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.