Retirement Communities On The Big Island

Posted Mar 13, 2012 at 3:29pm

This article is fourth in a series on retirement hot-spots in Hawaii. In my previous articles, I talked about retirement communities within the city of Honolulu, elsewhere on Oahu, and on Maui, Molokai, and Lana’i. This article will focus on the Big Island.

If you’re looking for subsidized, low-income senior housing, read this section on affordable housing for seniors from my previous article, Senior Benefits & Programs In Hawaii. Whereas those subsidized housing programs require that your income (and sometimes assets) not exceed a certain amount, the housing communities covered in this series of articles have no such eligiblity requirements.

NOTE: All purchase prices listed are fee-simple, unless otherwise stated.

Hawi & Kapa’au

Rustic storefronts of little shops.

Quaint shops in the picturesque small town of Hawi. (Photo credit: Bryan Chan)

North Kohala Subdivisions

  • Location: South of Hawi and slightly north of Kawaihae on the northern Kohala Coast. See map.
  • What it has to offer: Oceanfront homes (Kohala By The Sea, Kohala Waterfront & Kohala Estates subdivisions), upcountry homes (Kohala Ranch subdivision), large home lots, panoramic ocean and mountain views, gated communities, Kawaihae Harbor, 83-acre Pu’ukohola Heiau National Historic Site (ancient war temple), Pua Mau Place (botanical garden), Spencer Beach Park, shops and restaurants in nearby Kawaihae, Waimea (Kamuela), Hawi, and Kapa’au.
  • Backyard with pool and ocean view.

    In the Kohala Estates and Kohala By The Sea subdivisions, homes with a 180-degree ocean view start at less than $1 million. This Kohala Estates house (above) is currently on the market for $775,000.

  • Single family homes: Starting in the $500,000s. See listings.

Waimea (also known as Kamuela)

Mauna Kea Resort & Puako

Two women on tennis court with ocean in background.

The top-rated 11-court Seaside Tennis Club at Mauna Kea Resort is one of the few places in the world where you can play tennis right next to the ocean.

Mauna Lani Resort

White-sand beach with palm trees

Residents of the new Kulalani townhome complex in Mauna Lani Resort enjoy their own private beach club.

Waikoloa Beach Resort

Mediterranean-style condo building with palm trees and landscaping.

Waikoloa Beach Resort has the lowest entry-level home prices out of all the Kohala Coast resort communities. A large 1-bedroom condo in The Shores complex (above) sold last month for $200,000.

Waikoloa Village

Low-rise condo buildings front a golf course.

Waikoloa Village has some of the most affordable golf homes on the Big Island. Condo prices in the Fairway Terrace complex (above), which fronts the Waikoloa Golf Club course, start under $100,000. Residents also get a steep discount on course fees.

Hualalai Resort & Kukio

Outdoor pool with palm trees and hut in background.

Kukio residents have their own private golf & beach club, including multiple swimming pools (above), 2 golf courses, and an oceanfront clubhouse.


Tented booths line both sides of a 2-lane road running through a small town.

Nestled in the hills overlooking Kailua-Kona, the artist enclave of Holualoa is known for its charming galleries and coffee shops, which serve locally grown Kona coffee. Above: Holualoa's 2011 Coffee & Art Stroll. (Photo credit: Hawaii County)

  • Location: In the middle of the leeward coast of the Big Island. See map.
  • What it has to offer: Sunny & dry climate all year, new home construction, affordability, golf course homes, large-town amenities (several shopping centers, the only Costco on the island, other big-box stores, multi-plex movie theater), Big Island Country Club, Makalei Golf Club, walking path along scenic Ali’i Drive, several beach parks, Kaloko-Honokohau National Historic Park, Old Kona Airport State Recreation Area, free Keauhou Honu Express Shuttle.
  • Senior residence: Regency at Hualalai – Offers independent living and assisted living services (including memory care for residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia), but no intermediate care or skilled nursing care. Residents stay on a month-to-month lease. Monthly rent includes: Apartment housing, 3 meals/day, utilities, basic cable TV, daily trash removal, weekly housekeeping and linen service, scheduled transportation, 24-hour access to staff, personal care services (if needed), and vacations at another Regency Pacific residence. Amenities include: Outdoor pool/spa, exercise & recreation rooms, 24-hour coffee/tea lounge, media room & computer center, fitness & wellness programs, personal garden patches, recreational activities/outings, restaurant-style dining room, private dining room, and library. Pet-friendly!
  • Condos/townhomes: Starting at less than $100,000 + monthly maintenance fee. See listings.
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $200,000s. See listings.
  • New home developments:
    • Pualani Estates – Starting in the $300,000s. 3- and 4-bedroom single-family homes (1-2 stories high). Includes free appliance package.
    • Ali’i Heights Mauka – Starting in the $600,000s. 3-bedroom single-family homes (1 story high). Ocean views.

Keauhou & Kahalu’u

With condo prices starting in the $200,000s, the oceanfront Kanaloa At Kona complex is surrounded by Kona Country Club's golf course and is located half a mile from the Keauhou Shopping Center.

Volcano & Pahala

Well-maintained ranch-style house.

Prices for single family homes in Volcano and Pahala start under $100,000. This pristine house (above) in Volcano is currently on the market for $179,000.

Pahoa & Kapoho

Balcony overlooks a shoreline with a full ocean view.

This oceanfront house in Pahoa is currently on the market for $499,000. Houses located further back with partial ocean views start in the $200,000s.

  • Location: Southeast of Hilo, on the windward coast of the Big Island. See map.
  • What it has to offer: Affordable homes, Big Island’s “hippie capital” (Pahoa), sunniest spot on the windward side of the island (Kapoho), some beach homes, lots of shops and restaurants, art galleries, public swimming pool, plant nurseries, papaya farms, several beaches, excellent snorkeling spots, Kapoho Tide Pools, Lava Tree State Park, MacKenzie State Park.
  • Single family homes: Starting at less than $100,000. See listings


Old building with vertical neon sign that says "Palace" is decorated with a giant colorful lei.

Hilo's Palace Theatre, which first opened in 1925, is decorated for May Day (Lei Day in Hawaii).

Honoka’a & Pa’auhau

Road leads through pastureland into a town, with the ocean on the horizon.

The small town of Honoka'a: Where lush green pastureland meets the deep blue sea.

  • Location: North of Hilo and east of Waimea (Kamuela), on the Hamakua Coast. See map.
  • What it has to offer: Small-town community, homes with scenic ocean views, farmland, sunshine (in Pa’auhau), Hamakua Country Club, shops and restaurants, Hale Ho’ola Hamakua Hospital, public gymnasium with indoor track and tennis courts, community swimming pool, Honoka’a People’s Theatre, several parks, hiking/biking trails, not far from amenities in Waimea (Kamuela).
  • Single family homes: Starting in the $100,000s. See listings.

Coming up next: Retirement Communities On Kauai. Stay tuned!