Finding Paradise in Princeville
By Tim Cotroneo
Have you ever had a hotel staffer bring a bucket of ice to your room and arrive with a smile that looked like he was holding a winning lottery ticket? This happened at the St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai.
Have you ever asked a hotel bartender about her most requested cocktail, and after learning the recipe feel like you’ve made a new friend? It happened at the St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai.
Have you ever listened to a pianist play a melody whose words related to a key moment in your life? It happened at the St. Regis Princeville Resort in Kauai.
Kauai’s Gift from Heaven
The St. Regis Princeville’s hospitality success formula starts by surrounding their guests with awesome ocean views. The formula ratchets up a notch once guests feel an unmistakable connection with the neighboring Hanalei Mountain range. This bond becomes an oxygen rush when it’s multiplied by the dedication of 500-plus employees. This mission renews itself in an environment where the sole goal is to share the heart-felt essence of the “Aloha” spirit.
This spirit lifts you up from the moment the valet opens your rental car door and drapes a Kukui nut lei over your head. Before you’re greeted by a St. Regis staff member at check-in, you’re offered a Strawberry Guava welcome cocktail. The best part of your welcome is your first glimpse of St. Regis Princeville’s sweeping ocean meets the mountains view. You’ll learn this epic view is Princeville’s awe-inspiring calling card.
The seascapes continue with a first peek inside your room, and it’s at this moment that you can’t wait to experience all the St. Regis Princeville and Kauai have to offer. This is the very view that inspired the term “Bali Ha’i” or “Gift from Heaven.” This specific setting also influenced the lyrics to the song “Puff the Magic Dragon.” The mantra of the St. Regis Princeville team is to help create lyrics of your own, and experience your own little slice of heaven.
Sunsets Like No Other
The St. Regis Princeville is a place where sunsets are a time-honored tradition, and this rite is embraced by staff and vacationer alike. Each evening, as the sun goes down, a throng moves to the St. Regis Bar and Makana Terrace. With a cocktail in hand, as the Mount Makana sky explodes into shades of gold, orange, and pink, a memory is created that you won’t soon forget. