I walked into the lobby of the St. Regis Princeville and immediately thought to myself “this place meets my expectations for a hotel with great views”. Large windows look out over Hanalei Bay to reveal sea, sky and the lush green mountain cliffs.
View from 8th floor restaurant.
The lobby level of St. Regis Princeville is the 9th floor of the 11 floor hotel. The main building with hotel rooms, restaurants, the lobby and spa is cliff top. Hotel rooms are located in two other buildings containing floors 4-7 and floors 1-3 near the large pool at beach level.
St. Regis Princeville Resort seen from the small beach on Hanalei Bay.
I checked in at 10:15 am due to the ridiculously early checkout time of 10am at the Westin Princeville. Each additional hour is $25 for late checkout at the Westin. An hourly shuttle takes Westin Princeville guests the 3 miles to St. Regis where you can dine and charge back to the Westin or use the beach, but not the St. Regis pool. Westin Princeville does not have direct beach access, however a public beach access trail to the right of the Westin entrance offers a beach opportunity over there.
Front entrance of St. Regis Princeville is beneath palm trees and hotel rooms on 10th and 11th floors are seen behind the Fort Alexander history display.
The hotel is located adjacent to the site of the historic Russian Fort Alexander. A grass lawn field in front of St. Regis Princeville entrance is the historic site of Russia’s short-lived imperialistic foothold on Kauai at Fort Alexander 1816-1817. King Kamehameha thought an alliance with the Russians might be politically wise, but then decided the Americans might be the stronger alliance and the Russians were soon forced off the island of Kauai.
The Fort Alexander display offers four panels of historical accounts explaining the origins of Princeville. Robert Crichton Wyllie (1798-1865) was a Scotsman who made his fortune as a South American merchant and moved to Hawaii in 1844. King Kamehameha III (ruled 1825-1854) made Wyllie minister of foreign affairs in 1845, a position he held for 20 years until he died in the early years during the reign of King Kamehameha V (1863-1872).
Wyllie’s goal was to keep Hawaii an independent sovereign nation. In 1857 Wyllie had the aspiration to create a global treaty of Hawaiian independence and warring nations neutrality. He also acquired a sizeable estate at Hanalei, Kauai in the 1850s with a sugar cane plantation.
King Kamehameha IV had a son in 1858. The Hawaiian Royal Family visited Wyllie’s estate in 1860 and Wyllie named his estate Princeville in honor of the King’s child. The royal heir died in 1862, then King Kamehameha IV died in 1863 and Robert Wyllie died in 1865. The Princeville estate was found to be deeply in debt and auctioned off.
Westin Princeville is located at 3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, HI 96722.
The Princeville area today has about 2,000 to 3,000 regular residents and as many as 10,000 to 15,000 visitors staying in the numerous timeshare properties and hotels.
Princeville resort area looking to Na Pali coast. Westin Princeville and St. Regis Princeville are the two main branded hotels.
St. Regis Princeville front entrance marker.
Princeville as a resort development was an idea started in the 1960s with major development in the 1980s and 90s including Princeville Hotel under Japanese ownership. In 2005 Jeff Stone became the primary resort developer with a Morgan Stanley funded partnership. The original Princeville Hotel rebranded as St. Regis Princeville in 2009 after an $85 million renovation.
Driveway fountain at St. Regis Princeville, Kauai.
The hotel is valet parking only at $30 per day.
There is taxi service available with rates being about $10 each way for the 2.3 mile ride to the restaurants and market at Princeville Shopping Center and about $100 to Lihue Airport.
St. Regis Princeville entry walkway to reception and lobby.
Central lobby at St. Regis Princeville.
Reception artwork behind the three separate desks at reception.
Another lobby view.
Halele’a Spa is located to the right of the lobby as you enter the hotel.
Halale’a Spa at St. Regis Princeville.
There are some rooms on floors with only mountain and garden views. Most of the 252 rooms at St. Regis offer a scenic ocean view. Some rooms also have a terrace.
Floors 4 to 7 are located in a separate building. I was at room 413 with a wonderful ocean view, but no terrace.
Rooms on Floors 1-3 are poolside and closest to beach.
Three hot tubs are located in this main pool area of the St. Regis Princeville resort.
St. Regis Resort from beach.
View across Hanalei Bay to Na Pali Coast from St. Regis 8th floor patio.
An elevator on the far side of the lobby from the entrance is required to reach rooms on floors 4 to 7 and the pool area. From Floor 4 another set of elevators down the hallway takes guests to Floors 1-3 and the pool access from Floor 1.
Got pillows? Eight pillows on the bed.
The window to the bathroom has a light filter switch to allow clear glass or shade the glass and obstruct the view.
There was plenty of comfortable seating available in the room.
I ended up moving the desk materials to work facing the window for an ocean view.
The entertainment center is top quality with a large screen TV, sound system and plenty of HD channels.
Pleasantly surprised to find a coffee maker in the room. There are no in-room coffee makers in the California St. Regis hotels at San Francisco and Monarch Beach.
Empty refrigerator, but it did not chill the beer as cold as I would have liked.
Bathroom had double sink and combination shower/tub.
The view from the room was my primary TV for the stay. Surfers in the middle of Hanalei Bay most of the day provided live entertainment. The mountains silhouetted in moonlight one night and illuminated beneath sheet lightning another night created a nightly landscape spectacle through the large windows.
View from Room 413 window.
Beach view from Room 413.
St. Regis Princeville is a category 6 hotel available for 20,000 or 25,000 points per night or $150 and 8,000 points per night with Cash & Points availability.
Rates were about $360 per night during my December 2012 stay.
Part 2 St Regis Princeville will show pools and beach area, restaurants and more public spaces in and around lobby.
Disclosure: My two night stay at St. Regis Princeville was complimentary as part of SPG Amex Stars program with my choice for a stay at any Starwood Hotel in USA.
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.