Wednesday, December 3, 2008
EXISTING AT ONCE IN THE BEAUTIFUL PAST AND THE LUXURIOUS PRESENT www.oluina.com
An extraordinary property in every sense, the two homes- main house and guest house- of Ka Hale O Luina (Home of the Mariner) are located on Kauai's south shore, nestled in the beautiful Kalaheo hills, a thousand feet above the ocean, or "mauka" ("on the mountain side" in the Hawaiian language).LOCATIONSecluded among serene pastures, lush vegetation, and mountain creeks, the compound offers complete privacy and splendid isolation yet Kikala is only 15 minutes from historic Koloa Town, with charming restaurants, entertainment, and shopping, and its historic sugar mill.Also a quarter hour distant are Port Allen offering gateways to Napali Coast adventures, boats, whale watching, helicopter tours, horseback riding, kayaking, diving. The Hanapepe Town Art District has local art, rare gifts, collectibles, and "Sunshine Market," the exceptional farmers market opens every Thursday afternoon. Within half an hour are charming Waimea Town and beaches and extraordinarily restored historic Waimea Theater.In ochre-colored Waimea Canyon you can hike, fish, and camp, and Koke'e State Park has the Koke'e Natural History Museum with exhibits on Kauai. Within 20 minutes are Poipu Beach Resort- spectacular beaches, golf, hotels, and fine dining, plus numerous beach eateries- and the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The airport is 25 minutes away.
Ka Hale O Luina was built with the greatest care to ensure that its structures and gardens blend with the surrounding natural landscape and the beauty of the area. The result agrees with its natural setting as if it has been snuggled there forever, and the sound of wood rubbing against wood gives this home a voice.
It is a place of tranquility and extraordinary natural elegance possessed of spectacular mountain and ocean views. 11.4 hilly acres accommodate these two homes, with abundant flora and fauna, from rare native plants, birds, and butterflies, rainbows magnificent, and mornings laced with birdsong while only the notes of cricket fill the starry nights.Exotic hardwoods resistant to the elements of nature have been used for virtually every element of the structures, from exteriors to interiors and structural walls, the roofing, and custom, hand-built furniture.
The lifetime boating experience of the owners meant there has been a selection of the marine-style materials and thoughtful uses of space, giving both homes the quality and ambiance of a yacht.
The interior decoration represents world tastes as a result of years of dedicated collecting of art, artifacts, and unique furnishings from voyages around the planet. Exotic hand-made objets d'art and natural fabrics from leather to camel hair, silk, cotton, and cashmere balance the simple lines of the wood structures: Pacific, Asian, exotic, modern. An ethnic eclecticism is combined with rigorous discipline in object selection to create a style throughout of coherent calm.
Spaces echo each other as elements are repeated in both houses and throughout the rooms, inviting old teak lazy chairs everywhere, comfortable sofas, oversized day beds, custom, hand-woven hammocks, collectors rugs, and artful accessories.
Both houses have one all-wood bedroom with a four poster bed and a view of the endless green hills rolling into the blue shades of the Pacific. Hand made fine rattan paneling adds texture and uniqueness to the built-in merbau wood cabinetry. Wide long hardwood planks give floors an old world feeling and barefoot luxury. There is an excellent sound system, a few carefully selected antique furnishings, and original drawings and oils.
The Barn bedroom has hardwood walls that have been given a very slight whitewash, creating almost a driftwood effect, and are hung with art works by Hao and other Vietnamese artists. An extraordinary aboriginal work dating from before the era of the aboriginal art movement possess rare, raw ingeniousness. There is also a den / second bedroom in the Barn with an old Chinese armoire and a comfortable cashmere sleeper sofa. The den walls, floors, and ceiling are lined in exotic hardwood of large, long, wide planks in deep, rich merbau. Aged copper accents conceal piping and wiring on the open beam ceiling. There is an antique Chinese table with games for playing. A collection of old bronze cow bells interwoven with camel hair ties is paired with Micronesian folk art. Aboriginal painting echoes green hillside views, exquisite basketry by Panama Indians ties contemporary designs with ancient techniques.A large sliding door opens this room to the views, and the polished cement and wood deck in front of the door doubles as a sunning nook or a spectacular dining plateau and is furnished with antique benches paired with a primitive teak table, a perfect setting for breakfast or dinner under the moonlight (nights here are pure, and star gazing is extraordinary).
Inspired by clean, classic Japanese style, both master bathrooms are outfitted with grand sinks and luxurious enormous stone soaking tubs and showers open to the stars, creating of each moment an extraordinary experience.Suspended high above the Kalaheo valley, the Longhouse's outdoor bath is as unique as it is beautiful. Light tropical breezes whisper gently through the tiny wooden slats to cool you on warm days, marvelous views surround you, and the Pueo (the native owl) quietly glides by.
The world is so far away, and you are here in complete privacy. The secluded rock garden, it’s dark and ancient boulders sprinkled with moss and ferns, sits below the hardwood deck with its Jacuzzi tub, and old, worn benches and guava railings frame the blue shades of the ocean. State-of-the-art lighting is used consistently with understated outdoor lighting, which allows the home to be bathed in moonlight.
The main house is two stories and known as the Barn, with an antique Chinese teak entry door with its original wooden hinges and decorated with Chinese characters; they read "sea is luck" and "mountains are happiness."
The guest house was originally named Kialoa, which means in Hawaiian "beautiful long canoe," named after a canoe the owners brought to Kauai from travels to Papua New Guinea's mystical Sepik River. Today, better known as THE LONGHOUSE, as it truly is a miniature version of a Borneo Iban longhouse, an unusual headhunters' home the owners found while traveling through Sarawak.Both homes exist at once in a beautiful past and a luxurious present with TV home theaters, entertainment centers, and DSL Internet connections.