Heaven at St. Regis Princeville
We couldn’t believe it as we entered our room and looked out the window onto Hanalei Bay and the surrounding mountains basking in the warm tropical sun. It was stunning, just as Super G remembered it more than a decade ago and before the St. Regis in its splendor claimed its place on the pristine bay along the North Shore.
This was my first visit to Kauai, but not to the Hawaiian Islands, and it was an impressive way to being our weeklong romantic getaway.
The entrance to the St. Regis Princeville Resort (5520 Ka Haku Road; 808-826-9644; StRegisPrinceville.com) in Kauai is grand with marble floors, crystal chandeliers and most impressive the panoramic windows looking out onto the bay just beyond the water fountains. This is how guests are greeted when they walk in. My breath was taken away as Super G’s eyes sparkled in awe noting the grandeur.
The first in the famed St. Regis hotels to say, “Aloha” to the Hawaiian Islands, The St. Regis Princeville found its home on the cliffs overlooking magical Hanalei Bay and Valley along the Napali Coast of Kauai.
The exquisite award-winning resort opened its doors with 251 rooms, including 51 premium suites that are part of the Crown Suites Collection, five years ago.
Nestled on the side of a hill the St. Regis is secluded by five mountains surrounding one side of the resort and Hanalei Bay along the coastline in one of the most beautiful parts of the “Garden Isle” on the North Shore. It is simply elegant in a naturally beautiful way. The surrounding area is filled with ancient sea caves, taro farms, a wildlife refuge and many equestrian paths and hiking trails, is known as a surfing destination and two premiere 18-hole golf courses – the Prince and Makai –designed by Robert Trent Jones, II.
Super G and I were fortunate enough to experience Prince Junior Suite as a guest of the St. Regis Princeville as a part of our lovers escape. We had a room with a view of the Hanalei Bay and Valley, just beyond the rooftop garden, one of the ways in which the St. Regis integrates itself with Kauai.
Another way the resort gives back to Kauai’s natural habitat is through its partnership with the Limahuli Garden and Preserve, a national tropical botanical garden, that allows guests to donate one of four trees – Koai’a, Lama, Papala and Holei – to be planted as a part of the island’s forest restoration project for a $100 donation. Guests will receive a certificate with their name and the tree that was planted in their honor or honor of someone they choose.
The Crown Suites Collection offers six types of rooms ranging from the Prince Junior Suite to the Royal Suite, which is basically your own luxury apartment – not that the Prince Junior Suite didn’t feel like a luxurious apartment. It was. Along with tradition of the collection it included butler service.
We were ready to luxuriate after our flight. As soon as we got settled in our room we slipped into our swim suits and headed to the bayside infinity pool. Super G recalled swimming in the pool when it was a part of timeshare vacation condos and pointed out where the wedding, which was her reason for being in Kauai, happened in the white sands of shore of Hanalei Bay.
Luxuriate is what you do at the St. Regis or simply in Kauai. The moment you land in the tropical airport you feel the stress of whatever life that you were leading melt away. As a matter of fact, you simply forget that life and live in the moment. There’s a reason why Kauai is known for romance, but it’s also known for healing.
After a dip in the pool, Super G and I sat back in the shaded cushioned chairs, relaxing poolside in the shade of the Trina Turk designed cabanas at the Nalu Kai Grill and Bar and around the pool area and bayside dinning that looks out onto the coast. We were happily chatting, sipping tropical cocktails – Pele Lemonade and Anti-Oxidant Blues – and enjoying a Taro Burger. It was a perfect afternoon after a long flight.
It’s easy to get lost in the simple pleasures of the present moment at the St. Regis Princeville, by the pool or at Halele’a Spa, which Halele’a translated means House of Joy, or even in the Athletic Center, where Super G got her morning workout while I slept a little longer and made sure the butler made our fresh French press coffee by the time she returned. She loved that if she needed a personal trainer one was on hand and the fitness center was open 24-hours.
A Royal Past
Princeville, where the St. Regis is located and as the name suggests, signals royalty. It’s the “city of the prince,” named after a royal visit by Queen Emma, who brought her son Prince Albert to what was once the estate grounds of Robert Crichton Wyllie, the minister of foreign affairs to the Hawaiian monarchs, in 1860. It was then that the land was bestowed with the name Princeville.
Long before the historic visit that brought Princeville into the modern age, the area known as Pu’u Pa’oa, was also a favorite spot for the Pele, the fire goddess or goddess of volcanoes. Pele was known for striking her staff into the earth creating a new crater when searching for a new place to call home. The natural beauty of the bay, mountains and shoreline would calm any inferno or turn the flames into a spectacular sunset.
Sunset is marked every evening with a champagne sabering toast. The cork pops and the champagne flows as the sun glowing in rich oranges, reds, and yellows slips into the horizon of the Pacific Ocean.
That’s just getting the evening started.
At night we enjoyed gourmet meal at the Kauai Grill, the St. Regis Princeville’s award-winning signature restaurant inspired by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and drinks on the veranda at the St. Regis Bar.
Aside from the Kauai Grill, the St. Regis offers a romantic four-course candle lit dinner on the bay. Dinning in your own private torchlight cabana the chef serves you a specially crafted personalized menu paired perfectly with wine by the resident Sommelier.
Couples can also enjoy the Mailani Dinner Show, a luau celebrating the legends of the Halele’a through chants, hula and stories.
Wedding & Special Events
The St. Regis Princeville offers a variety of spaces for intimate weddings prepared by the resort’s specialized wedding staff. There’s no doubt in my mind why brides and grooms choose the St. Regis with its sweeping views of the bay and Pacific Ocean, but more so for its secluded location and simple sophisticated elegance for a memorable affair.
We were sad to leave this exquisite resort, but reality struck ending the fairytale that we can only hope to relive again soon.
St. Regis Princeville Resort, 5520 Ka Haku Road; 808-826-9644; StRegisPrinceville.com.
RATING: 5 = midnight blue
(5 best – 0 worst: color code: 5 = midnight blue; 4 = black; 3 = Aqua; 2 = orange; 1 = gold; and 0 = green)
TYPE OF LODGING: Luxury resort
CHECK OUT: $$$$ = Over $350 (Lowest price for a single night in a standard room during high-season)
SWEET DREAMS: The beautiful and peaceful environment that instantly sooths weary travelers and sets the mood for couples to focus solely on each other.
WORTH THE SLEEP?: zzzz = This was divine!
VIBE: Simple relaxation in elegant style. It’s a Calgon take me away dream come alive.
SCENE: Casually fashionable and jeans and a t-shirt during the day. Dressed up during the evening depending on where you dine.
LOCATION: On the cliffs overlooking magical Hanalei Bay and Valley along the Napali Coast of Kauai in Princeville.
ROOM: Our room was exquisite overlooking a slice of heaven.
BATHROOM: Amazing all creamy marble with a bathtub and shower overlooking Hanalei Bay.
AMENITIES: Butler service who will do everything from make your fresh French press coffee to pack your suitcase. Additionally, full wedding planning services; four restaurants, including an award-winning Kauai Grill with a menu created by a world-renown chef; personalized spa treatments with an athletic center with personal trainers and an infinity pool on the shore of Hanalei Bay.
To book your stay at the St. Regis Princeville and your romantic getaway or destination wedding in Kauai, contact Heather Cassell at Girls That Roam Travel at Travel Advisors of Los Gatos at 408-354-6531at or .
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