Hawaii's Shangri-La: Own Your Own Piece of Paradise

Running away to Hawaii to run a " vacation rental paradise" may not solve all your problems, but we'll bet it could patch up a few issues. For only $1.85 million, this idyll could be yours: a four-bedroom "Shangri-La" in Pahoa, HI, surrounded by saltwater and freshwater bathing lagoons. Located on the west coast of the Big Island, you can also snorkel on-site, if that's your Hawaiian jam.

"The ponds are incredible," says listing agent Rebecca Hirsch-Keliihoomalu of MacArthur Sotheby's International Realty. "The thermal ponds rise and flow with the tide, and are always about 92 degrees."

Currently, the property is a turnkey vacation villa that produces "a fairly substantial" income of "at least six figures," says Hirsch-Keliihoomalu. That makes the nearly $2 million purchase price a smart investment as long as you keep the operation running for a few years -- which shouldn't be hard, considering Islands Magazine named it one of its 10 best villas in the world.

Shangri-La encompasses four separate Balinese-style living areas, open to the outdoors with vaulted roofs and decks that protrude over the lagoon below. In the Pavilion, two king-size bedrooms share an open-air bathroom with a shower tucked under the orchids, a Japanese-style sunken whirlpool, and sauna.

Over the footbridge, the Island Bedroom (located -- you guessed it! -- on its own island) opens to the breeze with its roll-down walls if you're not a fan of literally sleeping outdoors. Or step into the guesthouse, where a lava rock wall hides an open shower.

If running a vacation resort isn't your idea of a fun time, the entire structure can be torn down to build your own personal residence. With a lot size of 22,000 square feet -- about 14,000 of which is usable -- you could fit a good-size estate on the property.

But why would you destroy the existing buildings when you've got a money-maker in the bank?

"Unless you're super wealthy, the best value is most likely as a vacation rental," says Hirsch-Keliihoomalu. Still, it's understandable if you want to keep Shangri-La to yourself -- sharing this much natural beauty might be a challenge.