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(Left Marriott 15 Nov. 2018) St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii [Master Thread]

(Left Marriott 15 Nov. 2018) St. Regis Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii [Master Thread]

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Old Jan 18, 10, 10:39 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by opus2002 View Post
Here are the pros and cons as I see it (I could be wrong).

- Princeville area has more to see (Na Pali Coast) and better beaches (Kee Beach).
- St Regis has an infinity pool, but it is rather small.
- Grand Hyatt has better swimming pools and a salt water lagoon.
First, let me say they are both great hotels, although my wife and I are partial to Princeville (although we haven't stayed since it became a St Regis.) That said, if I can read between the lines of what you're saying is important, I think they Hyatt might be better for you. The beaches on the south side of the island tend to be sunnier and warmer than on the north side. Maybe not a super big deal in October, but it could be a factor. Our favorite thing about Princeville is the view: we could look out at that coastline Bali Hai-type view forever. But for water-related activities, perhaps the Hyatt is better.

Last note: we almost always split time between the two sides of the island, but it sounds like you don't want to do that.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 10:42 am
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hey, I stayed at both of those places on my last trip.

I actually stayed in these exact two hotels (grand hyatt in kauai, princeville resort) in 2005, so I can comment on them (pre-rennovation).

I paid more for the princeville but preferred it, generally. The princeville had fewer guests, had a spectacular view, a nice private beach, ...

The GH was nice but was larger and was set up for conventions. So, everything was an add-on cost to the point of annoyance (to me). Getting towels for the pools was extra, for example. I had a great balcony room at the GH and spent one afternoon reading on it and watching the whales go up and down the coast. the rooms were cheaper and perhaps cost less overall, but I would not say the two properties are equivalent, in my mind.

Also note that if you want to go SEE the Na Pali coast up close, all of the whale watching tours now leave out of the S/SW part of the island - you can't drive counter-clockwise from Princeville to get down there, so you have to drive back down through Lihue (apprently they used to have the boats near princeville). Had I known, I would have booked a hotel down there for that day as it was a good hour+ drive to get there. I still have that picture on my wall of the coastline, so I recommend a boat ride out there if that is your thing.

Lastly, I am returning in July and will stay at the princeville, if that means anything in terms of repeat business. My wife and I had a great time there, and we are looking forward to some R&R when we return.

I hope that helps,

Conroy
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Old Jan 18, 10, 11:40 am
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Welcome to FT, opus. Just having stayed at both hotels, my two cents, fwiw:

When you return w/ the kids for your 10th anniversary stay at the Poipu GH, but for a honeymoon, the St. R. hands down....South Pacific and Jurassic Park were filmed on that part of the Island for a reason and while the GH is great, the St. R. is memorable.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by conroy View Post
Getting towels for the pools was extra, for example.
I've never been charged extra for towels at GH Kauai, and I was even there a couple times in 2005, the year you cite you were charged for towels. No idea where you'd get that idea..........
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Old Jan 18, 10, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by opus2002 View Post
Hello, first post here at flyertalk.com.

In late Oct this year, I will be going on my honeymoon to Oahu and Kauai. It will be my first time in Kauai (second time in Oahu) and need opinion on hotels. I have narrowed down my choices to two: St Regis Princeville or the Grand Hyatt Kauai in the southern part.

Wife to be likes good pools, lagoons, and beaches.

Here are the pros and cons as I see it (I could be wrong).

- Princeville area has more to see (Na Pali Coast) and better beaches (Kee Beach).
- St Regis has an infinity pool, but it is rather small.
- Grand Hyatt has better swimming pools and a salt water lagoon.

I'll be staying for 4 nights and would prefer to stay only in one hotel rather than split the two. What do you think? Has anyone stayed at both hotels?
From your requirements above (better pools/lagoons/beaches), it sounds like GH Kauai fits the bill better. However for my honeymoon, I would probably opt for St Regis Princeville over GH Kauai....................although for full disclosure I spent my honeymoon at GH Kauai and had a fabulous time there. I might suggest you reconsider your decision not to split time at the two hotels. When I go to Kauai, I find that I in fact WANT to split time between these two great hotels & areas. Inevitably you will want to drive down to the other end of the island. Splitting time at both of these hotels allows you to do this without having to waste an hour or more driving back. Plus it gives you more time to do various things on both ends of the island. For example, if you are staying at Princeville, it will take a good chunk of your day to drive back and forth to Waimea and see the canyon and/or Polihale Beach. Where the drive to those places from GH isn't so bad. Plus you may want to hit Poipu Beach, but not real feasible from way up at Princeville. So I would strongly recommend 2 nights at each hotel. Can't go wrong with that plan IMHO.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by gregorygrady View Post
So I would strongly recommend 2 nights at each hotel. Can't go wrong with that plan IMHO.
Why not 3 to 4 nights at each hotel? Skip Oahu! You've been there before.

