Kilauea’s rich cousin, Princeville (dubbed ‘Haolewood’) is a methodically landscaped resort community that is about as carefully controlled – and protected – as a film set, especially when it actually is a film set. Its body is made up of high-end resorts, finely manicured golf courses, and a mixture of cookie-cutter residences, vacation rentals, and condominium complexes. What it may lack in personality it makes up for in convenience, as it’s the most centrally located area on the North Shore. The St Regis Princeville (formerly the Princeville Resort) – an incarnation of luxury – is Princeville’s Oz at the end of the road. The only major commercial area is the Princeville Center with a grocery store, several restaurants and a mix of kiosks and retail stores.
Princeville traces its roots to Robert Wyllie, a Scottish doctor who became foreign minister to King Kamehameha IV. In the mid-19th century Wyllie established a sugar plantation in Hanalei. When Queen Emma and Kamehameha came to visit in 1860, Wyllie named his plantation and the surrounding lands Princeville to honor their two-year-old son, Prince Albert, who died only two years later. The plantation later became a cattle ranch.