Makana’s Tribute to Sonny Chillingworth


Makana, Photo by Peter Liu

MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty and Top Producer, Rebecca Keliihoomalu, are proud to sponsor a “Tribute to Sonny Chillingworth with Makana” at 7:00 pm on January 30th and 31st  at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea.

Sonny Chillingworth grew up in paniolo country.  It was there he learned how to play the slack-key guitar from his grandfather.  At a young age he moved to Honolulu and started playing with the famed guitarist Gabby Pahinui and singer Vickie Ii Rodrigue.  Throughout his life he appeared on many albums both as a solo artist and a guest artist, but he is probably most known for Waimea Cowboy which went gold in 1964.

Sonny helped shape the style of Hawaiian music by bringing traditional slack-key guitar to the next generation.  His influence can be heard in the brilliant music of Makana, who studied under Sonny after receiving a grant from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

Sonny Chillingworth

Sonny Chillingworth, Photo by David Cornwell

Makana has been described as “dazzling” by the New York Times.  His music has appeared on three Grammy-nominated albums, including the soundtrack of the Academy-Award winning film, The Descendants.  As an internationally acclaimed guitarist, singer, and composer, he has played captivating shows for everyone from presidents to small crowds in venues throughout Hawaii.

For many years Makana dreamed of performing a Sonny Chillingworth tribute concert on the Big Island.  Finally, this January that dream will come true.  Along with Makana there will also be special guest performances by Leabert Lindsay, Nina Kealiiwahamana, George Kuo, and Danny Carvalho.  You can purchase tickets by visiting

If you would like more information about Big Island community events or details about one of our luxury listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Pakalana Sanctuary — Eco-Living Luxury Estate

Pakalana Sanctuary

Pakalana Sanctuary , 69-1691 Puako Beach Dr

When it comes to conservation and the environment, the Big Island keeps its eyes to the future.  From the ban on plastic bags in supermarkets to the ‘farm to fork’ movement in restaurants Hawaii is on the forefront of a cleaner, more thoughtful way of living.  However, living an eco-friendly lifestyle doesn’t mean you need to give up luxury amenities.

Let me introduce you to Pakalana Sanctuary, an eco-conscious luxury home.

Located in the exclusive ocean community of Puako, this 6 bedroom/ 6.5 bath estate has spectacular views of the peaks of Mauna Kea and the Pacific with Maui in the distance.  Some of the features of its eco-friendly construction include insulation made of recycled denim, bamboo construction, a reef-protecting aerobic waste-water treatment system, high-efficiency lighting and appliances, and all-natural finishing products.

For the past few years Pakalana Sanctuary has been a luxury vacation rental.  However, the property  could serve any number of needs ranging from a large family to owners interested in having their own studio spaces.  The four separate structures which make up the property give a great deal of privacy and the gorgeous, lush grounds give a sense of tranquility.

The main house has an enormous great room perfect for gatherings and two generous lounge area.  The chef in the family will love the granite counters in the kitchen as well as the Viking appliances, breakfast bar, and walk-in pantry.  Each of the bedroom suits has a bathroom with soaker tub and the finest fixtures.  On the third floor there’s a loft with soaring bamboo ceilings.  It would make a great children’s playroom.

69-1691 Puako Beach Dr

Pakalana Sanctuary, 69-1691 Puako Beach Dr

Outside you’ll enjoy wrap-around lanais overlooking the grounds filled with fruit trees and repurposed garden boxes adjacent to a Kiawe Tree Reserve.  You’ll also find separate, spacious bungalows, each their own piece of paradise.  Your visiting friends and family will have their own lanais, spacious lounging areas, spa-like bathrooms, and ocean views.

Pakalana Sanctuary is the perfect residence for an eco-conscious homeowner with a large family in search of serenity and privacy.

If you’d like more information about this property or would like to see some of our other eco-friendly luxury properties, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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2015 Sony Open in Hawaii

Golf Ball

Photo by Tord Sollie

The winter months are a great time to migrate to the Hawaiian Islands.  The humpback whales figured this out a long time ago and Canadian and US snowbirds have been doing it since they could easily fly here.  January brings a gentle 78 ºF (25 ºC) to the Hawaiian Islands and it’s the perfect time to take an extended vacation.

