings were torn down in the 60’s, the name stuck.

During the winter, the waves are much bigger and are perfect for veteran surfers and body boarders. Beware as these waves can be potentially dangerous. However, the summer months provide a much more mellow wave, making it a great spot for the novice waterman.

This can also be a great place to snorkel when the ocean is flat!

D.T. Fleming Beach Park

This is a classic beach located next to the Kapalua Resort and the Ritz Carlton and provides a long sandy sweep of coastline.

The name comes from D.T. Fleming, who is the man that introduced the pineapple to West Maui. A desirable location, this beach is less developed than Ka’anapali Beach and therefore is somewhat less crowded. The beach is also staffed with lifeguards, and features a parking lot, picnic tables, grills, restrooms and outdoor showers, and water taps.

During high surf, conditions of the water can be very dangerous and we advise even experiences swimmers to be cautious. During a north swell, this is great beach for surfing and body boarding. Make sure you bring enough snacks to stay, and don’t forget a local pineapple!

Local Tips: 
  • Wear Shoes/Slippers - be sure you’re ok with possibly getting muddy during the quick (probably 5-10 minute) trail from the parking areas to the waterfront. 
  • There are two parking areas, one near the Honolua Bay Overlook, and the other just around the bend from there (less than a minute’s drive past the first). The trail from the parking area near the overlook is a few minutes longer.
  • Bug repellant! If there’s been any rain recently (which there usually has been up there), that little rainforest that’s being trekked through is full of mosquitoes

Kapalua Bay

Kapalua Bay Maui Beach Guide

This sheltered and white-sand beach is located on the north-west side of Maui and is protected by two reefs that extend on each end of the bay.  The calm blue waters make an ideal spot for snorkeling, swimming, and enjoying everything that Maui as to offer.

The sandy beach makes getting in to the water easy for anyone, and whether you are sunbathing or swimming, this is the perfect beach for families! Make sure you bring your towel and mask, as you are sure to see marine life under the water.

Although this beach is located close to the Kapalua Bay Hotel, there are no concessions so also be sure to bring snacks and water. There is no lifeguard on duty so watch kids and inexperienced swimmers closely.

Local Tips: 
  • The surf here can get big, making water activities a little treacherous for kids/inexperienced people
  • This is a more heavily local beach, but is a really big beach and has a beach parking lot

Napili Bay

Napili Bay Maui Beach Guide

One of Maui’s most coveted beaches, Napili Bay features gorgeous white-sand, crystal blue water, and excellent swimming.  A well-known favorite, this beach will be a bit busier than the rest, and for good reason.

The bay is protected by outer reefs from most swell directions, allowing for gentle and small waves and great visibility. This beach is the perfect spot for relaxing in the sun, swimming and snorkeling, and enjoying the warm Maui breeze.

Because this is such a popular beach, beware that it can be crowded. There can also be a steep incline to get into the water. Below the waters surface you will find an abundance of coral and tropical fish. There are also no lifeguards on duty and no public restrooms.

Airport Beach (aka North Kaanapali Beach)

Kahekili Beach Park serves as West Maui’s only airport back in 1960’s and early 70’s, thus gaining it’s namesake. When the airport was moved to Kahana, the land was used to grow sugarcane and in the last ten years the area has experienced much more development.

This beach is a great spot in Maui for diving and usually provides visibility 50-100 feet below the surface. The bottom of the sea is sandy and there are corals from 5-25 feet.

At deeper depths, you can find a patch of reefs which marine life such as Moray Eels, Lionfish, scorpionfish, and much more call home!

Local Tips:
  • Great, easy snorkeling spot
  • There are several areas to park for public beach entrance (no formal beach parking lot), however they do get used up quickly, my favorite is the parking along the side of the road near the Napili Surf Beach resort (there’s a beach access path right at the end of the road)
  • There are often turtles that can be seen feeding near the lava rock formations to the left side of the beach (you walk past them as you’re coming in via the above parking area)

Kaanapali Beach

Kaanapali Beach Maui - Exotic Estates Vacation Villas

Named as America’s Best Beach on more than one occasion, this gorgeous stretch of clean sand and turquoise blue water expands for three miles. Featuring one of Maui’s most famous attractions, Kaanapali is home to Black Rock, where there is a cliff diving ceremony off  the rock (Puu Kekaa) that is held every evening at sunset.

This beautiful beach rests in front of Kaanapali’s hotels and resorts, as well as Whalers Village, which is a world-class shopping complex that has a variety of boutiques and restaurants and even golf courses.

Kaanapali Beach is the quintessential beach in paradise!

Baby Beach (West Maui)

Baby Beach West Maui

A local favorite, Baby Beach is popular with families with young children. This beach is protected by a reef, creating a calm and shallow pool where there is no fear of waves crashing.

The weather is almost always gorgeous and parents can enjoy the magnificent coast views of the Pacific Ocean and neighboring islands. The sandy beach is narrow, and there is also a lot of coral and rocks so beware that you don’t get scraped in the water!

Local Tips:
  • Parking is super easy -  great spot with a big parking lot
  • There’s also a covered pergola/BBQ area as well as restrooms/showers - it’s got the works when it comes to amenities (many Maui beaches  do not have these)
  • Weekdays will be way less crowded, it’s very popular among locals for birthday parties on the weekends

Shark Pit

Shark Pit is at the south end of Lahaina and is perfect spot for surfing. The name comes from the white-tip reef shark that often hang out here, along with an abundant marine life.

The surf wave breaks right and left with hollow waves, and surfers can paddle out near the boats to the left, across from the channel.

Find parking in the street or at the Lahaina parking lot, and there are also public restroom facilities. There are no lifeguards at this beach.

Launiupoko Beach Park

A longtime favorite of Maui Locals, this sandy beach rest alongside a grassy green park with picnic tables and BBQ stations.

Not only can you enjoy a fun picnic or BBQ with the family, but this beach is perfect for swimming, surfing, or SUP boarding.

Local Tips:
  • This is a GREAT spot for small kids, or those looking to lounge in the water without the surging waves (there’s a reef system off the coast that breaks the waves and essentially creates a shallow pool all along the beach)
  • There are several entrance areas, my favorite is the farthest to the South (Off of Front St. at the end of Pu’unoa Pl.) - you are not permitted to park anywhere in that cul de sac, but there is a dirt parking area across the street that is available for public beach parking and always has plenty of room available

South Maui Beaches

Kamaole Beach Parks I, II, & III

Kamaole Beach park is a set of three beaches in Kihei. Also known as Kam 1, Kam 2 and Kam 3, this beach is a local favorite and provides plenty of parking, lifeguards, volleyball courts and outstanding swimming conditions!

The perfect gathering places for friends and family, Kamaole beach has grassy and shady lawn areas, picnic tables, and BBQ pits. There are also plenty of palm trees alongside this 36-acre oceanfront paradise!

Over 1.5 miles long, you can enjoy beautiful views of the surrounding islands, Molokini, Kaho’olawe, and Lanai’i. Usually the conditions of this beach are safe for swimmers, but beware of potential large surf and rip currents during storms and south swells.

Kihei Cove (Cove Park)

Surfs up! An Exotic Estates' favorite, this is a great place to learn how to surf and SUP board!

There is no shortage of vendors who are offering lessons and rentals, and many instructors will take you out any day of the week. There is also another cove nearby that is more ideal for swimming.

If you came to Maui to learn how to surf, this is the best spot for you!

Keawakapu Beach

Keawakapu Beach Maui Beach Guide

This beautiful beach boasts over a mile of coastline, making it a beachcombers favorite and the perfect spot for a morning run or sunset walk.

The water is great for swimming, boogie boarding and snorkeling and the sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing or reading your favorite book. The shoreline is very developed, so take a break from the beach and grab lunch at a nearby restaurant.

If you are looking for an adventure, you can rent kayaks, SUP boards, and other beach gear at nearby hotels and vendors.

Locals Tip:
  • On the north end of the beach you can find fun tide pools that showcase the sea life of Maui. There is also good snorkeling around the outcropping.

Polo Beach 

This sandy beach rests between the Polo Beach Club and the Fairmont Kea Lani Hotel and is the perfect place for a peaceful stroll along the shore. You will also find a small park with a grassy area, showers and restrooms, and picnic tables and BBQ’s.

Wailea Beach

A consistent world favorite, Wailea beach is known as one of the most perfect beaches in Maui.

Offering a resort-style atmosphere, the long sandy coastline is perfect for lounging and boasts views of the outer islands and in the winter, you may even spot a whale!

When the water is mellow, there are a plethora of activities including swimming, snorkeling, boogie boarding and body surfing. You will also find public facilities (bathrooms and showers) and there is even free public parking.

The only downfall is the beach can be a little crowded due to its beautiful appeal.

Top North Shore Beaches (from West to East)

Baldwin Beach Park

This lovely and large white-sand beach is located on Maui’s North shore, and features lifeguards, public restrooms and shower, BBQ’s and picnic tables, and even a covered pavilion making it the perfect spot for family outings!

During the winter, this is a desired place for boogie boarders, as the swells bring a large shore break. Swimmers can enjoy a protected area on the east and west ends. The long stretch of sand also make it a great place for your morning stroll or run.

The weekends can bring quite a crowd, but there are generally still empty parts of the beach due to its large size!

Baby Beach (North Shore)

This laid-back beach is not just for kids! A protected lagoon, this beach is located just before Paia on the North Shore of Maui. The perfect family beach, everyone will enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and relaxing on shore.

Behind the beach you will find sand dunes and a natural wooded area, providing a buffer from shops and hotels, making this a locals and tourists favorite. Enjoy gorgeous views of the coastline and have a picnic with your loved ones.

Ho’okipa

This beach is ideal for the adventurous, well-known for windsurfing and surfing alike. Although not the best for swimming, it’s a great place to enjoy the warm Maui sun while you watch experienced waterman take on the wind and the waves!

A world-class windsurfing site, you may arrive during a professional competition. On any other day, you can expect to find some of the most experienced windsurfers doing their thing and if you are among the skilled, this is the place for you.

Although there are lifeguard towers at each end of the beach, beware not to swim if the surf is big and if you see an orange flag, this indicates that conditions are for experts only!

Top Hana Beaches

Wai’anapanapa State Park

This stunning park on the way to Hana offers beautiful panoramic views and black-sand beaches, evidence of the lava that once flowed.

Surrounded by bright green jungle, this is a popular stopping point for those on their way to Hana. Since most people look and leave, this location is rarely crowded and offers the perfect picnic spot for families and couples.

Surrounding the beautiful beach, you can also find hikes, ocean caves, sea arches, and many more Hawaiian wonders. There is even a nearby cliff jumping site where you can find those brave enough to take a long dive into the water!

Red Sand Beach

Known in Maui as “Secret Beach,” this beautiful beach should be on your top must-see Maui destinations! Providing vivid colors of red sand and green foliage that surround the turquoise blue ocean, it’s no wonder this gorgeous bay is no longer a well-kept secret!

The sand is red in color do a crumbling red cinder cone, as well as a lava rock wall that brakes the force of the waves before they can thump onto the beach. The cove is protected on the ocean side from this jagged wall of lava rock, making the seclusion and beauty a desirable stop for most.

This bay is safe to snorkel, but ONLY when the water is calm. Please note that this beach is also “clothing optional,” so if you aren’t comfortable seeing strangers in the nude, this might not be the best beach for you.

Local's Tip:
  • Part of the trail to this beach is now considered more dangerous due to a landslide. Be sure that everyone in the party is capable of navigating trails and cliff edges that are slippery and/or very rocky.

Hamoa Beach

Another beauty on the road to Hana, Hamoa Beach is a crescent shaped bay that is ideal for spending time enjoying the views of paradise!

The park is equipped with public restrooms and showers, and there is also a foot-wash station for cleaning off the sand after your adventures, keeping cars clean.

The soft sand provides a seamless beach entry, so take a dip into the warm Maui waters! The whole family can enjoy swimming and snorkeling in this beautiful bay, but keep a close eye on the little ones as there is no lifeguard on duty.

Koki Beach

This beach is a local’s favorite surf spot and thus swimming is not recommended. Instead, lay out your towel and take in the gorgeous vista, which includes surfers catching waves! There is even grassy park area with picnic tables, which is the perfect spot for lunch.

This beach is where locals learn to surf, and you are likely to only see short boards as the waves are quiet steep. The beach can change radically throughout the year, boasting a soft sandy coast in the summer and a rockier version in the winter once the waves take the sand.

This spot holds cultural importance in Maui, as the large and red cinder hill to the north is where is it said the bones of Pele were left after a fatal battle with her older sister. Interestingly, this hill now belongs to Oprah, who purchased the land (a 105-acre section) from Hana Ranch in 2002.

Ask an Estate Specialist

Still unsure of which beach to visit? Reach out to your Exotic Estates Estate Specialist today for a one-on-one phone call to help you navigate to Maui’s most beautiful beaches! 

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Maui Must-See – Baldwin Home Museum urn:uuid:77464d0a-30a8-15f1-983f-4b97c0eabb03 2017-01-30T16:51:56-07:00 Maui Must-See – Baldwin Home Museum

Baldwin Museum Tour, Baldwin Home Front, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Take a trip to Maui’s humble past with a tour of the Baldwin Museum. One of the oldest buildings in Lahaina, the Baldwin Missionary House is located on Front Street and is an easy way to incorporate some historical sight-seeing into your Maui vacation!

This historic home has been  restored and offers visitors a vivid picture into the life of the Baldwin family on Maui almost 200 years ago, The Baldwins, a missionary family, lived in the house during the early 1800’s.

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

The original home was built by Reverend Ephraim Spaulding sometime between 1834 and 1835, which was then referred to as the “missionary compound.” In 1836, Reverend Spaulding became ill and returned to the east coast of the US.

Dwight Baldwin, who was a pastor and doctor from New England, came to Hawaii with his wife in 1830. They lived in a grass hut on the compound until Reverend Spaulding’s illness, at which time he moved into the home with his family.

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

Baldwin and his wife, Charlotte Fowler, originally came to Maui from New England on a long, six-month voyage. As the family grew in size (they had eight children), so did the home! A few additions were completed in 1840 and in 1849 the family built the second story to create the home that you can tour today.

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

The historic building was built using sand, coral, lava rock and rough-hewn timber and was the main center for missionary activities. The walls are 24-inches thick and the ceilings are high, which allows the inside of the home to keep cool.

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

You will find evidence of the fire pit in the backyard, which tells the story of how much the Baldwin family used the outdoors to prepare meals, bathe, and to clean dishes and linens.  

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

It also served as a medical garden, housing many local and exotic plants and fruit trees such as bananas, breadfruit and figs. The family also tended to grape vines that are still growing today along the side of the home.

Baldwin was an important person in the community for almost 40 years and his family also owned much of the land on the islands and founded many successful businesses, including Alexander and Baldwin. They opened their home to travelers and ship captains who would stay overnight during their port. They would also host members of the Hawaiian royal court!

Exotic Estates Baldwin Museum Tour

An inexpensive history experience, it’s only $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, military, and children under 12 are free.

The nice thing about Baldwin residence, is that you don't have to go out of your way to tour the home, as it's right smack in the middle of all the action on Front Street, lending an island of calm to the otherwise busy strip. They offer evening tours by candle light on some nights, which is very evocative of the era and gives you a feel for life back during the time the Baldwins where living in the home.

The impact of the missionaries in Hawaii remains controversial to this day, but they are an important part of Hawaii's history, and certainly helped to shape the Islands as we know them today. This little museum is interesting for its feeling of intimacy, simplicity and ability to convey a feeling of a bygone era. It's a great starting point for conversations about the Islands' complicated and fascinating history.

For more information on this fun family-friendly experience ask your Exotic Estates Estate Specialist today!

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Maui - Snorkel In Paradise urn:uuid:35c36593-ecf4-8237-1c26-79c431a5be91 2017-01-30T16:51:20-07:00 One-of-a-kind Snorkeling Tour in Paradise with Hula Girl

Hula Girl Snorkeling Tour with Exotic Estates

Go for a luxurious and stunningly gorgeous sail during your vacation on Maui. With Hula Girl Sailing Charters, you will experience the spectacular natural beauty that Maui offers, along with local drinks and island-inspired cuisine.

Hula Girl Sailing is one of our favorite Maui tours and we would highly recommend them for a fun family adventure or a romantic experience for couples. Choose from one of six charters where you will experience a warm Aloha welcome in a gorgeous setting. With Hula Girl, you will be able to see the beauty of Maui from the ocean and explore the abundant life in the warm waters around the island.

Hula Girl Snorkeling Tour with Exotic Estates, Snorkeling Boat, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

On each boat, you will find comfortable couch style seating, air-conditioned main salons, marble counters, flat-screen TV’s, and meals prepared fresh by local professional Chefs. There is also a full bar, ocean-view seating, and sparkling clean, air-conditioned restrooms.

Follow the stairs up to the fly bridge, where you can experience panoramic ocean views and visit with the Captain. Each charter has state-of-the-art technology that takes you directly to the most beautiful ocean spots where you will see an abundance of Hawaiian sea life.

Hula Girl Snorkeling Tour with Exotic Estates, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Once you reach your destination, getting off and back on the boat is easy, with stairs that lead right into the water. Plunge into the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and experience the exciting world underneath the sea! Each scuba and snorkel guide is a marine naturalist, who will share  many interesting facts about Hawaii's ocean waters throughout your sailing excursion.

Also, in an effort to protect Hawaiian Reefs, Hula Girl requests that you don’t use any oils or spray bottle sunscreens. Instead, they offer a reef safe sunscreen that protects the marine environment.

Choose from one of six expeditions, tailored to provide you with the most wonderful sailing and snorkel experience in Maui. Here are some details on a few of our favorites:

Snorkel Scuba Cruise

This day-time tour starts at 9:30 AM and includes a breakfast and lunch. Guests will sail along Maui’s scenic coastline to a premier location such as Honolua Bay Marine Sanctuary. If you are sailing between the months of December through April, you may get to see Humpback whales up close from the large and stable platform on the Hula Girl boat!

Hula Girl Snorkeling Tour, Scuba Diving, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Deluxe Whale-Watch Dinner Cruise

Perfect for couples, schedule this romantic whale-watch dinner cruise during your stay! An upscale voyage, guests will also love the reasonable prices! Watch majestic whales with your sweetheart from the fly bridge, which is cushioned with couch style seating for up to 14 people. Or, you can get up-close and personal from the front deck or lay on one of the four queen size mattresses at the front of the trampoline area.

Hula Girl Snorkeling Tour, Whale Sighting, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Choose from appetizers and entrees, but we highly recommend that you choose the Chef’s fresh fish special of the day!  Top off the outing with a selection from the top-shelf tropical cocktails or fine wines and imported brews.

Hula Girl Private Charters

This is the perfect way to enjoy the Hawaii's famed blue waters with family. Private charters are also ideal for company incentive outings and events, or for an excursion during a couples' getaway!

Whether you head out for the day or take the sailboat out for the evening sunset and whale watch, you will not be disappointed with this exclusive service!

For more details on booking a sailing adventure with Hula Girl Maui, contact visit  https://www.sailingmaui.com/Hula-Girl/index.htm.

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Hawaiian Holiday Season 2016 urn:uuid:ee61c954-06a6-9a86-8376-30947605066e 2017-01-30T16:49:52-07:00 Hawaiian Holidays 2016

Christmas in Hawaii with Exotic Estates

No matter how you and your loved ones plan to celebrate the holidays this year, if you are spending them in Hawaii, you  will have a of variety of special events to choose from during your visit to paradise! There is nowhere in the USA that celebrates Christmas quite like Hawaii, where Santa usually arrives on a canoe instead of a sleigh.

You won’t find any snow, but Mele Kalikimaka, which means Merry Christmas in Hawaiian, can be heard across this beautiful state. Whether you prepare a feast at your vacation rental or enjoy a Hawaiian tree-lighting ceremony, there are plenty of traditional celebrations to ring in the spirit this holiday season!

Shop ‘Till You Drop – All Islands

No need to worry about Amazon or big-box stores when you can find rare and unique gifts at the local Hawaiian shops and boutiques. From jewelry and arts and crafts to the latest surf fashion, you are sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

Lighting of the Banyan Tree – Maui

Christmas Hawaii, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Come watch as Maui’s famous Banyan Tree is lit up for Christmas. Over the past 18 years, this special tradition has become a holiday favorite for locals and tourists alike. The beautiful ambiance of this event is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. So if you have a Grinch on board this year, bring them down to  the Banyan tree and let the lights work their magic!

One of the most famous landmarks in Maui, the Banyan Tree was planted in 1873 by Sheriff Smith to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first Missionary. Brought from India, the tree was only eight feet high when it was planted and now has over twelve main trunks that spread over an acre of land.

Although the tree lighting is held on December 5th, the lights stay on through January 3rd. Take the family to Lahaina to enjoy the beautiful scenery,  local eateries and shops.

Christmas Eve Church Service - Maui

Wherever you might be on Maui, you will find a Christmas Eve church service near your vacation rental. Here a few options for you and your family:

Kumulani Chapel – Three Christmas Eve services at 5 PM, 7 PM and 11 PM.

Maria Lanakila – This Catholic Church is located in Lahaina and is holidng Christmas Eve mass at 6 PM and 12 AM.

Hope Chapel – This Kihei Chapel offers a Christmas Eve service at 6 PM and 8 PM

Say Hello to Santa in his Outrigger Canoe – Wailea

You won’t be seeing any reindeers escorting Santa Clause on this island! On December 24th, take the whole family to the Grand Wailea to watch as Santa arrives on the beach in nothing other than an outrigger canoe. Scheduled for a 9 AM arrival, you don’t want to miss this fun holiday event that is followed by a meet and greet with Santa after he paddles to the shore.

Honolulu City Lights – Oahu

Each year, in early December, Honolulu kicks off the holiday season with Honolulu City Lights, with a parade and lots of colorful lights decorating historic downtown Honolulu. Come enjoy the decorated 50-foot pine tree that stands in front of city hall as well as food, the chance to meet Santa and the many festive attractions that are part of the event. 

The event is free and fund for the whole family, and features rides and activities for the kids. This is an  amazing place to take the family to see these beautiful and festive decorations and lights through early January!

Night Circus at Rumfire – Oahu

If you are looking for an upscale New Year’s Eve event, take your friends to the Night Circus at Sheraton Waikiki. Enjoy specialty drinks, go-go and fire dancers, and live music all surrounded by the beautiful views of paradise.

Holiday Mele – Waikiki

The Waikiki Beach Walk is counting down until Christmas with a fun and entertaining week-long program of island music and hula dancing. From December 19-25, enjoy a different Hawaiian festivity each evening!

From local musicians and dancers to award winning hula performances, the whole family will love seeing the rich and spirited celebrations. For more info visit their website here. 

Free Ukulele Lessons – Waikiki

Learn how to play the music of Hawaii with a free Ukulele lesson! Held every day for the month of December, both adults and kids can take advantage of this one-of-a-kind offer at Waikiki Beach Walk. This is held everyday from 10:30 – 4:30 and the Ukulele’s are provided. First come, first serve. 

Whale Watching

December is an amazing time to be out on the ocean in the hopes to catch a glimpse of the humpback whales. Take a trip and celebrate these magnificent creatures, the perfect Christmas gift for all ages!

Hawaiian Luau - Maui

Don’t forget about this fun and exciting Hawaiian tradition this holiday season! Find one near your Maui vacation home during your stay here http://mauihawaiiluau.com/

No matter what you do or where you might be this December, from all of us at Exotic Estates we wish you a fun and safe holiday season!

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Holiday Season in Los Cabos, Mexico urn:uuid:b5a2aa72-9798-98c4-63f9-5759a3a2a774 2017-01-30T16:49:21-07:00 Christmas in Los Cabos

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates Palm Tree Christmas

Feliz Navidad! If you are one of the lucky families to be spending your holiday season in beautiful Los Cabos, we have put together a festive agenda for you and your loved ones. Take a look!

Christmas is a very special time of year and spending it in Mexico is extra special, where the festive season is celebrated for close to two months and includes holy days that are not commonly celebrated in the U.S. The fiestas include honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe on December 12 all the way through January 6th, which is the remembrance of Los Tres Reyes Magos (The Three Wise Men).

Notwithstanding the different celebrations, Christmas in Mexico includes intimate group gatherings with family and friends!

Get in the Spirit with Local Spirits!

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates Holiday Spirits

Most famously known for tequila and cervezas, Mexico is also home to some delicious seasonal drinks! Stop by a local restaurant or even make your own Ponche Navideno, which means Christmas Punch. No Mexican Holiday is complete without this famous warm and spicy drink that is made with local Mexican fruits, cane sugar and spices.  If you are having Christmas at your Exotic Estates vacation rental, your guests will also love to try Noche Buena, a dark and spicy seasonal lager that can be found anywhere where beer is sold.

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates

San Jose Main Square

San Jose Del Cabo Main Square, Exotic Estate Vacation Rental

The main square in San Jose Del Cabo has a gorgeous historical plaza full of Mexican charm! Here you will find fun boutiques, restuarants, and local art galleries. During the holiday season, there is also a gorgeous Christmas tree that lights up the center of the square. 

San Jose Del Cabo Main Square Exotic Estates

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates San Jose Del Cabo Main Square

This beautiful building is the City Hall located in the heart of San Jose Del Cabo’s historic district and sits in front of the large Plaza.

San Jose was the site of a mission that was founded in 1730 by Jesuit Priest, Nicolas Tamara.  The church that sits on the site was built in the 1940s, but it is charming and fits in well with the historic nature of the town. Stop by to take a look at the gorgeous mosaic above the entrance and experience one of the most famous cultural monuments in Los Cabos. This is the perfect place to take the family to enjoy the festive season in the evenings.

Las Posadas

This nine-day celebration from December 16th through December 25th is a very important part of Mexican Christmas celebrations. Widely admired, this tradition originated in Colonial Mexico and re-enacts the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and their search for a place to stay.

Every night a community celebration takes place in neighborhoods and each festivity starts with a procession where there are people who play the parts of Mary and Joseph.  The crowd makes their way to a specific home where a special song is sung and afterwards, there is a big party inside the home and guests are served food, tamales, and some Ponche!

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates Fresh Fish

El Dia De Los Tres Reyes

Meaning, “Three Kings Day,” this holiday celebrates the conclusion of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men. An important day for the people of Mexico, the tradition is to give gifts and make the famous culinary treat known as “Rosca de Reyes,” which means The Kings Cake. This is the perfect addition to your Christmas Feast!

This special dessert is symbolic as it’s created in the round shape to signify the kings crown. Baked inside is a special surprise, a small plastic figurine that represents the baby Jesus. Whoever finds this special token is then indebted to host a party for the Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemas Day) which takes place on February 2nd.

Bake your own Rosca De Reyes in your Los Cabos vacation rental and celebrate this local tradition this season!

NYE Celebration at Casa Dorada

For the adults in the group, you don’t want to miss this famed NYE party! This legendary event includes a fabulous gourmet dinner and classic Mexican cocktails before the DJ and dancing begins and lasts until 3 AM.

Enjoy a truly spectacular NYE experience that features a Hawaiian dance, a fire dancing show, and live music and fireworks. Book your tickets here http://www.casadoradaloscabos.net/.

Sport Fishing Trip & Whale Watching

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates Deep Sea Fishing

A location famed for some of the best fishing in the world, take a trip and catch your own Christmas or NYE dinner. The winter months in Cabo are ideal for striped and Blue Marlin, making for a unique and exciting family bonding experience.  You may also find Snapper, Wahoo, Mahi-Mahi, and Yellowfin Tuna. 

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates Deep Sea Fishing

Even if you are not inclined to fish, don’t let this stop you from getting on the beautiful blue waters. December is the best time of year to watch the migration of whales, who are coming from the cold oceans to the warm waters of Baja to calve, feed, and mate. Keep an eye out for these magnificent creatures, specifically the Grey Whale and the Humpback Whale.

Beautiful Beaches

Christmas in Los Cabos with Exotic Estates Beautiful Beaches

One of the best parts about spending your Holidays in Los Cabos is the beautiful weather and the picturesque views. Take advantage of the gorgeous coastline and hit the beaches for a day of fun in the sun!

However you are celebrating the holidays this season, we wish you a safe and happy season from Exotic Estates!

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One-of-a-Kind Luxury in Los Cabos urn:uuid:40e7e292-3f2a-d14e-af57-436ebff5d043 2017-01-30T16:48:04-07:00 The Los Cabos White House

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, Pool

In our recent tour of Los Cabos, Mexico, we had a chance to explore all our luxurious vacation rentals in the area. One of the most unforgettable properties, was the Los Cabos White House.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, ocean view

Not only did we received a VIP tour, but we were one of the first to experience a brand new welcome ceremony that will be offered to all future Exotic Estates guests' in this home.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House

Our trip out this Los Cabos Vacation Villa was different in that it’s truly in a quiet and private-feeling location. Los Cabos White House rests beachfront in El Encanto De La Laguna, an exclusive and high-end community just northeast of San Jose Del Cabo.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a dapper and friendly staff, along with ice-cold, homemade margaritas. The air was filled with delightful Mexican tunes and we washed off the day with cool hand towels.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, Friendly Staff

 

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, Margarita

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, in-house butler

Although the home looks great in photos, it is quite a different experience to see the vastness and attention to detail in person. The layout is expansive and open, allowing guests to see almost every room from the courtyard, along with panoramic views of the Sea of Cortez.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, ocean view

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, Pool

All 10,000 square feet of this home has been carefully tended to, making sure it’s perfect for your vacation. While standing in the gorgeous courtyard, you can take in the sparkling pools (one for cooling of your feet and another for swimming) and the spa Jacuzzi. Imagine how you will use the space, whether it’s for an overdue family reunion or your dream wedding or birthday party. You can even band together a group of close friends and families for a multi-family vacation!

With the ability to comfortable accommodate up to 15 guests, each of the six guest suites features beautiful furnishings, a private bathroom, and space on the balcony to enjoy the stunning ocean views.  Each room is also stocked with L’Occitane products and offers floor-to-ceiling windows, so you can be captivated with your surroundings whether you are lying in bed or lounging on the comfortable furniture.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, bedroom with ocean view

Whatever you need during your stay at Los Cabos White House, it will be taken care of by the onsite professional staff that includes a house manager and private concierge, a gourmet chef, private waiters, a local masseuse, and daily housekeeping.

The team at Los Cabos White house is not typical of most homes in Los Cabos. Each staff member lives locally and is a part of the Los Cabos White House Family. There are only five villas in Los Cabos that offer full-service in-house Butlers and the Los Cabos White House is one of them.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, full-service staff

As the sun was setting, our team sat with Los Cabos White Houses' owner, Doug. He treated us to his famous appetizers and for dinner we were delighted with steak and lobster, along with delicious red-wine. The chocolate soufflé dessert was one of the best we have ever tasted! The local Chef is so good, even high-profile sports stars are blogging about the cuisine offered.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, appetizersLuxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, appetizers

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, steak lobster dinner

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, Chocolate Dessert

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, full service staff

The staff has been working with the owner since the home's inception and are there to make your vacation a breeze. The in-villa Butler is available for you daily from 2:00-10:00 PM and you will also be provided a gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner Chef. Truly attentive, each staff member is available to help you enjoy your retreat at this truly one-of-a-kind Cabo villa.

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House, ocean view

Also, included in your rate at Los Cabos Villa experience is a round-trip airport transfer, access to the in-villa spa and in-villa concierge services. 

Luxury Cabo Villa, Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House

The Los Cabos White house features a tremendous value for what is offered, all in a world-class setting. Contact an Exotic Estates Villa Specialist today and book your escape to Mexico at this luxurious villa!

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Hot Lava in Hawaii urn:uuid:7141df74-60ed-c218-e3f4-cfb4276a0756 2017-01-30T16:47:44-07:00 Hot Lava in Hawaii

Hawaii Volcano Kilauea Exotic Estates

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Tours

If you are looking for an exhilarating experience of a lifetime this holiday season in Hawaii, then look no further than the Lava Ocean Tour on the Big Island.

We took a "lava tour" with Lava Ocean Tours and are happy to share our amazing experience.  Hop on board as we take you through this sizzling ride that gets you up close and personal with HOT LAVA as it hits the Pacific Ocean!

More About Hawaii Volcano Kilauea

Kilauea is an active volcano on the Big Island and is considered  one of the most active volcanoes in the world. This ancient volcano is somewhere between 300,000-600,000 years old and is currently erupting, and has been for years. Kilauea means “spewing” in Hawaii and its outpouring of lava can be dated back 100,000 years.

Hawaii Volcano Kilauea Exotic Estates

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Tours

The bulk of the volcano's landmass lies under the sea. The youngest lava found accounts for over 90% of the volcano’s surface and dates to just 1,000 years. The oldest sampled lava dates back about 2,800 years, and the first documented eruption is from 1823. Constantly spewing lava, Kilauea’s longest recorded period of rest was an 18-year hiatus from 1934-1952.

The relentless lava flow has a major impact on the surrounding ecosystem and the area is abundant in volcanic sulfur dioxide, which can produce acid rains. Wildlife flourishes where the rain doesn’t fall and Hawaii is full of endemic species thanks to this fact.  

The volcano holds a special place in history with the Hawaiian people, who believe that the crater of Kilauea is the body and home of Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, wind, and volcanoes!

In 1916, a bill that formed the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, and since then the park has become a World Heritage Site and a major tourist hub, attracting around 2.6 million people per year!

The Tour

As the current lava is flowing and making its way down the Pulima Pali in route to the ocean, the volcano tour gives you an opportunity to watch what happens when molten lava meets salt water. Since none of this action can be controlled, the ever-changing scenes are unique to each tour, thus providing a one-of-a-kind experience!

Hawaii Volcano Kilauea Exotic Estates

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Tours

The tour begins at 4:30 when the boat departs and you will have a tour-guide that is an expert in explaining the rare sights. The boat can hold up to 49 passengers and excludes those who are not in good health, pregnant women, or anyone with back or neck problems. This tour is NOT for the faint of heart and passengers are required to be at least 4 years old and in excellent health.

Get ready for a fast and furious ride to the place where lava meets the sea! Once you are boarded and ready to go, an fast boast will take you to see recent lava flows, as Hawaii's Kilauea continues to erupt.

For a sneap peak of the experience, check out our video of the tour: https://vimeo.com/194879317

Book with Lava Ocean Tours Today!

Photo courtesy of Lava Ocean Tours

Don’t just take our word for it. Take a trip with Lava Ocean Tours to see Hawaii volcano Kilauea and witness a magnificent world wonder for yourself!

 

 

 

Sources

Wikipedia.com

Seelava.com

Photos

Courtesy of Lava Ocean Tours

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Cabo Villa Inspections urn:uuid:3ce26427-f69e-39ea-0936-b0e5a87a28bb 2017-02-10T17:07:43-07:00 Exotic Estates in Cabo

Cabo San Lucas is an important destination for Exotic Estates. We believe that Cabo should be on everyone’s vacation list. The reason is simple: high quality villas and a well-functioning infrastructure in a gorgeous setting.

The team flew into Los Cabos International Airport and made their way to one of our showcase Cabo vacation rentals - the Casa Cortez Beach Villa. While the home does not sit directly on the beach, it enjoys a commanding view of the coastline, and the beach below feels private, due to the controlled access into the area.

You see here how the infinity pool offered the perfect place for Glenn to review the inspection itinerary and get into a Cabo state of mind. Imagine reading a good book from this seat!

Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Casa Cortez Beach Villa - Glenn in Infinity Pool Overlooking Private Beach

Exotic Estates works with the best local partners in areas to ensure that it can offer you a reliable ground contact, no matter where you may book. The team will go out to tour villas on occasion to see what’s new, but the local vendor is like a team member that has the most intimate knowledge of the destination, and together we can give you the best service possible and, most importantly, connect you with the perfect vacation villa.

If I had to sum our experience up in one word, it would be “AMAZING”! From accommodations to food to local hospitality, I can’t sing enough praises for Los Cabos." 

Glenn, Exotic Estates Villa Specialist

The agenda in Cabo was intense, as the team fanned out to see and experience as many villas as possible. The inspections included San Jose del Cabo villas, villas on the Los Cabos Corridor and Cabo San Lucas villas. Come along with Jenn, Glenn, Shanon and others on their inspections of these amazing luxury vacation rentals.

San Jose del Cabo Villas - Quiet Luxury

We're happy to share highlights from our inspection tour of our San Jose del Cabo villas, including homes in the prestigious Fundadores area, which is a gated community of luxury villas that are exceptional in both setting and design. 

One of the benefits of renting a villa in San Jose del Cabo versus its louder cousin to the west, Cabo San Lucas, is the relative quiet. Another perk is the historic town center, which is home to restaurants, shops and a grand plaza that hosts public concerts. When the Exotic Estates team was there, a free classical concert took place in the historic square and the team spent several nights exploring the main street, with its many restaurants and boutiques.

"This beautiful area of the Baja Peninsula is surprisingly quiet, while still providing the upbeat nightlife people hope to find on vacations to Mexico." 

Shanon, Exotic Estates Marketing Manager

Here are some behind-the-scenes snapshots of the team touring our amazing San Jose del Cabo villas in the gated community of Fundadores.

Cabo Villa White Rock 

Cabo Villa White Rock is a gorgeous home sitting above the Sea of Cortez. It’s a beautiful place with placid interiors, fantastic art pieces and one of our favorite pools. 

Cabo Villa White Rock Entrance Courtyard, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa White Rock Entrance Courtyard - Orientation

Cabo Villa White Rock Entry Sculpture, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa White Rock Shanon at the Entry Sculpture

Cabo Villa White Rock Beach View, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa White Rock Beach View

Cabo Villa White Rock Master Bath, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa White Rock - Shanon and Ty in the Master

Cabo Villa White Rock Bar, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa White Rock - Glenn & Shanon at the Bar

Cabo Villa White Rock Pool, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa White Rock - Pool

Cabo Villa Tranquility 

Another home visited on the tour was Cabo Villa Tranquility. The beachfront villa is massive, at over 16,000 sq. ft. There are seven bedrooms with room for 14 guests, and a massive 26,000 sq. ft. terrace. The team was impressed by the grand architecture, its location on a warm, sandy beach and luxurious amenities such as an elevator that makes the villa more accessible for guests with mobility issues.

Cabo Villa Tranquility Entrance, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa Tranquility - Jenn and Glenn Saying Hello at the Entrance

Cabo Villa Tranquility Pool, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa Tranquility - Entrance Pool with Fire Feature

 Cabo Villa Tranquility Beachfront Terrace, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa Tranquility - Shanon on the Beachfront Terrace 

Seaside la Casita

Moving down to the Palmilla Resort, we have Seaside la Casita, an impeccably designed villa located in one of the biggest resorts in the area. This home has a commanding view of the Los Cabos coastline and boasts a warm décor that is welcoming and refined. We love the pool area at this villa and the amazing terrace, with its fire pit and covered sitting areas. The team got a top-to-bottom tour of the home, which was being prepped for a lucky guest's arrival!

Seaside la Casita Entrance and Pool Area, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Seaside la Casita Entrance and Pool Area - Getting Ready for Guests

Seaside la Casita Bedroom, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Seaside la Casita Jenn and Glenn Tour Bedroom

 Seaside la Casita Entrance, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Seaside la Casita - Glenn and Jenn Villa Orientation

Cabo Resort Corridor - Expansive & Empty Beaches

Cabo Villa del los Faros

Down on the Cabo Resort Corridor, among the many homes we viewed, the team toured the Cabo Villa del los Faros, which is a true family vacation villa. The home has an amazing water feature on entry, a large living space including a fab kitchen, and an adorable living space for children, complete with tea room, built-in bunks and its own bath. The backyard is a great space for relaxing, with a gazebo and small lawn area, letting little travelers enjoy playtime where you can observe them from the Jacuzzi.

Cabo Villa del los Faros Jacuzzi Area, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa del los Faros - Jenn by the Jacuzzi 

Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa del los Faros - Jenn in the Living Room Area

Cabo Villa del los Faros Children’s Trundle, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa del los Faros - Jenn Checks out Children’s Trundle

Cabo Whale View Villa

Nearby,  still on the Cabo Resort Corridor and closer to the beach, is the Cabo Whale View Villa. This villa is a true show stopper.  The five-bedroom villa, which accommodates 16, is new and large, yet channels the essence of a historic structure that’s been converted for modern living. The team inspected the villa’s bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen and even checked out the hammock! Outside, besides the home’s expansive pool area, the team walked the putting green and stepped into the private wine cellar, which is used for intimate catered events.

Cabo Whale View Villa Hammock, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Whale View Villa - Jenn Relaxing in the Hammock

Cabo Whale View Villa Entrance, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Whale View Villa - Glenn and Jenn at Entrance

Cabo Whale View Villa Mosaic Entrance, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Whale View Villa - Entrance Floor Mosaic

Cabo Whale View Villa Jacuzzi Backyard, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Whale View Villa - Jenn in the Backyard

Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Whale View Villa Living Room

Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Whale View Villa - Private Wine Cellar and Dining Area

Cabo San Lucas - Where Luxury Comes to Party

Down in Cabo San Lucas, the team toured many homes peppered throughout the area, concentrating on the Pedegral neighborhood. The homes here are all diverse and achieve a high luxury standard.

I was blown away with Cabo and pleasantly surprised with how safe it felt and how convenient it was!  The warm ocean water, the incredible food, unique shops and the local hospitality offer something that people of all ages can enjoy."

Jenn, Exotic Estates Sr. Villa Specialist

Cabo Villa Marcella

One house that was particularly interesting was Cabo Villa Marcella, which is unique because it sits on a very quiet corner of the beach! Cabo Villa Marcella is a sprawling home, with smooth stone flooring, which make sense for a home on the beach, as sand is easily swept up. The villa has a gorgeous private pool that runs along its side, directly abutting the sand. At Cabo Villa Marcella, you will wake up to panoramic beach views, and have the option of beach or terra- a true luxury!

Cabo Villa Marcella Entrance, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa Marcella - Jenn at the Entrance & Mosaic Floor

Cabo Villa Marcella Pool, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa Marcella Pool - Shanon Testing the Water

Villa Cabo Bellissima

Back up on the hill in Pedegral was another spectacular villa called Villa Cabo Bellissima. This home is another giant. Built into the rugged hillside on multiple levels, it makes the most of its position and offers commanding views of Land’s End and the beaches below.  The home has not one, but two spectacular pools, each boasting incredible views. The home is also filled with playful art and affords lots of room for entertaining. The team cooled off at this palace overlooking the Pacific. Take a look for yourself!

Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Villa Cabo Bellissima - Shanon Checking Out the View

Villa Cabo Bellissima Jenn Pool, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Villa Cabo Bellissima Jenn Cooling off in Pool

Villa Cabo Bellissima Shanon Living Room, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Villa Cabo Bellissima - Shanon in Living Room

Villa Cabo Bellissima Shanon Living Room Art, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Villa Cabo Bellissima - Shanon Checking out Living Room Art

Villa Cabo Bellissima Jenn  and Glenn Lower Lawn, Cabo Villas, Cabo Villa Inspections, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Villa Cabo Bellissima Jenn  and Glenn on the Lower Lawn

We work hard to know our homes and destinations - and we work with only the best to make sure you have only the best. Take advantage of our team's expertise and email an Exotic Estates Villa Specialist today!

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Surfing in Los Cabos urn:uuid:af4d6725-7a8d-dc12-0167-9afea72cf51d 2017-01-30T16:44:37-07:00 Surfing Los Cabos

Los Cabos Surfing, Surf Lessons Cabo, Cabo Waves, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Whether you are traveling with family or came to this gorgeous destination just to surf, you are in for a real treat of gorgeous waves!

Split into three main areas: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, and the Los Cabos Resort Corridor, there are plenty of beautiful beaches with point and beach breaks. There is also Todos Santos to the north, which is a small artist’s town about an hour up the coast from Cabo San Lucas. Cabo is one of the few spots in the world where surfers are exposed to two major swell directions within a one-hour drive and generally, if it’s flat in the north, you head to the south and vise versa. This makes for a popular destination to catch waves.

Gaining Popularity

Los Cabos Surfing, Surf Lessons Cabo, Cabo Waves, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo became a popular surf area in the 50’s, mostly visited by California sailors and fisherman who were landing on the coast. Popularity also grew after the filming of the 1968 surf movie, “Golden Breed,” demanding for an airstrip to be built in San Jose del Cabo. A few years later in the 1980’s, The Los Cabos area started to get even more popular, bringing surfers from around the world to enjoy this laid-back party town and the waves.

The development of homes and resorts have contributed to the increase waves of surfers and The Fletcher Los Cabos Classic, which was a surf contest put on by Kelly Slater in 1991, helped get the word out. 

Cabo provides the perfect combinaton of peppy Mexican beach town and relaxating resort destination, often bringing those who are looking for a nice place to vacation with friends and family that also provides the opportunity to enjoy a bit of surfing. However, it is catching on as a proper surf destination, bringing more tourists who come expressly to catch waves along the Pacific Coast and the Sea of Cortez.

With relatively consistent wave action, the warm water of Los Cabos is perfect for riding. Although the arid climate can be a bit dusty inland, the waves are great and, if you're luck, you can head up to Todos Santos to the north when it's breaking and see some of the world's greatest surfers take on its barrels.

Being so close to Southern California and Texas (about two hours flying time), it’s no wonder that more surfers are choosing Los Cabos as their next surf destination. 

Surf All Year

One Los Cabos' biggest draws as a surf destination, is that waves can be found during all seasons. The best and busiest season to surf in Los Cabos is June-August, which is when the hurricane-driven swells push their way up the East Cape’s coast.  Surfers can also enjoy the waves that result from other Southern Hemisphere swells, as well as hot and humid weather ranging from the 90’s to 100’s. The water can be very warm this time of year and good sunblock and hydration are critical!

Los Cabos Surfing, Surf Lessons Cabo, Cabo Waves, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Once fall hits from September to November, this is a good time to visit as the tourists have usually returned home and the south swells are still making their way to the Los Cabos coasts. The water temperature a bit cooler, but still much warmer than in Southern California and not requiring a wetsuit.

When winter hits in Los Cabos, so do the tourists. December through February brings a hike in prices, traffic, and, as a result, more crowded surf. Since the water is still warm, expect the lineup to be sprinkled with more beginner and intermediate surfers, making for a busy day catching waves. Come spring, although the waves are still frequent and the crowds have died off, watch for high winds on the East Cape.

Getting to the Breaks

Road to Surf, Los Cabos Surfing, Surf Lessons Cabo, Cabo Waves, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

You will have no shortage of options when it comes to accommodations.  With Exotic Estates Cabo vacation rentals found all along the coast, you can find the perfect home for your surf trip, whether you're traveling in a group of four, a large group, and everything in between. For tips on how to navigate Los Cabos, check out our blog: Arrival In Cabo – Things You Need to Know.  If you are bringing or renting boards for a large group, consider renting an SUV or staying closest to one of the breaks.

Surf Villa, Los Cabos Surfing, Surf Lessons Cabo, Cabo Waves, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Depending on where you surf, you can find all types of breaks in Cabo from beach-breaks on the Pacific Side to point-breaks on the East Cape.  The three most popular and main breaks in San Jose Del Cabo are called Old Man’s, Zippers, and La Roca (The Rock), and are only about a 20-minute drive from the airport with relatively easy access.  Just head to the Cabo Surf Hotel, where you will find a dirt parking lot below the bridge.

If you are looking for a guided map or PDF of the best surf spots, we recommend downloading from one of the popular surf sites such as Magic Seaweed or Surfline.com.  Of course, we always advise that you are respectful and mindful of the locals, who are generally friendly and helpful to tourists.

Renting Gear

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned surfer, check out Costa Azul Surf Shop for your board rentals and other needs. Although the water is usually too warm for wetsuits, you can grab swimsuits, rash guards, and other accessories whether you're renting boards or you've brought your own.  They will also help guide you to the best spots for your experience level and provide lessons and excursions, great for large groups and families looking to experience the waves of Cabo.

No matter where you choose to surf, staying in a vacation home is the best way to experience Los Cabos. The Exotic Estates team as toured the area, so we can provide expert advice on where to stay. Give us a call today to find the best vacation rental for your trip to Los Cabos!

Surf Villa, Los Cabos Surfing, Surf Lessons Cabo, Cabo Waves, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

 

 

 

All photos are property of Exotic Estates, International.

Los Cabos Surf photos courtesy of Eric Bergman

 

 

 

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Holiday Travel Deal to the Caribbean – $1750 Resort Credit! urn:uuid:c3f137ad-890f-7ee8-34d3-9c4ef356df5e 2017-01-30T16:41:53-07:00 Holiday Escape to the Carribbean – Don’t Miss Out on This Deal!

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

If you are looking for a holiday villa rental in the Caribbean, we have the perfect option for you!

Some of our most gorgeous five or six-bedroom Villa’s by CeBlue are on offer this season, featuring a deal that you don’t want to miss!

CeBlue, Anguilla's award-winning villa resort, is offering guests $1750 in resort credit for new holiday period bookings made for stays between December 19, 2016 and January 4th, 2017 in its five and six bedroom villas.

If you are looking to getaway this winter vacation but haven’t yet decided where to go, consider Anguilla, one of the Caribbean's most luxurious and exclusive islands!

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

Anguilla is one of the most desirable vacation spots in the Caribbean, featuring white sand beaches and sparkling blue seas. The island is a playground for travelers wanting to enjoy the good-life in stunning surroundings and CeBlue Villas Beach Resort is centrally located in just above exquisite Crocus Bay.

These newly built luxury villas offer a variety of accommodations, from six bedroom villas down to five; non holiday period villas include four and three bedroom options. Each offers elegant modern décor and an indoor/outdoor design theme.

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

Take advantage of the $1750 resort credit for spa services, meals or transfers...take your pick!

Guests at CeBlue enjoy the following:

·  An 8,000 sq. ft. villa with private pool  

·  Zen-inspired architecture throughout 

·  A secluded beachfront  

·  Stunning panoramic Caribbean views 

·  A Chic beach club that includes daily non-motorized watersports

Since opening 2013, CeBlue has been recognized as one of the best new Caribbean resorts!

·  10 Best New Caribbean Resorts - Fodor's Travel

·  Winner Best Small Hotel - International Five Star Hotel Awards in association with Rolls Royce

Choose from one of the gorgeous five or six-bedroom homes below and celebrate the New Year with friends and family in a private villa in Anguilla!

CeBlue Villas Amenities

Each private villa includes a king-size bed in each room, with the exception of the six-bedroom villa, which offers a twin-bunk bed in the sixth bedroom. The incredible en-suite bathrooms are all “Zen-inspired” boasting deep-soak tubs and separate rain showers. Each bedroom suites also offers panoramic ocean views of the gorgeous Crocus Bay from well-appointed, private balconies.

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

When you rent a CeBlue Villa, you will enjoy a private salt water pool and a lavish 3000 sq. ft. veranda overlooking Crocus Bay Beach. There is a convenient bathroom with outdoor shower for rinsing off, an outdoor sound system, a BBQ grill, multiple chaise lounges on which to relax and luxuriate.   

The lines are blurred between indoor and outdoor living as glass accordion doors allow you to completely open up the dining room. The 12-person dining table is perfect for family or group dinners alfresco! The downstairs covered terrace offers alfresco dining with an eight-person dining table near the villa’s media room, and each villa offers fully equipped kitchens.   

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

Guests staying at the CeBlue Villas Beach Resort can enjoy several on-site dining options, including Da’Vidas for fine dining, The Brick Oven and the Bayside Grill.

There is also the popular Blue Spa for pampering, a fitness center and game room for the kids in your group.

If you can bring yourself to leave your gorgeous retreat take a boat ride to one of the popular islands nearby: Little Bay Beach, Sandy Island, or Prickly Pear Island. Additional area attractions include a top-rated 18-hole championship Greg Norman golf course and the ever popular Dolphin Discovery.

Arriving to Anguilla is a breeze! Located in the northern Caribbean, you can reach Anguilla directly by air from most major cities in the Eastern US and Canada via Puerto Rico. Anguilla is also a short ferry ride from St. Maarten, which is also well-served!

Take a tour of these five and six-bedrooms to see with Anguilla vacation rental is right for you!

CeBlue Villas 1 (6 Bedroom)

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

 

CeBlue Villas 2 (5 Bedroom)

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

 

CeBlue Villas 5 (5 Bedroom)

CeBlue Villas Anguilla, Caribbean Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Villas

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Farm to Table in San Jose del Cabo at Flora Farms urn:uuid:572f7684-ea7b-cc44-7569-dc02d14a6b1d 2017-01-30T16:40:18-07:00 Farm to Table in San Jose Del Cabo at Flora Farms

Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

While you are in Los Cabos, you will have a plethora of local restaurants serving locally sourced cuisine to choose from. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind, and a bit surprising,  dining experience, you will want to make reservations at Flora Farms. 

Only a short drive from San Jose and about 20 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, this charming and unique place  is definitely worth the trip. The Exotic Estates' team took a trip to experience (and taste) this beautiful farm, restaurant and artisan center for ourselves…

Flora Farms is an organic farm located in the hillsides of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains and has been farming without the use of pesticides or GMO’s for over ten years. Using the fertile grounds alongside the Sea of Cortez, Flora Farms practices a growing season that corresponds with the local high season and the need for exported produce in the surrounding area. 

Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsFlora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Once you arrive, you will notice the colorful array of fresh and local crops that surround a warm and inviting compound of small boutiques, coffee and wine bars, and an outdoor dining area and kitchen.  When you schedule your reservations, be sure to catch one of the daily farm tours, where you will get a private tour of the seasonal fruits and veggies that will later adorn your plate.  Don’t worry if you miss the tours, as you are free to walk around the property and enjoy the gardens on your own, which are well labeled for your enjoyment. 

Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The staff at Flora Farms works largely by hand, only turning the soil minimally and sometimes not at all. The cultivation of the crops comes from weeding by hand, instead of using layers of compost and mulch. During your tour, you will see deliciously fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers and over 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs. 

Flora Farms also has a ranch to supply the field kitchen, featuring humanely raised chicken, eggs, pork, and beef.  All of the animal feed is free of hormones and antibiotics and at Flora Farms, you can trust that the protein on your plate lived a happy life on the nearby 150-acre ranch.  

Produce Stand, Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals
 After your farm tour, take a look around in the boutique shop featuring colorful artwork, various gifts, and fine jewelry that is all locally made. Peek into the soap shop where you can smell the fresh herbs of the farm in various bath and body goods! Then, head over to the coffee and wine bar where you can sip on one of many delicious local wines or an espresso. Walk down the spiral staircase to the wine cellar and spend time with your guests, and your beverage, surrounded by the finest reds and whites of Mexico!

Local Artists Gallery, Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

As we sat down for dinner, we read over the menu, which is filled with healthy meals crafted from farm fresh ingredients. A true celebration of the day’s harvest, you will be pleasantly surprised by the diverse and imaginative items on the menu. 

Outdoor Dining, Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

 

You may catch a breath of bread-filled air, as the staff at Flora Farms arrives early to bake the fresh baguettes, ciabatta, sourdough, and focaccia bread. Dip one of these into the homemade herb butter and you will have to force yourself to stop before your meal comes!

For the main course, choose between a house-made pizza, one of many delicious meat and vegetable plates, homemade pasta dishes, and plenty of vegetarian options. A note the pizza; a tough-to-please Italian team member ordered the marinara pizza, which is a true test of pizza-making skills and gave the pie the thumbs up!

Your evening libations are just as fresh, using a range of fruits, vegetables, and herbs for infusion. Try the famous heirloom carrot Farmarita, or we recommend the homemade sangria. 

Farm to Drink, Fresh Drinks, Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Just as often as Flora Farms serves fresh local food to its guests, it also finds ways to improve synergies between the farm, ranch, restaurant and the market. Recently, they realized that their chickens love to munch on old flowers from the garden and that the pigs will devour the vegetable trimmings. This is just another way Flora Farms is helping to define the organic dining experience in Cabo.

Farm View, Flora Farms, Farm to Table, Organic Dining San Jose Del Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Don’t just take our word for it, treat your guests to the colorful local cuisine of San Jose Del Cabo. If you want to plan a night at this magical place, make reservations at Flora Farms today as soon as you have your dates to ensure that they can accommodate you on your preferred night!

 

All photos by John Di Rienzo

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Thar She Blows!! Fun Family Adventure with the Buccaneer Queen in Cabo San Lucas urn:uuid:c61c834a-d8bc-00c2-ae40-634e9f0f4909 2017-01-30T16:37:51-07:00 Thar She Blows!! Fun Family Adventure with the Buccaneer Queen in Cabo San Lucas

If you and your family are looking for an amazingly fun Cabo adventure, you will want to take a trip on the famous Buccaneer Queen!

Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Although it may seem cheesy at first glance, the Buccaneer Queen All-Inclusive Tour provides a fun, safe, and entertaining tour around the beautiful Sea of Cortez. Get an up close and personal view of the Cabo San Lucas Arch, Lovers Beach, and visit Chileno Bay where you will literally jump off the boat for your own private snorkel tour!

Boat Crew, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The Buccaneer Queen is staffed with a fun and lively bunch that are genuinely excited to have you on board. Tap into your inner pirate on this awesome 96-foot long wooden ship, where you will also get to enjoy unlimited drinks!

Still not convinced? We took the tour for ourselves and lived to tell you about the awesome voyage…

Boat Party, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The Buccaneer Queen has four tours each day. Each tour provides plenty of food and drink, live entertainment and games, and a snorkeling experience at Chileno Bay (except the sunset tour).  The large (and hard to miss) boat was built in 1968 in Coronado California, crafted to replicate an ancient galleon that sailed to different waters many years ago, by ferocious pirates who were in search of treasures.  The Buccaneer Queen tour takes you on an exciting adventure where you can experience the spirit of these historical characters and their transgressions firsthand!

Fresh Drinks, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The Buccaneer Queen sails four times a day offering a breakfast and lunch snorkel tour, a whale watching tour (seasonal) and a sunset tour. You can also book a private tour for large families and corporate outings.

The Exotic Estates team took a lunchtime snorkel tour and we arrived to check in for our voyage about 30 minutes before departure, which is located conveniently at the Can San Lucas Marina just behind the Breathless Hotel. Once we settled with the front desk and turned the corner, we took at seat in the docking area which was filled with comfortable seating and friendly bartenders eager to take your drink order.  

Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsCabo San Lucas Harbor, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsCabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This is the perfect place to enjoy a cold Mexican Beer or cocktail, or if you are dehydrated from the night before be sure to drink plenty of water! (Note that if you are planning to get in the water, you cannot drink once you get on the boat before the snorkeling tour. But be prepared for some after-snorkel tequila madness)!

Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

We boarded the massive vessel right on time, where we found a seat for our group.  Our particular tour was on a Monday, which is less busy than usual. If you are looking for the full party experience, book your tour on a Saturday or Sunday as those days are expected to be the busiest. If you prefer a tour with a little more breathing room for the family, try to book during the week.

Upon our departure from the Cabo San Lucas Marina, we were greeted with a fruity (non-alcoholic) beverage and introduced to the pirates! Take a quick look around and try to spot your Exotic Estates vacation rental!

