Hawaii Kai’s special connection to the ocean is apparent the minute you first visit. The Hawaii Kai Marina is an extension of the ocean and makes one of the main neighborhood features, creating Hawaii Kai’s special allure and its awesome unique lifestyle.
We described in detail Hawaii Kai’s marina front homes and neighborhoods here. We also wrote extensively about marina front condos & townhomes here.
There are about 520 single family homes directly on the Hawaii Kai marina. But did you know there are only 40 Hawaii Kai single family homes right on the ocean. These are rare and highly priced trophy properties often valued well above $3Mill (as of 2016).
There are however many hundreds of Hawaii Kai homes that offer ocean views to varying degrees. Ocean view could be from close by the ocean, or from one of the high elevation residential ridges. Here is the rule of thumb: a.) the more ocean you see, and b.) the closer you are to the ocean, the higher is the property value.
If either ocean front, or ocean view is what you are after, you found the right place to help you zero in on your search.
We have broken down Hawaii Kai’s ocean view homes into the following 4 categories:
1.) Ocean front
2.) Good elevation, close to the ocean
3.) Ridge homes with great ocean views
4.) Other homes with ocean views
Here we explore Hawaii Kai’s ocean front and ocean view homes starting with the closest you could possibly get to the ocean:
1.) Ocean front:
Portlock is Hawaii Kai’s premier residential ocean front neighborhood. It is here where industrialist Henry Kaiser, who developed all of Hawaii Kai during the 1960s, made his own home. His sprawling 5.5 acre estate with private boat harbor is located in the 500 block of Portlock Road.
Portlock consists of only about 120 homes along Portlock Road and about 8 more homes along ocean side Kalanianaole Hwy. Most lots are level and between 11,000 and 1 acre in size. Only 40 of these homes are directly on the ocean. Since the neighborhood is completely flat, only the 40 ocean side homes are able to enjoy ocean views. You can’t get any closer to the ocean. The only other Portlock homes that will get to see above tree top ocean views are some of the slightly elevated homes across the street starting in the 500 block of Portlock Rd.
Scarcity creates value. Most Portlock ocean view homes are selling in the $2Mill to $5Mill range, some even as high as $20Mill.
2.) Good elevation, close to the ocean:
Koko Kai: (video)
Koko Kai is located immediately and adjacent south of Portlock, and has a different hillside feel due to moderate elevations along the base of Koko Head. The Koko Kai neighborhood includes about 130 homes starting south of 274 Poipu Dr and includes several other adjacent streets. Most Koko Kai lot sizes are between 11,000 sq ft and 30,000 sq ft.
Only about 32 Koko Kai homes are right on the ocean. Oceanfront in Koko Kai means dramatic cliff side location with about 20 to 120 feet elevation. Here you are close to the ocean but above the tsunami evacuation zone.
The ocean views are spectacular and some of the finest in Honolulu. Koko Kai represents a unique combination between: a.) being very close to the ocean, and b.) having modest elevations to get plenty blue ocean views. Due to the mildly sloped terrain, even the Koko Kai homes not on the ocean enjoy great ocean and sunset views. Koko Kai is also a pleasant walkable neighborhood. Most Koko Kai ocean view homes are selling between $1.5Mill to $5Mill with some exceptional properties selling as high as $8Mill.
Triangle completes the trio of neighborhoods, comprised of Portlock, Koko Kai and Triangle, wrapping around the north eastern slope of Koko Head. Triangle consists of about 300 homes, none of them are directly on the ocean. Most Triangle home lots range between 10,000 to 15,000 sq ft, and most Triangle homes are valued between $1.1Mill and $3Mill.
Only a small number primarily along the higher elevation Triangle streets e.g. Makaweli St, Makaweli Pl, Kekaha Pl, Polihale Pl, some of the Poipu Dr homes and a few upslope Nawiliwili St homes enjoy ocean views.
It is important to note that Koko Kai and Triangle (not Portlock) have association design guidelines with a 16 ft height limit from the highest corner of the buildable footprint. You may not be able to add a second story depending on your lot topography. However, it appears a couple of homes may have already set precedent by having disregarded the association’s height restriction.
Search all Portlock, Koko Kai and Triangle homes.
3.) Ridge homes with great ocean views:
Napali Haweo: (video)
Napali Haweo is considered Hawaii Kai’s luxury home ridge. Developed fairly recent during the 1990s the neighborhood has a much newer and grander feel compared to Mariners Ridge or Kamehame Ridge.
Napali Haweo offers some of the highest elevation homes in all of Hawaii Kai, some over 700 ft above sea level. Because of the high elevation and also the unique narrow ridge layout, just about all Napali Haweo homes enjoy plenty ocean views. Most Napali Haweo lots are between 10,000 sq ft and 17,000 sq ft. Napali Haweo homes are often valued between $1.5Mill to $4Mill.
