Cascading emerald green mountains, effervescent waterfalls, bountiful ocean adventures, luxury boutique property, a spa that will transport your body into peaceful tranquility, exquisite farm to fork cuisine & a new “Living Well Yoga Guru Series” initiating a fluid connection with the mind, body, and soul! I am honored to share my journey to the “Garden Island” a.k.a Kauai & The Lodge at Kukui`ula. With my heart full of the Aloha spirit, my intention in this post is to share the sacred Hawaiian Mana (Divine Power).
Where to begin…There is so much share and I will do my best to list experiences with all the info needed, so if you are being called to Kauai, you will have ease of navigation to assist in your journey. First, I would like to send Mahalo (gratitude) to The Lodge at Kukui`ula for hosting us (my husband and myself) as guests at their beautiful property to experience what Kukui`ula truly embodies & exudes. I would also like to extend deep gratitude bows to the amazing Donny Starkins & Lauren Charpio for curating the Yoga Guru Series for Kukui`ula! Thanks to their intuitive visions and passion rooted in wellness, the yoga guru series has been born! Creating mindful guidance and unity for us to connect our authentic higher selves thru yoga and meditation.
“Ua ola loko i ke aloha” – Love gives life within.
The Lodge at Kukui`ula: Kukui`ula is such a unique and abundantly stunning property. What makes Kukui`ula so special is its exclusive residential property that offers luxury rental accommodations, from1 bedroom up to 4 bedroom homes, perfect for couples and family vacations! Kukui`ula club cottages, bungalows, and villas beautifully reflect the essence & character of Kauai plantation style architecture – featuring expansive views, wonderfully appointed kitchens, living areas, baths with private outdoor garden showers & outdoor firepits, providing world-class indoor/outdoor living. Kukuiula guests also have access to the expansive private club amenities. The Club at Kukui`ula offers/includes 18,000-square-foot full-service sanctuary spa,18-hole Tom Weiskopf designed golf course, TechnoGym fitness center, an open-air movement studio for Yoga/Pilates, access to the 10-acre organic farm, dining at the Umeke Kitchen + Bar and fresh daily continental breakfast
Kukui’ula embodies Ho’okipa—heartfelt Hawaiian hospitality. – kukuiula.com
Journey to Kukui`ula: After landing in Kauai, we picked up our rental car and took the mesmerizing drive to Kauai’s south shore to Kukui`ula. As we turned into the Kukui`ula property we headed down their canopy tree-lined street, the bungalows and cottages are located on either side of the road. Ben and I were filled with excitement and wonder… saying to each other, “is this real?”! We drove straight to our cottage, number 12 to check in. We were greeted by a friendly team member to give us a tour of the 2-bedroom cottage which also includes a guest house. The main cottage offers dual master suites with beautiful ensuite baths and outdoor garden showers, one of my favorite experiences at the cottage. Showering outside in the morning you are refreshed with the sun glistening on your shoulders and at night you shower under a blanket of stars… it’s pure heaven! The kitchen is amazing and full of all the appliances & cookware needed to make your own meals in the comfort of your cottage. The cottages offer a large “screened in” lanai with an additional dining & living area. Step out into the tropical backyard and soak in the expansive views of the lush Hawaiian mauka (mountain) landscape. One of our favorite places to connect was the private backyard by the firepit, this is where we enjoyed our morning coffee and evening glass of wine while reminiscing about our Kukui`ula journeys.
Stop by Huaka`i Guides & Outfitters Shop to rent your Kukui`ula crusier bikes. You will use the cruiser bikes every day to have ease of getting around the Kukui`ula property and into town. The Kukui`ula shops are located just a 5-10 min bike ride, here you will find a wide variety are restaurants, shopping, and local organic grocer.
Photo credit to the 2 beautiful ocean yoga pictures in this post: Mike Coots www.mikecoots.com
The Living Well Yoga Guru Series: During our stay at Kukui`ula we had the pleasure to attend Donny Starkins Mindfulness yoga & mediation wellness series, offered twice daily. Ben and I know Donny from Arizona as his students from his yoga classes. It was a gift to be able to be lead with his mindfulness and inward guidance at Kukui`ula. Be sure to visit this Kukui`ula Blog, click the link here: kukuiula.com/the-living-well-yoga-guru-series to view the full line up of guest yoga instructors coming to visit the Club this year… and there is a possibility that Donny will return to Kukui`ula for the 2019 New Year week to assist in setting mindful intentions!
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“The Living Well Yoga Guru Series’ embodies the culture and ethos of Kukui’ula. We take pride in our various wellness offerings at Kukui’ula—from land to sea activities to The Upcountry Farm—encouraging guests and members to embrace our Hawaiian culture and cultivate a sense of “malama” (Hawaiian for ‘inner peace and landscaping’).”- kukuiula.com/the-living-well-yoga-guru-series
Hi`ilani Spa + Fitness: The 18,000-square-foot full service sanctuary features private indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, lava rock saunas, all glass steam room, hot and cold plunge pools, extensive fitness facilities, a movement studio hosting 30+ classes a week, a 25-meter lap pool, men and women’s locker rooms with outdoor garden showers, glass-walled steam rooms and The Club at Kukui’ula signature “Wet Ritual,” offered before all treatments.
