How this Hawaii Airbnb Optimizes ROI with Residential Glass Walls

By NanaWall Systems, October 27, 2021

Airbnb in Hawaii with residential glass walls

Imagine yourself here. Puako Bay, on the Northwestern coast of Hawaii’s Big Island, is the ideal escape for those seeking to disconnect from the daily grind and connect with the natural world. The rocky shoreline is filled with exploration opportunities, from the small tidepools that sprinkle the area to the extensive coral reef nearby. For a young family of Idaho natives, the area presented real estate potential and the opportunity to build a dream vacation home for themselves and to rent when not in use. Working alongside Tobin Dougherty of Tobin Dougherty Architects, the contemporary residence that now borders the crystal-clear waters of Puako Bay highlights the best hospitality design has to offer. The property boasts a multitude of amenities, outdoor recreation activities, and front-row views to dramatic sunsets with the help of multiple NanaWall residential glass walls.

Residential Glass Walls and Hospitality Design

Amenities, amenities, amenities! According to a survey by Airbnb, the majority of travelers say amenities are a top priority when selecting travel accommodations. The Airbnb market has seen an increase in demand as more tourists prefer the comfort and privacy of a rental rather than restrictive hotel rooms. These residential spaces offer a genuine, immersive experience that enthralls guests with conveniences like fully stocked kitchens and lounge areas available only to them. Some Airbnb lodgings allow tourists to experience what it’s like to live like a local and truly connect with the location’s environment and its culture. Let’s take a look at how this Puako Bay residence optimizes its design to maximize ROI and enhance the indoor/outdoor experience with exterior glass wall systems.

areal view of Hawaii Airbnb

Making the Move to Hawaii

“There were several lots to choose from,” recalls the homeowner regarding the purchasing process. “We purposely chose the end lot because we wanted a greater sense of privacy and to be truly immersed in the landscape rather than in between properties—it was also the lot with the best view.” The family now owns an additional condo just five minutes up the road from the Airbnb. This additional property serves as their primary residence since permanently moving to Hawaii and as a result of the influx in bookings at the rental property. Partnering with architect Tobin Dougherty, it took about five years to design and build the house, appropriately named Kahieluana, which means “a place to relax and enjoy the company of loved ones.”

Airbnb with exterior glass wall systems

Location, Amenities, and Luxury

The semi-secluded location and expansive property present an authentic Hawaiian lifestyle with a multitude of activities—it’s like having your own private resort. The house features a heated pool and deck, tennis and volleyball courts, a game room, five master bedrooms, four outdoor showers, state-of-the-art appliances, and outdoor activity gear like paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkel gear. For the full list of amenities, visit Kahieluana’s website. From the NanaWall residential glass walls to the outdoor showers and bathtubs, this residence is the epitome of indoor/outdoor living, and as an ideal Island getaway vacation home, it succeeds at offering guests a genuine immersion with the environment.

Airbnb bedroom with residential glass walls

Bringing the Outdoors In

From the very beginning, the homeowner envisioned opening the whole ocean-facing side of the property with glass walls. A lot of the design was centered around connecting the indoors and outdoors and transporting the environment inside. A testament to that, and one of the homeowner’s favorite features, is the living wall in the Lanai that doubles as an open-air living room. Outdoor showers and bathtubs, most with exterior glass wall systems, offer the exhilarating yet soothing experience of bathing in the tropical outdoors. “We wanted to be able to open the glass walls all the way, which you can’t do with sliders unless you specify pocket doors, which we didn’t have the space for,” says the homeowner. “The NanaWall residential glass walls play an important role in achieving the indoor/outdoor feel—we have them open all the time.”

Airbnb bathroom with residential glass walls

Finding Solutions with Residential Glass Walls

Seven multipaneled NanaWall SL45 residential glass walls were specified throughout the oceanfront rooms. The eight-foot-tall top-hung systems achieve seamless indoor/outdoor transitions between living areas when open and maximum transparency when closed, ensuring one never misses the view through barely-there frames. According to the homeowner, the exterior glass wall systems are always kept open, and they serve as an integral design element of the home that truly helps bring the outdoors in. As with the living wall, one of his other favorite design features is the master bathroom with floating vanities and mirrors. When the NanaWall system is opened, it achieves a whimsical floating in mid-air illusion emphasized by the feeling of showering outdoors.

Airbnb kitchen with NanaWall FoldFlat residential glass walls

Free-Flowing Transitions in the Kitchen with FoldFlat®

In the kitchen, a five-panel system was specified with FoldFlat® technology for unobstructed views and to seamlessly extend the interior to an al-fresco eating space. “It was especially important to have a fully open transition in the kitchen that extends to the covered Lanai and open-air dining area,” says the homeowner. “We chose to specify NanaWall System’s FoldFlat technology so the panels could completely disappear so as to have no obstruction between the indoors and outdoors.” With FoldFlat®, the panels fold and stack all the way back and parallel to the opening, creating a clear passage for circulation into and out of the doorway. Enjoying a meal al-fresco with the sound of birds singing in the distance and the soothing crashing of waves truly reflects the pleasures of living in tropical luxury.

inddor/outdoor dining with NanaWall FoldFlat residential glass walls

Optimizing ROI with Residential Glass Walls

For guests, the immersive experience offered by Kahieluana is a memorable one that keeps them wanting more. A true testament to that is its occupancy rate—the residence is booked 80% percent of the time even at the more premium price. “The homeowners did not skip on any details, every room is unique and beautiful,” recalls a guest about her stay. “The master bedrooms have outdoor showers and baths—an experience you won’t find at a resort.” In a recent article, Conde Nast Traveler listed Kahieluana at the top of their 67 Best Airbnbs and Vacation Rentals in the World list citing it as a “dream vacation rental,” and it’s no surprise as to why. The detailed application of hospitality design and indoor/outdoor living gives way to the ideal tropical escape, filled with outdoor amenities, dynamic walls, and the ocean just mere feet away. So, when will you be planning your next trip to Puako Bay?

Learn more about how NanaWall exterior glass wall systems are redefining hospitality design in our extensive applications library!