Kauai: Princeville and Hanalei

Hawaii Vacation: Day 2

I didn’t arrive at my hotel until midnight on Sunday so I couldn’t see what was around me until early the next morning.  My hotel, St. Regis Princeville, was a 45-minute drive north from Lihue airport.  Nothing says welcome to Hawaii like dangerous curves and terrain with no streetlights and heavy rain.

Once I woke up and looked outside there was a true appreciation for this place (and Starwood’s Free Getaway Reward Night promotion).  I toured the hotel and spent a couple hours walking down to Hideaways Beach near my hotel.  Next I headed to Hanalei Town about five miles further north on Kuhio Highway, which is the main (only) road on the north part of the island.  Hanalei is the “downtown” area that consists of 20-30 boutiques, restaurants, shave ice huts (very famous here in Kauai), and a grocery store.  I would go broke eating and drinking at my resort, so I picked up some groceries and went in search of a famed taco food truck at the Hanalei Pier.  At the Pier a local informed me the food truck owner took a vacation for a couple of weeks.  I continued my drive further north stopping at beaches along the way including Lumaha'i, Wainiha, Kepuhi, Tunnels.

I eventually made my way back into Hanalei Town for some drinks and dinner before hitting up the St. Regis pool near dusk.

This brings me to a critical observation.  December is high season in Hawaii so I assumed the local businesses and resorts would exploit the influx of tourist.  They don’t.  My hotel, much like the food truck guy, limited their services during the weeks around Christmas.  Seems like a missed opportunity, but that’s probably why I don’t live on a tropical island.

The landscape of Kauai is unlike anything I have seen before.  Everywhere you look there are rigid mountains, pristine beaches, and crystal clear water.  If you are visiting in the winter you should be aware that due to the trade winds this is their rainy season.  It rains every hour or so, but rolls through very quickly. 

Panoramic view from my hotel room


View of the St. Regis Princeville from the beach


Walk to Hideaways Beach 


Hanalei Town


Place to eat and excape the rain in Hanalei Town


Wainiha Beach during high tide


Beautiful flowers that rain from the trees throughout the island


Not bad scenery for an afternoon cocktail


Hanalei ValleyKauai 3

More to come from day 3!!


Denise December 21, 2011 at 07:08 pm

Beautiful pics and what a great description. Especially when some of us are left here in "the black cloud" of the Midwest.

Heather December 22, 2011 at 09:53 am

Amazing pictures. Keep the posts coming...I'm enjoying seeing all that Hawaii has to offer.