Story by Heidi Pool
When construction on their vacation home in Kahana was complete, Jim LeCron and Karen Arri-LeCron held a sunset celebration with a blessing by a Hawaiian cultural practitioner. “Just after he blew the pū [conch], a humpback whale breached in the bay right in front of us,” says Karen. “Everyone’s jaw dropped; it was a completely surreal moment. The kahuna [priest] told us the whale was a sign of good things to come.”
Two years prior to that chicken-skin moment, the husband-and-wife architects from Santa Barbara, California, had happened upon the then-vacant lot while visiting West Maui with friends. It was located on a quiet cul-de-sac, smack-dab on a sleepy bay with an unobstructed view of the ocean and neighboring Moloka‘i. Jim and Karen knew right away they’d found the ideal place to build a vacation home.
“We’d been visiting Maui for many years, but were looking for an alternative to staying at hotels,” says Jim. “Karen and I have designed vacation homes all over the world.”
It took two years to build their 6,200-square-foot “mini-resort,” which can accommodate twelve people in its four bedroom suites, a “flex” suite that contains a Murphy bed, and a guest room in the attached ‘ohana (separate living quarters). “Each suite has a coffee maker and refrigerator, so it’s like you’re staying in a high-end hotel,” says Jim.