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Ua pau, ua hala lakou, a koe no pua - They are gone, they have passed and their flowers survive

Kauai, the oldest and northernmost of the islands was also probably the first island settled by voyagers from southern Polynesia around 1,800 years ago. To a land blessed with rich soil, flowing rivers, and abundant rainfall, the settlers brought the plants and seeds that would make the island lush and beautiful. Historically, the name Kauai has been translated to mean "season of abundance" or "time of plenty." On an island ringed with gorgeous bays and beaches, the area known as Hanalei stood out as a place of beauty and power. This area and its immediate surroundings were kula lands – land available to the maka'ainana or common person for cultivation and fishing.

Overlooking Hanalei Bay was the plateau, which is now known as Princeville – a place of spiritual mana or power. From the community’s present site to Po'oku, just beyond the highway, there is said to have been one of the largest hala (pandanus) groves throughout Hawaii. The grove was celebrated in many chants and stories, as the hala was very important to the Hawaiian people. The presence of the tree indicated that there were abundant water sources, and the leaves provided weaving material for mats and other household items. Further up Po'oku was one of Kauai’s largest heiau, meaning temple.

The site of the Princeville Hotel was known as Pu'u poa or pu'u pa'oa -- pu'u meaning mountain, and pa'ao meaning the staff of the Fire Goddess, Pele, who, when searching for a new home would strike her staff into the earth to create a new crater. Directly below the hotel is a marshy area known as kamo'omaika'i, the site of a large fishpond.

"I never saw such a romantically beautiful spot in all my life time. Were I forty years younger... I would throw the Foreign Office with all its musty papers in the King's hands and spend the remainder of my life here," so declared Robert Crichton Wyllie, the founder of Princeville at Hanalei, during the building of his Kauai retreat in 1860. After a lifetime of adventure, success in the financial world and at Hawaii’s royal court, Robert Crichton Wyllie, a Scotsman, served as minister of foreign affairs for the Kingdom of Hawaii for 20 years. It was Wyllie who purchased much of the Hanalei area, planted sugar cane and coffee, constructed a large, modern sugar mill in Hanalei, and built himself a plantation estate, Kikiula, near the present resort site.

In 1860, Wyllie hosted his dear friends King Kamehameha IV, Queen Emma and their two-year-old son, Prince Albert at his estate for several weeks. In honor of the child, the most beloved ali'i of all Hawaii, Wyllie named the plantation the Barony de Princeville, the City of the Prince. A great tragedy befell the royal family and the kingdom when Albert, Hawaii’s only prince, died at the age of four.

Princeville, the legacy of a small Hawaiian Prince who did not live to rule his "barony," continues to honor its origins and its history.

Na Leo 'O Princeville, A publication of Princeville Corporation & Princeville Utilities Company, Inc., Spring 2003


Video Courtesy of the Kauai Visitors Bureau

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Prince Albert Edward - Ka Haku o Hawaii

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Queen Emma
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The Cliffs at Princeville, located within Princeville Resort on the North Shore of Kauai, Hawaii, offers first-class vacation rentals, vacation ownership and timeshare.