Hotel Finds: Kaua’i
by Marla Norman, Publisher
Kaua’i is somewhat less developed than the other Hawaiian islands, so there are fewer hotels. However, the properties within Kaua’i are choice and take full advantage of the lush, exotic scenery.
GRAND HYATT KAUA’I RESORT
1571 Po’ipu Road
Surrounded by ravishing landscapes, featuring grottos and waterfalls bordering pristine beaches and dramatic cliffs, the Grand Hyatt Kaua’i Resort & Spa is one of the most imposing sites on Kaua’i. Moreover, the property is located on the shores of Po’ipu which claims more sunny days and a few more urban comforts than other areas on the island.
That said, with five excellent restaurants, four lounges, Anara – the largest spa on the island – a Robert Trent Jones golf course, and five acres of meandering fresh-and saltwater-swimming lagoons with enormous koi ponds, you may not want to explore much outside the expansive hotel grounds anyway.
Also enticing are the rooms and suites. Two-thirds of the units face the ocean. Spacious and comfortable, each includes an extra-large marble bath with double sink vanity. Also available are an iHome stereo, small refrigerator, and coffeemaker with Hawaiian Kona coffee.
Dondero’s, the primary restaurant is considered one of the best in Kauai’i, and specializes in Italian dishes and seafood. Yum Cha serves authentic Asian food including Vietnamese Lettuce Wraps and Chinese Dumplings. Luaus are presented several evenings each week. Or, you can escape with your sweetie and enjoy private dining on the beach. Options are limitless in this Four-Diamond paradise.
ST. REGIS PRINCEVILLE RESORT
3939 Wylie Road
Recently opened, after a multimillion dollar renovation, the St. Regis Princeville Resort is the luxury hotelier’s first Hawaiian venture — and it was worth the wait! The resort is located on 9,000 acres that include a wildlife refuge, numerous hiking trails, and spectacular views of Hanalei Bay and Makana Mountain.
Rooms are quite large and sumptuously appointed. And, the signature St. Regis Butler Service adds to the opulent feel. (For those not-so-pampered travelers, the St. Regis Butler Service is “a treasured hallmark of the St. Regis experience for over one hundred years. From a perfectly pressed suit ready for an important meeting, to a favorite book at hand for an evening read, to a thoughtful, last minute gift for a loved one, no request is too small or unattainable no matter what the hour of the day.”)
The St. Regis can also boast one of the best restaurants on the island with the Kaua’i Grill, managed by internationally acclaimed Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Kaua’i Grill features fresh seafood and a spectacular dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of Hanalei Bay. Other excellent restaurants are available to guests as well: Makana Terrace, Nalu Kai Bar & Grill, and the St. Regis Bar.
The Halele’a Spa provides a number of unique treatments, including: Kaua’i Taro clay wrap, the Taro butter Pohaku hot stone massage, a seaweed extract massage. Hawaii-based Malie has created a series of spa products exclusively for The St. Regis Princeville Resort that incorporate indigenous ingredients, such as fresh flower petals, taro root, wild ginger, coffee berry and Kaua’i clay. The spa in particular strives to embrace the Hawaiian concept of Ahupua’a, a philosophy of living in balance with nature.
Guests of the St. Regis can make use of two golf courses. The Trent Jones, Jr. Makai Course has long been considered one of Hawaii’s premier championship layouts. It has appeared on several Top 100 lists and is ranked by Golf Digest as one of Hawaii’s best courses. In addition to the Makai Golf Club, Prince Golf Course, an 18-hole, par 72 course is also available.
KOA KEA HOTEL & RESORT
2251 Poipu Road
An upscale, boutique hotel on the sunny south shore of Po’ipu, Koa Kea Hotel & Resort offers seaside accommodations and lovely views. Rooms are large and comfortable. Amenities include videos on demand, iPod docking stations, refrigerators, Nespresso Espresso Machines, and L’Occitane bath products.
The hotel restaurant, Red Salt, (Kauai’i actually has areas with red salt.) offers a diverse menu with fresh seafood and produce indigenous to Hawaii. The Spa at the Koa Kea features five treatment rooms, including a couples’ suite. A variety of treatments use local ingredients, such as seaweed, pineapple, Awapuhi root, Red Kauai clay, maile, pikake, guava and coconut.
WAIMEA PLANTATION COTTAGES
9400 Waumaulii Highway
For visitors more interested in hiking and experiencing Kauai’i’s great outdoors, these authentic Waimea Plantation Cottages are the perfect location. Close proximity to Waimea Canyon and the Napali Coast makes the cottages an ideal choice for ecotours and wellness vacations. The cottage also provide a more modestly priced option to the luxury resorts on the island.
Situated within coconut groves, on the west side of the island, one-to five-bedroom units are complete with modern kitchens, cable TV, comfortable furnishings, backyard barbecue, and even a hammock on the front porch. Some of the cottages are more like large homes with two-stories, formal dining rooms, and multiple baths.
For those days when you’re too exhausted to cook, nearby restaurants serve outstanding local fare. But you’ll undoubtedly want to take advantage of the fresh produce available at the farmers markets.