Kauai’s North Shore has long been considered the gem of the island with its dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters dotted by perfect surf breaks. A travel website enthusiastically proclaims: “North Shore can be summed up in one word: Paradise!” The postcard-like description is not too far-off—even the most jaded of mainland dwellers have been known to fall under its spell.
“The North Shore of Kauai holds so much of the island’s majestic beauty,” describes John Ferry, founder and president of Coldwell Banker Bali Hai Realty. “Kauai is a landscape of spectacular scenery, but the beauty and charm of Kauai also comes from the people and the tightknit community that is found there. A sense of aloha is felt wherever you go.”
One cannot help but feel “aloha” from the moment he or she enters the gates of The Point at Anini Vista, a nearly seven-acre estate set on the promontory of the North Shore’s dramatic coastal bluff. Sweeping views of mountain, shoreline, reef and beyond tend to have that effect on people, after all. It is a welcoming—an invitation to pause and appreciate “the breath of life.”
“It is the most spectacular property in the state of Hawaii,” declares Ferry, who was also the original developer of the Anini Vista project with Bill Dornbush of Dornbush & Co. Ltd. “Located on the most northern point in the Hawaiian Islands, the Point at Anini Vista offers 360-degree views from ocean to mountain. It’s rare to find a property where the sunrise and the sunset can both be enjoyed.”
Just beyond the bluff, surfers ride the swells at Anini and Kalihiwai. A little further out to sea, whales whip up sea spray as they breach the surface. From the dining room and office, you can easily imagine what your mornings and evenings will be like in the house: awaken to a sunrise near the Kilauea Lighthouse and catch a green flash as the sun sets with Bali Hai (Mount Makana) in the background. And when passing showers roll by, you might be lucky enough to glimpse a rainbow arching over the mountains from your lanai. For many mainlanders during the winter months, these are scenes out of a dream—a warm, beautiful vacation dream.
These visions from The Point at Anini Vista seem light years away from the days when the property was part of Princeville Ranch, one of the first cattle ranches in Hawaii. Eventually annexed off and purchased by the legendary Harry Weinberg Philanthropic Foundation in 1997, it was then developed and represented by Ferry and Dornbush. The current owner purchased two lots that were part of this development: a 5-acre lot in 1999 and a second 1.78-acre lot in 2000. He enlisted visionary architects Stephen Devery and Gary Tobey in 2000. Ferry had worked with Devery—his best friend—on at least 15 other Kauai developments, one of them receiving the AIA “House of the Year” award for architecture, the only award of its kind ever received on Kauai.
“Stephen was especially gifted at fusing together traditional Hawaiian elements with contemporary island design,” Ferry fondly remembers. “His legacy lives on in the beautiful homes he designed throughout his career. The Point at Anini Vista was his last masterpiece.”
Devery conceptualized the sprawling, 18,210-square-foot Balinese-inspired compound to be as low profile as possible. He created an illusion of the six-bedroom home growing organically out of the land, giving an indigenous feel that responds to the rugged irregularities of the dramatic bluff it is situated upon.
Island serenity breezes through each room—from the living room and dining room with walls of glass opening to Kauai’s natural beauty to the open dining area and executive office. Intentionally designed to break up the massing by binding smaller units together, the residence holds both intimacy and privacy in equal measure, while encouraging a flowing indoor-outdoor lifestyle. The intelligent use of seamless glass walls and oversized windows eliminates the limiting dimensions of enclosed space, maximizing the showcase of the living art that surrounds you.
Renowned builder Randy Weir oversaw the construction of the home, ensuring every aspect of the design vision was executed in “exemplary fashion,” says Ferry. All buildings were structurally engineered to handle the impressive aspects of its tropical location, while still maintaining the integrity of the land. Landscape architect Marty Bryan also took great care to honor the ancient Hawaiians’ strong connection to the land by demonstrating a landscape design that incorporates the organic properties of the site. Finally completed in 2003, The Point at Anini Vista puts the perfect punctuation point on the North Shore’s sun-kissed escape promise. Ferry’s description of the house echoes in the distance almost like a breezy Hawaiian dare: ”Listen closely. Hear the trade winds whisper into your mind and let your soul unwind.” At the very least, it’s a dare to dream.