The first new private development on Kauai in 20 years offers more than just sweeping views of the Pacific and top-notch amenities. Come discover the legendary aloha spirit that abounds at Kukui’ula, home to luxurious living on the island of Kauai.
The island of Kauai is the oldest and northernmost of the eight major islands in the archipelago. Graced with timeworn cliffs and lush rainforests, the “Garden Island” is full of diverse terrains to explore. To visit Kauai is to experience a peaceful respite amidst this tapestry of tropical settings. To know Kauai is to feel a sense of excitement as you approach a place that promises comfort and sanctuary. And to live Kauai is to never want to leave it.
Some of these intense feelings come from the land itself: tranquil waterfalls, majestic peaks, and enchanting flora. Meld the natural serenity with the vision of a team that has a passion for the land and a strong commitment to family (ohana), and you have Kukui’ula.
Shoreline of Kauai
The south shore of Kauai is a tranquil area of sunshine and beaches, with expansive mountains and ocean views. It is home to Poipu Beach Park, one of the best known and most popular in Hawaii, as well as to Koloa, a plantation town exuding history and charm. The state’s most comprehensive botanical garden is here, as is the geyser of seawater known as Spouting Horn on Kukui’ula Bay. And now, the south shore is also home to the first new development on Kauai in more than two decades, Kukui’ula.
Developed by Kukui’ula Development Company, an affiliate of A&B Properties and DMB Associates, Kukui’ula is the first and only private club community on Kauai. It also happens to be debt free. As recent history has shown, when times are good, people become excited about real estate and may not put as much thought into the financial health of the developer behind a community. However, when the market declines and development projects start running into trouble, people learn that having the right developer really matters.
According to Brent Harrington, president of Kukui’ula Development Company, Kukui’ula is unusual, in that the land is held free and clear. All of the development’s major amenities and infrastructure have been built using capital invested by A&B and DMB. This puts Kukui’ula on strong financial footing.
Beyond the red and the black is a commitment by the Kukui’ula team to developing a strong sense of community, respecting the local culture, and delivering on promises. As Herrington describes it, “Our team feels a deep reverence for the majestic beauty and caring people of Kauai. We chose to stand apart from formulaic resort-style developments that somehow make every island location feel the same. Instead, we are creating an island community that could exist only on Kauai and reflects the relaxed, low-key style of the island itself.”
Herrington adds, “Today’s luxury homebuyers want reality, not promises. They want something that is truly special and ready to enjoy today.” And Kukui’ula is ready and waiting.
Join the Ohana
Kukui’ula is a community that embraces family. From the Plantation House to the fire pit to the community farm, the design of the shared amenities invites togetherness.
The private Kukui’ula community opened in June 2011, when it unveiled a $100 million club facility, which includes a clubhouse, a championship Tom-Weiskopf-designed 18-hole golf course, a golf clubhouse, a 20,000-square-foot spa, and a collection of Makai pools. Even better is that all these facilities were finished by the time the first homes were ready for their owners.
People come to Kauai to relax. At Kukui’ula, they are choosing to extend a vacation into a lifestyle and become part of the ohana (“family”).
Home with a View
The 1,010-acre residential community comprises a collection of custom ocean view homesites, Hawaiian plantation-style cottages, and luxury residences. At the end of 2012, Kukui’ula had sold 58 custom homesites and 30 cottages for a total of 88 properties. The plan is to sensibly and sensitively develop hundreds of more residences and a select number of guest accommodations across the private oceanfront development.
Kukui’ula’s 3,670-square-foot single-story Makai Cottages showcase authentic local style with double-pitch roofs, generous lanais, board and batten siding, and raised post and beam construction. The fully furnished three-bedroom, three-and-one-half-bathroom floor plans also feature great rooms, saltwater pools and spas, outdoor garden showers, and freestanding guest cottages. The Makai Cottages range in size from approximately 1,500 to 3,800 square feet and are located on a mix of quarter-acre to one-third-acre homesites bordering the fairways and greens on the first four holes of the golf course.
Rear view of the McMahons’ home
The Mauka neighborhood consists of estate lots and custom homes that are individually designed for the owners, with homesites starting at $1 million. Members Terry and Cindie McMahon were among the first to move into the Mauka neighborhood. The McMahon home, which was built by custom builder Linthicum, is a stunning masterpiece perched atop the highest point in the community. The 6,500-square-foot home features two master suites with full-size baths and a detached guesthouse. Designed to take full advantage of the tropical climate and natural breezes, the home is defined by a casual and comfortable yet sophisticated style that draws on the historical Plantation Cottage flavor of the island.
Outdoors, there is a strong connection with the surrounding landscape, thanks to outdoor shower gardens, screened master suite sleeping lanais, and covered living lanais with bi-fold shutters. An upper-floor family living area provides 360-degree views through wraparound windows, not to mention the amazing views from the infinity pool, which appears to empty into the ocean. The couple spends several weeks a year in their second home, which is “a gorgeous, peaceful refuge from the hectic pace of the mainland.” Adds the McMahons, “Our view is spectacular and the lot the house is located on takes advantage of the trade winds and ocean and mountain views.”
The McMahons recommend that anyone interested in building on Kauai should take the time to come for a visit—perhaps multiple visits—and stay on property at Kukui’ula. “Spend time on the lot you are considering at different times of the day. Experience a sunrise, enjoy a picnic, and have a glass of wine at sunset on your property. It would be hard to appreciate all that is available to owners in this community without experiencing it firsthand.”
