Whatever your summer plans were, scrap them: We found the real-life version of Elysium, the hippie commune from the 2012 film "Wanderlust."
Welcome to Hedonisia Hawaii, a former junkyard remodeled as a sustainable hostel community on Hawaii's Big Island. The wonderfully weird hostel offers rugged adventure, a touch of spiritual enlightenment and just the right amount of crazy.
If only all junkyards could get second lives as hedonistic, environmentally-friendly communes.
Nestled on the outskirts of Pahoa town, Hedonisia Hawaii rents out quirky accommodations such as a hut built over an old tractor, a Love Bus complete with erotic art, or an open air hovel made of wood and old tent nets that sits at the bottom of a volcanic crater.
Almost all of the 13 rental units and dorm spaces at Hedo, as the residents call it, are made from recycled or repurposed material. But they do offer more traditional spaces: the Jungle Cottage, for example, is a fully-furnished studio that comes with a kitchen, and plain old tents are also available throughout the property.
Since most of the units don't have electricity, the communal kitchen and lounge areas are open to everyone and have Wi-Fi. There is a bamboo yoga studio for morning meditations and various nature trails throughout the property to explore.
Single people can rent a dorm-style bed on The Aloha Love Bus or couples can rent the entire space.
Inside the Aloha Love Bus.
The Ocean View Hale is on the highest point of the property and requires a steep hike to access.
The lanai of the Ocean View Hale.
The Lono Hale is an open-air hut built over an old tractor with walls made of old tents.
Guests are welcome to eat any of the organic fruits and vegetables grown throughout the property, but keep an eye out for the "Pee Gardens" -- designated zones where people can urinate over bamboo, papaya or banana trees. According to a Hedo YouTube video, these types of plants "like to be peed on," so people are free to relieve themselves in these marked areas "in a natural way and do something good for nature." When you're finished, there are coleus plants near the pee zones that apparently make a "really good natural toilet paper."
For the less adventurous, there's also a traditional flush eco-toilet and a "Hedonisia Bidet." If you need assistance, a helpful Betty Boop cartoon next to the toilets shows you how to use the bidet for a "sparkling bottom," but the solar-powered shower also does the trick.
Hedonisia's staff is made up of volunteers and interns who run the hostel's day-to-day operations. Regular guests get a discounted rate if they volunteer some of their time and help the interns with gardening, take up a cleaning shift or build structures for the property.
Nightly rates at the compound are $30 to $90, but visitors should be down for an adventure. As one TripAdvisor review said, the hostel is a “unique experience for the open minded traveler.”
Below, check out the rest of the Hedonisia Hawaii property:
The 8-foot by 8-foot Bamboo Bungalow is one of two lodgings that have electricity and is within Wi-Fi range.
The Guava Hale is made of wood from a strawberry guava tree, old tires and tent nets.
Inside the Guava Hale.
A mural of two bananas cuddling under the moon adorns the wall of the Banana Hale, a hut designed for couples and named after the adjacent banana grove.
It's a 15-minute treck to get to the Puka Hale, which sits inside a volcano crater.