One of Hawaii’s finest ocean view resort communities is Princeville at Hanalei on Kauai’s north shore. With a backdrop of lush and tropical mountains lined with waterfalls, Princeville sits on the bluffs overlooking the Hanalei Bay and the distant Bali Hai, or Makana Mountain.
The Princeville Shopping Center offers everything from art galleries and boutiques to groceries and fine dining. Just across from the shopping center is the Hanalei Valley Overlook which provides a great view of the taro patches along the Hanalei River and up into the valley.
Where To Stay
Princeville’s tropical setting and natural beauty are magnificent, and the crown jewel of this resort area is the elegant St. Regis Princeville Hotel. From the Makana Terrace at the St. Regis you can enjoy a cocktail on the lanai while taking in the spectacular view of crescent-shaped Hanalei Bay beneath the verdant mountains. This is also a great place to watch the sunset over Bali Hai.
The Kauai Grill at the St. Regis Princeville also provides Hanalei Bay views and features the culinary expertise of award-winning French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
Many buyers have purchased homes in Princeville as second homes and to use as vacation rentals. Travelers can choose from a large inventory of these vacation rentals or any of the numerous condo complexes. Princeville is a resort area that definitely caters to tourists.
Things To Do
Activities in the Princeville area include horseback rides along with the mountain range, golfing, ziplining, kayaking up the Hanalei River, and a whole variety of fun watersports including great snorkeling. At the end of the road beyond Hanalei is the trail to the renowned Na Pali Coast.
Princeville has two championship golf courses including the Makai Course and the Prince Course which has been rated among the top in the nation.
For pampering, the St. Regis features Halele’a Spa. Since taking over ownership in 2009, the St. Regis brand has upped the resort’s offerings and now includes this 10,000 spa. With personalized programs and a 24 fitness center.
In the 1800s the lands of Princeville were planted with sugarcane and then used for cattle ranching. The area was named Princeville in 1860 to honor of the Crown Prince Albert who visited when he was just two years old along with his parents King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma.
Like most places on Kauai, Princeville is not hard to find. With essentially one road the encompasses three-quarters of the island, most directions are pretty simple, “when you see this turn right, or when you see that turn left.” Getting to Princeville is no different.
Head north, after you have passed over the swooping Kalihiwai bridge and come up the hill, you are entering Princeville. There will be the small airport on your left and soon after, the Princeville Clubhouse on your right. About a mile further, you will see a large fountain and guard booth on your right; this is the official Princeville community entrance. If you go a bit more you can enter into the Princeville shopping center directly from the main road.