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Guests’ Kudos

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The perfect place to reload your batteries
Guest: Beat and Anita(Heidelberg, Germany)
Date of Stay: 11/09 Review Submitted:  1/10/10
     You can read all about the attractions and the beauty of Big Island in appropriate travel guides. So, let's concentrate on Tara Cottage, the cottage surroundings and the host Michael. We arrived at night after a long trip and did not take much notice of anything and went to sleep in the very big and comfortable bed. When we woke up the next morning, we could admire the sheer beauty of it all: the view over the Pacific Ocean and Kealakekua Bay, the very tastefully furnished cottage, the exquisite choice of classical music CDs, the vast assortment of books on the shelves, the welcoming basket of treats that waited for us (including delicious coffee from the farm Tara Cottage is located on). To make a long story short: we had the feeling, we had arrived in paradise and this cannot get any better... but then we met Michael, our host. He is the most charming man you can imagine: warm, friendly, very willing to share his knowledge, considerate and always observing our privacy. The whole atmosphere in and around Tara Cottage is the perfect place to relax and reload your batteries or for a romantic time-out with your significant other. We decided and promised to come back and can hardly wait to do so. It is a pity that I only have the possibility to assign 5 stars here. I would like to add a PLUS.

bamboo3

A place of Peace and Serenity
Date of Stay: June 2012 Review Submitted: 7/08/12
     If you want a place to relax and unwind this is it. The cottage is beautifully furnished and the landscaping outside is lovely. Michael is an very considerate and friendly person who goes out of his way to make you feel welcome at his property. It's difficult to put into to words just how pleasant this place is; the view of the bay overlooking Captain Cook's Monument, the background noise of the birds and wildlife, the warm air, the vibe inside the cottage in the afternoon while relaxing in the reading nook, the sunsets, morning Kona coffee on the patio, the geckos, the sound system and the selection of music provided, the library of books, the outdoor solar shower, the list just goes on and on... Go and treat yourself to some quality downtime, you'll have no regrets.

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Best rental property in Hawaii!!
Date of Stay: March 2012 Review Submitted: 4/27/12
     This is the best vacation rental on the Big island. Tara Cottage is a haven of tranquility and peace in a sublime location on the hillside overlooking Kealakekua Bay. We are seasoned travelers but we have never discovered a more special place to unwind ,renew and seek adventure than Tara Cottage. The surrounding gardens and upland forests are magical and the artful landscaping is breathtaking. The cottage is beautifully furnished with carefully selected antique furniture and the beds are extraordinarily comfortable. Your gracious host, Michael Sisk, has anticipated your every need from snorkeling equipment to sunscreen.  The property has a grove of the best Kona coffee plants on the island and if you are lucky you may be able to purchase the best coffee in the world...grown on your doorstep! The well designed and equipped kitchen is very convenient. The wireless internet access is speedy and calls to Canada or the us are free which saves on those costly data plans!
We traveled to Volcano National Park on one day and adventured north to snorkel in Kohala on another day. The Honaunau National Park is only minutes away and is a beautiful historical park celebrating Hawaiian culture. There is a wonderful ancient shoreline hiking trail beginning in the park and superb snorkeling at "Two Step" just outside the park.
If you rent this extraordinary property, Michael will send you a packet of invaluable information about local restaurants, beaches and activities. We tried many of his recommended eating spots and had some memorable meals. You will return home feeling that you have truly been immersed in Hawaiian culture.
You may search far and wide but you will not find a vacation rental to compare with this special place. The birds in the bamboo and the birdbath will keep you entertained for hours. Return home with unforgettable memories after the vacation of a lifetime!

