Horizon Guest House began as a vision Clem had as to what would make the most dynamic and functional bed and breakfast. The idea was that it would be purpose built as a B&B, in which form followed function.
The land in South Kona was acquired from McCandless Ranch in 1994. The 40 acre parcel was originally a coffee lot. The coffee growing had been abandoned prior to WWII and the land eventually reverted to forest, similar to that of the surrounding ranch.
Clem began the process of clearing the land in 1994. It took 3 months of bulldozing before the land was ready for construction to begin. A warehouse with an enclosed apartment was built first and this was where Clem lived during the design and construction phases of the main house and adjacent suites.
Clem researched B&Bs for two years prior to designing and building. The most important lesson he learned during this time was that the average rate of burnout for B&B owners was 5-7 years. This was caused by two main factors. The first, that there was not enough privacy for either guests or the hosts, and the second, that it was never ideal to be reliant on the B&B as the sole source of income. Both of these factors inevitably led to a high rate of stress and eventual burnout for B&B owners.
Actual construction began in January 1997 and took less than 6 months to finish. The B&B opened officially in September 1998.
The main house was built with the view and privacy as the main considerations. The view was divided into 4 quadrants. The northwest and southwest having the most desirable aspects, followed by the southeast and southwest. The pool was built at a different elevation in order to ensure that views remained unobstructed.
Other features included:
- Custom-made 10 ft. sliding glass doors.
- Built at grade unlike most houses in Hawaii. The roof and floors are both concrete construction.
- The house and suites are insulated for sound and the individual suites are staggered to ensure privacy.
As a “kinda sorta” mechanic and engineering enthusiast, I really enjoyed reading this post! I also love observing the construction details while at HGH, although kisses from Cleo and Elle rank slightly higher!
Thanks Mark! Glad you enjoyed it. Cleo and Ele’s kisses are hard to beat, that’s for sure! 🙂
This brings back some good memories. I remember being there when you were living in the apartment down below and the driveway was just getting poured.and then staying with you right before you opened. wonderful memories for me, busy times for you.
Thanks Diane, I remember that too! It sure was a busy time!
The photos are incredible. When Bill and I visited in April 2002 I don’t think we realized the HGH was still “new”. What we do remember was the absolute wonderful time we had while staying. We totally enjoyed the other guests we met and Clem’s breakfasts were a delight to our stomachs. Twenty years later we still talk about you putting cream cheese in the eggs. You were a gracious host then and we hope to make a return trip. Congratulations on making an extraordinary BnB for guests and lasting this many years.
Thanks Trudy and Bill! So glad you had such a great time here and that you have fond memories. Am happy to hear you’re still putting cream cheese in your eggs! It does make them taste pretty good 🙂 Hope to see you here again soon.
These pictures of your Horizon Guest House beginnings are so interesting, Clem. I loved viewing the original construction phases. Each of our visits to you have been so memorable and it was fun to see how it all began!
Thanks Kristen! So glad you enjoyed the blog. It’s always lovely to see you! Look forward to seeing you again in the future!