The Prince of Princeville was Hawaii’s last true prince and most beloved of all Hawaiian ali`i, Albert, the son of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. He visited plantation owner Mr. Wylie at his estate when he was two years old. Following his visit, Wylie named the plantation the ‘Barony de Princeville” in honor of the child. Tragically, Prince Albert died at the tender age of four, and the grieving king died a year later. Soon after, Mr. Wylie passed away, leaving a plantation deeply in debt and his dream forsaken. In time, Princeville was divided and sold and worked as a sugarcane and cattle ranch until the late sixties when the first group of investors had the idea to develop this stunning plateau into a world class resort with choice Princeville vacation rental properties. In 1985, the Sheraton Princeville opened shortly following the completion of the Princeville Resort and Makai golf courses. An ownership change in 1987 included plans to upgrade the hotel to a luxury five-star resort.
But another change of ownership in 1990 and the effects of hurricane Iniki in 1992 delayed Princeville’s appearance on the coveted “Gold List” of Best Hotels in the World as selected by readers of Conde Nast magazines. It took over a year to restore the hotel and infuse it with the Hawaiian sensibilities it now reflects. It’s probably fair to say that the history of this unique and stunning parcel of land called Princeville contributes as much to its value of its luxurious Princeville villas as the glorious natural wonders that surround it. Long recognized as a place of great spiritual power, or mana, it was a place rich with the Hawaiian staff of life, taro, and hala (pandanus), which provided the ancient civilization with essential materials for making everything from floor coverings to sails. These days, it serves as a unique destination where travelers can restore not only their bodies, but their minds and spirits, while immersing themselves in the brilliant landscapes and the culture, history and heritage of fascinating characters, both historical and mythological, that make Hawaii and Kauai so utterly remarkable.
“Waimea Canyon, near Princeville rentals, is absolutely breathtaking and worth the long drive from the north side of the island to get there. I had never seen a canyon before this, so I was amazed as to what we saw. Once you are up top the canyon you will have to go up some stairs to get to the top. If you are handicapped you can still get a good view, but not from the top.
Family Cruise – The Capt Zodiac is a large speed raft. It was a five hour tour and goes to the Napali Coast. We had so much fun on this tour it turned out to be the highlight of our week there. The raft has a yellow banana going down the center so the old and young kids hold on for a ride they will never forget. They have music blasting and the boat flies. We were airborne many times, I thought we were going to fly out. You have to hang on for dear life as the seats are not what you may be used to. You must hold on to the ropes on the side of the boat and sit on the inside part of the raft itself. We saw dolphins and sea turtles. While snorkeling I was petting a large sea turtle and took his picture underwater. We had a picnic on a secluded beach which was an old Hawaiian village. There is no way to get here other than with this raft. We were given a tour of the grounds, which was great. On the way back we went in some water caves where the boat hands jumped off the boat to do a diving show off the cliffs. If you do one thing in Kauai, this is what it should be.
Hanalei Bay – They claim that this is the world’s nicest beach on the Travel network. What makes it so nice is the mountains behind you and the beach with the fish that you can see while swimming. While you are in this area there are caves both wet and dry – please take the time to visit them. There is also a hiking trail on the same road, just take it to the end.”