Our sense of adventure and anticipation was heightened by the 8 minute, 2-4 mph drive on the bumpy road up to the house. A clearly marked sign near the end marked the entrance to ROJO’s Coffee Farm, and a smooth driveway lined with magnificent royal palms turned our excitement to awe. We had previously communicated our arrival time and Roy and Joy were there to welcome us, answer questions, and show us through their beautiful, spacious home that would be ours during our stay. The views were, as promised, among the best in the area, and given the beauty of the surrounding landscape it’s hard to imagine better. We bought a few things at the Costco in Kona before driving to the farm, and we were pleased to see some provisions (for food storage, some spices, and cooking oils) at the house, along with all the pots, pans, and dishes to prepare and serve meals. A nearby market was expensive, but convenient for additional items, such as paper towels, as well as some inexpensive barbecued chicken that we cooked on the outdoor grill. Fresh fruits, compliments of Roy and Joy, were much appreciated and greatly enjoyed. (Best bananas ever!) And, of course, there was everything needed to make great coffee, including a small bag of roasted and ground ROJO coffee to introduce us to the farm’s crop. It was excellent and we took advantage of the opportunity to buy additional, freshly roasted coffee beans. The house and kitchen were very clean, and a couple of friendly little bright green geckos with turquoise rimmed eyes were totally delightful when venturing out to see what fruits we were preparing. No doubt they enjoyed the little pile of fruit and vegetable compostables we created in the pantry kitchen each day (to later be distributed in the garden). There was no air conditioner and no dishwasher. And though a dishwasher would have been nice, the lack of air conditioning turned out to be a plus. It allowed for a delightfully full sensory experience of the area, and put us in-synch with the laid back feel of this tropical paradise. We woke up to beautiful sunny mornings, and enjoyed going to sleep with cool evening air wafting through the ever-open windows. The popular snorkeling spot, Two Step, was 15 minutes away (7 minutes, plus the 8 minute drive down the hill). The beaches were hotter and generally sunnier than the farm during the time we were there. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the beach, so other than verifying there are some good, accessible beaches in easy driving distance, we enjoyed the chance to see some other parts of the island, including the Botanical Gardens a couple of hours away near Hilo. (Hilo had more of a small-town feel, less touristy than Kona, with wetter, cooler weather.) After exploring the island, we were happy to get back to the ROJO Farm where the occasional, and lighter, rains in the late afternoon and particularly the evening, served to animate a chorus of frogs and lizards to serenade us. On clear nights, the stars shone brightly and we saw lots of shooting stars. Beautiful place. Wonderful hosts. No volcano worries. Every one of us came away with lots of happy memories and the wish to return some day. Mahalo nui loa Roy and Joy!
We stayed at the RoJo Coffee Retreat for eleven nights over Christmas and New Year 2017/18.
The journey from the UK to the Big Island is a long one, but oh, so worth it, especially if you are lucky enough to have stumbled upon this gem of a place. We arrived at nearly midnight and were met by Roy at the end of the mile-long driveway up to the property. Following him up the drive we were initially rather anxious at the lumps and bumps over which we were driving, however our standard auto coped just fine, so don’t be daunted and once we reached the top we were amazed at what awaited us; a three bedroom, two bath, property with an amazing living/diner/kitchen and even a utility room. However what we couldn't appreciate in the near total darkness was the view; that we only saw when we arose the next morning and it was truly astounding. The massive glass walled living room and master bedroom/lanai benefit from uninterrupted views of the west coast and the Place of Refuge, together with extensive rainforest vistas, with palms, banana, orange, grapefruit, papaya, tulip and poinsettia trees, along with bougainvillea and hibiscus flowering everywhere.
Roy and Joy were the most lovely, yet unobtrusive of hosts, providing friendly advice and information and generally just being good to talk to. They have kitted the property out so that you could really live in it and with extras like beach goods, snorkel equipment also available, plus free bananas and any other fruit you fancy picking for yourself. The water is from rain catchment, filtered and truly eco friendly, the pool is solar heated as is the house water and we always had ample hot water, even on the few cloudy days.
We enjoyed the peace and quiet, the local wildlife, especially the tree frogs and the other-worldly atmosphere and were kept cool by the natural ventilation, a result of the location and terrain.
We have visited the Hawaiian Islands on several occasions and have stayed on most of them, in various types of accommodation from 5 star hotels to beach-bungalows, but never have I stayed in a property, which has the perfect balance of Old Hawaii and modern convenience of the RoJo Coffee Retreat. Highly recommended, we hope to return soon.
As we right this review, unable to leave our Nebraska home due to an ice storm making travel treacherous, our memories of our 10 day stay at ROJO Coffee plantation are being relived through the awesome pictures of the sunsets taken from the driveway, the beautiful view of Honaunau Bay from the living room window, the fun days lounging on the deck or in the pool, and the crisp nights spent star gazing.
Each morning we enjoyed delicious ROJO coffee and fruit, i.e., bananas, tangerines, oranges, papaya, passion fruit, avocados, either left on the doorstep by Roy, or picked on our morning walks. Each evening we snacked on macadamia nuts, from the tree located right at the edge of the driveway, or fresh made guacamole, as we star gazed.
Since ROJO coffee plantation is located on a mountain side, overlooking Honaunau Bay, finding the home initially would have been difficult, but Roy meets you on the highway to lead you into paradise! Once we arrived, Joy provided a tour of the home and its grounds, to include her meticulous kept vegetable gardens. The home is cozy and equipped with everything you need for cooking, grilling, laundry, and showering. Roy and Joy also provide snorkel equipment, beach towels, and information on all the island attractions. WiFi worked great and was easy to connect to. During our stay, we enjoyed many conversations with Roy and Joy, over shared meals, a tutorial on the making of really good coffee, and an afternoon in the pool. Our last day was spent snorkeling at Two Steps beach, which Roy and Joy expertly guided.
When you stay at ROJO Coffee plantation you gain a true insight of all that the Big Island of Hawaii has to offer, which Roy and Joy enthusiastically shared with us. Leaving this beautiful place and our new friends was the only difficulty we experienced.
Roy and Joy, the invitation to visit us in Nebraska and to show you the "sea of corn fields" awaits. We only hope that we can provide the same wonderful hospitality shown to us in Hawaii, when you visit us in Nebraska!
Moce, George, Gail, Chad, and Kevin
We stayed here for 4 days at the end of January and thoroughly enjoyed the peaceful serenity of the surroundings. It is about 20-30 minutes from the airport and once of the highway, the road to get up to the farm is a bit bumpy, but once you turn into the long approach to their farm, it is everything you imagination Hawaii might be. Beautiful, well-cared for, amazing gardens, and a view to absolutely die for. We enjoyed every minute of our stay. We want to go back again next year.