We boarded the Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 for the 35 minute flight to Lihue Airport on Kaua’i. Soon enough we landed, gathered our luggage, and took the National shuttle once again. National on Kaua’i does not have a great selection. There was no Executive Aisle and not much choice overall. Remembering what The Points Guy had said about a 4WD, we decided to take the Jeep Wrangler with removable hard top. It had under 10k miles on it and was in great cosmetic shape. Maybe it’s just me, but I thought the car was a piece of junk. So much plastic and it didn’t drive well either. It would prove to be just fine since the 4WD came in handy a few times during our trip.
We drove about an hour north from the airport to the town of Princeville where the St. Regis is located. Within that hour, it was easy to see how vastly different Kaua’i was from Oahu. Everything was much less developed and seemed a lot more laid back. In fact, the building code of Kaua’i states that no building can be higher than the tallest coconut tree. It really makes the island feel more personal than the rest.
Upon pulling up to the grand entrance of the hotel, we were greeted by a valet attendant who was all smiles. He lei’d us and offered to take our picture as he said he loves to capture people’s expressions as they first arrive at the St. Regis. Someone collected our bags and said they would meet us at the front desk around the corner. Once at one of the 4 individual front desks, we were welcomed with some refreshing blended drinks in champagne flutes. Very refreshing after a long drive. We were then informed of our benefits due to booking with a Virtuoso agent. It was very generous of the St. Regis to extend these benefits to us because a few months prior to the stay, I found a promo rate and had my travel agent book that. He said the benefits would not apply since it was not a Virtuoso rate. So color me surprised when they still offered us an upgraded room, $85 lunch credit, and free FULL breakfast daily!
We were off to our Premier Ocean View Room with our engaging and knowledgeable bell hop. He told us so much about the island and the resort, how it was renovated a few years back. To us, the rooms felt like luxury but with an island touch to them. One thing to note about the St. Regis is no rooms have lanais (balconies). However, the sole window slid all the way open for a beautiful view of Hanalei Bay and the Na Pali coast. There was also a screen to keep unwanted visitors out. The bathroom was encased in marble and featured a step-up bathtub and shower combo; space seems to be a premium in this resort. The one nifty feature is that it featured a glass window that went opaque with the flip of a switch… nice for on-demand privacy. There was also a couch and coffee table area, which was right next to the desk with wired internet.
As you might see from the pictures, we had some welcome gifts on the desk. One was a postcard-sized chocolate with a picture of Kaua’i printed on it from the hotel. The other was a bottle of sparkling wine from our wonderful travel agent, David. If you need any sort of luxury lodging, contact David and he’ll set you up. He was a huge help in securing the hotels for our honeymoon, and my sister and brother-in-law said he was perfect for their trip to Four Seasons Hualalai (Big Island) as well. #shamelessplug.
What’s a honeymoon without some pampering? Joann loves her spa time so I booked us a 90 minute couples massage at the Halele’a Spa. I wish we would have taken pictures of this couples massage suite as it was a huge circular room with everything from a jacuzzi to mechanical massage chairs. After choosing my lemongrass scented massage oil (huh?), the masseuses got to massaging. We agreed that this was one of the best massages we’ve ever had, as they focused on what you asked and generally just did a great job. At one point, I fell asleep and woke up because I caught myself starting to snore. Embarrassing but I hope they took it as a compliment to their craft. There was an even better treat waiting when we were finished. The locker rooms obviously had normal showers, but there was one shower in each that was hooked up beyond belief. The shower itself was almost larger than our hotel bathroom! It featured a HUGE rainfall showerhead, about 12 side jets, and a cascading waterfall spout as well. I did feel guilty wasting all that water, but it was impossible to refrain from turning on everything. If I ever get rich, I’m cloning that exact shower. Pure opulence.
Departure was just as friendly and professional as arrival. The agent at the front desk handed me the folio and told me to take my time looking over it. Everything seemed in order and I handed over my AmEx Starwood card. That along with the triple points promo Starwood was running would net me 9 Starpoints per $ spent. That always makes spending a bit easier. Our luggage was brought and loaded into our car that was waiting for us in front of the lobby. Just as they had done throughout the week, they loaded bottles of water for us. It’s the little things like these that make this resort a winner. While sad we were leaving after only 4 nights, we knew this meant we would be back in the future!
Next up is our favorite part of vacation… DINING! But only the St. Regis dining. We ate at so many awesome places on Kaua’i that it’ll need a separate post!