Anyone who loves Hawaii knows each island is unique. For some, Maui’s beaches, surfing, and world-class resorts represent the ultimate vacation destination, while others are attracted to the volcanic power of the Big Island, or even the cosmopolitan hustle and bustle of Honolulu on the island of Oahu. 

But none of those islands are quite like the lush and low-key island of Kauai. And that’s just one of the reasons Kukui’ula on the South Shore of Kauai is so special.  

This ultra high-end residential community is centered on a robust private resort, which includes a large central clubhouse, golf, ocean adventures, a working farm, a spa, and superlative dining, shopping, and entertainment. But nothing compares to some of the ocean view lots they have available—except for maybe the architecture. 

The spec home I stayed in while there last winter was designed by renowned architecture firm Olson Kundig and takes full advantage of its naturally southwest-facing site. Perched above a lush orchard with panoramic ocean views, it’s like many other Olsen Kundig designs in that great care was given to create the home’s private and elevated entry, elegantly designed human-scaled gathering spaces, and expansive floor-to-ceiling doors and windows that blur the line between indoors and outdoors. 

In fact, since Kauai always has a breeze and hardly any insects, I left the windows open (and the air conditioning off) the entire time I was there. That may not sound like much, but to my mind, nothing is more restorative than living in an exquisitely designed oceanfront home that doesn’t need to be closed off from its natural surroundings to be comfortable. However, I can say that the Spa at Kukui‘ula is restorative in a different sense. In fact, the pool, multiple treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, hot tub, and ice-cold plunge pool form a veritable shrine to wellness. 

The relaxing and rejuvenating “Wet Ritual,” that’s unique to the Spa at Kukui‘ula and involves restorative water therapies in a variety of forms (including mist and steam), was amazing. Immediate benefits include improved circulation, expulsion of toxins, stress relief, and a feeling of physical, mental, and emotional well-being that is priceless these days.

The 10-acre farm at Kukui‘ula” can evoke the same feelings of physical, mental, and emotional well-being as well as provide some of the freshest produce you’ll ever eat. The land has been farmed for over 150 years and members and guests can pick their own fruit and flowers and even dig into the soil if they so desire. And a farm-to-table dinner at The Farm is an experience not to be missed.

If the Kauai vibe suits your lifestyle, you’ll find this luxury residential resort community on the island to be simply paradise.  

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Photographs courtesy of Kukui’ula