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“Be here now.”
Review of River Estate

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River Estate
Ranked #3 of 5 Hanalei B&B and Inns
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Be here now.”
Reviewed 26 June 2013

If you've just landed at Lihui airport and can't wait to go south to Poipu with its popular beaches, arid climate, sea vistas unbroken by the soggy jungle mountains to the north, plenty of like-minded other visitors to get to know and socialize with, and numerous resorts to choose from, River Estate probably isn't for you.

Located in Haena, Mark's place might seem a little remote at first. Here's how you get there: instead of heading south from Lihui, go north to Princeville where you'll come to the only significant elevation change you're likely to encounter on Kauai as you descend down a narrow road into the Hanalei Valley. Wait for your turn, then cross the first of seven one-lane bridges to the end of the island. For the next five miles the road meanders along the coastline, revealing unbelievable knock-your-socks-off landscapes around every turn. To your right is the Pacific like you've never seen it, turquoise beyond belief; on your right are four million year old cliffs carved jagged as sharks teeth,entirely covered in jungle foliage. Straight ahead is the Na Pali shoreline, looking like something straight out of Robinson Caruso. Five miles down the road from Hanalei you'll come to the fifth bridge, a two-section affair with a sharp right a third of the way in. Don't go across this bridge; you're here. Mark's place is on the left (obviously, there's a river and the ocean on the right) at the very end of the path that leads off the road from just in front of the two-section bridge.
When you drive onto the property and down the path you'll be driving through an amazing botanical garden. All around are house plants like you've seen many times but these are huge house-size house plants that nearly block the jungle and bamboo forest that lies just beyond. Flowing down the right side of the property is the Wainiha River, which can rage during a strong rain, something not unheard of on the North Shore. About a tenth of a mile down the path from the main road is the place. You'll first see it about a hundred yards away, sitting by itself on ten-foot stilts with nothing but jungle and river all around.
After fourteen steps up you'll get to the lanai that goes around the river side and the back side of the house. There's the usual amenities on the lanai - BBQ, washer, dryer, teak table, four teak chairs, river view, sunlight filtered through the canopy of the surrounding eighty feet high hardwoods. At the front door you'll find a ceramic tile that says, basically, take your shoes off in the house. When you open the door, you'll know why. The place is immaculate. Cherry floors throughout, great furniture, beds that will make you reluctant to get up on the mornings. And in the mornings... set the coffee to start at five forty five, wake up by then anyway (if the river doesn't wake you up, the roosters will), be lazy about crawling out of bed to just be amazed at the view you've woken up to. Grab a cup and drive the half mile toward Hanalei to Lumahai Beach and get set for a sunrise walk along a mile long crescent beach you're not likely to forget - amazing turquoise waves, amazing sand, Wainiha River flowing into the ocean along the north end, a curious little cove at the other. And no footprints. After an hour or so, you'll be ready to head back to the house for breakfast on the lanai - the kitchen is totally equipped (and often as not has a pretty thoroughly stocked bar, everybody just leaves what they don't drink) - then have to decide how much of the day to spend just sitting there. It doesn't take long to realize you don't really feel compelled to venture too far from here, that being tucked into this little corner of Haena sets your soul free, that being here is everything it needs to be. Thanks, Mark, for this simply amazing place.

  • Stayed May 2013
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Helpful?
6 Thank russellliesch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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46 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (2)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
San Francisco, California
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2013

We stayed at The Guesthouse at River Estate over Thanksgiving week 2012. It has everything you could possibly need, is in the middle of Kauai's amazing north shore, yet is tucked up in the jungle alongside the river making for a perfectly private, secluded retreat. Listening to the river while drifting to sleep after a day spent hiking/surfing/snorkeling at the nearby trails/breaks/reefs was the perfect way to end the day and recharge for the next one. The fully appointed kitchen made eating in easy. The only downside to enjoying breakfast on the lanai every morning was we often lost track of time and got a late start on our day. The house is also equipped with boogie boards, beach chairs, snorkeling gear, and a cooler making gearing up for beach days a breeze. All in all, can't recommend the Guesthouse at River Estate enough.

