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Posts tagged ‘Vacations’

Renting the Hale Kulani (aka Ali’i Mana) Ruined Our Vacation

House beyond the pool is the one that
complained twice.

Nine of us recently rented the Hale Kulani (aka Ali’i Mana) vacation home in Lahaina, Maui and it was by far the worst renting/vacation experience I’ve ever had. Since there’s no place for me to provide feedback on our horrible experience, I decided to share it here. Here’s our story:

Sunday: We got settled in the house a little late because the prior renter stayed late. We went to dinner in town around 6 and got back around 10 p.m. Two couples sat quietly in the hot tub and everyone else went to bed.

Monday: Half the group got up at the crack of dawn to go golfing. The other half went shopping in Lahaina. We get back around 4 p.m.. Two local friends were invited for dinner so there were eleven of us total (this is important later): six males sitting around the table playing/watching a chess game, one female at the BBQ, two females in the kitchen, one male sitting in a chair in the living room and another female in the shower. The owner came over at 6:30 and told us she had been getting noise complaints all afternoon (we got back at 4 p.m.). We turned the music down and sent our guests home. Shortly after, we got our first “official” complaint from http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com. They told us they heard we had a party with 16 people and a dog, and that we were going to have a a wedding on the property — WHAT?? We invited two friends over, no dogs and no wedding. LIES! We quietly played games the rest of the night.

Tuesday: We got up early and went to a beach just north of Lahaina. The landscaper came back with his dog (did I mention he was also there on Monday around 4:30 to do edging), hot tub maintenance was done (homeowner rudely commented on water level) and fence maintenance was being done. At this point we’re starting to feel harassed – we can hear the homeowner talking about us on the phone (she lives in a cottage next door) and she’s been at the house two days in a row.We called http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com and asked if they could relocate us. The homeowner calls and reassures us that everything is fine. We should enjoy the house. Just keep the music down. We grilled steaks and seven of us sat on the lanai for a quiet dinner. The guys played spades and girls played bananagrams inside. No music.

Wednesday: We got up feeling a little better after our chat with the homeowner. We drove to Kihei and checked out Makena Landing and Big Beach. Around 3 p.m. we get a call from http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com with our second noise complaint — REALLY?? We were so lame the night before it’s not even funny. They tell us if we get one more complaint we’ll get evicted. We spent the rest of the day/night arguing with each other and http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com. We were NOT getting evicted based on lies and a lame 6 p.m. noise complaint. We got a half-assed refund for the remaining nights, packed up our stuff, threw out all the food we bought and bailed. On MANY occasions we caught http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com telling lies in an attempt to intimidate us.

Thursday – Sunday: We relocated to the Maui Coast Hotel in Kihei. It was a great hotel and we managed to salvage what
was left of our vacation. It was nice staying at a place that actually values customer service. When we left the Hale Kulani (aka Ali’i Mana) we made sure it was cleaner than when we got it and even did the walkthrough with http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com to make sure everything was ok. And get this, http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com just notified us we won’t get our $1,000 security deposit back because of:

  • Extra guest at the home
  • Party on Nov 15, 2010 at the home
  • Dog on property

What a joke! I’m not at all surprised they don’t allow open comments/feedback on their site. I do see a couple positive pieces of feedback, so I can only assume they made them up like all the lies they told us. I’m so angry about the way we were treated, I’m not sure I’ll ever stay in a rental home again. In short, I do not recommend staying at the Hale Kulani (aka Ali’i Mana) in Lahaina or renting any vacation home from http://www.hawaiianbeachrentals.com. Stay in one of the amazing hotels on the Island instead. Pass it on.

Don’t Ever Forget…

When we were in France over the summer we drove up to Normandy to pay our respects to the soldiers that didn’t make it home from WWII. The American cemetery and memorial at Omaha Beach was very moving and educational — especially the beach. It was hard for me to imagine the soldiers making their way to the edge of the beach for cover.  It’s a very large beach and must have seemed endless to them. When you look towards the hill and to the left, you can still see the cement German bunkers that most likely housed the heavy artillery. It make you wonder how anyone made it back alive.

I highly recommend you visit this cemetery and memorial in France. You’ll have a new found respect for our Veterans and how they put their lives at risk to ensure we can lead the lives we do today.

If you want to know more about the Omaha Beach Memorial visit the government’s site  http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/no.php. Here’s a snippet from the site explaining the cemetery:

“The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½ mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations.”

Here are some of the pictures from our visit.

Looking up to the cemetery from mid-way up the beach

My Love Affair with Musée Rodin in Paris

To think we almost missed visiting this museum. Musée Rodin ended up being my favorite place in Paris. It’s home to many of Rodin’s sculptures, including ‘The Thinker’ and ‘Gates of Hell.’  Plus, it has the most amazing garden full of Rodin’s creations. Read more

Stourhead Garden & Estate in England

In mid-June we visited the Stourhead garden and estate outside of London.  We had limited time in England so this was the only major garden we were able to visit on our trip. Plus, it just happened to be along the route we were already taking to get to Stonehenge. Read more

Heaven = Wine Country & Gardens

This past weekend we visited the San Francisco area for the San Francisco Flower & Garden Show and to visit Sonoma. The first series of pictures were taken at the show.  If you missed it this year then you should really check it out next year. It’s full of garden ideas, inspiration, shopping, seminars and shopping. Oh wait, I already said shopping…

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I need to add more art & sculptures to my garden. I’m missing the small details. That’s why most of my pictures are of items that inspired me and should help me pick affordable art to add to my garden.  The second set of pictures were taken at Cornerstone right outside of Sonoma. It’s a beautiful shopping area full of art and display gardens. It’s a must see when visiting Sonoma.

The last set of pictures are of wine tasting at Ravenswood and Chateau St. Jean wineries. We also walked up & down Lombard Street in San Francisco. Just because it was there.

While we were in town we also visited with a lot of great folks I met online through Twitter.