January is also the time of year when 144 of the world’s greatest golf professionals descend on the island of Oahu for the Sony Open in Hawaii.  This golf tradition dates back to 1965 when it was simply called the Hawaiian Open.  Fifty years later the name may have changed but golfers and their fans still come to the same course, Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, to be a part of the PGA Tour’s first full-field event of the calendar year.

The course was initially designed by Seth Raynor in 1927.  However, changes were made by Desmond Muirhead in 1992.  Today the 18-hole course is known for its wide, forgiving fairways lined with coconut trees.  If you’ve ever watched the course on TV, you’ll probably remember it for its signature hole (the par 3 eighth hole) which boarders on 186 yards of breathtaking ocean.

This year the official tee off of the first round will be January 15th and the final round will finish on the 18th.  If you’re a golf enthusiasts you won’t want to miss watching the pros play across the lush, tropical landscape as the gentle breeze blows in from the coast.  Of course, if you can’t make it to Waialae-Kahala, you can always watch the Open with the other 560 million viewers at home.

Waialae Country Club, in Honolulu

Waialae Country Club, in Honolulu

The Sony Open is the largest, charity, sporting event in Hawaii.  Each year the Open raises over one million dollars, which goes to various none-profit organizations.  Since Sony took over sponsorship in 1999 the event has raised over $14 million for Hawaiian community organizations.

Once you’ve watched the pros you’ll want to head over to the Big Island to play on some of the most amazing and beautiful courses in the world.  (Read Golf, Golf, Golf to find out more.)  From palm tree lined fairways to spectacular ocean vistas your biggest challenge will be concentrating on your swing rather than the velvet green.  Of course, if you do knock one into the Pacific you’ve got a great excuse.  “Everything is just too darn scenic.”

Would you like more information about snowbird homes on the Big Island or details about one of our luxury listings?   Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Aloha China! Welcome to the Big Island.

Waipio Valley, Big Island

Waipio Valley, Big Island

Last month the US and China agreed to extend the visas for tourist, students, and business travelers coming to either country to 10 years.  Previously these types of visas were only valid for one year and travelers would have to apply for a new visa each year they wanted to fly to a US tourist destination.  However, with the new agreement we should start to see many more Chinese tourists choosing the US for their vacation.  (Over 17% of experienced Chinese travelers ranked the US as their top vacation spot.)

In 2013, 97.3 million Chinese traveled abroad and of those 115,823 chose Hawaii as their vacation destination.  That’s about double the number who visited in 2010.  With rises in the average Chinese income it’s estimated that by 2020 the number of travelers will double and the amount they spend while on vacation will triple.

How much have they been spending?

In 2013 Chinese travelers spent $129 billion worldwide—that’s more than any other country’s tourists.  According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority the average Chinese tourist spent $407 a day while in Hawaii during the first four months of 2014.

Mauna Lani Resort

Mauna Lani Resort, Big Island

Why are they choosing Hawaii?

Not only is Hawaii closer to China because of new direct flights between Beijing to Honolulu, but many Chinese have already experienced something similar.  For years the island of Hainan has been marketed in China as the “The Chinese Hawaii.”  Being the only tropical beach destination in China, Hainan has long been the spot for sun and surf.  These days you’ll see many of the tourists sporting Hawaiian shirts and you’ll see buildings in Hainan named things like “Sanya Aloha.”

So, get ready Big Island.  Over the next few years we’re going to see a lot more Chinese tourists coming to visit us.

If you would like more information about the Big Island or details about one of our luxury listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty. 

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Leeward Living on the Kona-Kohala Coast | Big Island Luxury Real Estate

72-3191 Makani Eka Pl, Kukio

72-3191 Makani Eka Pl, Kukio

If you drive along the Kohala Coast, you’ll find black, lava-rock fields alongside lush, green golf courses and pristine, white-sand beaches.  You’ll brush up against history while passing the carvings at the Anaehoomalu Petroglyphs fields and the ancient temples at the Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site.    You’ll relax in some of the Big Island’s best spas and find hidden treasures in little boutiques.  And best of all you’ll feel the tranquility of your heart beat syncing with the ocean waves.

With its many resorts and spectacular vistas the Kohala Coast on the leeward side of the Big Island has long been the destination of those seeking to live near tropical beauty while still having all the amenities they are used to.  While many parts of the Big Island are much more rural than other Hawaiian Islands, the Kohala Coast offers world-class dinning at a variety of restaurants, and resorts that will take care of your every need ranging from premier golf-courses to designer boutiques.

