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It’s not unusual to see a couple of horses tied to a hitching post in front of Kamuela Inn. The 30-room property aims to immerse its guests in a sense of place as it pays tribute to the centuries-old paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) culture of Waimea, in the upcountry of Hawaii Island.
We think Waimea is a beautiful and unique town,” said Tim Bostock, who bought the inn with his wife, Melanie Holt, in 2015. “It offers so much for the traveler to experience. We feel that visitors to this part of the island are looking for a deeper connection to the destination than a resort can provide.”
In the past three years, Bostock and Holt have turned the previously run-down inn into a property that combines throwback charm with contemporary amenities. So far, they have completely renovated 22 guestrooms with new beds, expanded bathrooms and individualized decor, including paniolo-inspired art on the walls.
In addition, they have fashioned a new dining area, upgraded the television and Internet service and made the place ADA-accessible.
“Creating a boutique hotel in the heart of Waimea is an investment, for sure, but it’s also a passion,” Bostock said.
Clients certainly notice the difference between staying at one of the large lodgings on the island’s Kona and Kohala Coasts and hanging their hats at this intimate getaway. With its exposed beams, horseshoe door handles and barn doors, Kamuela Inn wants visitors to know they’re not in a typical Hawaii hotel.
Kamuela Inn has no resort fee, and parking and Wi-Fi access are free for guests. What’s more, clients gather each morning in the dining room or on the outdoor lanai for a complimentary breakfast with goodies such as Kona coffee, fresh fruit, home-baked pastries, cereal, eggs, sausage, bagels and tropical butters in such flavors as mango, lilikoi and coconut. (As of press time, nightly rates begin at $129.)
Bostock says Kamuela Inn is ideal for independent, adventurous clients and people with an appetite for history and culture.
“Our guests have most likely been to Hawaii before, and they don’t need the resort pricing this time around,” Bostock said. “They know there’s a lot to explore on the island, so they get breakfast and get going.”
Additionally, the inn is attracting special-interest travelers such as photography buffs, hunters and fishing fans. The property’s coin-operated washer/dryers have appeal for sports-minded clients such as hikers and bikers.
Looking ahead, Bostock and Holt plan to refurbish the remaining rooms and add photovoltaic panels to the roof to reduce reliance on the grid. They will also create a conference room, a bar and a library, and enlarge the kitchen so that the inn can host events for visitors and locals alike.
“Kamuela Inn is especially suitable for parties,” Bostock said. “Groups can rent out the entire facility, and there’s room on the newly improved front lawn for a big tent to accommodate gatherings of up to 120 people. The nearby Anna’s Ranch is an absolutely delightful venue for a wedding.”
Ultimately, Bostock hopes clients reach out to Kamuela Inn’s employees during their stay.
“Our staff is friendly, fun, warm and full of aloha,” he said. “We know our guests will feel comfortable and cared for. We fully expect that they’ll return, having fallen in love with Waimea.”
The Details Kamuela Innwww.thekamuelainn.com