Steal away to Kauai’s grandest resort for a Hawaiian honeymoon.
In 1870, Hawaii’s Queen Emma traveled to Kauai’s southern coast to visit the 4,200 acre property passed on to her by her aunt Hikoni. She loved the island’s natural beauty and dramatic mountains, and vacationed at nearby Lawai Beach. Today this land is occupied by the recently opened Kukui’ula (where this story was photographed), which comprises a plantation house and 15 cottages that you can rent or buy. (NFL star Drew Brees was among the first to purchase property.) On the sprawling green coast there are unlimited ways to unplug, from rounds of golf on a course designed by Tom Weiskopf to kayaking, horseback riding, helicopter rides and private pig roasts. For local culture arrange a trip to nearby Kamikila Hawaiian Village (villagekauai.com) or take a hula lesson. Food comes from a community garden, which features vegetables and tropical fruits, including papaya, pineapple, and breadfruit. The resort’s 20,000-square-foot spa uses local ingredients as well. Most treatments start with a ginger drink and many incorporate scented towels and a mixture of sea salt and kukui nut oil for exfoliating. There’s an outdoor shower, skylit lava rock saunas, and hot and cold plunge pools, all designed to put you in a tranquil mood before your hot stone massage or coconut scrub – pampering worthy of royalty.
From $1,000 a night, cottages for purchase from $2.7 million; kukuiula.com
Getting there: Fly Hawaiian Airlines (which recently started a code share program with Virgin) to Honolulu, and then take a 20-minute flight to Kauai. Flights from the continental U.S. from $400; hawaiianair.com | Stephanie Wu