Fresh Drinks, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The first stop on the expedition is the famous (and beautiful) Cabo San Lucas Arch. The Buccaneer Queen stops long enough for you to snap selfie’s and photo’s before charging on. 

Royal Arch, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Now that the pirate tour has officially begun, take a bite out of some fresh watermelon (with a dash of Mexican spices) and let the games begin!

Fresh Watermelon, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

We won’t giveaway the entire experience, but take a look at the photos for a good idea of your expected on-board entertainment.

Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Crew, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

About an hour into the voyage, you will arrive at the beautiful Chileno Bay, which is just northeast of Cabo San Lucas.  The tour provides all guests with a snorkeling mask and fins, so no need to worry about bringing these items with you. Once the anchor is in, put on your mask and fins and get prepared to walk to plank, matey!

Los Cabos Coast, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

One of the tour’s staff will lead the snorkel and take the group safely to the best spot for finding fish and rock formations. The Cabo San Lucas Harbor Patrol requires everyone to wear a life jacket at all times, but if you are a strong swimmer it is permitted to secure the vest around your wrist while you swim. Since you will be in the water for about 45 minutes, you might find a break on the life vest enjoyable!

Snorkel Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

 

Los Cabos Snorkel Tour, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsSnorkeling, Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Now that you have arrived back on the ship, take a fresh water shower and get ready to party! The staff will serve a delicious Mexican meal open up alcoholic beverages to those that are 18+.  Enjoy a cold margarita and get ready for the amusing (and loud) pirate shenanigans!

Cabo San Lucas Boat Tour, Buccaneer Queen, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Once you arrive back at the dock, you and the family will be wishing it wasn’t over. Packed with kid-friendly fun and adult-friendly beverages, the Buccaneer Queen tour is not to be skipped!

For more information on booking your tour with the Buccaneer Queen, visit https://www.wildcabotours.com/buccaneer-queen-tours/

 

 

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Deep Sea Fishing in Cabo urn:uuid:c748c411-4657-fbda-2feb-01028d85c118 2017-01-30T16:34:08-07:00 A Beginner's Guide to Deep Sea Fishing in Cabo San Lucas 

While San Jose del Cabo has a historic center with a grand plaza and mission church, Cabo San Lucas has its marina. All roads lead to the marina in Cabo, and the daily parade of boats going into and out of the harbor a testament to the ongoing popularity of sport fishing here.

On a recent trip to Cabo to inspect homes and experience some of the local sites and attractions, we went on a team fishing trip. This was the first time for many of us and we’re excited to share what we learned on our trip!

Cabo San Lucas Fishing Boats, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Hiring a Boat in Cabo San Lucas

The first thing you need to do is arrange for a boat to take you and your party out for the day. There are many charter companies operating out of Cabo San Lucas. We chose to work with Pisces, which has an established name and large fleet; we rented a 31 ft. boat called the Rebecca. The boats have bathrooms and a table for indoor eating if needed.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Fishing Boat Rebecca

Pricing

This is where things can get confusing and downright murky. The price of our charter covered up to six people and included a very basic lunch and beverages, including water and cold beer.

There are lots of little extras that come up in the discussion that can make it feel like you’re being nickel and dimed, but we understand that it’s all quite normal. Here’s what we mean.

When you get your price, you will also have to figure in the cost of the following:

Fishing Licenses – the cost per person is $16, with 16% sale tax; minors under 18 do not need a license. This is paid at the dock.

Docking Fee – there’s a docking fee of $100 that you need to pay at the marina.

Tips – the tips for your crew are not included in your fee. You can add an additional 10 – 20% on the cost of the charter.

In sum, we paid around $1,000 for our fishing charter.

Trip Duration

The day starts early, very early. You are to be at the dock for a 6:30 a.m. departure, where you will pay for your fishing licenses and be introduced to your crew.

They have coffee and some snacks available for the anglers for free, so you can fuel up before you board your boat. There was also a vendor selling breakfast items outside of the dock area, which looked and smelled pretty good!

The entire trip lasts from roughly 6:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Sportfishing Trip

What Happens Once on the Boat

Once on board and acquainted with your crew (we had a pilot and a deckhand) you’ll depart the dock and join the flotilla making of boats making its way out into the open waters.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Deep Sea Fishing Sunrise

On the way out of the harbor, you may stop for live bait, like we did, and then continue on your way out into fishing zones offshore. You’ll get to experience the beauty of the sunrise on the water, as you power out to the fishing sites.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Deep Sea Fishing

What You’ll Catch

The waters here are loaded with good-eating fish. We wanted mahi mahi, known here as dolphin fish. But there are plenty of game fish in the water, including wahoo, tuna, snapper and area’s famed sailfish.

There are limits on the number of fish you can catch, and it is very popular to catch and release billfish. Someone in our group caught a marlin and we released it back into the waters to swim another day.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Marlin

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Marlin Release

Where You Go to Catch Fish

We wanted mahi mahi, so we stuck fairly close to the shore along the Pacific side of the peninsula. We caught a total of five mahi mahi, each of which weighed about 12 lbs. We did go out a bit further off shore once we had our fish, and that was where we hooked our marlin - smallish at around 60 lbs.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Mahi Mahi or Dolphin Fish

To catch the big game fish, you’ll need to go further out to sea. We were told that you will travel up to 20 miles out to hunt for the big ones. The winning anglers in the Bisbee tournament that wrapped up when we were there caught a 583 lb. blue marlin, taking over $206,000 in prize money.

What It’s Like to Catch Game Fish

Hooking a fish is a rush. There’s a current of excitement in the boat as the deck hands set you up to haul in your catch. Then, it’s just a matter of strength and patience. The fish we brought in were only around 12 – 15 lbs. and they were quite strong. The entire process of reeling them in took about 20 minutes once the fish was on the line.

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Reeling in Fish

You only keep fish that you plan to eat or take home, otherwise all fish should be released.

How Do You Take Fish Home

The fishing charter company will likely fillet your fish for you and/or pack them up in ice if you wish. If you want them to pack the fish and get them ready for transport home, they will take a day to prep. We had ours filleted and separated into five bags, which we brought home and froze ourselves.

Raising of the Flags and Other Fun Facts

You will notice flags on boats returning to the harbor that show which fish were caught and the quantity. You will notice that we have a marlin flag, with a “T” flag below it, signifying for “tag and release.”

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Fish Catch Flags

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Deep Sea Fishing Flag

Also, because the harbor is so busy, and there is so much fish coming in and out of the wharf, there are some colorful characters who make the best of out of a fishy situation. Namely, there is a seal who likes to jump onto the rear of boats and take any bait or other fishy snacks available, and, once of the dock, there are a few pushy pelicans who will boldly hop onto your boat and steal bait fish!

Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas Pelican

Flying Fish

You’ll need to check with your airline about the rules for bringing home fish. However, the general guideline is that it will need to be frozen and packed in a leak-free cooler, and then checked as baggage. I was able to pack my portion into a watertight, soft cooler and then seal it in my checked bag.

What Else to Bring

If you tend to get seasick, beware, the water can be rough. Bring the usual things you need for the beach, like sunblock and towels, and any particular snack that your group prefers. You will have plenty of water, beer and a basic lunch pack provided.

Get out there and catch dinner when you’re down in Cabo – it will probably be the most delicious fish you ever eat. And don't forget to pick the perfect Exotic Estates Cabo Villa for your group!

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The Sun Also Rises – In Cabo urn:uuid:2da8e89e-f89a-b1ab-5ac8-33c9e1284656 2017-01-30T16:33:33-07:00 Cabo is Taking Off as a Destination - Here's Why

Cabo is Easy to Reach by Air

At just two hours flying time from Los Angeles, two and a half from Houston and just over three to San Francisco and Denver, Cabo is within easy reach from many major US cities. Seattle, Minneapolis and Atlanta are just a little over four hours away, and there are nonstops from New York and Chicago, as well as from Calgary and Vancouver in Canada. The area is well-served and easier, not to mention more affordable, to reach than many other international destinations.

Arriving in Los Cabos International Airport you see the first cues that this Mexican resort area is thriving. The airport is new and out on the tarmac are all the main players: Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and United.

Exotic Estates Los Cabos Airport Airlines

Cabo’s Efficient Infrastructure – an Ongoing Build

The international terminal is spotless and has a newish feel, with polished floors and a modern look that shows a major investment in infrastructure.

Cabos Airport New and Clean, Los Cabos Airport, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Leaving the airport, you’ll likely hop on the efficient toll road to your villa or hotel in San Jose del Cabo or Cabo San Lucas: the toll (based on the October 2016 exchange rate) was just $1.80 US to San Jose del Cabo and $3.60 to Cabo San Lucas, and they take and make change with US dollars as well as Mexican pesos. The Mexican government has made sure that the experience of arriving in Cabo is as easy as possible for American visitors. (If you miss the toll road, don't worry. You will go through town, which only adds about 5 minutes of drive time). 

Exotic Estates Los Cabos Toll Road, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

You’ll see construction all over the peninsula and it speaks, again, to the investment in the area, as there are large developments going up along the Resort Corridor every couple miles.

FACTOID: Did you know that the Mexican peso and US Dollar share the same symbol? The reason is that both monies can trace their roots back to the old Spanish dollar.

Costco, Walmart & Starbucks - Stores in Cabo for American & Canadian Villa Renters

Beyond the infrastructure supporting transit to and around the area, Los Cabos welcomes and supports villa renters in other, more practical ways. There is a Costco, a WalMart and an amazing Mexican mega-store called La Comer,  all of which are ideal for stocking up on supplies for your Cabo vacation villa.

In addition to the mega-stores, you will see plenty of familiar storefronts like Starbucks and OfficeMax in shopping centers that would be at home in any American city.

Exotic Estates Cabo Supermarket Image, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Comer Market, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Cabo Costco Exterior, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo - Secure and Relaxed

We have all read the headlines about the cartels in Mexico, but the entire stretch from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas feels and is a safe place. To compare it to another area, Cabo has a mellow, beach-town vibe reminiscent of the Southern California beach cities. One person on our trip insightfully commented, “It’s like Palm Springs on the Ocean.”

Welcoming the Villa Renter

While many American destinations that rely on tourist dollars are turning their backs on the villa renter, Cabo has rolled out the red carpet and people are accepting the welcome with spectacular satisfaction.

Renters will find villas that range from charming two and three-bedroom bungalow-style homes to mega-villas boasting up to nine bedrooms able to host parties of 16 or more. Moreover, many homes allow for special events, so weddings are an option in Cabo.

20 Miles of Diverse Perfection

Los Cabos is also a winner because it offers different style communities to suit different traveler tastes. From historic and cozy San Jose del Cabo to its more splashy cousin to the west, Cabo San Lucas.

From quaint small town Mexico, to refined and quiet beachfront communities along the Resort Corridor to sometimes rowdy Cabo San Lucas, you will find a spot to fit your vacation style in Los Cobos.

The Zones

There are three geographic areas to consider when you think of “Cabo.” Starting in the east, San Jose del Cabo, moving west to the Resort Corridor along the coast between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, and then Cabo San Lucas itself at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, straddling the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean.

The distance from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas is about 20 miles. The four-lane road that runs along the coast is well-maintained and the ride between the two towns takes just about 20 minutes.

San Jose del Cabo

San Jose del Cabo is a cute town with a historic center and historic mission dating back to the 1700s. It’s also home to the Los Cabos International Airport, where most airlines land. There’s a large plaza that hosts public concerts and lots of charming, Colonial buildings that are home to restaurants, bars and shops selling local goods.

Around San Jose del Cabo are some very tony, private communities that feature stunning homes and elegant vistas, along with beach clubs and golf. Here are just a few Exotic Estates villas that are found in this area.

Cabo Villa Tranquility

A seven-bedroom, seven-bath beachfront home located in the gated and exclusive Fundadores neighborhood. With room for 14 guests, this showcase home is great for entertaining or even a corporate retreat.  There isalso an elevator that makes it work for people with mobility issues. The photos below were taken recently and give you a sense of the grandeur of the property.

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Tranquility Pool and Ocean View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Tranquility Indoor Outdoor Living, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Tranquility Fountain and Mosaic, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsExotic Estates Cabo Villa Tranquility Dining Table, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Tranquility Terrace View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Los Cabos White House

One of the only full-service vacation villas in Cabo, offering a fabulous chef and butler, as well as on-site spa services, the Los Cabos White House accommodates 15 guests in beachfront splendor. This home truly is like a private resort, with a pool that comes complete with a waterslide and a terrace that would be the envy of any Leading Hotel.

This full-service villa complex, sitting on a gorgeous and empty beach, offers true luxury and effortless living.

Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House Pool and Ocean View, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House Villa View, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Los Cabos White House Living Room, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Casa Cortez Beach Villa

This villa is far more beautiful in person than can be represented in photos. It’s bigger and the setting is just awe-inspiring.

There are five bedrooms that can accommodate up to 12 in this home and a large terrace that looks down to a private beach. Incidentally, this villa is the same one that is featured in our Exotic Cabo Villa Escape Sweeps, where you can enter for a chance to win a stay here for you and three lucky guests!

Some might consider this villa on the Resort Corridor, but it’s so close to San Jose del Cabo that we are including it in that area of the Coast.

Exotic Estates Casa Cortez Beach Villa Sunrise View, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Casa Cortez Beach Villa Terrace View Sunrise - JDR

Exotic Estates Casa Cortez Beach Villa Infinity Pool View, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Casa Cortez Beach Villa Master Bedroom, cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Los Cabos Resort Corridor

The Resort Corridor is the term used to describe the roughly 20-mile coastline that runs from San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas. It’s a short 20 minute ride between the two towns on the well-maintained road, and along this ribbon of pristine sandy shores and rocky promontories are several gated villa communities that run up to the beach. These communities have a diverse collection of villas – there is nothing cookie-cutter here.

This "in-between" area may seem an odd place to enjoy a Cabo vacation, but it’s actually a great option, as it’s quiet and relaxed, yet within easy reach of either Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo. This is area is also set to boom. There are several large developments underway along the corridor, including luxury villa developments.

Cabo Whale View Villa

Located in the secure Cabo del Sol community, adjacent to the prestigious San Golf Course, the Cabo Whale View Villa is an elegant, stately vacation villa built in a solid, old-world, farm-house style. Walking into the home, you are taken by its grand living space and the view out to the expansive pool area, with the beach and ocean behind. There is a putting green, a gorgeous garden area and a wine cellar that can be used for catered dinners. This home is more beautiful in person than can be conveyed through photos.

Exotic Estates Casa Whale View Villa Living Room, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Casa Whale View Villa Pool, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa de los Faros

This villa, with its seven bedrooms, including an amazing children’s bedroom with built-in bunks and a setting for tea parties, can accommodate up to 14 guests. It sits in the secure Cabo del Sol community, adjacent to the prestigious San Golf Course, and offers a pool, Jacuzzi and a private yard area for playing. Truly a family-friendly home where everyone has a spot!

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa de los Faros Living Room, Cabo, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa de los Faros Bunk Beds- JDR

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa de los Faros Jacuzzi - JDR

Villa Cabo Good Life

This villa, with its five bedrooms and room for 14, is located directly across the street from Cabo Villa de los Faros.  This villa is beautifully decorated, with tasteful and unique art pieces. 

Villa Cabo Good Life has a commanding view of the Sea of Cortez. The terrace is a beautifully designed, with a large pool and jacuzzi on one level. There are nice details in this home, such as the unique, rustic ceilining in the living room.

Rent this house alone, or rent it along with the Cabo Villa de los Faros if you have a big group of friends with lots of children in tow, or a family reunion.

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Good Life Terrace - JDR

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Good Life Living Room - JDR

Exotic Estates Los Cabo Corridor - JDR

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Good Life Fire Pit - JDR

Cabo San Lucas

Cabo was the original draw for the area. The town grew up around its marina, due to the world-class deep-sea fishing to be enjoyed in its surrounding waters. When Exotic Estates was visiting, a Bissbee international tournament with a huge purse was just wrapping up. Our team chartered a boat and caught five Mahi Mahi, which were delicious.

Cabo has plenty of options, but it’s the stunning ocean-facing villas in the exclusive and gated Pedegral neighborhood that we like best!

Cabo Villa Marcella

Cabo Villa Marcella is a unique home in that it is in the private area of Pedegral, comes with a large pool and sits directly on the beach! The location keeps the area quiet and feeling very private. There are five bedrooms and accommodates 14 guests.

Exotic Estates Cabo Villa Marcella Pool - JDR

Cabo Turquoise Villa - 9 Bedroom

This is hands down our favorite villa in Cabo. The villa is a unique showpiece in that it is quite large, with nine bedrooms able to accommodate up to 28, and yet is decorated so warmly, that it feels like a cozy family home.

The living room opens out onto a spectacular terrace that comes with breathtaking views of the beaches and a pool that redefines infinity-edge. There is a theater, a shuffle board area and a play area for children. The kitchen and dining areas are large and equipped with professional appliances. 

You simply cannot do better than this incredible Exotic Estates villa in Cabo. This villa is also available as a 4 bedroom.

Exotic Estates Cabo Turquoise Villa Pool - JDR

Exotic Estates Cabo Turquoise Villa Pool View - JDR

Exotic Estates Cabo Turquoise Villa Living Room - JDR

Exotic Estates Cabo Turquoise Villa Kitchen- JDR

 

Add to this a gloriously sunny climate, miles and miles of impeccable beaches, warm blue water and dramatic mountains, and you can understand why the area seems to be taking off.

Our team had to admit that Los Cabos gives Hawaii a run for its money. Not only is it stunning, but you get more villa for your dollar, and the quality is top notch. Also, those looking for a sunny place and charming home in which to host milestone events are welcome here.  

Check out Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas, Resort Corridor and San Jose del Cabo villas and find your place in the sun!

 

Photo Credits

Baja California Sur Map https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Los_Cabos_en_Baja_California_Sur.svg

All other photos property of Exotic Estates, Inc. 

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ARRIVAL IN CABO - THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW urn:uuid:8a759c0b-51a6-ff9c-2e5f-a9354ec62330 2017-01-30T16:25:35-07:00 The Airport – Los Cabos International in San Jose del Cabo

Flying down to Cabo you will most likely land at the large regional airport, Los Cabos International (SJD).

The airport looks new and clean, and seems well-run. There were several people on the plane who needed wheelchairs, and the airport staff was there at the ready in the jet-way.

Getting through the airport was a snap; we arrived on a Saturday in October, so not peak season. We didn’t wait long at all for our bags or have to wait long at immigration. Time-wise, we landed at 4:45 PM and were driving out of the airport with our limo service by 5:08 PM.

Los Cabos Airport, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Tequila Tasting - Duty Free

You’ll know you’re in Mexico because the duty free shop in the baggage claim area has a tequila tasting table, so if you’re ready to hit the ground partying, you’ll be able to sample and purchase essentials before you leave the airport.

Los Cabos Airport Tequila Tasting Bar, Los Cabos Airport, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Rental Cars

Rental car companies are located right inside the airport terminal. So if you’ve rented, you can take care of everything right there.

Note – there are lots of fees associated with rental cars in Mexico. You cannot go by the pricing you read on kayak.com or other websites because you need to purchase insurance here – you can opt for just collision, but it’s not advised. For our rentals, the total cost of the insurance, damage and liability, ran about $40 per day. As a reference, we rented a very basic four-door Camry through Avis, who delivered the car to our villa. In total we paid about $90 per day.

We arranged a private transfer to our villa, Casa Cortez Beach Villa in San Jose del Cabo, and Avis delivered the car to us the night we arrived – a very nice touch.

Los Cabos Airport Rental Cars, Los Cabos Airport, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Getting Out of the Airport – Running the Gauntlet of Drivers

Arriving can be a bit overwhelming because of all the people trying to "help" you find your transport. Basically, you need to be ready to assaulted by aggressive drivers looking to give you a ride to your villa or hotel. There are two rooms that you must pass through after customs; one room has a bank of kiosks where those on a vacation package can turn in their airport transfer voucher and be assigned a driver to take them to their resort. We did not do this, but this is how this room iwas explained to us.

Entering the next room, you will encounter very aggressive drivers, who are similar to those who lurk outside of the baggage claim areas at JFK – very in your face and definitely trying to take advantage of dazed travelers. IF YOU HAVE A PRIVATE PICK-UP ARRANGED OR IF YOU JUST WANT TO TAKE A LEGAL TAXI – IGNORE THEM AND WALK OUT OF THE AIRPORT! Legal taxis will be waiting there as will your reserved driver who should be holding a sign with your name.

Note on Transfer Companies: we used TransCabo, a reputable service. The ride is about $100 in a large Suburban to car, that can hold up to 5 or 6 people. They were very professional and the car was clean and new. The driver was friendly and gave us cold bottled water the moment we arrived at the car.

Toll Roads vs. the Scenic Route

You can take a modern toll road into town or the old non-toll road a.k.a. the scenic route, which will add about five minutes to your ride and brings you through parts of San Jose del Cabo. We took the modern toll road and it was a breeze.

To take the toll road to the coast in San Jose del Cabo, you’ll need some cash in hand, Peso or US$, but no cards. The toll road to San Jose del Cabo is around $US 1.50 and to Cabo is about $3.60 (70 pesos at the time of our visit at around 19 pesos per 1 US$, in October 2016).

Drive Times

From the airport to our villa, which was near the Palmilla Resort, was about 20 minutes.

If you drive directly to Cabo, the ride is about 40 minutes.

Exchanging Cash

On exchanging, wait to get into town or just withdraw from an ATM for the best exchange rate, though most places will take US$.

Cabo San Lucas ATM Machines, Los Cabos Airport, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Stores on Way

You can pop into McDonalds or Starbucks along the way to your villa along the Los Cabos Corridor between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas.

We atayed at Casa Cortez Beach Villa – this villa is way more impressive than it seems www.ExoticEstates.com. It’s a large home in a gated community (24-hour guards) overlooking what is essentially a private beach.

Stock Up at Costco

Bring you Costco card, because you’ll want to stock on supplies at Costco on the outskirts of Cabo. We bought tons of food for the eight Exotic Estates team members who would be sharing Casa Cortez.

We bought…

Beverages: two large cases of water, a case of beer, a case of San Pellegrino sodas, juices, a bottle of Don Julio Tequilla, a bottle of wine, Starbucks Coffee (dry)

Food: lots of fruits and veges (you should rinse off veges in general with purified water, though Costco offers many of the same brands that you find in the US including Earthbound Farms), bread and muffins, sliced turkey and cheese, kiwis, apples, oranges and a pineapple, chips and salad dressing. Note – there is no margarita mix or proper salsa available at Costco.

All of this food, which is basically enough for several days of snacks and beverages cost a total of $270 US. The same amount of lunches, snack and drinks at a hotel, would cost you a fortune. Right there, your villa is looking like a smart move.

Also don’t forget to sign-up for our Exotic Cabo Villa Escape Sweepstakes for a chance to win a free vacation to gorgeous Casa Cortez!

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Exotic Escapes for Your Winter Vacation urn:uuid:b604ca60-47f5-4f2f-e9bf-9279f210b3c0 2017-01-30T16:24:35-07:00 Exotic Escapes for Your Winter Vacation

Cool off from the hot summer months and take a winter escape with Exotic Estates. We have villas located in North America’s top ski-resorts, offering you and your guests plenty of options while planning to hit the slopes this winter. 

No matter what your experience level, whether you are traveling with a small family or a large group, our collection includes gorgeous villas that will accommodate all of your winter-vacation needs!   

Colorado

Colorado has some of the best ski resorts in the world and there is simply no substitute for the Rocky Mountain slopes. If you are looking for bluebird skies and fresh powder days, head to the Colorado Rockies this winter.

Whether you are planning a family-friendly ski trip or looking for expert-only terrain with your powder hound pals, Colorado has the perfect terrain for you. The resorts in Colorado are usually the first to open and they often stay open the latest as well. Offering a ski season that kicks-off as early as October and ending in late April, this gives you plenty of time to choose the perfect villa for a trip that meets exceeds your expectations on or off the slopes!

Colorado also offers large and luxurious ski resorts, as well as hidden-gem ski areas, making it a perfect fit for any group. With some of the highest elevations, you can pretty much bet on finding fresh and dry powder during any season. 

For those who are looking for a slower pace, check out the cross-country ski areas, which are often more quiet and laid back than the alpine ski slopes. You can also strap on some snowshoes and enjoy one of 42 Colorado state parks!

No matter who you are traveling with or what skill level, guests will love spending a winter sojourn in the Colorado Rockies! With over 16 villas to choose from in Aspen, Beaver Creek, and Vail, you are sure to find the perfect one for your group. Here are just a few to get your inner powder hound psyched for the coming season!

Aspen Double Diamond Lodge

Colorado Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Aspen, Colorado Vacation rental features incredible panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. With five bedrooms and six bathrooms, you can bring the entire family on a winter vacation of a lifetime!

Ideally located to hit the slopes, this Aspen Villa is located only a few minutes from the lifts. With over 42,000 square feet of grounds, guests can truly enjoy the peace and serenity that comes with mountain living. Designed for entertaining, this elegant lodge boasts a hot tub, fireplace, and gourmet kitchen that is perfect for large group dinners.

Set at the base of the Aspen mountains, come enjoy this plush vacation rental with deluxe slope access and five-star amenities!

Ritz-Carlton Beaver Creek Penthouse

Beaver Creek Colorado Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This private Exotic Estates ski-in/ski-out Beaver Creek condo overlooks the ski runs and Ritz Carlton pool. Featuring a mountain cabin's charm but the amenities of a five-star resort, guests who stay at this gorgeous two-story home will never want to leave.

Offering over 3,000 square feet of living space, this Beaver Creek vacation rental can accommodate up to eight guests. Come enjoy the beautiful features of this home such as wood-vaulted ceilings, wood flooring, gorgeous mountain views and unparalleled ski access!

Alpenglow Chalet

Colorado Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This mountain vacation home offers ski-in/ski-out elegance in Vail, Colorado! This six-bedroom home can accommodate up to 15 guests, making it the perfect winter vacation escape for large families and groups. This Vail Villa sits just above the Bachelor Gulch Chairlift, making slope access a dream.

Offering commercial appliances, gorgeous bedrooms, and plenty of home amenities, this mountain home will please the luxury-minded traveler who is looking for the absolute best this winter. Guests of this home will never forget the sweeping views of the Vail Valley and the backdrop of the Gore range that Alpenglow Chalet has to offer!

Utah

If you choose Utah for your winter vacation this year, you will understand why the license plate slogan reads "Greatest Snow on Earth."  In the winter months, Utah’s 14 different ski resorts become a playground for lovers of snow who are looking for amazing slopes.

The snow is light and dry, making Utah a great destination for your winter escape. For non-skiers, there are plenty of other exciting options such as fine dining, nightlife, and a plethora of fun family activities. Choose from snowmobiling, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing or ski touring, all of which can be found near the ski resorts.

Whether you choose to stay in Sundance, Deer Valley, Park City or the Canyons, you will find a wide range of trails that can accommodate any experience level.  Choose from one of 61 Utah vacation rentals for your 2016/2017 winter vacation!

Sundance Chic Chalet

Sundance Utah Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Exotic Estates’ Sundance ski area vacation home can accommodate up to 14 guests and features over 3,500 square feet of living space. Offering two floors, a hot tub, and four luxurious bedrooms, this home is perfect for families and groups.

Sundance Chic Chalet has been called, "The most beautiful home on Sundance Mountain," by guests in the know and it is described by founder Robert Redford as an artists' community that happens to have world-class skiing. For those who want to enjoy a quiet vacation but still be close to the slopes, Park City is located a short 45-minute drive from the lower-key Sundance Resort area. 

Deer Valley Empire Chalet

Deer Valley Villa, Utah Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

With over 33 villas in Deer Valley, one of our favorites is Deer Valley Empire Chalet. This beautiful mountain home features ski-in/ski-out access and can fit up to six guests, perfect for an intimate family vacation.

Offering the finest accommodations, this beautiful villa also offers complementary shuttle service throughout Park City and Deer Valley area, making it a great option for those wanting to check out all the resort areas.  With beautiful views of the mountains, enjoy the private hot tub after a day on the slopes!

Park City Tree Line Lodge

Park City Vacation Home, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Ideal for families and friends alike, Park City Tree Line Lodge offers the perfect combination of luxury and comfort in a spacious 4,400 square foot package!

This four-bedroom vacation home combines rustic mountain design with luxurious amenities, and is the perfect ski getaway for your winter vacation.  This mountain lodge is located in close proximity to Deer Valley Resort, boasting beautiful Park City and mountain views in the distance and stunning sunsets from the second-story terrace!

Canyons Resort - Juniper Landing Luxury 2 Bedroom

Winter Vacation Home, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Canyons vacation home offers excellent ski-in/ski-out access to Park City via the nearby Frostwood Gondola, perfect for skiers or a quiet couples getaway! Offering 1,622 square feet of comfortable living, this spacious condo can sleep up to eight guests.

Featuring two-bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms, this ski condo is located just minutes away from Canyons Village giving you amazing slope access.  Guests will also enjoy complementary shuttle services throughout Park City, private concierge services, daily housekeeping and wireless Internet access! 

Canada

Whistler-Blackcomb is a giant ski-area that offers Alp-like vertical peaks. With dependable snow year after year, this Canadian ski-resort is a great choice for your vacation this winter. As one of the largest ski-resorts in North America, a trip to Whistler will not disappoint! For the non-skiers of the group, The Village at Whistler has plenty to offer including fine dining, spas, and a well-known nightlife.

A desirable mountain for both intermediate and expert skiers and snowboarders, you can enjoy over 8,000 acres of trails. As a part of the coastal range, Whistler-Blackcomb provides plenty of storms throughout the winter. Although rain is quite common, just keep ascending until you find the snow of your liking!

Whistler - Luxe Olympic Vacation Lodge

Whistler Vacation Home, Canadian Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Whistler vacation villa is perfect for those who want a quiet and private getaway. Offering a cozy, log-cabin experience, this four-bedroom home features 2,500 square feet of living space. Only four minutes from Whistler Village, you will love how quickly you arrive on the slopes every morning!

For those who don't ski or snowboard, check out the Alpine Meadows Community Centre which has plenty of activities for adults and kids.  In the evening, spend time together by the fireplace and enjoy the sound proof Theatre Room.  Whether you come in the winter or summer, this vacation rental has so much to offer year-round!

Wyoming

Although Jackson Hole might not be at the top of your list this winter, it should be a serious contender when considering where you might bring the family to ski! With some of the best terrain in North America, access continues to improve with new lifts and a ton of snow fall. The 2015/2016 season finished with over 400" of snowfall making it one of the best of 51 seasons.

Offering 12 lifts, 133 trails and three terrain parks, Jackson Hole is one of our top choices for this upcoming winter season. Check out the beautiful homes we have to offer in the amazing Tetons!

Two Wolves at Teton Village

Jackson Hole Wyoming Vacation Home, Ski Villa, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This four-bedroom and four-bathroom vacation home is the perfect abode for your winter vacation in Jackson Hole. Up to eight guests can enjoy the elegant design and decor, which makes you feel right at home on those snowy evenings.

After a day on the slopes, warm up by the fireplace and soak in the hot tub. With over 6,000 feet of grounds, guests can enjoy the quiet and peaceful life that Jackson Hole has to offer!

Grand Teton Log Castle

Jackson Hole Villa, SkiVilla, Winter Escape, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This gorgeous mountain resort can accommodate up to 10 guests, making it the perfect rental for your winter escape! Bring the entire family as this abode feature five bedrooms and five bathrooms. Jackson Hole offers so much to do in the winter and summer months and you will love coming home to this log-cabin castle!

Guests will love spending time on the two deck and in the winter, take a dip in the hot tub while the snow falls! After a day on the slopes, relax in the spacious living room and get cozy by the fire to enjoy a family movie night.

It’s Not Too Late!

You still have plenty of time to find the perfect vacation rental for your winter vacation.

Whether you visit the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or venture to Canada to hit the diverse slopes of Whistler, Exotic Estates Vacation Specialists can help you find the perfect getaway for you and your group!

 

 

 

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Spending The Holidays in Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos urn:uuid:147b95ee-750f-fb97-80c3-0b45e791f96b 2017-01-30T16:06:06-07:00 Spending the Holidays in Cabo San Lucas and Los Cabos!

Instead of waiting in lines this Black Friday, pick out your favorite bathing-suit and imagine yourself sitting by your own private pool, in your own gorgeous villa, sipping a fresh margarita with friends and family.

If you are not a fan of cold temperatures or are just looking for a change of pace this winter, then Los Cabos, home to Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, is a great place to spend the holidays!

Unlike most states in the U.S., Los Cabos is pretty much sunny and beautiful year-round and has so much to offer both in culture and landscape.  Skip crowded stores and holiday traffic jams and put some of that holiday spend towards a memorable Christmas and New Year’s vacation in Cabo San Lucas.

To spend the perfect holiday season abroad, we have put together a gorgeous collection of Los Cabos villas that fit every family’s needs. Whether you’re a small family of four or a large group of 15, we have the ideal Los Cabos vacation rental for you. 

From fun and lively Cabo San Lucas to the laid back San Jose del Cabo, choose your dream vacation home from the Exotic Estates collection. Here are few featured homes to give you some ideas for your holiday getaway!

Cabo San Lucas Vacation Villas

Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

The landscape in Cabo San Lucas is dramatic, and most of the Exotic Estates Cabo Villas are built into the rugged hillsides, delivering stunning views of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean.

Offering picturesque beaches and fresh seafood, Cabo San Lucas is considered the social and commercial hub of Los Cabos, so if you are looking for a vibrant nightlife, abundance of restaurants, and adventures on the beach, Cabo San Lucas is for you.

Cabo Villa Sirena

Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This three bedroom and three bathroom vacation home is in a gated community located only five minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. Featuring ocean views and a private infinity pool and Jacuzzi, up to six guests will love to call this villa their holiday home.

The private patio boasts 1,200 sq. ft. of outdoor living space, and pocket doors open to the patio from the living area making for a seamless indoor/outdoor living experience. Starting at just $396/night, this is a great option for small families and groups.

Villa Cabo Seaside

Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This holiday season bring the entire family to Cabo San Lucas! Villa Cabo Seaside vacation rental offers seven bedrooms and can accommodate up to 17 guests.  Sitting oceanfront, this spectacular villa features over 7,400 square feet of luxury living space and is only one mile from Cabo San Lucas.

Packed full with amenities, guests can enjoy a private pool and Jacuzzi, air-conditioning, gourmet kitchen, outdoor gas BBQ, and panoramic views of the ocean. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring the whole family to paradise this holiday!

Vacation Rentals in San Jose Del Cabo

Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

The historic and culturally rich area of San Jose del Cabo features colonial-era homes and buildings including a famous church that was built in 1700. With less growth than Cabo San Lucas, this town boasts old-town Mexico charm, offering travelers a hip arts district and boutique shops.

If you are looking for a more quiet and perhaps more cultural getaway, this peaceful and historic Mexican town is a great place to seek out your perfect Cabo vacation villa!

Cabo Villa Sun Guadalupe

Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This San Jose Del Cabo vacation home offers three bedrooms and is perfect for families! With the ability to accommodate eight guests, invite the whole family to enjoy this luxury Mexican villa.

Offering one level, this home is a great option for guests with mobility restrictions, and the outdoor terrace boasts stunning panoramic views and a private pool with walk-in steps. Spend your days relaxing on the comfortable lounge chairs and enjoy a fresh dinner with the family as you watch the sunset over the ocean. 

Cabo Villa Delfines

Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This San Jose Del Cabo vacation rental offers true luxury to even the most discerning guests. Featuring six bedrooms and bathrooms and the ability to accommodate up to 15 people, this is the perfect option for your family reunion this holiday season.

Guests will enjoy over 12,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor living, along with a private pool, Jacuzzi, and three stories of world-class amenities. With daily maid service, you will find this exquisite vacation home hard to leave!

Vacation Villas on the “Resort Corridor”

Beachfront View, Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, you will find a 20-mile stretch of high-quality resorts and gorgeous luxury vacation villas.  The Del Mar Development is located just to the south of San Jose Del Cabo, and is where you will find Exotic Estates vacation villas that are ideal for those who want to be close to the action, with the privacy and seclusion that the Resort Corridor offers.

An added benefit for guests is that these homes offer access to world-class resorts, which usually features golfing, spas and restaurants. If you are imagining a quiet, resort-like experience for your Cabo vacation, then the Resort Corridor is definitely for you!

Los Cabos White House

Los Cabos White House, Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

One of the newest additions to the Exotic Estates collection, Los Cabos White House is what vacation dreams are made of! Featuring sprawling and dramatic vacation living on the beaches of the San Jose Del Cabo, be inspired by this beautiful and luxurious abode!

With the ability to comfortably accommodate up to 15 guests, enjoy over 10,000 square feet of Mexican perfection. Offering six oceanfront suites, eight bathrooms, two pools, and a Jacuzzi, look no further for your holiday getaway.

Winter Adventures in Cabo

Now that you have decided on the perfect vacation home for your winter getaway, take a look at some of our favorite activities. Spend this winter getting to know Los Cabos and all of the interesting activities that Mexico has to offer the entire family!

Whale Watching Trip

Cabo Whale Watching, Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Just in time for Whale season, take a tour on the Pacific and get first row seats on a Whale watching photo safari. With Cabo Adventures, you will get the opportunity of a lifetime to capture the moments of seeing these magical creatures on film!

The adventure is conducted on all-weather inflatable speedboats to ensure your comfort and safety, and you will be guided by experienced marine mammal behavior experts who are both passionate about your experience as well as the protection and conservation of the mammals and their environment.

Learn more and book your excursion here https://www.cabo-adventures.com/

Surf’s Up

Whether you’re learning to surf or you’re on the Pro Tour, Los Cabos has so many great surf spots to offer.  Surfing the Pacific side of the cape is ideal in the fall and winter and Cabo San Lucas offers diversity in locations, break directions, and various levels of difficulty.

At Mike Doyle’s Surf School, you can take surf lessons, rent a board, and get a tour of the best spots to catch waves. With two locations, one in San Jose and one in Cabo San Lucas, Mike Doyle’s Surf school has got you covered.

Main Square in San Jose del Cabo

Get to know the living history of this Mexican town and pay a visit to the main square, where you will find art galleries, shops, and delicious local cuisine.

Check out the delicious eats available at a food cart, or enjoy the Thursday-night art walk. Dine alfresco and people watch. This adorable square is fun for everyone in the family!

Mexican Eats

While there is an abundance of nightclubs and restaurants in Los Cabos, we found a couple highly rated local spots that are sure to delight your taste buds.

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind dining experience, you will want to visit Flora Farms in San Jose del Cabo. This ten-acre farm is located in the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains and serves farm-to-table cuisine without the use of pesticides or GMO’s.

Just outside of the main shops and restaurants in San Jose, you will find a small and local restaurant called Las Cazuelas del Don. Run by a husband and wife team, this villa turned restaurant has an adorable patio and a loveable ambiance.  Specializing in slow cooked meats and vegetables made in a traditional cazuela pan, you will love the relaxed pace and delicious food!

Tequila Tasting

Don’t miss out on Mexico’s liquid treasure, Tequila! Although this agave based nectar doesn’t grow in the direct or surrounding areas of Los Cabos, there are still plenty of places to drink it.

Try to stay away from the free shots and samples, and opt for the premium version at one of many boutique restaurants and nightclubs.  A well-known facility for traditional Mexican cuisine and a large tequila selection can be found at Pancho’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar. Boasting over 500 producers of this Mexican liquor, you are bound to find your favorite during a tasting.

Get Out of Town and Celebrate with Mexican Style!

Cabo Royal Arch, Winter in Cabo, Cabo Christmas, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalSkip the traditional gift giving this year and make life long memories on your vacation to Los Cabos, Mexico.  With the holiday season rapidly approaching, now the ideal time to book your vacation rental in this sunny paradise!

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Thanksgiving in Hawaii urn:uuid:db7f27a9-b02d-7743-faf9-b89dfc775fac 2016-11-03T17:14:41-07:00 Thanksgiving in Hawaii

The holidays are just around the corner and if you are spending Thanksgiving in Hawaii, you have a lot to be thankful for this year!

Hawaii is a very popular place to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Because the celebration is typically about sharing a moment of appreciation with friends and family, a vacation rental is the perfect setting for a feast in paradise. Unlike a hotel, at a vacation rental, you can gather around your dining room table or even enjoy a more informal Thanksgiving barbecue out on the lanai around the pool. You might even take the party down to one of the beach parks and enjoy a day on sun and surf along with your turkey and cranberries!

Although November is considered the start of the rainy season, you will likely still enjoy sunny days, with the odd tropical shower passing through offering the chance of rainbows. Of course, the weather will be warm, since Hawaii sits in the tropics. The average temperature during this month ranges from the upper 60’s in the evening to the mid 80’s during the day.

Ohana (family) is very important in Hawaii and even if you’re not a local, you will find plenty of friends who are eager to share the Aloha during this holiday!

Cooking a Turkey in Your Vacation Rental

If you are looking for a traditional and formal sit-down Thanksgiving dinner feast, you might be surprised at how easy it is to host Thanksgiving Day at your Maui vacation rental!

Most kitchens stock all the cooking essentials, including pots, pans, and even some local spices.

You can find a Turkey at the local grocery store, where you can pick up some Hawaiian marinades and pineapple! Gather on the lanai or around the dining room table, and enjoy your feast in paradise!

For delicious Hawaiian recipes for your Thanksgiving meal, visit https://www.hawaii.com/blog/thanksgiving-hawaiian-style

Fun Activities

Before you sit down to feast, make sure to spend some time enjoying the beautiful scenery of Maui.

We have put together a list of Thanksgiving Day activities for you and your guests to enjoy before dinner.

Thanksgiving Day Luau

What better way to enjoy Thanksgiving in Maui than with a traditional Luau!

Once you are greeted with fresh-flower lei, experience the Pig-Imu ceremony, Hula dancers, and other traditional Hawaiian entertainment. For dinner, you will usually find a traditional Hawaiian buffet with the addition of a Turkey.

There are many restaurants and hotels that offer the chance to celebrate the day in true Hawaiian Style!

For a list of Luau’s on Maui, visit http://adventuremaui.com/luaus.htm.

Whale Watching Cruise

November marks a special time in the Pacific waters off Maui as the Humpback whales are returning home. The Pacific Whale Foundation hosts a Thanksgiving Day Dinner Cruise that departs from Lahaina and is the perfect way to celebrate your afternoon.

 The cruise takes place on an eco-friendly catamaran, where all guests are seated outside. Listen to live music and sip on a cocktail as you sail off into the sunset in search of the majestic Humpback whale! For dinner, enjoy a traditional buffet that is prepared by the award-winning Three’s Bar and Grill.

You can also find a similar experience with Quicksilver cruises, which offers a cruise along the Pali coast of Maui. Departing from the Maalaea Harbor, you can sit inside or outside as you enjoy your dinner and the sunset.

Be sure to bring your camera, you will want to share this inspiring and picturesque holiday experience with everyone back home!

Picnic by the Beach

Seize the day in Paradise and enjoy a Thanksgiving picnic on the beach! There are many grocery stores and restaurants that will pack a Thanksgiving meal for takeout and it will be easy to find a great spot on one of Maui’s beaches.

You will have plenty to be thankful for as you enjoy your barefoot feast surrounded by the beautiful Pacific and the gorgeous coast of Maui!

Maui Invitational

Come show your Aloha spirit and cheer on your favorite team this Thanksgiving!

Perfect for sports fans, this Basketball tournament has hosted 108 different schools since its inception in 1984, including UCLA, Wake Forest, Kansas and Vanderbilt.

Watch the teams play for the Wayne Duke Championship Trophy, hosted at the Lahaina Civic Center.

For tickets, visit http://mauiinvitational.com/

Give Thanks!

Whatever you do for Thanksgiving during your holiday on Maui, don’t forget to share thanks with the ones you love.

From everyone here at Exotic Estates, we wish you and your family a fun and safe holiday season!

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October Festivities in Hawaii urn:uuid:5468307b-2ac8-faa4-9000-e014ddd1cf5d 2017-01-30T16:03:52-07:00 October Festivities in Hawaii

Halloween Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

October is a wonderful time of year in Hawaii. If your vacation includes Maui this fall, you are in for a treat of fun festivities!

From Oktoberfest, to pumpkin carving and Halloween celebrations, there is plenty to do. October is what is often considered an off-season month, as it’s in-between the busy summer travel season and the peak holiday season. Prices are low and beaches are relatively empty.

Oktober Fest

With over 100,000 residents of German heritage, you can find several fun Oktoberfest celebrations in Hawaii.  Whether you are looking for an authentic German experience or just an excuse to enjoy a cold beer, join the locals for this annual harvest celebration, Hawaiian style!

http://www.funtober.com/oktoberfest/hawaii/

Trick Or Treat – Lahaina Style!

Halloween Maui, Maui Halloween Costumes, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Instead of staying at home and waiting for the doorbell to ring, head out to Lahaina and take part in town’s festive Halloween celebrations!

The average low temperature for October is 75 degrees, offering for the perfect weather to show off your costume.

One of the largest Halloween Celebrations in Hawaii

Halloween, Hawaii, Maui, Exotic Estates, Kelli Bullock, Halloween Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Lahaina’s annual celebration is one of the largest of its kind and Halloween is one of the most celebrated holidays on Maui, usually drawing up to 30,000 people!

Known as the “Mardi Gras of the Pacific,” these celebrations are inspired by The Big Easy.  Although drinking on the streets is forbidden, you’re still in for an evening of excitement and excellent people watching.

Watch as the residents and visitors throw beads from the lanais, showering all of the characters on parade down on Front Street. Don’t forget to bring your best costume to show off and maybe even enter in one of the contests!

Take the Annual Halloween Cruise

Take the Halloween cruise and do Halloween in style. Depart from Maalaea Harbor in Lahaina where you will be treated to a gourmet dinner, premium open bar, dancing and live music, all while you watch the gorgeous Halloween sunset!

There is a costume contest, so don’t forget to dress up! You might be home with one of the prizes from the costume contest.

After the cruise you will be dropped off directly in town so you can enjoy all of the festivities happening along Front Street.

More info: https://www.prideofmaui.com/events/halloween-cruise/

Family Friendly

Family Friendly Halloween, Halloween Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Halloween celebrations on Maui provide a family-friendly environment so everyone can enjoy themselves. Although it hasn’t always been the case, the streets allow for foot-traffic only, making a safe environment for walking around town.

The annual Keiki Parade takes place on Front Street and starts around4 PM. Kids will enjoy the face-painting, photo op’s, and trick-or-treating.

Even though authorities heavily patrol the night’s festivities, it’s probably still a good idea to take the little ones home before the party crowd hits the town.

Safety First

With over 80 police officers patrolling the area on October 31st, Lahaina is one of the safest towns in Hawaii if not the US to celebrate Halloween.

Besides some revealing costumes (this is the land of the bikini after all), you can count on enjoying a safe evening on the town.

Halloween Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

If you aren’t keen on crowds, check out one of the second-story bars where you can watch the party from above.

Awesome Costumes

On an island where you usually see everyone dressed in board shorts and flip-flops, get ready for an impressive showing of costumes.

Front Street Halloween Parade, Halloween Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

You will get to see the most extraordinary costumes at Banyan Tree Park for the adult costume contest, where some people have spent the entire year prepping to compete for the prize!

More Parties in Waikiki

Over on Oahu, Hawaii’s largest Halloween parade is the place to be for those who want action. Don’t miss out on some of the best costumes and parties that you will find anywhere, including the mainland. 

Waikiki Halloween, Halloween Oahu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Enjoy watching the exhibition of visitors and locals alike parading down Kalakaua Avenue!

Join in on the fun. Here is a list of other fun events for the entire family to enjoy!

Pumpkin Carving Festival

October 22, 2016

Bring your pumpkins to this family fun festival!

ARTafterDark Boo!

October 28, 2016 06:00pm-09:00pm 
Honolulu Museum of Art

Come and share your art-inspired costumes!

HALLOWBALOO

October 30, 2016 4:30 PM

This street festival takes place at the Hawaii State Art Museum. Come and share the Aloha spirit while you enjoy fun music!

After Party

Halloween Hawaii, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

If you aren’t feeling your best the next day, don’t forget where you are!

Take a refreshing dip in the warm Pacific Ocean and grab some fresh food from the market for breakfast at your Exotic Estate’s vacation rental!

What are you waiting for?! You may be far away from the typical Halloween setting, but Hawaii gets into the ghoulish spirit more than many places, so get started on that costume today!

 

Photo Credit: Kelli with an Eye Photography, www.kellibullockphotography.com

All photos are courtesy of Kelli Bullock Photography. Kelli provides full survice photography for destination weddings, civil union and vow renewals, family portraits, couples and engagments, newborns and children, maternity, boudoir, pets, and events. Kelli Bullock Photography is a LBGT allied business located in the beautiful Oahu, Hawaii. Contact Kelli for your photography needs today!

 

 

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Hanging Out with Mick Fleetwood on Maui urn:uuid:15720056-d937-dd41-d859-cce4133defa3 2017-01-30T16:01:46-07:00 One of the most popular restaurants on Maui is located across the street from Lahaina Harbor along Lahaina's Gallery Row, and comes with a rock ‘n’ roll pedigree: Fleetwood’s on Front St., or “Fleetwood’s” for short.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

At Fleetwood’s, dinner and drinks sometimes come with the chance to meet and maybe even hear a legendary rocker perform. Deb from Exotic Estates, one of our Maui-based team members, got to hang out with the man himself on a recent night out!

We thought it was high time that we highlight what this very special Maui hotspot has to offer our guests.

Exotic Estates and Mick Fleetwood at Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Located in the Heart of Lahaina

After opening their doors in 2014, Fleetwood’s on Front St. quickly became a Maui favorite. The entire building channels Fleetwood’s music pedigree, including a logo that’s a riff on the iconic artwork from the classic Fleetwood Mac album, Rumours, and the street-level Morrison Hotel Gallery in the Fleetwood’s on Front St. General Store.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Sign, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Underneath all the glamorous ephemera, Fleetwood’s is a place for fine dining. The restaurant may be wrapped in a cool vibe, rock star present or not, but it’s the cuisine and bar service that are behind its success.

Fleetwood (the man) responded to a question about the use of iconic imagery by referencing back to the quality of the food, saying, “…if we didn’t have great food, great service and a solid vibe all that wouldn’t really matter.”* How right he is.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Bar, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

Because it delivers a solid dining experience, Fleetwood’s on Front St. is frequented by locals and tourists alike. It also boasts a lively bar scene, especially on the upstairs terrace, which offers amazing views of Lahaina Harbor and is a prime viewing spot to watch Maui’s famous sunsets.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Rooftop View, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

TIP: If you want to hit the rooftop terrace for sunset drinks and pupus (Hawaiian for apps), come early to ensure you get a place at the bar or a table. It gets busy, especially during sunset hours!

Fleetwood's on Front St. Entertainment Calendar

Fleetwood’s always has great entertainment on the calendar. Their website features a picture of Steven Tyler performing, so you never know who might pop by for turn at the mic – this is Maui after all and everyone makes their way to this fabled isle at some point!

Steven Tyler at Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

Mick Fleetwood Performing at Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

On the recent night that our team member was there, Fleetwood jammed with a band and then came out to mingle with guests.

Besides the odd visiting rock star, guests can enjoy a daily sunset ceremony at the rooftop bar while they take in the dramatic natural spectacle.  Each Sunday, Tuesday, and Wednesday you can experience Hawaiian Kumu, which is a traditional sunset ceremony performed by a Hawaiian Kahuna Vene, while every Monday, Thursday and Friday, you will get to hear a Scottish piper (Mick is British after all). On Saturdays, both the Hawaiian Kumu and the Scottish bagpiper perform.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Sunset Ceremony, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

For a list of upcoming events and celebrations, visit Fleetwood's entertainment calendar

Fleetwood's on Front St. Menus and Ingredients

Executive Chef Eric Morrissette sources whatever he can from island farmers and vendors, and even grows herbs up on the roof. 

The menu is a mix of bistro classics and Hawaiian staples. For example, you’ll find ahi poke (Hawaiian-style seasoned tuna sashimi) and steamed mussels on the appetizer menu, and Mahi Mahi and New York Steak offered as entrees. The portions are generous, so you will leave feeling well fed and watered.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Food, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

All selections can be paired with excellent wines from Fleetwood’s private cellar wine.

Fleetwood’s for Weddings and Special Events

Because of its vibe and ample size, Fleetwood’s can be an option for weddings or other events.

If you are dreaming of hosting a wedding in a gorgeous private Maui villa, surrounded by stunning views and friends and family, you need to do your due diligence; laws on Maui severely limit the venues available for weddings (outside of hotels), and Fleetwood’s can be a fun alternative to an impersonal resort.

Large Events - Main Dining Area

The main dining area is decorated with historic images, as well as Mick Fleetwood’s personal photographs and memorabilia, including his gold-plated drum kit! With the ability to transform into a formal dining room, a casual reception space, or a rockin’ dance floor, the restaurant can be tricked-out to serve all event styles.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Main Bar and Dining Room, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

Rooftop

The rooftop is truly a one-of-a-kind perch that lets you take in the exquisite beauty of Lahaina and the outer islands. Available for buyout, the rooftop has been a favored venue for weddings, corporate programs, birthday celebrations and even concerts.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Rooftop Bar, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

Zebra Room – Small Events

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Zebra Room, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

The Zebra Room, located on the main level, is Mick Fleetwood’s private dining room, and an ideal spot for an intimate wedding reception, small birthday party, or an anniversary celebration. You might even get a visit from Mick himself during your meal! This very special room can accommodate up to 10 guests and is available by reservation for lunch and dinnertime.

Rehearsal Dinners

If you are hosting your wedding elsewhere, consider having your rehearsal dinner at Fleetwood’s. This is a fun venue, which is sure to impress your guests. Don’t take our word for it; check out the raving reviews from the brides who have hosted their event at Fleetwood’s -  Wedding Wire!

Fleetwood's on Front St. General Store - Art and Memorabilia

Fleetwood’s on Front St.’s General Store, which is also home to the Morrison Hotel Gallery, is open during restaurant hours and has lots of unique and cool items for sale. Select a wine from the Mick Fleetwood private cellar, or take home one of Mick’s photographs to adorn your walls.

Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui Morrison Hotel Gallery, Fleetwood's on Front St. Lahaina Maui View, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Photo courtesy of Fleetwood's on Front St.

Fleetwood’s on Front St Hours

Fleetwood’s on Front St. is open daily at 2:00 PM and is located at 744 Front St. in Lahaina. For reservations or to inquire about hosting your upcoming wedding or other special event, visit their website at http://www.fleetwoodsonfrontst.com/

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Paradise Helicopters Offers a Bird’s-Eye View of Paradise urn:uuid:df73361e-4aa4-0fa4-5856-ace25e9113b9 2017-01-30T16:00:01-07:00 Hawaii is one of the most exotic and dramatic destinations on earth, offering gorgeous coastlines, lush green rainforests, soaring mountains, deep valleys ringed with waterfalls, and, of course, the world’s most active volcano.  If you could take a private tour and gain access into some of the most remote and wild parts of the Hawaiian Islands for only $150, would you do it?

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This kind of exclusive access is exactly what Paradise Helicopters offers visitors to Hawaii.

In many ways, a helicopter tour is the only way to experience Hawaii’s dramatic beauty up close and personal, and Paradise Helicopters makes it easy for you to incorporate a reliable heli-tour experience into your itinerary, on Oahu, Lanai and the Big Island. Moreover, they offer custom, charter flights, so you can share the experience with your group.

The company’s team of highly trained and outstanding pilots will safely fly you over some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Imagine having a bird’s-eye view of the pounding surf on Oahu’s North Shore, or the inaccessible nooks and crannies of the Koolau Mountain rainforests on windward Oahu, and, of course, the wondrous, fiery display of Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island.

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates recently partnered with Paradise Helicopters on its Hawaii Villa Escape Sweepstakes. The winners of the sweepstakes will enjoy a custom tour of the Big Island and its volcano. We are pleased to be able to recommend Paradise Helicopters and give you a glimpse of what they offer travelers.  

Paradise Helicopters - a “Local” Hawaiian Company

Paradise Helicopters, founded in 1997, is locally owned and operated.  This award-winning and veteran-owned company is widely recognized for its safety practices and, of course, exclusive helicopter tours.

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Flights are offered from Ko Olina at Kalaeloa Airport, Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu, Lanai Airport (serving the Four Season Resort Lanai), and from Hilo and Kona on the Big Island. 

HISTORY AND WWII BUFFS TAKE NOTE! Paradise Helicopters also features specialty flights on an authentic WWII aircraft, the only tour on a Warbird that flies over historic Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Aerial View, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

With almost 20 years of Hawaii-flying experience, Paradise Helicopters has created long-lasting relationships with local communities, providing you with top-notch service on all of the islands.

These connections allow Paradise Helicopters to offer you some of the best landing spots in the Islands, providing exclusive expeditions on some of the most remote and private spots in Hawaii. 

Paradise Helicopters is also an enthusiastic supporter of Hawaii’s nonprofit, government and community organizations, and including environmental organizations. The company donates a portion of sales to the Daniel Sayre Foundations, a nonprofit that is dedicating to providing essential equipment and training to the Hawaii Island Fire Department.

Paradise Helicopters also operates flights for invasive species identification and eradication, watershed rehabilitation, firefighting, and tree planting to support the preservation and conservation of Hawaii’s forests.

The Best and Most Trusted Pilots

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

To provide their customers with safe and exciting flight experiences, Paradise Helicopters only hires the world’s most trusted pilots. There are several former “Marine One” presidential pilots (that have served three Unites States Presidents), and each pilot has the necessary skills and experience to keep you and your party safe from takeoff to landing, every flight. 

Each pilot must participate in annual training and they must also pass a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight check. To add to the safety factor, Paradise Helicopters brings in outside professional instructors to evaluate and train the pilots in the latest techniques.  Pilots are also knowledgeable on Hawaii and its geology, culture and history, making for the perfect tour guide!

First in the World

Paradise Helicopters is also the first air tour company in the world to be certified by the Helicopter Association International’s new Accreditation Program of Safety (HAI-APS).  As a result, Paradise Helicopters was selected to present at the 2016 Helicopter and Safety Summit on their highly effective Safety Management System, which proactively identifies and manages risks. How’s that for a commitment to safety excellence!

Experience Hawaii

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Paradise Helicopters offers exceptional tours to their guests, creating unique and exciting flights designed to meet the expectation of visitors seeking to experience Hawaii from above. Thanks to Marianne and Martijn, who traveled to Hawaii all the way from Holland, for sharing this shot from their recent custom Big Island Tour! 

Tours start at only $179 per person and range from 20 minutes to the entire day.  Guests also have the option to create their own distinctive adventure, starting at only $1,310.

Keep reading to get an inside look at a few of our favorite tours!

Family Helicopter Ride and Zipline in Kona

This two-hour tour is an exciting adventure that the entire family can enjoy!  Paradise Helicopters will depart from the Kona Airport in a Bell 407 and fly you and the family over Kona’s coffee district, which spans over the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. Then you will head over to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to find red, hot lava around Kilauea, which is currently the world’s most active volcano. 