At the moment we have two magnificent homes along the Kohala Coast.  In the luxurious Kukio community at 72-3191 Makani Eka Pl. we have a lovely estate with dazzling views of Manini’owali/ Kua Bay.  This 6 bedroom/ 5.5 bath home sits on 2.88 acres of manicured grounds.  A quick stroll around the property will reveal a 3-leveled infinity-edge pool, waterfall-enclosed grotto bar, putting green, and propane-fed fire pits and torches.

Inside materials of the highest quality were used for finishing.  Throughout the house you’ll find Venetian plaster walls, African mahogany, and Turkish travertine.  The wooden slider doors are hand-made with screened louvers to allow the cool breeze to sweep through the house.  The gourmet kitchen is a chef’s dream with Wolf appliances and a separate butler’s pantry.

Tranquility, privacy, and all the amenities of living in the private community of  Kukio, this home is a must see.

75-5506 Kona Bay Dr, Kona Bay Estates

75-5506 Kona Bay Dr, Kona Bay Estates

Down the coast we have a beachfront jewel with a magnificent view of Kailua Bay at 75-5506 Kona Bay Dr.  This 4 bedroom/ 4.5 bath home has an exceptional design with several levels of intricate and stunning architecture.  Step inside and you’ll find many beautifully appointed details such as hand-crafted cabinets.  The kitchen has gourmet appliances and recess lighting.  The living areas are spacious and have expansive ocean views in every direction.

Outside a large pool with a waterfall provides an oasis of tranquility and blends seamlessly with the surrounding architecture.  Throughout the grounds there are several lanai areas great for lounging outside or entertaining guests.  Located in Kona Bay Estates, this home offers privacy and serenity right next to the beach.

If you’d like more information about this property or one our other Big Island listings, please get in touch with us at, MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.


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Wailea Village Mochi Pounding | Big Island Real Estate


Mochi, Photo by Han N

In 1885, the first large wave of Japanese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the sugarcane and pineapple fields.  With them they brought many Japanese traditions including mochi pounding.

Today it’s difficult to find a mochitsuki or mocha pounding ceremony in Japan, but here in Hawaii they have become as traditional during the holiday season as Christmas trees and presents.

What exactly is mochi?

It’s a small, sweet, rice cake made from mochigome, a short-grain, sticky rice.  They are traditionally made for the New Year and given out to express good fortune for the coming year.

Mochi Pounding

Mochi Pounding, Photo by Jared Shelburne

If you’ve never had a chance to participate in a mochitsuki, you should come down for the Wailea Village on the Hilo side of the Big island for Mochi Pounding on December 28, 2014.  Locals and visitors will take turns from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm pounding the sticky rice in a large, wooden mortar called a usu with a small, wooden mallet called a kine.

There will also be Okinawan taiko drumming, plantation storytelling, and New Year’s crafts and calligraphy.  And after all that rice pounding you’ll probably want to sit down for a hearty local-style lunch (only $5).

If you would like more information about Big Island community events or details about one of our luxury listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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2015 Seasonal Guide For Snowbirds

Blue Jay, Photo by Dawn

Blue Jay, Photo by Dawn

We would like to send out a warm welcome to all the snowbirds returning to the Big Island.  While it may be snowing on the mainland it’s warm and sunny here in Hawaii.  With such great winter weather we thought we’d publish a guide to events happening during January and February.  So, slip on your short-sleeved shirt and sandals and get ready for some entertaining and cultural events happening this season on the Big Island.

Waimea Ocean Film Festival – From January 1st through the 9th you won’t want to miss the amazing lineup of nearly 70 films.  In honor of Hōkūle‘a’s current worldwide voyage the festival will be showing a number of films focused on voyaging.  The highlight this year will be the premier screening of Mālama Honua: ‘Ohana Hōkūle‘a.  MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty is a proud sponsor of of the Waimea Ocean Film Festival and events will take place at various Waimea and Kohala Coast venues.

Kona Jazz Experience – Kyle Matsuda Trio and Pele’s Passion will be performing on January 10th at the historic Aloha Theatre in Kainaliu Town.  Come on down to listen to the warm jazz sounds of Kyle Matsuda and original compositions inspired by the legend of Pele.

‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival – ‘Iolani Luahine was a superb hula dancer who helped preserve the ancient dance traditions and pass them on to future generations.  Today we honor her during the ‘Iolani Luahine Hula Festival on January 30th and 31st at the Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa in Keauhou Bay.  The festival will include hula workshops, presentations and evening entertainment.  There will also be local vendors with crafts and Hawaiian art.

Bluffs at Mauna Kea Resort

Bluffs at Mauna Kea Resort

Waimea Cherry Blossom Heritage Festival – Do you want to learn how to cut a bonsai?  Maybe you’d like to know how to fold an origami?  On February 7th you should  visit the up country of Waimea to learn more about Japanese and Hawaiian culture during the 22nd annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  There will be a variety of multi-cultural demonstrations ranging from tea ceremonies to mochi pounding.  And of course you’ll want to view the beautiful cherry trees planted along Church Row Park.

Hilo Chinese New Year Festival – February 19th marks the start of the year of the sheep and downtown Hilo (Kalakaua Park) will be alive with live entertainment and fireworks.  This year there will be lion dance performers, martial arts demonstrations, crafts vendors, and tasty food vendors with Hawaiian fare.

If you would like more information about Big Island community events or details about one of our luxury listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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New Charitable Fund Announced at the Hawaii Networking Event for Sotheby’s International Realty Hawaii Affiliates

The Owners/Managers of the Hawaii Affiliates of Sotheby's International Realty

Hawaii Affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty launch their Charitable Fund (Sleeping Giant, LIST, Island, MacArthur)

On December 4th and 5th the Hawaii affiliate offices of Sotheby’s International Realty (SIR) met on Oahu for our first Hawaii Networking Event. It was great fun to mix and mingle with our neighbor offices from the other islands – Sleeping Giant SIR (Kauai), LIST and Carvill SIR (Oahu), Island SIR (Maui) and, of course, our own agents, management and staff from MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty here on the Big Island.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand is as strong in Hawaii as it is across the world, and to discuss this was our Keynote Speaker, Bill Fandel of Telluride Sotheby’s International Realty. Bill is one of the most successful brokers in the USA and recently made headline news for his $59 million dollar listing of Tom Cruise’s Luxury Ranch Estate. Bill’s talk covered many benefits of the brand, but one of the most important ones for our clients is that we are a globally networked company. Any website can reach across the planet, but it’s the personal and professional relationships that create the truly amazing opportunities.

Bill Fandel

Keynote Speaker Bill Fandel discusses ‘The Power of the Global Network”.

Besides having a work-of-art website with unmatched numbers (10 million visits a year with 80 million property views across our cascading network) we have over 600 offices in 49 countries with 15,000 agents in our referral program – that’s the kind of exposure that makes Sotheby’s International Realty not only a leader in Hawaii but around the world.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment of our inter-island networking event was the launch of the Hawaii Affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty Charitable Fund. We’ve always been involved in charitable giving and volunteer work, but through this networking event we were able to come together as a group to make a greater impact for the good of our islands. Under the direction of the Hawaii Community Foundation, the fund will make yearly donations to designated charities focused on the cultural, educational, and environmental needs of the Hawaiian Islands.


The new charitable fund will be supported primarily through generous giving of the Hawaii Affiliates of Sotheby’s International Realty, but it is also open to anyone who wishes to contribute. If you are interested in supporting our new fund, please visit

If you’d like information about our Big Island real estate listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Your Home in Paniolo Country | Big Island Real Estate

Paniolo Country, Phot by Tom Burke

Paniolo Country, Phot by Tom Burke

Waimea is known for its beautiful green pastures and rolling hills.  Built in the center of paniolo country, this charming town has ranches and cowboys.  However, you’ll also find gourmet dining at some of the Big Island’s top restaurants and cultural events at the Kahilu Theatre.  Looking for resort amenities?  You can practice your golf swing down at the Mauna Kea Resort Golf Course.

Parts of Waimea date back to the 1800s.  The recently refurbished Spencer House was once an inn frequented by King Kalakaua and Queen Lili’uokalani.  Parker Ranch, the largest ranch in the area, is almost two hundred years old.

There’s something to be said about living alongside history and owning a piece of old Hawaii.  For example we have a cottage in the heart of Waimea.  Stepping into this two bedroom/ one bath home feel like you are stepping into the past.