The views up here are spectacular, both towards the western sunset beyond the distant Diamond Head, but also towards the south-east with the Hawaii Kai golf course below. If you desire wide ocean views and like to feel like being on top of the world, Napali Haweo is for you.
Kamehame Ridge: (video)
Kamehame Ridge is located immediately south, below Napali Haweo. Kamehame Ridge was primarily developed during the 1980s with Napali Haweo as the natural newer extension above. Most Kamehame lots range between 10,000 and 15,000 sq ft. Kamehame Ridge homes are often valued between $800,000 and $1.2Mill with a few exceptional homes selling as high as $2Mill.
Only about half of the about 200 Kamehame Ridge homes have great ocean views especially the western side of the ridge overlooking the marina with ocean beyond.
Important to consider about ridge locations are Hawaii’s prevailing Tradewinds blowing 5-10 miles/h naturally cooling from a north easterly direction about 300 days per year.
For most ridge locations the preferred orientation is to have the Tradewinds blowing from the mountain towards the ocean, with your house sheltering the pool deck and entertainment areas. This will allow calm enjoyment of your pool deck in spite of the Tradewinds.
This general orientation can be found on western facing slopes of all Hawaii Kai’s ridges, as well as on western facing slopes of all other Honolulu ridges.
Kamehame Ridge is no exception and offers some magical western facing ridge locations with great elevation and truly spectacular ocean and sunset views.
Mariners Ridge: (video)
Mariners Ridge is Hawaii Kai’s original ridge neighborhood developed mostly during the 1970s. Its final newer hilltop section of custom homes was completed during the early 1980s. Most Mariners Ridge lots are between 6,000 and 16,000 sq ft, and Mariners Ridge homes are often valued between $1Mill and $1.6Mill.
Although Mariners Ridge homes tend to be older compared to the other ridges, Mariners Ridge has maintained its position as a popular Hawaii Kai neighborhood option.
Besides being a little closer to downtown Honolulu for superior access compared to Napali Haweo and Kamehame Ridge, Mariners Ridge is also a bit closer to the Hawaii Kai marina and Maunalua Bay.
This makes for arguably some better marina and ocean views. Especially the western facing rim lots on the lower section of Kaahue St offer some of the most dramatic marina and ocean views available on the Hawaii Kai ridges.
4.) Other homes with ocean views:
Laulima is a zero lot line cluster home development completed in 1988 in the back of Hawaii Kai. Lot sizes in Laulima are modest, mostly between 3,300 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft, and much smaller compared to some of the other Hawaii Kai neighborhoods. The homes however feature some interesting architectural angles and are well worth to check out. Laulima homes are often valued between $900,000 and $1.1Mill.
Only 65 Laulima homes are facing the Hawaii Kai Golf Course and only a few of these get the additional benefit of an ocean view. Famous Sandy Beach and the ocean are about 800 ft south from here.
Because Laulima’s topography is flat and barely 20 to 30 ft above sea level, ocean views here are not as dramatic compared with some of the high elevation ridges.
However, Laulima’s south facing perimeter homes share a magical unique combination of golf course frontage and ocean views beyond the trees.
If a smaller home towards the end of Hawaii Kai meets your needs, than Laulima might be a good fit. There are very few Honolulu homes that will offer both golf course and ocean views. Consider yourself lucky. You found paradise.
Queens Gate: (video)
Queens Gate is a gated community just across the street from Laulima and bordering the same Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Queens Gate actually consists of two gated sections, Queens Gate I and Queens Gate II, with a combined total of 141 homes, all completed between 1978 and 1980.
Queens Gate homes and lot sizes are larger compared to Laulima. Most Queens Gate lot sizes are between 6,000 sq ft to 11,000 sq ft, with some as large as 14,000 sq ft. Most Queens Gate homes are valued between $1.1Mill to $1.4Mill.
All Queens Gate homes enjoy nice green golf course views, but only a few of the south facing perimeter homes located within Queens Gate II get the additional benefit of pleasant ocean views beyond the golf course. The beach is only about 1,000 ft straight south from here. With modest elevations barely 20 to 30 ft above sea level, ocean views here are limited to a blue horizon beyond the green fairway.
Queens Gate homes are desired because of the very rare combination of a quiet secure gated neighborhood with good size homes, great golf course views and some decent ocean views beyond. The setting is magical and Queens Gate could be considered one of Hawaii Kai’s best kept secret.
Interested in exploring ocean view homes outside Hawaii Kai? Check out our extensive list with all Honolulu homes for sale.
Perhaps we inspired you to explore Hawaii Kai ocean view homes further. Let us know what you think. We like to hear from you. We are always here to help. ~ Mahalo & Aloha