Family Helicopter Ride, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

After checking out the wonders of the volcano you will land at Hilo Airport, where you and the family can explore the historic downtown area, which is full of culture, art and history.  Then, you will head over to Botanical World Adventure, where your zip-line adventure awaits. You’ll choose from seven different zip lines that are suspended over rivers and gardens, and overlook over 5,000 different plant species.  You will also have the chance to see two amazing waterfalls, which have only been open to the public for the last two years.

After your zip-line voyage, you will head back to Hilo Airport where your helicopter will be waiting to take you on the second half of your adventure! You will fly over the Kohala valleys, which boast breathtaking views of 2,000-foot waterfalls, and on the way home you will fly over the Big Island's rugged coastline before returning safely to the Kona Airport, just in time for sunset.

Volcano Kohala Landing

This exciting three-hour tour is unlike any other adventure in Hawaii! After takeoff from the Kailua-Kona Airport, you’ll fly over the rugged lava rock landscape and the Kona coffee district. Then, you will make your way towards Volcanoes National Park, to explore the activity of Kilauea crater, and see molten hot lava rising out of the earth!

Volcano View from Helicopter, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

On your way home, Paradise Helicopters will take you deep into the forests of Kohala to an exclusive landing site that usually takes hours of hiking to reach. 

Step outside and discover the same landscape and valleys that King Kamehameha walked amongst and take in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Finally, you’ll climb back into the helicopter and watch the drastic landscape change as you fly from the windward to the leeward side.

You will also get to see the resorts of Waikoloa on this exhilarating tour!

Magnum Experience

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Magnum PI, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Take an exclusive tour of Oahu’s North Shore in Magnum, P.I.’s chopper! The Paradise Helicopters Magnum Experience lasts for an hour and takes you on a tour of all the highlights of Oahu.

Get a birds-eye view of the North Shore, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, and Sacred Falls (now closed to foot hikers). You will even get to fly the same route that you saw in the opening sequence of Magnum, P.I., which takes you offshore and above the ocean as you buzz over famous Waikiki Beach!

North Shore Sunset Spectacular in Oahu

This 30-minute evening excursion is just enough time to create memories that will last a lifetime. The tour starts just before the sunset and you’ll be able to witness the gorgeous colors of the “golden hour” from the iconic North Shore of Oahu.

Paradise Helicopter Tours, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

During your tour, you will see the beautiful Hawaiian landscape, and watch the ocean break onshore as the light glistens in the distance. On the way home, you will catch a glimpse of Haleiwa town and secluded Kaena Point, before turning back towards Turtle Bay to catch the final magnificent minutes of the setting sun!

Hot Lava!

Paradise Helicopters has collaborated with pilots, guests and professionals to create the Hawaii Lava Update Blog. This lava blog follow all the activity of the volcanoes and captures high-quality footage of the molten lava heart of Hawaii! Recently, molten lava flowed into the ocean, making for a magnificent site.

Hot Lava Smiley Face Hawaii, Paradise Helicopter Tours, Private Helicopter Tour Hawaii, Maui Helicopter Ride, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

https://vimeo.com/176569035

For a complete list of Paradise Helicopter tours and for more information on

Private charters, visit their website at https://paradisecopters.com/

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Exotic Estates Explains Why Cabo is a Great Place for Your Destination Wedding urn:uuid:0e2f21ea-21bc-6b2b-0b70-0b037ba65b03 2017-01-30T15:57:35-07:00 Why Cabo is a Great Place for Your Destination Wedding

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The Challenges of Hawaii Destination Weddings

We get the question all of the time, “Are there any homes that can host a small wedding on Maui or Oahu?” The answer is always the same, “There are a few, but there are restrictions, fees and most mandate that you work with a wedding planner, which is sometimes pre-determined based on the property.”

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Why not just go to a resort? Because many want the elegance, intimacy and hominess of a beautiful villa for their ceremony and reception, not to mention the environment it affords for family togetherness before the event. But Hawaii is simply not that wedding friendly when it comes to hosting an event in a permitted vacation villa – this is the hard truth.  

Hawaii – a Limited Inventory of Event-Friendly Permitted Villas

The reason is that there are not many permitted homes that allow events, either because of the parameters of the home's permit and HOA rules, or homeowner concerns. Also, if you do not work with one of the bonded state event planners, who knows and follows the many local laws governing events, including beach ceremonies, you run the risk of having your ceremony or event shut down; not a good way to start off your life together.

There certainly are some permitted and approved villas in Hawaii that are in incredibly beautiful settings, and when it’s done right, a villa wedding in Hawaii is spectacular. However, the limited inventory of event-friendly permitted villas can be a challenge, and homes come with event fees that can reach as high at $6,000.

Moreover, due to the highly aggressive and complex regulatory environment, it is essential that you hire a bonded and licensed planner to coordinate your wedding. All of these factors add up, making it more challenging to realize your ideal special day in Hawaii.

Why Los Cabos for Your Wedding – San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Imagine a place that has abundant sunshine, warm temperatures and stunning vistas, filled with gorgeous wedding-friendly villas that range in size from two to 10 bedrooms: this is the glorious stretch of land at the end of California Baja Sur known collectively as Los Cabos.

Exotic Estates has recently expanded in a major way to Cabo, adding more than 100 villas in the area from Cabo San Lucas to San Jose del Cabo, as well as a few more remote villas on stunning beaches located just to the north. Almost all of these villas are wedding friendly, which means you have a large portfolio of gorgeous villas to choose from. You can plan your intimate, uniquely-you event without worry of being shut down because your wedding planner didn’t get all the right permits in order, as can happen in a place like Hawaii.

The more that we learn about Cabo, the more we love it. If you are thinking about planning a destination wedding, we encourage you to read through our Cabo wedding guide below!

Holding Your Wedding in Cabo San Lucas at an Exotic Estates Villa

When done right, the cost of a destination wedding can actually be comparable to, or even less costly than, hosting the same kind of event in your hometown. When searching for a venue, you are certainly looking for a unique spot that will make a beautiful and memorable setting for you and your guests.

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Finding the Perfect Villa – a Scouting Trip

Taking at least one trip to the destination before the big day is ideal for scouting and securing the best location, vendors, and even testing your food options from the caterer. This is also a great time to do your trial hair and makeup and find fun activities for your guests to enjoy during the wedding festivities.

Since you will be leaving a lot in the hands of vendors, taking a trip will give you a chance to meet face-to-face, making the wedding planning much less stressful as it is easier to be clear about your needs and demands in person. You can also schedule meet and greets with your wedding planner.

Villa Fee

The typical rate to hold a wedding at one our Cabo villas is an additional night’s rent. There are also some villas with HOA’s that require a special permit to hold an event at the home; this is usually around $550.

Beach Ceremony Fee

For those who are looking to hold their ceremony on the beach, permits are required in the neighborhood of Pedregal. In Cabo Del Sol, beach ceremonies are not permiteed. All other developments do not charge to use the beach for ceremonies. 

For a permit in the Pedregal neighborhood, this is dependent on whether guests plan to have a reception and if they are staying in the development. There are certain HOA regulation and fee's associated, which run from $100-$500. Please ask our estate specialists for more details. 

Learn about Mexican Marriage Requirements

The legalities of planning a wedding abroad can vary from country to country, and we have gathered everything you need to know about the requirements for Mexico.

There are two types of ceremonies you can have, a civil ceremony and a religious/symbolic ceremony.  The former officially deems a couple “married” and is recognized worldwide as a legal marriage. However, this requires documentation and more time spent in Cabo.

Holding a Legal Ceremony in Mexico

The following is a list of requirements that you will need to meet if you wish to hold a legal civil ceremony in Mexico:

  • A judge must perform the ceremony and the vows must be done in Spanish (you can use a translator). The entire ceremony lasts about 20 minutes (The judge will cost $475 and a translator is an additional $100). 
  • You are required to have copies of your birth certificate and current passports as proof of ID.
  • You must have lab work completed in the state in which you are getting married ($200).
  • You must have copies of your tourist immigration form.
  • A divorce decree (if applicable).
  • 4 witnesses over the age of 18.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony in Mexico – Easier and Often Preferred

The symbolic ceremony may be preferred, and here are the reasons why:

  • A symbolic ceremony is not considered a legal ceremony and doesn’t change your marital status.
  • You can use your own vows, and this is more similar to the typical wedding you would find in the United States or Canada.
  • You will have control over your minister and your vows.
  • After the ceremony, you will sign a certificate of marriage (along with two witnesses and the minister) and you will then file the paperwork in the U.S. at your local clerk’s office. This is generally the easiest route for couples and requires less work and time leading up to the event.

For more information on holding a civil ceremony, click here.

When to Plan Your Cabo Wedding

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Although Cabo has gorgeous weather throughout the entire year, there a few months that are warmer than others and some months you might want to avoid. November through April is the high season and has some of the best weather both day and night. This is your most ideal time to hold a wedding. August to October is generally hurricane season, and, if they strike, storms can last anywhere from one to five days, which could definitely rain on your parade!

However, Cabo is still one of the sunniest places on Earth, with a more arid climate and very low rain during the more temperate months from November through May. This is in contrast to Hawaii, which has a more classically tropical climate and more regular rainfall (why the Islands are so lush and green). During the winter months, the rainy season, there is the potential for longer rainy spells, which means a higher chance for a partial or total washout on your special day.

Don’t Plan Alone

Hosting a destination wedding is exciting, but it can also be much more challenging than planning a wedding at home. Using a wedding planner, regardless of destination, can help lighten the load of researching and securing vendors and suppliers, and they will deal with all of the important small details and logistics that you may overlook.

Cabo San Lucas Wedding Catering, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

There are plenty of planners in Los Cabos who are recommended and trusted. You may also want to bring a planner from back home, but just be sure that they really understand the area. You will also have to consider covering the wedding planner travel costs if you choose that option.

Creative Destination Events is a local planning and design company and includes an experienced team of planners ready to perfect every detail of your special day!

In general, it is common to set aside about 10-15% of your budget for a planner.

Taking Care of Guest Arrangements

When planning a wedding in your hometown, it’s common to set aside a block of rooms in a local hotel. When planning a wedding in your own private villa in Cabo, you can also book nearby villas for your guests!

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This can be far a more fun (and often cheaper) option for guests than hotels. They will be closer to your venue and they will share in the exciting and truly bonding experience of staying in a private villa.

If you are more comfortable booking a hotel, be sure to coordinate with your wedding planner and select a hotel that is close to your venue.

Find a Great Local Photographer

Don't forget one of the most important parts of the wedding - the photos! There are plenty of wonderful local photographers in the Los Cabos area. We caught up with one of our favorites, Carlos Aboyo. Carlos is an extremely versatile photographer and works with natural light to take candid and story-telling photos.

Cabo San Lucas Wedding Photographer, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Carlos is a pro and knows how to control and adapt artificial light when the situation calls for it. Carlos says, "I see myself as a creative, but honest wedding photographer. For me, it's not about the poses, but the stores inside the image. I like to preserve the energy, love and relationships that is happening in that moment and also cover the expectation of having great portraits and family photos!"

Well said, Carlos! You can check out more if his work at his website.

Area Safety

Since you are hosting your wedding abroad, you and your guests might have some questions about safety.

The beach towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo are both part of a large and generally safe area called Los Cabos. This area is a tourist mecca and and your biggest concern in Cabo will likely be avoiding a sunburn or a hangover.

It is still good practice to leave your money, valuables and passport in the villa safe. Flying into the well-run Cabo San Lucas airport is advised.

Planning for Nightlife

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Cabo Nightlife, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

 

The area of Los Cabos is a great one-stop-shop for your wedding, as well as your bachelor and bachelorette parties! With one of the most exciting social scenes in Mexico, Cabo San Lucas is a great place to celebrate your wedding with your family and bridal party.

Make sure to celebrate a few days before the wedding, and to get hydrated before the big day!

Be Smart About the Dress – It’s Warm Down There!

Cabo San Lucas Bride, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

When planning a destination wedding in Cabo, don’t forget to pick an appropriate wedding dress. The climate is comfortable year-round and ranges from the mid-70’s in the winter months to the mid-90’s in the summer, with very low annual rainfall.

This, as mentioned, is a huge advantage over more tropical destinations like the Caribbean and Hawaii, which can see rainy weather during winter months.

Other considerations

Make sure you leave your guests (and yourselves) enough time to plan. Nine to 15 months out is the most ideal amount of time for securing your villa and vendors. This also gives plenty of time for your guests to make their travel arrangements.

Tourism Immigration form

The Tourism Immigration form that you will receive when arriving is very important and should not be lost. You may be required to show this certificate at any given time during the wedding.

Exotic Estates wishes you happy planning and we are here to assist you every step of the way!

Here are just a few wedding-friendly villas from our Cabo collection. From stunning views of the ocean, to white-sand beaches and private terraces, take a tour through these gorgeous Los Cabos villas and start planning your special day!

Villa Cabo Bellissima

Cabo Wedding Villa, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

You and your guests will live on the edge at Villa Cabo Bellissima, which is located on the hillside of the private Pedgregal community of Cabo San Lucas. This stunning villa displays the perfect blend of modern architecture, luxurious amenities and boasts unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean and beyond.

Villa Cabo Bellissima has eight-bedrooms, eleven spa-like bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and spacious living accommodations. You and your bridal party will enjoy the comfortable atmosphere of the contemporary architecture and elegant furnishings, all designed to maximize the impressive hillside location. The large glass doors and windows offer beautiful lighting and direct access to the furnished terrace with panoramic ocean views, the perfect background setting for your ceremnony.

With the ability to accommodate up to 150 guests, this is a dream villa for your destination wedding!

Villa Penasco

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

A true getaway, this luxury villa is perched cliffside and overlooks Land’s End, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez and is sure you take your breath away. A nominee for Best Villa in Mexico in the 2017 World Travel Awards, this six-bedroom home offers only the finest amenities and first-class luxuries and guests will never forget their time spent at Cabo Villa Penasco.   

You and your guests will look out onto the beautiful ocean during your ceremony and you will appear to be on top of the world. This well-manicured villa can accommodate parties of up to 50 guests, perfect for small and intimate weddings.

Cabo Villa Cielito

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Cabo Villa Cielito is the perfect retreat for your wedding in Mexico! Located on the Chileno Bay, this seven-bedroom Mexican vacation villa offers fantastic panoramic views of the sparkling blue ocean and a delightful infinity pool, creating the perfect place to unwind before the big day.

Cabo Ceilito offers a gourmet kitchen, marble baths, comfortable furnishings, an entertainment system, and Wi-Fi. Only steps from the white-sand beach, this home can accommodate up to 60 guests for your event and sleeps 16 guests. Take the stress off your destination wedding and stay at the relaxing Cabo Villa Cielito!

Villa Del Mar Cabo

Cabo San Lucas Bride, Private Wedding Villa, Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Private luxury and resort-worthy amenities make Villa Del Mar Cabo the perfect retreat for your Cabo San Lucas wedding!

This villa can sleep up to ten people, perfect for the bride or grooms family and features five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. With stunning views of the Pacific Ocean throughout, you will love every minute in this well-appointed Cabo vacation villa!   

The spacious terrace features 2,500 square feet of living space and boasts a shaded palapa, fire-pit, and chaise lounge chairs offering an outdoor paradise! Guests can enjoy an intimate wedding with 50 guests (standing) or 30 guests (sitting).

Cabo Villa De Los Suenos

Cabo San Lucas Wedding, Destination Wedding, Cabo Villa Wedding, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This breathtaking beachfront villa offers world-class views of the Sea of Cortez and is only steps away from the golden sand.  With seven bedrooms and eight bathrooms, and the ability to sleep up to 14 people, this Cabo vacation villa is the ideal retreat for wedding parties.

Experience the destination wedding of a lifetime at this luxurious villa.  With over 5,500 sq. ft. of living space, there is plenty of room for everyone to relax, including the bride!

The stunning terrace boasts a truly unique beach-entry pool, which features its own tropical island in the middle, along with a swim-up bar! Walk into the water and you will find the lines blurred between the edge of the pool and the ocean beyond - the ultimate infinity experience!

To get more ideas for your big day, email an Exotic Estates Villa Specialist or check out the complete collection Exotic Estates Cabo Villas.

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Exotic Estates in San Jose del Cabo urn:uuid:8247de90-1d13-3f9f-2ede-498c803f531e 2017-01-30T15:54:58-07:00 Take a Tour of San Jose del Cabo

San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

San Jose del Cabo is located 20 miles north of Cabo San Lucas and boasts 18-century colonial architecture and a laid-back vibe. Situated at the end of the Baja California Peninsula, San Jose was founded in 1730, when the San Jose del Cabo Anuti Mission was established.

This low-key town rests along the Sea of Cortez and boasts beautiful beaches, a historical town center, and an easygoing ambiance. Known as the artistic hub of Los Cabos, visitors can explore the picturesque architecture, murals, and vibrant art galleries.

Exotic Estates has added nine new vacation homes in San Jose del Cabo and we have compiled our list of favorite things to do in this culture-rich town. Take a tour of this lovely village and then select the perfect Exotic Estates villa for your next vacation!

San Jose Del Cabo Main Square (Plaza Mijares)

San Jose Main Square, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Get to know the living history of this Mexican town and pay a visit to the main square, where you will find art galleries, shops, and delicious local cuisine.

Check out the delicious eats available at a food cart, or enjoy the Thursday-night art walk. Dine alfresco and people watch. This adorable square is fun for everyone in the family!

Playa Palmilla

Playa Palmilla, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This lovely beach is ringed with white sand and is perfect for an evening walk during sunset. Clean and well maintained, you will find an abundance of local families and children.

The rocks offshore break up the large waves, which make this a good beach for swimming. Be sure to bring your own beach toys and fishing gear. The beach is also a popular place to snorkel!

The Estero San Jose

The Estero San Jose, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Experience a beautiful nature walk along the estuary of the local river and bird sanctuary. This is a unique place, where the freshwater of the Rio San Jose meets salt water.

This trail extends 1.5 miles and is the perfect spot for bird watching, kayaking, and morning jogs. Conveniently located, this trail connects the beach hotels with the downtown district.

Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti

San Jose del Cabo Mission, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Experience Sunday Mass at this historical Mission. Founded by the Jesuit Priest, Nicolas Tamaral in 1730, the Mission of San Jose is an important regional landmark. 

Despite the damage from a hurricane in 1918, the Mission still holds the original structure and some of its walls, and inside you will find a unique mosaic. Deep in history, this is a great place to take the family!

Ivan Guaderrama Art Gallery

Ivan Guaderrama Art Gallery, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

San Jose del Cabo is home to a plethora of beautiful art galleries. This gallery was established in 2004 by artist and founder Ivan Guaderrama, with its original location in Chihuahua, Mexico. It is located at the end of Art Walk Street and offers different styles and genres, but specializes in contemporary Christian artwork, and expressions of love, faith, and music, and also features interactive art displays.

A local’s favorite, you will find colorful and uplifting art that will inspire!

Frank Arnold Gallery

Frank Arnold Gallery, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Frank Arnold’s artwork is referred to as “Personal, yet Universal,” as it connects with each viewer’s emotions.

Frank Arnold works in oil on canvas and cast bronze from his studio, and you will see his love of light in each unique piece.  The elegant gallery is full of modern art and paintings, and is also home to the artist himself.

Extreme Sports

If you need a break from the quiet atmosphere of this historical town, dare to go on an adventure!

Extreme Sports Cabo, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Start with a Hydro FlyBoard, which is considered one of the top things to do in San Jose del Cabo.  You can experience a personal flight lesson in the un-crowded marina at Puerto Los Cabos. This is the perfect place for your first jetpack experience and is sure to create memories of a lifetime for the entire family. Learn more here.

Zip Line Cabo, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Soar through a beautiful nature sanctuary on a zip line! Check out the rugged forests of San Jose del Cabo from above, on this exciting thrill ride. One of our favorites is Canopy Costa Azul, where you will find only the safest equipment for your ride above the bush!

For a wide range of tours and activities, visit Transcabo.  Choose from city tours, adventure tours, whale watching, golfing or sunset cruising. One of our favorite adventures is to take a deep-sea fishing day trip, for which Los Cabos is widely known. You will have plenty of fresh fish to grill at your private villa after a day out on the boat.  Whatever your fancy, Transcabo will have the perfect activity for any family or group!

Find Your Villa

Exotic Estates offers nine villas in this beautiful town, so you are sure to find the perfect San Jose del Cabo vacation home for your holiday among them!

Casa Cortez

Casa Cortez, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This San Jose del Cabo vacation home was built to perfection and overlooks the Pacific Ocean.

This gorgeous villa is located in the gated community of Palmilla Sur and Cerro Colorado. With 6,500 square feet of stylish Mexican design, Casa Cortez Beach Villa is large enough to accommodate multi-generational groups or a couples’ Mexican vacation!

You will love the spectacular views of the Sea of Cortez and the rugged coastline of Baja Mexico! Among the charms of this luxuriously private villa are five glorious master suites, an infinity pool and spa, a large terrace with stunning views, outdoor dining areas, a gourmet chef’s kitchen, comfortable sleeping accommodations and a state-of-the-art media room!

This home is perfect for your Mexican vacation!

Cabo Candlelight Villa

San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This lovely San Jose del Cabo villa is located in the gated community of Del Mar and is beautifully decorated with Mexican-inspired designs. The panoramic ocean views of the Sea of Cortez are spectacular and guests can enjoy over 3,200 square feet of living space.

Offering a private pool and Jacuzzi, the terrace is sure to be the most popular spot in the villa! Relax poolside with your favorite book in the shade, or take a dip in the heated swimming pool or unwind in the outdoor Jacuzzi. There is also a covered area with a fire pit and an outdoor barbecue, which is the perfect evening conversation spot.   

At Cabo Candlelight Villa you are close to many shops and restaurants and Club Ninety Six, Del Mar’s private beach club. Guests will also have access to the private beach and restaurants, which are only a short walk or golf-cart drive away.

Offering four bedrooms, this villa can accommodate up to eight guests and is perfect for family vacations!

Villa Cabo Cielo

Ocean View, San Jose del Cabo, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Villa Cabo Cielo, or Villa Cabo "Heaven", is a beautiful four-bedroom and five-bath villa located in the beachfront residential community of Punta Bella. 

This two-story villa can accommodate up to ten guests and boasts incredible views of the Sea of Cortez from almost every room! Offering over 3,400 square feet, this San Jose del Cabo vacation home is the perfect escape for families and friends!

The panoramic ocean views are stunning and guests will create memorable moments at this Villa Cabo Cielo. Spend time in open living area or outside on the terrace, which floats above the landscape below. Guests can lounge poolside under the sun and then take a dip in the refreshing pool to cool off.

Come experience a Mexican paradise at Villa Cabo Cielo!

 

Photo Credits

San Jose del Cabo Main Square: Courtesy www.mexican-folk-art-guide.com

Playa Palmilla: Courtesy www.cabosanlucasbeaches.com

Mision de San Jose del Cabo Anuiti: Courtesy www.discoversanjosedelcabo.com

The Estero San Jose: Courtesy www.sanjosedelcabo.org

Frank Arnold Gallery: Courtesy of www.frankarnold.com

Ivan Guaderrama: Courtesy of http://www.ivanguaderrama.com

Flyboard: Courtesy of www.hyrdoflyboard.com

Ziplining: Courtesy of www.costaazulziplines.com

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Exploring Cabo San Lucas with Exotic Estates urn:uuid:e99a3b0f-938d-9176-066c-37eaa9b841ba 2017-01-30T15:52:37-07:00 Exploring Cabo San Lucas with Exotic Estates

Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Historical Cabo San Lucas is a fishing village at the tip of Baja California, but the present day Cabo San Lucas is a thrilling and popular destination! With picturesque beaches, impressive scenery, year-round beautiful weather, and, of course, an exciting nightlife, it’s no wonder that Cabo San Lucas has flourished as a popular place to rent vacation villas. 

Exotic Estates is introducing over 50 villas in this gorgeous destination and we are happy to take you on a tour of fun things to do during your stay.

Beautiful Beaches

Playa Medano

Playa Medano Beach, Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This is one of the most popular beaches in Cabo San Lucas and has a reputation as the safest swimming beach. Beginning at the east side of the harbor, this beautiful beach extends along the bay of Cabo San Lucas and into the Villa del Palmar.

This beach is known for all-day happy hours and has plenty of amazing beach vendors to fulfill any food craving. This is an awesome spot to people watch and there are plenty of water activities to enjoy year round.

Playa Medano is a great place to take the family to learn how to surf or go for a swim in one of many designated areas. This is where everyone comes to enjoy beach days on their Cabo vacation.  You will also find beach volleyball, as well as jet-skis and wave runners, kayaks, sailboats, and parasailing.

Land's End (Arch of Cabo San Lucas)

The Royal Arch, Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The Arch of Cabo San Lucas is referred to as Land's End and is a distinctive rock formation known as “El Arco.” At this point, the Pacific Ocean becomes the Gulf of California. This spot is a very popular place for local sea lions and is also a Cabo San Lucas favorite for watching sunsets!

Playa del Amore

This beautiful beach is a vacationer’s paradise. You can swim and snorkel in the bay and admire the gorgeous sea-life. The Pacific side (known as Divorce Beach...lol) is where the waves come in strong, and is a must-see! Make sure to pack plenty of food and water as there are no services offered here. This beach can only be accessed via water or by a glass bottom boat from the Cabo San Lucas marina.  You can also paddle here by kayak from Medano Beach.

Chileno Beach

This recently improved beach is another local and tourist favorite, and features new palapas (providing shade), a wooden walkway, and signs. Weekdays are the best time to visit as the crowds can grow large during the weekends. Families can enjoy one of the many taco vendors and the water provides a safe place to swim for children and adults. There is also a nearby reef that is great for snorkeling and spearfishing! Although there are restrooms provided, be sure to bring your own toilet paper.

For a complete list of Cabo San Lucas beaches visit http://www.cabosanlucasbeaches.com/

Fun Attractions

Buccaneer Queen

This boat tour is a must-do for families and groups! The Queen was a pirate ship built in 1968, and is the only theme boat that sails around the Los Cabos Bay area. You will have front-row seats while you sail past the Arch, Lover’s Beach, and the coral reefs of Chileno Bay.

Running tours four times per day, you can choose between whale watching,  a sunset tour, or you can even book a private tour for you and your guests. For an entertaining perspective on Cabo’s hottest ocean attractions, take a tour with the Buccaneer Queen.

Cabo Expeditions

Experience a Cabo adventure on land or sea with Cabo Expeditions! From snorkeling and scuba diving, to zip lining and parasailing, Cabo Expeditions offers adventures for all abilities and ages. Take the family to The Wild Canyon’s Kingdom, where you can interact with exotic species from around the world, or enjoy a kayaking and snorkeling tour in a clear-bottom kayak! The possibilities are endless!

Cabo Sky Tours

Take a tour of the beautiful skies of Cabo San Lucas in a powered hang glider. Get a true bird's-eye view of the landscape and Pacific Ocean while your trusted pilot flies your glider.

You don’t need any experience, just let the licensed pilot take charge and sit back and enjoy! Find out more about this adventure at Cabo Sky Tours.  

Iglesia de San Lucas - Town Square

Get a taste of culture at the Church of San Lucas. This landmark is the main church of Cabo Can Lucas and is a great place to take the family to get to know the history of this beautiful town.

The Church has been relatively unchanged since the 19th century and you can participate in a Mass on Saturday evenings or Sunday mornings. Check out architecture and learn about local traditions at this Catholic Church that was built by a Spanish missionary in 1730. Surrounded by a pristine plaza, you can enjoy lunch at one of the many nearby restaurants and take a tour of the shops.

Cabo Wabo Cantina

This chain of nightclubs in the perfect destination for your night on the town! Founded by rock musician, Sammy Hagar, this nightclub is one of the most popular destinations in Cabo.

At Cabo Wabo, you can enjoy live music and entertainment daily. The restaurants are open during lunch and dinner, seven days a week. From seafood to classic-Mexican dishes, and tequila’s to cervesas, this is the perfect spot to unwind and enjoy the Cabo Can Lucas lifestyle!

Learn more about Cabo Wabo

Exotic Estates in Cabo San Lucas

You can find rent many beautiful villas in Cabo San Lucas in a variety of exclusive areas. Take a tour of a few of our Cabo San Lucas vacation homes.

Cabo Hacienda 11

Cabo San Lucas Vacation home, Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Mexican vacation villa overlooks Medano Beach and boasts some of the best views of Land’s End. With a prime oceanfront location, you can experience all of the action in Cabo!

Offering four bedrooms, this villa can accommodate up to eight guests and offers a private pool, 3,500 square feet of living space, and spectacular views of the ocean. Each bedroom is outfitted with lavish linens and has its own private bathroom.

Guests staying at this Mexican retreat will have all the comforts of a luxury home and receive exclusive access to the Hacienda Beach Club and other facilities.  If you are looking for an exceptional, one-of-a-kind vacation experience in Cabo San Lucas, this stunning oceanfront Mexican villa should be at the top of your list!

Villa Cabo Bellissima

Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This stunning eight-bedroom villa is located on the hillside in the private Pedregal community of Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico. This Exotic Estates Cabo vacation home displays the perfect blend of modern architecture, luxurious amenities and boasts unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean.

Featuring eight-bedrooms, eleven spa-like bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and spacious living accommodations throughout, guests are sure to love this gorgeous Cabo vacation villa.

This exquisite property is a great choice for special events, and can easily accommodate up to 150 guests, making this villa a dream location for weddings, anniversary parties, milestone birthdays, IPO celebrations and cocktail parties!

Relax in paradise and experience haute Mexican living at this beautiful villa in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! 

Cabo Villa de Tres Hermanas

Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos, Cabo Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Exotic Estates Cabo San Lucas vacation villa is the perfect rental for families and groups looking for a centrally located villa in Cabo. Offering four bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms, this home can comfortably accommodate eight guests and features a private swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

Guests will love being within walking distance to the marina and the beach, the perfect place to spend all those sunny Cabo days! This vacation villa is also close to downtown Cabo Can Lucas, where you will find shopping, dining, and an exciting nightlife! 

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Maui Surfer Girls urn:uuid:f7ceba04-eadc-759b-22d6-93a13670b72f 2017-01-30T15:51:13-07:00 Maui Surfer Girls

Maui Surfer Girls, Girls Surf Lessons, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

If you are looking for a Maui adventure during your stay at an Exotic Estates vacation home, look no further! Maui Surfer Girls offers all types of surf lessons in the warm waves of Maui.

From three to 80 years, Maui Surfer Girls offers surf lessons, stand up paddle board (SUP) lessons, and summer surf camps to surfers of all ages and abilities.  Specializing in small groups, families, and newlyweds, Maui Surfer Girls isn’t just for girls - the school is open to all. You and your group will have an amazing experience, whether it's your first time or you’re seasoned surfers!

Where It All Started

Maui Surf Lessons, Girl Surfer, Surf Lessons, Girls Surf Lessons, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Founded by Dustin Tester, Maui Surfer Girls has been nationally recognized for their signature teen girls surf camps. Offering an amazing team of female mentors and coaches, these camps help young women build self-confidence through learning the sport of surfing.

Dustin has been a multi-sport water athlete since the age of seven, when her dad taught her how to surf in Maui. Dustin’s resume is quite impressive! She has been a competitive skim boarder, surfer, and outrigger paddler. She even spent some time in the North Carolina whitewater kayaking and rock climbing scene.

While studying in school in the desert canyons of the San Juan River, Dustin got her inspiration for Maui Surfer Girls when writing her thesis project on creating a rite of passage for teenage girls. She received her bachelor’s degree from Prescott College’s, wilderness therapy program. Dustin’s work with the Voyager Outward Bound School also fueled her passion for personal development through outdoor education. She’s taught hundreds of students about the stoke of surfing, and living aloha.

Always adding to her bucket list, Dustin has skydived, tow surfed Jaws, written a book, surfed in Africa, taught Cher (yes Cher) how to surf, and recently completed an Ironman. In her free time she enjoys skateboarding & surfing with her dog Luna. In 2016, Dustin was named at Maui Maverick by Maui Visitors and Conventions Bureau.

Surf Lessons and Camps

Surf Dog, Surf Girl, Maui Surf Lessons, Girl Surfer, Surf Lessons, Girls Surf Lessons, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Co-ed Lessons

Despite the name, Maui Surfer Girls isn’t just for girls. Dude’s are welcome too and they even offer co-ed surf and SUP lessons. These lessons are intended for beginner to intermediate surfers and take place at Ukumehame Beach Park, which is eight miles south of Lahaina.

The surf lessons provide one instructor for every four students, which allows them to tailor lessons to their students' abilities. For each lesson, students are provided with a surfboard, rash guard, and booties.

Overnight Surf Camps for Teen Girls

Maui Surf Lessons, Girl Surfer, Surf Lessons, Girls Surf Lessons, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

If you are traveling with a young teen, then this is the perfect opportunity for her to learn how to surf and make lifelong friends! Maui Surfer Girls takes surf instruction and experiential education to the next level and offers weeklong signature surf camp programs for teen girls (during the summer months). 

This program has acquired national recognition in popular magazines and newspapers including Seventeen, Teen People, TIME and the San Francisco Chronicle. Your teen won’t want to miss out on this amazing adventure!

Surf Trips

Maui Surfer Girls offers unique and personalized surf trips for women to improve their surfing skills in a supportive and all-female setting. These trips are open to women of all ages and abilities and can also be tailored to a group. If you are staying at an Exotic Estates vacation home with family or friends, this is a great opportunity to spend time together and learn how to surf, one of the most inspiring and rewarding sports in the world. You are basiclly guaranteed to make lifelong memories and may also pick up a life-changing new hobby!

For more information on lessons and camps, visit http://www.mauisurfergirls.com/camps-and-lessons/

Community Involvement

Maui Surf, Maui Surf Lessons, Girl Surfer, Surf Lessons, Girls Surf Lessons, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Maui Surfer Girls gives back to the local community and provides scholarships for deserving teen girls who attend the summer surf camp.  Kelly Potts, who is their community outreach director, has been passionate about giving back to girls in the Maui community for the past three years.

Kelly is a team rider for NSP surfboards and Prana clothing and brings over fifteen years of professional long boarding and modeling, as well as surf coaching to Maui Surfer Girls.  She’s recently launched “Kelly Clinics” – a FREE three-hour surf clinic for Maui’s teen girls, held on the first Sunday of each month.

If you happen to be staying in Maui during these clinics, take advantage of this amazing free opportunity to be coached by Maui’s best!

Surf Today

Staying at an Exotic Estates vacation home in Maui gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a surf lesson with the family. Have an amazing adventure during your stay in Maui and get out there and learn how to surf!

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Big Island Beachfront Dining at the Lava Lava Beach Club urn:uuid:32f55cbd-5053-5562-577a-cf945844f3a0 2017-01-30T15:49:34-07:00 Big Island Beachfront Dining with Lava Lava Beach Club

Now that you have arrived to your Hawaiian vacation to the Big Island, welcome home! One of the best parts about renting a Big Island Villa with Exotic Estates is the ability to prepare meals in your gourmet kitchen. However, don’t forget to schedule a few nights to explore and taste some of the local restaurants!

We found one of our favorites on the Big Island, Lava Lava Beach Club.  There is no better place to enjoy the beauty of a Big Island sunset while sipping a delicious Hawaiian cocktail than on the comfy chairs at this fun beachfront venue!

Lava Lava Beach Club and Exotic Estates, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Located on Anaeho’omalu Bay in the legendary Waikoloa Beach Resort, Lava Lava Beach Club is the ideal destination for your worry-free dream getaway or special event.  With beachfront venues and event services in the family, LLBC is all about service with Aloha and location, location, location!

This Big Island restaurant is known for island-inspired cuisine, creative cocktails, and “toes in the sand” ambiance. This is the spot to unwind, make memories, all while feeling the warm sand between your toes. Family friendly, it’s the perfect spot for a night out with the kids!

Lava Lava Beach Club, Beachfront Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

We caught up with the owners of LLBC to get some insider info for guests of Exotic Estates…

EEI: What was LLBC established?

LLBC: July 6th, 2012

EEI: What was the goal of creating the club?

LLBC: To create a place where everyone is welcome to get their toes in the sand with a drink in their hand!

Lava Lava Beach Club, Bloody Mary on Beach, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: What type of food and atmosphere can guests expect at LLBC?

LLBC: Our menu offers everything from Hawaiian/Pacific Rim cuisine to American Comfort/BBQ

EEI: Tell us more about your farm-to beach philosophy?

LLBC: In an effort to support our Islands sustainability, we source the freshest local produce, seafood and beef.

EEI: What is the signature dish at LLBC?

LLBC: Pineapple Fried Rice Bowl

Lava Lava Beach Club, Baked Pineapple, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: What is the average cost per person to dine at LLBC?

LLBC: Lunch: $22, Dinner: $36

EEI: We love that you give back to the community; can you tell us more about your fundraisers?

LLBC: Each year in December, we hold our Feast on the Beach, which includes 8 local charities each year.  Last year we were able to raise over $30,000 for the charities.

EEI: How many people can LLBC accommodate for special events?

LLBC: Up to 1000

EEI: How many weddings to do you host a year?

LLBC: Between 50 and 100, depends on the year.

EEI: What’s the best time to get married at Lava Lava Beach Club?

LLBC: Sunset!  Just kidding, the popular wedding season tends to be summer.

Lava Lava Beach Club, Sunset Oceanfront Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Besides weddings, what other specials events do you host?

LLBC: Pretty much anything, office parties, birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate events, any reason for a party is good for us!

EEI: What is most special about LLBC?

LLBC: The location and the people who make it happen on a daily basis, without our crew, we wouldn’t be where we are today.

Paradise Gourmet Catering

Paradise Gourmet Catering, Wedding Catering, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Lava Lava beach clubs also works closely with Paradise Gourmet Catering, the Big Island's premier catering company.  This is a great option for catering parties, weddings, or even family dinners at your Big Island vacation home.

Executive Chef Chris Fagan and his staff treat cuisine as an art form and creatively merge food and design like no other culinary team on the Big Island.  From intimate eight-course degustation menus to elaborate cocktail receptions and sumptuous buffets – PGC is on demand to create a most memorable gastronomic experience for you and your guests!

EEI: You work hand-in-hand with Paradise Gourmet Catering, can you tell us more about this service?

LLBC: Paradise Gourmet Catering is the Island's Premier Caterer.  Paradise Gourmet is also the sole caterer for Lava Lava Beach Club.

EEI: What type of events do you cater?

LLBC: Pretty much anything, office parties, birthday parties, anniversaries, corporate events, any reason for a party is good for us!

Paradise Gourmet Catering, Wedding Catering, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Do you accommodate small and large events?

LLBC: Paradise Gourmet Catering tends to lean toward the larger events, we always offer Lava Lava Beach Club as a venue option for smaller groups with a smaller budget.      

Paradise Gourmet Catering, Wedding Caterer, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: What is your featured menu item?

LLBC: One of the favorites of Paradise Gourmet Catering comes in the food station form.  We call it Fish on Fire.  One of our chefs sears to order, beautiful Ahi Tuna over mixed baby greens.

Paradise Gourmet Catering, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Do you cater dinners for private vacation rentals?

LLBC: Once again, it all depends on the size of the group and budget of the client.

If you are renting a Big Island vacation home with Exotic Estates and want to either plan a fun night out where you can watch the sunset and enjoy dinner and drinks or a looking for help with a private event, give Lava Lava Beach Club or Paradise Gourmet Catering a call and you will be in excellent hands!

Attention Brides

If you are a bride planning a Big Island destination wedding, keep the Lava Lava Beach Club in mind for your reception as most homes do not allow events. Coupling the vacation home experience with a reception location like this is magical, and much more memorable that holding everything at an impersonal hotel. The Lava Lava Beach Club is conveniently located within the Waikoloa Resort, where we have homes, or within a short drive from either Mauna Lani, Mauna Kea or Hualalai Resorts. 

 

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Take a Tour Through Palm Springs with Exotic Estates urn:uuid:05717e14-6b81-ff55-8fae-ad81c1c1ed23 2017-01-30T15:39:37-07:00 Take a Tour Through Palm Springs with Exotic Estates

Palm Springs Villas, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

When you think of Palm Springs, thoughts of poolside pleasures and peaceful getaways come to mind.  Pack your bathing suit and sunscreen and get ready for a personal tour of this sunny desert retreat!

El Paseo

Otherwise known as the “Rodeo Drive” of the desert, this stylish center is filled with delicious dining options, designer stores, and lovely boutiques. With over 300 stores to choose from, El Paseo is a shopper’s paradise and a great way to cool off on scorching days.  Enjoy the beautifully manicured gardens of flowers and palm trees as you shop ‘till you drop!

Windmills

As you may notice on your way to this California paradise, the desert floor of Palm Springs is decorated with windmills.  Stop on the way and take the time to watch over 3,500 towering machines that are creating enough energy to power nearly 200,000 homes (over one-and a-half percent of California’s electricity).  Join a group or take a private tour with Palm Springs windmill tours!

Aerial Tram

Embark on an aerial journey to get a birds-eye view of Palm Springs!  Palm Springs Aerial Tramway takes you to the top of Chino Canyon on a ten-minute ride that passes through several climate zones. You can enjoy lunch at the Peaks Restaurant and Pines Café as you enjoy stunning views of the gorgeous landscape all year round! You might even get to see the skiers during the winter months!

Date Capital of the World

Palm Springs is known as the “Date Capital of the World,” and there is no better place to learn about the history of this fruit than at Shields Date Garden. This family-owned garden and café have been in business since 1924.  These delicious dates are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It's also a fruit that’s higher in potassium than bananas. They are a sweet and yummy treat, but don’t take our word for it, stop by the café and try the Shields Date Pancakes!

Palm Springs Art Museum

Experience modern and contemporary art of the Americas at this gorgeous world-class museum! Located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, you will find a sophisticated collection of art that has been loaned or donated by the area’s affluent residents. Enjoy works from Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Ansel Adams. With over 150,000 square feet, you will get lost in this extraordinary culture-filled museum. Take a break and dine at the café, and don’t forget to take home a souvenir from the store!

Back to Nature

With plenty of hiking trails and gorgeous canyons, you will never have a dull day in the springs. Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, you will find trails of all difficulty levels. Get out and enjoy the sun while you take in the breathtaking views of the desert wonders such as mountain vistas, waterfalls, and beautiful rock formations.  For a complete list of all Palm Springs hiking trails, visit http://www.hiking-in-ps.com/palm-springs-hiking-trails/.

The Living Desert

The perfect outing for the kids, visit The Living Desert! Housing over 450 wild animals that are natural inhabitants to the desert, this exciting zoo and botanical gardens is a great way to spend your day. Representing animals from Africa and North America, enjoy over 1,200 acres of animals, fun shows, hiking trails, and the botanical gardens. You might catch sights of African Sea Turtles and the Amur Leopard - your kids will definitely have an unforgettable experience at The Living Desert!

Palm Springs Air Museum

Visit the home to one of the world’s largest collections of flyable World War II airplanes! Housing a plethora of historic artifacts of America, take a tour of the 27 Warbirds and test your flight skills on the flight simulator. The museum was named one of the top 14 aviation museums in the world by CNN Travel and you will learn about it from one of the docents, many of who actually flew the planes or served on the ships.

Stay with Exotic Estates

Welcome to desert luxury at Villa Bel Air Palm Desert. This Palm Springs vacation home features four bedrooms and four bathrooms with 4,600 square feet of living space.  With the ability to accommodate ten people, this desert villa is perfect for your next getaway with family or friends.

Enjoy the sunny days while you cool off in your own private pool and hot tub. Guests can relax and enjoy the covered backyard and patio when the sun is high. Also, offering a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor BBQ,  you and your guests can enjoy a fresh home-cooked meal as you dine alfresco on the terrace. 

The master suite features a king-size bed and large walk in closet with direct access to the patio. Wake up and enjoy your morning coffee while you take in the fresh desert air!  

A golfer's paradise, this villa is close to over 100 courses. Guests are also close to shopping, dining, and other activities!  Come relax and experience the elegance of Villa Bel Air Palm Desert!

 

 

 

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Finding Your "Ohana" on Big Island urn:uuid:6331f748-7775-11f1-dbeb-e7375b192a5b 2017-02-10T16:50:44-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
June 6, 2015


The Real Big Island

As a traveler, I am always searching for “realness” in the places that I visit. Renting one of our beautiful Big Island villas in a resort community is a very relaxing and luxurious way to spend time off with friends and family. However, as nice as the resorts are, Hawaii has a lot of culture and soul, and getting out and meeting the people who live on this island will enrich your stay. 

Since most of us do not have Anthony Bourdain’s calling card, getting invited into someone’s home for a classic meal and probing conversation may not always work out. No worries though, as I find that you don’t need to crash the family dinner table to connect with a place through its cuisine. When it comes to food, farmers markets and even supermarkets can serve as accessible windows on a culture, as they will contain local products that offer you a glimpse into home life. Also, it’s usually easy to strike up a conversation about a fruit, vege or prepared item that you’re not familiar with.

If you wish, you will always be able to find some way to make an authentic connection with locals.  For me, a trip to a local barber shop proved to be my touchstone for the Big Island.

Hannan’s Barber Shop - the Joy of a Trim & Conversation

Hannan's Barber Shop, Big Island Barber Shop, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

A simple pleasure for any guy is enjoying a visit to a good barber shop. I am not referring here to one of those hipster, fussily retro and absurdly pricey “barber shops” that dot trendy neighborhoods from LA to Brooklyn. Rather, I am refering to a good old fashioned shop that offers a trim and a little conversation at a fair price. Often, the proprietors of these humble institutions have been there for decades and the shop has a unique patina that reflects the community and the personality of its owners.

Just like in fictional Mayberry, these shops almost always serve as little community centers, and if you are friendly, you will be able to enjoy some conversation with locals while you get a trim or a shave - and you might even pick up a dinner invite. You can certainly walk away with local tips on dining, beaches and must-see spots.

Luckily, I found such a place in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island. Hannan’s Barber shop was one of the highlights of my visit. (www.hannansbarbershop.com)

Hannan's is a humble place. A simple sign and barber’s pole mark the storefront. Walking into the shop, I knew immediately that I was in a “real” spot, known and beloved by Kailua-Kona area locals as much as the “Country Squire” was in my small Connecticut home town. The proprietors of the shop are Marie and Liem, who have been trimming Big Island hair and beards (and eyebrows if needed), for years.

The walls are covered in hand-painted Hawaii-themed murals and adorned with memorabilia from their many years of service, including a collage of all the teens who have come to the shop over the years and since graduated.

Hannan's Barber Shop, Big Island Barber Shop, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Hannan's Barber Shop, Big Island Barber Shop, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Marie gave me a much needed trim, and while I sat in the chair, she told me their story and how they came to settle on the Big Island. Twice while I was there, a regular customer walked over to give her a hug.

Noticing a picture of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and Dean Martin on the wall (see above), we found common ground over our love of the classic crooners. Liem happily showed me his ticket stubs from Sinatra concerts and told me how he once took all the barbers to see Lionel Richie perform in Honolulu, paying for everyone to stay at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki because it was such a special occasion to them.

Meanwhile, my hair was expertly buzzed by Marie. I walked out feeling nice and neat, and a member of the “Ohana,” or family, which in Hawaii extends beyond blood relatives to the community. I should add that though Hannan’s is billed as barber shop, women are also welcome and there were a few regulars who came into the shop during my visit. 

This was a wonderful place to get much-needed service and connect with nice people who are members of the community.

Hannan's Barber Shop
74-5467 Kaiwi Street, #10A
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740

ph: 808-326-2371

Note that I went to Hannan's because there were no shops in the resort areas that I could find (opportunity for someone) and the salon in Waikoloa Village that I called said that its stylists didn't cut men's hair. 

Kona Farmers Market and the Sweetest Papayas on Earth

Kona Farmers Market, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Staying on the Ohana theme, I visited Kailua-Kona on Sunday and walked through the outdoor farmers market. There were locals and visitors alike meandering around the stalls. The market is located near the center of town, on the corner of Ali'i Road and Hualalai Road. What I loved about this market was that it was ideal for stocking up a vacation home with locally produced fruits, veges, and beautiful, cut Hawaiian flowers, at great prices.

Kona Farmers Market, Flowers, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Kona Farmers Market, Flowers, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

I purchased seven papayas for $5 at this market, and they were the sweetest papayas that I have ever tasted. In addition to papayas, I found pineapples, guavas, bananas and other fruit in abundance. There were also plenty of fresh vegetables, including staples like carrots, celery and lettuce; the cost was probably less than half that of supermarkets.

Kona Farmers Market, Fresh Fruit, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Kona Farmers Market, Fresh Pineapple, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The Kona market also had plenty of tourist souvenirs for sale, many of them sold by the craftsmen who made them, so you could also stop here to pick up gifts for folks back home.

Kona Farmers Market, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Kailua-Kona - Places of Worship

Right next to the market in Kailua-Kona was a large Catholic Church. In front of the church, there was a unique monument made of coral and adorned with flower leis. This seemed to be a very pretty and popular place of worship, as a service was just finishing and there were many people in front. 

Kailua-Kona, Catholic Church, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

There are also other houses of worship in Kona, including a Synogogue and Mokuaikaua Church, which is said to be the oldest Christian church in Hawaii, so a trip to Kailua-Kona is a nice way to spend a Saturday or Sunday for those who observe.

Farmers Market Waimea

I mentioned the farmers market in Waimea in a previous post, but I wanted to provide a little more information on it here. Waimea is in ranch country, at an elevation of around 2,000 ft., and the vibe is very different from Kailua-Kona, which is at sea level and balmy. Kona gets what people on the Big Island refer to as VOG (volcanic fog), which can make the air feel very muggy on some days.

The farmers market in Waimea almost feels like a country fair.  When I was there, there was a performer on an acoustic guitar and island snacks like kettle corn.

Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Big Island Farmers Market, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

But you will also find locally harvested ginger, avocados and other vegetables. I would recommend going here on Sunday to stock up on supplies, but also to mingle with locals and get feel for what life and people are all about in this town. This is an easy place to connect with folks, just grab a bite to eat and join a group at one of the picnic tables.

Kona Farmers Market, Artists Market, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Making a connection, even if just a friendly, brief conversation, always makes me feel more at home when I travel. I found the Big Island of Hawaii to be a very friendly place, and, with very little effort, I was able to get a glimpse into the lives of the people who call this amazing island home.

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Malibu Beaches and Canyons urn:uuid:93bc99ad-6157-9046-96e7-bbc083832194 2017-01-30T15:33:11-07:00 Malibu Beaches and Canyons

Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Malibu is the gem of Southern California and holds some of the most beautiful and famous beaches in the world. Take a tour down the coast of this luxurious town and find out which California beach will be your favorite!

Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This trail is located in Malibu and takes you on a tour through the gorgeous Santa Monica Mountains. You will enjoy stunning views, including the ever-present Pacific Ocean and the rolling hills of Malibu. Near the end of the trail, you will find a year-round waterfall.

Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks as the entire hike is about six-miles long, although shorter versions can be planned.

Point Dume State Beach

Point Dume State Beach, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This unique Malibu beach is a must-see and offers gorgeous views from the hill that overlooks the point, from which you can walk down a staircase to the coastline.

A locals’ favorite, you might get the chance to see California Sea Lions and other sea life passing through. At low tide, you will find tide-pools that are brimming with sea-life, a perfect place to see starfish! 

Planet of the Apes, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Important scenes in the Planet of the Apes series were filmed at Point Dume. The cliff face of the Point is obscured by the matte painting of the Statue of Liberty.

A famous background for Hollywood movies, you won’t want to miss one of the most gorgeous spots on the West Coast!

Zuma Beach

Zuma Beach, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Considered one of the most beautiful on the coast of California, you will find Zuma Beach just north of Malibu.

Zuma is a well-serviced and appointed beach, with food stands, bathrooms and changing areas. There is ample parking as well.

Offering wide, flat sands and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, which tends to take on a striking shade of blue here, Zuma is a favorite spot for family beach outings.

Bring your umbrella and your beach chair and soak up the warm SoCal sun, or bring the volleyball and play a few games on the beach courts for a little exercise.

Not far from downtown Malibu, you can spend your day at the beach and watch the sunset while you dine alfresco choosing from many gorgeous outdoor patios!

Zuma Jays – Surf Shop/Surf Rental

If you are thinking about surfing in Malibu and don’t feel like schlepping a board all the way from home, you can always rent a board at Zuma Jays. Zuma Jays is located in the commercial center of town and will rent all types of boards at reasonable rates.

You can also get a wetsuit here, which is advisable unless you are here in mid-summer. The weather may be consistently warm here in Southern California, but the Pacific Ocean stays refreshingly cool due to Humboldt Current.

El Matador, La Piedra and El Pescador State Beaches

El Matador, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

These are some of the most picturesque beaches you will find in the LA area. Each is well maintained and easy to access.

El Matador offers a certain ruggedness that you won’t find at some of the other beaches. As you walk down the steep staircase to the coastline, you will see the steep cliffs towering around you and the famous arched rock along the shoreline. Take a few minutes and enjoy the beautiful sounds of the waves crashing over this massive landmark.

At each of these beaches, make sure you pay for your space as you are likely to get a ticket if you don’t! You can also park on PCH but be very careful as cars speed past and watch for no-parking signs.

County Line (Ventura County Line)

Technically outside of Malibu, and in southern Ventura County (hence Ventura County Line) County Line is another classic surfing beach. Its name has been included in Beach Boys songs and the beach is still a popular surf spot to this day.

County Line is easy to reach and parking is generally manageable along PCH; park on the beach side of the road, not on the opposite side as you can get ticketed. You can even take surf lessons here.

As an added bonus, across the street is Neptune’s Net, a fried fish shack with fried clams and other greasy seafood delights. Burgers and other standards are also on the menu along with lots of cold beer.

On weekends, Neptune’s Net is a popular motorcycle hang-out spot – not of the scary Hell’s Angels variety – rather the more benign “Hollywood producer meets Easy Rider” variety. These men and women are likely retreating to a fab villas at night – just like you!

One of the world’s most sought-after destinations, Malibu is the perfect place for your holiday in Southern California. We hope that our list of must-sees helps you plan your trip!

Malibu Pier / Malibu Lagoon State Beach

Just beyond Zuma Jays and Nobu is the Malibu Pier and arguably the most famous beach in Malibu – Malibu Lagoon State Beach.

Malibu Lagoon State Beach is a word-famous surfing beach, big “back in the day” and still very popular today. Parking is a real challenge here during prime hours and on the weekends it’s downright maddening. However, if you can put up with parking hassles, the reward is a beautiful beach park with views of the Malibu Pier and surfers riding down the line.

Surfers Note – if you are a novice surfer, be careful here (and at all surf spots for that matter), as the break gets very crowded and conditions can be challenging. When it gets crowded, surfers jockey aggressively for the break and fights have broken out over drop-ins and other faux pas.

Compared to other Piers in California, the Malibu Pier is much less busy and only contains a few shops and restaurants; however, the restaurant at the end of the pier serves up a fantastic breakfast!

Take a walk down the pier and you will find a quiet place to enjoy the ocean and views of the coastline and gorgeous beachside homes. You might even run into fisherman reeling in the catch of the day!

Exotic Estates Malibu Vacation Homes

Malibu Pines Villa

Malibu Villa, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Malibu Pines Villa is the perfect way to experience the magnificent views of the Pacific Ocean! This majestic estate is perched above the ocean and resembles a stone castle.  This five-bedroom Malibu Vacation Home offers ultimate privacy, a manicured three-acre yard, and beautiful terrace. Fit for royalty, you are sure to feel like a celebrity during your stay!

The sumptuous master suite boasts a California king-size bed, an en-suite bathroom with a jetted bathtub, a fireplace, lounge area and private terrace with an ocean view! From the home, follow meticulously laid cobblestone paths, edged by soaring pines, down to the pool terrace, which boasts a lap pool with a soothing waterfall and spa, and gorgeous panoramic views of paradise.

You will also love the gourmet grill and a large outdoor dining table with space for up to 10 guests. For golfers, a putting green makes for a fun way to practice your game during the afternoons.

The Malibu Pines Villa is within easy access of Malibu beaches, shopping and Santa Monica and Venice. Fly into LAX and you’re a short drive up Pacific Coast Highway from this incredible Malibu retreat!

Malibu Cool Villa

Malibu Villa, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Welcome to paradise at this Malibu vacation rental! Offering gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean, guests will love the fire pit terrace, the outdoor Jacuzzi, and the expansive views from almost every room of the home.

Located on an exclusive road, guests will love the celeb-style privacy, guaranteeing a vacation of peace and quiet. The villa looks as though it was decorated by an LA music industry executive, complete with music memorabilia and pop-art adorning its walls.

Contemporary design with a mid-Century flair is the hallmark of the home and the gourmet kitchen is a Chef’s dream! Complete with stainless steal appliances and a large center island, meal preparation is a breeze. Guests can dine indoors or out, but will never be without a world-class view!

If you’re looking for a cool Malibu pad to enjoy a quiet retreat, Malibu Cool Villa is for you!

Malibu Marble Villa

Malibu Vacation Home, Malibu Beaches, Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

As you enter Malibu Marble Villa you will know you are in paradise! This classic Malibu vacation home features stunning 180-degree views of the Ocean and is surrounded by lush tropical landscaping.

Guests will love the private pool and spa where you can relax while you soak up the warm California sun! Feeling adventurous? Only steps away you will find your very own private beach or the famous Zuma Beach, which is only a short drive away! For relaxing nights at home, this Malibu Villa offers two living rooms with comfortable seating and a large TV.

When you’re ready to explore, you are only a short drive from Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, and downtown Los Angeles. You are also close to world-class beaches, restaurants and shops.

Come enjoy all the Malibu has to offer at Malibu Marble Villa!

 

Photo Credits:

Santa Monica Mountains: By Doug Dolde at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8978468

Point Dume: By Doug Dolde at English Wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6552757

Point Dume Planet of The Apes: Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4575385

Zuma Beach: By Dave Parker - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3994433

Zuma Jays: Photo courtesy of www.zumajays.com

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Big Island of Hawaii – Kohala Coast Rentals – Waikoloa to Mauna Lani Resorts urn:uuid:06f92772-0b03-080b-f9f7-39d49f310383 2016-11-18T19:26:19-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

May 29, 2015

Kohala Coast Rentals – Waikoloa to Mauna Lani

Driving from Kailua-Kona airport on the Big Island of Hawaii north up the Kohala Coast reveals a rugged and arid landscape of dry grasses and vast fields of black lava rock on either side of the road.

To your right, the island climbs to its incredible heights; Mauna Loa is said to be taller than Mount Everest if measured from its base on the seafloor. While just under 14,000 ft. may be revealed above water, its vertical is impressive since it starts at sea level, not some high mountain plateau, and rises majestically into the sky. To your left, you will see the blue Pacific Ocean, with green vegetation ringing the shoreline.

