Paradise Found: From Aloha to ‘Ohana, How Kukui‘ula’s Hawai‘ian Spirit Makes for The Ultimate Family Retreat
With luxury resort-level amenities for all ages, a relaxed way of life, and genuine local culture, homeowners and guests alike have more refreshing, fulfilling experiences at this Kaua‘i getaway.
As a universal greeting, a warm “Aloha!” may spark images of Hawai‘i and the laid-back, welcoming culture it’s known for, but the word is so much more than a hello or goodbye to native Hawaiians. It’s an entire way of being, of living in harmony with the people and land around you—and it’s that genuine spirit that’s fully alive at Kukui‘ula.
On Kaua‘i’s south shore, where verdant gardens stay green year-round and earn this oldest of the Hawaiian islands the nickname “Garden Island,” this sublime sanctuary lies ideally situated between mauka and makai—the mountain and the ocean. With homes and guest lodging immersing you in nature in this abundant, magical setting, each day seems like a dream.
Residents and guests can choose from a wealth of memory-making outdoor adventures, from canoe sailing excursions to hiking along the Kalalua Trail. They can also drop by the 10-acre organic farm on premises to harvest their own tropical produce (including a bounty of mangoes, passion fruit and papaya), unwind and rejuvenate at the Hi‘ilani Spa, and simply gather with friends and family for memorable ways to connect with each other.
Unparalleled Hawaiian Hospitality
Kukui‘ula’s focus on Ho‘okipa—or the Hawaiian value of heartfelt hospitality and giving—creates an ease of living and a truly distinct and authentic sense of place. While Kukui‘ula offers the caliber of luxury amenities you’d expect of a world-class retreat (such as the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole golf course and multiple dining options), the pace is relaxed and life is unfussy here. You can even feel comfortable going straight from the beach to the dining room in your board shorts and T-shirt. And leave that wallet in your room; it’s an entirely cashless experience on the premises with everything billed to residents’ and guests’ accounts, and there’s no tipping.
Here, “‘ohana” (which means extended family in Hawaiian) includes those people who restore your spirit and with whom you enjoy spending time. Expect personal greetings by name from staffers who treat you like family, and a place designed to make bonding time effortlessly plentiful with your own immediate family. With something for everyone at Kukui‘ula, including tons of activities for the kids, from sand-bottomed pools to organized games on the lawn and in the clubhouse, there’s space to venture out, choose independent interests, or try something new. And then you get to come back together to share experiences at the end of the day. People return here because of the peaceful way it makes them feel and the way their family is pleasantly at ease when they’re together in this lush island setting.
No matter where you are at Kukui‘ula, the outdoors calls you. The rich history of the land (the site of a former sugar plantation), refreshing trade winds, and spectacular rainbows and sunsets are all within reach in homes that breathe as if they’re one with the landscape. The focus on nature combined with fun, playful programming and the pervasive laid-back vibe make it easy to live well on your terms, whether that includes activity-packed days, multigenerational gatherings to savor family love, or the luxury of free time to just relax and take it all in.
Residents who have made a home here have found that this family-friendly ethos, mixing nature and Hawaiian hospitality, means coming for a visit isn’t enough. Island-inspired architecture represents an integration of Hawai‘i’s unique culture, respect for the land, a celebration of nature, and an understanding of the elements. Take the Plantation House, Kukui‘ula’s 21,000-square-foot clubhouse, which boasts a wraparound lanai with awe-inspiring panoramic views of the Pacific ocean.
And nature weaves through everything in this community. Elevated Kaua‘i cuisine showcases the freshness and convenience of The Farm, the property’s 10-acre organic garden, and the abundance of the ocean with farm-to-fork and ocean-to-table fare. Try the four- to seven-course chef’s tasting menus at the clubhouse’s Umeke Kitchen + Bar to celebrate a special occasion, or just to celebrate life. With open-air facilities, wellness programs too offer the chance to spend quality time in a subtler, island-style way, whether your self-care leans towards spa time or fitness classes. The golf course, with just the right level of challenge and golf boards (think motorized skateboard-meets-golf cart) to get you from green to green, embraces fun and playability—complete with whale watching at the edge of the world.
Living the Aloha Spirit
Kukui‘ula is the kind of place where time flows effortlessly, where keiki (or “kids”) camp often turns in to family camp for the sheer fun of being together. Adventurers can embark on a Polynesian sailing canoe or hike spectacular mountains along the Nā Pali coast and Waimea Canyon. Water enthusiasts can immerse themselves in the saltwater kiss of the ocean or dip their toes into an infinity-edged swimming pool.
You can find the true aloha spirit, a relaxed and graceful way of life, at this dreamlike haven. For ancient Hawaiians, the ability to truly live the spirit of aloha was equal to attaining enlightenment. At Kukui‘ula, it’s as easy as waking up every day.