Every winter, over Christmas vacation, the Obama family rents a house in Kailua, Hawaii, an idyllic beach town that President Obama used to visit as a boy growing up in Honolulu. Over the last six years of his presidency, however, a smattering of real estate listings have sprung up claiming to be selling the very Kailua beach house where the first family unwinds. Obviously this is hard to verify (presumably for national security reasons), but here's what is known: a 13-bedroom, 12,000-square-foot estate with a "very quiet and private environment" in that very town has been listed for $10.5M, and the listing for the 1998 Plantation-style abode claims it was once "the vacation home of President Obama."
However, the New York Times claimed in 2011 that the Obamas rented the same Kailua house every year, and identified it as the estate at 57-A Kailuana Place. Problem is, that particular house, known as Paradise Point, was sold in 2010 for $6.9M, and not to the Obamas. It only had five bedrooms, which is of course a reasonable number of bedrooms for a four-person family vacationing with a mother-in-law to have. Assuming the Obamas had to then secure a new vacation rental in Kailua, there's no real reason to doubt this listing's claim, though perhaps it would be odd to make a drastic jump in square footage—this place has almost three times as many bedrooms, after all.
That being said, The Telegraph reports that the Obama family indeed rented the palatial house with "pools for multiple age groups" from 2011 to 2013, and there is also evidence that Hawaiians protested in front of it two days after Christmas last year, which would have been pointless if the President was actually residing somewhere else.
The Obama family clearly likes vacationing in Kailua, which is home to a crescent-shaped beach that some consider to be Hawaii's finest. President Obama even wrote about the famous beach in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father:"
"I still remember how, one early morning, hours before the sun rose, a Portuguese man to whom my grandfather had given a good deal on a sofa set took us out to spear fish off Kailua Bay. A gas lantern hung from the cabin on the smallfishing boat as I watched men dive into inky-black waters, the beams of their flashlights glowing beneath the surface until they emerged with a large fish, iridescent and flopping at the end of one pole. Gramps told me its Hawaiian name, humu-humu-nuku-nuku-apuaa, which we repeated to each other the entire way home."
Of course, the New York Times pointed out that "the humuhumu is a little reef fish, barely six inches long," so it couldn't have been the "large fish" President Obama remembered. Anyway, photos of the first family's possible vacation house in Hawaii, below:
· 572 C North Kalaheo Ave., Kailua, Hawaii [Sotheby's Realty]
· Buy the Holiday Home of the Obama's [Telegraph]
· All Barack Obama coverage [Curbed National]
· All Politico Pads posts [Curbed National]