St. Regis Princeville
The St. Regis (formerly the Princeville Hotel) is an elegant blend of island warmth and St. Regis tradition, in the hands down most beautiful setting on the island. The hotel cascades down the hillside looking over magical Hanalei Bay, stunning jagged mountains literally dripping with flowing waterfalls seen from nearly every window in the hotel. The views literally take your breath away as you step out of the elevator in the hallways, sip a signature Aloha Mary in the richly decorated bar or soak up the sun on the lovely beach. The resort is tucked back at the end of the Princeville golf course area, about a ten minute drive into Hanalei town. A luxury guest car is available for a ride in and out of town, making popping down to dinner in town a snap.
The spa is newly renovated, tucked off of the lush lobby in it's own tranquil universe. The treatment rooms are decorated in muted earth tones with a fitness center attached to the spa area. The spa offers a full range of massage and beauty treatments, inspired by local ingredients.
Perhaps the most fun way to experience the jaw dropping view is from the sexy shower/bath in the suites which have clever windows that change from opaque to clear with the flip of a light switch. Not surprisingly the folks on the beach are regularly surprised to look up and see a guest in the shower who hasn't realized they need to flip the switch. It's probably the only thing on the island which can compete with the gorgeous view of Hanalei Bay. With a two person soaking tub and shower combination, set at the end of a large marble bathroom, the suite bathrooms alone are worth the jump up to a junior suite. There are also two flat screen TVs, a large desk area and a comfortable sitting area. The dining table for two is perfectly situated next to the large sliding window, the perfect spot for an extra good room service meal.
In-room dining hails from the talented kitchen which also services the sublime Kauai Grill. The food is excellent and makes the perfect partner to the stunning view. It's a deliciously juicy experience to tuck into a private meal in these cushy suites, with Hanalei Bay below, waterfalls spilling from the lush mountains beyond, and a nice bottle of well chosen wine thoughtfully supplied in your wine refrigerator. I had the Thai inspired grilled steak salad with crunchy local veggies and a light, perfect dressing. Lettuce wraps were also light and fresh, packed with local goodies and a zingy dipping sauce. Breakfast delivered to linger over in your suite is also a treat, with perfectly prepared eggs, local fruit and best of all, the junior suites come with the perk of being able to request french press coffee delivered by your attentive butlers. Daily newspapers are also delivered with your coffee and the perch above the bay is the perfect spot to plan the day's adventures. The room service breakfast is so perfect, it's hard to peel yourself out of your sumptuous suite to play outsie. It's worth noting however that the junior suites do not have balconies. The larger suites do have large lanais.
The Hollywood crowd often stays here during filming and just for fun. It's by far the most posh resort on the island, with one of the best restaurants on the island, Kauai Grill.
The junior suites are lovely and well worth the bump up in cost, most notably because besides the sexy view tubs, they also come with butler service. The butler staff comes from a long line of impeccable St. Regis training and tradition, attentive and available to your every need. I needed cough syrup one evening, and within 15 minutes my butler had dashed into town to find it for me, thoughtfully inquiring if I had a favorite flavor. I also had the happy luxury of handing off my dirty laundry to my lovely butlers, who called a bit later to inquire about a missing gym sock (which of course I had). Do butlers fit in suitcases to bring home? I wish. All of the staff exuded warmth and quiet posh service, managing to do both in classic island style.
The pool overlooks the beach, a perfect white sandy private feeling beach with plenty of azure lounge chairs. Even look at one and the matching sea blue clad staff arrives with towels in hand to get you set up and comfy, a drink en route, sunscreen available and nearly anything else you need just a glance away. The cheerful lime green umbrellas frame the view from your luxurious perch which is so beautiful it's nearly impossible to do anything but allow yourself to stare unabashedly for hours at a time. Of course, look up at the hotel if you need a jolt to catch a glimpse of unwitting bathers gawking at the same view!