Those interested in visiting Kauai are in luck, as the development recently opened a select number of Club Cottages to visitors starting at $1,000 per night, which includes access to all of the facilities. These cottages are the first phase of the planned Lodge at Kukui’ula. Each cottage has two master suites, both featuring indoor and outdoor showers, a kitchen, a lanai, and outdoor fire-pits. Guests also receive full access to The Club at Kukui’ula and its amenities.
Home on the Plantation
The Club at Kukui’ula serves as the social and recreational centerpiece of the community. Here, there is an open elegance that blends Southern charm with tropical escape. Upon arrival at the main clubhouse, which is known as The Plantation House, visitors immediately become family. This is where families and friends gather for socializing in the many game rooms, which are fully stocked with enough candy and treats to tantalize even the sweetest of sweet tooths, or the casual, inviting sitting areas of the porch or lanai.
In addition, members enjoy the many amenities of the adjacent private golf clubhouse, complete with an indoor putting green, a well-equipped pro shop, and exquisite men’s and women’s locker rooms. There is also an inviting collection of swimming pools and spas, featuring a man-made beach and numerous inviting hammocks, perfect for relaxing from a day of golf or after indulging in another culinary creation from the Club’s extraordinary chef, Ben Takahashi.
Kukui’ula organic community farm
Just steps away from the main clubhouse, tucked away down a discrete path, the stunning 20,000-square-foot Spa at Kukui’ula delivers a space of peace and well-being. The thoughtfully designed area is complete with indoor-outdoor treatment rooms that open to a private, tropical garden, plenty of poolside lounge chairs, numerous hydrotherapy areas, a yoga studio, and a fitness center. The spa menu includes a variety of modern and traditional Hawaiian treatments.
Ask just about anyone at Kukui’ula what the favorite area of the property is and most often it is the organic farm situated alongside a tranquil lake. In fact, it is often the first place members find themselves upon their return to Kukui’ula. They come to gather their fresh, organic fruits and vegetables for their stay, as well as the larger-than-life tropical flowers that bring even more beauty into their homes. No matter how wonderful the facilities are, without a doubt it is the people of Kukui’ula who make this exclusive and private club feel inclusive. From the person who greets you when you drive up to the clubhouse to the golf attendant who offers you a cool lavender-scented towel after a round of golf, they all exude a warm and genuine sense of ohana.
“We have been coming to Kauai for over 30 years,” the MacMahons say. This island is a spiritual experience. It either speaks to you or it doesn’t. It sang to us.” Custom homesites start at just under $1 million, Makai Cottages at $2.2 million, and Club Cottages at $2.7 million, completely furnished and with a guesthouse. Kukui’ula has a Resource Guild that endorses architects, builders, landscape architects, and interior designers with backgrounds in Plantation-style architecture and island living.
What to do
Venture outside Kukui’ula to experience Kauai’s natural beauty, charming towns, boutique shops, and epicurean delights.
Hanalei Town Located on Kauai’s north shore, locals and visitors come to Hanalei for ukulele concerts at the Hanalei Community Center. Opaekaa Falls and Wailua Falls Kauai is also known for its breathtaking waterfalls. Opaekaa Falls on the east side of the island is one of Kauai’s most accessible waterfalls, while Wailua Falls is known for being in the opening credits of the TV show “Fantasy Island.” Wailua River Take in the views of the waterfalls via kayak or outrigger on the tranquil Wailua River. Kauai has the only navigable rivers in Hawaii, and the Wailua River is one of the most popular. Waimea Canyon On the west side of Kauai, Waimea Canyon is often referred to as Hawaii’s Grand Canyon. A prime spot for amazing views, the lookout measures 14 miles long, one mile wide, and more than 3,600 feet deep.
Whale Watching From December to May, experience the majesty of the humpback whale off Kauai’s shorelines. These gentle giants come to the warm Hawaiian waters every year to breed and give birth to new calves. Schedule a whale watching tour via Kukui’ula’s Island Pursuits team. Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau Whether it is performed to the rhythmic beat of the drum, to the rich tones of the chant, or to the strumming of the ukulele, the beauty of the hula is at the heart of Hawaii. Fantastic luau venues can be found throughout Kauai, including the exceptional ones held at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Luau in the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. RumFire Poipu Beach Located in the recently renovated Sheraton Kauai Resort, RumFire Poipu Beach is the island’s newest hot spot with a killer view. Spectacular unobstructed 180-degree views of the Pacific flood the 240-seat restaurant and lounge.
Shops at Kukui’ula Along with the varied shops and dining opportunities, the Shops at Kukui’ula serves up fresh culinary fun at the weekly Kauai Culinary Market, where islanders and visitors can sample and buy locally grown produce and homemade pies. Josselin’s Tapas Bar & Grill Located within the heart of the Shops at Kukui’ula, Josselin’s is a tapas-lover’s paradise. Do not leave the island without trying the Kabocha Pumpkin Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette. How to get there Kauai’s main airport is Lihue Airport (LIH) in southeastern Lihue. Many airlines now offer non-stop service to Kauai from the mainland’s west coast. There is also the option of flying into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu first before heading to Kauai. Once on the island, Kukui’ula is just a 20-minute scenic drive from the airport. If arriving before dark, driving through the Tunnel of Trees is an unforgettable sight.