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Murfisa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Metairie, Louisiana
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 November 2012

We wanted to stay on the north end of Kauai and had stayed at the Sheraton 26 years ago so we wanted to rent a house or something more rural. This place fit the bill. It is almost to the end of the road up north, but near to town. The house was very clean, modern, and we loved the lanai that wrapped around the back and side of house. You can sit there morning or evening and listen to the river babbling next to you. The kitchen was well stocked. The owner Marc had said something about floating down the river to the beach, so we took him up on the inviting adventure. Yes the river is cold, rocky, and shallow where we got in, but we had a great time floating down on boogie boards (which were at the house). It does go to the beach and then its a short walk back to the house.
The property is absolutely beautiful with many tropical gingers, bromeliads and ti plants. It is also not far from the Limahuli gardens where they filmed South Pacific.
While we were there, we took the northern departure from Hanalei on a day snorkel trip to the Na Pali Coast. I think it only runs in the summer. It was beautiful. As most boating adventures in Hawaii are, the afternoon trip back is a little rough, but if you like roller coasters you will love it. If you get seasick, you will not.
This is definitely a place we will return to.

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank robins504
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orange, CA
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2012

This is the place to rent in Kauai! Great location on the river, great views, great amenities, great decor...The owner was very helpful and the River Estate has everything you could ever need from the music selection to the hot tub on the lanai. The list goes on but this review doesn't. You won't want to leave.

Room Tip: There are two homes to rent, I liked the one with the hot tub best.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank chrisOrange_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Covington, Washington, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2012

When searching for where we would stay, my primary hope in renting a house was to be in the 'real' environment. I wanted to really see and hear Hawaii. This did exactly that.
The drive to the Guest House is down a long driveway lined with spectaluarly huge foliage, that I can only describe as prehistoric as I would imagine it. The sound of the rushing river just feet away from the house is soothing beyond belief. The sound of the frogs just after sunset lets you know you really are something tropical and amazing.
The house worked really well for us. We went with another couple and we each had 18 month olds. I worried about being some place that wasn't 'childproof' and my concerns vanished quickly. Though the house is raised up (I don't now what that is called there) and there are stairs to the front door, it was simple to block access for the kids to get outside. If we had wanted to leave the doors open, we knew a quick stop at Walmart for a baby gate for the stairs would have done the trick. Inside, there really wasn't anything they could get into. The only issue was the coffee table, but what child doesn't find a way to get hurt with a coffee table around?!
If you want secluded, tranquil, beautiful, peaceful, wonderful and waterfront, this is the place for you!

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Angela K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
, Owner at River Estate, responded to this review, 11 July 2012
To Angi and the rest of her party......Mahalo for your kind words. This is what my job is all about. For without feedback it's always a big question mark...Am I doing my job? Did that guest enjoy their time here. What are the things they liked and didn't like? Ah now comes the word "Prehistoric" I love that. Those are Lauhala plants. Thee Hawaiians use the leaves for a number of things like mats for starters. There are a few verities on the property and they are my favorite plant here on Kauai. They were planted where the kings lived and walked in prehistoric Hawaii and of course that means they are all over the North shore of Kauai, right?. To me they will always represent my overall impression of north Kauai if it was to be represented by a single plant. A lot of my specimens were the bushy variety but I trained them into trees. That made the exposed roots grow like that. Completely unique. There is no name for the houses being raised up in the air but it certainly aids in ventilation and maintenance and is required by the county in my area. I hope to see you return and wish you all the best Angi. Mahalo Nui Loa...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 June 2012

