There are a number of great places to stay on Kauai, but one place has been around almost forever, and is also gay owned. Joe, the host, is a good friend of ours whom we’ve known since 2000.
Mahina Kai is a B&B with a long gay history – originally opened as a gay bed and breakfast in 1985. The b&b was sold to a straight owner later, but was purchased in the late ’90’s by Joe Moore, the current gay owner, an has been returned to its gay Kauai roots.
Joe, a contractor, has completely renovated this beautiful property. The first thing you notice as you drive up the palm-lined drive is the fantastic blue-tile roof, which gives this asian-style, low-slung building a distinctive look. The former garage, next to the parking area, has been converted into a private cottage, the first of the property’s five rooms.
Climb up the stairs to the main villa, and you enter a wonderfully rambling structure with rooms around every corner. The centerpiece of the villa is the Atrium with a beautiful zen koi pond lit with natural light from the glass ceiling. Off to the right is the kitchen, where Joe serves up fantastic breakfasts, which guests can enjoy on the balcony overlooking the ocean. As part of his work on the property, Joe removed a number of trees that were blocking the view, opening up a fantastic ocean vista.
The house has a very open feeling to it, with several guest rooms opening to a wonderful ocean view, all of which are decorated in a hawaiian or asian style. The house is open to the jungle around you, so expect the occasional intrusion of some of the jungle fauna, including geckoes (considered good luck in Hawaiian homes).
Above the main house is the final guest room – the private Tea Room, an open studio accessed by a stairway at the back of the main villa atrium. The property features a wifi internet network, free to guests.
There’s also a beautiful, clothing optional pool area below the main house which is private and inviting… the water turquoise blue, and is protected by a bamboo fence. There’s also a jacuzzi, where you may spot a couple college-age guys in the buff, as we did when we visited Joe one time.
Joe lives on the premises, and is available to give you tips about the island and gay Kauai life. The property is mostly but not exclusively gay, and attracts interesting, open-minded folks from around the world. And Joe is the consummate innkeeper, knowing exactly what his guests want, often before they do. A great place to stay on the east shore.
Joe is also now the President of Lambda Aloha, the island’s LGBT group.
This post originally appeared on the Purple Roofs Gay Travel Blog.