Waimea Homstead

Waimea Homstead

Everything from the ohia floors to the koa countertops to the claw-foot tub reflects an older era and gives you that feeling, ‘this is home.’  Add on the quaint covered lanai and the wood burning hearth and you truly get a pleasant, relaxed ambiance.

Outside you’ll find cypress, jacaranda and kukui nut trees, which not only secure privacy but also serve to shelter the home from the winds of Waimea.  In the garden you’ll enjoy a Jacuzzi tub and an outdoor shower.  There is also a yoga platform built to capitalize on the panoramic views of Waimea, Mauna Kea, and Mauna Loa.

Secluded, private, but within walking distance of restaurants, theaters, parks, and schools this charming cottage is a one of a kind property you need to see.

Holo Holo Ku at Parker Ranch

Holo Holo Ku at Parker Ranch

Not far away at Holo Holo Ku—Parker Ranch we have a three bedroom/ two bath ranch home with views of Waimea’s pastoral beauty.  You’ll find a fireplace in the great room and luxury amenities in the spacious kitchen.  The lovely covered lanai looks out towards the Kohala Mountains.

Living on Parker Ranch allows you to enjoy country living while still being only minutes from downtown Waimea.  Walk out your front door and down the street to the local Farmer’s Market.  Take a stroll a bit further and you’ll go past parks, schools, and local eateries.

If you’d like more information about these properties or some of our other Big Island real estate listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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Spice Up Thanksgiving – Island of Hawaii Style!

Turkey Dinner

Photo by Sharon Mollerus

Are you tired of the same old Thanksgiving dishes?  Does your turkey and stuffing taste the same year after year?

Why not try infusing this year’s Thanksgiving dinner with some recipes from Hawaii.  While many Hawaiian Thanksgiving dishes are based on dishes from the mainland, they often add an island twist that makes them taste new and fresh.

Hawaiian Kalua Turkey:  You may have heard of Kalua Pig, but did you ever think about using the same technique on a turkey?  The traditional kalua cooking technique is to slowly roast the meat in an underground oven called an imu.  Over hours of cooking the meat becomes unbelievably moist and tender.

If you don’t want to dig up your backyard, you can get a similar flavor using an oven or crock-pot.  The famous chef, Sam Choy, advises to add Hawaiian alaea sea salt and liquid smoke to get a similar flavor you would with an imu.

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Photo by Brandon Shigeta

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes, Photo by Brandon Shigeta

Hawaiian Mimosa:  Instead of mixing up a typical mimosa for your guests why not create a more tropical blend.  Pour one part pineapple juice and apricot nectar into a large pitcher with two parts orange juice.  When your friends arrive hand them a half-filled champagne flute and add the tropical juice mixture.

Okinawa Sweet Potatoes:  These sweet potatoes are easy to find in Hawaii, although you may have to head over to your local Asian market to find them on the mainland.  They taste delicious and turn deep purple when they are cooked.  Try drizzling them with butter infused with lime juice and sprinkling them with Hawaiian red clay salt.

Steamed Mahi-mahi:  This dish is a wonderful addition to your traditional Thanksgiving fare.  Mahi-mahi is the Hawaiian name for dolphinfish, and often used in restaurants so customers don’t think they are being served dolphin (Dolphinfish are not related to dolphins).  The fish is wrapped in ti leaves (you can also use banana leaves), placed in a bamboo steamer, and cooked briefly.  When served the Mahi-mahi melts in your mouth.

Photo by Matt Sudol

Photo by Matt Sudol

Portuguese Sweetbread Turkey Stuffing:  The first large amount of Portuguese immigrants came to Hawaii in the latter part of the 1800s to work the sugarcane plantations.  With them they brought many traditions that have shaped Hawaiian culture.  In cuisine they introduced malasadas (donuts), sweet bread, and sausage.  Try giving your stuffing a bang by adding marinated giblets, Portuguese sausage, and sweet bread.

Macadamia Coffee Ice Cream:  The Big Island is known for its macadamia nut farms and Kona coffee trees.  Spice up that pumpkin pie with a side of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate syrup infused with Kona coffee and sprinkled with macadamia nuts.

We hope these recipe ideas bring happiness to you and your family.  If you’d like information about our Big Island real estate listings, please get in touch with us at MacArthur Sotheby’s International Realty.

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