I have been staying at River Estate since 2002 at least once and some times several times a year...and it just keeps getting better. I never wonder if I'm missing something by not trying a different place because why mess with paradise? The house is beautiful, spotless and has everything you could want in a home away from home. The setting couldn't be more tranquil, private and beautiful - it is like staying in your own private botanical garden. I defy you to not get a fabulous night's sleep listening to the breeze in the bamboo and the sound of the river. It's the perfect mix of secluded and close to what you want - the beaches and the pleasure of Hanalei Town. Mark is the perfect host and makes sure everything is taken care of - if you want something you don't see (highly unlikely), just ask! As far as I'm concerned, River Estate is the best deal on Kauai...I'm already plotting my next trip.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank OCIslandGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 March 2012

Our family of 5 adults stayed here over Christmas and just loved it. It's in a secluded spot so it's quiet and private with easy access to Haena beach and others, and the house is on stilts so it feels like a treehouse perched in the canopy. There are no direct beach views but it overlooks a great little river and the beach is just a 5 minute float away. The grounds have a lot of fruit trees, including all-you-can-pick delicious grapefruit!

The rooms are well-kept and very new, with a fully furnished kitchen, screened lanai with hot tub and bbq grill, excellent showers, and just overall very comfortable. Little details are all provided, like a cooler for your day at the beach, bbq grilling tools, beach and bath towels, extra boogey boards and snorkel gear. The bed sheets are super smooth, some of the best sleep we've had in awhile.

Some of our party went hiking the Kalalau Trail for a few days and when they came back, the hot tub was a godsend. The proprietor Mark was really helpful and responsive, he even helped us get a good deal on a car rental, and you can tell he takes care of the place. The hot tub didn't warm up as fast as we would have liked, so give it at least a 4-6 hours, also it only sits 2, maybe 3 people at a time.

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Frank T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about River Estate

Property: River Estate
Address: 5-6691 Kuhio Highway, Hanalei, Kauai, HI 96714
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Hanalei
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Hanalei
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
River Estate is one of the first Kauai vacation properties on the internet and we are still here. I provide complimentary concierge services to all my guests from the moment you book. 45 years here helps in that regard. So please feel free to ask me about all Kauai has to offer and let me help you make the most of your vacation time here. There are two homes at River Estate (One 2 bedroom 2 bath called the Guest House and one 3 bedroom 2 bath called the Riverhouse) Please google River Estate to see all the details for both homes on the River Estate website. Both homes are on the estate grounds next to the river in the same proximity to the water yet far apart. The property location is centrally located in the middle of the prime North shore area. You’ll feel comfortable and relaxed the moment you arrive. Privacy and peace. On Site Staff and Owner Available 24/7 Top Quality Accommodations Affordably Priced A Completely Unique Central North Kauai Location Tastefully Furnished Homes. Quality Furniture Air Conditioning. Each Room Controlled Individually A Romantic and Spiritually Rejuvenating Experience Ultra Privacy in a Completely Unique Natural Setting Two Acres of Pristine Riverfront Botanical Gardens Comfortable Living Spaces With Many Deluxe Amenities Allergy Free Zones. No Mold or Mildew Inside or Out Very Close to World Famous Beaches and Landmarks Float to Beach and Back From the Property Easily Fully Equipped Large Kitchens With New Appliances In House Travel Agency. Multi Island Vacation Packages Complimentary Beach Gear and Quality Beach Towels Hotel Grade Bath Towels, Hand Towels, Wash Cloths Quality Bedding, Mattresses. High Thread Count Sheets Tile or Chinese Slate Floors in Kitchen and Bathrooms Quality Brazilian Cherry Hardwood Floors (Living Areas) Well Ventilated Homes Cooled By the Trade Winds Flat Panel TVs, DVD Players, Cd Players With iPod Docks Large Master Bedroom Suites with Flat Panel TV's Free Long Distance, WiFi Internet, Wireless Phones Large Collection of DVD's and CD's in each Home Washer/Dryer, Gas BBQ, Quality Lanai Furniture Selection of Kauai Guidebooks and Books on Hawaii ... more   less 
Also Known As:
River Estate Hanalei, Kauai

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