Most Exotic Estates' vacation homes north of Kona on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island are clustered in resort areas. Driving north on Hawaii 19, Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, you will see turn offs to the resort areas on your left, starting with Hualalai, followed by Waikoloa, Mauna Lani and then Mauna Kea. All of these resort areas feature nice hotels, beaches, and, of course, fabulous vacation villas ringing world-class golf courses.

Because they are located in resorts, many of these vacation homes come with optional resort privileges, which can be a real benefit for beach access and other services like day care and dining. My last post was dedicated to Mauna Kea and the upcountry town of Waimea. This post will cover the resort areas and coast between Waikoloa and Mauna Lani, located to the south of Mauna Kea, closer to Kailua-Kona.

Waikoloa Resort Area - Kohala Coast, Big Island of Hawaii

The Waikoloa Resort, like the others, offers vacation homes and villas, hotels, golf courses, an oceanfront (rocky but beautiful), and a couple top-notch shopping centers that provide convenient services.

The Queens’ Marketplace is the first one you encounter upon entering the gates of the resort from the highway. It has a gourmet supermarket with lots of prepared items (ideal for grabbing dinner ingredients or a quick lunch), as well as well as personal care items and other essentials. You’ll also find a Starbucks and restaurants.

However, a fun, cheap lunch or dinner can be found in the food court, which has an Asian fusion-type restaurant, a DQ and a decent place for local food, with teriyaki chicken plates and the other regular Hawaiian BBQ plate lunch options.  If you’re on your way back home from a long day of touring and just want to eat something unfussy and crash, this is a good place to stop.

Further down the road, the Kings’ Shops are filled with more upscale stores, including Tiffany’s. There’s a good spot for souvenirs as well.

The Anchialine Ponds - Waikoloa, Big Island

If you keep driving down Waikoloa Beach Drive, and take a left towards Anaehoomalu Point, just before Keana Place, you will find the Anchialine Ponds.

The Anchialine Ponds are part of a very beautiful oceanfront park inside the Waikoloa resort. It looks man-made but it’s not, they are brackish water ponds formed in the lava rock that penetrate into the water table and butt up against the rugged, coral-strewn coastline.

The entrance can be found at the gates to the Hilton. This is a gorgeous place for a twilight stroll, and you’ll see fish swimming in the blue-green water as you walk the meandering path out to the coral beach. You can’t swim there and the beach is not good for swimming because it is so rocky, but it’s a pretty place to enjoy a quiet, reflective moment.

This is a terrific spot to experience the simple joy of a lazy vacation read in relative privacy. There was just one person out on the beach when I was there, a content-looking gentleman who was reading the paper under a shade tree. 

The Lava Lava Beach Club - Waikoloa Hot Spot

Here in Waikoloa, you also have easy access to the Lava Lava Beach Club, which is located on a spit of land that offers excellent sunset viewing and a nice swimming beach. The Lava Lava Beach Club is a restaurant, not a club, and the vibe is similar to that of Duke’s.

The restaurant is on the beach and affords guests a great view of the ocean along with a cold beverage. At sunset, you’ll find a live band creating a festive vibe. Parking is in the adjacent lava field, which is a bizarre sight in and of itself.

When I was walking out to the parking lot after sunset, a striking full moon was rising over Mauna Kea in distance.

Waikoloa Offers a Variety of Residences

Waikoloa offers plenty of more-affordable condo-type accommodations, as well as some fabulous homes. I toured the Visit Waikoloa condo complex, which has a beautiful community pool and BBQ area.

The complex is immediately adjacent to Tropics Ale House, a very good brew pub with lots of beers on tap and solid bar food (the Teriyaki-glazed wings were great!).

Waikoloa Resort Vacation Villa - Reef Walk Oceanfront Villa

A beautiful oceanfront vacation villa located in Waikola is the aptly named Reef Walk Oceanfront Villa. This home, which can host eight (8) guests, is in a spectacular location and boasts four bedrooms and baths, a private pool and hot tub, and a cool interior design that offers lots of space for socializing. The entire home looks out to the blue Pacific waters off of Waikoloa.

Mauna Lani Resort

Further up Hawaii 19, before Mauna Kea, we run into the Mauna Lani resort area. This area has a more upscale feel than Waikoloa, and features excellent golf courses and vacation villas. Mauna Lani also has a beautiful beach area, Holoholokai Beach Park, which is adjacent to the Fairmont Orchard Hawaii. There are many wild kitty cats hanging around the parking lot there, which seem fairly friendly for feral cats.

Mauna Lani also has shopping centers, including one with a Foodland, which is very convenient if you want to stock up your vacation home or pick-up prepared snacks.

In the same shopping center is a Tommy Bahamas restaurant, as well as a variety of shops and galleries. The night I was there, there was a hula performance as part of a community fundraiser. It was definitely touristy, but still fun and lots of locals turned out to cheer on their friends.

I toured several of Exotic Estates’ Mauna Lani vacation villas, but here follows just three that will give you an idea of the quality of the homes and the incredible setting. Most of the homes I toured were in the beautiful Champion Ridge neighborhood.

The Big Island Champion Vacation Rental

This property has an incredible backyard and outdoor living area, as well as comfortable bedrooms set up for guests. The home has five bedrooms and sleeps 10, but you will be spending all of your time in the amazing pool and hot tub in the backyard. There is a large BBQ and a covered outdoor dining area, which means rain or shine you can enjoy alfresco dining at this property. This home also offers a lot of privacy between bedrooms, which is always nice.

Royal Ryokan Big Island Vacation Home – at Champion Ridge

This vacation villa is a beautiful example of the Asian-inspired design theme that you often encounter in Hawaii. The villa is composed of several pavilions, including a main house with a large living area and incredible deck offering excellent views of the green landscape and Pacific Ocean in the distance, as well as separate small structures housing bedrooms. 

There are wonderful features like an infinity tub in the master bedroom and a fantastic pool in the well-manicured backyard, which abuts the golf course. The property offers room for eight (8) and is well-suited for families, with its large common areas and picnic-style dining table. 

Mauna Lani - Outrigger Villa

Near the Royal Ryokan Vacation Home is perhaps the best-positioned home in Champion Ridge, and my personal favorite. The Outrigger Villa is a gorgeous three-bedroom home with room for eight (8) that’s perched up on the ridge, above the greens. The home is deceptively simple from the outside, but walking into the living area, you are immediately taken by the living room with its architectural ceiling, complete with a wooden canoe hung in the rafters. The living room has pocket doors that open completely to the lanai and the infinity pool, which seems to hang in the air over the landscape below.

This home has a lot of wood detail in it and reminds me of the interior of a yacht. It is tastefully decorated and has a great kitchen, with a curved breakfast bar perfect for chitchatting with the chef as the meal is prepared.

You will absolutely love the pool and hot-tub here, which sits on the lanai just off the living room. Two bedrooms have king beds, while the third has two full/twin bunks, making it great for younger guests.

Puako and Beach 69

Continuing our drive up Hawaii 19, before we reach Mauna Kea resort area, there is the town of Puako and a great beach park known as Beach 69. This beach is a popular spot with locals and offers bathrooms and showers. There are plenty of shade trees along the shore, as well as rope swings, and spots that are good for swimming. It’s a quiet place, with homes butting up against the sand, making it feel like a private beach.  

Up the road, Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area is another great spot to spend a lazy beach day, and it is well appointed with showers and changing rooms. Both of these places are easily reached from Mauna Kea (to the north) and Waikoloa and Mauna Lani (to the south). 

Our next post will highlight some excursions and a local business that made me feel right at home.

Also, don't forget to enter the Hawaii Villa Escape Sweepstakes, for your chance to win a $25,000 villa vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii!

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Renting a Home on the Kohala Coast - Mauna Kea to Waimea urn:uuid:804811cc-86c9-a112-7d06-eefe155b38c9 2017-01-30T15:30:44-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
May 25, 2015

The Big Island of Hawaii – Kohala Coast Highlights

Flying into Kailua-Kona airport on the Big Island of Hawaii might be what it feels like to land on another planet. The rugged volcanic landscape looks primordial and it’s immediately clear that this is a land of extremes: extreme geology, extreme heights and extreme beauty. 

Below an Alaska Airlines plane can be seen on the tarmac. Alaska is one of the airlines that offers nonstop service from the West Coast of the US to Kailua-Kona, meaning accessing the Kohala Coast is easier than ever. 

Alaska Airlines plane in Kailua-Kona Airport on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Unlike the other Hawaiian Islands, the Big Island’s most visited coast seems a strange place for so many resorts and vacation homes. At first blush, it feels like there is none of the lushness for which Hawaii is famous. You can sense the heat and it’s hard to imagine that just up the road lies one of Hawaii’s best vacation destinations, coconut palms and all, while high up above you, exists another landscape entirely.

Exotic Estates Big Island of Hawaii Kohala Coast View, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Gorgeous as it may be, it was not the natural sights that brought me to the Big Island. I came to tour properties and share insights with our guests; this is all part of the Exotic Estates’ Excellence Standard, which seeks to ensure high-quality accommodations.

Starting at the Beginning – Mauna Kea

The Kohala Coast, stretching north of Kona, is dotted with well-planned resort communities. The development of the Kohala Coast began back in the 60’s, with the Mauna Kea Resort – still a gem offering one of the best beaches in Hawaii. Interestingly, the hotel was founded by the Laurance S. Rockefeller company; we are told he scoured the Hawaiian Islands by helicopter until he found the perfect spot for his hotel, a fun visual.

Exotic Estates Big Island Mauna Kea Resort Villas, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The hotel has stood the test of time and maintains the now classic open-air design that allows breezes to blow freely through the structure. However, as nice as the hotel is, the amazing vacation homes that surround it are the real draw for our clients.

The first homes were built in the 70s, but they are all beautifully maintained and luckily we have some gorgeous ones on offer at Exotic Estates. Many people in the know have been renting Mauna Kea villas for years, but we can tell that the Big Island is taking off as a destination, as people look for new ways to experience Hawaii. However, for now, you can still rent first-class homes there at a lower price point than Maui and Oahu.

A Standout Vacation Rental: Muana Kea Mid-Century Villa

A standout home from my tour is the Muana Kea Mid-Century Villa. This home is unique in that it harks back to the classic design of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel itself. Lovingly restored, the home boasts luxurious details like Frette linens and a wonderful mid-century modern design ethos. The Muana Kea Mid-Century Villa has aptly been described as Palm Springs mid-century chic meets Hawaii.

Mauna Kea Mid Century Villa Vacation Home View

The rear of the home essentially has glass walls with floor to ceiling shades, which, when open, incorporate the incredible views and patio vista into the home experience. The main villa encloses a long lanai that is strategically shaded and features a large outdoor dining area. The lanai leads out onto the backyard, which boasts unobstructed views out to the Pacific Ocean and a gorgeous saline lap pool and hot tub.

Another ideal feature of the home is the layout of the bedrooms. There are four in total, two in the main home and two in a separate bungalow. The two bedrooms in the main home are on either end of the villa, ensuring privacy; each offer en-suite bathrooms with showers.  The bungalow bedrooms each have queen-size beds and share a bathroom in between. It is an ideal set-up for families traveling together, multi-generational groups, or families with older teens. Also, because there are no stairs on the property, it works well for those who need to accommodate mobility issues.

Mauna Kea Mid Century Villa Vacation Home Bedroom View

Mauna Kea Mid Century Villa Vacation Home Living Room

Access to the Mauna Kea Hotel 

What is wonderful about staying in a vacation home on the Mauna Kea Resort, or its sister property, the Hapuna Resort, is that guests get access to the incredible, fully serviced beach at Mauna Kea Hotel, as well as the pool, for just $65 a day. This is a no-brainer considering the incredible facilities and amazing sandy beach, which is ideal for swimming due to its sandy bottom, a plus on the rugged and coral-heavy Kohala Coast. The beach is accessible to the public, but on busy days access is limited and having a resort pass will ensure you have a place in the sand!

Mauna Kea Hotel Beach View

Also, like many of the resort areas along the Kohala Coast, there are excellent golf courses to be enjoyed here, and many of the homes look out unto the greens and fairways.

Move Upcounty and Into an Architectural Masterpiece: Frank Lloyd Wright Big Island Villa

Another great house that I visited on this trip is the Frank Lloyd Wright Big Island Villa, aka “The Frank Lloyd Wright House.” This home is located higher up on the slopes of above Mauna Kea, on the way to a historic country town called Waimea.

Frank Lloyd White House Big Island of Hawaii

This home is the only house in Hawaii to receive official recognition from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which is noted on the plaque by the entrance. A wonderful experience for any Frank Lloyd Wright fan, the home boasts fabulous views of the surrounding volcano peaks and a lava-rock outdoor Jacuzzi.

Built into the hillside, the Frank Lloyd Wright Big Island Villa has a crescent moon shape with large floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow guests to experience the dramatic landscape when inside the home and cool mountain breezes to flow freely throughout its upper flowers, eleminating the need for AC.

Frank Lloyd Wright House Design

The villa features all of the built-in, custom-designed furniture familiar to any Frank Lloyd Wright home.  Also, the home is reasonably priced, because it’s not located in the resort areas, which are in higher demand. While you are not on the beach, you are surrounded by incredible scenery and get to enjoy a very special property. There are three bedrooms capabable of accommodating six guests.

Frank Lloyd Wright Big Island Villa Interior

Historic Waimea -  Hawaiian Ranching Community with Farm Products

The other great thing about Mauna Kea and Hapuna is that they are close to Waimea. On the road to Waimea from the coast, you will climb some 2,600 ft. and notice a definitive change in the environment. While the landscape down along the lower elevations is definitely dry, up above, on the way to Mauna Kea, you will see wide stretches of green. Though it is only around 13 miles from the balmy Mauna Kea Resort area, it is a world away. As you climb higher, the green comes into focus and there is a distinctive country vibe, with antique farm houses landscaped with flowers and plants that feel somehow more Central Coast California than Hawaii.

Big Island Hawaii Waimea

This Hawaiian country town is oozing history and boasts a unique Americana all its own. Colonized for sugar plantations, the Big Island saw the arrival of many Portuguese families in the 1800s, who gave birth to the paniolo or Hawaiian cowboy culture. One farmstead, the Anna Ranch, which was founded in 1848 and is a grand example of the historic homes in the area, was settled in 1845 and is now open to visitors.

Big Island Hawaii Wailea, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Historic Parker Ranch

Some may be surprised to learn Waimea and the Big Island are home one of the largest working ranches in the US. Historic, Parker Ranch was founded in 1847, earlier than many ranches in the US West, and covers some 250,000 acres. Ranching culture absolutely dominates the area and is visible in historic buildings and in new constructions, built to reflect town's cowboy pedigree. Those wishing to ride horses will find stables in Waimea.

Big Island Hawaii Wailea Ranch - Farmers Market, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Big Island Hawaii Wailea Parker Ranch, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Big Island Hawaii Wailea Ranch History, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

However, for most vacation home renters on this part of the Big Island, Waimea is a wonderful place to stock up on farm-fresh products. There are many working farms here and there is a great farmers market on Saturdays where you can find locally produced crops like lettuce, ginger and tropical fruits. Of course if you prefer to eat out, there are also several charming restaurants in town serving locally produced fare, as well as shopping centers with banks, supermarkets and drug stores.

Big Island Hawaii Wailea Farmers Market, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Waikiloa Village

Big Island Hawaii Waikoloa, Kohala Coast Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Also, lower down on the slopes, between Mauna Kea Resort and the Waikoloa Resort areas, you will find Waikoloa Village. This little town has a convenient shopping center with a supermarket offering all of the usual items along with some unique island favorites liked smoked ahi (tuna)! 

When renting a vacation home on the Kohala Coast, be sure to explore Waimea and take advantage of the local products and the country life that is throwback to another era.

The next post will cover the areas of Mauna Lani and Waikoloa. 

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Your Chance to Stay at Rainbow Falls Villa in Hawaii For Free! urn:uuid:c352cfa0-a3b8-7eaa-8911-8e427d1e1a9b 2017-01-30T15:28:37-07:00 Your Chance to Stay at Rainbow Falls Villa in Hawaii For Free!

 

Exotic Estates Sweepstakes, Big Island Mansion, Free Trip Big Island

Rainbow Falls Estate – Big Island of Hawaii

Big Island Mansion, Exotic Estates Sweepstakes, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Exotic Estates, Alaska Airlines, and Paradise Helicopters have joined forces to offer a lucky winner the chance to enjoy the majestic Big Island mansion, Rainbow Falls Estate!

This epic manor showcases the best in luxury living and was handpicked for the Exotic Estates collection. Perched on a cliff along the Hamakua Coast in Ninole, Hawaii, this luxury vacation home gets its name from the incredible double waterfall that is on view from every room. Every day, rainbows seem to end at these glorious falls, bestowing a blessing on the land and its guests.

Rainbow Falls boasts its own golf course, an Olympic-sized 16 ft. deep swimming pool complete with two-story waterslide (fun!) and 21 ft. diving platform, and a tennis and basketball court with ample spectator seating.

While designed for a family, the home is also ideal for corporate retreats and the ultimate destination wedding in Hawaii, with plenty of space on the grounds for a fabulous wedding experience!

The entire complex is over nine acres, with nearly 10,000 sq. ft. under roof. Highly desirable materials such as Italian Travertine marble have been used in designing the home.

The main home offers 8,100 sq. ft. of luxury living, with five bedrooms and six full and two half baths. There is accommodation for 12 lucky guests to stay overnight on the property, in comfortable bedrooms, each with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and enchanting waterfalls that flank the property. 

Enter for YOUR chance to win!

Exotic Estates has teamed up with Alaska Airlines and Paradise Helicopters to offer the Hawaii Villa Escape Sweepstakes worth $25,000!

The lucky winner will receive Four (4) Round-Trip Economy Class tickets on Alaska Airlines to fly you and 3 guests from any city in Alaska's US Mainland network to Kailua-Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii!

Then, you and your guests (up to 5!) spend 4 nights at Rainbow Falls Villa overlooking the Pacific Ocean and awe-inspiring double waterfall!

To top it off, you will all be whisked away directly from the rooftop of Rainbow Falls Villa on a private, custom helicopter tour of the Big Island with Paradise Helicopters!

This is truly a vacation of a lifetime!

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines, Big Island Mansion, Exotic Estates Sweepstakes, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Alaska Airlines offers convenient non-stops from 8 cities along the West Coast to 4 islands in Hawai’i. 

Your journey becomes part of the adventure as you watch free entertainment, snack on Pacific Northwest inspired food and beverages, relax in custom power-equipped seats, and enjoy award-winning service. It’s all part of their in-flight experience designed to go above and beyond your expectations.

You will also receive a complimentary Mai Tai on your way to Hawaii. It doesn’t get much better than that!

In addition, Exotic Estates has gorgeous vacation homes in California, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and on the ski slopes of Utah, and Alaska Airlines serves all those destinations and many more!

For frequent flyers, your journey today can be an adventure tomorrow with Mileage Plan. Members can earn and redeem miles on over 16 airline partners to over 800 destinations Worldwide.

Paradise Helicopters

Paradise Helicopters, Big Island Mansion, Exotic Estates Sweepstakes, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Paradise Helicopters is Hawaii's premiere helicopter tour company and specializes in creating the most unique, fun and flexible air tours & charters across the Hawaiian Islands.

On your private tour you and your guests will see the breathtaking beauty of Hawai‘i Island plus land at an exclusive remote overlook for a total immersion into the enticingly remote Kohala area.

Be whisked away directly from your Rainbow Falls Villa.  See Hilo town and the lush rainforests of East Hawai‘i.  Explore the activity at Kilauea volcano.  If Pele is willing, you’ll get a peek into the molten heart of Hawai‘i in the form of hot lava.  Overfly the world famous Kona coffee district. View the dramatic landscape and the world-famous white sand beaches and resorts of Waikoloa en route to back to your remote landing where you can explore the area during your time on the ground or relax at a scenic overlook with vistas of the real Hawaii. 

Finally take a tour into the deep Kohala valleys with its towering waterfalls and breath-taking beauty before arriving back to your rooftop at Rainbow Falls Villa.

Enter today for a chance to win a luxury villa vacation worth $25,000 at Rainbow Falls Villa in Hawaii! Prize includes 4 round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines from the US Mainland to the Big Island and a private helicopter tour with Paradise Helicopters!

Must be 21 years of age or older and be a legal resident of the United States.

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Malibu Summer Activities urn:uuid:89fdcca7-3072-88bc-e87d-3747bf15905e 2017-01-30T15:06:27-07:00 Malibu Summer Activities

With our luxury vacation villas in gorgeous Malibu, you can spend your summer vacation in this world-famous Southern Californian ocean side paradise!

Stretching over 32 miles, Malibu is a beach town like non-other. Driving along Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) from LA, Malibu feels part European Riviera, with homes perch on steep hillsides overlooking the blue sea, part Hollywood glam with its fancy cars and beautiful people and part Hamptons with its sometimes quaint country-feel. Even with all of that, the entire area is underpinned by an undeniably chill surf vibe, as Malibu is one of the historic homes of surfing outside of Hawaii, and the culture and ethos still run deep among the mansions, tony shops and Bentleys that ply PCH and the winding roads that lead up to Cliffside palaces.

Malibu offers beautiful weather year-round. As soon as your car sees that Malibu sign on PCH, you will understand why Hollywood stars and athletes escape to this stunning oceanfront community. It’s just next door to zany LA, but a world away.

And, while it may be difficult to leave your beautiful Malibu vacation villa, some of Exotic Estates’ LA locals have compiled a list of a few of their favorite places in Malibu for you to enjoy during your visit!

These are more or less laid out in the order from encounter when driving up PCH from Santa Monica/LA.

The Getty Villa 

Getty Villa, Malibu, Malibu Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

While technically not in Malibu, we are including the Getty Villa as a Malibu must-do because of its proximity. It’s located on PCH just before you reach the Malibu line in Pacific Palisades, and it is certainly worth a visit. This is not to be confused with the Getty Center, which is a massive museum located further inland, which is also a worthwhile excursion.

This world-renowned educational center and museum is dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria. At the Getty Villa you will be wowed by spectacular examples of art from these cultures, all meticulously displayed in an incredible Italianate villa that was gifted by the Getty family.

The Villa itself is a source of inspiration, with its grand scale and rich detail. The grounds include a theater and a stunning pool, which has been dry as of late, in respect of the drought conditions that have impacted California for several years.

The Villa offers over 1,200 works in over 23 galleries, with five additional galleries that feature changing exhibitions. 

Entry can be limited on busy days, so be sure to reserve your visit in advance.

http://www.getty.edu/visit/

Moonshadows

Up next is Moonshadows, a popular restaurant and watering hole located in a building that sits at the ocean’s edge. With stunning views, Moonshadows is favorite haunt of visitors and locals, and you may even see some celebs. Depending on who you talk to, it is either famous or infamous, as it was where Mel Gibson had his little meltdown and run-in with the police.

It can have a “bridge and tunnel” feel sometimes, and be sceney, but it still offers a great outside bar overlooking the water. We love going here at the end of the afternoon to enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes starts to set.

Dukes – Surfing/Hawaiian Themed Eatery

Up PCH a little further is Dukes, a surfing/Hawaiian-themed restaurant. A sister to the restaurants in Hawaii located on Waikiki, Maui and Kauai, you will enjoy all your island favorites here. Named after Duke Kahanamoku, the restaurant is yet another reminder of Malibu’s place in the pantheon of legendary surf towns.

Located ocean-side, Dukes is a fun place to go for pupus (snacks) and mai-tais after a day in the sun, and can be fun, casual place to celebrate a birthday in a Hawaiian surf-themed setting.

It gets busy on weekends, but you shouldn’t have to wait too long. Try sitting on the outdoor patio behind the bar and if you’re dining inside, be sure to get a window seat, as it’s not uncommon to have dolphin sightings just outside!

Nobu Malibu

Nobu, the famed sushi chef, has an incredible outpost in Malibu.

Nobu Malibu is along the ocean, not far from the Malibu Pier. Like his other restaurants, Nobu Malibu is an in-demand reservation, so if you want to go out for a fabulous sushi dinner, plan ahead and make a reservation!

Also, Nobu is a less casual spot, so think Malibu beach chic when dressing for the night.

 

Malibu Family Wines

During your stay at your awesome Exotic Estates Malibu vacation villa, make reservations at Malibu Family Wines for one of the most distinctive wine tastings in Southern California.

Enjoy flights of wine at one of the large outdoor picnic tables that can accommodate up to 10 people or rent an entire school bus that fits up to 13 guests for a very unique tasting experience!

The gazebo is also available to rent and is perfect for small events fitting up to 30 people. Malibu Family Wines also offers a “wine safari” that tours the Semler Estate Vineyards where you can feed exotic animals such as zebras, water buffaloes, and alpacas while you enjoy Semler and Saddlerock wines. At only $75 per person, this wine safari is truly a one-of-a-kind experience! 

 

Malibu County Mart

Fill up your vacation rental with fresh, local California eats from Malibu County Mart.

This high-end market has a farm stand-like atmosphere but also includes your fashion favorites such as L’Occitane, Calypso St. Barth, and 7 for All Mankind. So you can stock up on organic food supplies and also pick up the perfect outfit for a night out at one of Malibu’s more tony restaurants.

You will also find boutiques and vintage shops, and world-class dining experiences.

Our favorite is Tra di Noi, a delicious Italian cuisine! 

With so much to do in Malibu, you will be busy during your vacation! Enjoy the luxury of your private vacation home and pick from one of our gorgeous Malibu Villas!

Exotic Estates Malibu Vacation Homes

Malibu Cordoba Villa

Malibu Vacation Rental, Malibu, Malibu Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This specatular Malibu vacation rental is nestled in the heart of the Pacific Coastline. Featuring an elegant and modern décor, you will love the 180-degree views of the ocean from almost every room in this villa. Walk out onto your private patio that looks over the secluded beach below. Watch the brilliant colors of the Southern California sunset while you enjoy a glass of wine.

Offering four bedrooms and four bathrooms, this beachfront vacation villa can accommodate up to eight people. Perfect for families or groups, this Malibu home has everything you need to experience a relaxing and carefree vacation.

Malibu Heights Villa

Malibu Vacation Home, Malibu, Malibu Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This exclusive Malibu vacation rental sits on top of a mountain and offers gorgeous panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. Tucked away in the hills, you will experience ultimate relaxation and privacy. With over 45 acres and 7,000 square feet of living space, you and your guests will get lost in the luxury of this impressive home.

Featuring a gourmet kitchen, breakfast bar, wine cooler, and large dining area, guests can prepare fresh, home-cooked meals and satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Dine alfresco on the large outdoor patio as you look out onto the beautiful ocean. Boasting five bedrooms and four bathrooms, each room features glass doors that open to the beautiful views and you can let the sounds of the ocean rock you to sleep.

The perfect hideaway after fun days in Southern California, Malibu Heights Villa is the perfect vacation home for your next holiday!

Malibu Producers Villa

Malibu Vacation Villa, Malibu, Malibu Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This spacious and luxurious Malibu vacation villa is perfect for large groups! With the ability to accommodate up to 15 guests, this five-bedroom and six-bathroom home features gorgeous style for even the most discerning crew.

Offering over three acres of outdoor space, guests will love the lush green gardens, sparkling private pool with a waterfall, and access to a private beach! Built on several levels, this villa has numerous balconies to look over the spectacular views and an elevator that makes navigating easy.  Designed to entertain, the living room is large and boasts beautiful contemporary paintings. There are also two wet bars, a well-equipped kitchen with Viking appliances, and a double stove and large island making it ideal for caterers.  This would not be a Hollywood-worth retreat without a screening room. The villa’s 11 person theater is the ideal place to watch flicks with your posse, or perhaps screen your own latest epic!

Each bedroom offers a private balcony and an en-suite bathroom with spa tubs and steam rooms, leaving every guest feeling pampered!

Come feel like a movie-star and stay at the Malibu Producers Villa!

 

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Dining Out On Your Maui Vacation urn:uuid:d25c780c-1474-d051-361e-1d81da720f0b 2017-01-30T15:26:40-07:00 Dining Out on Your Maui Vacation

One of the best parts of renting a vacation home in Maui is the convenience of preparing and enjoying your own home-cooked meals.  However, don’t forget that you are on vacation and remember to take a night to enjoy the ambience and delicious local cuisine of Hawaii!  One of our favorite spots is located in Lahaina and provides a diverse menu that has something for all palates.

If you are looking for a delightful array of contemporary cuisine, you and your guests will want to visit Lahaina Grill! We caught up with Lahaina Grill to tell you a little more about this must have eatery!

Lahaina Grill

Lahaina Grill, Maui Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Tell us a bit about your menu:

LG: Our menu features innovative New American Cuisine using techniques and flavors from around the world, all perfectly blended with the freshest ingredients cultivated by Maui’s farms, dairies and surrounding waters.

EEI: Is there a head Chef behind your menu?

LG: Executive Chef Arnulfo “Arnie” Gonzalez has been with Lahaina Grill for just over 20 years!

EEI: What about local sourcing, do you incorporate locally produced ingredients into your menu?

LG: There are many local ingredients used, vegetables and fruits, fresh fish primarily.

Lahaina Grill, Maui Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Is there a signature dish at Lahaina Grill?

LG: There are many long-time favorites; here are a few to mention:

Sautéed mahi-mahi with spinach, herb infused mashed potatoes, gorgonzola, pancetta and chardonnay beurre blanc

AND

maui onion and sesame seed crusted seared ahi with vanilla bean jasmine rice, apple cider-soy butter vinaigrette.

EEI: What can guests expect when dining at Lahaina Grill?

LG: We hope that guests will experience a very memorable evening with world-class food, cocktails, wine and service in a beautiful, fun, lively bistro restaurant.

EEI: What would you say is the average price of a dinner for two adults?

LG: $150  (3-course meal with drinks)

Lahaina Grill, Maui Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Tell us a bit more about the ambience at LG:

LG: A contemporary bistro setting, lively and fun, fine dining, top notch service

EEI: We can't help but notice the beautiful art around the dining room, are these Hawaiian artists?

LG: The majority of our artwork is by:

Jan Kasprzycki, Maui Artist

http://www.kasprzycki.com/

Lahaina Grill, Maui Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Who started Lahaina Grill and what has led to your continued success for almost 30 years?

LG: The restaurant was started by founding chef David Paul Johnson as David Paul’s Lahaina Grill, he started off strong and received many honors.

Chef/Owner Jurg Munch came on the scene and ended up changing our name to Lahaina Grill in December of 2007. The majority of our chefs, service staff and management have been here for many years and through this transition.

EEI: Lahaina Grill has received many praise over the years, what are some of the awards you have received?

LG: Most recently we are very proud of the following:

  • Top 100 places to eat in the U.S. 2016 (Yelp)
  • Best Maui restaurant 23 years in a row 1994-2016
  • Honolulu magazine, hale aina readers poll
  • Top 25 Restaurants in the U.S. 2014 & 2015 (Trip Advisor)

EEI: Do you except reservations?

LG: Yes, reservations are highly recommended in advance, however our bar is a great place to walk-in if you don not have a reservation and we serve the complete menu at the bar.

EEI: Do you accommodate large parties/groups and if so, how far in advance to you advise people to reserve?

LG: We have two great areas for semi-private / group dining:

We offer two rooms well-suited for groups: the semi-private New Room (accommodates 30), and our Chef’s Table (accommodates 6-10) in addition to the full restaurant setting which is available for dine-arounds, or full or partial buy-outs (accommodates up to 130). In order to ensure an exceptional experience for everyone, we must carefully plan for the size of your group and the menu to be served.

Lahaina Grill, Maui Dining, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Will you create a special menu for an event?

LG: Yes, special tasting menus are available especially for groups.

EEI: Do you cater outside parties and if so, who should folks reach out to?

LG: We do not offer catering at this time.

Maui Dining, Lahaina Grill, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

When you need a break from the kitchen on your next vacation to Maui, take your family or group to an amazing dinner at Lahaina Grill!

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Spa Day with Massage Maui urn:uuid:2328386a-32b9-61f8-0c92-222db82a60f2 2017-01-30T15:26:22-07:00 Spa Day with Massage Maui

Welcome to Maui! You’ve planned everything – booked the perfect luxury vacation home, reserved fun excursions and made dinner reservations. But before you embark upon your adventures in paradise, take the time for some ultimate relaxation and segue into island-mode with an island-style massage with experts at Massage Maui!

Why We Love Massage Maui

Lisa Berthuot founded Massage Maui and has been practicing massage on the island for over 10 years. Having begun her career as a massage therapist in Australia, she originated her studies in the practice of Rolfing, which has created a deep level of therapeutic understanding that has established her reputation with athletes. Her regular clientele includes world-class athletes such as Olympiads, Tour de France cyclists, Triathletes, Iron Men and Women, and all types of watermen.

Getting a massage in the comfort and privacy of your own home is the perfect way to kick-off your holiday in Maui!  Massage Maui offers a variety of styles including the Lomi Lomi, which is an ancient Hawaiian technique that uses the forearms to provide long, soothing strokes.  Looking for something a little deeper? Try the deep tissue massage, which is specified as“not for wimps!” 

With plenty additional options from hot stone to reflexology, there is a treatment for everyone with Massage Maui.

Spa Parties

 

Private Massage in Maui, Maui Vacation Rental Massage, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Another perk of Massage Maui is their ability to service a great spa party!

They love to host wedding spa parties that include massage, nail services, hair and make-up and even yoga classes.  The bridal stylist has been in the business for years and is dedicated to making the bride feel pampered and prepared for her special day. There is no limit to the size of party, so bring everyone! You can go with the recommended package to make things easy, or choose a la carte style to tailor to your needs.

Not in town for a wedding? Don’t let that stop you from having a spa party! Gather all your friends and family and treat yourselves to a fun spa day and bond over champagne and massages. You can also have your party at a local beach, making the experience even more authentic!

Yoga

Offering yoga both in studio and via private classes in your vacation rental, this is a great way to start off the day. Learn and practice the importance of breath and relaxation, the perfect kick-off to a peaceful vacation. With the ability to accommodate up to 14 in a group, Massage Maui provides the blocks, mats, and ties. All you need to bring is comfortable clothing. Classes can be conducted in your home, on the beach, or in the studio. 

An experienced massage therapist teaches each class, giving you the best assistance for each posture. 

Our Favorite Packages

Private Massage in Maui, Maui Vacation Rental Massage, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

At Exotic Estates, we like to experience the product for ourselves to provide you with the best recommendations possible. Here is a list of our favorite packages at Massage Maui:

Chocolate Madness

Just as it sounds! This delicious treatment includes a 30-minute chocolate facial, 30-minute chocolate-mocha body treatment, and a one-hour cocoa butter massage. All while you are drinking a yummy mocha! This treatment is full of sweetness!

Golfer’s Wife’s Revenge

Is your special someone spending the day out on the green? This is the perfect time to get your R&R with a one-hour massage, 30-minute tropical facial, and an hour-long mud wrap. Topped off with a latte, you will be sure to have a wonderful day!

Soothing Sun Burn Symphony

Private Massage in Maui, Massage Maui, Maui Vacation Rental Massage, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Spend a little too much time in the sun? Remedy that sunburn with a one-hour long icy stone and Aloe Vera massage. Top it off with an Aloe Vera and mint facial, and come back to life with an iced latte. You will be ready to get back on the beach in no time!

Yoga & Massage Morning Medley

What a beautiful way to start your day! One hour of yoga, which is immediately followed by an hour and a half aromatherapy massage. This perfect duo can’t be beat!

Don’t just take our word for it. Find out for yourself and click HERE for a complete list of Massage Maui packages. 

Book with Exotic Estates

Massage Maui is dedicated to make your stay in paradise relaxing and stress-free. Open every day of the year, you can book your massage or spa party anytime.  Contact your Exotic Estates reservation specialist and start getting pampered at your vacation home today!

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Your Mexican Villa Awaits urn:uuid:5631316f-0548-00fd-7ffa-a479fe1bbad1 2017-01-30T15:16:15-07:00 Your Mexican Villa Awaits

Have you been considering a holiday to Mexico? This special country, which is so easy to reach, is a wonderful place for your next family vacation or romantic getaway!

Gorgeous Coasts and Beaches

If you want to spend your vacation near the water, the Pacific Coast of Mexico is a great option! With towns like San Jose Del Cabo and Punta Mita, you will experience a perfect mix of charm and luxury accommodation with an Exotic Estates Mexican Villa!

Cabo San Lucas Royal Arch, Mexican Villa, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Among many reasons to visit Mexico is the exchange rate; the American dollar can go a long way and the price to value ratio is high.  When you travel away from the coastal towns to places like San Miguel de Allende, you will really notice a difference in price. 

Authentic Mexican Cuisine

Experience fresh and authentic Mexican cuisine, offering a unique tradition in each region. From roadside stands to 5-star restaurants, Mexico is the home to some of the world’s best (most delicious!) cuisine. We recommend trying tacos made fresh in the plaza at night, try the al pastor variety – they’re amazing!

You will also have fun trying the many brands of locally produced Tequila and Mescal, straight from the source!

Also, remember Mexico gave the world chocolate, so be sure to check out some of the real artisanal chocolate shops during your stay.

Beautiful Art & Craftsmanship

Mexico is famous for its many traditions of handicrafts, meaning you will be able to purchase a variety of items, from fun, inexpensive souvenirs to high-value master-craftsman-designed wares. From magnificent hand-woven textiles and beautiful pottery to exquisite hand-made silver jewelry, you will find something that suits your tastes. In fact, market shopping is one of the most enjoyable pastimes in Mexico because you’ll find things that are uniquely Mexican and often one-of-a-kind!

If we haven’t already convinced you to visit this charming country, let us take you on a tour of our gorgeous Mexican vacation homes.

Punta Mita

Just north of Puerto Vallarta you will find the charming town of Punta Mita. This luxurious and laid back spot is a resort-style town on the Pacific Coast of Mexico. Punta Mita is in an area known as the Riviera Nayarit and it offers spellbinding beaches, beautiful sunsets and all the accruements of luxury villa living!

Beyond a 5-star resort vibe, with golfing and beach clubs, this area offers surfing, sport fishing and all sorts of ocean activities. The Riviera Nayarit is rich with gorgeous coves and islets that make for a great day trip, which can be easily arrange by a concierge.

Here are just of few of the gorgeous Villas that you can book for your stay in Punta Mita.

Villa Amor Punta Mita

Mexican Villa, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Located oceanfront, you will find the beautiful Villa Amor Punta Mita. This five-bedroom vacation home can accommodate 14 guests and overlooks the Pacific Coast. Nestled in a private luxury community, guests will love the privacy of this lavish villa. When you stay at this home you will be immersed with modern Mexican architecture, dark custom wood finishing’s, and magnificent views and ocean breezes.

Bella Rosa Tropical

 Mexican Villa, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

Offering four bedrooms and four bathrooms, you will swoon at the elegance and sleek design of this luxury vacation home. With all the amenities of home and the luxuries of a 5-star hotel, Bella Rosa Mexican vacation condo provides ultimate solitude and is surrounded by the stunning beaches and the lush tropical landscape of Punta Mita. The open and spacious floor plan provides the perfect place to relax and getaway!

Playa Punta de Mita

Beachfront Condo Mexico, Mexican Villa, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This unique Mexican beachfront condo is located on the beautiful coast of Punta Mita. You will feel pampered with beautiful high-end appliances throughout, WiFi, satellite TV, flat-screens and air conditioning. You can enjoy the warm Mexican air while you relax on your own private terrace, which boasts stunning panoramic views of the ocean and white sandy beaches. With four bedrooms and four bathrooms, this vacation villa is perfect for families and couples looking to unwind in paradise!

Mita Hacienda Nicklaus

Mexican Vacation Rental, Punta Mita, Mexican Villa, Punta Mita Villa, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This four-bedroom Mexican vacation rental is perched in the exclusive community of Punta MIta and offers expansive living quarters. Perfect for golf enthusiasts, this rental home is located on the famous Jack Nicklaus Golf Course and the Four Seasons Resort. With over 500 square feet of terrace, you will love spending time soaking up the salty air as you take in the world-class views of the golf course and ocean. When you stay at Mita Hacienda Nicklaus you will enjoy a premier membership to the Punta Mita Club allowing you access to play at both Jack Nicklaus courses. You will also have access to the fitness center and exclusive beach clubs.  Golf lovers will savor their time at this luxurious Mexican vacation home!

San Miguel de Allende

Named by Condé Naste Traveler Magazine as one of the top ten destinations in the world, San Miguel is a city rich with history and culture.  Nestled at the heart of central Mexico in the state of Guanajuato, this pleasant and rustic town sits at 6,400 feet among a vast plateau of rolling hills in the Sierra Madre mountain range.  Offering a pleasant climate, San Miguel is perfect to visit and is loaded with activities for any traveler.

Casa Tres Cervezas

San Miguel Vacation Home, Mexican Villa, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This six-bedroom San Miguel vacation home is perfect for large families and groups and can accommodate 14 people. Nestled down a narrow cobblestone street, you will be immersed in the charming culture of the town. Offering 8,000 square feet, this one-of-a-kind luxury villa offers a serene private space to observe the hustle and bustle of town from your own private rooftop terrace. Modern yet traditional, this vacation home is perfect for the ultimate experience in luxurious San Miguel living!

San Jose del Cabo

Mexican Villa, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalThis charming 18th century town has a laid-back vibe and is located only 20 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas. Featuring some of Mexico’s most beautiful beaches, this low-key beach town is perfect for a quiet getaway for the family or a serene place to retreat after your visit to Cabo.

Casa Cortez Beach Villa

Casa Cortez, Mexican Villa, Los Cabos, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental

This five-bedroom and five-bathroom Mexican vacation villa has over 6,500 square feet of gorgeous interior and overlooks the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Featuring a gourmet chef’s kitchen, you will love cooking private meals in the luxury of your own home.  Decorated with classic Mexican furnishings, this relaxing home is the perfect gathering place for your family and friends after a fun filled day in paradise. Enjoy a cold margarita while soaking in the private hot tub as you relish the peace and quiet of this gorgeous vacation villa!

With beautiful coasts, people, and luxury homes it’s hard to resist spending your holiday in the beautiful country of Mexico. Contact Exotic Estates today to find the perfect luxury villa!

 

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Hang Loose and Surf in Maui! urn:uuid:6200a7d4-739a-10a2-9a3b-13e52625d12d 2017-01-30T15:11:54-07:00 Hang Loose in Maui!

Surf in Maui, Hang Loose Surf, Learn to Surf Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental Hawaii

Have you always dreamed of learning how to surf? If you are traveling to Maui, you can feel what it’s like to ride a wave in the island’s pristine blue waters.  Learning how to surf is the perfect venture for you and your guests!

Surfing is an important part of Hawaii’s cultural heritage and the most skilled surfers often belonged to the upper class, including the Chiefs and warriors! The better you were at surfing, the more respected you were. 

Around the beginning of the 20th century, Duke Kahanamoku, aka the “Ambassador of Aloha,” was an Olympic medalist and avid surfer who helped introduce the sport of surfing to the world. Now people from all over the world come to Hawaii to experience the waves for themselves.

Renting a vacation home on Maui gives you the perfect opportunity to take the family for a surfing lesson. We got to know Maui native Abner Nakihei Jr., the owner and founder of Hang Loose Surf Club, and asked him about how to prepare for your first surfing lesson in Maui!

 

Surf in Maui, Hang Loose Surf, Learn to Surf Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental Hawaii

Q&A With Hang Loose Surf Club  

EEI: How long have you been surfing?

Abner: I have been surfing over 20 years

EEI: How old were you when you learned to surf?

Abner: I started boogie boarding when I was 5 years old and really started surfing when I was 10 years old. 

EEI: What is your favorite part about surfing?

Abner: I just love the feeling of catching a wave! It really is our Hawaiian rollercoaster ride:) 

EEI: What are you doing when you're not surfing?

Abner: When I'm not surfing I'm hanging out with my beautiful wife and our cute and loving 5 year old daughter! 

 

Surf in Maui, Hang Loose Surf, Learn to Surf Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental Hawaii

EEI: Can we learn to surf in Hawaii year round?

Abner: In Hawaii the average temperature is about 75 degrees so yes you can surf everyday. 

EEI: How can we prepare for our surf lesson beforehand?

Abner: Go watch my How to video on our Hang Loose Surf Club YouTube channel. 

EEI: Are there sharks or other sea creatures to worry about?

Abner: Yes, Sharks live in the ocean where we surf. But our surf spot called "Lahaina Breakwall" has a natural reef, which keeps out sharks from getting to us. YAY! Here 2 tips for avoiding sharks: 1) never surf in murky waters 2) never surf by yourself

EEI: What should we wear?

Abner: I provide rash guard shirts and protective water shoes. Please bring your swim clothes, a towel, sunscreen, water and change of clothes

EEI: Can we bring a GoPro?

Abner: Yes, I'm all about the evidence of seeing yourself surfing in Hawaii. You need proof when you brag to your friends. Lol. Please use a floater just in case you drop it in the water. I have seen tons of people lose GoPros. It must be the GoPro headband so you can paddle your surfboard. Many times people worry about the GoPro and get hurt. 

EEI: Do you offer private surf tours for experienced surfers?

Abner: I do not offer private surf tours at this time. 

EEI: How long is the surf lesson?

Abner: All lessons are up to 2 hours long. 

EEI: How many people are in the group lesson?

5-6 people are in a group. 

Surf in Maui, Hang Loose Surf, Learn to Surf Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental Hawaii

EEI: Anything else you would like us to know about you and Hang Loose Surf Club?!

Abner: Safety is my number one priority and fun is not too far behind! My past surf students say I'm really laid back and patient. I say they are right! My students also think it's cool that I'm native Hawaiian and live on Hawaiian homelands, which is similar to Indian reservation. 80% of my students stand up on their first wave! If you try your best and listen to my easy steps, you will surf in Maui! If you want to learn to surf in Maui come look for Abner at Hang Loose Surf Club! 

Get out and surf!

Surf in Maui, Hang Loose Surf, Learn to Surf Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rental Hawaii

For questions about booking a session with Hang Loos Surf Club, contact your Exotic Estate’s Reservation Specialist. Now get out there and catch some waves!

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April Events in Hawaii urn:uuid:b3aeaa08-58bb-006d-3ef4-b8ce9a5d3605 2017-01-30T15:09:53-07:00 April Events in Hawaii

If you are staying at an Exotic Estates vacation home in April, don’t miss out on some of the local events that Hawaii has to offer! We have compiled a list of events that you and your guests can attend while on your vacation in paradise!

Maui Events April 2016

If you are staying in Maui, check out these local events!

Chinese Kite Festival

The Wo HIng Museum in Lahaina will host the Chinese Kite Festival on April 15th and April 16th.  The entire family can celebrate the wonderful world of kites during a traditional Chinese Kite Festival, where you will find a colorful exhibit of handmade kites in traditional and modern styles.  You can participate in workshops to make your own kite, or purchase one of many kites for sale. You will also learn the history of kiting from around the world, and enjoy Chinese music and entertainment.  The entire event is free and you can find out more about it here:  http://lahainarestoration.org/explore-world-of-kites-kite-flying-at-chinese-kite-festival/

Botanical Gardens Benefit Dinner

Enjoy a night out while you support local Hawaiian plants at the 2nd annual Maui Nui Botanical Gardens’ Benefit Dinner.  On April 23rd from 5-9 PM, the Botanical Gardens will host a benefit dinner celebrating the heritage of Native Hawaiian Plants. You will enjoy Hawaiian music, hula, a silent auction, cocktails, and dinner prepared by Chef Kealoha Domingo. This event is for 21 and older and tickets are available at $100, or $750 for a table of eight. All proceeds benefit the mission and programs of Maui Nui Botanical Gardens. For more information on attending this event contact Whit Germano at 808-249-2798 or whit@mnbg.org.

Harlem Globetrotters come to Maui

Get ready for a night of action at the War Memorial Gymnasium when the Harlem Globetrotters will be in town! On April 24th, you can help celebrate over 90 years of sportsmanship with the world-famous Harlem Globetrotters who are bringing their unsurpassed show to Hawaii.  After the game, the Globetrotters will sign autographs and take photos with fans. For more info contact the box office at 808-242-7469.

Laugh with Cheech and Chong

For a night filled with laughter, be sure to check out Cheech and Chong - Live on Maui at the Lahaina Civic Center Amphitheatre. Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong’s impressive success began on the stand up comedy circuit, which led to nine hit comedy albums and eight hit films. After breaking box office records, shattering comedy album sales, and garnering multiple Grammy nominations, these two comedians have been pleasing fans for more than a decade. On April 30th, this hilarious duo will continue their comedy streak for all of Maui.  For tickets visit: http://honoluluboxoffice.com/cheechchong/

Oahu Events April 2016

If you are staying at one of our Beautiful Oahu vacation homes, here are some local events for the month of April.

Run a 10k

Start your vacation off with a bang and participate in the 19th annual Ford Island Bridge Run 10k. This race takes place at Richardson Field on April 2nd from 7 AM- 10 AM.  For more information click call 808-448-9907

Learn How to Make a Lei

On April 13-14 you can enjoy a free Lei making workshop at Manoa Valley District Park. A fun activity for the entire family, these free workshops are open to the public and will provide all participants with an opportunity to learn or improve their Lei making skills for the upcoming Lei Day celebration!  You will learn the three different methods of making a lei: kui, hili, and while.  Make sure to call in advance to register for the class! Contact Mark Koga at 808-988-0513.

April Calendar Maui, Maui in Apri, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Surf Grom Contest

Calling out to any young surfers in the family, check out the 19th annual T&C Surf Grom Contest located at Kuhio Beach Park in Honolulu on April 23 and 24th.  Check out the local youth as they test their skills at Queen’s surf break in a non-competitive surf contest just for kids. Open to surfer’s ages 3-12, the event gives young groms the chance to showcase and develop their skills at one of the premier breaks of the South Shore. With the beautiful Diamond Head in the background, the entire family will love watching this special surf contest! For more information visit http://www.tcsurf.com/grom16/.

Kauai Events April 2016

If you are staying in one of Exotic Estate’s beautiful Kauai homes, check out what’s on schedule in April.

Earth Day Rising Festival

Check out the 6th annual Earth Day Rising Festival on Sunday, April 24th at the Malama Kauai Community Farm. You can help to celebrate mother earth with agriculture and sustainability workshops, get updated on Kauai conservation, join a mini seed and plant exchange, and enjoy live music and delicious food! Visit www.malamakauai.org for more info or call Megan at (808) 828-0685 x12.

Celebrate May Day

To celebrate spring each year, Malie Foundation offers the Na Lei Hiwahiwa May Day Celebration concert, which is always held on the first Friday before May 1st. This concert creates a welcoming experience for the entire family and features local Hawaiian music and entertainment. For more info visit http://maliefoundation.org

Big Island Events April 2016

The Big Island offers a great lineup of local events, kicking off with the famous Merrie Monarch Festival.

Merrie Monarch Festival

Come enjoy the 53rd Merrie Monarch Festival from March 27-April 2. This is Hawaii’s most celebrated hula competition and is a week filled with festivities such as exhibitions, musical entertainments, arts and crafts fairs, and the Miss Aloha Hula Competition. You won’t want to miss this exciting festival!

Aids Walk

Get fit and support a great cause! Join the 5th Annual Big Island Aids walk in Hilo on April 9. This is an exciting event and is an easy two-mile walk around the Liliuokalani Gardens. Great for the entire family, there will be a community organizations health fair, live entertainment, raffle prizes, and refreshments.  There is no fee to walk and any registered walker who raises $20 or more will receive a free event t-shirt. Log on and register at http://bigislandaidswalk16.kintera.org/

Wonderful Watercolors

Feeling artistic? Check out “Wonderful Watercolors” with artist Lisa Louise Adams. On April 18th, you will be instructed in a watercolor workshop at Volcano Art Center’s Niaulani campus. You will enjoy the delightful world of watercolors and dive deep into your painting practice. Bring a few friends and a sense of adventure for this exciting workshop!

No matter which island you are on, Hawaii has a plethora of local events to keep you and your guests entertained throughout your stay!

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Your Private Musician on Maui urn:uuid:422f2cd1-bb6d-64f7-864d-5bfc94608fe4 2017-01-30T15:09:07-07:00 Your Private Musician on Maui

 

Private Musician, Ukulele Singer, Maui Musician, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Many folks rent vacation homes in Hawaii to celebrate special occasions. From milestone birthdays to anniversaries or even just the semi-annual family retreat, hiring a musician is the ultimate way to add Hawaiian culture to your event.

Although you might think hiring a live musician might just be for weddings, offering live music is a great addition to any event! From family reunions to corporate parties, there is nothing like sound and ambiance of a beautiful Ukulele to set the tone for your next occasion in Hawaii.

We caught up with Marvin Tevaga, who is a local musician born and raised in Maui, Hawaii. Having picked up his first ukulele at age eight, it is no wonder he has been voted one the best musicians three years in a row by Wedding Wire. Having mastered the ability to please even the pickiest of brides, Marvin will provide a relaxing and beautiful atmosphere to any event he performs.


Marvin Tevaga musician, Private Musician, Ukulele Singer, Maui Musician, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Marvin offers a variety of services from acoustic wedding music, acoustic music and hula dancer duo, or an amplified sound system option for larger groups.

He performs for weddings, luaus, baby parties, and any other special event. He will even come do a “jam session” and your private vacation home! Marvin has worked with many great Hawaiian musicians and having grown up in the diverse culture of Hawaii, has a love for various genres of music.

We had the chance to interview Marvin to learn a little more about his musical and Hawaiian history, and what type of events he loves to sing at!

Private Musician, Ukulele Singer, Maui Musician, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

EEI: Tell us a bit about your background and how you go into music.

M: I picked up the ukulele while going to school at King Kamehameha III Elementary School in Lahaina.  I fell in love with the ukulele and I could honestly feel joy when I played.  That has continued to grow and I love it more each day. 

EEI: You were born and raised in Hawaii, how has this influenced your music?

MT: Growing up in the melting pot of the Pacific, I have learned to love all genres of music from Hawaiian, Island Reggae, Country, Blues, Rock and Hip-hop. 

EEI: What is your favorite thing about Hawaiian culture?

MT: There are so many things that I love about the Hawaiian Culture.  I love that in the Hawaiian Language there are no really "bad words" and that everything is centered around working together and family.  The connection and respect that Hawaiian culture has with the aina (land). 

EEI: What events have you performed besides weddings?

MT: I perform at birthday parties, anniversary, graduations, corporate events and conventions on all islands. 

EEI: Why would you suggest a live artist vs. a DJ?

MT: It depends on what the client wants.  I love live music for events however sometimes when you just wanna "boogie" to a DJ I would recommend doing live music to start and providing a DJ to end the night, which happens in most weddings.

EEI: What is your favorite song to perform?

MT: I love to sing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” it has become a mantra for so many people across the world and is still a favorite after all these years. 

EEI: Do you play any other instruments besides the Ukulele?

MT: I occasionally play guitar by request however I prefer ukulele as my instrument of choice. 

EEI: What do you do when you are not performing?

MT: I work as a Law Enforcement Officer as my day job and between the two it keeps me balanced. 

EEI: Do you teach music?

MT: Not really.  I only really taught myself how to play music but I have done the occasional fundamentals of ukulele classes with clients. 

My favorite quote in music is from Bob Marley when he says "One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain." 

If you are planning a birthday party, wedding anniversary, corporate gathering, or any other event on Maui, you will definitely want to consider offering your guests a true taste of Hawaiian culture with Marvin’s music!

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Celebrating Easter in Hawaii urn:uuid:426af8a6-8b17-ff6e-d222-1d5811c969f9 2017-01-30T15:07:50-07:00 Celebrating Easter in Hawaii

 

Easter in Hawaii, Maui Easter Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsPhoto by Bonnie Carpenter

If you celebrate Easter and are traveling to Hawaii over the holiday, join the locals for the Easter Sunday celebrations and fun festivities that are sure to please the kids in the group.

Hawaii is a very spiritual place and there are many ways to celebrate. You can start off the day by taking advantage of the beautiful weather and attending a Sunrise Mass.  After mass, your kids can join a classic Easter Egg Hunt or the entire family can participate in a local beach barbeque!

Whether you are staying on Maui, Oahu or The Big Island, get egg-cited for all of the fun options for the entire family!

Easter on Maui

Easter in Hawaii, Maui Easter Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

If you are staying in Maui, you have a several great options to celebrate Easter. 

Waiola Church is located in Lahaina and offers an Easter Sunrise Service, and the entire family can enjoy a breakfast and egg hunt to follow.  Waiola Church has been celebrating for over 190 years and hails as Maui’s first Christian church. Masses are scheduled at 6:30 AM and 9:00 AM. All are welcome to this celebration.

Another fun festivity taking place around Easter weekend at the famous Lahaina Banyan Tree, is the Prince Kuhio festival, held each year to celebrate the birthday of Prince Kuhio Ho’olaule’a.

The Prince is known for his efforts to protect and preserve the Hawaiian culture and people.  On March 26 and 27 from 9am-4pm you can celebrate with the entire family. Activities include a lei making demonstration, local arts and crafts, and live music.   The Easter Bunny plans to make a visit on Sunday at 10:30am.  Click here for more information.

Easter in Kapalua, Maui

For an upscale dining option, visit the Terrace at The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua. The Terrace is hosting a large Easter Brunch, which you can enjoy while overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  The menu includes local cuisine, some of which is sourced from the Terrace’s organic garden.  Advanced reservations are recommended. http://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/kapalua-maui

For more details on Easter celebrations in Maui, visit: http://www.calendarmaui.com/

Easter Fun on The Big Island

Easter in Hawaii, Maui Easter Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsPhoto by Bonnie Carpenter

Take the family to a free Easter egg hunt at the Botanical World Adventures in Hakalua. There will be a ton of eggs for children to hunt for and there will also be prizes for adults. Botanical World Adventures will have drawings for free rides on the Zip Isle Zip Line Tour and every child will receive candy or a small prize.  If you attend the egg hunt, you will also receive free admission into the Botanical Gardens.  For more information call 888-947-4753.

You can also join the festivities of the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo. This famous Hawaiian celebration and hula competition is a weeklong and includes exhibitions, musical entertainment, arts and crafts fairs, and the Miss Aloha Hula competition. Offering all types of events from March 27-April 2, find the perfect event for the entire family!  http://www.merriemonarch.com/

Easter Fun on Oahu

If you are looking for an Easter adventure, hop aboard the Star of Honolulu for the Champagne Brunch Cruise. This voyage is family friendly and departs from the Aloha Tower Marketplace at noon on Sunday, March 27th.  If you’re lucky, you might even get to see whales! Click her for more information http://www.starofhonolulu.com/

For a list of Palm Sunday and Easter Mass celebrations visit: http://stjameshawaii.org/lent-holy-week-and-easter-2014/

Prince Kuhio Festival at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu

Prince Kuhio Festival at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu, Easter in Hawaii, Maui Easter Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsPhoto by John Di Rienzo

Celebrate Prince Kuhio on Oahu with the parade in Honolulu. This parade honors the Hawaiian culture and it’s a great place to spend quality time with the entire ‘Ohana (or family) during Easter weekend.  After the parade, visit the Prince Kuhio Festival at Kapiolani Park in Honolulu. You will find native Hawaiian arts and crafts and exhibits from various Hawaiian organizations and businesses.