Agree with above posters. Been to both a couple times (luv 'em) usually combining both as gg suggests. Very general assessment: StR Princeville is ideal for a honeymoon and GH Kauai is ideal for a family vacation. Not saying you can't have one at the other.

Besides, prefer Pu'u Poa beach (Princeville - calm and swimmable most of the year) with Bali Hai views over Shipwreck beach (Hyatt - though scenic, unswimmable most of the year) as well as North Shore beaches in general (Ke'e, Tunnels, Hideaways, Secret) over South Shore beaches (Poipu, Polihale). Though GH Kauai's pools and lagoon are fun for the family, Princeville's is more of a "scene" with far less kids. Even in late Oct, there will be several families with little ones at the GH; lot less at StR.

Bottom line: both are great, so's the island, so experience it all and stay at both.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 10:06 pm
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The beach at the Princeville is a joke. It's totally artificial and feels like ground pebbles. Do not go to the Princeville for its little strip of "sand."

Go to the Princeville for the service. Go for its proximity to the beauty of the northern shore of Kauai and for its proximity to all the other nearby beaches.
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Old Jan 18, 10, 11:10 pm
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the beach at StR is not artificial...
StR is not a good place for kids unless they well-behaved - relatively (IMO - and from my direct observations during the week following the opening)
Princeville = summer
Poipu = winter
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Old Jan 19, 10, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by bluztuzumab View Post
the beach at StR is not artificial...
Has it changed since it became a St. Regis? When I stayed at the Princeville, it was a small strip of sand and could hardly be called a beach, especially when looking out over Hanalei bay at the beautiful public beach.
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Old Jan 19, 10, 1:24 pm
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Thanks. Sounds like most agree splitting the island trip into the north and south shore is the best. I'll take that advice and go that route then. My fiance has never been to Hawaii, so I figured Oahu is a must in there. Besides, I already have booked the airfare to/fr Honolulu.

Questions: How would you split it? 2:2, 3:1, 1:3? Should I go north first then south or south first then north shore?

As far as activities/itenary, I see doing most of them in the north shore area. Here is what I am thinking for a 4 nights/5 days trip.
Day 1: Fly into Kauai, drive to north shore stopping by some water falls
Day 2: Na Pali Coast hike (1/2 day), Kee Beach (1/2 day)
Day 3: Haena/Hanalae beach (1/2 day), St Regis hotel pool/beach (1/2 day)
Day 4: Drive to south shore (Grand Hyatt) in morning, spend afternoon in the Hyatt swimming pool/lagoons.
Day 5: Fly back to Honolulu

OR
Day 3: Haena/Hanalae beach (1/2 day), drive to south shore in the afternoon.
Day 4: Spend the day at Hyatt pools/lagoon and spa

OR
Day 1: Fly into Kauai, drive to south shore, spend the night at Hyatt pool/lagoon area
Day 2: Hyatt in the morning, drive to St Regis in the afternoon
Day 3: Na Pali Cost and Kee Beach
Day 4: Haena/Hanalae beach (1/2 day), St Regis hotel pool/beach (1/2 day)
Day 5: Fly back day

What do you think? (Sorry to change the subject a bit, but it is related.)
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Old Jan 19, 10, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by opus2002 View Post
area.
Day 1: Fly into Kauai, drive to north shore stopping by some water falls
Day 2: Na Pali Coast hike (1/2 day), Kee Beach (1/2 day)
Day 3: Haena/Hanalae beach (1/2 day), St Regis hotel pool/beach (1/2 day)
Day 4: Drive to south shore (Grand Hyatt) in morning, spend afternoon in the Hyatt swimming pool/lagoons.
Day 5: Fly back to Honolulu

I like that best if you have never been
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Old Jan 19, 10, 1:44 pm
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Is it really worth the effort to repack, switch hotels and unpack on a four-night trip just to check out some pools at a Hyatt?

