The History of Princeville

Princeville is 9,000 acres of planned luxury in a special location overlooking beautiful Hanalei Bay. In ancient times this bluff was considered to be a place of mana or power. When the Russians came to Kauai they built in the 1800’s the Russian Fur Trading Company built Fort Alexander on the site now occupied by the Princeville Hotel in an effort to support the independence of Kauai’s King Kaumauli’i. All that remains are the outline of the walls on the grassy lawn in front of the Princeville Hotel.

In the 1800’s the north shore was a huge sugar and coffee plantation established by R.C. Wyllie from Scotland. After King Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma visited Wyllie in 1860, Wyllie changed the name of his Kauai plantation to Princeville in honor of the couples son, Prince Albert. Prince Albert died two years later. After Wyllie’s death, the plantation was sold. Wyllie’s plantation turned to cattle ranching, which lasted until 1969.

In 1969, Consolidated Gas and Oil of Honolulu bought the land and began developing it into a prime vacation community. A master plan was developed for the area to provide for quiet seclusion. Nothing can be built taller than a palm tree and designated areas of greenbelt, native jungle, must remain undeveloped. Some ranching must have remained because original owners of Sealodge and Pali Ke Kua condos recall traveling over dirt roads among cattle to reach their oceanfront properties.

The development was then purchased by Princeville Development Corp. from Australia and then by a Japanese group. The area grew.

Then Hurricane Iniki struck in 1992. The Princeville Hotel was a designated hurricane shelter and friends tell of arriving and being greeted by doormen in white gloves as if they were honored guests. During the hurricane the ‘guests’ were placed in an underground theater. After the lights went out, the management continued to update on the conditions outside and served a meal to those inside. Following the hurricane all worked together to restore Kauai. Because there was no electricity, the local restaurants prepared huge barbeques. Eventually the hotel was returned to its former glory. Pali Ke Kua Resort condos were leveled and rebuilt. The battered vegetation regrew itself into lush jungle.

There is now a huge rebirth of building in Princeville and prices have soared. North shore Kauai is for most the most beautiful spot on earth. The master plan for Princeville remains and the original small quiet condominium resorts of Puu Poa, Pali Ke Kua, Alii Kai and Sealodge hold prime white-water oceanfront spots.

See you there!