“Serenity dwells within the lava rock walls surrounding the spa and fitness complex, with its private lap pool, treatment rooms and state-of-the-art facilities.” www.kukuiula.com
Upcountry Farm & Lake: the 10-acre communal farm and 20-acre lake invites guests to attain gardening skills and harvest seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Crops include more than 78 different items including lettuce, beans, chard, peppers, beets, arugula, strawberries, a variety of herbs, bananas, papayas, pineapples, citrus and tropical flowers such as orchids and birds of paradise. Kukui`ula even offers a complimentary produce stand located just outside the club to pull from at any time with freshly harvested organic goods from the farm! We stopped by and helped ourselves and made a scrumptious fresh garden salad for dinner in our cottage.
“There’s no rules, really. Pick your own organic produce for dinner salads or your morning breakfast, or ask a member of The Farm team for help.”- www.kukuiula.com
Chef’s Table 5-course prix-fixe dinner: Executive Chef Ben Takahashi brings Kauai fresh cuisine to new heights. Working with local ranchers, purveyors, fisherman and The Farm, Chef Takahashi’s dishes are rooted in Hawaiian Regional cuisine. Every dish Chef Takahashi prepared was impeccable and tantalized our taste buds. The sommelier wine pairings complemented each dish wonderfully. The social highlight of the evening was connecting with new friends at the community table… was an evening that will not be forgotten!
“The Chef’s Table 4-course prix-fix dinners are held every Wednesday”-www.kuluiula.com
Huaka`i Guides & Outfitters Shop: located in the Kukui`ula Clubhouse offers a one-of-a-kind program led by Kaua`i native Robert Miguel, with a variety of outdoor adventures, including hiking the Kalalau Trail, access to the isolated jungle with steep volcanic slopes, sailing a traditional Hawaiian canoe, or just enjoying a relaxing day at the beach.
Kukui`ula MAKAI GRILL + BAR: Sit in the shade next to The Makai Pools. Enjoy poke and musubi, salads, sandwiches and other no-fuss dishes made with produce from The Farm. Poolside service and spa delivery also available.
Kukui`ula MAKAI POOLS: Steps from the Clubhouse, an infinity-edge pool is equipped with loungers for basking, half submerged in the freshwater. Adjacent saltwater pools flow together connected by cascading waterfalls and a waterslide, beloved by Kukui`ula’s keiki, that leads to the sand-bottom pool lapping the shores of a manmade beach. The expansive Makai Pools provide countless unique and idyllic spots for sunbathing with a cold, tropical drink in hand.
Hike down to Wailua Falls: A must visit! This is a quick journey to the Wailua Falls. You will park on the side of the road and walk to the lookout where you are at the top of the waterfalls, beautiful. But to really experience Wailua beauty and energy, take a short hike down to the base of the falls. Though the hike is quick (about 20 min) it’s steep and muddy. So be prepared to get dirty and use some rope assistance to scale down some slippery parts. The ropes are already in place to offer support. Once you’re at the base, the energy is palpable! There are many places to sit and take in the majestic beauty, my recommendation is to go underneath Wailua falls… I’ve never felt so energized, with her mist drenching you in playful freedom! It’s magic!
Local tip- Fish Express: Lunch on your way to or from Wailua Falls- recommended by our rental car agent at the airport. Fish Express is an awesome local poke shop, located in Lihue on your way to Wailua Falls, AMAZING Poke Bowls, there is no seating but perfect to take “to go” for a picnic lunch.
“Energy flows where intention goes… this marvelous beauty is strong, fluid & powerful. Witnessing Wailua Falls tuned us into the present moment, deep consciousness.”
Blue Ocean Adventure Tours: Such an epic excursion on the ocean and down the Napoli Coast!!! We were referred to Blue Ocean from one of the Huaka`i Outfitter guides, David… MAHALO! This was our last day adventure journey and boy were we not disappointed! We took a Zodiac Boat – similar to the Navy Seal Zodiacs, these boats are small yet sturdy and agile. This oceanic boat ride is a real workout as you hang on with ropes and ride the ocean waves all the way to and from the Na Pa`li Coastland. Guaranteed to bring out the thrill seeker in you! The 6-hour boat journey includes the potential to spot dolphins, whales, and sea turtles and navigate into ocean caves. The tour includes lunch on a remote beach which was once home to an ancient Hawaiian fishing village. Ending the beach landing with a short hike through the valley, exploring the archaeological remains of the village. Truly a mind-blowing adventure that is rooted in the sacred Aloha Spirit… I cannot recommend enough!
Kauai & kukui`ula info & links:
- Direct flights to Kauai: Ben and I took a direct flight to Kauai Lihue Airport (LIH) from Phoenix. There are now multiple flights flying direct to Kauai from several major U.S. cities.
- Book your stay at Kukui`ula: www.lodgeatkukuiula.com
- Purchase at Kukui’ula: www.kukuiula.com/own
- Huaka`i Guides & Outfitters Shop: www.kukuiula.com/destination/haukai-outfitters
- Blue Ocean Adventure Tours: www.goblueadventure.com
- The Yoga Guru Series: www.kukuiula.com/the-living-well-yoga-guru-series
- Donny Starkins: www.donnystarkins.com
- Wailua Falls: www.theoutbound.com/hawaii/hiking/hike-to-the-base-of-wailua-falls
- Fish Express- to go Poke Bowls: www.tripadvisor.com
- Recommended Kauai hikes: www.kukuiula.com/kauai/adventure
- Kukui`ula Shops: include restaurants, shops, and organic grocer: www.theshopsatkukuiula.com
- Hawaii: www.gohawaii.com
With light, love & gratitude,