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“Second time and still beautiful”

Princeville Botanical Gardens - Tours
Ranked #1 of 28 things to do in Princeville
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Princeville Botanical Gardens is a family owned and operated garden paradise located in the Princeville area on the magnificent north shore of Kauai. The Robertson Family, with the help of their close gardening friend, Michael, have transformed their 8-acre retirement home into a breathtaking garden with dramatic landscaping in two steep valleys. The Robertsons grow a small cacao (chocolate) grove and part of every tour is a chocolate tasting and lesson on how chocolate is made. Longer tours include samples of delicious tropical fruits. The fun, educational tours of the garden include ethnobotanical and medicinal uses of plants, stories and information about native Hawaiian and "canoe" plants, and much more about a diverse collection of species from around the world. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Visitors can experience the garden on pre-scheduled tours on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Tours are not recommended for children under 6 years. We strongly recommend good walking shoes. Please be sure to call us before visiting. Thank you!
Reviewed December 29, 2013

This was our second time touring the gardens but we brought a couple who had never been to Kauai let alone the gardens.
We had a different tour guide this time and she seemed very knowledgeable and pointed out some things there were not passed on during our first visit (in all fairness, it went both ways when comparing our first guide).
They have just purchased some new land so it should be pretty interesting to see what they do with that !!!
I do have one suggestion....it was raining very heavy during most of our tour (they do provide umbrella's) and because our group was rather large (I think 18) it became impossible to hear our guide from the back. When I suggested she wait until the entire group got to a location of interest, she said she was speaking as loud as she could. A little later, another person in our group became frustrated with not being able to hear and suggested she place herself in the middle of the group before starting to speak which fell on deaf ears unfortunately. Luckily, the downpour stopped about the last 30 minutes and we could hear again. My suggestion would be to have the tour guide wait until the group is all together then get in the middle so everyone can hear.
Other than that, its a great tour and there's always something new in bloom !!!

3  Thank Jimmy2560
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jason R, Public Relations Manager at Princeville Botanical Gardens - Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Thank you so much for visiting our gardens again!! We are honored that you felt it worth your time on the island. And during the rainy season, no less!

Your feedback about hearing the guide is very good and we have mentioned it to that particular guide. Unfortunately, because of the regulations placed on us by the county of Kauai, we cannot feasibly offer tours to smaller groups of people. In the area you speak of, this can become a problem with large groups. We've all our guides aware of the issue, particular during rain showers. We have considered portable amplification to help with this problem, but we have refrained out of respect for our neighbors.

For anyone reading this who is planning on visiting or considering it: If you really want to participate in the tour, be sure to stay close to the guide. Many tours are composed of people who simply lag behind and want to experience the gardens at their own pace, which is fine. For those who want to learn from our knowledgable guides, the unique terrain of our gardens does mean that sometimes the tour becomes single file. It's a tricky problem we do not have a good solution to yet.

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327 - 331 of 476 reviews

Reviewed December 21, 2013

Good: it is interesting to see the place and learn about the history of the property.
Bad: it does not compare in any way to gardens of this size and importance located on the east coast I have toured and does not even qualify as anything other than a big backyard project when compared to the gardens in Europe. sorry, but it is just not that good a final product.

3  Thank cindygirl2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jason R, Public Relations Manager at Princeville Botanical Gardens - Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

We're very sorry you did not fully enjoy your tour of our gardens, but thank you for the three stars nonetheless. To be fair, your critiques are comparing apples and oranges. We do not represent Princeville Botanical Gardens as anything comparable to the more well-known and established gardens of Europe and the East Coast.

There are a few misnomers to address in that regard. First of all, those other gardens all have decades to hundreds of years of development behind them. You would not be impressed with how those gardens looked 10 years after they began. Second, while you did not name names, we can confidently assume that those gardens have millions upon millions of dollars in endowments, grants, and research funds. We operate on a shoestring budget in comparison. Finally, those gardens are not tropical or subtropical. Many do include greenhouses that contain specimens like ours, though they are vastly limited by their indoor growing environment.

We are confident that true gardeners who are familiar with what it takes to restore devastated agricultural land in steep valleys will appreciate the efforts of our garden and what it has become in what is literally its infancy. We - and many of our visitors - cannot wait to see what these gardens look like in another generation. Your visit to our gardens helps ensure that future comes to be.

And yes, as we try to warn everyone who books a tour with us - bring bug spray! We are located on a living stream, and the unfortunate reality is that the relatives and ancestors of the folks who developed those better gardens on the other side of the world introduced mosquitos to paradise. You will need bug spray at any garden you visit on the garden isle of Kauai.

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Reviewed November 17, 2013

This was a great tour! Those people have been doing a great job! They`ve put so much efforts, time and love in this garden! We liked the tour very much, though it was raining and i wouldn`t say i`m a big fan of plants. The tour is very interesting with lots of useful information. The chocolate history and tasting was fantastic! Now i began to love dark chocolate)) Be aware, that the tour may be finished even later (we finished at 1-15pm). And i would advice to wear appropriate shoes, as it was very muddy because of the rain.

3  Thank Alena T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2013 via mobile

This garden is nestled near beautiful mountains and is gigantic. There is am incredibly large variety of flowers. We did the long tour which had delicious and interesting fruit to taste along the way. Their is also a long talk about chocolate with lots of tastings. Its all dark specialty chocolate which could be good or bad depending in your tastes. My one warning is that the long tour is a little too long for the casual visitor who isn't obsessed with plants.

3  Thank Chad2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jason R, Public Relations Manager at Princeville Botanical Gardens - Tours, responded to this reviewResponded January 18, 2014

Thank so much for taking the time to review us. We're so glad that you enjoyed the chocolate tasting.

It is true - our tours can be a bit lengthy if you're not a real plant nut. It's not uncommon for the gardening wife to attend while her husband knocks out a round of golf at Princeville. We'd like to offer shorter tours or even self-guided experiences, but the regulations from the country of Kauai make this unfeasible. That said, we're glad you found the time to visit us.

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Reviewed November 7, 2013

If you would like to see amazing gardens guided by knowledgable tour guides and learn about botanicals including cacao and the making of chocolate, this is the place to go. I came away with incredible photos and a wealth of knowledge about plants. They have plants from all over the world in a tropical setting. Heidi was very informative and answered all our questions. A must see if you are visiting or living on Kauai!

2  Thank Susan A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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