St. Regis Princeville

Revealed Resort Review

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Resort photos supplied by the resort, but the reviews below are exclusive and unbiased.

(866) 716-8140 or (808) 826-9644
5520 Ka Haku Rd.

What do you get if you acquire a fabulous resort with a killer view and location, and you have $100 million burning a hole in your pocket? The answer is the St. Regis Princeville. Fabulous location and view, but now with a beating heart that is considerably less Hawaiian, a bit more generic upscale. Arriving at the valet area, the hotel and Hanalei Bay remain hidden from view. A short walk down a wide hallway leads to large wooden pillars in the main lobby area, which continue to obscure the views from arriving guests. Where is check-in? Oh, there it is, around the corner (three desks with two chairs each). The Hawaiian artists’ works featured throughout the hotel are much less visible than at other resorts on the island. It isn’t until you walk deep into the lobby that Hanalei Bay, in all its glory, is revealed to you.

The hotel is designed in a series of tiers, stepping their way down a mountain. The payoff is great ocean views from most rooms. Rather than gaze upon ugly roofs below you, they’ve thoughtfully planted grass on them. At the bottom is the pool area. The swimming pool is near the beach and is an infinity edge pool with a separate, modest (no waterslide or spouting whales) keiki pool. Take a few steps across the grass to Pu‘u Poa Beach, an easily accessible and relatively user-friendly beach. There are waiters to serve you around the pool and a restaurant and bar located there with a simple (but pricey) menu. Private dinners on the beach under a cabana are available for $1,290 per couple plus tax and gratuity of about 21 percent! Very expensive, but very romantic. Cabanas will run you $400–$600 per day by the pool or beach for two people. Included are amenities like soft drinks, two cocktails, a bottle of champagne, sparkling water, sunscreen, magazines, Evian spritzers and a fruit platter.

Their 11,000-square-foot day spa features local Maile products, fitness room, wet and dry saunas. It’s located right off the main lobby (could be mistaken for check-in) and doesn’t make use of any of the views the rest of the resort enjoys. The children’s program is $98 per day, and they do get them outside. There is also a night kids’ program for $69.

The rooms are furnished in a pale, neutral, earth tone palette with hints of orange and light blue on the ceiling. (Oddly, there’s green marble in the bathrooms.) They gave up the lanai on most rooms to leave you more wiggle room inside. They do have a comfy window seat, and you can slide the windows wide open to enjoy the view and fresh air. The bathrooms have a feature unique on Kaua‘i: a liquid crystal windowpane. Flip a switch and you get instant opaqueness. In regular rooms, these windows overlook the main hotel room; in junior suites, they overlook the outside. The room decor may change as renovations were planned at press time.

In comparing the St. Regis to the Hyatt in Po‘ipu, the Hyatt has a more exotic, tropical feel, whereas the St. Regis has a richer and more expensive feel (and a better beach). The Marriott in Lihu‘e falls someplace between the two. The staff, though helpful, didn’t seem as plentiful as other resorts of this caliber.

Parking is valet only and an offensive $32 overnight, but free during the day. Local and toll-free calls are $1.50! The empty fridge in your room can be stocked with your choice of drinks with advance notice. You may also request a microwave at no charge.

The hotel offers discounts if you join their Starwood Preferred program (which is free) when you reserve and has special rates online. Without these significant discounts, rack rates on rooms (540 sq. ft.) are $1,250–$1,550. Junior suites (820 sq. ft.) are $2,050–$2,350. Other suites (1,200–2,400 sq. ft.) range from $3,550 up to $7,600 for the Royal Suite. Daily butler service is available in the suites. Those rack rates are the highest in all of Hawai‘i for a basic room. So why the Real Gem rating? There is no denying that the location of this resort is one of the most breathtaking on Kaua‘i, albeit breathtakingly overpriced. If the rack rates above don’t scare you (our hands were shaking just typing them), then price obviously means nothing to you, and we wish you would adopt us.

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Resort at a Glance

  • 251 rooms
  • Pool with three spas and a keiki pool
  • 3 restaurants plus a small deli
  • Golf course
  • 4 shops
  • 24-hour room service
  • Cocktail lounge
  • 2 free 24-hour fitness centers
  • 9 conference rooms
  • Valet-only parking
  • 24-hour business center
  • Free high-speed internet or Wi-Fi available in the rooms with Wi-Fi resort-wide
  • 42-inch tvs
  • Children’s program
  • Day spa
  • Beauty salon
  • illy coffee makers with free pods daily
  • In room wine/drink chillers
  • Free laptop-sized room safes
  • Wedding coordinator
  • Family game room (summers and holidays only
  • Lanai on a few rooms
  • Valet-only laundry
  • Deep soaking tubs
  • Seasonal Hawaiian dinner show

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