For more information contact the Prince Kuhio Festival at 808-221-0991.  

Attend a beautiful Easter Sunrise Service at the Punchbowl Cemetery in Honolulu.  The Punchbowl will host the 115th annual service and gates will open at 4:30am, beginning at 6:15 am.  For more information contact Reverend Sam Domingo at 808-384-8701.

Easter Sunday Family Fun in Waikiki

Easter in Hawaii, Maui Easter Activities, Exotic Estates, Vacation RentalsPhoto by John Di Rienzo

After Sunrise mass, celebrate the rest of Easter Sunday at the Royal Hawaiian Center.  Enjoy a family friendly show called “Honu by the Sea,” where colorful Hawaiian characters teach about the meaning of friendship and how to make the ocean a safer and cleaner place. For more information contact the Royal Hawaiian Center website.

Easter on Kauai

 Janine Gatti

Churches all across Kauai will be holding Easter Sunday Services with gatherings through out the day.  You will also find various Easter egg hunts on Kauai and most large hotels will host a hunt for kids.

For a list of services near your vacation home, see a list of events at The Garden Island

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Home Spa Day at Your Maui Vacation Rental urn:uuid:20a2680d-b9ca-c63a-893e-d678503dd042 2017-01-30T15:03:53-07:00 Home Spa Day at Your Maui Vacation Rental

Can you imagine anything more luxurious than going to the spa while on vacation in Maui? Well, envision indulging in those very same spa treatments, while in the comfort of your own lavish Exotic Estates vacation home!

We have found Maui’s highest-rated mobile spa services, offering a plethora of treatments options to you and your guests. Prepare to experience ultimate relaxation and rejuvenation on your Exotic Estates vacation!

Na Alii Massage

Private Spa Day, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Na Alii, which means “royalty,” comes to your home to offer luxurious therapeutic massages that incorporate Hawaiian Lomilomi and Swedish massage. 

Prior to founding Na Alii Massage, Owner Laura Kaplan was a concierge at the Grand Wailea Resort for many years.  Laura is accustomed to working with high-end clients and welcomes all customers to take advantage of her knowledge of Maui.

“With many years in the concierge industry, service has always been a priority for me, “ said Laura to Exotic Estates, “Massage therapy was always a part of my own health regime and after falling in love with a massage therapist, I felt it only natural that I train my own healing hands. “

Na Alii Massage, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Laura found a passion for the ancient Lomilomi massage while attending the Maui Acadamy of healing arts. She continues to expand her knowledge of the art, and often grows her skill base in partnership with her husband, who is also a massage therapist.

“I believe I have the ability to intuitively read my clients and provide them with the best body work possible in any given moment,” said Laura.  As one of the most highly requested massage therapists on Maui, Laura is well received by all of her clients!

 

About Lomilomi Massage

Lomilomi massage is a traditional Hawaiian massage that connects the heart, mind, body and soul.  The early Polynesian settlers brought this form of massage, which was practiced by all ages. Traditionally, ancient Hawaii Lomilomi was practiced in four contexts: As a healing practice of native healers, as an aid to digestion, as restorative massage within the family, and by the masters of the Hawaiian martial arts.

Considered a sacred healing art, Lomilomi has been passed down from generation to generation and utilizes rhythmic strokes performed by using the forearms and elbows for a profoundly therapeutic experience.

During your Lomilomi massage with Na Alii, prepare to take a relaxing journey of your body and mind, as the ancient Hawaiian tradition flows through the fingertips of your masseuse!   

Exotic Estates Favorite Treatments

Vacation Rental Spa,Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

One of our favorite packages is the Ho Alii, which means, “To be treated like royalty.”

You will love this luxurious regal treatment that includes a 100-minute session that incorporates Lomilomi Ili Ili or Hot Stone massage, reflexology of the hands and feet, rosemary scalp treatment and tropical mini-facial, which includes exfoliant, cleanser, mask and moisturizer.   

You will also love one of Na Alii’s exclusive treatments, the Aroma Restore, which is perfect for jet lag! With this wonderful treatment your certified AromaTouch therapist will begin with the application of medical-grade essential oils, which are designed to relax and restore the body to its natural state of wellness. You can dip into deep relaxation while you receive a Hawaiian-style massage!

Bring the 5-star treatment to your home with Na Alli Massage!

Maui Mobile Spa - Exotic Estates Favorite Event and Beauty Service

After your luxurious spa treatment, get ready for the evening and bring the salon to your vacation rental! With Maui Mobile Spa, you can choose between a variety of services to prepare you for any evening or event.

Specializing in bachelorette parties, and romantic honeymoon and spa packages, Maui Mobile Spa brings the salon to you on your Maui vacation.

They even offer island-wide services for no extra travel fee. 

Looking for a mani/pedi treatment before you hit the beach?  You can receive professional nail-care treatments in the privacy of your own home by a licensed cosmetologist. Offering a classic French manicure or elegant Swarovski crystals, your fingers and toes will be ready to show off to the island!

Want an exotic look in paradise?! Feather hair extensions are a fun and creative way to express yourself.  These are a great option for baby showers, and bachelorette parties. The best part, they only take a few minutes to braid into the hair and last for months!

Maui Mobile Spa also creates beautiful temporary tattoos for weddings, parties, and corporate events! They specialize in traditional bridal Mehndi designs! You will love showing off your new “tattoo” on the beach!

No salon day is complete without hair and makeup. Get a picture-perfect look for your special evening or event while in the comfort of your own home.  Maui Mobile Spa takes the time to make sure you get the exact look you want. Make an event out of it with a spa party!

Enjoy the luxury of your vacation rental and indulge in a home spa at your Exotic Estate today!

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Hiring a Photographer on Maui urn:uuid:c2012021-ec43-eb81-8993-7040831d6e35 2017-01-30T15:03:04-07:00 Hiring a Photographer on Maui

While weddings are a common reason for hiring a photographer while visiting a destination, the trend for hiring a professional photographer to capture your vacation on film has grown exponentially!

Hiring an expert is a great investment if you want to get display-worthy photos for any occasion or event. Whether you’re on your honeymoon or family vacation, consider hiring a photographer to capture the beautiful memories you will create in paradise!

We have compiled a list of our favorite shutterbugs that would love to capture your cherished moments while vacationing in Maui!

Wailea Photography

Wailea Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Jonelle Littleton of Wailea Photography specializes in weddings, family photos, maternity, and engagement photos. She started her company in 2010 after training under another local photographer and she is extremely passionate about her work.

Putting her whole heart into her craft, Jonelle’s style allows you to see the beauty of Maui while still getting artistic portraits. Jonelle told Exotic Estates, “Lighting wise, this is a difficult technique to master and it is by far easier to have one without the other- which I believe sets me apart.”

wailea photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Worried about getting that great photo of the youngsters? Jonelle can help you with that! “I am very animated and outgoing with children (I am a mother of a 6 year old girl). I make a complete fool of myself for candid laughter. I have a lot of return clients that I like to think of as friends!” 

Jonelle is happy to offer clients of Exotic Estates a discount of 10%!

Blue Soul Maui

Blue Soul Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

If you are looking for a Hawaiian adventure that will be captured on film, check out Blue Soul Maui!  Founded in 2006 by Charlie Fleck, Blue Soul offers various outrigger canoe tours; stand up paddle and surf lessons, guided snorkel tours, guided hiking, and road trips to Hana.

Charlie can also offer special services and likes to think outside the box and focus on tailoring activities to each individual guests needs, abilities and imagination.

Blue Soul Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Charlie takes pictures during all of his tours to pass along to clients, and also happens to me married to Jonelle of Wailea Photography if you are looking for a more professional approach! They have teamed up together for different shoots such as “trash the dress” or maternity shoots in the jungle by waterfalls.

Instead of trying to capture that sea turtle “selfie” on your own, Charlie can also provide underwater photographers to capture your adventures in the ocean!

Catch It On Video with Hi Focused Cinematography

 

Hi Focused Cinematography, Maui Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Looking for a video to capture your memories and share with everyone back home? Hi Focused cinematography is the perfect option for you!

Hi Focused is rated as one of Hawaii’s top wedding cinematographers by Weddingwire. The owner and videographer, Jordan T. Nagasako also loves to shoot vacation videos! Dedicated to making exceptional films that are both visually beautiful and emotionally moving, Jordan takes pride in unobtrusive filming, sophisticated editing and attention to detail.

If you are looking for Maui’s most dedicated cinematographer, Jordan is your man!

“We get to know each of you, your wedding timeline and location so we can craft you a personalized wedding film. Our stellar reviews and highest awards reflect our dedication to excellence. Making wedding films isn’t just what we do; it is our artistic passion.”

You can see examples of Hi Focused videos here. Mention you are a client of Exotic Estates and receive 5% off any wedding package!

 

Karma Hill Photography

 

Karma Hill Photography, Maui Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Karma Hill specializes in portrait photography, and works mainly with visitors to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. They love to do family portraits, family reunions, anniversary portraits, honeymoon photography, and of course, weddings.

Karma started the company in 2006 and believes that you do not need a special occasion to deserve amazing images of you and your loved ones! Karma and her team put the same amount of passion, love and excellence into every Maui portrait session as they do for wedding clients.

Karma Hill Photography, Maui Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

“We are a team of true professionals,” says Karma. “We aim to WOW you with our service and quality. Our Maui photographers put you at ease and have fun with you so you can just relax and let that beautiful soul shine hrough!”

For guests of Exotic Estates vacation rentals, Karma Hill offers 10% on any portrait package 1 hour or above.

 

Mariah Milan Photography

Mariah Milan Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Mariah Milan Photography offers elegant and sophisticated images with the soul of the islands!

Mariah Milan has been in business since 2002 and Mariah has found that more and more families and couples are looking to freeze that happy moment in time when they're visiting Maui (or other island destinations). 

Mariah told Exotic Estates, “Many couples and families are looking for an experience - that is, moments of pure joy in a place that they love and not necessarily posed formals on the beach. I have had the pleasure of photographing families at vacation homes, beaches, and off the beaten path trails and cliffs.”

Mariah Milan Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Capturing those perfect moments isn’t always easy, but Mariah has perfected her craft over the last 14 years and even gives back to her native Island.

She tells us, “As a mom and photographer that is from Maui, works here, lives here, I feel the pull of KOKUA - a responsibility of helping others on the island. For every session and wedding I photograph, I donate to a Maui charity or privately funded medical campaign. That way, visitors to the island know that they're leaving more than just footprints in the sand; they are contributing to a greater good on our island.”

Mariah Milan Photography, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Capture your most cherished moments on the beautiful island of Maui. You will never forget your escape to paradise with the help of a professional photographer or cinematographer!

Vacation rentals make fabulous settings for professional shoots. Visit Exotic Estates Maui homes link today!

 

 

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Experience Vail Like a Local! urn:uuid:2d4da26f-78b2-c70e-66a1-837b07c93ed1 2017-01-30T14:59:55-07:00 Experience Vail Like a Local

It’s not too late to catch some powder in Vail, Colorado! Experience the best of Vail through the eyes of a local. Here is a guide to all the delicious restaurants, shopping, and activities that this beautiful mountain town has to offer.

Dining

Foodies flock to Vail’s diverse and delicious culinary experience! If you are looking for fine dining, you will love the Sweet Basil.  This modern American restaurant is located in the heart of Vail and was voted Colorado’s most popular restaurant by Zagat. You will enjoy the inviting yet elegant atmosphere as you relish the innovative cuisine!

If you are looking for a more casual dining experience, check out Blue Moose Pizza! Offering a casual and kid-friendly environment, you will experience a delicious, hand-tossed, New York-style pie without breaking the bank.

The Little Diner is also a must for your pre-slope breakfast or lunch!  They have a huge variety to offer, using local and high quality ingredients whenever possible.  There will most likely be a wait, but trust us, it will be worth it! 

 

Shopping

 

You will find spectacular shopping in Vail Village. The streets are exploding with local shopping venues and merchandise that will help you remember your vacation in this Colorado winter wonderland. Between Lionshead and Vail Village, Vail offers hundreds of shops from boutiques to outdoor gear to art galleries.  You can explore the gorgeous Vail streets with the beautiful backdrop of Gore Range while you shop ‘till you drop

Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride

 

 

Experience some magic during your Colorado winter vacation with an intimate horseback ride through the beautiful forests of the Rocky Mountains. After your ride, you will enjoy a gourmet dinner at a historic mountain cabin and you might even get the chance to see Colorado wildlife such as elk, deer, and hawks.  Check out Bearcat Stables for the ultimate sleigh ride experience!

 

Fly Fishing

 

Don’t wait until the summer to experience some of the best fly-fishing that Colorado has to offer! Fly-fishing in the winter on the Colorado River is an excellent way to spend a day away from the slopes. There’s nothing like catching a beautiful Rainbow Trout while the snow is falling.  Whether you are a beginner or expert, at Valley Anglers you will be provided with all of the necessary equipment to get out on the water for one of the most unforgettable and scenic experiences you can have in Vail Valley!

Hot Air Balloon Ride

 

If there is any time to take a balloon ride, winter in Vail is that time!  Experience the beauty of winter as you quietly float through blue skies over the Rocky Mountains, bundled up in your private balloon basket.  With Camelot Balloons, you will fly in custom designed, FAA certified hot air balloons, which can carry from 4- 8 passengers.  The pilots are FAA certified professionals and experienced mountain aeronauts, so you can feel safe as you experience world-class views of the snow capped Colorado Mountains!

Ice Skating

 

If you and the family need a break from the hills, you can choose from one of several ice-skating rinks located in Vail Valley.  Enjoy the beauty of Colorado winter and take a spin around the Alderhof Ice Rink, located in the heart of Vail square. This rink is open daily throughout the winter and ice-skates are available for rent.  After skating around, order a delicious hot chocolate from one of Vail’s hidden gems, Yeti’s Grind.  

Vail is also home to one of the best ice-rinks in the upper valley, the Dobson Ice Arena. This Vail landmark has free public skate times offered daily in a temperature-controlled indoor facility!

Spa Day

 

You have been working hard on the slopes and you deserve to indulge during your winter vacation. Vail Valley is home to numerous world-class spas from luxurious award-winning spots to simple and locally owned favorites, you will find the perfect place to unwind!

The Spa at the Arrabelle sits only steps away from the Eagle Bahn Gondola and is one of the top spas in the world.  Since they fill up, you will want to book your space early. We suggest trying the HydraFacial or the Sports Enthusiast Body Recovery! With over 10,000 square feet of space, you can completely unwind at this luxurious and private spa! 

The Sonnenalp Spa is also a great option and is perfect for couples, offering co-ed whirlpools, waterfalls and a sundeck.  The best place to rejuvenate your mind and body, this spa is a must after a weekend at Vail Resort!

Snowcat Skiing

 

You haven’t experienced the best of fresh powder until you have been snowcat skiing! You will be knee deep in some of the best snow that Colorado has to offer! Imagine standing atop the gorgeous Rocky Mountains, looking down on untracked powder and the most spectacular views! Vail Powder Guides has the expertise to take you out on the demanding terrain. They offer free use of powder skis or powder snowboards, and serve a lunch that accommodates any dietary restriction.  You will be pampered during the experience of a lifetime catching the best rides in Colorado!  

 

You don’t have to be skiing or snowboarding to enjoy Vail. Whether you are looking for fun activities or a relaxing spa day, there is something for everyone. Book your stay in this winter-wonderland today, while the snow is still falling! 

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Stay Fit On Your Maui Vacation! urn:uuid:682870c3-4ad9-babe-c6cf-fb2d8224580d 2017-01-30T14:59:34-07:00 Staying Fit On Your Maui Vacation

 

Whether you are looking for a private session in your vacation villa or if you would rather wake up with yoga on the beach, we have the perfect list for working out in paradise!

 

Private Yoga Session in Your Vacation Rental

 

Private Yoga at Exotic Estate Vacation Rental, Hawaii Yoga, Hawaii Private Yoga, Maui Yoga, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

 

Looking to enjoy yoga without leaving your gorgeous vacation home? Enjoy a stress-free workout with Tenya Jayawuk who is the yoga instructor to high-profile clientele and celebrities.  Breaking a sweat is one of Tenya’s specialties! She has been in the health and fitness industry since 1988, teaching yoga since 2000, and has been on Maui for seven years.

Tenya has led numerous 5-star luxury yoga retreats around the world including Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos, Morocco, India, Costa Rica, Egypt, Spain, Italy, Ibiza, Bermuda, and Harbor Island Bahamas to name a few.  She is a senior level yoga teacher certified at the 500 hour level and is qualified to teach all levels and most styles of yoga including Gentle, Vinyasa Flow and SUP Yoga. Get ready to enjoy your Sun Salutations in the comfort of your own home! Call or text Tenya today at 408-647-4915 to schedule your session!

 

Personal Training in Your Own Vacation Rental Backyard

Personal training Hawaii, SUP Yoga Maui, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Whether you are looking to build strength, flexibility, or have specific fitness goals, Personal Training Maui is the perfect option! Catherine Maurice has been a personal trainer on Maui for over a decade and her passion is to motivate you to get the most out of your workout and live your healthiest life!

Catherine specializes in offering a high-end experience and has been teaching classes as the Four Seasons Resort for ten years. She would love to teach your private session in your vacation home and can offer boot camps, sunset or sunrise yoga sessions, SUP yoga, and any type of personalized experience or training session.

 

Pilates

 

Pilates is the perfect way to get your sweat on while on vacation! Visit Pilates Maui, a boutique studio that has offered Pilates to Maui since 2002. The classes are small, which provides students concentrated attention from the instructor. 

Pilates Maui also offers the opportunity to take your practice outdoors and onto a stand up paddleboard! This exciting class is designed to develop strength on an unstable surface and gets you out on the beautiful ocean! Offering a variety of one-time and package prices to fit your needs, you’re sure to find the perfect option to stay fit on your vacation!

 

Hiking in Haleakala State Park

 

There is no better way to break a sweat than to hike Haleakala National Park! This dormant and beautiful volcano crater is the perfect place to get in your daily burn. The summit area has over 30 miles of hiking trails that range from 10 minutes to multi-day and overnight trips.  

If you dare to get up before the sun, the summit of Haleakala National Park is one of the best places in the world to see the night sky. If you start your hike early enough, you can watch the magnificent sunrise from the gorgeous peaks!

 

 

Running the Wailea Beach Walk

 

Enjoy the ocean breeze while you go for a run or brisk walk along the coastline of Maui. This scenic path runs along the oceanside of hotels but is open to the public. Offering 1.65 miles in total, it’s perfect for walkers, runners and strollers. Taking you past five crescent-shaped beaches, you will see stunning views of the fours islands, West Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Molokini.

You might even catch sight of humpback whales or sea turtles, as the sparkling blue waters along the path are abundant with sea life. There is also an option to go 3.29 miles using the loop of Wailea Alanui Drive, which includes some hills, perfect for leg day! If you run up an appetite, you are only steps away from a cup of coffee and something to eat. After your workout, take a dip into the ocean to cool off!

 

Snorkeling at Makena State Park

Snorkeling Maui, Snorkeling Hawaii, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

What better way to get in your work out than to tour the gorgeous waters of the Pacific Ocean! Makena State Park is home to world-famous beaches and numerous hiking paths. Turtle Town is the long stretch of coastline between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach and offers world-class snorkeling.

The calm blue waters are abundant with coral reefs, fish and other marine life. Snorkeling is best in the morning when the water is calm and as the name suggests, Turtle Town is known for it’s high population of green sea turtles!

 

SUP Boarding

 

Although it might look easy, Stand Up Paddling is actually a great workout! The birthplace of SUP, Maui is the perfect place for beginners and experienced SUPers alike! Whether you are looking for a full-body workout or just want to leisurely paddle around, SUP boarding is a low impact sport that is easy to learn and a great calorie burner. 

Need lessons? Check out Maui Stand Up Paddle Boarding for guided tours and gear rentals.

 

Cross Fit

 

Missing your WOD from back home? You will find plenty of cross fit gyms on the Island of Maui! Start your vacation on a positive note and get sweaty while building long lasting relationships with local athletes as well as other visiting cross fitters.

There are plenty of gyms to choose from and if showing up is the hardest part, Cross Fit State of Mind has you covered and specializes in small-groups! 

Cross Fit of Maui teaches basic to advanced level classes in function exercise, conditioning, kettle ball training, and gymnastics. From working moms and business execs to college and pro athletes, you will work out among dedicated students who are extremely diverse.

Maui Extreme Cross Fit offers a personalized and high-quality instruction a both group and individual speeds to help you reach your peak athletic performance! 

Lahaina Crossfit is a great gym that  focuses on mind, body, and nutrition. This gym prides itself on the ability to give their CrossFit family (you!) all the fitness tools, motivation, and valuable information they can to help you find your Fit Body within! Lahaina Crossfit also offers guests of Exotic Estates $5 off the normal $25 session price!!

 

Classic Gym

 

SUP, Yoga, or Cross-fit not your style? There are plenty of great gyms in Maui that offer a wide variety of machines, classes, group fitness, personal training, and cycling.

Maui Powerhouse Gym was voted best gym in Maui and offers guest complimentary group fitness classes.

South Maui Fitness offers 24-hour access without contracts, which is perfect for locals and visitors.  South Maui Fitness also offers the best visitor rates on the area, highest quality personal training and private yoga! This is the perfect place ot break a sweat and keep your beach body looking great on your vacation. Click here for more information www.southmauifitness.com

Enjoy your vacation while feeling good about your body and mind. No matter how you choose to work out on your vacation, you will definitely be glad you did. For more information on where you can get in your daily work out, contact Exotic Estates today!

 

 

 

 

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Adventure Travel in Hawaii urn:uuid:463dd715-c681-7659-a527-92396061a30a 2017-01-30T14:58:18-07:00 Adventure Travel  in Hawaii

Some people enjoy their Hawaiian holiday while sunbathing on the beach or getting a massage by the pool of their luxury vacation home. If you are interested in a more heart-pumping adventure or just need to add some excitement to your vacation, you will appreciate all that Hawaii has to offer!

For those who seek exhilarating escapes in paradise, the team at Exotic Estates has compiled their favorite thrill-seeking adventures!

Extreme Helicopter Ride

 

Get a birds eye view of the most gorgeous paradise on earth! Let the wind blow through your hair as you experience Hawaii’s awe-inspiring and dramatic beauty. Imagine yourself zooming across paradise with front row seats to sparkling waterfalls, magical sea caves, and majestic emerald mountains.  If you are truly daring, take the helicopter tour that hovers just 500 feet above the lava and magma flows over Kilauea, or splash through the mist of Akaka falls on The Big Island. Wherever you choose to fly, you will never forget this exhilarating experience!

Scuba Diving

 

You haven’t seen Hawaii until you experience the magical world under the warm waters of paradise.  Whether you want to soar with Green Sea Turtles or come face-to-face with a shark, you can plunge into the clear Pacific waters off any island in Hawaii!

At Honaunau Bay, on The Big Island, the waters are calm and rich with marine life. You are sure to spot a sea turtle gliding through Honaunau’s bright blue waters.

If you are staying on Oahu, you will love to dive the accessible and family-friendly Hanauma Bay, where the clear waters are ample with reefs and colorful fish.

 

In Maui, you can enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving on the small island of Molokini, just south of the Maui coast. These waters are so abundant with sea life, that Molokini was named a State Marine Life and Bird Conservation District. 

In Kauai, Ke’e Beach is located on the north end, offering a protected lagoon that is ideal for snorkeling. Reefs located offshore provide a great setting for advanced scuba divers.

 

If you are looking for the ultimate underwater adventure, get up close and personal with the hunters of the ocean in a shark cage dive!  Experience the thrill of meeting sharks from the safety of a cage, as you will come face-to-face with the ocean’s most majestic hunters in their natural environment while submerged in the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. 

Most tours offered not only submerge you with these gigantic sea creatures, but they will also educate you with facts about shark biology and behavior, leaving you with a different perspective of these magnificent animals. 

Zip Lining

 

Sail over the lush and breezy forests and splash through magical waterfalls on a zip line! With numerous zip line tours offered on every island of Hawaii, you will find no shortage of this exciting and safe adventure!

Perfect for the entire family, you can soar over the Akaka falls on The Big Island, glide through Kualoa Ranch in Oahu, or soar through the canopies of Ka’anapali in Maui.

Kite Boarding

 

Have you ever dreamed of soaring across the water with the whales and dolphins of the Pacific? Take the trip of a lifetime on a tandem kite board on Maui’s North Shore. 

Developed in 2013, tandem kite boarding is a thrilling adventure and requires no previous experience. An exciting combination of paragliding and surfing, an experienced kite surfer can fly through the waters at up to 50 mph.

Whether you are 12 or 80 years old, you will love cruising effortlessly across tropical waters. With a pilot attached directly behind, you ride like a pro with the comfort of a professional leading the way. You might even get the chance to catch big air! Book your adventure here.

Skydiving

Hawaii Skydive, Hawaii Adventure, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

For the bravest thrill seekers, flying above the clouds and jumping out of high-speed airplane going 120mph is the ultimate adrenaline-charged experience! With only a few minutes of instruction, you can experience exhilarating free-fall as you drop from 12,000 feet with an instructor and enjoy the breathtaking views of Hawaii as you descend towards the earth together!

At Skydive Hawaii in Oahu, you can experience the highest tandem in Hawaii, which takes you to 20,000 feet above the earth! Even if you have already been skydiving, jumping over Hawaii is something you do not want to miss.  With some of the world’s most beautiful drop zones, you will get the chance of a lifetime to see every island as you float over the clouds in the surreal blue atmosphere.

The parachute slows your decent from 120mph to 15mph., where you will have a chance to relax and take in the breathtaking scenery on the ride back down to earth!

The Dole Plantation Maze

 

Looking for a tame adventure that the entire family can enjoy? Experience the world’s largest maze, The Dole Pineapple Plantation. This exciting maze stretches over three acres and includes nearly two and a half miles of paths through 14,000 tropical plants! If you are up for a challenge, the fastest finishers win a prize and enter into the history of Dole Plantation, with their names recorded on a sign at the maze’s entrance! Now that’s aMAZing!

 Snowboarding

For one of the most exceptional skiing or snowboarding experiences of your life, travel to The Big Island and soar down the snow-covered volcano of Mauna Kea, which means “White Mountain.”

Between late January and March you will catch the powder from atop this spectacular, nearly 14,000-foot mountain. With no lifts or snow grooming machines, you will need a four-wheel drive vehicle to get to the summit.  You will be one of the few to tell your friends that you shredded the mountain and the waves in one day after this adventure!

Surfing

Hawaii is the home of surfing and whether it’s your first time or you are an experienced waterman, catching some waves on your trip is a must!

Home to the most beautiful waves in the world; Hawaii offers surf spots all year round.  The surf in Hawaii gets big on the North Shores of the Islands during the winter season and on the South Shores of the Islands during the summer season.

In general, beginner and first time surfers will want to stick to the shores with the more mellow breaks. Your instructor will be able to assess the conditions and put you in the right break to ensure your safety and success!

The North Shore of Oahu actually provides great locations for all levels. Haleiwa Beach Park is located south of Puaena Point and is protected from the swells, though it can get heavy on the outside during the winter season and big sets can sneak up. However, typically, if people stay on the inside, Haleiwa offers perfect conditions for beginners.  

Some of the most famous spots for watching Pro’s on the North Shore are Waimea Bay, Banzai Pipeline, and Sunset Beach.  However, unless you are an advanced surfer you will want to stay clear of these large and fast waves and enjoy from the safety of the beach!

If you are staying on Maui, you will not want to miss one of the most famous surf spots in the world: Jaws – or Peahi by its Hawaiian name. With waves topping at 65 feet traveling 31 miles per hours, Jaws is most famous for tow-in surfing and only Pro’s dare to ride this wave!

 

On The Big Island, there are a few spots for beginners, most notably the bays around Kailua-Kona on the West shore, where you will find a Kahalu’u Bay. More experienced surfers can paddle out further to catch the bigger waves while beginners can catch small waves near the beach.  White Sands beach also offers small waves, which are perfect for first time surfers and body boarders. 

Adventures On Every Island!

Depending on which island you have booked your vacation home, there are so many exciting adventures to choose from. Whether you are diving through the sea or the air, you are sure to experience the thrill of a lifetime on the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

For more information on booking your vacation home and advice on local adventure activities, contact Exotic Estates today!

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Hawaii Destination Wedding Planning Guide - Detail urn:uuid:ebece890-a006-bd91-b860-cc46ac19e791 2017-01-30T14:57:43-07:00 Hawaii Destination Weddings

With year-round gorgeous weather, dramatic sunsets and world-class beaches, Hawaii is the PERFECT place to plan your destination wedding!

Ask the Experts  

If you have been toying with the idea of tying the knot in Hawaii, you’ll want to read this guide on planning your Hawaiian wedding on a private estate.  Offering ultimate solitude and the opportunity for maximum personalization, say goodbye to busy hotels and overbooked venues! At a private estate, you and your guests will have your own piece of paradise to celebrate your nuptials!

With the right planning, your estate wedding will be the event of a lifetime! We teamed up with one of Hawaii’s most prestigious and knowledgeable wedding planners, White Orchid Weddings, to offer you a how-to guide on getting hitched in the gorgeous Hawaiian Islands!

White Orchid Weddings is an award-winning agency known for their attention to detail and has your wedding plans covered from flowers and cake to venue and transportation.

Hawaiian Destination Wedding How-To

We asked White Orchid Weddings (WOW) all of the questions you have been asking about planning your wedding in Hawaii:

EEI: What is the best time of year to come to Hawaii?

WOW: The best time to marry in Hawaii is any time! The mild weather in the Islands is one of the reasons Hawaii is so desired. We do however recommend either a morning celebration or sunset. During midday it can get quite warm.

 

EEI: What If it rains on our day?

WOW: Rain is considered a blessing in Hawaii, but not necessarily what you may want to see. While your vision of a lovely ceremony in Hawaii’s sunshine with a dinner under the stars to follow might be what you are seeking, it would be prudent to have a back up plan in order.

 

EEI: How far in advance is your average client booking locations?

WOW: Booking location early is very important. Hawaii has a limited amount of venues and often they are completely booked one year in advance. I would recommend you try to secure your venue as early as possible to allow yourself an array of options. Most clients book from 6-9 months ahead.

 

EEI: What would a good budget be for a 30 person daytime outdoor wedding with a dinner served under a tent in a yard?

WOW: We are often asked, “What can I expect to budget for my wedding?” This is completely a variable based on what you wish to offer for your special day.  The main categories for expense will be catering, site fees, rentals, entertainment, transportation, photography, video and florals. It's possible to plan a wedding for as low as $15k, but planning between $25k-$50k depending on a couples level of customization is more realistic. Your wedding coordinator should be able to provide you with a sample budget prior to booking your event so that you can make a decision based on some real numbers.

EEI: What is the best day of the week to have wedding?

WOW: The best day of the week to have a wedding is likely a weekday if you are holding a destination wedding.  Location site fees are often discounted for weekdays and vendor availability is higher. Monday-Wednesday especially.

EEI: How long before our wedding should we arrive in Hawaii?

WOW: I would highly recommend you arrive in the Islands at least four days prior to your wedding day. You will need to have a scheduled marriage license appointment prior to your wedding day. You will also have the time for a few details such as; a pre-wedding consultation with your coordinator, a wedding rehearsal, gown and attire pressing, manicure/pedicures, trial hairstyling, pre-wedding activities such as a welcome celebration & rehearsal dinner. You may also need time to acclimate to the time change depending on where you might be traveling from and perhaps indulge in a little spa time to calm any last minute jitters and feel your very best!

EEI: Should my dress be more casual? What should our guests wear?

WOW: Your attire is certainly a personal decision. We recommend that you keep in mind the temperature of the islands so as not to select perhaps a fabric that will not breathe. Most Brides and Bridesmaids select strapless or short-sleeved gowns or dresses while Grooms and Groomsmen are best in lightweight suits or if more casual even slacks and a nice shirt will do even without the jacket. Guest are often invited to dress island casual, however it really depends on the formality of your event and the venue you select.

EEI: Can we use our own vendors?

WOW: When working with a wedding coordinator you should be offered a few vendors for each category of service to suit your needs. Often coordinators will have a “preferred vendor list” or at least recommend their preferred vendors, which have been handpicked for a reason. Choosing your professionals is very important. You can easily check the Better Business Bureau, chamber of commerce or the Hawaii visitor’s bureau for local credentials. The length of time the business has been established is also a clue as to the credibility of a vendor. Beware, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Ask your coordinator for candid reviews and the pros and cons of vendors you are considering.

 

EEI: Do we need a wedding rehearsal?

WOW: A wedding rehearsal is always advised unless it is a very intimate celebration. Do note that a rehearsal usually does have a fee and for your officiate to also be present they may also charge a fee.

 

EEI: Are there any requirements to get married in Hawaii?

WOW: It is quite easy to get married in the State of Hawaii. You will need a legal license that must be issued in person to the two of you here in the Islands. This document must be presented to a licensed officiate prior to your ceremony and he will process this through the State of Hawaii. It is valid to up to 30 days. For specific questions you should contact the State of Hawaii, Department of Health. They also have an on-line application that you can complete prior to your arrival to expedite the service. There are marriage licensing agents across the state for your convenience, your event coordinator will arrange for this meeting in advance. There is presently a fee of $70.00 for the licensing. Same-sex marriages are also legal in the state of Hawaii.

 

EEI: Should we plan events for the entire weekend?

WOW: Often a couple will plan a week-long itinerary for events that are wonderful for incoming guests. Our clients will usually offer a casual ‘meet and greet’ welcome reception, a rehearsal dinner, the wedding and perhaps a post wedding brunch.  Some will add island activities with the group such a snorkeling, a luau, surf day, zip-lining or perhaps another fun activity as well. Bear in mind however that people want their free time too, so over scheduling can be a no-no.

 

EEI: Should we mail our invites earlier?

WOW: When hosting a destination wedding you will want to send out a ‘save the date’ announcement prior to the wedding invitation. This way you will get a much better gage on who will likely attend you event. This should go out 6 months prior to your wedding date if possible. The wedding invites should go out 3 months prior if possible. The earlier the better.

 

EEI: How should we transport our guests to and from the venue?

WOW: Transportation is critical. Do budget to have your guests transported via limousine, private charter or shuttles. If guests do want to indulge you will not want to have anyone unsafe on the island roadways. Many private venues will require this service as well.

 

EEI: Should we mail items to the venue?

WOW: Mailing items prior to arrival so as not to have hand carry them is not a problem. It is recommended you send these to your wedding coordinator to accept and verify receipt. You should NOT send these to a venue you have rented for your event, as they will most likely not store these for you and perhaps refuse the shipment all together. For large resorts and hotels you will need to connect directly with them but do bear in mind you should be very specific about the details of what you are doing and making sure you have management approve this. We always suggest you hand carry your attire with you.

EEI: Where should we plan our honeymoon?!

WOW: Hawaii boasts some of the most exquisite honeymoon spots in the world so why go anywhere else?! There is an array of options to choose from, each island has a uniqueness all its own. You may wish to “island-hop,’ which is a great way to see more than one of the Hawaiian islands and most island are a mere 30 minutes apart by air. There are convenient flight times daily!

Hosting Your Wedding at a Hawaiian Vacation Home

EEI: For those who want a private event in a home - what special factors should they consider - outside of making sure the home is permitted to host events?

WOW: Private estate events are often what a client requests. Each island has unique inventory that is available to you. It is best to speak with your planner about these options and perhaps check reviews to see what past clients experienced at these sites. There are restrictions with any and all private venues as well as public venues such as noise ordinances, shuttle needs, licensing of caterers, etc. Each venue will have their own set of rules and regulations; review these carefully prior to committing to any venue so you are clear on these.

The experts at White Orchid Weddings could not be more right about each island being different and venues being limited. Exotic Estates works with many clients who want to rent a home and host their wedding on the property. This makes it a lot easier on the couple and wedding party.  

However, it’s important to work with both your vacation rental agency and your planners to ensure that you follow the guidelines established by each home. There are event fees and rules that must be followed, such as no glassware at some homes to ensure that broken glass does not end up in the pool. That said, there certainly are options and the results can be spectacular.

Now, here are some gorgeous options for hosting you destination wedding in Hawaii!

Gorgeous Hawaiian Estates for Your Wedding Ceremony 

Exotic Estate boasts a beautiful collection of private estates for your Hawaiian wedding.  Take a tour below of just a few of our most sought-after vacation homes. 

Bali Hai Hale 

Bali Hai Hale Wedding Ceremony, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Located in Kauai, Bali Hai Hale offers 6,000 sq. ft. of gorgeous tropical living, including a 1000 sq. ft. wrap-around lanai that your guests will love! It is nestled between Kauai's famous Secret Beach and the magnificently lush Kauai mountains. This estate also offers private beach access, and three acres of ultimate privacy for a beautiful ceremony under the warm Hawaiian Sun!

 

Oahu Wedding Estate 

Oahu Wedding, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Oahu Wedding Estate, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

With the ability to accommodate up to 200 guests, the aptly named Oahu Wedding Estate is perfect for all of your wedding celebrations! With over one acre of lush tropical paradise, this property boasts 10 bedrooms that can accommodate up to 41 people, which is ideal for accommodating family and friends. The stunning botanical gardens feature rare, exotic plants from around the world and will be the perfect background to your dream wedding.

 

Hale Ohana 

Private Wedding Estate Hawaii, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

The gem is located on the North Shore of Oahu. Hale Ohana, which means “House of The Family,” is truly an elegant estate. Sitting beachfront, you will have the most spectacular background when you exchange your vows. Only moments away from the famous North Shore surfing beaches, this vacation home is perfect for a wedding in paradise!

 

Rainbow Falls Estate

Rainbow Falls Estate Destination Wedding, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This Big Island mansion boasts a waterfall view from every room and terrace, offering picture-perfect scenery for your nuptials! With over 8,100 square feet of luxury, this vacation rental is perched on a cliff along the Hamakua Coast, giving you and your guests the ultimate romantic and private experience.

Puako Robinson Estate 

Puako Robinson Estate Destination Wedding, Hawaii Wedding Guide, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

This private vacation rental rests on the beautiful shores of a protected bay in Puako.  Offering six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, you and your party will rest in ultimate luxury during your wedding celebration week! Boasting exquisite furnishings and a beautifully manicured tropical lawn, your wedding day will be the event of a lifetime at Puako Robinson Estate.

Plan Your Wedding at an Exotic Estate

Plan your special day with confidence at a private luxury estate. Book your exclusive vacation home today and experience the most luxurious and private wedding you have always dreamed of!

 

For more information on planning your dream wedding with White Orchid Weddings, call (808) 242-8697 or visit their website at http://www.whiteorchidwedding.com

 

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Exotic Estates Tour of Mega Luxury Vacation Rentals urn:uuid:eb646017-ed24-15c7-d4f0-2034656d1143 2017-01-30T14:56:19-07:00 Luxury Vacation Planning with Mega Mansions from Hawaii to Mexico

Exotic Estates was founded in the beautiful islands of Hawaii to provide discerning travelers with a curated collection of exceptional vacation rentals. Starting with only one luxury rental, our home collection has grown to 500+ exquisite vacation rentals across several in-demand destinations. 

If you are looking for the ultimate lavish vacation home, let us take you on a tour of the Exotic Estates collection of Mega Luxury Vacation Rentals! We have carefully procured these gorgeous homes to provide our guests with ultimate indulgence when choosing your next holiday. From Maui to Costa Rica to Mexico, we will introduce you to a few of the most prestigious mega luxury rentals in our impeccable collection!

Gemini Palace – Oahu

Starting our tour on the gorgeous island of Oahu in Hawaii, one of the most stunning of our collection is the Gemini Palace. Oahu is both vivacious and laid back, a tropical paradise that allows you to be as active or as relaxed as you wish! Gemini Palace is one the most striking and contemporary executive beachfront estates on world-renowned Kailua Beach.

Constructed in 2008, the estate features two homes (main house and guest house) separated by a resort-style pool with elegant umbrellas and lounge furnishings. Other features include a steam sauna, movie theater, beautiful manicured yard and pristine sandy beach access.

Gemini Place Oahu Hawaii

Every part of the two homes, impressively designed with striking hardwood and granite is designed to allow the most discriminating guests to feel satisfied and luxuriate. Enjoy breathtaking views from private lanais, remote controlled curtains, beautiful interiors and spacious bathrooms with hot tubs.

The main kitchen area is extremely elegant with a custom-shaped dining table, elegant chandelier lighting, full kitchen with stainless steel appliances and an open attached living room, which all open through sliding glass doors onto the spacious yard and glittering ocean!

You are sure to feel like celebs in this mega luxury vacation home!

Black Rock Estate - Maui

If you are planning the ultimate luxury getaway on the picturesque island of Maui, you will want to check-out at the magnificent mega-luxury rental, Black Rock Estate.

Black Rock Estate Vacation Home Maui

This phenomenal 11,000 square foot home in Kaanapali, Maui is located on one acre of beachfront perfection. Upon entering this estate, you will be welcomed into a fantasy vacation world echoing Balinese and Hawaiian themes.

All parts of the Black Rock Estate are outrageously beautiful, creating a new standard in luxury estate living. Black Rock Estate can comfortably accommodate up to 16 guests, so you can invite all of your family and friends to this beautiful property in paradise. 

This home offers a total of eight bedrooms and the indoor space is outfitted with a spacious gourmet kitchen, two private dens, a game room, library and a wet bar, a media room, an indoor gym, a fully equipped security system, and gated entry with a secure three-car garage and a tarmac. 

The outdoor living space is truly sublime, with numerous Bali-style outdoor lounge areas, a private cabana that beckons as an ideal sport for a relaxing vacation massage, a gorgeous swimming pool and spa Jacuzzi area, and one of the best views of West Maui from all vantage points.

Set beachfront, enjoy open-aired access to all parts of this home, and revel in awaking to the melodic sounds of rolling waves, and palm tree leaves dancing in the wind. Bask in the unrivaled elements of exquisite estate living, at the Black Rock Estate!

Rainbow Falls Estate – Big Island of Hawaii

Enjoy the majestic waterfalls of the Big Island at Rainbow Falls Estate!

Saving the most exquisite of vacation rentals in Hawaii for last, let us give you a tour of Rainbow Falls. This mega mansion showcases the best in luxury living and was handpicked by Exotic Estates.

Rainbow Falls Estate Mega Mansion

Rainbow Falls is perched on a cliff along the Hamakua Coast in Ninole, Hawaii.The property gets its name from the incredible double waterfall that is on view from every room. Every day, rainbows seem to end at these glorious falls, bestowing a blessing on the land and its guests.

Rainbow Falls boasts its own golf course, an Olympic-sized 16 ft. deep swimming pool complete with two-story waterslide and 21 ft. diving platform, and a tennis and basketball court with ample spectator seating.

While designed for a family, the home is also ideal for corporate retreats and the ultimate destination wedding in Hawaii, with plenty of space on the grounds for a fabulous wedding experience!

The entire complex is over nine acres, with nearly 10,000 sq. ft. under roof. Highly desirable materials such as Italian Travertine marble have been used in designing the home.

The main home offers 8,100 sq. ft. of luxury living, with five bedrooms and six full and two half baths. There is accommodation for 12 lucky guests to stay overnight on the property, in comfortable bedrooms, each with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and enchanting waterfalls that flank the property. 

Casa Tres Cervezas – San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Traveling to the romantic and tranquil town of San Miguel you will find the unique and luxury villa complex, Casa Tres Cervezas.

Four different properties have been combined to create this 8,000 square foot, one-of-a-kind luxury vacation estate. The owner’s appreciation for exquisite local and international craft and artisanal detail is seen in the home’s indoor and outdoor spaces alike – it has taken a team of artists and designers five years to complete. Updated with every modern convenience while maintaining the property’s Old-World atmosphere, your comfort is assured.   

Casa Tres Cervezas Mansion San Miguel

Casa Tres Cervezas is only a couple blocks from the historic central square in San Miguel de Allende, with its centuries old buildings and churches, folk-art-filled shops, and trendy restaurants and cafes, Casa Tres Cervezas is a peaceful oasis in the hustle and bustle of town.     

Cantera stone walls and columns throughout the property have been hand carved and sculpted in intricate designs by Mexican craftsmen whose families have passed their skills on for generations. The estate’s swimming pool and spa are in their own garden courtyard and there is spacious exercise room for yoga. Fully staffed, Casa Tres Cervezas includes an on-site bilingual concierge, a private chef, housekeepers, and gardeners. 

Self indulge at the beautiful mega luxury home of Tres Cervezas!

Villa Guanacaste – Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Finally, we take you to the heart of Central America where you will find the sumptuous mega luxury rental, Villa Guanacaste.

Villa Guanacaste Mega Mansion Costa Rica

Villa Guanacaste is a luxurious mansion in the Costa Rican Pacific Coast village of Playa del Coco. This mega-luxury villa is run like a mini hotel: an elegant private vacation home rental with hotel-like services. Prices include three à la carte meals per day and full staff service, including an indulgent swim-up bar service at the home’s wonderful pool.

Overlooking the charming village of Playa del Coco and the Gulf of Papagayo, this two-story mansion is designed to offer solitude, ocean views and the ultimate secluded retreat for vacationers seeking a mega-luxury home experience. The vast Villa features eight luxurious bedrooms, each with en-suite bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, safe deposit boxes and either private balcony or direct terrace area access. 

On the first floor, there are two spacious bedrooms that open directly onto the pool patio. Upstairs there are five bedrooms, each with its own balcony. The luxurious master bedroom comes a giant en-suite bath, complete with oversized rainfall shower and a private whirlpool tub. 

Capable of hosting up to 25 guests, this mansion is ideal for special birthdays, anniversaries and even small weddings. What makes Villa Guanacaste so unique is the unparalleled service. At this villa, you literally just need to bring yourselves, as everything is already here! 

Discover Ultimate Luxury Rentals at Exotic Estates

Here at Exotic Estates, we have collected these Mega Luxury Vacation Rentals to fit your lifestyle and rental needs.  It is our goal to cater to our guests, bringing you the finest vacation homes from around the world. We cordially invite you to continue the tour of beautiful luxury rentals today!

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Exotic Estates Expands Big Island Vacation Rentals urn:uuid:bb4879e4-106e-54fb-5d6b-788f315e794d 2017-01-30T14:55:42-07:00 Exotic Estates Brings You Luxurious Big Island Vacation Rentals

As a leader in the luxury vacation rental industry, we are always striving to bring you the most luxurious and well-appointed homes to accommodate you everywhere around the world.  In an effort to continue to offer you  high-quality, inspected vacation rentals throughout Hawaii, we have experienced prominent expansion to The Big Island.

The youngest and biggest of the Hawaiian Islands, The Big Island is extraordinary for more than just its size. A land of fiery volcanoes and sparkling waterfalls, there is no shortage of activities in Hawai’i.  With eight-climate zones, the Big Island is one of the most ecologically diverse travel destinations in the world!

Hawaii's Largest Island with Amazing Natural Wonders

Famously known for Kilauea Volcano that is currently active and in a constant state of eruption, the island actually continues to grow each day, due to fresh lava pouring into the Pacific at a constant rate. There are miles of hiking trails through smoking craters, rainforest, and desert, giving you first-row seats to a glowing lava lake, secluded beaches and ancient petroglyphs carved into hardened lava!

The tallest mountain in Hawaii is Mauna Kea, rising to an astounding 13,796 feet.  For one of the most unique skiing or snowboarding experiences, consider a trip from late January through March. You could have the opportunity to shred Mauna Kea, which literally means “White Mountain.” The summit is also home to the famous Keck telescopes and once the sun goes down in Mauna Kea, the stars come out leaving a breathtaking night sky. With the world’s clearest stargazing above, you will be left with an unforgettable experience!

Take a drive through the lush rainforest, to see the magical 420ft ‘Akaka falls. Most impressive during the rainy season, the falls spill ferociously over the luxuriant cliff side, sure to be the most gorgeous waterfall you have ever seen!

If you are looking for an underwater adventure that tops the rest, you can schedule a Manta Ray night dive.  With the growing popularity of diving with Mantas, you can be sure to escape the crowds of the day by getting up close and personal in the darkness.  Get ready for an electrifying experience! Once you turn on your lights to attract The Pacific manta rays, you will be immersed in the beautiful performance of these elegant and graceful animals.

When is comes to golf courses, the Big Island does it right! The Big Island is known as the golf capital of the state of Hawaii,  with some of the most exciting beach-side golf in the world! With courses for every level of experience, the Big Island is perfect for aficionados and enthusiasts alike.  Also, some courses are carved out of ancient lava flows, so you will get to experience the most remarkable coastlines in the Pacific.

Exotic Estates Adds 30 Big Island Vacation Homes

With so many activities and sights to see on the Big Island, we are excited to be representing 30 homes across the popular Kohala and Kona areas on the west side of the Big Island, with vacation homes and villas in the resort areas of Hualalai, Kamuela, Mauna Kea, Mauna Lani, and Puako.  The properties we have added range in pricing and size, with some located directly on famous Big Island golf courses, providing you with a wide-variety of rental options.

Rainbow Falls - Prestige Big Island Vacation Estate

The centerpiece of our expansion is most notably Rainbow Falls Estate, one of Hawaii’s most prestigious new vacation homes!  Situated on nearly 10 acres of cliff-side land in Ninole and overlooking two majestic waterfalls that cascade into the Pacific Ocean, the Estate boasts its own golf course, Olympic-size pool and stadium-style tennis court. The property also allows guests to host events, such as weddings and corporate retreats.

Exotic Big Island Villas, Big Island Vacation Homes, Justin Bieber Vacation, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

“We are very proud to be representing a home of the caliber of Rainbow Falls,” says Tyler Coons, the company’s founder. “The property simply offers our clients the highest level of luxury vacation rental in Hawaii.”

A true gem added to our inventory is Opal Seas at Puako. This Big Island vacation home offers a tropical retreat that showcases the best of Hawaii and is perfect for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, with four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Hawaii’s perfect year-round weather allows you to escape to the endless summer of the Kohala Coast, one of the sunniest spots in all Hawaii. Designed to inspire, the beauty of Opals Seas and Puako connects you with the surrounding environment with 3,000 sq. feet of lanais.

Exotic Estates Big Island Opal Seas Vacation Home

Another gorgeous vacation rental that we have added to our Big Island collection lives at Mauna Kea Resort: Mauna Kea Enchantment Villa. This spacious abode is sure to please the entire family, as it’s placed in a private area of the Mauna Kea Fairways, which is perfect for golf enthusiasts! With room for eight people, this four-bedroom luxury villa offers 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean, Big Island mountains, and the island of Maui.

Exotic Estates Big Island Mauna Kea Enchantment Villa Vacation Home

With so many luxurious vacation rentals for every price range, the Big Island is a true contender when traveling to Hawaii. Whether you are looking for adventure or a peaceful getaway, the Big Island is perfect for your next holiday in paradise. We are pleased to invite you to take a look at Exotic Estates’ collection Big Island vacation rentals today!

 

 

 
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Hawaii New Year's Eve Fireworks & January Events in Maui urn:uuid:79441a73-0bc1-7b48-1bdb-04d2dd8221c6 2016-10-17T23:59:49-07:00 New Year’s Eve Fireworks Across Hawaii

Oahu – go to Waikiki for New Year’s Eve Fireworks starting at 11:55 pm.
Maui – go down to Wailea for the largest show on the island of Maui. 
Kauai – go down to Poipu for the best show on Kauai. 
Big Island – fireworks tend to sponsored by hotels. There are shows hosted by the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, the Sheraton in Kona and at the Fairmont Orchid. 

Maui & Lanai January 2016 Events

PGA Hyndai Tournament of Champions 

It’s time in Maui for the PGA Hyndai Tournament of Champions. The Tournament runs from January 7th through 10th at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, on West Maui. The winning prize is $1,180,000 and the total purse is $5,900,000. 

4th Annual Willie K BBQ and Bluesfest Event

The 4th annual Willie K BBQ and Bluesfest Event is happening January 8th and 9th. Locals and visitors alike are welcome to attend. This year, the event will raise money for the Maui Office of the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii. Kidney disease as a growing issue on Maui and throughout the state of Hawaii. The event takes place at the King Kamehameha Golf Club, 2500 Honoapiilani Hwy, in Wailuku. 

Tea Ceremony - Chado Urasenke Tankokai 

Welcome the New Year with an ancient tradition - Maui Association's Hatsudate, the First Tea of the New Year! The event takes place on January 10th at 2:00 p.m. at the Rinzai Zen Mission in Baldwin Beach Park, in Paia on Maui’s North Shore. Call 808-579-9246 for more info.

New Shanghai Circus

Enjoy a day of daring acrobats, jugglers, balance artists, and contortionists when China’s New Shanghai Circus performs on Monday, January 18, 2016; 4:00 pm & 7:30 p.m. The Circus takes place at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center and Castle Theater. Their acrobatic skills are legendary! Contact www.mauiarts.org for more info.

Run and Walk for the Whales

Maui is famous for its whale watching. This event will go towards conservation. There will be a half marathon, 10 km run, 5K run, and a 2.5 mile walk. The event takes place on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. Come support the effort at the Pacific Whale Foundation's Ocean Store at the Ma'alaea Harbor Shops, 300 Maalaea Road, Suite 211, Wailuku.

Mochi Pounding & Making on Lanai!

This is a unique Lanai New Year's tradition. Mochi is a Japanese treat. If you are on Lanai, meet in front of the Hotel Lanai, on January 1, 2016 at 10:00 am. This is a free community event. You can to try fresh mochi or even help in pounding and making your very own batch! The special rice used is a symbol of prosperity. The event takes place in the front of the Hotel Lanai near the Lana'i Culture & Heritage Center. Call for more info: 808 565-7177.

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Hiring a Private Chef on Maui urn:uuid:12aea231-c91e-0841-269c-3f0988178c26 2016-08-29T17:09:29-07:00 Hiring a Private Chef on Maui

Hiring a private chef to cook a meal for you in your vacation home is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion, or just enjoy a fabulous night with friends and family. There are usually many catering options in popular vacation destinations, however, some are better than others.

To help answer some of the most common questions about hiring private chefs, we reached out to Marluy Andrade and Daniel Radovcich, co-owners of The Beast & Spoon, one of the best private chef services on Maui. Here below they tell us the kind of services that they provide as well as an idea of pricing. 

1. Briefly tell us about The Beast & Spoon.

The Beast & Spoon is the brainchild of two foodie-best-friends that quit their corporate jobs in NYC to create a personalized and unique personal chef service on Maui.

2. Do you offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus? 

Yes, we focus on every opportunity to eat, and are passionate about cooking to our clients’ desire.

3. Do you offer both set menus and personally tailored options? And can you accommodate special diets including food allergies? 

The menus were inspired by NYC’s magnetic food culture and infused with local Hawaiian ingredients.  Since we understand that food is subjective and everyone has different needs, our first step is a menu consultation with Chef Daniel - where each menu is tailored to their specific needs including full customization for all dietary restrictions.

4. Will you go to people’s vacation homes and prepare meals or do you cook before and bring the food to the home? 

Our focus is on the art-form.  We arrive about two hours in advance to fire everything on the spot. We feel that most ingredients only have a tiny window of perfection.

5.  If cooking in the home, do you bring cooking and service tools or do people need to make sure they have things on hand? 

Most homes that we operate in have incredible state-of-the-art kitchens. But to ensure flawless execution we have a log of each property and bring tools that they might not have (salad spinner, platters, etc). We ALWAYS bring our own knives though.

6. Do you serve the food are you able to arrange for servers? 

Every dinner party is executed by at least one chef and one server. For larger parties, we bring as much help as necessary for smooth operations.

7. How does your pricing work?  For example, do you have set menu pricing and pricing for tailored menus? 

We try to simplify pricing by charging a “per person fee.” It ranges from $100-$300. Keiki under 14 years old are complimentary. Tailored menus are welcomed at no additional cost.

8. To give us an idea, what would the price range be for a three course dinner menu for a family of five? Can you give us a range of rates that would include an appetizer, main course and dessert?  

A 3 course dinner, served “family-style”, for a party of 5 is $150/person or $750 plus tax. This includes one appetizer, two proteins, two sides and one dessert.

A 3 course dinner, served “plated”, for a party of 5 is $200/person or $1000 plus tax. This includes one appetizer, two choices of entree and one dessert.

9. What about catering a holiday meal? Do you offer a set holiday menu with favorites like turkey or ham?  

Yes, our holiday menu includes leg of lamb and local pheasant, as well as turkey and ham.

10. Some people will be traveling to Maui for New Year’s Eve. Is there a menu of hors d'oeuvres that are offered for people having holiday parties? How would it be priced – by person?  

Our hors d'oeuvres menu is sublime. It is $100/person with a $1500 minimum during the holidays and includes about 6 different dishes. 

11. How far in advance do you recommend people plan to book private chef services? 

3 weeks ahead for most of the year, except holidays, which should be booked 3 months in advance to secure the dates you want.

12. What parts of the island do you serve? 

We serve all of Maui.

13. Any other tips that you can give people who may not be familiar with using a private chef or caterer? 

Be prepared to share the dietary wishes of the entire party. Have an open mind about taking advantage of the local ingredients offered in Hawaii, versus ordering traditional dishes that need to be flown in. Don’t be shy about requesting exactly what you want...Chef Daniel was classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu and can cook anything.

Thank you to The Beast & Spoon for giving us such valuble insights. Check out their website for more information and to plan your special meal before you get to Maui!

http://www.thebeastandspoon.com/

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Two Maui Destinations Make Favorite List urn:uuid:38eb4993-e940-7911-2b43-4054c17eb4ed 2017-01-30T14:53:31-07:00 Maui Consistently Top World Destination 

Trivago, which claims to be the world’s largest hotel website, has published its top 50 list of the best places to stay in the US, according to a survey of its users.

The results have Lahaina in the 7th position and Kihei in the 34th position. Another Hawaii destination, Volcano, on the Big Island, was in the 4th position.

Regardless of the metrics in this survey, Maui has consistently ranked as a the top US destination for years. It’s been the favorite in Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast and countless other polls, countless times.

The reason for the island’s popularity is easy to understand.

Maui Climate

Daytime average temperatures range between 79 in January and 86 degrees in the summer. While you are not guaranteed sun, as it does rain on Maui, you are guaranteed warmth. This makes planning a warm weather escape a sure thing.

Maui Top Destination, Maui Beach, Maui Vacation Rental, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Varied Terrain

Maui, like other Hawaiian islands, is large and offers varied terrain from mountains to tropical sea. There are also unique geographical features such as Haleakala Crater, which is a natural wonder. Moreover, the ocean around Maui boasts abundant sea life and places to dive, snorkel and surf. During the winter you have incredible whale watching as the humpback whales come there to raise their young.

Culture and Entertainment

Maui is a quiet island with beautiful communities, wild landscapes, world-class golf course communities and excellent entertainment and dining options. The areas of Lahaina, Kaanapali and Wailea have amazing restaurants and musical venues. Also, Lahaina and Wailea in particular have incredible galleries, so art lovers can purchase unique pieces from known artists. I think it is safe to say that you will find a sort of relaxed sophistication here on Maui that you don't find on the other islands.

Maui Lodging

Maui, perhaps more than any other Hawaiian island, has varied accommodations, from classic beachfront resorts to luxury vacation rentals, like the ones represented by Exotic Estates. Maui is a popular place for those looking to rent vacation homes perhaps because it is such a popular escape for families and repeat Hawaii visitors. Often, people will come to visit Maui, fall in love, and come back looking for a more familial and relaxing experience that is less about running around to see things and more about just enjoying the relaxing lifestyle – feeling and living like locals.

Maui Lodging, Maui Villas, Maui Vacation Rentals, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

Whatever the motivation, Maui is and will continue to be considered one of the world’s greatest island destinations. Check out the many wonderful Exotic Estates vacation rentals on Maui.

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Hawaii Holiday Season 2015 urn:uuid:33fb2741-ad9b-a55f-56a6-e02c5ee80254 2016-10-19T21:17:05-07:00 No matter what your tradition, the holidays are special time of year even in tropical Hawaii.  Hawaiians celebrate the holidays in their special way, from tree-lighting ceremonies to international surfing tournaments.  The spirt of the season runs strong in the Islands. You’ll see Mele Kalikimaka, which is Hawaiian for Merry Christmas, all across Hawaii and feel the warmth of the season in a very special way.  

Honolulu City Lights

Each year Honolulu City Lights is an unofficial start of the holiday season that takes place around the historic downtown. There is a giant Christmas tree, lots of lights and plenty of festive displays. The kick-off is December 5th and includes the lighting of the City tree, food and lots of fun rides and activities for the keiki or kids. If you are on Oahu during the holidays be sure to make this event part of your experience.  

Billabong Pipe Masters

What better way to ring in the holiday season than watching the annual Pipe Master tournament held at the world-famous Banzai Pipeline the North Shore of Oahu. This annual surfing event, which began in 1970, brings the world’s best surfers to compete for the title of Champion and prize money. The contest takes place during December.  The event is the final contest in the Triple Crown of Surfing.

Lights on Rice Parade – Kauai

If you are spending the holidays on Kauai, the events and activities are smaller and quainter, in keeping with the quiet and laid-back-style of the island. There is the annual Lights on Rice parade that takes place in the town of Lihue. There are floats and lots of lights and a festive atmosphere to ring in the holiday season. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on December 4th.

Welcome Santa in an Outrigger Canoe – Waikiki & Kaanapali

If you have kids who want to see Santa, there are a couple wonderfully Hawaiian events for the entire family to enjoy. In Hawaii, Santa smartly trades in his sleigh for an outrigger canoe, a much more efficient and Hawaiian way to travel in the Islands! Young and old alike can enjoy a little holiday magic on the beach when Santa rides the rolling surf to the sands.

On Oahu, Santa lands on Waikiki Beach on December 12th at 9:00 am. On Maui, he arrives at Kaanapali Beach on December 19th at 3:30 p.m. Kids will be treated to a cookie and ornament decorating event.

 

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Vacation Obama Style! urn:uuid:6c6cabbe-6729-2acc-7a80-bd03192fc692 2017-01-30T14:54:17-07:00 John Di Rienzo
November 2, 2015

We have all seen the photos, the First Family on vacation frolicking on a beach in Barrack Obama’s homeland of Hawaii. But where exactly are they staying? Is it his family’s home or on loan from a friend? Is it available to the public and if so how much does it cost to stay there?

All around the world there are glorious residences that have either hosted famous guests or were owned by them. We are Hawaii specialists, so we will focus on two such homes here in Hawaii that are in our boutique collection of luxury homes.

The Obama Vacation Home – Kailua, Oahu

The first home is on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. The home is not the largest home in our collection nor is it largest in Kailua, where it’s located. It is however, one of the more private homes.

Obama Hawaii Vacation Villa Exotic Estates

The house is aptly called the Pacific White House Rental on our website. What makes this home so attractive to celebrities and Presidents, besides its luxurious features and epic beachfront views, is its location on a private road within a gated community. With space for four cars, you have room for a “celebrity-level” security entourage. Now, you may not need to have the Secret Service outside your door, but if you want to ensure a private and secure spot for you and your family, for whatever reason, this home has a lot of appeal.

Obama Hawaii Vacation Villa Exotic Estates

What you will get with the Pacific White House Rental is a large, single-level home with five (5) bedrooms and five and a half baths (5.5). There is a spectacular lagoon-style pool that is the centerpiece of the backyard, which has a Jacuzzi and waterfalls for an over-the-top Hawaiian vibe.  The yard runs right out to world-famous Kailua Beach so the ocean is just a short walk away.

The bedrooms are all regal, including one with a four poster bed. The home has a Great Room that offers arched ceilings and living and dining areas that can easily accommodate 10 people comfortably. You also have a media room with a huge flat screen TV. You can almost imagine the Obamas and the odd Secret Service agent hanging around playing games after dinner.  

if you're like the First Family and like to stay fit, the home features an exercise room with elipitcals and other gym-quality machines.

Obama Hawaii Vacation Villa Exotic Estates

Obama Hawaii Vacation Villa Exotic Estates

Obama Hawaii Vacation Villa Exotic Estates

What will it cost to sleep in the same bed that the President slept in? Pricing starts at $4,200 per night. But you can bring up to 10 of your closest friends and family with you to enjoy the ride!

The Paul Mitchell Estate – Kailua, Oahu

Our second home was owned by world-famous stylist, Paul Mitchell. Also located on Oahu, the Paul Mitchell Estate is more flamboyant and flashy  than the Pacific White House.

Paul Mitchell Vacation Villa Oahu Hawaii

The home is larger, with seven (7) bedrooms and seven (7) full and three (3) half baths, and can accommodate up to 14 guests in all.

Paul Mitchell built the estate, which would be his dream home, in the 1980s. The Estate sits on  coveted Lanikai Beach and takes full advantage of the views of the Mokulua Islands off of Kailua. The home has a unique and dramatic style that incorporates a lot of Hawaiian elements in the interior design. The Estate also has a fab pool with a waterfall and Jacuzzi.

Paul Mitchell Vacation Villa Pool Oahu Hawaii

Paul Mitchell Vacation Villa Beach Oahu Hawaii

Paul Mitchell Vacation Villa Bar Oahu Hawaii

With all of Paul Mitchell’s fabulous friends, one can only imagine the cast of characters that has enjoyed staying in the home.  To run in Paul Mitchell’s circle, prices start at $6,250 per night.

Both of these homes are fabulously located and appointed with all the luxuries you could want in a Hawaiian vacation home. Are they pricey – perhaps. But you only live once and if you are looking for a memorable stay in a home with a grand pedigree, then these properties more than fit the bill.

Paul Mitchell Vacation Villa Yard Oahu Hawaii

There are other homes in our collection that belong to famous people who prefer to fly under the radar, so you never know! If you ask our Villa Specialists, they may let you in on the secret!

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5 Best Vacation Rentals to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse urn:uuid:7906c0ed-ff2d-262c-53cd-9adf2108314e 2016-08-29T17:12:03-07:00 October 13, 2015

Ever watch the Walking Dead or a zombie flick and think, "why are they sheltering in that house?" This October, we’re getting into the spirit of the season. With a howling Halloween moon on the horizon and zombies back on the Sunday night TV lineup, we’re laying out five gorgeous vacation homes where you can shelter in total luxury and safety during a zombie apocalypse! 

1.    Cabarete Oceanfront Vacation Mansion – Cabarete, Dominican Republic

This Dominican Republic estate located on the northern coast of the island has got a lot going for it as a place to hide out during a zombie apocalypse. First, the estate is surrounded by a wall, so no zombie can come traipsing across your lawn and spoil an epic sun tan session. There is plenty of room for everyone in your group and a lagoon-style pool. Furthermore, it sits on a bluff overlooking the ocean, with a private staircase that goes down to the beach, providing a natural barrier and stunning vistas all at once! At the first sign of trouble, get yourself down to the always warm and balmy Dominican Republic! 

2.    Lahaina - Makena Hoku Luxury Rental - Maui 



The second vacation home on our list is Makena Hoku Luxury Rental in Lahaina Maui. If you’re going to wait out a zombie apocalypse, why not do it in gorgeous Maui? This luxury Maui vacation home is gated, so no “walkers” will be hassling you here. While you watch the rest of the world go to pot, you and your posse will be sitting pretty, enjoying your private pool, Jacuzzi tub and stunning Pacific Ocean views. Lahaina town is nearby for any necessary supply runs. You also have plenty of room here. There is a main home that has three spacious en-suite bedrooms, which can accommodate up to six guests. There is also a detached two-bedroom, one-bath cottage that can accommodate four additional survivors (guests). 

3.    Casa Tres Cervesas – San Miguel de Alende, Mexico 

Our third home is another ideal spot to seek chic shelter in a zombie apocalypse. Located in the jet-setter hot spot San Miguel de Alende, in Mexico, Casa Tres Cervesas is a private, luxury vacation compound located safely behind high street walls on a narrow cobblestone street. You enter this other-worldly vacation villa through a thick wooden door, so no unwanted guests can get inside this epic estate. Once inside, a private world of lavish gardens, colonnaded hallways, quiet courtyards, rooftop terraces and serene private spaces unfolds. Let the zombies have their day, you will be happy ensconced in your secure villa enjoying margaritas with your besties!

4.    Dali Hale - Kauai 



Our fourth home is lovely Dali Hale on Kauai. Located in the north of the Island, the home is an idyllic and luxurious fortress in which ride out a zombie apocalypse. With seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms set on three acres of prime tropical real estate, this home has plenty of room for your group to rest up and live life in total comfort. Of course it’s gated to keep out any unwanted clans and sits on a bluff, so it’s in a wonderfully defensive position. There’s also a fruit orchard just adjacent to the home, so you’ll never run out of tasty supplies! 

5.    Park City - Bel Air Luxury Estate - Park City, Utah


Our fifth home gives the advantage to those who prefer the beauty and natural safety of the mountains.  We like the security and visual appeal that the river running behind this stunning mountain estate affords the home. No zombies will be sneaking up on you from the back of the Bel Air Luxury Estate. Plus, with the stream, you’ve got flowing water and a place to splash around during the warmer months! Also, sitting on 214 acres, you are set way back and have lots of privacy for your clan, as well as plenty of land to build up defenses or a garden. With eight bedrooms, there is no reason why you can’t spend the apocalypse in absolute mountain luxury at Park City - Bel Air Luxury Estate! 

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Humpback Whales Have Returned to Hawaii! urn:uuid:ecc3a7b5-57c5-9b69-135f-37719f0d6684 2016-10-17T23:31:32-07:00 October 8, 2015

The humpback whales are back in Hawaii for the winter season!

Each year, during the winter months, two-thirds of all humpback whales in the North Pacific make their way to the blue, temperate waters of the Hawaiian Islands. They love Hawaii’s warm, clear Pacific waters, just like we humans do! For the humpbacks, Hawaii is a nursery, where they can give birth to calves and nurse their young through the winter season.

The official season is November to May, but the first whales have already been spotted offshore! If you are visiting the Islands during the season, consider this annual migration a unique and complimentary attraction offered up by Mother Nature.  Here follows our whale watching guide for Maui. You can see whales from the shore or book a whale-watching excursion and see them up close.

Whale Watching in Maui

1. Whale Watching Boat Trips

For those looking for the “up-close-and-personal” experience, a whale-watching boat trip is the way to go! Tour boats can approach humpback whales from as close as 100 yards away. Not only should you brace yourself for the spectacular show above the water, most boats offer the opportunity to hear the singing vocalization happening just beneath the surface via an underwater microphone. This is the ultimate in whale-watching experiences, and a must do for those looking for an unforgettable experience with this endangered species.

Local’s Tips:

1. Look for smaller boats, such as sailboats or catamarans, for an intimate experience away from the masses! Sailboats also offer a pristine experience on the ocean; feel the tranquil breeze, soak in the Hawaiian sunrays, all without the loud hum of large engines.

2. Start Early! We know not everyone is excited at the thought of rising early while on vacation, however early morning trips (as opposed to afternoon trips) ensure the least wind and smoothest ride for your excursion. Don’t forget, we do reside in the latest US time zone – so while 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. may sound early, your body will most likely feel as though it’s much later!

3. Prone to seasickness? Don’t forget the Dramamine, seasickness patches, and ginger in any form. Equally, if not more important than those, don’t forget to stand at the rail’s edge and keep your eyes on the horizon! This will help your equilibrium immensely. Be sure not to enclose yourself inside (say, a bathroom!) as this will amplify the effects of your seasickness. Lastly, if you do happen to get sick, aim for over the back railing (on the lower level if you’re on a two tier boat!), and don’t fret or be embarrassed, the crews are all quite accustomed to it.

2. Whale Watching from CLiffs or Lookout Points

Not a fan of being on a boat? Each island has a multitude of options for vantage points to view whale activity from land. These popular locations are often found cliff-side for an expansive ocean view. Get ready for the water show of a lifetime!

Local’s Tips:

1. Don’t forget your binoculars! While whale activity in Hawaii can be easily seen with the blind eye, you’ll wish you had a pair of specs handy to get detail only usually seen up close.

2. Most lookout points in Hawaii are located right off of main travel roads. Be sure to park as to not impede with road travel, and be extremely careful not to walk within roadways while exiting and entering your vehicle.

3. Stick to the road most travelled! Most known lookout points have clear markers, those without paved parking lots will have obvious beaten paths with flatter areas better for parking. Skip the urge to drive or venture into blocked or undesignated areas off of cliff-side roads! Often these areas are heavily rocky, unstable, and unsecured and pose an unassuming safety risk.

Along the same line, be cautious while standing and walking cliff-side. Stay within markers and away from the cliff’s edge while whale watching and taking photos. While our Hawaiian lava rocks may look very stable – they can easily scramble and breakaway without notice.

4. VOG (volcanic emissions of sulfur dioxide) can appear when our trade winds die down (it looks like smog to those unfamiliar), and can affect your visibility greatly while whale watching. If the weather appears “voggy” save your land-based whale watching for a clearer day. Keep an eye on the palms, when they start swaying again that VOG will blow right on out!

3. Watching from the Beach

Ready to get those toes in the warm Hawaiian sand? You can still soak up the views from the comfort of your beach chair!

Local’s Tips:

1. Just as before, don’t forget those binoculars for that perfect visual!

2. Aim to avoid busier beaches for more ambiance, and less shoreline activity that can detract from watching the horizon for a pod of whales!

3. Feeling adventurous? Paddle boarding is a great opportunity to enjoy one of our most popular ocean activities, while getting a great ocean view often with whale activity (it can occur much closer to shoreline that you may expect!).

Recommended Land-based Whale Watching Points - Maui

Maui is home to some of the best whale watching in the world. The ocean channel between West and South Maui is protected by Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains, setting the stage for endless visibility and shallow waters ideal for humpback whales.

Besides an on-the-ocean view while aboard a whale watching excursion, the below are some of Maui’s best known sites for whale watching.

1. McGregor Point (Honoapiilani Hwy, near Ma’alaea)

This point is home to the McGregor Point lighthouse and sweeping ocean views!

Directions: Between Mile Markers #7 and Mile Marker #8, off the Honoapiilani “Pali” Highway, there is an unimproved rocky road that leads to the point overlook.

2. Papawai Scenic Lookout (Honoapiilani Hwy, near Ma’alaea)

This is the easiest lookout on island to access, and almost impossible to miss!

Directions: While travelling Lahaina-bound on the Honoapiilani “Pali” Highway, near Mile Marker #8 a turning lane entering the paved lookout parking lot.

3. Olowalu Area Beaches and Roadside (South of Lahaina)

This entire area of shallow water just along the towering West Maui Mountains is wonderful for viewing whale activity on a clear day.

Whether you simply pull the car over, stop beachside for a dip, or join a kayak whale watch excursion in these waters – you’re likely in for quite the show!

Local’s Tips:

1.The sight of whale activity right offshore while driving is not uncommon here (especially in the Olowalu and Honoapiilani Highway areas)! We know it’s irresistible, but please be cognoscente and alert while driving. We like to call whale season “fender-bender” season, as distracted driving is the cause for many preventable accidents. Don’t waste your previous vacation day in the after affects of a vehicle collision – when in doubt, pull over to enjoy the view!

Mahalo and enjoy the show!

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Creepy Crawlies – Bugs Are a Fact of Life at Any Tropical Vacation Rental urn:uuid:fb806f2b-e516-788f-006f-70a2d10ac226 2016-03-04T00:34:44-07:00 September 24, 2015

Dealing with Reality of Bugs and Pests on Your Tropical Vacation

You’ve sat up late at night looking at the photos of your gorgeous beachfront luxury vacation rental in Maui, Oahu, Punta Cana or some other lush, green and balmy tropical paradise. The photos of the home are enticingly bright and cheery, staged with wine and cheese on the patio and bubbles in the Jacuzzi. But wait, what’s that little thing crawling in the corner over there in that otherwise perfectly art-directed tropical scene?

Tropical climates are a draw for all of us who live in more temperate zones. When the days get short and the temps drop, being able rent a vacation home or hotel room in some ever-sunny tropical land offers a welcome break from the drab days of winter.

But there are certain realities that come with visiting these sunnier and warmer climes. Whether you are renting a five bedroom luxury beachfront home in Maui or an epic gated Caribbean villa in Punta Cana, you will likely see or have to deal with creepy crawlies (aka pests) sharing your space at some point during your stay.

Pests are just a fact of life in the tropics. The lawns maybe perfectly manicured, the floors and surfaces impeccably clean, the sheets soft and plush, but make no mistake, you are not alone.

Costa Rica Bug Blizzard

Once, my family and I rented a beautiful, fully staffed vacation villa in Costa Rica. The home was impeccably maintained, and had live-in chefs as well as bar and cleaning staff. It was an amazing place, with a large yard and lush tropical foliage all around.

One evening, after a rain, the home was inundated by flying insects. There were so many swarming around the house that it looked like a blizzard in the outside lights. The bugs covered the veranda and, of course, more than a few made it inside before we locked everything down. But they were gone the next day for the most part. There were also large lizards and other funky creatures slinking about, but again, this just came with the territory and we carried on and had a great time. 

Good Luck Geckos - Not All Invadors Are Bad 

Most tropical places typically have lizards or geckos that sometimes love to hang around house walls. You should know that in many places, a gecko in the home is considered good luck, probably because they eat bugs. So don’t shoo them out if you happen to notice one scampering up a wall when you’re watching TV. Look at him as a protector of the fort.

There is No 100% Protection from Pests

Luxury vacation homes represented by reputable vacation rental agencies like Exotic Estates are vetted and cleaned from top to bottom after, and sometimes during, each visit, depending on the length of the stay. Of course, from time to time, the homes are also treated for pests. But no matter how much care the property manager gives the property, it will not eliminate the possibility of little visitors.

Consider, many homes come with outdoor pool and patio areas that flow seamlessly into the interior living spaces. As you enjoy the ease and pleasure of indoor/outdoor living, so too do the little critters who make the yard and landscape their home.

Weather Can Impact the Amount of Pests

Sometimes if there is unusually wet and damp weather, you will find more bugs hanging around. And almost everyone who has ever traveled or lived in a tropical place has experienced turning on a light in a dark room only to find a large insect sitting there out the open, staring right back at you. Most vacation home managers have even fielded frantic calls from guests who are not used to seeing tropical insects, which can be large, but there is little we or anyone can do. The manager can set up traps or spray, but truthfully, it simply comes with the territory.

There have been cases when unusually wet weather has also lead to a boom in the mouse population in an area. In these cases, one house can seem overrun while another nearby barely sees any increased presence at all. It’s fairly random, and if there is a serious issue, of course traps will be laid and pest management firms called. But often these scenarios are unforeseen and managed on the fly. A home can be fine when it’s inspected, and the next day be overrun when a guest arrives for check-in.

Know the Terms of Your Contract

Most vacation rental contracts will include a clause that specifically speaks to pests, and how the appearance of pests does not warrant refund or termination of the contract. This is simply because it is out of the manager’s control. Bugs, lizards and even little field mice are a normal part of life in many places and the people who live there accept them as a price of living in paradise.

Hence it is very important that you read and understand the terms of your agreement, as this will be final. You can ask for help in the form of a trap or perhaps some spray, but you will not get a refund.  

A Benefit of Working with Agencies

A benefit of working with an agency like Exotic Estates rather than going direct to an owner is that we have a collection of vetted homes. Sometimes, if you are very unhappy, or if some unusually “buggy” situation happens, your agency may be able to arrange (pending the cooperation of the owner) a move to another similarly priced property in the area. Be mindful, they are under no legal obligation to do so, but will always try their best to assist as a matter of customer service and goodwill. Nobody wants you to leave unsatisfied or feeling as though you did not receive the best service possible given any circumstance.

Facts of Tropical Life

Basically, when you rent a vacation home in a tropical place, even the most luxurious vacation villa, you may encounter a bug or two.

The bug can be a cute grasshopper or a scary looking centipede. Uusally, they pose no danger and are just a nuisance, but they can startle and will typically scamper off before you have to deal with them.

The bottom line is when you sign a contract to rent a home, you are essentially agreeing to become a resident in that place for the duration of your vacation, and that means accepting the realities of the ecosystem there, whether it be a beautiful song bird or a funky looking bug waiting for you on the veranda.

For most of us, the beauty of the tropics is worth the price of a few bugs on our vacation.

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Parky City News – Sundance 2016 and More! urn:uuid:4a113d51-4c32-cfcf-dbef-aacae1b41387 2016-11-02T14:47:39-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
September 10, 2015

Sundance Film Festival History

The Sundance Film Festival, connected and supported by actor Robert Redford since its founding in 1978, has become America’s leading festival for independent film. The website indiewire.com ranks Sundance as the second most important film festival in the world for indepedent film makers after Cannes in Fance!

Interestingly, the Festival started out in 1978 as a way to promote Utah to filmmakers, as the Utah/US Film Festival. The name was changed to Sundance, after Robert Redford’s character The Sundance Kid in the now famous film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in which he played opposite the great Paul Newman.

The Festival takes place every year in Utah, in Park City primarily, and other locations around the state. Sundance has a rich history of showcasing award-winning films over the years, many of which have gone to become classics. You are bound to see up-and-commers and established directors alike.

NEW 2016: First Come, First-Served Based Ticket Sales

This year, Sundance will no longer offer tickets via a lottery-type system, and will instead offer them for sale directly.

The festival will take place from January 21st – 31st this year. Festival packages will go on sale at noon Mountain Time, on October 14th.  For individual tickets, you will need to wait until January 19th, unless you are a Utah resident, in which case you can purchase starting on January 15th.

You can visit their website for more information: www.sundance.org.

Renting a Park City Home or Condo During Sundance

Not surprisingly, condos, ski homes and hotels are in high demand during the Sundance Film Festival period in Park City.

Not only are people drawn to this major film event, but the event takes place mid-winter, during the peak snow and ski season.

If you want to travel to Park City during this time to either attend the Festival or ski, you need to plan ahead, as groups related to the festival tend to book up homes far in advance.

You will certainly be rubbing shoulders with Hollywood elite, but you’ll also have to compete with them for housing!

PREMIUM RATES

Also, this is perhaps the priciest time of year to visit Park City. Expect rates to be at a premium and minimum stay requirements to be in place that cover the festival period. You will most likely be required to pay a security deposit up front, rather than simply providing a credit card at check-in.

Understandably, managers of the homes and condos in Park City will do everything they can to ensure that they do not end up with empty rooms during this high-demand time period.

If you do decide to go during Sundance, you’re sure to enjoy a bit of Hollywood in the mountains. Directors, actors and paparazzi make for a festive and glamourous scene, not to mention the awesome panel discussions that take place around screenings.

For film lovers, who also love to ski, Sundance is the best of both worlds. Now all you need to do is check out Exotic Estates’ Park City condos and homes and reserve yours before someone else does!

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Backcountry Skiing in Park City, Utah urn:uuid:c0f6965c-7f39-f49d-3ef8-30212ee54a7f 2016-11-02T14:51:10-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
Augist 28, 2015

 

We’ve all seen amazing footage of skiers blowing through fresh, deep powder and imagined the joy and freedom of skiing down pristine, unmarked slopes.  

It looks like expert-only territory and, in many cases, it is. However, options exist if you have at least a solid intermediate skiing or snowboarding skill level. If you can ski blue trails with total confidence and are looking for something a little more challenging and wild than the groomed runs of the resorts, then a backcountry ski day may be the perfect add-on to your ski vacation.

There are several backcountry ski guides and service providers located in and around the major ski resorts of Park City and Snowbird in Utah. The skiing and snow in these parts are world class, and the backcountry tour companies offer various ways to get you into virgin terrain, from Skinning (not for the unfit) to Snowcat Skiing and Heli-skiing.

We reached out to a few providers to get a sense of their services, what factors to take into consideration, such as skill level and weather concerns, advance booking recommendations and cost. These profiles should give you an idea of what options are available to you and what they will cost you.

Basically all of these services emphasize safety, including avalanche awareness and a high guide to guest ratio. Be aware that access to the backcountry is ultimately based on the viability of conditions, and if there is any risk of avalanche or inclement weather, your reservation will be moved to another day when the conditions are safer.

Powder Cats - Park City, Utah  - Snowcat Skiing

Website: http://pccats.com/
Phone: 435-649-6596

Located just 25 miles east of Park City, Utah, Powder Cats is a company that specializes in Snowcat Skiing. For those not familiar with the name, Snowcats are those giant machines that run up and down the runs at resorts and groom the trails, making what some call “corduroy snow.”

Powder Cats requires that all skiers be expert or advanced level, meaning that you must be able to comfortably ski or snowboard black diamond trails in Western resorts and be comfortable with ungroomed conditions.

They operate backcountry ski  tours on a private ranch in the Uinta Mountains called The Thousand Peaks Ranch. The Ranch offers over 4,000 acres of skiable terrain.

These powerful machines are outfitted to carry skiers, and are heated and quite comfortable in the passenger compartment. The Snowcats that Powder Cats uses can hold up to 12 people.

Your Typical Day with Powder Cats

You will drive or take a taxi from the Park City area over to their base cabin, which is about a 45 minute drive, to be at an orientation at 8:30 am. You will need to bring your powder skis or snowboard.

At the orientation, you will get a brief safety talk from your guides and operators. You will also be suited with avalanche transceivers as a precaution.

Once you are all oriented and geared up, you will get in the Cat for a 45 minute ride up to a ridge for your first run.

After that, it’s 15 – 20 minutes between laps. You will ski where the conditions are most ideal,

What kind of skiing can you expect? You will be taken open bowls and through trees at higher altitude. If conditions are not optimal, meaning weak or poor snowfall, there is plenty of north face skiing where the snow conditions are typically better.

When to Reserve Your Tour with Powder Cats

In terms of reserving your trip, at this moment (the end of August), their calendar is fairly open. There are only two Saturdays that booked full in February. They advise that weekends during February and March book up quickly, and by mid-January, all weekends in February are full. Weekdays do offer more flexibility.

They do offer private tours, when you have 10 – 12 people, and private tours offer greater flexibility in terms of terrain. They can arrange more moderate skiing than the regularly scheduled group tours.

In terms of cost, it’s $489 plus tax, per person, per day. This also covers food for the day.

Powder Cats Summary:

Specialty:             Snowcat Skiing
Location:              Private ranch near Park City
Ability Level:      Expert for scheduled tours; more flexibility for private tours
Included:             General Orientation; Food; Avalanche Transceivers.
Skiing:                   Ungroomed Open Bowls; High Altitude Tree Skiing
Group Size:         12 max in each Snowcat
Cost:                      $489 per person, per day
Book By:              One month prior if flexible; weekends in Feb/March book up early.

Utah Mountain Adventures - Park City, Utah - Skinning 

Website: http://www.utahmountainadventures.com/skiing_boarding.shtml
P
hone: 801-550-3986

Utah Mountain Adventures is another established backcountry ski tour operator in Utah. They operate private backcountry tours in an area called Cottonwood Canyon, outside of the Canyons Resort near Park City, and near Alta and Snowbird resorts.

They specialize in getting you into the backcountry via climbing skins, which are straps of material that you attach to the bottom of your skis and let you grip snow and climb hills. There are special bindings that let your heal lift up like in cross country skiing, that lock into place when you are ready to take a downhill run.

This type of skiing is not for the unfit. It can be an exhausting slog for the uninitiated even for those in decent condition, especially when at altitude.

This outfit requires at least a solid intermediate skill level, which means it is perhaps more accessible to groups of varying ability. However, people should have some experience with powder skiing.

Your Typical Day with Utah Mountain Adventures

Your day with Utah Mountain Adventures starts at around 8:30 pm and will go until 3:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. depending on conditions and the group.

When you meet with the guides, there is an orientation and they will provide avalanche safety gear and packs, as well as the skins that you will attach to your skis.  They will also rent you skis and snowboards

In terms of guides, there is a maximum ratio one (1) guide to four (4) guests. So, if for example you have 6 in your group, there will be two (2) guides and the groups can split up based on ability level. 

What you ski, as with any other provider, depending on avalanche risk. In fact, this is one of the most important insights that you are paying for when you retain a backcountry ski guide. Providing there is low danger, nothing is off limits.  Once you are locked into a day, considering avalanche concerns, they will try to work around schedule and snow conditions

You will access terrain in two ways. You can either get dropped off and skin off to a drop point or hop a ride on one of the chair lifts at the resort to get into the high country. In this case, you’ll start at around 10,500 and tour back until end of day, which is typically 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

When to Reserve Your Tour with Utah Mountain Adventures

In terms of booking, they recommend a month in advance, with Saturdays in February being peak of peak touring period. However, the more flexible you are the more availability, with weekdays offering openings.

In terms of cost, it’s $350 for the first person and then $150 for each person after, plus tax.

Utah Mountain Adventures Summary:

Specialty:             Skin Climbing
Location:              Cottonwood Canyon – adjacent to Canyons Resort, Alta & Snowbird.
Level:                    Solid Intermediate skier and above (blue - black trails)
Included:             General Orientation; Food; Avalanche Transceivers.
Skiing:                   Varied
Group Size:         Max 4 skier per private guide
Cost:                      $350 for the first person per day, $150 for each additional
Book By:              One month prior if flexible; weekends in Feb/March book up early.

Powderbird - Snowbird and the Canyons, Utah - Heli-Skiing

https://www.powderbird.com/
Tel: 801.742.2800

The next operation specializes in daily heli-skiing. Powderbird is operates heli-skiing services near Park City and Snowbird. They offer two (2) pick-up points, on around Snowbird (Cottonwood Canyon) and one at the Canyons near Park City. Both departure points flying same terrain, the only difference is the departure location.

Skier and snowboarders should feel comfortable managing all kinds of terrain, including open bowls and trees. So basically this is really geared for the Expert level skier or snowboarder who is totally comfortable skiing any black diamond run. For snowboarders, it’s important that they be able to manage their speed to get through some of the flatter spots.

Your Typical Day at Powderbird

You arrive at 7:30 am arrival to the departure points. Your guides are there, and catering chefs will have breakfast available for you. You will have a heli-orientation, receive an avalanche transceiver, and, weather permitting, have a 9:00 a.m. departure. You will ski until 1 – 3pm afternoon. Basically, each day you can count on around seven flights and six (6) to seven (7) runs.

The helicopters hold four (4) passengers, a guide and a pilot. You will fly in groups of four (4) and ski in group on eight (8). If there is inclement weather and you are not able to fly on the day you reserved, your deposit and payment is 100% refundable.

Guides will help you choose lines and assist with your skis should you need help out in the terrain. Also, if needed, skis are available for rent in-house as are snowboards at $50 per day; all you need to do is bring boots.

When to Reserve Your Tour with Powderbird

Powderbird flies every day, from December 15th to April 15th, and if you have eight (8) total can make a private experience. If you have less than eight (8), you will grouped with other people. Peak periods for them are February to early March, so those tend to book up between October and December. You have more availability either later in the season and early December.

This is the most costly of the backcountry ski options. The cost will vary from $1260 - $1400 per day/per-person plus tax.

Powderbird Summary:

Specialty:             Heli-skiing
Location:              Near Park City Canyons and Snowbird
Level:                    Expert level (black trails)
Included:             General Orientation; Food; Avalanche Transceivers.
Skiing:                   Varied, bowls & trees.
Group Size:         Eight (8) skiers per group; two (2) guides.
Cost:                      $1260 - $1400 per person per day
Book By:              One month prior if flexible; weekends in Feb/March book up early.

This is basic information on setting up a backcountry ski trip in and around Park City, Utah. Of course, you will need to do your own research and determine which company is right for you and your group.

Now all you have to do is book the perfect ski home or condo with Exotic Estates!

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Hawaii Events for Visitors – September 2015 urn:uuid:49703ff3-c610-367c-06ff-8c2271804a36 2016-10-17T23:55:15-07:00 There’s plenty of fun to be had if you are visiting Hawaii during September. From food and wine festivals to Hawaiian cultural events, you and your guests will have a lot to choose from on your visit to the beautiful and always welcoming Hawaiian Islands.

Maui

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival - September 4th  – 6th

The Hawaii Food & Wine Festival, in its 25th year, is taking place in Kaanapali on Maui from September 4th through 6th. The event draws world renowned chefs and thousands of visitors. This is a unique opportunity to indulge in dished prepared by some of the finest chefs in Hawaii and beyond.

Website: http://hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com/

First Friday – September 4th

The “Friday” parties are held on this first Friday of each month in a different town on Maui. On September 4th, it’s being held Wailuku. Expect food, arts and entertainment at this giant community party.  The Wailuku part offers a beer garden for those who like their suds!

Website: http://mauifridays.com/

Oahu

Annual Okinawan Festival – September 5th – 6th

Held in beautiful Kapiolani Park in Waikiki, in the shadow of Diamond Head, the Okinawan Festival delivers culture, color and culinary delights. There will be dancing and traditional taiko drumming, ensuring a wonderful spectacle for young and old alike!

Website: http://www.okinawanfestival.com/

Annual Waikiki Rough Water Swim – September 5th

If you like long-distance swimming then the Waikiki Rough Water Swim is the perfect place to test your mettle. This swim begins on the Diamond Head side of Waikiki by the New Otani Hotel and ends at the Rainbow Tower of the Hilton Hawaiian Village. You don’t have to swim to be a part of it all, simply line the beach at the entrance or landing area and cheer these athletes on!

Website: http://www.waikikiroughwaterswim.com/

Kauai

The Kauai Marathon – September 6th

What more beautiful location can you think of for a marathon than the Hawaiian island of Kauai? The Kauai Marathon kicks off on the morning on September 6th in Poipu winds around the southern part of the island, returning to Poipu for the finish. Whether you are running or cheering on the sidelines, marathons are always exciting events. There will be an expo during the days prior with lots of race related items on offer.

Website: http://www.thekauaimarathon.com/

Big Island

The Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Race – September 3rd- 6th

If you’ve ever seen an old episode of Hawaii 5-0, you may remember the closing scene featuring an outrigger canoe team racing over the waters. In Hawaii, outrigger canoe racing is a cultural heritage sport, hailing back to the Polynesian ancestral heritage of the Islands. The Queen Lili’uokalani Canoe Race is the biggest long distance outrigger canoe race on earth and if you are on the Big Island of Hawaii in early September, you will have a chance to check out all the fun and excitement in person!

Website: https://www.kaiopua.org/index.asp

 

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Happy August - It’s Time to Book Your Ski House! urn:uuid:88eaf156-00db-8750-9e77-28fcc0719aff 2016-08-29T17:14:21-07:00 By John Di RIenzo
August 18, 2015

 

While we may still be in the balmy days of August, enjoying the beach, for those of us who look forward to an annual ski vacation with friends, it’s time to start thinking about locking in our mountain house or condo.

When to Book

The booking period for North America’s ski towns kicks into high gear after Labor Day, though there is already ample booking activity at this time. 

If you are thinking about a weekend ski trip during a non-holiday period, and you are flexible as to the kind of property you rent, you should be able to find a home or condo with relative ease if you book in the early fall. Of course, if there is a specific property that you are interested in, you should try and secure it as early as possible. 

However, keep in mind that if you are interested in booking a ski condo or home in Utah or Colorado, or anywhere else for that matter, during a holiday period, or during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, you will want to plan well ahead. There is no set rule, but start looking eight months out to ensure you can find a property that will fit your needs. There is simply a lot of competition for those peak periods.

Sample Homes and Prices

Exotic Estates has homes in Utah and Colorado in its collection, with the bulk of properties located in and around Park City, Utah. The properties range from comfortable, slopeside condos to epic mountain houses with every comfort and luxury one could want in a vacation home, including heated garages, saunas and steam rooms, and grand fireplaces to name just a few.

Here are a few examples of condos and homes in the ever popular Park CityDeer Valley and The Canyons ski areas, along with pricing and minimum stay requirements, so you can get a sense of what your money will get you when planning a ski vacation at one of America's top mountain resorts. 

Juniper Landing - 2 Bedroom - The Canyons

Juniper Landing is a more afforadable option, located near the Canyons Village. A two-bedroom and two and a half bath ski condo with 1,622 sq. ft. and can accommodate up to eight guests. Juniper Landing offers  ski-in/ski-out access via the nearby Frostwood Gondola. There's also a shuttle to destination throughout Park City.  They rent for $635 during non-peak winter periods, with three night minimum stays, to $980 during the Christmas/New Year’s period.  

Black Bear Lodge-2 Bedroom – Deer Valley, Utah

Black Bear Lodge is located in the heart of Silver Lake at Deer Valley Resort, and is within an easy walk to the slopes, boutiques, award-winning restaurants and Silver Lake Village. Standard Black Bear Lodge two bedroom units accommodate up to six guests, offer en-suite baths and around 1,600 sq. ft. of living space.  They rent for $816 during non-peak winter periods, with three night minimum stays, to $1,285 during the Christmas/New Year’s period.  

Arrowleaf 3 Bedroom Condo – Deer Valley, Utah

This condo has 2,000 sq. ft. of living space, three cozy bedrooms, 3.5 baths, can accommodate nine guests, and offers ski-in/ski-out access. The price ranges from $1500 during non-peak winter periods, with three night minimum stays, to $2,530 during the Christmas/New Year’s period.  Lots of mountain charm.  

6 Bellemont Home – Park City, Utah

This is a top-notch ski-in/ski-out mountain home that has six bedrooms and six baths and room for 12. It’s an example of a home that has it all. There is a vaulted great room with a fireplace and classic mountain design, a private outdoor hot tub, incredible scenes out of each window and sliding glass door, and a tremendous kitchen and dining area. The home rents for $4,900 during non-peak winter periods, with three night minimum stays to $6,455 during the Christmas/New Year’s period.

Happy skiing and start thinking snow while you’re enjoying the last weeks of the summer beach season!

 

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The Best Times to Book Vacation Rentals and Airfares urn:uuid:f5d3edb6-9337-eb22-f61b-471fb4ebab41 2016-11-02T14:39:52-07:00 John Di Rienzo

August 6, 2015

Some time ago we published a general guide on the best times to reserve a vacation rental in Hawaii. The post concerns reserving your vacation early enough for various seasons to ensure that that you find a home that is good for your needs.

Yesterday, the travel search engine, Skycanner, revealed some interesting findings about the best times to purchase airfares. While not specific to Hawaii, we thought this would be a very helpful planning guideline when read in conjunction with our recommendations for reserving accommodation at a Hawaii vacation rental.

Clearly, these are just guidelines, as availability can vary wildly for specific dates. The more specific you need to be or if you are targeting a holiday week, the more valuable these guidelines become. However, even if you are just starting to look and trying to get a general sense of when to plan and book, it’s a great start as it gives you some specific time periods to target.

To be safe, it is a good idea to sign-up for fare alerts from your preferred airlines or online travel agent. In this way, you will be made aware of deals to your destination. As far as vacation rentals, especially larger or more luxurious rentals, you should develop a relationship with a reliable and proven vendor, like Exotic Estates, as true availability is often not made public in real time. Moreover, there are often specific requirements for vacation homes that may impact your desire or ability to rent the home.

Skyscanner’s Recommendation on Booking Airfares

According to Skyscanner, the period around August 10, is an ideal time to purchase all holiday air travel tickets – Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This is based on purchasing patterns for 2014.

The savings of booking around this time versus other periods looks like this for each holiday: Thanksgiving week tickets nearly 5.5% savings, Christmas-time flights nearly 19% savings, and New Year’s Eve air nearly 15% percent savings.

Some additional insights from Skyscanner:

  • Thanksgiving: historically, booking flights 10 weeks prior (Sept. 14 to Sept. 20) could result in up to 4% in savings. Last minute bookings up to two weeks prior (VERY RISKY!)  might result in 3.8% savings.
  • Christmas: historically, booking during weeks of Aug. 31 and Sept. 28 could generate 12.7% savings and 9.1% savings respectively. Last minute bookers in the first week of November saw savings on Christmas flights of nearly 4.8% saving. 
     
  • New Year’s: historically, booking during the week of Sept. 14 and the week of Sept. 28 can result in savings of up to 8.55% on flights. Booking New Year’s travel last minute, during the week of December 14th, could result in savings of 6.3%.

You can read more about Skyscanner on their website: www.skyscanner.com.

Exotic Estates’ Recommendation on Renting a Vacation Home

These vacation rental booking recommendations were written with Hawaii in mind, although they can be used a general rule of thumb when planning to rent a vacation home in any other in-demand destination, such as Park City during ski season or the Caribbean during the winter months.

The Holiday Season (Thanksgiving and Christmas & New Year’s): 8 -12 Months Out

If you are looking to travel in November for Thanksgiving week, or in December for Christmas and/or New Year, know that this is peak season for Hawaii and many other destinations. As such, the best homes are often booked up to a year in advance.

If you are serious about renting a home for Christmas and New Year’s, you should make the effort to look at availability a year to eight months out to ensure that you will have options.

TIP: opportunity - Thanksgiving to Christmas Lull

There is a lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas that represents an opportunity as pricing is reduced.

K-12 Seasonal School Holidays: 6 - 8 Months Out

Generally, schools in the U.S., which generate the majority of visitors to Hawaii, have breaks during the school year that are popular times for taking family vacations. Winter break takes place in February or March, while spring break will often take place in April around Easter.

These weeks can play havoc with your plans if you are thinking of taking advantage of your kids’ school holiday to spend a week in paradise. Wherever you plan on going, if it’s a popular spot – beach or snow - expect competition and book well ahead.

Again, you might get lucky and find that perfect home for your family, but your choices will be more limited if you wait until four or three months prior to booking.

K-12 Summer Break: 4 - 6 Months Out

People sometimes think that Hawaii must be more affordable and accessible in the summer because: wrong. Summer is a popular travel season in Hawaii and prices, and space, are at a premium. The reason is K-12 summer vacation, which can run from June to August.

Check out our Hawaii vacation rentals today!

 

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Hawaii Events for Visitors - August 2015 urn:uuid:accaa807-d63b-a033-198d-1e9d99f85487 2016-08-29T17:15:36-07:00 Traveling to Hawaii in August? Here are some fun events for all visitors!

OAHU

75th Annual Nā Hula Festival – August 2nd

This is the oldest running non-competitive Hula event in Hawaii. Check out the culture, fun and moves in Kapiolani Park, just outside of Waikiki.

Nā Hula Festival Details: http://www.honolulu.gov/cms-dpr-menu/site-dpr-sitearticles/6465-na-hula-festival.html

4th Annual Pacific Ink and Art Expo– August 7th – 9th

The art of tattooing has been a hallmark of Pacific cultures. If you are a fan of tattoo and want to see classic tattoos from Pacific cultures as well as excellent examples of contemporary tattooing, visit the Expo on Oahu!

Expo Website: http://www.hawaiitattooexpo.com/

View our Oahu vacation rentals.

MAUI

Obon Dance, Lahiana Hongwangi Mission – August 7th and 8th

These festivals have their roots in Buddhist tradition and take place across the islands. The festivals are a fun events for the entire family and a great way to experience a colorful slice of traditional Japanese culture. Of course many have delicious eats to savor. The Obon service starts at 6:30 p.m. and dancing begins at 8 p.m. 551 Waineʻe Street, Lahaina

Website: http://www.lahainahongwanji.com/

View our Maui vacation rentals.

KAUAI

Paradise Ride Kauai 2015 – August 1st and 2nd

This is an epic 120 mile ride “not race” that lets participants explore some of the most amazing scenery on the island. The ride is a fundraiser for Malama Pono Health Services, and is Kauai’s signature fundraising event for the island’s response to HIV/AIDS.

Website: http://malama-pono.org/paradise-ride/

View our Kauai vacation rentals.

BIS ISLAND

7th Annual Mango Festival - August 1st

Mangos are one of the delicious tropical fruits harvested in the Hawaiian Islands. The fruit is so prized, that there is even a festival dedicated to it! Check out the fun and mango treats at the 7th Annual Mango Festival taking place at the Sheraton Kona Resort!

Event details: http://www.mangofest.org

Volcano Rainforest Runs – August 22nd

Are you traveling with a family or group of runners? If yes, sign up for the Volcano Rainforest Runs on the Big Island. You will run on quaint village roads and though incredible Hawaiian rainforests!

Website: www.volcanorainforestruns.com.

Hawaii Food & Wine Festival - August 29th

Savor the joy of cooking at this amazing food and wine festival that draws over 100 chefs from around the world. Lots of fun, food - and wine - will be on hand!

Website: hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com.

View our Big Island vacation rentals.

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Renting a Villa on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla urn:uuid:cc407afb-1ccc-a12e-5db1-e3d2c5267474 2016-10-17T23:53:02-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
July 20, 2015

The peaceful, barefoot-chic of Anguilla is what many worldly travelers seek on a vacation to the Caribbean. The island is certainly an excellent place to relax and escape the daily grind, or cold, and it offers travelers a unique and elegant charm all its own.

Located in the Leeward Islands of the West Indies, east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Anguilla’s history and heritage is British. Getting to Anguilla from the U.S. or Canada is fairly easy, with visitors typically flying to St. Maarten and then taking a short ferry ride across to the island.

While relaxed, this is an island that certainly has an exclusive feel and caters to a more upscale traveler. It draws celebrities and jet-setters, though it lacks the paparazzi or glitz factor you might encounter in other upscale, international destinations.

Like the Dominican Republic and other islands in the Caribbean, Anguilla definitely has peak travel seasons, and pricing will fluctuate throughout the year. If you are able or interested in traveling during the spring and summer months up until Thanksgiving week in the US, you will likely find very attractive price points and sometimes even incentives such as free nights and breakfast.

So who should think about renting a villa in Anguilla? Basically, if you demand and expect the finer things and quiet, pristine beaches, but not the see-and-be-seen culture found at many other upscale destinations, Anguilla is for you.

We asked our Anguilla specialist to list some of the selling points of the island and the hybrid villa-resort, CeBlue.

Q1 – Services

When you rent a villa at the CeBlue Resort, what are some of the available services that most guests enjoy or take advantage of the most?

A. Many of the guests who stay at a CeBlue villa opt for a private chef to come in an cook meals. It’s a great service and people are able to create a romantic meal for an anniversary or even a generous spread for up to 60.

Also, most guests take advantage of on-site spa services at The Blue Spa, which can often be enjoyed while overlooking azure Caribbean Sea. The location and setting foster deep relaxation.

Also, because the property offers many resort-like services, guests will often enjoy a nightcap, complemented by the relaxing sounds of acoustic guitar, at The Blue Bar.

Finally, another popular activity is enjoying a morning cruise aboard the resort’s very own boat to snorkel and explore the marine life along the nearby coastline.

Q2. - Complimentary Services

Are any services complimentary?

A. There are several complimentary services that guests enjoy including a welcome cocktail and cool-down towel, beach attendant transfer to CéBlue Beach  Club, daily access to CéBlue Beach Club (beach chairs, umbrellas & towels provided), a state-of-the-art fitness center, a kid’s game room (with table tennis, air hockey  & video games), free parking and WIFI property-wide.

Also, there is a special running that offers a fifth night free and daily, cooked-to-order breakfast, to those who book by August 15, 2015 complete their travel by November 15, 2015

Q3. - Best Features

What do people seem to enjoy most about CeBlue?

A. CeBlue epitomizes modern living, with crisp, earth tone décor, stylish furnishings and enviably elevated panoramic ocean views of Crocus Bay and a secluded 5,000 foot long beachfront.

Q4. - Uniqueness

How does it differ from other resorts on Anguilla?

A. CeBlue is brand new (opened in 2014), comprised of eight villas, which are each 8,000 sq. ft. in size. CeBlue is a member resort of Preferred Residences and the resort has been heralded by Fodor’s Travel as one of the “10 Best New Caribbean Resorts” and earned the exceptional distinction for award-winning service

Q5. - Security

Can you speak to the security of the villas and the resort?

A. There is 24-hour security surveillance present and 24-hour resort manager service.

Q6. - Medical Services

Are there doctors or medical staff on site or nearby?

A. A doctor on call is available seven days a week.

Q7. - Seasonality

What is the most popular time of the year for renting a CeBlue villa and how far in advance should people think about booking them?

A. CeBlue is exclusive and very limited with just eight luxurious villas. For travel during peak travel periods, meaning basically Thanksgiving through May, plan to book ahead at least 6 months out, with Christmas and New Year’s requiring an even longer booking window.

Q8 - Ease of Access

How easy it for U.S. and Canadian travelers to get to Anguilla?

A. U.S. and Canadian travelers enjoy year-round direct flights to SXM in St Maartin, with an easy sea shuttle transfer to Anguilla (just 20 minutes).

Take a tour of all of our CeBlue Villas in Anguilla today!

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Renting a Caribbean Vacation Villa in the Dominican Republic urn:uuid:d2820e8c-fb3a-2f4f-c52f-53ee2692d38c 2016-10-17T23:53:38-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
July 17, 2015

The Dominican Republic - The "Happiest Caribbean Country"

Exotic Estates offers discerning travelers a boutique collection of exceptional Dominican Republic vacation villas and Anguilla vacation villas. The two Caribbean nations are very different in personality and vibe, but both are welcoming to visitors and home to a variety of superb, world-class vacation villas and resorts. This post will focus on the Dominican Republic, which was named the "happiest country in the Caribbean," by the 2015 World Happiness Report.

Exotic Estates' Villas in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic vacation estates and villas represented by Exotic Estates are some of the finest properties available in the Caribbean. They range in size from four to eight bedrooms, with some ultra-luxury-estate homes able to accommodate up to 18 guests. With such diversity, you are certain to find a property that fits your style and group size.

Getting to the Dominican Republic from the US and Canada

Visiting the Dominican Republic from the U.S. or Canada, and even Europe or South America, is relatively easy, with well-established air and ground transport options. As a point of reference, flying time from New York City to Punta Cana or Santo Domingo is only about three and one half hours.

There are definitely peak travel seasons for the Caribbean and pricing will fluctuate throughout the year. If you are able or interested in traveling during the spring and summer months up until Thanksgiving week in the US, you will likely find very attractive price points in most locations. In addition, with average annual temperatures ranging from 75 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit, you are pretty much guaranteed beach weather all year long.

In the Dominican Republic, our vacation villas are clustered in a few in-demand areas offering excellent services and area attractions. Most are in the South, in the Punta Cana Resort and in Cap Cana, which offer gated villas, while a few are located up on the North Shore, near Cabarete, a world-class kite surfing destination.

I asked our specialist about some of the best features that the island has to offer and also about considerations that many U.S. and Canadian travelers may have when renting a villa in an international destination like the Dominican Republic.

Question and Answer: Renting a Villa in the Dominican Republic

Question 1 – Services & Activities

What are some of the available services and activities that guests staying in our villas in the Dominican Republic enjoy or take advantage of the most?

A. While the answer really depends on the traveler, families often like to stay at the Punta Cana Resort and Cap Cana (gated villages) since there are many activities to enjoy inside the resorts such as horseback riding, various water sports, fishing, zip lining, hiking, mountain biking and other activities.

Also, there is a full-range of available services for our guests. Villas typically include daily maid service and bathroom amenities. In addition, our guests receive a one-way complimentary transfer to or from the airport, a fruit basket on arrival, private check-in at the property and welcome beverages. Add-on services available to guests include babysitters, private chefs and in-villa massages. Really, we cover everything that most people want or need when on vacation.

Lastly, a popular and unique place to visit inside Punta Cana is the nature reserve where guests can learn about the local fauna and flora, and enjoy a swim in pristine freshwater ponds called Ojos de Indigenas.

In addition, there are also golf courses, so it’s really a nice balance of activities for everyone in the group.

Outside of the resort villas, the lively town of Bavaro has lots of bars and restaurants, so if people want to go out for a special dinner or to party, there are plenty of options.

Question 2 – Setting

The villas are located in resorts. What are they like?

A. The resorts are essentially like gated villages designed around relaxation. Imagine a small city without large supermarkets or banks, but with lots of social activities. The resorts offer not just one club-house, but many, since each golf course has its own club house with pool, spa and shop. Both, Punta Cana Resort and Cap Cana house many bars and restaurants, and even a disco.

Question 3 – Security

Can you speak to the security of the villas and the resorts?

A. All gated villages and resorts have guarded entrances. Police are always present, mostly on the roads, but it’s important for people to know that Punta Cana is a very safe place.

Question 4 – Medical Services

Are there doctors or medical staff on site or nearby?

A.The nearest hospital is about a 15 minute drive from the resort villages. Each of the resorts will also have a small medical clinic for minor needs.

Question 5 – Seasonality

What is the most popular time of the year for renting villas in the Dominican Republic and how far in advance should people think about booking them?

A. Christmas and New Year’s Eve by far, followed by Easter. For Christmas and New Year’s, people should plan at least six month in advance.

Question 6 – Special Advantages for North American Travelers

Are there any special advantages that the Dominican Republic offers the American or Canadian tourist?

A. Ease of access is one of the most important advantages, as there are direct flights to the Dominican Republic from many North American cites. Also, the security and tranquility of the island are important selling features, as are, of course, the Dominican people, who are amazing and full of life!

Click here to view all of the amazing and luxurious vacation villas that Exotic Estates offers in the Dominican Republic.

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July 2015 Events in Hawaii urn:uuid:45269b33-f928-fdf2-2b46-7d6d6b1a301e 2016-11-02T14:40:06-07:00 Oahu Events July 2015

Hale’iwa Arts Festival – July 18 & 19

A free event taking place up on Oahu’s famed North Shore. Check out the amazing art inspired by this beautiful part of Oahu. Entertainment and food will be served up as well!

Hale’iwa Arts Festival Website: http://haleiwaartsfestival.org/

Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race – July 26th

Come participate in a unique race that pits guts and stamina against the wild ocean conditions that exist between the islands of Oahu and Molokai. Participants start the race on Molokai and paddle to Oahu, landing on the Maunalua Bay Beach Park, where there will be an event Expo. Come cheer on these brave athletes as they come ashore!

Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard Race Website: http://www.molokai2oahu.com/event-info/event-schedule/

Ukulele Festival, Kapiolani Park, Waikiki – July 19th

Staying in Waikiki or in one of Exotic Estates' awesome Diamond Head homes? Come spend a day listening to the quintessential sound of the Islands, at the Ukulele Festival being held in Kapiolani Park.

Ukulele Festival Website: http://www.ukulelefestivalhawaii.org/en/

Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition, Honolulu – July 23 - 25

Hula is the indigenous dance of the Islands and practice starts early, with young people learning the ancient steps and philosophy of the dance. Come see the next generation of hula practitioners show off their skills at the Neal Blaisdell Center, in Honolulu, Oahu.

Queen Liliuokalani Keiki Hula Competition Website: http://www.kpcahawaii.com/Queen_Liliuokalani_Keiki_Hula_Comp.html

View our Oahu vacation rentals.

Big Island of Hawaii Events July 2015

Hilo Triathlon, Hilo, Big Island, Hawaii – July 12th

It’s always fun to cheer on participants at a sporting event that tests endurance. The Hilo Triathlon takes place at the end of the month and involves a 1500 meter swimming course, a 40k bike ride and a 10k run! Join the fun at James Kealoha Beach Park in Hilo and enjoy a BBQ as well!

Hilo Triathlon Website: http://www.hilotriathlon.org/

View our Big Island vacation rentals.

Kauai Events July 2015

Koloa Plantation Days Rodeo – July 17 – 19

Hawaii has a rich ranching culture that lives on to this day. Come check out the Koloa Rodeo on Kauai. The event takes place near Poipu, on the Southern Coast of Kauai. Admission is free on the first day, for the preliminary roping activities. The event offers food and Western-themed family fun with a Hawaiian accent!

Koloa Plantation Days Rodeo Website: http://cjmstables.com/events.html

Soto Zen Bon Festival – July 17 & 18

Come join the vibrant celebrations at the Soto Zen Bon Festival in Kauai! These are fun, cultural festivals where all are welcome and you can experience a unique and colorful Japanese folk tradition! Read all about it below.

Soto Zen Bon Festival Website: http://kauaisotozentemple.org/bon/

View our Kauai vacation rentals.

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Avoiding the $5.75 Coffee in Hawaii urn:uuid:9964d0c1-e44a-480f-08ec-a9471dc40a78 2016-11-02T14:40:25-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
July 1, 2015

When we go on vacation, something happens to our Rational Selves. Things that we would deem exorbitant at home suddenly, and easily, work their way into our routines. As soon as the wheels are up, it’s as if critical thinking stops and the Rational Self kicks back and picks up a Mai Tai.

However, even in the haze of vacation bliss, where everything is somehow “okay,” certain things stick out as such egregious economic offences, that the relaxing Rational Self stops sipping the Mai Tai and says, “Hold it, not so fast, this is over the top!”

This happened to me on a recent trip to the Hawaiian island of Maui. While at a popular Kaanapali resort, I purchased a coffee at a kiosk selling Starbucks. I ordered my usual: a Venti (large) coffee. There was no latte or mocha in the order, just a large, hot coffee, which typically runs me about $2.35 with tax.

There I stood, gazing out at gorgeous, well-manicured lawns running down to the beach, palms swaying, waiting for my coffee. Rational and Emotional Selves were both at ease and taking in the view. But the peaceful balance was shattered when the women behind the kiosk smiled graciously and asked me for $5.75.

“No,” I said smiling,” I just got the coffee,” thinking that she must have confused my order with another.

“Yes,” she replied with the sweetest Hawaiian smile, “It’s $5.75. Would you like anything else?”

There were witnesses around so I could not have the proper melt-down that the situation deserved. I hesitantly handed over $10, my Rational Self raging at me for being such a chump. Even the Emotional, vacation-oriented Self was taken aback.

Therein lies the secret economics of vacationing. Resorts and vendors in touristic places rely on our Rational Selves being in vacation mode and just going with the flow. Perhaps there are no other options and thus prices are high due to a lack of competition. More often, prices are high because they know that we’ll pay to avoid a hassle and want immediate gratification; after all, we’re on vacation and we’ve earned it. Resorts also rely on the fact that few of us stop to calculate the true cost of staying with them, once all the little add-ons, e.g. $5.75 coffees, are figured into the equation.

