Homeward Bound

For independent travelers desiring the Hawaiian road less taken, a house rental on Molokai may be just the ticket. Not only does it provide clients with a sense of privacy and freedom in an exotic destination, it also gives travel agents another source of commissionable bookings.

By: Marty Wentzel

For independent travelers desiring the Hawaiian road less taken, a house rental on Molokai may be just the ticket. Not only does it provide clients with a sense of privacy and freedom in an exotic destination, it also gives travel agents another source of commissionable bookings.

Swenson Real Estate lists several commissionable house rentals on the island.

“Renting a house or cottage on Molokai gives visitors all the comforts of home and the opportunity to embrace the lifestyle of the island,” said SRE’s Diane Swenson. “We recommend rentals to visitors who have been to Hawaii before, clients who are comfortable traveling on their own and people who are creative.”

Molokai Visitors Association director Sandy Beddow said many of Molokai’s visitors are looking for a different type of Hawaiian vacation.

“Typically they’re people who love Hawaii and have seen the other islands, but want to get away from hotels and shopping malls,” Beddow said. “Staying in a house is a good way to meet our friendly residents and get to know Molokai from the local perspective. Who knows? Someone may even take them fishing or to a great local party.”

Liz Jackson owns and rents Beach House at Waialua, 19 miles east of the town of Kaunakakai.

“Molokai is really different from all the other Hawaiian islands,” Jackson said. “It doesn’t have a single traffic light. Especially on the east end of the island, Molokai gives you a sense of what Hawaii was like in the 1950s and ’60s. The east end of Molokai is really the prettiest, greenest and quaintest part of the island.”

Set on the ocean, Beach House at Waialua has three bedrooms, two baths, a large family room and kitchen, a spacious yard with a barbecue and views of Maui.

“In the winter the whale watching is really great from the house,” Jackson said.

For active clients, the house is located on the way to Halawa Valley, a hiker’s paradise. Nearby are scenic bays and beaches and opportunities for snorkeling, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Beach House at Waialua’s nightly rate is $150, with a three-night minimum. Guests pay a cleaning fee of $85 and a $200 refundable damage deposit.

Call 888-575-9400.

David Alexander and his wife Joan Gattuso own and rent Aala Hale (fragrant home), a two-bedroom, two-bathroom beachfront house five miles east of Kaunakakai. They rented it regularly from the previous owners before purchasing it in August 2000.

“Renting a home on Molokai, with all its magic, helps the visitor move into the local laid-back flavor of the island,” Alexander said. “I discover a whole new level of quiet each time I’m in our home on Molokai. Staying in a home, one can choose to relate to others on the island, or not.”

Aala Hale’s master bedroom has a large picture window that frames the ocean and the island of Lanai across the channel. In the 25- by-25-foot great room is a well-equipped kitchen, a living room and a dining area.

“With the fresh, organic produce and just-caught fish available here, it’s easy to dine elegantly,” Alexander said.

Aala Hale rents for $145 per night (three-night minimum), $900 per week, $1,600 for two weeks and $2,800 per month, plus a $75 cleaning fee. Call 216-249-3110.

For more commissionable house rental options on Molokai, contact Diane Swenson at 808-553-3648 or the Molokai Visitors Association at 800-800-6367.

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