I will dissent and say just spend the whole time at the St. Regis. I just came back from Kauai and did Waimea Canyon and Polihale Beach in a day, with plenty of time to relax in the hot tub at the St. Regis before going to dinner that night.

You're going to an island that is renowned for its natural beauty. I wouldn't let man-made pools at a hotel sway my decision.
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Old Jan 19, 10, 2:22 pm
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Congrats on going to Kauai!

My wife and I spent 8 days at Princeville in April of 2008 and 2 days at the W in Honolulu for our 2nd Honeymoon. I wish we had just gone straight to Kauai!

I can't say enough good things about Hanalei and the Princeville. Although it wasn't a St. Regis at the time. We were upgraded nicely, and used the 4 day, free night promo and 50% Plat Amenity at the same time. It is a gorgeous area and even though the town of Hanalei is small, there are good grocery stores and plenty to see.

We found the food at the hotel somewhat expensive, so having great grocery stores (wine, cheese, fruit) and great breakfast spots 4 minutes away was nice (Hanalei Cafe ) We spent 4 hours hiking along the Na Pali Coast, and it is an invigorating climb/walk (mostly up). It started to rain after we were out for 2+ hours, making some of the walk back VERY slippery on wet roots and clay like soil. So watch the weather.

We did spend about 2 days on the South side of the Island at beaches and exploring. It gets pretty remote and a lot of red clay dry plains on the west side. A completely different look to the Island. I can't say I found any of it to be very scenic, but we thought it was a lot of fun. Waimea is really quite a boring town. We did go to a coffee grower and take a tour which was fun.

I do highly recommend talking the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter Tour early. It seems expensive, but there is no better way to se Na Pali (and the whole Island) than in the air and I found Blue Hawaiian to have the best fleet of Helicopters. If you go to their website, you can see some fantastic HD video of parts of the ride (esp Na Pali Coast Cathedrals) I don't regret any of the money we spent doing it and the pictures and experience on the day left us feeling fantastic! For how long it took us to get there from Austin, TX, seeing the glory of all of that Island from above is worth 2 beaches for sure!

I love the Northern Beaches. They are surely some of the nicest on the island. The snorkling was fantastic. I really liked the beach at the Princeville. You can rent masks and snorkle in town pretty cheaply too.

Congrats on your honeymoon and welcome to FlyerTalk!
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Old Jan 19, 10, 4:51 pm
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Originally Posted by blort View Post
Is it really worth the effort to repack, switch hotels and unpack on a four-night trip just to check out some pools at a Hyatt?

You're going to an island that is renowned for its natural beauty. I wouldn't let man-made pools at a hotel sway my decision.
You're asking this on FT?!?! Aren't most here comfortable with packing light (don't need much for Hawaii anyways) and switching between hotels (maximize stay counts) at the drop of a hat?

And as gregorygrady pointed out and which I agree, you may actually end up saving valuable driving time by splitting the visit. The traffic in Kapa'a and Lihue can be a real drag on one's vacation so why go through it repeatedly in order to visit the other side of the island. The OP will already be short on time by island hopping. BTW, the helicopter suggestion by high_flyer at the onset of Kauai visit is an excellent tip to get a breathtaking overview (literally and figuratively) of the island! Some are doors-off like Inter-Island and Jack Harter.

Besides, GH Kauai offers much more than just its pools and lagoon, which by the way are one of the finest on the islands, second IMO only to Grand Wailea. It has an outstanding spa (Anara), Grand Club Lounge, better weather and terrific on-site dining options (the romantic Tidepools and Dondero's) and bar (Stevenson's Library). One caveat: I've yet to try out Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Kauai Grill or the new on-site spa at the StR Princeville to offer comparisions; the old Princeville's dining options left much to be desired and spa was off-site. I'm just praying they didn't change the Living Room all that much.
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Old Jan 19, 10, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by W2B Globetrotter View Post
You're asking this on FT?!?! I'm just praying they didn't change the Living Room all that much.
It hasn't changed that much http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/MNEvS...7aQG5qC6mCitMg
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