Thursday, January 28, 2010

Historic Holualoa, Kona district, Hawai'i


By chance, we just happened to 'stumble' upon this historic town by taking the Mamalahoa Highway (Hwy 180) after our tour of a Kona Coffee Plantation. We find that by taking the roads less travelled sometimes you end up at interesting locations with great scenery. The roads are narrow with little room on the shoulders to stop for photos.


It turns out that Holualoa was the only sugar town in the area. Land was cleared for sugar cane and this town became its commercial centre for 27 years. It was also headquarters for the Kona Telephone Company established in the 1890's . Mules were used to string wires from Hilo across the island to Kona.

(Historic Kona Hotel)

Which is now known as the PINK HOTEL


Tourism has kept this town alive by turning houses into Art Galleries, studios and shops. Of course, not being a native of this region I am not that smart to know all this information.

(Ferrari Kona Coffe Co., prev: Garage & Ikeda Gas Station 1920's)

It comes from a Driving Guide along with historic pictures supplied courtesy of the Kona Historial Society's archives

(Koike Feed Store, prev: Koike Barber Shop & Pool Hall, 1925)

(Private residence, prev: Yoneyama House, 1920)

It's all laid out on this walking guide


The building in the background is still there, Paul's Place is the local general store


The Holuakoa Cafe & visitors' centre used to be Toyoki Ueda Garage (1920)

(Holuakoa Cafe has excellent reviews)

(Private residence)

The main landmark in this town is the "Pink Hotel" (<-- click link), otherwise known as the Kona Hotel, which was built by the Inaba's and is still operated today by Goro & Yayoko Inaba.

(view from Ferrari Coffee, which used to be a garage)

If you happen to be driving past and notice this pink hotel, it would be time well spent to stop and have a gander


I asked permission to walk about inside to discover its secrets, and I may reveal them in part two, Maybe . . . if you are "good"

A preview . . . to tweak your interest



  1. Bob,
    I like the Pink Hotel. It looks like a good photo spot. That shot of it from the coffee place is really good. I like the historic photos and info. and places that have that stuff. Thank you...

  2. Yes please!! I promise to be good!! Love these photos!!

  3. Dear Bob Skoot:

    The "Pink Hotel" looks exactly like the kind of joint I'm inclined to spend the a night in, when passing through a little community. I hope you got a shot of one of their guest rooms.

    Very interesting pictures. was the Konas coffee better tasting right there where it's grown?

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Road

  4. What a charming locale. So much personality in those buildings. I agree with Jack's comment...The pink hotel looks more enticing than some slick 5-star resort. What a great place to walk around with a camera in hand...or video as the case may be. :)


  5. Bob, I particularly like the pink hotel view through the red booths from across the street.

    On a slightly different not, check out this YouTube Vancouver video ...

  6. You'd have to be drunk beyond the ability to stand up if you drove past the Pepto Bismol house and failed to notice it. riepe knows what I mean.
    The picturesque Hawaii homes will make your eyes water when you check their price tags.

  7. Hmmmm, that last picture looks like some sort of escape route...

    When does part 2 come out?

  8. Firstly, how do you know the Pink Hotel wasn't always pink? What if the old B & W photo was really of a pink building and somebody didn't simply desaturate the colors in Photoshop?

    Secondly, I think it would be so cool to visit a coffee plantation. I don't know why, but a heavy coffee drinker like me should have a more rounded approach, don't you think?

  9. Hi Bob,

    The houses are all wooden again, is Hawaii a poor place?? Its handy for passing tourists that they paint the brothels bright colours lol.



  10. Mike:

    I like to know the history of the area too. Somehow I was drawn to it like a magnet and wandered inside . That title pix was taken at dinner right from the table as it was an outside restaurant, on the beach. It hardly took any effort except for lifting my arms and aiming


    Being GOOD is "good", but being really BAD is GOOD too

    Jack "r":

    There are a lot of coffee plantations, and since Kona is known for their coffee, it is served everywhere .
    As for staying there, it is clean enough but old facilities as you will see in Part Two


    I did manage to take a few photos, but I did ask permission first, then snooped around. Wait for part two. I am glad my new camera has a stealth HD video mode


    That video is AWESOME, but I would suppose that they are professionals with equipment to match. I can't even comprehend how they did it. I just loved those time lapse city panos

    Mr Conchscooter:

    We did check out the prices and they are comparable to Vancouver prices, except in a warmer place, WITHOUT health care benefits, as far as we are concerned. I always purchase travel insurance . . .
    There was just a survey done about housing prices around the world and the accepted norm is 3x gross wages. Vancouver is the highest at 9.5X gross wages and virtually unaffordable


    I like suspense . . .


    Wow, If I didn't know better, I would have surmised that you were a photographer, rather than a gruffy, outlaw biker

    I went back to re-examine those old B&W shots and find that they are not the correct shade of grey to have been originally PINK


    Bricks have to come by Outrigger from the Mainland and not many can be transported at one time, thus making them very expensive, so they only use wood.

    I think you are getting confused with Jamaica, MON

  11. and wherer is at "the jefe de jefes's work??? is in front of the pink hotel and betwen the restaurant and ferrari coffe!!