Beach Cottage of Hawaii’s King David Kalākaua

Hawaii's Last King

September 24, 2010 (updated June 19, 2011)

Hawaii, America's Pacific Island State was, an kingdom until it became a part of the United States.

King David Kalākaua who reigned from February 12, 1874 to his death on January 20, 1891, was Hawaii's last King. Being childless, he was succeeded by his sister, Lydia Kamakaʻeha Kaola Maliʻi Liliʻuokalan.

Queen Liliʻuokalani was Hawaii's only female monarch and her reign was short as she was ousted in 1893 when Hawaii became a republic.

As one travels around Hawaii, especially the Big Island of Hawaii, there are many reminders of the state's royal past.

One of these reminders of Hawaii's royal past is King David Kalākaua's Beach Cottage which can be found nestled in a picturesque little garden between Kahaluu Beach Park and the Keauhou Beach Resort.

Kahaluu Beach Park on Big Island of Hawaii
Kahaluu Beach Park on Big Island of Hawaii | Source

A King's Cottage

King David Kalākaua's cottage cannot be seen from the road and there is no sign indicating its location.

However, it can be easily found as one drives along State Highway 11 just south of Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii. All you have to do is look for Kahaluu Beach Park and pull into its parking lot.

There is no fee to enter or park your car at the Kahaluu Beach Park.

The park itself is a public beach which is frequented by picnickers, swimmers, surfers and green sea turtles.

Adjoining the park is the Keauhou Beach Resort and sandwiched between the park and beach is a beautiful park like area with tropical flowers and trees, a pond and a nice little cottage.

According to a nearby plaque the cottage is known as Ka Hale Kahakai o Kalakaua in Hawaiian or, in English, the Beach House of Kalakaua.

Royal Coat of Arms

Coat of Arms at Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Coat of Arms at Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

Side View of the Beach House

Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

Current Cottage is a Replica of the Original

The cottage was was built for King David Kalākaua.   A second, identical cottage was built by King David  on Kahalu՝u Bay.  The Kahalu՝u Bay cottage was for the Court Jester who was his good friend.

Both beach houses are now gone.  I don’t know what happened to the Court Jester’s house on Kahalu՝u Bay, however, according to the plaque next to King David’s house at Kalakaua, the King’s original cottage was destroyed sometime around 1950.  

The Keauhou Beach Resort was built in 1970 and, a decade later in 1980, a replica of King David Kalākaua’s beach cottage was built and placed in the garden park (which was probably also created at the same time) between the resort and the beach park.

While the setting for the cottage is regal, the cottage itself is rather spartan.  However, it appears to be a great place for anyone, king or otherwise, to get away and relax.

King David Kalākaua's Beach Cottage at Kahaluu Beach Near Kona, Hawaii

show route and directions
A markerKahaluu Beach Kona Hawaii -
Kahaluu Beach Park, Kahaluu-Keauhou, HI 96740, USA
[get directions]

Location of King David Kalākaua on the Big Island of Hawaii

B markerKona Airport Hawaii -
KONA airport (KOA), Kalaoa, HI 96740, USA
[get directions]

Portrait of King David Kalākaua

Portrait of  Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Portrait of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

View of Front of Cottage

Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

An Elected King

Of course, King David Kalākaua was not a typical king in the sense that he was born into the royal family and became king when his father died. While he was high born, he actually acquired the crown of Hawaii as the result of an election.

Like some U.S. Presidents, he had to stand for election twice before winning the crown. When King Kamehameha V died in 1872 without an heir it was, under the Hawaiian constitution at that time, up to the legislature to elect a new king.

There were a number of candidates to choose from but the two front runners were William C. Lunalilo and David Kalākaua, both high ranking chiefs. Lunalilo insisted on a general election with the people of the kingdom voting. This was done and Lunalilo won and was crowned king.

However, Lunalilo’s reign was short as he died in February 1874. This time the vote was limited to the legislature and David Kalākaua was elected king.

While his reign was relatively long, he had the distinction of being the last king as the monarchy was replaced by a republic shortly after his death during the short reign of his sister.

This Appears to be a Sitting Room or Parlor

Parlor in Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Parlor in Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

A Bedroom

Bedroom in Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Bedroom in Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

View of Cottage From Across the Pond

Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

Garden Views

Bird of Paradise in Bloom in Hawaii
Bird of Paradise in Bloom in Hawaii | Source
Green Lizard in Hawaii
Green Lizard in Hawaii | Source
Bird of Paradise in Bloom - Hawaiian Islands
Bird of Paradise in Bloom - Hawaiian Islands | Source

Rear Views of Cottage

Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source
Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua
Beach Cottage of Hawaiis King David Kalkaua | Source

Swimmers at Kahaluu Beach Park

Kahaluu Beach Park in Kona, Hawaii
Kahaluu Beach Park in Kona, Hawaii | Source

Keauhou Beach Resort

Keauhou Beach Resort in Kona, Hawaii
Keauhou Beach Resort in Kona, Hawaii | Source
HubMob Graphic
HubMob Graphic | Source

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Comments 7 comments

Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 6 years ago from San Francisco

It's a small cottage for a king, but in a place like Hawaii, the entire surrounding area cannot be surpassed by any structure, so why bother? Great photos, and thanks for sharing the interesting history. I've learned something new!


brandrocker profile image

brandrocker 6 years ago

Wonderful pictures.. Just gave me the feelings, as if I were present there...


Paradise7 profile image

Paradise7 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Oh, this was lovely!! My nephew and his new wife went to Hawaii on their honeymoon. These pics are even better than theirs! (Don't tell them I said that!)


bobmnu profile image

bobmnu 6 years ago from Cumberland

It makes me want to r.eturn to Hawaii to see what I missed. Great Hub


SteveoMc profile image

SteveoMc 6 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

Great content about something that I knew very little about. Loved reading about Hawaii's royalty and the scenery and surroundings. Thanks for an informative, well illustrated hub.


gamelover profile image

gamelover 6 years ago from Belgium

Nice work


pennyauctionviewe profile image

pennyauctionviewe 6 years ago from Canada

Nice work, Chuck. I have been to this cottage and the surroundings are truly beautiful. Your pictures illustrated that well.

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