bamboo3

Paradise Found
Date of Stay: October 2011 Review Submitted: 11/04/12

We just returned from a week at Tara Cottage. Trying to find the words to describe our stay is difficult; Paradise is an understatement to be certain. From the minute you enter the driveway to Tara Cottage you know you are entering a magical place. The grounds are as beautiful and well kept as any resort we have ever stayed at in our 15+ years visiting the Hawai'ian Islands. The comforts of Tara Cottage reveal themselves one after the other.   The bread, nuts, chocolate, bananas, papaya and lilikoi waiting for us on arrival were just the beginning.   We love to cook and the kitchen was well stocked with everything we needed to prepare all of our meals, including roasted coffee beans from the coffee trees on the property.  If you are a coffee lover, you are in for a treat.  The sky light directly over the bed makes for great late night star gazing.  The outdoor shower was a lot of fun, hands down the most beautiful showers you will ever have in your life.   From the top of the line Bosch washer and dryer, snorkel gear, beach chairs, boogie boards, gas barbeque, flat screen TV with DVD player (and library) and a nice stereo system that is I-Pod ready and a great mix of music CDs, Tara Cottage has it all.     Kealakekua Bay is about a 10 minute drive down the hill with lots to do and see.  There is a real local feel to the place with friendly people.  It is an interesting place, activity wise and historical.  One neighborhood lady proudly told me the bay was the world's largest aquarium, plus you could swim in it.  The City of Refuge is nearby.  All this is within minutes of Tara.  There are good groceries stores, local restaurants; and the produce is the best with organic veggies and fruit found everywhere.  Speaking of fruit, in addition to coffee trees and pineapple there are mango, breadfruit and lime trees right outside.  You can see them from the lanai while taking in the view of the bay from above.  Simply put, a week at Tara Cottage will add weeks to your life.

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Lush and Romantic
Guest: Steven and Beth (Falcon Heights, MN)
Date of Stay: 05/10/11 Review Submitted:  05/24/11
     What an eye-popping paradise for two winter-weary Minnesotans!  From the lushly landscaped grounds to the exquisitely furnished interior, Tara Cottage is a feast for the senses and a balm for the soul.  Michael provides guests with every conceivable amenity: fresh fruit and coffee from his farm, treats galore, a well-stocked fridge, and folding chairs, beach towels, and a cooler for your days at the beach. There's also a marvelous array of literary fiction, Hawaiian guidebooks, CDs and DVDs.  Everyone raves about the outdoor shower (which we loved, too!), but our favorite Tara experience was sipping mai tais while listening to Iz on the stereo and watching the sun set over Kealakekua Bay. In terms of practicalities, Tara was spotlessly clean and well-maintained, and Michael was very helpful in providing information regarding directions, grocery stores, restaurants, and places of interest to tourists like us. Our favorite places matched Michael's recommendations perfectly: Two-Step for snorkeling; The Coffee Shack for sandwiches; Mi's Italian Bistro for a special dinner; Mauna Kea Beach for the ideal sunny Hawaiian beach experience; Ho'okeena for a low-key beach picnic.  Tara Cottage was the perfect place to celebrate our 35th anniversary, and I'm sure we'll find our way back quite soon!

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Pampered Privacy and Beauty
Guest: Brenda(Pine, AZ)
Date of Stay: 06/24/10 Review Submitted:  07/16/10
     Tara Cottage is a rare jewel set on the lushly landscaped manicured grounds of Tara Farms in Captain Cook. The view is spectacular and the cooler elevation offers a comfortable climate. All one must do is arrive with their personal belongings, for the host and owner Michal  has thoughtfully furnished everything else needed for a perfect stay.  There are quality linens on the beds and thick soft towels for the bath.  You will find various and sundry toilet articles and appliances for your personal care.  There are spa robes for the absolutely wonderful outdoor shower set in lava rock and thickly surrounded by greenery for privacy.  The kitchen is fully equipped, and then some.  The cottage has books, music and movies to choose from.  The furnishings are lovely and most interesting and obviously have been lovingly amassed over the years.  The cottage reflects a real pride of ownership and fondness by the owner. One of the real pluses for me was the privacy......for which Michael shows a sincere respect and at the same time allows one to roam and enjoy his beautiful grounds and coffee and pineapple farm.  He truly is a warm, friendly and generous host.  I feel privileged to have experienced Tara Cottage.

