A new yet familiar Kauai resort is about to be launched called Hokuala. You may remember this as the Kauai Lagoons master community located nearby Lihue Airport and adjacent to Nawiliwili Harbor.
Following Hurricane Iwa in 1982, the property was developed as a super-resort in which it was intended that visitors would never need leave. Transport was via mahogany boats and horse-drawn carriages. Shopping was on two landings that never really took off. In 1987, the project and hotel were branded the Westin Kauai Lagoons. The enormous resort featured a Jack Nicklaus golf course, and a lagoon replete with gondolas and wildlife. A second golf course was also developed, but financial problems stopped plans to build a second hotel, condos, time-shares and even a third golf course. At least until now.
Iconic property sold for $60 Million
Previous owner Marriott Vacations opted not to complete the 468 property, 450 acre development and instead sold it as-is for a mere $60 Million to Timbers Resorts of Colorado. The acquisition included the incomplete Ritz-Carlton residences, the clubhouse and the golf course.
Timbers, one of the largest developers of small resorts and residence clubs just announced that it will bring the property to fruition with the addition of $800 Million. The new name of the development will now be Hokuala, which is Hawaiian for rising star.
Construction to commence in 2015
Prior to year end, Timbers will begin work on its phase one, the Timbers Kauai Ocean Club and Residences. That will include 47 condos and townhomes of up to 3,600 square feet. Timbers will also redevelop the prior Jack Nicklaus designed Kiele golf course next year which will become the Ocean Course. That course features the most oceanfront golf of any course in Hawaii. Another golf course is also slated for development.
In addition to residential units, a new clubhouse is in the works, as well as upgrades to the community amenities, and restoration of the prior water taxis that many of us still remember fondly.
Hokuala will feature direct shoreline access in addition to uninterrupted ocean and mountain views. Their new Timbers resort will include a likely award-winning boutique hotel and spa, restaurants, a private club, and a shopping village.
Restoring the lagoon waterways
While beautiful and having great potential, these inland waterways have been problematic from the outset. Keeping them clean was in part done with use of toxic chemicals, including copper sulfate. Since then however, the lagoons were largely abandoned. There are rumored to be huge monster fish overpopulation in the lagoons (tilapia, carp and others). Recently, however, more environmentally sound methods of lagoon management have been implemented to try to deal with a plethora of waterway issues.
Once reinstated, boats will be featured for excursions to shopping, dining and golf.
What’s your take on this latest luxury resort development on Kauai?