This is why Vacation Rentals are such a great option. To our Rational Selves, being able to save our precious resources on things that really matter makes sense. To our Emotional Selves, being in a private place, where you are able to relax with friends and family and live on your own schedule, is wonderfully appealing.

(Rational and Emotional Selves enjoying hammock time)

With vacation homes, you can make a supermarket run (or pay someone to do it for you) and pick up all of the day-to-day treats you desire. Sodas, chips, sweets, beer and wine, and even the makings of a gourmet meal, are yours at Rational Self prices.

If you are thinking about spending your holiday in a first-class resort, in Hawaii or elsewhere, consider the costs of day-to-day items when doing your math. The gorgeous vacation property that seems pricey at first glance, often works out to not only be less expensive on a per-person basis, but more enjoyable experientially.

So, appease your Rational Self and avoid the $5.75 coffees on your next holiday, and give your Emotional Self something to cheer about. Contact our Vacation Estate Specialists today to see what amazing properties are waiting to host you...both yous!

Email: reservations@exoticestates.com

Phone: 888-628-4896

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Visiting Oahu and Honolulu urn:uuid:c10685c6-2f9f-be23-4970-a4b8cda0b781 2016-11-07T10:55:00-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
June 23, 2015

Aloha! This post will focus on things to enjoy on the Honolulu or “Town” side of Oahu.

As I mentioned in my previous Oahu post, at first glance, the island can seem utterly urban and overdeveloped to visitors. But the skyscrapers of Honolulu and Waikiki are part of the Oahu's charm. Personally, I love Oahu because it offers visitors and residents alike both “Town” and “Country” experiences.

In the nearly 30 years that I have been visiting Honolulu and Waikiki, the city has become much more cosmopolitan and, seizing on its rich heritage as a Pacific melting-pot, a culinary hotbed. Like many cities, gentrification has made its mark, but it has also led to a conscious appreciation of the city’s historic neighborhoods, especially Chinatown in downtown Honolulu.

Here follow some recommendations of things to do when visiting Honoulu and advice on finding quiet spots in the city and Waikiki.

MANOA FALLS HIKE

Even in Honolulu you can enjoy an outing to a lush Hawaiian landscape, free from any mechanized sounds of civilization. The Manoa Trail, located just behind Waikiki in the Manoa Valley, offers an easy afternoon escape into the Hawaiian jungle. The hike’s main payoff is a 150 ft. waterfall, which cascades down the mountainside into a pool below.

The Manoa Trail is manageable for most people, though there are some slippery sections and footing can be tricky as it rains frequently in the mountains. If anyone in the group has knee or hip issues, I recommend that they sit this excursion out.

The hike begins in Paradise Park, where you can easily park your car. Wear sneakers or shoes that you do not mind getting wet. The hike will take around 2 hours roundtrip, depending on how much time you spend up at the falls.

THE IOLANI PALACE

Honolulu is very much America’s royal city. It is home to Iolani Palace, the last seat of the Hawaiian monarchy. Located in downtown Honolulu, the Palace was built in 1882 by King David Kalakaua, and anyone visiting Waikiki will notice his name on the major avenue that runs along the ocean.

Kalakaua was a great visionary and world traveler. He was inspired to build Iolani Palace after touring the grand palaces and estates of the European aristocracy. The Palace had many technological advancements for its time, including electricity and an indoor toilet.

By far, its most visually impressive architectural detail is the Koa wood grand staircase. The throne room is also beautiful, and one can imagine festive evenings and guests being presented to the King and Queen.

The Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown in 1893, and in 1895, the Palace became a place of imprisonment for Hawaii’s last Queen, Liliuokalani. She was interned in a room at the Palace on accusations of treachery and it is here where she transcribed the haunting song, Aloha Oe.

A visit to the Palace should not be missed during any stay in Honolulu, as it is a way to connect to Hawaii's sovereign history. You can reserve space on a guided tour or take a self-guided tour with a headset. Though I strongly recommend visiting the Palace with a guide, as the docents bring the grand, historical home to life with many interesting anecdotes about the building and its residents.

A visit can easily take 3 hours and one can walk over and view the interesting architecture of the Hawaii State Capital building, which is located next door.

You can also combine a visit to Iolani Palace with a visit to nearby Chinatown. Drive over and walk around this interesting and historic district. There are plenty of galleries, shops, and lively food markets overflowing with fish and local produce, a true visual feast. You will have no trouble finding a restaurant or food court where you can enjoy a delicious meal.

Website: http://www.iolanipalace.org/

PEARL HARBOR

Almost everyone has heard of Pearl Harbor and knows what happened there on December 7, 1941. Pearl Harbor is one of the most important historical sites in Hawaii and a visit tells the story of how America officially entered into WWII.

What many people do not know is the excellent job that the National Park Service has done to immortalize and honor that moment in time.

There is a wonderful museum and grounds that are free to the public, as are visits out to the Arizona Memorial. You will want to give yourself time here, as there is a great deal to see, especially if there are any history buffs in your group. Also, it can get busy and access to the Memorial is controlled, so be prepared to wait.

Before visiting the Arizona Memorial, you will be required to view a film that provides a context for the attack and its impact. The Memorial itself is a gleaming white monument that sits above the wreck out in the Harbor, on Battleship Row, just off Ford Island. One can look down and actually see the remains of the ship, which still leaks oil to this day. In a way, the leaking oil seems to create a connection with the past, as if the event is still unfolding in physical space today.

A visit to Pearl Harbor can be a very emotional experience, and a living history lesson for younger people, with lots of models, ships and other military artifacts that will be of interest.

Plan to spend a half-day at Pearl Harbor. Besides the Arizona Memorial, there are several other military sites to visit if desired, including the Pacific Aviation Museum and the USS Battleship Missouri, which require paid admission.

Website: http://www.nps.gov/valr/index.htm

 

DORIS DUKE HOUSE – SHANGRI LA

For fans of art and architecture, Shangri-La, Doris Duke's amazing Honolulu estate, is a worthy excursion. The estate was built by the heiress in 1939, and it became a repository for her impressive, museum-quality collection of Near Eastern art and architectural elements, which she painstakingly restored herself in many cases.

Tours to Shangri-La are booked through the Honolulu Museum of Art, which itself has a fine collection. You are taken from the museum to the estate in a van, so you will be able to check out the museum’s collection before or after your tour.

At Shangri-La, tours are led by docents and you will get to see a good portion of the estate’s main living areas and its grounds. You can expect to spend 4 hours on this excursion, and it does require a lot of walking and standing so it is not ideal for visitors with mobility issues.

http://www.shangrilahawaii.org/Tour-The-Property/

 

THE QUIET SIDE OF WAIKIKI BEACH – SAN SOUCI & QUEENS

Here is a little tip for those seeking a more mellow beach scene in Waikiki,

Waikiki Beach, especially down by the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, can get very crowded. It can be a lot of fun, with music and buzz coming from the bars and restaurants butting up along the beach in the hotels. However, if you crave a quieter beach scene with less activity, take a walk or drive down towards the Diamond Head side of Waikiki.

Queens Beach is located just past Kapahulu Avenue, in front of Kapiolani Park. There is another great beach just a little further down, San Souci beach, which is also across from Kapiolani Park. In general, the stretch of beach in front of Kapiolani Park can be quiet and empty when the hotel side of the beach is filled with tourists.

Exotic Estates has gorgeous vacation homes near Kapiolani Park and the quiet side of Waikiki. Check them all out here: Honolulu Vacation Rentals

 

ALL PHOTOS BY JOHN DI RIENZO

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A Perfect Day Trip on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu urn:uuid:8134b7a0-612d-670e-3a05-0a08390cdb86 2016-11-02T14:39:08-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
June 17, 2015

 

Aloha! Today I would like to share with you an itinerary for the island of Oahu that includes great beaches and tasty local eats.

Oahu, home to Honolulu, is by far the best-served island in Hawaii in terms of nonstop flights from the U.S. Mainland and Asia. For this reason, Oahu is often the first island many visitors to Hawaii experience. At first glance, it can seem utterly urban and overdeveloped. But the skyscrapers of Honolulu and Waikiki are part of the island’s charms, and belie a wilder side that I feel is one of the most beautiful in Hawaii.

I have lived on Oahu and vacationed there for many years since. Each time I visit, I learn something new about the island and often, about Hawaii’s history. Oahu, after all, was the last seat of the Hawaiian Monarchy and a star witness to America’s history in the Pacific.

What makes Oahu such a great destination, and why I enjoy visiting so much, is that it offers a perfect mix of unique urban experiences and quintessential Polynesian escapism. Honolulu is very much a mid-Pacific melting pot, with Asian and Western cultures coming together to create a city with a unique personality and culture. With its rich past and dynamic present, it is one of America’s greatest cities, and is not to be missed.

This is the first of two posts on Oahu, and it will focus on the more rural Windward Side and North Shore. The tour I outline below is one that can be taken in one day by people on a tight schedule or over a series of days. It will require a car, though I suppose it could be done via TheBus, the island’s mass transit system.

THE GREAT OAHU DAY TRIP

On this drive, you will pass through towns sitting on blue Pacific waters with the majestic Ko’olau Mountains jutting up behind them, and you will be able to stop at some of the most beautiful beaches to be found in Hawaii for a swim.

This drive starts in Waikiki and will take you a full day if you do it all at once; if you leave at 9 a.m., you will probably get back to town at around 7 or 8 p.m. You will basically be doing a big loop around the eastern half or Windward Side of Oahu, and coming back through the middle of the island.

STAGE 1 – THE WINDWARD SIDE

The Windward Side of Oahu refers to the eastern shore of the island. To begin, drive out of Waikiki and take the H1 freeway East. You are going to take the Kalanianaole Highway to the Kamehameha Highway and work your way around the island.

FIRST STOP: HANAUMA BAY STATE PARK

Some people avoid Hanauma Bay because it has become such a popular snorkeling spot. However, it is a snorkeler’s paradise and I still think it’s worth it, especially if it is your first time to the Islands. Admission to the Bay is controlled, and it can fill up, so it is best to go early in the morning. If you are coming from the North American Mainland, take advantage of your jet lag and get out there early to enjoy this amazing natural wonder. Parking can be a challenge and you will need to go through a short orientation before going down to the Bay.

You can easily spend several hours here. However, the Bay, though it is beautiful, is not a place to linger in my opinion. Just get down to the beach, check out the fish, and move on. If you are eager for some beach time, amazing swimming beaches can be found further along on this drive.

Leaving Hanauma Bay, turn right and continue driving towards the Windward Side (away from Honolulu). The view is very dramatic on this part of the ride, with the road winding over the ink-blue Pacific.

OPTIONAL STOP: SANDY BEACH – BE VERY CAREFUL HERE! HEAVY SHORE BREAK!

Eventually you’ll see signs for Sandy Beach. The shore break here is merciless, so it is not a spot for swimming, but it is a fun place to stop and watch the boogie boarders, skim boards and body surfers brave the massive waves. The water is also a gorgeous shade of blue here.

OPTIONAL STOP: MAKAPU’U BEACH - ONE OF MY FAVORITE BEACHES

Like Sandy Beach, Makapu’u has big shore break and is not ideal for swimming. However, the setting of Makapu’u is stunning. Flanked by cliffs and with Rabbit Island sitting just off shore, there is plenty of eye candy to take in Makapu’u. Even if the water is rough, and swimming is not possible, the beach is worth a stop because of its dramatic beauty. But if you want to swim, keep going, as amazing swimming beaches are just ahead up the coast.

WAIMANALO

Pulling out of Makapu’u Beach, turn right and continue working your way up the coast. The scenery soon becomes very lush and small-town Hawaii unfolds around you. You will be entering an area called Waimanalo.

Food tip – If you’re hungry, just past Makapu’u, in Waimanalo, is a shave-ice and plate lunch shop called Keneke’s. They offer classic “local” food – Teriyaki chicken, Shoyu-chicken etc. It's a great place for a quick, and inexpensive, bite to eat.

Unlike the rough waters of Sandy Beach and Makapu’u, Waimanalo’s reef-protected beaches offer ideal conditions for swimming. The water here beckons with its many shades of pale blue. You will drive right alongside the ocean for miles. Just stop and jump in if you’re tempted, though Waimanalo Beach Park has facilities.

Exotic Estates has a vacation home right on the water in Waimanalo: The Coral Palace. This stunning oceanfront estate can host small events and accommodate up to 20 guests!

KAILUA & KANEOHE

If you keep driving up the coast, eventually you’ll reach beautiful Kailua and just beyond, Kaneohe. This is the main town of the Windward Side and is home to Kailua Beach Park, many times rated among the best beaches in the U.S. If you want to go swimming, this beach offers calm, blue waters. The beach has shade trees as well, so some in your party can enjoy a break from the sun while others enjoy the warm, calm ocean waters.

Food tip – There is a popular restaurant just across from the beach called Buzz’s offering steaks and other hardy meals.

Exotic Estates offers several incredible vacation homes in and around Kailua, check them out here: Kailua Vacation Rentals.

INTERESTING STOP - THE BYODO-IN TEMPLE

Located in Kanaeohe, just north of Kailua is the Byodo-In Temple.

The Byodo-In Temple is a gorgeous replica of an ancient Japanese Buddhist temple set against the Ko’olau Mountains and offers a dramatic backdrop for photos.

The Temple can be a little tricky to find, but just look for Highway 83. It is tucked away in the Valley of the Temples on Kahekili Highway just by the mountains; the road runs parallel to Kamehameha Highway.

Continuing north along the coast, you will find the landscape becomes more dramatic and rural. There are places to stop and snack along the way, along with beaches that are often very empty.

GOAT ISLAND (MOKUAUIA) – FOR THE ADVENTUROUS

This is an excursion that requires time and a sense of adventure. Located just off the coast of the town of Laie, right before you reach the North Shore, is Goat Island. The island offers a quiet and secluded beach on one side and a bird sanctuary on the other. It is possible to wade out to Goat Island during the low tide, but boogie boarding or kayaking over is better. You will need reef shoes and you will want to make sure that you don’t get stuck by the high tide. The reward is a sliver of beach that is perfect for swimming and an interesting walk around the bird sanctuary area.

Exotic Estates offers the fabulous Hale Koa Estate in Laie. This luxurious Oahu vacation home sits right on the beach and comes with many custom designer features.

STAGE 2: THE NORTH SHORE

Rounding the tip of the island after Laie, past Kahuku, you will enter the fabled North Shore. The North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the world's most famous beaches. It is a place of surfing lore, with its massive waves, but has a very tame side during the summer months.

PRAWNS & FRESH COOKED CORN

Past Kahuku, as you drive up into the North Shore area, you will notice prawn (shrimp) farms and restaurants on the side of the road. This is certainly touristy, but still an enjoyable pit stop if you like shrimp. There’s one called Romy’s that is quite popular, you can look for the shack just past Kahuku.

Continuing on, you will also notice farmers selling fruit and vegetables, including cooked corn – a very tasty and inexpensive treat!

SUNSET BEACH & THE 7 MILE MIRACLE

Soon, you’ll find yourself driving by Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline. The strip of famous surfing beaches along Oahu's North Shore is known in the surfing world as the Seven Mile Miracle. During the winter months, the North Shore captures powerful swell energy generated by storms far off in the Aleutian Islands. The surf can be huge and lots of fun to watch, but in the summer, the swell action switches to the South Shore of Oahu, and the North Shore becomes a great place for swimming.

BANZAI PIPELINE

If you want to see the Banzai Pipeline, look for Eukai Beach Park, just after Sunset Beach. Pipe is just to the left. Park only in designated areas as traffic police are on the lookout and ready to ticket.

Note that in summer it is quite calm, but if you are there from November through March, you have a good shot if seeing some amazing waves and world-class surfers.

WAIMEA BAY

During the winter months, ferocious waves can top 30 feet at Waimea Bay. However, during the summer months, the water is placid and Waimea is a wonderful beach for swimming. Take a look at the photo above, as it captures the summer time vibe of this amazing beach.

In general, Waimea is an awesome beach year-round, with two very distinct personalities.

Exotic Estates offers luxurious and family-friendly homes on the North Shore of Oahu, including several located in front of famous surfing breaks such as the Bonzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. Check out our North Shore homes here: Exotic Estates North Shore Oahu Vacation Homes.

HALEIWA TOWN

Haleiwa is the main town of the North Shore. You can stop in Haleiwa town for food or to check out its many shops. There are loads of T-shirt shops here hawking obligatory North Shore surf memorabilia, but there are also galleries and artisans of different types selling wares.

There is a famous shave ice store here called Matsumoto Shave Ice. The lines can get incredibly long at this shop, and, truth be told, there are plenty of places nearby to grab a sweet treat. Anywhere in Hawaii, just keep your eyes peeled for a colorful shave ice sign and enjoy!

HEADING BACK TO TOWN

At Haleiwa Town you will see signs for Honolulu. You will drive back through the middle of the island, towards and through Wahiawa, where you will pick up the H2 Freeway and eventually end up near Pearl Harbor. Just keep driving until you can jump on the H1 freeway towards Honolulu and Waikiki.

The drive through the center of the island will take you through the old Dole pineapple fields. Dole operates a very touristic visitor center, where you can enjoy everything pineapple. Other than that, you will get a sense of the size of the island driving through the fields, and how important a crop pineapple once was to the island's economy.

If you are driving back during the weekday, be prepared for Honolulu rush-hour traffic!

The next post will involve other activities to enjoy on Oahu, with a focus on Honolulu, Pearl Harbor and Waikiki.

Here is a link to all of the fine vacation homes offered by Exotic Estates on the island of Oahu: Vacation Home Rentals on Oahu.

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​Kauai Vacation Home Inspections – Making the Rounds to Ensure Quality! urn:uuid:8d28b130-b8d7-145e-60a8-d1fcf29619a4 2016-11-02T14:37:57-07:00 This past week, members of the Exotic Estates Hawaii-based team took a trip to the Garden Isle of Kauai to tour our many incredible Kauai vacation rentals. Home inspections are a regular activity for Exotic Estates, as they are how we ensure that our vacation rentals in Hawaii meet our high quality standards. This is why we are the preferred agency for discerning travelers looking to rent a luxury Hawaii vacation home.

Our vacation homes in Kauai are concentrated in the northern part of the island, in and around Hanalei Bay and Kilauea. North Kauai is visually stunning and laid back, which is perhaps why it’s been the setting for many movies and TV shows, including The Descendants, starring George Clooney.

Exotic Estates' vacation homes offer travelers luxury, comfort and, perhaps most important of all, absolute privacy. However, one of the benefits of renting a vacation home on Kauai is also value.

When traveling with a group, renting one of Exotic Estates' stunning homes often makes excellent economic sense versus booking rooms at one of the island's luxury resorts. For example, a recent availability check at a well-known 5-star resort in Princeville showed an entry price of $605 per night for a Standard Garden-View room, plus taxes and resort fees. Standard Ocean-view rooms started at over $725 per night and Jr. Suites started at $935 per night. Those prices are for one (1) room, which sleeps just two guests comfortably. Now, tack on the daily cost of snacks, drinks, meals and parking and that per-night, per-room cost soars tremendously.

If you are traveling with family or friends, you can enjoy a private vacation home in Kauai, offering ample living space and comfortable bedrooms and amenities for a per-person price that nets out much lower than a hotel. Many three bedroom homes are priced around $1200 per night and there are a few at just $500 per night. For larger parties, a group of 10 can rent the gorgeous Anini Vista Drive Estate for $2250 per night, which comes with an incredible 90,000 gallon, 84' salt-water-lagoon-style pool and spa, and stunning views of gorgeous Anini Beach.

On this recent visit, the founders of Exotic Estates, husband and wife team Tyler and Nura-Nal Coons, along with their daughter Ke'ana toured some of the island’s finest homes. They were joined by our Sr. Vacation Estate Specialist and Guest Services Manager.

All of the homes toured surpassed inspection expectations and impressed the team. Even as industry veterans, we are still dazzled by our homes. They offer incredible features such as dramatic swimming pools, private spas, unique water features, soaring ceilings and rich landscaping – not to mention breathtaking views of the lush tropical forests and the Pacific Ocean. Our homes range in style from traditional to ultra-modern chic, with some able to accommodate up to 12 guests and small events.

The images below were taken by the team in the homes with their cell phones. Take a moment to check out these real deal, “Barefoot Inspection” images of just a few of our beautiful Kauai vacation rentals.

From gorgeous settings to architecture and outstanding interior design, the vacation homes in our Kauai collection are true stunners. If you are thinking about taking a vacation escape with family and friends to the beautiful Garden Isle, we hope that you will keep these beauties and Exotic Estates in mind!

Mahalo!


Anini Vista Drive Estate is an Estate on the North Shore of Kauai sitting above Anini Beach. The Estate can accommodate up to 12 guests and boasts a total of five bedrooms (5) and five and a half (5.5) baths. It features a massive 90,000 gallon, 84' salt-water-lagoon-style pool and spa.


 

The Anini Beach Front Villa is located on a tranquil stretch of beach in Anini. This beachfront home has four bedrooms and can accommodate up to 8 guests.

 

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​Diamond Head and The Gold Coast: Waikiki’s Oasis of Calm urn:uuid:f15f9c68-3e9e-c2bf-207d-9656b8c296b6 2016-11-02T14:37:35-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
May 2015

Waikiki is one of the most famous beaches in the world. Its name conjures up visions of rolling surf, blue water and warm Hawaiian sands framed by the iconic and regal profile of Diamond Head.

In recent years, Waikiki has gone through a refurbishment that has left it feeling sophisticated and polished. With the luxury brands lining Kalakaua Avenue and the revamped hotels and shops along Lewers Street, today Waikiki has the look and energy of a prosperous city.

There is a certain charm to Waikiki’s glitz and busyness. We love being able to spend a lazy day on the beach and then enjoy an evening of fine dining and entertainment. Indeed, the skyline and lights of Waikiki have become as iconic as the mountains and landscape that surround it.

However, sometimes we don’t want to be in the middle of the action - at all time - while on vacation. Perhaps you’ve stayed in Waikiki before and love its nightlife and dining options, but not the overcrowded hotel pools and lobbies.

Also, the best hotels in Waikiki are pricey by any measure. A recent check for a room at one of the nicer hotels returned an entry rate of $607 per night, before taxes and fees. That was a standard room for two people, with limited or no views. Standard suites started at $1,345 per night. If you are traveling with friends and family, the total cost of a week-long stay at a prime hotel can easily run well over $5000 per couple. Imagine, you are going to spend $5000 and you will still need to jockey for lounge chairs by the pool, pay exorbitant rates for basic items like soft drinks and snacks, and not enjoy the privacy we crave while on vacation.

Exotic Estates has an option for those who want to stay in a luxurious, comfortable and private setting, yet still be able to enjoy all that Waikiki has to offer: Diamond Head.

Years ago, on my first trip to the Islands, our taxi driver called the neighborhoods flanking Diamond Head and its string of oceanfront condos and homes along its Gold Coast the “Beverly Hills of Hawaii.” One can easily understand the comparison, which still holds true. There, within eyesight of the glittering towers of Waikiki, are leafy, quiet streets with elegant homes featuring pools, views and ample creature comforts.

The homes of Diamond Head are separated from the bustle of Waikiki by Kapiolani Park, a gorgeous green space that often hosts festivals and performances. The park also serves as a favorite spot for morning jogs and Tai Chi and yoga sessions.

The Homes

The Exotic Estates homes on and around Diamond Head are perfectly situated, offer three to six bedrooms, and start at $1245 per night.

Here are some favorites:

Wailele Villa

Wailele Villa offers 3 Bedrooms, sleeps up to 8, has a private pool, stunning ocean views and starts at $1245 per night (plus taxes/fees).

http://www.exoticestates.com/wailele-villa

Diamond Head Hawaii Lani

The Diamond Head Hawaii Lani offers 4 bedrooms, sleeps up to 9, has a private pool and starts at $1500 per night (plus taxes/fees).

http://www.exoticestates.com/diamond-head-hawaii-lani

Diamond Head Estate

If ultra-luxurious is what you are looking for, Diamond Head Estate offers nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of private oceanfront luxury living. The estate sleeps up to 12 guests. Prices start at $6500 per night (plus taxes/fees).

http://www.exoticestates.com/diamond-head-estate

Kalani Villa

Just on the other side of Diamond Head in what is known as Kahala, there is the Kalani Villa. Another private, oceanfront home offering quiet luxury within easy reach of Waikiki and Honolulu dining and fun. This 4 bedroom home sleeps up to 8 guests and starts at $1750 per night (plus taxes/fees).

http://www.exoticestates.com/kalani-villa

If you are traveling with family or with a group of friends and want private, quiet and elegant surroundings that are a short drive or Uber ride away from the restaurants, bars and entertainment of Waikiki, contact us today to check availability.

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​Oahu and Kauai Hawaii Events – June 2015 urn:uuid:c091c2f3-fd06-1bb2-490b-8a914ccf3b81 2016-11-02T14:35:19-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
May 2015

There are many fun cultural events happening on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai during the month of June. We are heading into summer, which is when the South Shore of Oahu and Kauai, and all Hawaiian Islands, come alive with summer-swell activity. Expect to begin seeing big white rollers off of Waikiki and Ala Moana Beach Park and to find calmer waters up on the North Shore.

If you are coming to Oahu or Kauai with Exotic Estates this June, keep these events in mind!

Every Friday - Royal Hawaiian Band Concert at Iolani Palace - Oahu

June is a month that has important dates for the state of Hawaii. During June, Hawaii’s monarchy and rich cultural heritage are honored. On June 5th, a fun way for the enter family to enjoy an afternoon outside is the Royal Hawaiian Band Concert on the grounds of Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on US soil. They play from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Combine this with a visit to historic palace, the unique Hawaii state capital building and walk through downtown. Consider lunch in bustling Chinatown, which is a historic area in its own rite. There are plenty of great places to eat, window shop and lots of galleries!

Check out the Iolani Palace website for details: http://www.iolanipalace.org/Events.aspx

Kamehameha Day - June 11, 2015

Kamehameha Day is the day that the state of Hawaii honors Kamehameha the Great, who united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810. Under his rein, the nation of Hawaii was born and his legacy can be felt to this day. Every June, there are parades and ceremonies all over the islands to honor him.

On Oahu, on June 12th, leis are draped on the statue of Kamehameha downtown across from historic Iolani Palace. It’s a beautiful and moving testament to the strength, pride and spirit of the Hawaiian people. There will also be a parade and festival taking place around Kapiolani Park, near Waikiki, on June 13th.

On Kauai, you can also partake in Kamehameha Day festivities in Lihue on June 13th. There will be a parade and lots of vendors with food, fun and culture for all.

Obon Dances – Various Locations on Oahu & Kauai

Obon is an ancient Buddhist custom that takes place during the summer months. Essentially these are beautiful outdoor festivals that incorporate dance, traditional music, and of course, food. There are festivals throughout the Hawaiian Islands and locals and visitors alike are welcome to join in the fun. These events are free and an opportunity to experience the rich cultural heritage of Japanese Americans in Hawaii.

On Oahu, there are festivals held around the island throughout June. You can look for events organized through various Buddhist temples and missions, including the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. On Kauai, look for the same.

First Friday of the Month - Downtown Honolulu on Oahu

Remember that on the first Friday over every month, all of the galleries and businesses in downtown Honolulu sponsor a night of art and music. If you are looking for something fun and culturally current to do, come to downtown Honolulu and check out artwork by some of Hawaii’s best artists and, of course, wonderful food and vibrant energy.

Honolulu Pride Parade

The Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation sponsors Honolulu’s Pride parade on June 6th. The parade will run from Ala Moana Park to Kapiolani Park near Diamond Head. Check out the Foundation’s website for event details.

http://www.honolulupride.org/

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Maui Vacation Home Inspections – Is Your Rental Agent Looking Out for You? urn:uuid:78555fe7-5c10-0b4b-0c7b-cf33f73e561d 2016-11-02T14:36:53-07:00 By John Di Rienzo
Director of Marketing
May 2015

 

One of the things that sets Exotic Estates apart from other vacation rental agencies is that we regularly go out and inspect our homes in person. This is one of the main benefits of working with an agency like Exotic Estates: peace of mind when planning your vacation.

Recently, I joined our Manager of Guest Services in walk-throughs of some of our amazing Maui vacation rentals. As the Director of Marketing, I enjoy getting into the field to experience the properties first hand, and find spending time in the incredible settings and lush landscapes inspiring.

Typically it is our Owner and Guest Services team who give a home a thorough inspection before it becomes part of our collection. As part of the inspection process, a detailed amenities checklist is completed and all of the information is entered into our central database. However, the process does not end there. Once a home is on board, we will go back and do walk-throughs from time to time to make sure that the vacation rental is looking good, fully operational and our records are up to date.

We toured a total of six homes on this particular day. They were all incredible properties and one was going through a thorough cleaning in preparation for the next Exotic Estates guest. I took time to check out some unique furnishings and test an inviting hammock that was strung between two palm trees in the backyard of one of the homes.

The quality and beauty of our vacation rentals make my job easier, as they are typically all so photogenic that they sell themselves. However, as gorgeous as the photos are, they do not do the homes justice. In person, living rooms seem more spacious, ceilings higher and bedrooms more inviting.

Also, photos do not do the views justice. There is just no way to capture the feeling one has when looking out across the Pacific to the island of Lanai from one of our homes in Lahaina. With the trade winds rustling the palms and the birds singing, there is nothing quite like it.

Below are some snapshots that I took on my walk-throughs with my iPhone. They highlight some of the unique architectural details and décor that I noticed, guest readiness features such as plush bathrobes and towels, and settings, but of course, there is nothing like actually being there.

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​6 Essential Packing Tips for Your Trip to Hawaii urn:uuid:c68e0b8a-9ccb-8b45-4e09-2225973ba444 2016-03-04T00:33:40-07:00 By Bonnie Carpenter
April 2015

Packing for your Trip to Hawaii

So your Hawaiian vacation home is rented, your plane tickets are purchased, but your bags are still sitting unpacked because you’re not quite sure what to bring? Fret no longer, we’ve compiled a detailed guide to pack and prepare for your upcoming trip to Hawaii.

The first of this series, we share our advice for the must have clothing items to include in your bag. Stay tuned for the ultimate in tips and recommendations for your upcoming Hawaiian escape!

Attire

 

Don’t forget, they call it “island style” for a reason! One of the Hawaii’s foremost appeals is its laid back atmosphere. This energy translates not only to the local culture and beach scene, but the casual attire discovered throughout these tropical islands!

Day-to-Day

 

Pack plenty of casual shorts, T-shirts, and flowy dresses and skirts for the ladies. Most restaurants require little to no dress code, at most you may encounter “resort wear” recommended – this term implies a button up shirt, khaki shorts, casual dresses or shorts and blouses.

Insider Tips:

-Easy, Breezy

Be sure to consider the tropical breezes when planning your outfits. Short dresses and skirts can prove problematic for that boat cruise or day trip!

-Shopping Local for Hawaiian Prints

Looking for the perfect Hawaiian printed clothing for your night out? Consider saving yourself the trip to your local department store, and shop one of the many on-island stores carrying a plethora of tropical prints and attire for everyone in your group!

Footwear

Locally known as ‘slippers’ (pronounced Slippahs!), or more familiarly known as flip flops, are the footwear staple of the islands. A simple pair is suitable for anything from a beach trip, shopping excursion, or even an evening out. Sandals of all sorts are also the norm, and a perfect addition to your bag. The final element to consider are reef shoes, designed for ocean wear to protect your feet from lava rock and coral reef encounters.

Insider Tips:

- Formal Footwear

Ladies, are you planning on a special night out? Forego the stilettos for wedges for a truly tropical vibe!

- Travelling with Hiking Boots

Packing boots for hiking and exploring? Wear them while traveling to free up some serious space and weight in your bag!

- Toes Out!

Are your feet ready for open toed footwear? Don’t forget that pre-trip pedicure! Better yet, schedule a pampering session at a local spa after you arrive on island for a supreme relaxation experience.

Swimwear

With endless beaches, and private pools (link over?) galore, a swimsuit is a must have item for your Hawaii trip! Ladies, don’t forget that cover-up or sarong to compliment the outfit – gentlemen, a tank top will do the trick!

Insider Tips:

- Additional Sun Protection

Looking for additional SPF’s? Consider a rashguard, a short or long sleeve shirt made of water wear material that often has high levels of UV protection. This popular swimwear is fantastic for kids and adults alike!

-Double Your Swimwear

Pack at least two swimsuits, to be sure that you’ll never have to endure putting on a cold, wet swimsuit again!

Outerwear

 

The quintessential tropical experience, Hawaii not only offers bright sun and clear skies, you’ll find the calm trade winds bring just enough breeze to stay comfortable. These breezes can often become cooler in the evening hours, and therefore a sweater or lightweight jacket is a fantastic item to include in your bag!

Insider Tips:

-High Elevation Climates

Planning a higher elevation trip, like Haleakala on Maui or the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii? Don’t forget it gets very chilly, regardless of season, and can be anywhere from 50-60 degrees at the summits! Bring a jacket, or simply pack up extra blankets to ensure comfort and enjoyment of the experience.

-Rainy Season

Don’t forget that Hawaii is a tropical destination, and (often quick and intermittent!) rain is not uncommon. The rainy season in Hawaii occurs between the months of October-April, during this time pack an umbrella, a poncho, or a water resistant layer to be sure you’re never caught off guard. Remember, no rain, no rainbows!

Accessories

 

Equally as important as your clothing, are your choices of various additional accessories! Hats and visors are a must, especially when planning long day trips or even simply a beach visit. Sunglasses are also a must, and a great consideration not to forget for the youngest ones in your group!

(Photo shown from Elvis' Blue Hawaii, released in 1961)

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​5 Good Reasons to Book with a Vacation Rental Agency urn:uuid:d56132e8-ef40-7d77-008f-cf155f937b0e 2015-08-19T18:14:01-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

In this day and age, there are plenty of big websites out there that allow you to book vacation rentals directly with home owners. Most of the time, the listings are an accurate reflection of the home that is being advertised and the home owners are honest people looking to monetize their beloved vacation property. But sometimes that is not the case and when you are playing with your valuable vacation time, peace of mind is priceless.

Here follows five good reasons to rent through a vacation rental agency.

1. Protection from Scammers

We’ve all heard the stories, people plan a dream vacation, reserve a gorgeous vacation home directly with an owner and find out that either it does not exist (nightmare #1) or they inaccurately represented the home to a damaging degree (nightmare #2). There are certainly scammers out in the market and one of the benefits of going with an agency like Exotic Estates is that we act as your point of contact and your broker, and good ones, like us, thoroughly vet their properties.

2. Accuracy & Integrity

Our business relies on the accuracy and the quality of our listings and also the integrity of our reservations and accounting departments. We make sure that we know all that we can about a property to properly represent it to a potential guest, as nobody wants a bad experience. Also, we follow meticulous accounting procedures so you can be sure that your payments and security deposits are in good hands.

3. One-Stop Shopping

Exotic Estates has a vetted collection of beautiful vacation rentals that vary by price, style, size and location. The benefit of working with a vacation rental agency like Exotic Estates is that we listen to your needs and then recommend a couple homes based on our expert knowledge of the inventory in the area. This saves you time and also you will have a much better understanding of the positives of each home based on your needs so you can make a more informed decision.

4. Helpful Partners

If something does not go as desired, for whatever reason, your agency or manager will work hard to try to find a solution, so you are not on your own. Ultimately, like all hospitality businesses, we want referrals and repeat guests. At Exotic Estates we always work hard to be fair and considerate with all parties.

5. Local Experts

We are experts in the destination that you are booking. Most often, our people live there and are part of the community. They can provide you with great local insights and advice on services and activities, including which vendors are preferred based on many years of experience. Again, we want you to have the best possible time so that you want to come back to us and refer us to your friends and family.

You can check up on vacation rental agencies in a number of ways, including BBBs and reviews posted on their and 3rd party websites. However, you can also check to see if they are members of the Vacation Rental Managers Association (VRMA). The VRMA is an industry group, whose mission includes, “elevating the industry and ensuring superior guest and homeowner experiences.” Their website is www.vrma.com.

We hope that this post will help you see the value in working with Exotic Estates!

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​Oahu and Kauai Family Fun Events - May 2015! urn:uuid:46baf13f-71d8-1082-cb68-127fab614f72 2016-03-04T00:47:50-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

Oahu and Kauai are two very different Hawaiian Islands, each offering their particular charms and events to enjoy during your visit to paradise. We’ve picked a few that offer fun the entire family.

OAHU EVENTS

Honolulu/Waikiki Lei Day Events – May 1 – 2

You will be able to find Lei Day events on all islands. On Oahu, head over to Kapiolani Park and the Bandstand in Waikiki to partake in the festivities.

13th Annual Waikiki SPAM Jam - May 2, 2015

SPAM is a beloved food in Hawaii. The Waikiki SPAM Jam is an annual street festival that takes place on Kalakaua Avenue and celebrates Hawaii's love of SPAM. This is a fun, uniquely contemporary Hawaiian event. Proceeds raised from the festival benefit the Hawaii Food Bank.

The Honolulu Triathlon - May 17, 2015

Come support the thousands of triathletes at the Honolulu Triathlon.The 12th annual event begins and ends in Ala Moana Beach Park, so make your way over to see these triathletes and stop at Ala Moana Shopping Center for some great shopping.

Honolulu Triathlon
 

Lantern Floating Ceremony - May 25, 2015

This beautiful and stirring tradition is held every year on Memorial Day, at Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park to set afloat 3,000 candlelit lanterns in memory of loved ones. The tradition originated in Japan and today thousands of all faiths take part in this beautiful ceremony.

Lantern Floating Hawaii Ceremony


KAUAI EVENTS

Hawaiian Islands Land Trust Talk Story Hike – May 2, 2015

Staying down by Poipu, how about an interesting hike and talk sponsored by the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust with Rupert Rowe of Hui o Kāneiolouma. You will visit the intact Hawaiian Village in Poipu. RSVP to Jennifer Luck, HILT Kauai Island Director, at 808-755-5707.

Hanalei Community Center - Slack Key Guitar & Ukulele Concert – May 8 2015

Staying in Hanalei, enjoy traditional Hawaiian slack key and ukulele music at the Hanalei Community Center. Contact the community center for tickets.

Kauai Island Crafters Fair – May 9, 2015

Looking for cool Hawaiian crafts to bring home? If you’re near Princeville on May 9, between 8:00 am - 2:00 pm, be sure to stop buy the Kauai Island Crafters Fair. Lots of hand-made items from the artisans on Kauai will be on display and for sale. Yummy local food will be available too, making it a fun place to enjoy lunch. Taking place at the Church of the Pacific, 5-4280 Kuhio Highway, Princeville.

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May 2015 Events for Visitors to Maui! urn:uuid:91f2e94e-e96f-fedb-05ba-0d04977f1cec 2016-10-17T23:46:57-07:00 By Bonnie Carpenter
April 2015

While the allure of warm sand and crystal clear blue water may have drawn you to this beautiful Hawaiian island, your trip will remain unforgettable after attending any of these one-of-a-kind events this locale has to offer this May, 2015.

MAUI EVENTS

May 1-3, 2015 – OluKai’s 7th Annual Ho’olaule’a Festival

OluKai isn’t simply known for their high quality and stylish slippers (pronounced “Slippahs” – or better known to visitors as flip flops, or thong sandals!). Each year they host their annual festival to celebrate Hawaiian culture and its tradition-rich community! Olukai strives to help share the Hawaiian meaning and culture surrounding the Aloha spirit. This event hosts the “world’s best” SUP (stand up paddleboard!) races, canoe sailing, surfing, traditional luau, and so much more! It is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the Hawaiian spirit, and is great for adults and families alike.

http://www.olukai.com/community/events/hoolaulea/

May 1, 2015 – Brothers Cazimero Lei Day Concert

Established as a holiday in 1929, Lei Day continues to be an annual day of celebration in Hawaii. It is an event that recognized Hawaiian Culture and the Aloha Spirit. Also an annual tradition on this day is the concert held by renowned musicians, the Brothers Cazimero. Attend this event held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, and experience contemporary Hawaiian music, traditional hula, a local arts display, and a large selection of beautiful and heavenly scented flower leis to make your Lei Day a truly memorable one!

http://www.mauiarts.org

May 8, 2015 – Chaka Kahn at the MACC

 

Dubbed the “Queen of Funk”, Chaka Khan will be performing live at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. Ready for a night of Grammy winning jazz, funk, soul, and disco? Head over for a fun night out!

http://www.mauiarts.org

May 9-10 – Maui Choral Arts Presents “A Night at the Opera”

A one of a kind event, this fun concert will play host to Gary Shin-Leavitt and his Opera chorus! Held at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center, this event will be quite the spectacle, with singing and a dab of humor and surprises!

http://www.mauiarts.org

May 16, 2015 – Annual Maui Brewers Festival

Bring your appetite for food and fun, this annual event is a “must do”! Featuring the best craft brews of Hawaii and the mainland, and culinary delights from 25 of the Maui’s favorite restaurants, you can’t go wrong at this incredibly popular festival! Always sure to please, this event often sells out in advance! Don’t forget to pre-order your tickets! This event is perfect for couples and adult groups, children and young adults under 21 are not permitted entry.

http://www.mauiarts.org

May 16, 2015 Annual Maui Matsuri Festival

Looking for a great family event this weekend in May? Stop by the admission-free Maui Matsuri Festival. The event features Japanese and Okinawan cultural entertainment, not to mention crafts and games, a plethora of food, art and much, much more!

www.mauimatsuri.com

May 23, 2015 Intro to Canyoneering Hosted by Rappel Maui

Ready for adventure? Spend a day learning the basics of canyoneering with Rappel Maui’s skilled team at the unsurpassed Garden of Eden Arboretum. Learn all about the sport on Maui’s waterfalls in a private valley, and leave the island ready to explore more!

http://bit.ly/1FOrEHn

Friday Parties

Don’t forget that every Friday, during every month of the year, Maui hosts one of its famous ‘Friday Parties’ – taking place in a different town each week. Pop in to experience some of Maui’s best artisans, entertainers, and culinary experts all in one place for a one of a kind Maui cultural and community experience!

Where will it be this Friday?

First Friday – Wailuku

Second Friday – Lahaina

Third Friday – Makawao

Fourth Friday – Kihei

http://mauifridays.com

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​Vacation Rentals – How Far Out Should You Book? urn:uuid:e4ab0d30-d914-4605-466c-c5331554f164 2016-11-02T14:31:40-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

At Exotic Estates, we focus on the luxury or high-end of the vacation rental market and our primary market is Hawaii. Hawaii is a year-round destination and is always in demand. However there are peak periods for travel to Hawaii, and other popular destinations, that impact how far in advance you should plan your vacation.

While this post will focus on Hawaii, it can be used a general rule of thumb when planning to rent a vacation rental in Hawaii, or another hi-profile, in demand destination, such as Park City during ski season or the Caribbean during the winter months.

The Holiday Season: 8 -12 Months Out

If you are looking to travel in December for Christmas and/or New Year, know that this is peak season for Hawaii and many other destinations. Children are off from school and business gets quite slow; some businesses, like ad agencies, often close. Lots of people look to spend the holidays away in a warm place, with family and friends. As such, the best homes are often booked up to a year in advance.

If you are serious about renting a home for Christmas and New Year’s, you should make the effort to look at availability a year to eight months out to ensure that you will have options. If you wait, you may get lucky and find a home that works for you, but you will have limited options.

The same applies to the Thanksgiving holiday period, though there is a lull between Thanksgiving and Christmas that represents an opportunity as pricing is reduced.

K-12 Seasonal School Holidays: 6 - 8 Months Out

Generally, schools in the U.S., which generates the majority of visitors to Hawaii, have breaks in the school year that are popular times for taking family vacations. Winter break takes place in February or March, while spring break will often take place in April around Easter.

These weeks can play havoc with your plans if you are planning on taking advantage of your kids’ school holiday for week away in paradise. Wherever you plan on going, if it’s a popular spot – beach or snow - expect competition and book well ahead.

Again, you might get lucky and find that perfect home for your family, but your choices will be more limited if you wait until four or three months prior to book.

K-12 Summer Break: 4 - 6 Months Out

People sometimes think that Hawaii must be more affordable and accessible in the summer because, well, it’s warm everywhere in the North Hemisphere then so what’s the motivation: wrong. Summer is a popular travel season in Hawaii and prices, and space, are at a premium. The reason – K-12 summer vacation, which can run from June to August.

Again it is the K-12 school year schedule that you must contend with during the summer months. Summer is family vacation time. Schools are closed, and it’s generally a period when business slows and folks take vacations from work.

However, in Hawaii you can find some great spots that you might not normally consider during the summer months. An example is the famous North Shore of Oahu. Gone are the giant waves of winter. The North Shore is placid and peaceful during the summer months, offering perfect, fairly empty beaches for family recreation. If you’ve been to Hawaii before and are looking for a quiet place for your family to relax, consider the North Shore, as the surfers and their groupies found there during the winter season are gone!

We do have some amazing destinations in our portfolio besides Hawaii that offer exceptional value during the summer months. One is Park City, Utah. There is actually lots to do in Park City during the summer and it can be a lovely spot for a family vacation. Also, pricing for our villas in the Caribbean will generally be lower during the summer months, as demand is lower.

Shoulder/Low Season: Fall Opportunity!

If you have the luxury of being able to take vacation during a low or shoulder period, meaning during the fall and not during the peak periods, you will typically find better pricing and better availability. So, if you are not tied to a school vacation schedule or better yet, are retired, you are in a great position to get your pick of vacation rentals.

Also, because demand is lower, you should be able to plan a trip in the fall closer in, say 3 – 4 months in advance, especially if you are flexible. This is true in Hawaii, the Caribbean and elsewhere.

A Note on Airfares

You can think about vacation rentals in a similar manner to airfares. In the airline world, there are a few seasons that can impact price: Peak (Holiday Season and summer), Shoulder (periods bordering peak), and Low (fall and periods not adjacent to common holiday weeks).

You can wait to see how fares move if you are traveling in the shoulder or low seasons before making a purchase. It is a worthwhile gamble. However, if you are traveling during one of the peak periods or your dates are not flexible, you should think about booking well in advance. Airlines keep pricing high during peak travel periods because they know they can and fares rise quickly as availability disappears.

Also, even during low season, if you must travel of specific dates, you can get caught in an availability crunch. Flights can get heavily booked on the particular dates you want or need to travel on, resulting in airfares that are unusually high for period.

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​Maui Vacation Rental Guide – Where to Stock-up on Supplies urn:uuid:8d260272-e175-7f20-26c2-fe26ff311445 2016-11-02T14:29:39-07:00 Maui is one of the most popular Hawaiian Islands for vacation rentals and for good reason. The warm Pacific waters that lap its famous beaches – Kaanapali, Kapalua, Lahaina, Hookipa and Wailea – are clear and perfect for recreation, while its interior mountains and valleys are lush and green.

One of the main benefits of renting a vacation home is that you can cook and eat what you like, when you like. This means that people in your group will always have their favorite foods on hand during their vacation – and they will not have to pay each time they want to eat them! Also, this is a huge benefit if traveling with family members and friends with dangerous food allergies, as they can better control what goes into their meals.

Most homes come with all the elements that you will need to prepare meals: pots, pans, dishes etc. But you will need to bring the ingredients and thankfully, there are lots of good places on Maui where you can stock-up on supplies. Here are a few places recommended by our Maui based Exotic Estates Hawaii Specialists. The list covers stores for generic items, specialty items and sweets!

Costco

We listed good ol’ Costco first because it’s is located in Kahului and has, well, pretty much everything. For many guests, Kahului will be their point of arrival. After picking up the rental car, if you’re not too bushed from traveling, you can make stop at Costco and pick up food and other items you may have forgotten to pack. It’s a good strategic move – take care of getting all the basics in the beginning and then start the fun!

Foodland

Foodland is a local Hawaii chain of grocery stores that offers items common to most supermarkets as well as local treats and specialties. In their fish department you will find amazing local fish and delicious Poke! Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a kind of Hawaiian-style sashimi that was traditionally made with tuna or ahi, sea salt, seaweed and soy sauce. However, in Hawaii you will find many varieties of Poke including tako or octopus poke! Foodland will have plenty of prepared local treats mixed in among the items commonly found on Mainland markets. You'll also find sunscreen and even gifts like chocolate covered macadamia nuts to take home!

Kumu Farms – Farmers Market

Kumu Farms is a terrific option for fresh, organic, locally grown produce and tropical fruits. For the chefs in the group, they have plenty of gourmet ingredients for sale. Kumu Farms is located at the Maui Tropical Plantation in Waikapu. You can check out their delectable items on their beautiful website: http://www.mauitropicalplantation.com/kumu-farms2/

Takayima Market

Takayima Market is a small family-run store in Wailuku that features delicious prepared Japanese and local snacks and foods, like sushi, poke and even kalbi ribs and kimchee. They have been part of the local community for decades and are a true local classic. Takayima Market also offers excellent local fish and meats. But if you like snacking and Japanese-style food, this is a great spot. You can pick up little packages of delectable treats for everyone in the group!

Stillwell’s Bakery and Café

Stillwell’s has been serving up sweet treats on Maui since 1994. Located in Wailuku, if you’re in Maui to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or if you simply have a sweet tooth – Stillwell’s is the place to go. Check out their delights here: http://stillwellsbakery.com/

Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop

Leoda’s is another great spot for sweets located in Lahaima, in West Maui. They are known for pies, but also have a plethora of foods on the ready-to-eat menu, including sandwiches and salads. Check out their menu and specialties here: http://www.leodas.com/

Demming’s Delivery

For those of you who don’t want to worry about shopping on vacation, there is Demming’s Delivery. Demming’s will shop for you and stock the fridge. The company will even shop at Whole Foods. For the convenience, expect to pay a 30% commission on the bill total. You can read more about their service here: http://www.demmingsdelivery.com/

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​April 2015 Events for Visitors to Maui, Hawaii! urn:uuid:4f2d63c2-d2c0-2c73-48c7-042ad22b1f1f 2016-10-17T23:55:54-07:00 April doesn’t just offer tranquil trade winds and tropical climate, it also brings a host of local events and can’t miss experiences for visitors of all ages!

Saturday, April 4th, 2015 – Amy + Willie K at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to soak in a local music experience, this is your chance! Two of Hawaii’s award winning musicians join again for one night of premium music and Hawaiian flair at the Castle Theatre at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center.

http://mauiarts.org/index.html?p=2&Month=04&Year=2015&showID=1012&d=2015-04-04

Sunday, April 5th, 2015 – Annual Easter Fair at Lahaina Animal Farm

Have little ones in your group? Looking to soak up some of the Easter holiday joy? This local tradition in a must! This small fair offers Easter Egg Hunts every half hour, Keiki (Hawaiian for children) Horseback Rides, Zorb Ball Rolling, and so much more. Stop by for a quick Face Painting, or stay the whole afternoon and catch the bull roping – you can’t go wrong with this pit-stop for the keiki travelling with you!

www.LahainaAnimalFarm.com

Saturday, April 11th, 2015 – Ultimate Ocean Cocktail Showdown

Join Ocean Vodka and the Sheraton Resort and Spa for the final showdown to name the ‘Ultimate Ocean Vodka Cocktail’. Each finalist will be paired with local Celebrity chefs to present dish and cocktail submissions, which will be judged by attendees and a panel of judges. A portion of all ticket proceeds, as well as the future sales of the winning cocktail, will benefit five of Maui’s non-profit organizations. Tickets also include free entry to the after party hosted at the Black Rock Lounge. Don’t miss this opportunity for an exciting and memorable date night out!

http://oceanvodka.com

Friday, April 17th, 2015 and Saturday, April 18th, 2015 – Chinese Kite Festival in Lahaina

Don’t miss this opportunity to experience Lahaina’s Chinese Kite Festival, an event known for its history and entertainment! Visit the exhibit of handmade kites, make your very own, and even fly your own kite for prizes. Not only can you partake in the events, but you can expect a plethora of Chinese music and culinary delicacies to enjoy while perusing this free event!

http://www.calendarmaui.com/php/event-detail.php?event_id=19537

Sunday, April 25th, 2015 – Annual Haiku Ho’laule’a and Flower Festival

Bring your family and spend the day at the 22nd Annual Haiku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival! This free event features live local entertainment, silent auctions, culinary delights from local restaurants, local flower features, and many events for the keiki to take part in

http://haikuhoolaulea.org

Friday Parties

Don’t forget that every Friday, during every month of the year, Maui hosts one of its famous ‘Friday Parties’ – taking place in a different town each week. Pop in to experience some of Maui’s best artisans, entertainers, and culinary experts all in one place for a one-of-a-kind Maui cultural and community experience!

Where will it be this Friday?

First Friday – Wailuku

Second Friday – Lahaina

Third Friday – Makawao

Fourth Friday – Kihei

http://mauifridays.com

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The Best Day Cruises from Maui urn:uuid:8e45d73f-e466-bee4-880b-f123ba17a0d1 2016-03-04T01:09:41-07:00 By Bonnie Carpenter
April 2015


The Exotic Estates Hawaii Experts on Maui have picked their favorite day cruises for you. These trips typically involve the option of snorkeling or diving due to the incredible underwater life that thrives in the clear Pacific waters around Maui.

With a variety of above-surface island settings, abundant sea-life and endless visibility, it’s no wonder why Maui is known as the #1 Hawaiian island for underwater experiences. Above or below, in one day, miles of ocean can be conquered and countless breathtaking memories can be made!

Molokini Crater

Cruising to Molokini crater is a quintessential “Maui” experience. One of only three sheltered volcanic calderas in the world, this site is known for its crystal-clear visibility (often up to 150 feet!), vast quantities of tropical fish, and unique location off the coast of South Maui in the ocean channel between the islands of Maui and Kaho’olawe.

While you do not have to go under the water to be wowed – the caldera rim above water is pretty spectacular - this area is a prime location for those looking to interact with Maui’s ocean life in an unforgettable location. Day trips to Molokini are offered by a multitude of tour boats, and are perfectly suited for those looking to snorkel, SNUBA, or scuba dive Maui’s most popular boat tour site. Experienced divers can drift dive off the 300-foot sheer outer wall, while snorkelers stay within the current and wave protected crescent shaped caldera.

Fun Fact: Molokini was used by the United States Navy during World War II for target practice, as the islet resembled the shape of a battleship. Extensive recovery efforts have resulted in the removal of all unexploded ordinances in the area, with the only lasting evidence being the clearly damaged southwest rim of the crater.

Local’s Tip: For those looking to avoid some of the often sea-sick inducing effects of the wind and surf, morning boat trips are recommended! Early morning trips are also known for best snorkel and dive conditions, and can sometimes also be less crowded at this popular spot!

 

Lana’i

A short nine-mile trip off the coast of West Maui, across the Au’au channel, is the Hawaiian island of Lana’i. Lana’i is not only home to the longest stretch of coral reef in Hawaii, but more excitedly, one of Hawaii’s largest spinner dolphin pods.

A cruise to Lana’i will often be incomplete without an encounter with these majestic mammals, often found along the South coastline of this Hawaiian island.

Lana’i is not only known for its frequent dolphin encounters, but also its crystal-clear water - home to some of the best snorkeling Hawaii has to offer.

Divers will also find a day trip to Lana’i particularly enticing, as this island offers the unrivaled lava tube diving sites known as the “Lana’i cathedrals.” Most day tours also offer opportunities to disembark and explore the small island, in addition to snorkeling and diving stops!

Fun Fact: Lana’i is the only Hawaiian island to be primarily owned by one Owner, as 98% of this island was purchased in 2012 by Larry Ellison for a reported $500 million dollars.

Local’s Tip: The best time to boat travel to Lanai (when possible) are during winter months, as you will often get an up-close-and-personal whale watching session as you cross the channel – at no additional cost to you!

Exotic Estates has a new and fabulously exclusive home on Lana’i for those who want to get to know the island! http://bit.ly/LodgeLanai

 

Sea Caves Off Maui’s Coast

Feeling adventurous? Take an ocean rafting adventure to tour the rugged and remote Kanaio coast off the South tip of the island of Maui. This coast is inaccessible by road, and is known for its lava-formed sea caves, arches, and grottos. In this area of diverse volcanic landscape, dolphins are often encountered amongst turtles and abundant coral marine life. However, possibly the most noteworthy part of this experience, is the opportunity to absorb a view unlike that of any other on Maui – complete with lava rock cliff sides spilling into crystal clear blue water.

This experience is often found via a much smaller, rigid-hulled inflatable boat, and is well-suited for those looking for a unique and uncrowded snorkel experience!

Fun Fact: The Kanaio Coast area of Maui was formed when the South facing slope of the now dormant Haleakala erupted 500 years ago.

Local’s Tip: Those with back or neck irritations or problems should consider avoiding smaller, raft-style boats, and instead opt for larger, more stable boat tours for their Maui ocean experience!

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5 Famous Hawaii Movie Locations – Perfect for Vacation Rentals urn:uuid:945707f2-8d8f-b388-a082-28e508fbdb07 2016-11-02T14:26:16-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

Ever watched a movie set in a beautiful Hawaiian location and thought it would be a nice place to stay on vacation? Here are five spots to consider.

Blue Crush – North Shore Oahu

The blockbuster surfing movie Blue Crush was filmed on and around Oahu. The main filming location, including the surf contest, was the famed North Shore of Oahu. The competition in which Anne Marie (Kate Bosworth) competes is the Pipe Masters, which is truly held at the Banzai Pipeline each year in December. It’s possible to get ring-side seats to all of the big wave action by renting one of Exotic Estates amazing North Shore rentals.

Check our Oahu North Shore rentals here: http://bit.ly/north-shore-rentals

The Descendants – Hanalei, Kauai

When Matt King (George Clooney) flies to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, he sets off for a gorgeous beach in an effort to confront his rival. That gorgeous beach setting is Hanalei Bay. Hanalei is quite simply one of the most beautiful places in Hawaii. If you found that scene idyllic, you can rent a home on Hanalei Bay for your next vacation, as Exotic Estates has several on offer.

Take look at Exotic Estates’ Hanalei vacation rentals: http://bit.ly/hanalei-rentals

Gilligan's Island - Windward Oahu

At The island seen at the beginning of the second and third seasons of the series actually show Coconut Island, which is located in gorgeous Kaneohe Bay on the Windward side of the island. The island currently serves as a research center for the University of Hawaii's Oceanography Department and Marine Biology Department. Fortunately, Exotic Estates has many homes located on the Windward side, especially in and around the beaches of Kailua, which is just to the south of Kaneohe Bay - so unlike the castaways, you will have plenty of luxuries on your vacation!

Check out our Kailua vacation rentals here: http://bit.ly/kailua-rentals

Jurassic Park – Windward Oahu

Jurassic Park was filmed in a variety of locations. However, many of the shots that had the cast outside, running from dinosaurs in a verdant valley framed with high-peaks, were filmed at Kualoa Ranch on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The Ranch is located on the Windward side of Oahu and offers many tours for visitors wanting to explore their 4000 acres. We also feel that the ranch has one of the most picturesque settings in the Islands. Fortunately, we have a home that will let you enjoy unobstructed views of the ranch beautiful mountain peaks.

