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Hideaway on Oahu

Published On: May 23 2011 12:26:35 PM CDT

Life moves slowly on Oahu -- at least on the windward side of the island. Glitzy tourist destinations seem far removed, and visitors to the quiet beach town of Kailua feel as though they've stepped onto a separate isle. So, if you're seeking a vacation rental an ocean away from everyday worries, we've discovered your getaway.

The 70-year-old, three-bedroom Windsurf cottage retains its original charm with just a few modifications. The breezy house has jalousie and sliding windows, eliminating the need for air-conditioning. Interior and exterior board-and-batten walls and slightly bowed floorboards attest to the home's authenticity. Sure, there are quirks and imperfections. But here, renters experience an old-school beach shack still enjoying its heyday.

The owners chose chunky bamboo furniture and Hawaiian bark-cloth pillows to underscore a classic beach vibe. The place is stocked with funky accessories, such as hula girl lamp bases and glass-float light fixtures. "We wanted Old Hawaiian style to suit the character of the house and lift guests' spirits," says the owner.

A lava-rock wall encloses 25,000 square feet of flawless, green landscaping adjacent to a quiet stretch of sand. Renters can windsurf, kiteboard, snorkel, or simply relax in the sun. Ambitious guests may rent a kayak nearby and undertake a vigorous, 40-minute paddle to the Mokuluas, twin islands visible from the home's yard. Daring visitors cliff-jump into Sharks Cove, while less adventurous friends enjoy a leisurely picnic.

Windsurf offers renters a rare opportunity to revisit Old Hawaii on a pristine property that overlooks one of the world's finest beaches. Guests tell us they return home with a renewed spirit and only one regret -- that they couldn't extend their stay.