“…a vision of beauty, passion and love.”
Along Maui’s northeastern coast, caressed by the trade winds, two acres of historic ruins and lush tropical gardens rise dramatically against a Hawaiian sky. The Haiku Sugar Mill, also known as Pua Le‘a or “blossoming passion” in Hawaiian, blends the stunning natural beauty of Hawaii with the Old World elegance of Europe.
Over the years, we have gathered inspiration, wonder and an impassioned spirit from the Mill’s unusually rich history. Through age-old stories and Hawaiian land records, we have delighted in unearthing the history of this sacred ‘aina or land in Hawaiian. This Hawaiian land has seen it all, from the working hands of the descendants of the missionaries in the 1700s, to King Kamehameha III’s entrepreneurial spirit leading to the production of sugar cane. After purchasing the land in 1858, the Kingdom of Hawaii coaxed the grounds into a renowned sugar cane company and later, Alexander and Baldwin operated the thriving industry. After three years of construction, the Mill began producing sugar in 1861, using the leading edge technology of the time, a steam engine to grind the cane.
As Hawaiian monarchs in the past have shown us, the age of Kamehameha III was one of progress and liberty. The Haiku Sugar Mill was the first sugarcane mill in Hawaii with a steam engine, modernizing the trade that prospered for twenty years on Haiku’s soil. The Haiku Sugar Mill was added to the distinguished National Register of Historic Places listings in Hawaii in the year 1986.
Reviving the old property
Like Sleeping Beauty’s castle, the Mill was abandoned to sleep on, gently decaying into ruin for over 100 years. The vines and lush vegetation grew and covered the thick stone walls. Strolling beneath the archway of the Mill is like stepping back into a simpler time— one of breathtaking beauty, splendor and pure romance. The open-sky cathedral and vine-draped ruins are rich in Hawaiian history and cultural preservation. The only remains of the initial structure, dating from 1858, are the stately stonewalls. With a fine attention to detail, and respect for the historical land, we began an immense restoration effort to revive the true spirit of the Mill over twenty years ago. We transformed the abandoned ruins from a decrepit sugar factory into a blossoming hidden treasure.
In designing the space, we embraced the lush botanical surroundings. Nestled within the thick stone walls, dreams are breathed to life within quiet grace and elegance of the island’s natural wonder. A cascading waterfall entices guests to the upper level of the courtyard, revealing a panoramic view of the scene. As night falls, the magic begins. A glass ceiling rests atop antique French cast iron columns in the center of the courtyard, opening up the Hawaiian sky. A majestic French chandelier defines the ambiance.
We are continually influenced by the unpretentious lifestyle of the South of France; relaxed dinner parties centered on food, wine and dear friends in a grand setting is the priority. Old World European elegance prevails within the quaint wooden sugar plantation worker’s quarters. The interiors are dressed in magnificent, one-of-a-kind treasures plucked straight from the flea markets of Paris. Over the years we have amassed a fantastic pastiche of French antique furnishings, weathered objects, lighting and architectural elements picked up from world travels.
We hope you experience the essence of Old Hawaii and dreamy, opulent touches that we have lovingly brought to life at the Mill. We invite you to gather together with your loved ones in celebration from intimate parties to grand weddings and private events. Our enduring commitment to love and beauty is ever evolving to create a priceless jewel in the crown of Hawaii. Experience the sacred beauty and timelessness of Pua Le‘a, a well-kept secret for most of its years of creation. We welcome you with aloha and ho`okipa (hospitality).