Mars vs. Venus in this Kaneohe retreat

Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties

If you ever want to see the difference between the way men and women live, this gorgeous Kaneohe estate is a prime example, and it will be interesting to see if the next owner chooses one style over the other. (Click here for details.)

The 1.7-acre property has only had two owners: The first was world-renowned romance writer Johanna Lindsey, who had Hawaii architect Fritz Johnson design it in 1995. Since it has a security gate and a winding driveway, it looks like a castle on a hill.

The house was built full of romantic features, such as a two-story marble entry, chandeliers, curving stairs and skylights, plus rounded walls and a lipstick-red Jacuzzi in the master bath. There are five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in its 4,171-square-foot interior.

“Ms. Lindsey worked with Mr. Johnson to design a master suite that included a bedroom, bath, and dressing area plus an adjacent office, where she could work,” says realtor Frankie Anderson of Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. “The hallway leading to this suite is lined floor-to-ceiling with bookshelves and cabinets for all the resources used in her writings.”

In 2008, a manly man bought the home and transformed pieces of it to fit his lifestyle. The writing area of the master wing was converted to become his private, fully-equipped gym.

“To accommodate his family and guests, there are three bedrooms up the spiral staircase, which are generously proportioned and have full baths along with dramatic views of the ocean and Koolau mountains,” says co-listor Carol Taylor.

The home now has an enormous game room and entertainment area (naturally) that includes a full theater with plush leather seating. This area includes a bar, keg-erator, popcorn machine, pool table, ping pong table, dart board and—surprise!—more masculine décor.

The four-car, 1,100-square-foot garage now also has a mini motorcycle garage, a boxing setup, and a full set of Craftsman tools against one wall. There’s a sound system for the inside and outside, so you don’t have to drag your boom box out. (My dad would be kicking himself for not thinking of this feature for our old home.)

I’m not sure if changing the pool to salt water is masculine, but adding the commercial-grade outdoor kitchen with bar for entertaining, two separate broilers and two warming stations is a nice touch for both men and women. There’s also a dog run and kennels, as both owners had families and pets.

Man cave or romantic castle? I guess you can decide, if you buy it.

Money talk: $1,795,000 fee simple
Contact: Frankie Anderson, Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, 808-597-5554,
Carol Taylor, Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties, 808-597-5570,