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.
- 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