Peace-filled, kind, comforting. Symphony of baritone frog, strident roosters, and quiet--no sound--surround you.
The yard is very pleasant in the morning. Sit by the slow clear stream while birds feast on guava and java fruit (which sometimes plunk into the river), enjoy the flap of banana tree leaves across the road, or practice tai chi. The tall ti plants with purple leaf crowns are a constant comfort, graceful, beautiful, and strong. The leaves (luau) once wrapped goodies baked at the prime Hawaiian feast.
Clean, well maintained and elegantly presented. Kitchen is well stocked, former guests keep the cupboards unbare. We added to the offerings. So easy to feel right at home the very first day. We hung out here and felt happy, even blessed.
Hint: The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook (Mark has a copy on the coffee table) is spot on and full of accurate maps.
• Farmer’s Markets in town: Tues, 9:30, as you go into town from the Riverhouse, and Sat, 9:30, at the Community Center. Try the Choc. Mousse from the couple who also make 12-layer lasagna. Yes, 12. Wonderful for fruits and vegies and crafts.
• Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar and Ukulele, McMaster’s duo (Dong and Sandy), Community Center, Fridays (4 p.m.) and Sundays (3 p.m.). Excellent!
• Tunnels Beach—a winner; Hanalei Bay—calm, protected bay for swimming. Lots of beaches to explore—see Ultimate Kauai Guidebook
• Places to Eat: Bar Acuda—very good, drinks are pricey at $15 each but oh so good. Urban feel. The roasted lentil small plate is excellent; Mediterranean Gourmet—just down the road from you, is creative and very good. Several Lebanese dishes. The lima bean stew is excellent as is the Greek salad, beef shish kabobs, hummus, best pita bread. Some standard American cuisine with less spice. Divine crème brulee. AND music on some nights with a wonderful view; Kauai Ono—locally recommended, only serve their several course dinner once/week under a tent, call 808.634.3244 for reservations or leave an email message, address available on their website; Tahiti Nui—fun crowd, music most nights, great mai tai’s, also have a luau on Wed nights (Mark highly recommends it); Hanalei Pizza—wonderful crust and reasonable prices, byob, sit out on the tables, pizza is decent; Village Snack and Bakery—good for breakfast, and apple cobbler, cinnamon rolls, large donut holes. Understated and very good. If you need breakfast on your way to the airport, try Tip Top in Lihue, local favorite, and very good. Why not buy some of their choc dipped macadamia nut cookies for the plane ride?
• Shaved Ice: get some! At Tunnels Beach, Wishing Well in Hanalei, Princeville right next to Foodland. Go ahead and try a scoop of ice cream on the bottom with shaved ice on top. Diet when you get home.
• Hikes: we took two—Kuilau Ridge Trail (see Ultimate Kauai Guidebook for details, amazing views, easy to moderate hike) and Kalalau Trail (we did the first two miles. Challenging but worth it for the views. We bought some hiking poles at a snorkel shop and they helped. We’re in our mid-60’s and one of us has had two foot surgeries and has post polio and the other lower back issues. You can do this!) You have Mark’s hottub to soak in when you return and it is just right. Oh my, loved it.
• Highlight Experiences that Float:
Kaua’i’s Hindu Monastery (before the Kalalau Trail Hike)—incredible place. Call ahead for free tour and you can take a self-guided tour as well. They have daily services, about 1 ½ hours long and we participated, our first Hindu service. Absolutely beautiful place and so welcoming. See guidebook for directions.
Limahuli Gardens—just down the road from you. A “living” Hawaiian landscape with ancient roots, indigenous and nearly extinct plants and hope for the future. They are reconstructing what the landscape might have looked liked in ancient times and also preserving what matters here. Excellent self-guided tour and also you can schedule a tour.
Snorkeling at Tunnels Beach. We had two glorious days before the high surf rolled in. Turtle-sighting and so clear, lots of fish.
Get up early and just listen on the lanai, keep the doors and windows open. Don’t busy up all your days here. Soak in Aloha time, let the humidity open your pores and the peace and soft environ open your hearts. Be here. Now.
Mahalo Nui Loa,
We shall return to Riverhouse and practice Aloha in between.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A personal message to my potential guests.... 'I have lived on Kauai for 43 years now, owned and managed River Estate for the past 18 of them and I provide complimentary concierge services to all my guests from the moment they book. Please feel free to ask me about all Kauai has to offer and let me help you make the most of your vacation time here.'Mark Barbanell, Owner of River Estate There are two homes at River Estate (One 2 bedroom 2 bath called the Guest House and one 3 bedroom 2 bath called the Riverhouse) Both homes are on the estate grounds next to the river in the same proximity to the water yet far apart. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- River Estate Hanalei, Kauai