Check it out here: http://www.exoticestates.com/happy-haole-hale

Papillon – Maui

The classic film Papillon arguably one of Steve McQueen’s best movies. In it, he plays Henri "Papillon" Charrière, who was sentenced to prison on Devil’s Island, located off the coast of French Guiana, for a crime he did not commit. The movie was shot in various locations, including Jamaica, however Steve McQueen’s famous cliff-jumping scene in the end was shot on the North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Maui. Interestingly, Steve McQueen did the stunt himself! Allegedly, he said the jump was, "one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life." Well, there is plenty of fun to be had on Maui besides cliff-jumping. Exotic Estates vacation rentals on the North Shore of Maui, and elsewhere, offer plenty of creature comforts and are in a variety of locations.

Check out our Maui rentals here: http://bit.ly/maui-rentals

 

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​10 Tips for the Best Whale Watching in Hawaii – Maui Focus urn:uuid:82271b5b-e6c7-4cf4-4672-3af96975176f 2016-11-02T14:25:09-07:00 Hawaii's warm Pacific waters aren’t just a popular destination for about eight million tourists annually. Each year, two-thirds of the entire North Pacific humpback whale population migrate to the Islands to breed, calve, and nurse their young. Dubbed ‘Whale Season’, this phenomenon occurs every year between the months of November and May, reaching its peak January through March.

During this time in the Hawaiian Island chain, expect the horizon to be quite the spectacle! Whale activity such as tail slaps on the surface, spouts shooting water up to twenty feet in the air, and awe inspiring full body surface breaches by these 45-ton majestic mammals can be frequently seen from just about any island vantage point.

How to See Whales

1. Whale Watching Boat Trips

For those looking for the “up-close-and-personal” experience, a whale-watching boat trip is the way to go! Tour boats can approach humpback whales from as close as 100 yards away. Not only should you brace yourself for the spectacular show above the water, most boats offer the opportunity to hear the singing vocalization happening just beneath the surface via an underwater microphone. This is the ultimate in whale-watching experiences, and a must do for those looking for an unforgettable experience with this endangered species.

Local’s Tips:

 

1. Look for smaller boats, such as sailboats or catamarans, for an intimate experience away from the masses! Sailboats also offer a pristine experience on the ocean; feel the tranquil breeze, soak in the Hawaiian sunrays, all without the loud hum of large engines.

2. Start Early! We know not everyone is excited at the thought of rising early while on vacation, however early morning trips (as opposed to afternoon trips) ensure the least wind and smoothest ride for your excursion. Don’t forget, we do reside in the latest US time zone – so while 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. may sound early, your body will most likely feel as though it’s much later!

3. Prone to seasickness? Don’t forget the Dramamine, seasickness patches, and ginger in any form. Equally, if not more important than those, don’t forget to stand at the rail’s edge and keep your eyes on the horizon! This will help your equilibrium immensely. Be sure not to enclose yourself inside (say, a bathroom!) as this will amplify the effects of your seasickness. Lastly, if you do happen to get sick, aim for over the back railing (on the lower level if you’re on a two tier boat!), and don’t fret or be embarrassed, the crews are all quite accustomed to it.

2. Lookout Points

Not a fan of being on a boat? Each island has a multitude of options for vantage points to view whale activity from land. These popular locations are often found cliff-side for an expansive ocean view. Get ready for the water show of a lifetime!

Local’s Tips:

 

1. Don’t forget your binoculars! While whale activity in Hawaii can be easily seen with the blind eye, you’ll wish you had a pair of specs handy to get detail only usually seen up close.

2. Most lookout points in Hawaii are located right off of main travel roads. Be sure to park as to not impede with road travel, and be extremely careful not to walk within roadways while exiting and entering your vehicle.

3. Stick to the road most travelled! Most known lookout points have clear markers, those without paved parking lots will have obvious beaten paths with flatter areas better for parking. Skip the urge to drive or venture into blocked or undesignated areas off of cliff-side roads! Often these areas are heavily rocky, unstable, and unsecured and pose an unassuming safety risk.

Along the same line, be cautious while standing and walking cliff-side. Stay within markers and away from the cliff’s edge while whale watching and taking photos. While our Hawaiian lava rocks may look very stable – they can easily scramble and breakaway without notice.

4. VOG (volcanic emissions of sulfur dioxide) can appear when our trade winds die down (it looks like smog to those unfamiliar), and can affect your visibility greatly while whale watching. If the weather appears “voggy” save your land-based whale watching for a clearer day. Keep an eye on the palms, when they start swaying again that VOG will blow right on out!

3. Beach Watching

Ready to get those toes in the warm Hawaiian sand? You can still soak up the views from the comfort of your beach chair!

Local’s Tips:

1. Just as before, don’t forget those binoculars for that perfect visual!

2. Aim to avoid busier beaches for more ambiance, and less shoreline activity that can detract from watching the horizon for a pod of whales!

3. Feeling adventurous? Paddle boarding is a great opportunity to enjoy one of our most popular ocean activities, while getting a great ocean view often with whale activity (it can occur much closer to shoreline that you may expect!).

Where to Spot Whales: Maui

Maui is home to some of the best whale watching in the world. The ocean channel between West and South Maui is protected by Haleakala and the West Maui Mountains, setting the stage for endless visibility and shallow waters ideal for humpback whales.

Besides an on-the-ocean view while aboard a whale watching excursion, the below are some of Maui’s best known sites for whale watching.

1. McGregor Point (Honoapiilani Hwy, near Ma’alaea)

This point is home to the McGregor Point lighthouse and sweeping ocean views!

Directions: Between Mile Markers #7 and Mile Marker #8, off the Honoapiilani “Pali” Highway, there is an unimproved rocky road that leads to the point overlook.

2. Papawai Scenic Lookout (Honoapiilani Hwy, near Ma’alaea)

This is the easiest lookout on island to access, and almost impossible to miss!

Directions: While travelling Lahaina-bound on the Honoapiilani “Pali” Highway, near Mile Marker #8 a turning lane entering the paved lookout parking lot.

3. Olowalu Area Beaches and Roadside (South of Lahaina)

This entire area of shallow water just along the towering West Maui Mountains is wonderful for viewing whale activity on a clear day.

Whether you simply pull the car over, stop beachside for a dip, or join a kayak whale watch excursion in these waters – you’re likely in for quite the show!

Local’s Tips:

 

1.The sight of whale activity right offshore while driving is not uncommon here (especially in the Olowalu and Honoapiilani Highway areas)! We know it’s irresistible, but please be cognoscente and alert while driving. We like to call whale season “fender-bender” season, as distracted driving is the cause for many preventable accidents. Don’t waste your previous vacation day in the after affects of a vehicle collision – when in doubt, pull over to enjoy the view!

Stay tuned for the inside scoop on whale season for other islands!

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​5 Great Things to Do on Oahu urn:uuid:e2f1fe0e-2cf6-cebc-cbd3-42e391438e70 2016-03-04T00:31:43-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

We love visiting Oahu, Hawaii for its natural wonders. Clearly Oahu's lively Waikiki Beach scene, beautiful North Shore beaches, long sunny days and lush, distinctive Polynesian landscape are what drive visitors to the Island. But when you are ready to take a break from beach, check out these five culturally enriching activities.

 

Doris Duke's Shangri La

Shangri La is quite simply the ultimate “exotic” estate. While you cannot rent Shangri La, you can pay a visit to this fascinating and visually stunning estate, which stands as one of Hawaii’s most architecturally significant homes. Shangri La was built in the late 1930s by Doris Duke, one of America’s most famous heiresses. Like many of us, Doris Duke fell in love with Hawaii while on her honeymoon and spent significant amounts of time on Oahu throughout her life. The home she built is a monument to her passion for Hawaii and Islamic art and houses a priceless collection of pieces from across the Islamic world, including an entire room brought from Turkey and lovingly restored to its original glory by Doris Duke herself and her team. The structure of Shangri La, sitting on a cliff overlooking the Pacific on the Kahala-side of Diamond Head, near Waikiki, is truly dreamlike. To visit Shangri La, contact the Honolulu Museum of Art for tickets and times, and be sure to plan ahead as tours to this other-worldly place do sell out.

Website: http://honolulumuseum.org/385-about_shangri_la

Iolani Palace

Hawaii is the only place in the United States where you can visit a real royal palace. Located in downtown Honolulu, just in front of the Hawaii state capital building, sits Iolani Palace, the seat of the last Hawaiian monarchs. Visiting the Palace is an interesting way to spend an afternoon on Oahu. It is easy to reach from Waikiki by car or by bus. On a tour of the palace, you will visit bedrooms, offices and even the throne room. The docents will offer fascinating tidbits of Hawaiian history related to the palace and the personalities of the monarchs who lived there. After visiting Iolani Palace, walk through downtown and head to historic Chinatown for lunch. You can contact the palace to reserve space on one of the tours.

Website: http://www.iolanipalace.org/

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum

The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum is a wonderful place to learn about Hawaii’s history. The museum houses many rare native Hawaiian artifacts and also tells the story of the diverse cultures that have made Hawaii their home over the years. In addition to art installations, the Museum offers performances of Hula and other traditional arts. One of the most interesting things to do is visit the planetarium. In one show at the Planetarium, you can hear the amazing story of the first Hawaiians and their incredible navigational skills.

Website: http://www.bishopmuseum.org/

Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor is a unique historical experience that is accessible to all visitors to Oahu. You do not need to be a history buff to enjoy an afternoon at Pearl. The site of the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor can be an emotional and interesting experience for everyone. However, there is much more to see and do besides a visit to the Arizona Memorial, which is the centerpiece of the park. Visitors can tour the battleship Missouri, the USS Bowfin Submarine and the Pacific Aviation Museum, which houses an extensive collection of WWII era aircraft. At the Pacific Aviation Museum, which is immense and located on Ford Island in Harbor, we recommend paying a little extra for a docent to walk you through the collection, as they will help place all of the artifacts in context and bring history to life.

Website: http://www.pearlharborhistoricsites.org/

The Byodo-In Temple

The Byodo-In Temple is located on the Windward side of Oahu, in the Valley of the Temples. Though there is a large Buddha seated in the shrine’s main hall, the Byodo-In is said to be a non-denominational shrine. Regardless, it is a stunning building set against the majestic Ko’olau Mountains, which create a dramatic green curtain as a backdrop. There is a large koi pond and you may see some peacocks strutting about. The temple is actually a copy of a 900 year-old temple in Kyoto, Japan. It was commemorated in 1968 by the Japanese community to honor the 100 year anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. There is a cute gift shop and the gardens are spectacular, especially the stand of giant bamboo. This is a great place to have a peaceful, reflective moment and take pictures. The Temple can be rented for weddings. Ring the bell for good luck!

Website: http://www.byodo-in.com/

 

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10 Best Snorkeling Spots on Maui urn:uuid:38049ba2-8ed2-0d76-8eaf-3ef8becabd69 2016-03-03T23:20:30-07:00 Snorkeling is perhaps the easiest way for most of us to explore and enjoy the wonders found in Hawaii’s tropical ocean waters. Exotic Estates Maui vacation rentals are situated near many famous snorkeling spots. The island is famous for its clear waters and fantastic beaches. On Maui, families and friends can easily explore beautiful underwater reefs, which are teeming with life. From Hawaiian green sea turtles to Hawaii’s famous and colorful Humuhumunukunukuapuaa fish, you are sure to meet up with some gorgeous creatures when you snorkel around the island.

 

1. Ahihi Kinau Reserve: Ahihi Kinau Natural Area Reserve is located on the southern coast of Maui, just past Makena. This area is believed to be the most delicate and youngest eco-reef zones on Maui. This small cove is a great area for snorkeling with a small group, or with young children who don't feel comfortable with open water.

2. Coral Gardens: Coral Gardens in Hawaii is located near the center of West Maui, on the South end of Papalaua Beach towards the cliffs. This awesome snorkel location is home to a large number of brightly colored fish, beautiful coral and occasionally the Hawaiian green sea turtle.

3. Honolua Bay: Honolua Bay is located about twenty minutes north of Lahaina town on Maui's Northwest Shore. It's one of the most incredible locations on Maui, providing plenty of remarkable underwater and out-of-water scenery. Honolua Bay is surrounded by high rocky cliffs on both sides, which shelter it from the wind and keep the water calm. If you are sitting on the beach facing the ocean, you will be looking out across the Pailolo Channel towards the Eastern shores of the neighboring island of Molokai.

4. Ka'anapali Beach aka Black Rock: Black Rock is located on Ka'anapali Beach in West Maui and has won many awards as one of the best places to visit on Maui. Black Rock is the prominent rocky peninsula and snorkeling spot at the North end of the beach. Ka'anapali is quite possibly the most breathtaking beach on the island, its clear blue water, well-mannered surf, and warm white sandy beach will have you mesmerized!

5. Kahekili Beach Park aka Airport Beach: Airport Beach is the Northern most beach in Ka'anapali Beach Resort, but is less crowded and commercialized than its sister to the South, Ka'anapali Beach. This beautiful beach is great for families traveling with kids, for those that aren't strong swimmers or for first-time snorkelers. The reef comes right up to the shore and the surf is typically mild. This area makes snorkeling easy since snorkelers don't have to swim into deeper waters, or get close to shallow/partially exposed rocks- just dive in and you're right there!

6. Kapalua Bay: Kapalua Bay is a sheltered white sandy beach located on the Northwest side of Maui. This bay is protected by two reefs that extend out on both ends forming a C-shaped cove making it ideal of snorkeling. Kapalua Bay's calm water makes it one of those perfect places for beginner snorkeling and is an ideal spot to take the kids! Somehow Kapalua Bay retains an un-crowded look and feel. Tip: The center of the bay is sandy so the water will be slightly cloudy especially if it is windy. Walk to the North end of the beach and snorkel along the rocky edge, there will be less sand and the water visibility will be better and there will be more fish!

7. Maluaka Beach aka Turtle Town: Turtle Town, a stretch of coastline between Nahuna Point and Black Sand Beach in South Maui. Turtle Town is known to be Maui's best snorkeling location on Maui, due to its awesome turtle sightings.

8. Molokini Crater: Molokini Crater is an underwater volcano islet, located approximately 2.5 miles off of Maui's south shore. There are many different types of tours that will take you to Molokini Crater for snorkeling. You can go by sail boat, catamaran and redline rafting. This area is home to many beautiful and exotic sea creatures, as well as the Hawaiian green sea turtle!

9. Napili Bay: Napili Bay is located between Kahana and Kapalua on Northwestern Shore of Maui. This legendary beach is surrounded by a quiet community of local residents and vacation rentals, and is considered one of the sleepiest and most peaceful areas on Maui. During the winter, this beach attracts many body boarders and surfers, due to its powerful shore break when the surf is up. During the summer months, this area is perfect for relaxing, snorkeling and swimming.

10. Ulua Beach aka Kaula'ou Beach: Ulua beach is one of the beaches in the Wailea Resort complex development on Maui's South shore, located between two rocky points. When the surf is up, this beach becomes very popular, attracting many body boarders who enjoy the waves. During calm days, the snorkeling and diving around Ulua beach is excellent. You will find many colorful corals and fish!

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​15 Favorite Restaurants in Hawaii – Eat Like a Local! urn:uuid:912d6367-5aac-c535-c7e5-9e90b4a86c59 2015-02-20T11:37:53-07:00 Hawaii’s natural beauty and warm inviting culture are famous the world over. But Hawaii also gives us a unique culinary experience that is delicious and accessible. Of course there are fine-dining establishments on all of the islands that many visitors frequent. However, there are also relatively inexpensive and delicious local spots serving culinary treats that everyone, no matter what their budget or cravings, can enjoy.


KAUAI

Kauai is famous for the rugged Na Pali Coast, Waimea Canyon and its lush green landscape. When in Kauai, keep an eye out for these favorite spots for local eats, picked by the Exotic Estates Team.

1. Al Pastor Taco Food Truck (Kapaa): If you are on Kauai and want some incredible fish tacos (think locally harvested fish + tacos), stop by this taco truck in Kapaa on the East Coast of Kauai.


2. Hamura Saimin (Lihue): Saimin is a Hawaiian noodle soup, essentially ramen. It’s popular all over the islands, is cheap and delicious, and can be eaten at any time of day. Hamura is a famous local spot that serves amazing saimin.


3. Kintaro's Sushi (Wailua): A favorite local sushi spot that's very popular, they even offer a special party room for groups.


4. Garden Island Chinese Food and BBQ (Lihue): Some say they serve the best Chinese food on Kauai, but our local folks also go there for their BBQ or what they call “local food.” No matter what your preference is, they offer simple and delicious cooking.


MAUI

Maui is known for is incredible golf courses, Haleakala Crater and, of course, its stunning beaches and lush tropical inland forests. Here are some local dining spots, picked by our Guest Services team, which you can savor when spending time at an Exotic Estates’ vacation home in Maui.


5. 808 Deli (Kihei): A small “hole in the wall” located behind Fred's Mexican Cafe - this spot has some of the best sandwiches on island (also great salads for those who are diet conscious!). Stop by to grab "sammies" on your way to the beach in Makena!


6. Ono Kau Kau (Lahaina): This is the ultimate definition of “hole in the wall.” A great place to grab an inexpensive take-away lunch or dinner; they specialize in Chinese and Hawaiian-style plate lunches. (Note - Hawaiian “plate lunches” are ubiquitous in the islands and tend to include a couple scoops of rice, a scoop of macaroni salad, and a main dish of meat or fish. You can typically find Teriyaki Chicken, BBQ beef, Kalua Pig (roasted and shredded pork) and Mahi Mahi). Tip - Can't decide which “plate” to get? They'll allow you to split two different plates and combine them into one - just ask for a combination of both plates into one plate to go!


7. Star Noodle (Lahaina): Star Noodle is not totally off the radar, but it is an unassuming restaurant in an industrial area of Lahaina, and it has amazing Asian specialties and house-made noodles. Tip - Arrive early in the evening, or plan on waiting a bit for a seat (it's a very small restaurant) - they only take reservations for large groups.


8. S&Q's Shave Ice Shack (Kihei): A small shave ice shack located right off of S. Kihei Road. A stop here is a must for the best shave ice on island. Tip: Get ice cream on the bottom and sweet cream on top for an unforgettable sweet treat!


OAHU

Oahu, home to the city of Honolulu, has perhaps the most diverse culinary landscape in the islands. The island boasts world-class hotel and restaurant dining, but it also retains small-Hawaii dining experiences that locals and visitors alike cherish. Here are some favorite spots for tasty local eats frequented by Exotic Estates' Oahu specialists.


9. Keneke’s Plate Lunch and BBQ (Waimanalo): Keneke’s is a favorite place to stop for a plate lunch or a shave ice if you’re spending a day on the Windward side of Oahu. You order at a window and then either take it with you, or go to a little covered area and eat onsite. Very local and very delicious!


10. KIRIN Restaurant (Honolulu): This place sounds Japanese, but in fact it is a fantastic and somewhat upscale Chinese restaurant located not far from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. It is on Beretania Street just off of University Ave. The menu is incredible so look around at what others are enjoying and don’t be afraid to ask questions!


11. Ono Hawaiian Food (Honolulu). This little restaurant on Kapahulu makes some of the best Hawaiian food in the islands. Walking in, looking at all of the clippings and photos on the wall, you can feel Ono’s legacy. We believe it has one of the best lau lau’s in Hawaii. If you have never had one, a lau lau is pork, and sometimes butterfish, that’s been wrapped in taro leaves and then ti-leaves and steamed. It is certainly unusual for most visitors to Hawaii, but it is the ultimate in comfort food. We recommend the Lau lau Plate dinner and/or the Kalua Pig Plate dinner. Tip – Get there by 6:00 pm or be prepared to wait in line – it’s a very small place!


12. Shirokiya Japanese Food Court (Honolulu): Located in the Ala Moana Shopping Center, the Japanese store Shirokiya has an incredible food court that will blow your mind! Go to the top floor and prepare to be amazed. The diversity and amount of delicious, beautifully presented Japanese delights will have any Japanese food lover salivating. The food is packaged in small quantities so it’s fun to pick up a variety of items to taste!


13. Waiahole Poi Factory (Kaneohe): Located on the beautiful Windward Side of Oahu, the Waiahole Poi Factory is one of those country-store-type places you pass on rural roads that lure you in with signs advertising home-cooked eats. Per its name, they serve poi, as well as all the other Hawaiian favorites, including Kalua Pig. Note that the food is take-away. It’s a barn-like place, and on the other side of the food area, there is a little Hawaiian cultural center. They have dried gourds and Hawaiian nose flutes for sale out front. If you are lucky you may catch someone actually playing a nose flute in the arts center!


14. Wasabi Bistro (Waikiki): We love this little restaurant because it has the feeling of a secret find. Located inside the pool area of the Breakers Hotel on Beachwalk in Waikiki, you have to go out of your way to find this little Japanese restaurant. The feeling is relaxed and a little funky, and its location inside of the Breakers Hotel, which has a retro-Japanese design vibe, adds to the ambience. Their prices are reasonable.


15. Zippy’s (multiple locations): This is a Hawaiian fast-food chain that we included because it offers something for everyone at a very reasonable price. You can order everything from a chili omelet to Portuguese Bean Soup and a loco-moco (a hamburger over rice, covered with gravy and a fried egg). There is also an impressive assortment of baked goods at any given time. There are several locations so check out this local fast-food chain if you are looking for a quick breakfast, lunch or dinner with a local flair!

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​The 10 Most Romantic Places in Hawaii urn:uuid:4e5e2081-d14f-7897-4b68-97c6dbd5e6b1 2016-03-03T23:46:21-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

These romantic spots span the islands. They are not listed in order of preference, so no matter which island you are on in your Exotic Estates vacation rental, you’ll be able to enjoy one!

1. Oahu - Eternity Beach

There is a famous scene in the movie From Here to Eternity starring Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr when they kiss on a beach and get swept up in the waves. Well, that scene was shot at so called “Eternity Beach” on the Windward Coast of Oahu. It’s easy to miss, but it’s just past Hanauma Bay before you reach Sandy Beach Park. It is a known spot and it can get busy, but nobody will mind if you reenact the famous kiss!

2. Oahu - Goat Island (Malaekahana State Rec. Area)

This spot does not sound very romantic, but it tends to be a uniquely quiet place on tourist happy Oahu. Located on the Windward Coast, Goat Island takes a little fortitude to get to, as you need to wait for tides to make your way out there, unless you’re on surfboards or boogie boards. If you do walk, make sure you wear reef shoes or old sneakers. But once there, the payoff is a charming beach that is great for swimming, and because it takes a bit work to get there, it tends to be quiet. It’s a perfect place to spend a lazy beach day with your sweetheart. The ocean side is a bird sanctuary and can get rough.

3. Maui - Haleakala Summit

Most have heard of Haleakala, the immense crater on Maui. It’s very common to hear of people going to the summit to watch the sunrise and it is beautiful of course. However, our team says that sundown is a little less crowded so it has a more romantic ambiance. Something to consider and you don’t need to wake up before dawn! Not a bad place to “pop the question!”

4. Oahu – Honolulu City Lights from Mt. Tantalus

Tantalus is a lookout point on a ridge behind Honolulu above the neighborhood of Makiki Heights. Because it’s so easy to get to, it can get crowded. But, if you plan it right, you just might be one of the few people enjoying the sparkling city lights of Honolulu and Waikiki from the lookout. It’s especially dramatic on full moon nights, with the silhouette of Diamond Head set as a dramatic backdrop.

5. Oahu - Kahana Bay

This is a quiet cove on the Windward Coast that is a great place to spend a romantic afternoon. It is tucked in among the green and soaring Ko'olau Mountains. This is another easy spot to find and you will seldom find large parties there. The beach is rimmed with pines and has an incredibly tranquil quality.

6. Oahu – Kanaeohe Bay

Kaneohe Bay is a gorgeous sandy reef area off the Windward Coast of Oahu between Kailua and Kaneohe. The ocean is an endless sweep of light blue and it is sandy, so one can walk in waist deep water and simply enjoy the sensation of being out in the ocean. The towering Ko’olau’s make a striking backdrop, like a giant green, rippling wall. You can spend a leisurely day out in the bay with a chartered excursion or with an organized tour. It’s a very romantic place to enjoy an afternoon of snorkeling and play in the calm waters.

7. Kauai – Na Pali Coast

The dramatic Na Pali Coast is perhaps one of the most photographed natural wonders in Hawaii. Located on the Western Coast of Kauai, its cliffs and peaks seem to flutter like vast green curtains. One can almost imagine the awe that these mountains inspired to the first explorers who saw them. Because of the coastline’s majesty and remoteness, it is an extremely romantic place. There are many ways to enjoy the Na Pali Coast. You can travel by boat on one of the many companies that offer day-long excursions, complete with lunch and drinks. However, we feel the best way to enjoy the Coast with someone you love is to plan a hike. There are several day hikes that you can take and a favorite is the Hanakapiai Trail, which leads you to the majestic Hanakapiai Falls.

8. Maui – “Secret Beach”

Paako Cove or Secret Beach is located in Southwest Maui. To get to it, you have to find the narrow opening in a lava-rock wall in an upscale neighborhood. This is the public beach access path. It's easy to miss if one doesn't know it's there. The sandy cove is quite small and because many weddings are performed here, you have to be lucky if you want to have it all for yourself. The lava rocks on the beach create a nice scenery for picture-taking. Secret Cove isn't a great beach for swimming and you won't find any facilities. Most people come here for the lovely scenery and nice views. The two islands on the horizon are Kahoolawe and Molokini.

9. Kauai- Wailua River & Uluwehi Waterfall

Kauai is known as the Garden Isle, and it’s aptly named. The island is green and lush, a true tropical paradise. For active couples, a great way to experience the verdant beauty of the island is take a tandem kayak trip up the Wailue River, which winds into the interior. It’s a beautiful ride and you can make your way to Uluwehi Waterfall, one of the most beautiful in all of Hawaii and only accessible via the river!

10. Big Island - Waipio Valley

This scenic valley on the Northeastern Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii has an isolated beauty that is perfect for a romantic excursion. Let a guide take you into the Valley, which is also very rich with Hawaiian history. There are dramatic waterfalls and swimming holes to enjoy.

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Exotic Estates Vacation Rentals - New Fully Responsive Website urn:uuid:90b3d09a-2546-905d-c6a8-17d1a9d2d5e9 2015-08-06T04:09:01-07:00 Of the new benefits, here are some highlights:


Responsive Design:

The user experience is now seamless across desktops, mobile phones and tablets. Hopefully this will make it easier for you to find the perfect vacation home, as we know a large percentage of clients like to start the house hunting process on their mobile phones.


Strong Use of Imagery:

Part of the fun of searching for a vacation home is being able to get a sense of it via the photographs. The new site transports you with its use of beautiful images that bring out the beauty and features of a home.


360 Degree Viewing:

We also have a neat 360 viewing tool that lets you hop around while inside of views. It gives a sense of space and design and what it’s like to really be there. (Sample property view – just click "360" on image: http://www.exoticestates.com/majestic-maui)


Easier Navigation:

The menu is much more functional allowing you to jump right to a destination or property of interest.


Favorites:

A new and easy-to-use Favorites function lets you keep tabs of your favorite properties.


Nifty Property Sort:

Once you pick your destination, you can easily sort for various key features, as well as price and maximum number of guests.


Map and List Views:

You can view your properties by map view or in a list. Either way it’s easy to navigate among properties.

Please let take a moment to peruse the new website and all its great features. We hope that it makes your search for the perfect vacation home a little easier and a little more enjoyable!

Exotic Estates offers quality vacation rentals Hawaii, Utah, the Dominican Republic, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada and Mexico.

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Top 10 Activities for Singles on Maui urn:uuid:c8bb2149-d287-1843-20ce-c11b1f0125fc 2016-10-17T16:01:10-07:00 1. Take Surf Lessons. Join a group lesson in the calm waters off of the coast on the west side of Maui. There are two main places on island where you can take lessons, one in Lahaina and is called Guardrails or Grandma's, because you literally hop the guard rail off the side of the highway - not too picturesque but fun – and the other is Cove Park in Kihei. You can easily find surf schools holding lessons in either spot.


2. Visit the “Barmuda Triangle.” Right across the street from the Kihei Cove/Cove Park is what's known to locals as the "Barmuda Triangle." It's a triangle of some of the best bars and entertainment (and a local favorite) all within walking distance of each other. Be sure to check out Life's a Beach for great live music and $1 tacos. A pint of Guinness more your style? Check out Dog and Duck's Irish Pub. Looking for more of a sophisticated lounge vibe? Check out Ambrosia's. Bar scene not your style? Be sure to check out Local Boy's Shave Ice, a shack located across the street from the Cove Park, and known for some of the best shave ice on Maui!


3. Join a Kayak Tour. Explore the Honolua Marine Reserve, a great paddle for those looking for a more intensive outing (recommended for those that are physically fit). For a more laid back paddle, join a kayak tour to the Olowalu Turtle Garden (just south of Lahaina), or Turtle Town off of the Makena Coastline in South Maui.


4. Go to the “Friday” Party. Join locals and visitors alike for live music, great food vendors, retailers and local artisans at one of the weekly town parties, also known as the "Friday" party. Every Friday of the month this outdoor mini-festival is held at a different town on Maui; the first Friday of the month is held in Wailuku, the second Friday is in Lahaina, the third Friday in Makawao, and the fourth Friday in Kihei. Check out www.mauifridays.com for the full schedule and details.

5. Try Paragliding. Adrenaline junkies? Paraglide tandem from Maui's dormant volcano, Haleakala, with one of Maui's certified instructors for an unmatched view. You are sure to meet other extreme sports lovers seeking a natural high!


6. Bike Tour Down Haleakala Crater. Okay paragliding too intense? A fun and memorable thing to do in Maui is a bike ride down the winding roads of Haleakala Crater. There are several companies offering organized excursions so it’s easy to join a group and meet others. Consider an incredible sunrise tour. Some describe the view of the rising sun from the top of the crater as a magical, spiritual experience.


7. Join a Scuba Group. Join a scuba group and explore the rich ocean life around Maui. A personal recommendation from Bonnie on our Guest Services team is to join a twilight or night dive and swim with the massive manta rays. Alone or with friends, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


8. Spa Day. For a chill way to spend a relaxing day and even perhaps meet others on holiday, enjoy a relaxing massage or spa treatment at one of Maui's finest spas. Two of our favorites are the Kapalua Spa and Spa Montage.


9. Shop and Socialize. Want to get some shopping and socializing in? Front Street in Lahaina has some of the best shops and galleries, all along one single street - and it also has great restaurants, as well as night life with live music almost every night of the week.


10. Rent an Exotic Estates Vacation Home. Of course, a getaway with besties is made better when you rent an Exotic Estates vacation home. It’s the perfect way to spend quality time together in a luxurious, private setting. Stacked side-by-side, it also offers better value than staying at an upscale hotel!

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Top 10 Things To Do During the Holidays in Hawaii urn:uuid:eed43ff6-e53e-621b-fa2e-46ca34d606cf 2016-03-03T13:03:07-07:00 By John Di Rienzo

Spending the holidays in the islands of Hawaii is a lot of fun. Visitors and locals alike can revel in the spirit of the season in a uniquely Hawaiian way. Here’s our top 10 list of holiday activities. There are the usual things that everyone wants to do in Hawaii and then there are some special activities that you can enjoy during the season.

1. Holiday Surfing – (one of our favorites) celebrate the season with a holiday surf with friends and family. It’s the perfect Hawaiian way to share some together time and be thankful for all you have!

2. Honolulu City Lights – “Honolulu City Lights” is a festive installation of holiday displays in downtown Honolulu. There is food and fun for kids of all ages. This annual tradition is a perfect way to feel the spirit of the season if you are spending it on the island of Oahu.

3. Holiday Hula Shows – Most of the larger towns in the islands have special, free holiday hula shows that run through the end of December. These are fun events for the entire family. Of course there will be some special holiday merriment mixed in with traditional dances. Lahaina and Waikiki have regular shows scheduled in public spots.

4. Snow on Mauna Kea – Missing a little snow in your holiday? Well, if you’re staying on the Big Island you can take a tour of Mauna Kea. At nearly 14,000 ft., snow makes a regular appearance on the summit. There are established tour companies that can introduce you to the geology of the islands as well as give you the star-gazing experience of a lifetime!

5. Music – On all of the islands, there are concerts that feature traditional Hawaiian music during the holiday season. Some of them will definitely have a uniquely Hawaiian take on holiday favorites. Many of these concerts are free of charge and held in public spaces.

6. Surfing Santa –Santa makes his annual visit to Hawaii too. If you are traveling with children, you can find a Hawaiian Santa visiting almost every island. If you are staying in Waikiki, look for Santa’s annual arrival via canoe, riding the famous waves of Waikiki onto the beach.

7. Tour the Decorations – Hawaii’s hotels and resorts are decked out for the holidays. You do not need to be a guest to enjoy a tour of the decorations! Often there are free events taking place for the kids to enjoy. Make an afternoon of it.

8. Holiday Hike – There is no dashing the through the snow, but a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays with friends and family in Hawaii is with a holiday hike. The landscape is so beautiful that it can be a very spiritual experience for all. Some of the hikes we love are the Manoa Falls Trail (easy) and the Olomana Trail (more challenging) on Oahu, the Iao Valley (easy) on Maui and the Na Pali Coast on Kauai (challenging).

9. New Year’s Eve Fireworks – If you are lucky enough to ring in the New Year in the islands, there are plenty of firework displays taking place. Waikiki hosts an amazing fireworks display on New Year’s Eve. On Kauai, for fireworks head to Poipu Beach, on Maui you can see shows in Wailea and beautiful Hana, and on the Big Island head to Kailau-Kona.

10. Time with Friends & Family – Last but not least, just taking time to get away from the regular hustle and bustle of life to spend time with friends and loved ones is the best way to spend the holidays in Hawaii. There is no other place like an Exotic Estates vacation home in which to make memories of a lifetime!

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10 Insights from Vacationers on Vacation Rentals urn:uuid:294563c6-256b-99c6-fadf-aea08bb25891 2015-02-25T18:00:42-07:00 Vacationer Scott Kallsen and his family rented a beautiful home on Maui with Exotic Estates. We asked Scott about his thoughts on vacation rental and some practical planning tips. We want to thank him for taking the time to answer some questions about his vacation with us and for sharing a photo from the trip!

Note our comments are below his answers in parentheses.

Q1. Was this first time you rented a vacation home?

A. No

(We find that once most guests experience the pleasure of the renting a vacation home, they opt for vacation rentals over hotels)

Q2. How far in advance did you make your plans?

A. Two months I think.

(For Exotic Estates, this is a little shorter than the average guest, who typically plans between three and six months out. This also generally ensures a greater variety of home will be available during non-peak travel times)

Q3. For you, what are the top advantages of staying in a vacation home versus a hotel?

A. FREEDOM! Not worrying about maids, etc., MUCH more quiet It's different…not a resort feel.

(Well said Scott!)

Q4. What was your favorite feature of the home you rented?

A. The view and the resort quality amenities including the tiki torches, outdoor shower (never used but cool!), GREAT fire pit and terrific pool and last the sliding wall/door that opened up the entire side of the house to the pool.

(Scott and his family stayed at our property Majestic Maui http://www.exoticestates.com/majestic-maui. We think it’s pretty nice too)

Q5. What is the number one piece of advice you would give others on selecting a vacation home?

A. If you can afford it spend the money…bite the bullet and make it a vacation you will remember!

Q6. Is there anything that you would do or plan differently to improve your vacation experience in general? (e.g. reserve restaurants and activities ahead of time, etc.)What advice would you give to those who have not traveled yet?

A. I actually preferred not making plans in order for us to be flexible. The only caveat to that is if you know there is a super popular tour (zip lining/whale watching) then book those.

Q7. Is there any family packing advice you would give to those staying in a vacation rental?

A. Stop at Costco or other store and load up once you land. You can go straight to your destination and be loaded up for the stay!

(Great tip Scott!)

Q8. Did anything surprise you in a good way on this vacation?

A. No

Q9. What benefits did you enjoy by working with Exotic Estates versus renting on your own?

A. Everything went seamlessly and the properties they represent are worth it! I have been very pleased with them and I will be using them again next May for our trip to Hawaii!

(Thanks Scott!)

Q11. Finally, do you plan to rent a vacation home again?

A. Yes! See above!

(See you soon Scott!)

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Renting a Vacation Home on the North Shore of Oahu urn:uuid:340ab305-0755-1833-38f5-06b559bc86ce 2017-01-30T14:49:44-07:00 WHY WE LOVE THE NORTH SHORE

Oahu North Shore, Oahu Beach, Exotic Estates, Vacation Rentals

When it comes to surfing, no other place on earth is quite like Oahu, Hawaii, home to the world’s most famous surf breaks and surfing legends Duke Kahanamoku, Eddie Aikau and Laird Hamilton to name a few.

Offering a variety of waves for all ability levels, on Oahu you can’t help but soak in the amazing vibe of Hawaiian surf culture. Oahu has consistent surf year-round so you can surf, bodysurf, sail, SUP board, canoe, you name it! But one place stands out above all others – the North Shore. Luckily Exotic Estates has several beautiful vacation homes on the North Shore.

FAMOUS WAVES

Oahu’s North Shore is world famous for breaks like the Bonzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay. Because of its position, the North Shore captures winter swells generated by storms up in the Aleutian Islands that make their way across thousands of miles of ocean to Hawaii, producing waves of up to 50 feet in height! During the summer months, the North Shore is placid and the southern shore of Oahu picks up winter swells from the Southern Hemisphere.

What makes the North Shore so special is that the waves break relatively close to shore, allowing spectators ring-side seats in the world’s greatest surfing arena. However, even during the time of big waves, there remain protected beaches that are calm and safe for family fun.

PERFECT FOR VACATIONERS WHO WANT “TOWN & COUNTRY”

With so many activities and fun times to be had on the North Shore, it’s an obvious vacation destination for those who want a more local and quiet Hawaiian vacation experience, within easy access to big city sights and sounds. The Honolulu side of Oahu is known as “Town” while the North Shore is considered to be in “Country,” hence the famous surf brand Town & Country. While the North Shore may feel a world away, the cosmopolitan shops and entertainment found in Honolulu and Waikiki are just about an hour’s drive to the south. And with the most nonstop flights, getting to Oahu and the North Shore from almost any major US or Canadian city is a breeze.

EXOTIC ESTATES NORTH SHORE VACATION RENTALS

Exotic Estates’ North Shore vacation rentals offer convenient, cost-efficient, and luxurious accommodations. Whether you are seeking a classic plantation style home, luxurious outdoor/indoor living, or somewhere to hold an event, our North Shore homes can accommodate any of your needs and interests.

We have quiet and private villas that are beachfront, or homes that are a short walking distance to Turtle Bay and other North Shore attractions. You can experience the vacation you’ve always dreamed of in the privacy of your own home and feel content knowing that you can experience peaceful nights at home or be close enough to indulge in famous North Shore culture, shopping, entertainment, restaurants and nightlife. Exotic Estates North Shore Vacation Homes

ANNUAL SURFING EVENTS

The North Shore is the home of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which is a series of surfing events offering three events to men and three events to women. The events run from November through December. For the men, those events are the Reef Hawaiian Proat Haleiwa Ali'i Beach Parkthe O'Neill World Cup of Surfingat Sunset Beach(Nov 24 – Dec 6) and the Billabong Pipeline Mastersat the Banzai Pipeline(Dec 8 – 20). There are also women's events during the six-week competition period, including the Women’s Pipe Invitational at Banzai Pipeline, an ASP specialty event that will feature eight select women.

HALE’IWA TOWN

When you aren’t watching surfers brave giant waves, there is plenty of other excitement to be had on the North Shore. Take a walk around cute and historic Hale’iwa town, the center of life on the North Shore, which consists of one narrow street without sidewalks. You can visit the surf museum, browse art galleries, and wander through boutiques and other shops. Don’t forget to cool off with Matsumoto’s famed shaved ice!

PRAWNS, CORN & PINEAPPLES!

Interestingly, the North Shore is home to many prawn farms. The farms have shacks on the side of Kamehameha Highway near Kahuku, where you can buy prawns cooked in a variety of ways. Also, along the road, you will see many vendors selling locally produced fruits and vegetables. Sweet Kahuku corn, cooked roadside, is a real treat and makes perfect mid-day snack. Of course the venders offer plenty of tropical fruits including pineapple, guava and mangos. When staying in a North Shore vacation home, you can stock on fresh veges and fruits and enjoy them throughout your stay.

CONNECT WITH WILDLIFE

Looking to appreciate wildlife? Take a day and head to Laniakea beach, AKA Turtle Beach, where green sea turtles play in the waters and lounge on the sandy beach. Although you can’t touch these endangered animals, you can observe, swim, and photograph them.

If you enjoying hiking, the Hawaiian Hiking Company offers hikes hosted by Native Hawaiian guides. You can hike deep into the forests of the Waimea Valley, with your guides providing you with a true local and historical perspective on flora and fauna. Definitely unique and immersive.

WHEN TO PLAN

Outside of the holiday season, you should plan at least three to six months in advance to ensure that you are able to secure a home that fits your needs. If you wish to reserve a home on the North Shore during the holiday season, just like all of Hawaii, you need to plan ahead, as many homes can be booked up to a year in advance. Summer, while not as busy as the winter months, is also a popular time, as schools are out and the calm ocean waters and open sands make for perfect family beach days under the warm Hawaiian sun.

Reach out to our Vacation Estate Specialists to find your perfect North Shore escape today: reservations@exoticestates.com, Toll-free: 888-628-4896.

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The Real Deal – 10 Insights on Vacation Rentals from Real People urn:uuid:8008c322-9cf0-8b31-88ef-b90692aa4862 2015-05-21T14:53:43-07:00 Exotic Estates will be profiling real guests and their vacation rental experience with us. By sharing feedback on their experience, hopefully they can provide some useful insights into the benefits of renting a vacation home, packing tips and other advice.

Our first guest profile is Jen Alken, who rented a beautiful home on Maui with Exotic Estates. Jen planned her wedding on Maui and the amazing photos above were taken during her trip. She traveled with her husband and children and stayed at an incredible home in Lahaina. We want to thank Jen for taking the time to answer some questions about her vacation with us and congratulate her and her beautiful family!

Here’s what Jen had to say about her vacation experience…

1. Was this first time you rented a vacation home?

No, we have been in vacation homes before. We prefer it to hotels.

2. How far in advance did you make your plans?

We only got engaged 3 months before and decided on Hawaii later on, so I think it was about a month and a half before the trip. We lucked out that something that nice was available on such short notice.

3. For you, what are the top advantages of staying in a vacation home versus a hotel?

We love all the space and privacy. We had plenty of room for family and our own private pool, fire pit, hammock...no fighting crowds.

4. What was your favorite feature of the home you rented?

The view was incredible. We loved the rooms and the pool and hammock and fire pit...we used them all, but the view is really what sold it.

5. What is the number one piece of advice you would give others on selecting a vacation home?

Do your research. Find a place that has good customer reviews. People are usually very honest and descriptive. And find a reputable company that you know will take good care of you.

6. Is there anything that you would do or plan differently to improve your vacation experience in general? What advice would you give to those who have not traveled yet?

I would stay longer! We stayed at the house most of the time just because it had an amazing kitchen and the view was so incredible. We did eat at some amazing restaurants, but if you want to save money, you can cook in the nice kitchen and just enjoy your view and privacy.

7. Is there any family packing advice you would give to those staying in a vacation rental?

Not that I can think of. Many things are provided for you, so it was like packing for a regular vacation (except for wedding stuff).

8. Did anything surprise you in a good way on this vacation?

The photos are amazing, but they don't do the house and view justice. You have to see it in person.

(We agree!)

9. What benefits did you enjoy by working with Exotic Estates versus renting on your own?

We had a nice guy who showed us around the house and how to turn on electronics, etc. so that was nice. And everyone we talked to was very friendly.

(Note – the “nice guy” is our Caleb, our on-island Guest Services Manager)

10.Finally, do you plan to rent a vacation home again?

Yes!

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The Benefits of Vacation Estates versus Resorts in Hawaii urn:uuid:b829a1fc-7d4f-9bcf-e4ff-53e78732ca1d 2016-11-02T14:21:05-07:00 There are so many benefits to renting a vacation estate versus staying in a resort on your Hawaiian vacation.

When staying at a resort in Hawaii, facilities like the pool area and lounges can get busy and crowded, and dining options often come with inflated costs. Moreover, your family may end up dining on food that you would not normally choose due to limited menus. This can be tricky especially if you are traveling with children or adults with food allergies.

When staying at one of Exotic Estates’ vacation rentals, guests have all the privacy in the world, and every option to customize their vacation to their needs. There is the pleasant experience of having private rooms but also common areas for spending quality time together. Guests enjoy a relaxing holiday with their family and friends with homelike conveniences, and the necessary serenity required to fully decompress. Should you want a meal prepared or to schedule a massage or excursion, all of those services are easily arranged through our Concierge Service.

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons why Hawaii vacation estates and villas are gaining in popularity is their understated value. Guests can easily pay up to $700 a night for an average room at a 5-star resort that accommodates 2 people. Many vacation villas starting at around $1600 per night can accommodate up to 8 guests. With that measure, home rental offers a savings of up to 40% when compared to renting 4 separate rooms at a 5 or even 4-star resort. Think about all the wonderful things you can do with the savings!

When planning your next vacation to Hawaii, remember all the advantages that vacation estate rental offers versus hotel stays.

For more information about booking an exquisite Exotic Estate, please call one of our lovely Travel Consultants at (888) 628-4896, or email us direct at Reservations@ExoticEstates.com

 

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Summer Events on Kauai urn:uuid:2dfdab61-5ad6-c635-8c8c-4c1588aa8b88 2016-11-02T14:20:27-07:00 Red Clay Jazz Festival- June 25-28th, 2014

Kauai’s Red Clay Jazz Festival first came into fruition when the Kauai Concert Association received the W.S. ‘Pete’ Robinson Memorial Jazz Fund in 2003. Since 2008, the mission of the Red Clay Jazz Festival has been to bring an international set of Jazz artists to Kauai’s stages for concerts and student classroom learning experiences. Kauai visitors and residents are encouraged to join this fabulous event, which takes place in a variety of gorgeous tropical settings, with the blue Pacific Ocean gorgeously framed in the distance. This summer, the Red Clay Jazz Festival will present a wide array of brilliant Jazz musicians including Diane Schuur, Mississippi Heat, Jimmy Borges & Betty Loo Taylor, Will Bernard, Ken Emmerson, and many more.

For more information about the Red Clay Jazz Festival, please visit www.redclayjazz.org

“Taste of Kauai-Yesterday and Today”- June 28th, July 25th and August 22nd, 2014

Tasting Kauai offers a host of seasonal farm-to-table events on Kauai throughout the year. This summer, guests have the rare chance to participate in one of their most popular events “Taste of Kauai-Yesterday and Today.” These food tours are designed to bring people together with local farmers and chefs on Kauai. At these events, guests will taste all the flavors of the Garden Isle, including local and sustainable meats and produce. These Kauai culinary tours are most definitely unique and unforgettable, and should not be missed!

For more information about Tasting Kauai events, please visit www.tastingkauai.com

The 2014 Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon- August 29-31, 2014

The 2014 Kauai Marathon begins with the opening Kauai Marathon Sports & Fitness Expo at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort on August 29th and 30th. This initial event is mandatory for all marathon participants to attend for last minute registration and receiving entry packets. This year’s race begins at 6:00am at the Poipu Shopping Village, travels 11 miles (half marathon) through Kauai’s most beautiful coastlines and vibrant green vistas, and continues through to the full marathon course as it winds through Omao, the Kukui’ula Resort, and finally finishing back in Poipu. In the past 5 years, the Kauai Marathon has donated over $75,000 to local Kauai charities including the Niumalu Canoe Club, Zero Waste, Koloa Early School, Amateur Radio Club, One Grand Mile Charity Campaign, and more. This event is fully attended, so make sure to register early to confirm your space.

For more information about the 2014 Kauai Marathon & Half Marathon, please visit www.thekauaimarathon.com

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Summer Events on Maui urn:uuid:87b8d937-852d-614b-4b72-a9088c4205a4 2016-10-17T23:37:00-07:00 Maui Film Festival & Taste of Wailea - June 4-8th, 2014

“Growing as an international destination for cineastes and industry insiders, the Maui Film Festival ditches traditional Hollywood devices- like black ties and red carpets- for leis and flip flops, all for the sake of a more intimate experience.” -Tyler McCain, Variety 2013

The Maui Film Festival is a fabulous event that should not be missed! This international event brings together film professionals, fans, and Hawaii lovers. Set in a gorgeous South Maui location, the festival is takes place outdoors in Wailea, hosting dramatic views of the Pacific Ocean and South Maui’s gorgeous coastline. In addition to showcasing new films and documentaries, flavors of the island and unique vendors, the Maui Film Festival also attracts a variety of celebrities, directors and producers.

For more information about the Maui Film Festival & Taste of Wailea, please visit www.mauifilmfestival.com/index.php

2014 Kahakuloa Coast Half Marathon & Relay - June 7th, 2014

The Kahakuloa Coast Half Marathon & Relay is referred to as “13.1 Miles of Majestic Coastline,” and is a single or two-person marathon that travels through some of the most untouched coastlines in the Hawaiian Islands. With scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and a welcomed coastline breeze, participants will compete to benefit Servants of Keakua Mahalo Nui, a Maui non-profit that focuses on historic restoration projects. The race begins at D.T. Flemings Beach at 6:30am, and travels 6.5 miles to Kahakuloa for a breakfast from 8-10am, and LIVE music by Grammy Award winning slack key guitarist Richard Ho’opi’i from 9-10am.

For more information about the 2014 Kahakuloa Coast Half Marathon & Relay, please visit www.active.com/kahakuloa-hi/running/races/kahakuloa-coast-half-marathon-and-relay-2014

33rd Annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival - June 12-15, 2014

If you’re planning a trip to Maui this summer, definitely do not miss the 33rd Annual Kapalua Wine and Food Festival. This fabulous Maui event is hands down the #1 culinary festival in Hawaii, taking place at the famous Kaplalua Resort in West Maui. All participants will savor the flavors of the island prepared by a handful of the best chefs in Hawaii, and the best winemakers in the world. This year, the festival schedule is as impressive as usual with seminars, cooking demonstrations, winemaker dinners, a Grand Tasting, and the Kapalua Seafood Festival event.

For more information, please visit www.kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com

 

 

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Best Villas for Whale Watching on Maui urn:uuid:a179a3f6-bd17-ff0d-fe06-d59414fb72b0 2016-11-02T14:12:56-07:00 Book one of our exquisite Exotic Estates and whale watch from the comfort of your own private vacation property! When you’re on vacation on Maui during the Winter months, November thru mid-March, look forward to all possibilities of experiencing the infamous Humpback Whales. The Island of Maui is world renowned for Whale Watching, and time-and-time again noted as the best Island in Hawaii for seeing the Humpback Whales up close and personal. Savor breathtaking views of the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, and enjoy awe-inspiring scenes of Humpback Whales breaching and frolicking on the ocean’s surface.

  1. If you’re planning a luxury vacation in West Maui during the Winter months, we have a host of vacation villas and estates that are perfect for whale watching. To see a selection of our amazing West Maui estates and villas, see this link www.exoticestates.com/destinations/hawaii/maui/west-maui.

Below are two properties we love for whale watching on Maui...

Paradise View

For an intimate vacation for two, or a small family vacation, check out Paradise View in West Maui. This property is super private, ultra-cozy, outfitted with the best homelike amenities, and impeccably designed with an attractive collection of Balinese-Hawaiian furnishings. www.exoticestates.com/paradise-view

Black Rock Estate

The Black Rock Estate is the epitome of elegance for a luxurious vacation in Hawaii. This Maui vacation estate is settled oceanfront, hosting jaw-dropping views of the blue azure Pacific Ocean, and the ever-memorable magical Maui sunsets. Watch the legendary Humpback Whales during their annual migration to Maui from the comfort of your own private lanai. Create lifelong memories with a glass of champagne in hand, and watch whales breach upon the ocean’s surface. www.exoticestates.com/black-rock-estate

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Top Annual Events on Maui for 2014 urn:uuid:8ec6088d-0e47-89f9-68c3-2fab57594fb5 2016-10-17T22:12:30-07:00 For over 15 years, the Island of Maui has been rated as “The Most Beautiful Island in the World” by numerous world travel publications including Conde Nast. The beauty that Maui provides visitors goes beyond majestic waterfalls, dramatic landscapes, impeccable weather, and mesmerizing Pacific Ocean views. The Island itself, is fully abundant in lifestyle oriented activities and amazing annual events. Below is a carefully selected list of the Top Annual Events on Maui for 2014. Maui No Ka Oi!

Maui Film Festival- June 4-8th

The Maui Film Festival runs numerous film events throughout the year on Maui, with the largest and most popular main event being the Maui Film Festival in Wailea. This intimate film festival runs 4 days long, offering guests a chance to lounge outdoors in front of the big screen with a blue azure Pacific Ocean backdrop, a host of hand-picked films, a selection of the best food and wine vendors on Maui, live music, and an abundance of Hawaiian Cultural entertainment. Academy screenings are presented by a variety of internationally renowned Directors, Screenwriters and Producers. In the past, celebrity speakers have included actresses and actors such as Helen Hunt and Pierce Brosnan. This event is sponsored by the Four Seasons, Fairmont, Grand Wailea, Hawaiian Airlines, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and more.

For more information, please visit www.mauifilmfestival.com

33rd Annual Kapalua Wine & Food Festival- June 12-15th

The Kapalua Wine & Food Festival is the longest running food and wine event in the USA. Time, and time again, this annual event attracts an international selection of the finest culinary and wine professionals in the world. This event isn’t just a foodie event, it is a “Celebration of Epicurean Excellence.” The event is sponsored by the Kapalua Resort, The Ritz Carlton, VISA, Illy Coffee, Alaskan Airlines, Whole Foods, and more. This spectacular Kapalua event should not be missed!

For more information, please visit www.kapaluawineandfoodfestival.com

2014 Hana Relay Marathon- September 13th

The Hana Relay Marathon is one of the most widely traveled to sporting events in Hawaii. This 52-mile marathon begins near the Kahului Airport, and travels along 617 curves and over 56 bridges to the sleepy East Maui Town of Hana. Alongside the coastline, over hills and through valley’s, participants travel through some of the most beautiful scenery on Maui. There is a limit of 200 teams, each team consisting of 6 members. Each member must run 3 legs of the course, (2-3 miles a leg). Award Divisions are Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Mixed, Men’s Masters, Women’s Masters, Mixed Masters, and Open. Registration is due by mid-August.

For more information, please visit www.hanarelayhawaii.com

Wailea Food & Wine Festival dates TBA (December 2014)

The Wailea Wine & Food Festival is one of the most luxurious foodie events in all the Hawaiian Islands. This annual event is so amazing, and truly unique because it presents Maui’s Top Resort Chef’s and their award winning cuisine styles. Menu’s are created with fresh island ingredients including organic produce, local meats, and fresh island seafood. Wine pairings are provided by world renowned Master Sommeliers.

For more information, please visit www.waileawineandfoodfestival.com

Mahalo for reading! For more information about availability for our exclusive West Maui vacation estates and villas during these Top Annual Events on Maui for 2014, please call one of our Personal Travel Consultants at (888) 628-4896

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PGA Golf Tour- Hyundai Tournament of Champions 2014 urn:uuid:78f68ccf-3ca2-8cb5-0373-0aed1d261836 2016-11-02T15:42:34-07:00 The annual Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua is just around the corner. Produced by PGA, Hyundai and Kapalua Resort, the 2014 event will present the best professional golf athletes in the world. They will compete for a winning share of $1,140,000.00 purse. The event will run from Friday January 3rd to Monday January 6th, allowing all to fully enjoy all the amazing benefits of West Maui and the Kapalua Resort.

Just this past October, nine winners of the 2013 PGA Tour pre-qualified for the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Presidents Cup. Eight out of the nine winners are from the United States Team and include; Tiger Woods, Brandt Snedeker, Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Bill Haas, Zach Johnson and Jordon Spieth. From the International Team, viewers can expect to see Adam Scott on the greens.

One of the most notable aspects about the Hyundai Tournament of Champions is the amount of philanthropic giving that takes place at the event. In the past four years, more than 4.4 million dollars has been generously donated to charities within the Maui community. These valuable contributions have made a huge impact on charities ranging from elderly care facilities, after-school youth programs, and wildlife and environmental protection groups.

We, at Exotic Estates, are anxiously awaiting the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Kapalua, and look forward to seeing you there!

For more information about PGA’s holiday ticket special, please visit www.pgatour.com/tournaments/hyundai-tournament-of-champions/pressrealeases/2013/11/19/ticket-special.html

For more information about availability for our exclusive West Maui vacation estates and villas during the 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions, please call one of our Personal Travel Consultants at (888) 628-4896. Mahalo for Reading!

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Black Rock Estate — The Most Elite Vacation Estate in Hawaii urn:uuid:f9ae3273-5dc0-ad31-f4a2-1421664de9cc 2017-01-30T14:39:35-07:00 The Black Rock Estate is a phenomenal 11,000 square foot vacation villa, located on one acre of West Maui perfection. Upon entering this estate, you will be welcomed into a fantasy vacation world echoing Balinese- Hawaiian dreams.

All parts of the Black Rock Estate are outrageously beautiful, pushing the limits of estate living to a place it has never seen before. With an ability to more than comfortable accommodate up to 16 guests, all who lay foot in the Black Rock Estate will feel instantly at peace, with only comfort and vacation relaxation in the forefront of their minds. This home offers a total of 8 bedrooms; 2 King Master suites, 6 Queen suites, 2 Full sized beds, and 9 bathrooms under one roof. The indoor space is outfitted with a spacious gourmet kitchen, 2 private dens, a game room with a Ping Pong table, a billiards room with a pool table, library and a wet bar, a big screen TV media room, an indoor gym, central air conditioning, surround sound system with MP3 docks, a fully equipped security system, and gated entry with a secure 3-car garage and a tarmac.

The outdoor living space is truly sublime, with numerous Bali-style outdoor lounge areas, a private cabana that quietly suggests a vacation massage, a gorgeous swimming pool and spa Jacuzzi area, a BBQ grill space, an outdoor dining table, and one of the best views of West Maui from all vantage points. Set beachfront, enjoy open-aired access to all parts of this home, and revel in awaking to the melodic sounds of rolling waves, and palm tree leaves dancing in the wind. Bask in the unrivaled elements of exquisite estate living, at the Black Rock Estate. Luxuriate in the tranquility of a superlative private home setting, and feel at ease knowing you are only minutes away from Ka’anapali Beach Resort, Whalers Village, and a surplus of West Maui activities and adventures.

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