The Intangible Nature of Luxury

Living in Hawaii, for most, is a luxury in itself. For the ultra high-net buyer, however, luxury can express itself in many forms. Often, a home’s attractiveness and perceived value is expressed through its most intangible qualities. Beyond square footage, expensive materials, and price is the emotional appeal that can’t be summed up by numbers. When we speak about art, a description of its subject matter simply does not suffice. Truly special properties just have that ‘je ne sais quoi.’

Hale Makana Ola, located in Makena, Maui is one such home. Quantifiable elements, such as the 25-foot tall Balinese-inspired great room, the 45-foot heated saltwater lap pool, or the 18-foot wide pocketing glass doors are certainly noteworthy. The challenge is how to communicate the uniqueness of the home’s private location, attention to detail, and prestigious setting. For co-listing agent Josh Jerman and myself, we decided this custom home required a custom solution.

listed by Peter Neu & Josh Jerman.

Hale Makana Ola on Maui, listed by Peter Neu & Josh Jerman.

When you enter the grounds, the patinated copper gate opens to reveal a secret garden. The effect of the lush tropical landscaping in the dry Makena desert is transformative. This isn’t your typical coconut trees and grass kind of acreage. Over 70 varieties of plants have been expertly maintained over the last 15 years to provide mature and impressive specimens that exist only because of generous stewardship and care. Expertly designed, the landscape is a photographer’s dream with incredible vantage points that highlight the home, the pool, the ocean, and the plants themselves. Functionally, it creates incredible privacy yet retains a layered experience that can be both intimate and energizing. The visionary garden is matched in quality only by the home itself. It’s quite clear why the current owners refer to the property as ‘Makana Ola’, which means ‘a living gift.’

In order to share this alluring but intangible luxury, we undertook an immersive study of the plants being cultivated at Makana Ola and produced a detailed plant glossary with scientific names, photos, and descriptions which are available via the website, Recognizing that the experience of this property simply can’t be conveyed through photo and description alone, the plant glossary speaks in parallel to the care and attention to detail found throughout this home. When it comes to a masterpiece of architecture and design like Makana Ola, we want to be sure even the garden receives its due.

To learn more about Hale Makana Ola, visit Or, contact Peter Neu, Josh Jerman, or your trusted local broker.

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