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Guest: Linda Kelsey(Arvada, Colorado)
Date of Stay: 01/03/10 Review Submitted:  01/03/10  
     From the moment we arrived at Tara Cottage we felt like we had arrived in Paradise. We were greeted with the smell of fresh roasted coffee (Tara's own), homemade banana bread, local "mac" nuts and home grown bananas and mangos. Each day dawned with the sound of birds outside in the birdbath. We enjoyed the start of the day with the delightful outdoor shower and the relaxing comfort of the lounge chairs overlooking the ocean below. Tara Cottage was lovingly built and managed by our Host and now Friend Michael Sisk who thought of everything we could possibly need for our stay. The decor of Tara Cottage is first class and the accommodations provided everything, Oh, and ,did I mention the outside shower? We will always remember our evening of Kava and songs with all of our new friends at Mamma's. Thank you Mike for sharing Tara with us and we look forward to our next visit. For anyone looking for complete relaxation and the joy of experiencing the true ALOHA SPIRIT you will not regret staying at Tara Cottage, and did I mention the outdoor shower? Linda and Sonny, Denver, Colorado

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Guest: Petra and Jan(Duvall, WA, United States)
Date of Stay: 08/12/09 Review Submitted:  08/12/09
      We stayed at Tara cottage for three weeks this July and were completely taken away by the tranquility and beauty of the place. We had really great time, enjoyed gorgeous sunsets from the lanai, watched birds drinking and washing in the bird pool, loved the company of the almost tamed geckos but most importantly fantastic host and owner of the place, Michael. The cottage is situated away from the noisy and touristy areas but still close to any attractions that the Big Island can offer. It is an ideal spot for relaxation or just enjoyment of Hawaii in its almost original form. Restaurants, coffee farms and houses, art galleries and other shops nearby are all in the same spirit.. Adding the perfect snorkeling area (Two steps) which is only 5 minutes drive from the property, this place has really everything we were looking for during our vacation. We would definitely recommend this place to any of our friends and are looking forward to our next visit to Tara cottage.

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     If it had been the last two days of our lives we couldn't have spent them at a better place than this. Thank you for creating such a paradise. B&S, Mallorca, Spain

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     “We feel like two of the luckiest people in the world getting to spend 1/12th of each year here. Tara is something special! Thank you Michael for making it so. We just love hanging out here. The view is amazing. The art is superb. The bed is so comfortable. The sheets are silky. The kitchen has everything we need. The outdoor shower is the best shower we've ever been in... We love going to Painted Church Road where Larry runs and I walk. I love walking thru Paleaku Peace Gardens. We go to Place of Refuge picnic grounds for breakfast granola and dinner from Jake's [BBQ stand near Tara]. During the day we sit by the ocean and watch waves and whales. We snorkel at Two- Step. We sit on the twin bed and read and watch birds bathing in the bird bath. We go to Farmer's Market in Captain Cook on Sundays. What a life!” 02/27/09

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     “I would recommend Tara Cottage without any hesitation to anyone considering a vacation on the Big Island. My husband, 11 year old son and I found the property, cottage and host to be even more welcoming than we anticipated. Tara Cottage is wonderful. It is charming, beautifully situated, clean and very comfortable (the beds are amazing and the outdoor shower cannot be beat!). The grounds are even more impressive than they appear in the photos. It is, in fact, a farm, complete with Kona coffee trees amazingly sweet white pineapples, huge mango trees and abundant flowering plants.
       The property is extensive; the landscaping made it among the most beautiful properties we saw on the island. We thoroughly enjoyed relaxing each morning and evening at home, taking in the sunsets and the superlative view of Kealakekua Bay. Tara Cottage is wonderfully situated on the west side of the island. It was a great home base from which to visit Kealakekua Bay (we strongly recommend renting kayaks and heading over to Captain Cook Monument where the snorkeling is wonderful-and don't forget to watch for resting spinner dolphins)as well as the very interesting and beautiful place of refuge.
       We would love to return to Tara Cottage. We really can't recommend it highly enough. Michael is the perfect host. He was very respectful of our privacy but he was also readily accessible whenever we had questions. And we greatly enjoyed the welcome basket of treats he had waiting for us when we arrived (the mango bread was unforgettably delicious). And his Kona coffee is the best! Tara Cottage is a wonderful place for an individual, a couple or a small family. Relax, enjoy the colorful birds, the abundance of the farm and the warm hospitality!”
Cindy Wasserman , Lagunitas, CA

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