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The St. Regis Princeville - Escape to Hawaii

I knew Princeville was beautiful, but as we enjoyed a drink at dusk soon after our arrival, we were treated to views like this. It was remarkable.

 stregis-princeville-sunset

No filter or anything like that.  It was just the perfect conditions.  Subsequent nights were not nearly this colorful.   

After our time at the Grand Hyatt Kauai, we made a leisurely drive towards the north shore of Kauai towards the St. Regis Princeville.  We stopped at the Koloa Rum tasting room on our way, and had a nice lunch in Lihue.  

We booked our stay at the St. Regis using SPG points.   When I booked, this was a category 6 property, so it cost 20,000 per night, but its now category 7, and with the recent devaluation, it costs at least 30,000 per night.  Jamie also discussed her time at the St. Regis on a past trip.

stregis-princeville-lobby

Chandelier in main lobby.

The property itself is beautiful, as is the setting.  The hotel is located on a hill overlooking Hanalei Bay.  There are lush mountains all around, and many waterfalls can be seen.   

Upon arrival, we were informed that our room was not ready yet.  Not really a big deal, but the agent was a little rude about it and stated "You platinum members get late checkout, so sometimes you have to wait".  After this experience, I was particularly annoyed that when upon my own checkout day a few days later, I received several phone calls asking us when we were departing, even after confirming our own late checkout, I was then  given a "courtesy, one time exception" 1pm checkout.  Gee thanks.  Other than several snippy front desk agents, other staff I encountered was excellent, from valets, restaurant staff, and the famous St. Regis butlers.  

I had attempted to use my Suite upgrade nights for this stay, but similar to the Sheraton Maui, these did not clear prior to check in.  We still ended up in a junior suite, which is the typical Platinum upgrade, and we were fortunate to also have a balcony as well, which is a bit unusual, since only a few junior suites also have a balcony.  While I appreciate the Suite Night Awards benefit that SPG has added for those members who stay 50 nights per year, I've had some difficulty redeeming them.  I'm not going to complain about a free benefit, but its somewhat annoying in how it is applied.

In this case, we received an upgrade anyway, and apparently to one of the better suites that are allocated for Platinum upgrades.  Our room was great, and quite spacious.  I'll leave further description to photos.

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 Our room was a few floors above the lobby, on the end of the hall.


 

 

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 Original art in the foyer of each room

 

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turndown service


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The telescope was nice tool to spot waterfalls in the distance.

 

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Bathroom had an excellent view, plus electronic privacy windows

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view from the window in the sitting room 


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Another TV rose from desk in foreground for viewing from bed.

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Sitting room view with balcony outside frame to the right.  

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balcony views

The room had lots of space, although the only thing that seemed small was the closet.  As can be seen in some of the photos, our various bags are around the room since the closet barely had room for some hanging clothes.

Other public spaces at the hotel are quite lovely as well.  The fitness center is just off the lobby, and although not very large, has a good selection of cardio machines and free weights.  I also enjoyed running outside. I had hoped for a beach run, but unfortunately, the hotel is located on a the side of a hill, and there isn't a long stretch of beach other than what is directly in front of the hotel.  The St. Regis beach is separated from the rest of Hanalei Bay by the river.  Instead I ran from the hotel lobby around the golf courses and other buildings of the Princeville resort, including the Westin not too far away.

The St. Regis chain is a Starwood creation, taking the name from the original St. Regis on 5th Avenue in New York (now the flagship), and creating a group of luxurious properties around the world.  This is a relatively new brand, but there are many traditions that are shared at the various St. Regis properties.  The mural of the Old King Cole mural in New York, has spawned murals at other St. Regis hotels.  In Princeville, the mural in the lobby bar is called "Na O'ahi O' Makana", the Firebrands of Makana.  

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There is also the traditional champagne sabering ritual:

stregis-princeville-champagne

I first experienced this at the St. Regis Punta Mita, where they actually served us the champagne after opening it.  After a warm welcome and some storytelling from the booming voice of the head butler who we first met upon arrival, he opened the champagne, then took it away.  I can only imagine that liquor laws in Hawaii don't allow for 'free' alcohol to be served.  No free champagne, but we were treated to sunset views as shown below and in the top photo, so I was more than content.  At approximately $15 per drink, visiting this ritual isn't cheap, but I received 2 cards for a free drink upon check in, so that helped.  It seemed that non-hotel guests were there for the ceremony and sunset.

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The St. Regis New York is also where the Bloody Mary was created.  There are various unique drink creations on the menus based around this tradition, appropriately including some more tropical selections.

 

A continental breakfast was free for SPG Platinum members in the Makana Terrace.  There was a $20 per person fee to upgrade to the full buffet.  The buffet was quite extensive, and half of the price for non platinum guests.  I wish full breakfast was complimentary as it is in most international properties, (and at all Hyatt's for a top tier elite...), but I do appreciate the discount.  There were more amazing views during breakfast.  Indoor tables are available, but we were in Hawaii, why would we sit inside?


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The St. Regis Princeville was a great hotel.  Its not cheap, with high redemption rates using points, and even more expensive when paying cash.  If the price is right for you, I would highly recommend this hotel if you visit Kauai.  There is a lovely blend of natural beauty, with a well laid out property.  I hope to return soon.  

Our Hawaii trip was nearly over.  We got a 1pm checkout (again, gee thanks).  Clearly someone more important than me wanted to check in to our room.  This annoyance didn't spoil our experience at the hotel too much.  We retrieved our car from the valet and headed back to Lihue and our flights home.   Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu, a visit to the United Club, then the United domestic 777  back to O'Hare.  Thankfully no irregular operations like on the outbound, so our upgrades held for the long redeye flight.  

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One last view of Kauai, one of the various waterfalls we visited on the island.

 

Mahalo for following my reviews of my "Escape to Hawaii".

 

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Comments

I love this hotel. Spent 5 nights during my honeymoon a few years ago. Unfortunately with the bump up to Category 7, I think it's probably out of my (points) price range now.

#2
Steve A March 14, 2013 at 03:19 am

Nice review. My wife and I along with another couple spent a weekend here last month. I was fortunate to get two rooms on points & cash and my suite night awards requests cleared 5 days prior. Our stay, like yours, was wonderful.

One small addition - there is another larger (I think) workout facility downstairs from the lobby that has a limited ocean view.

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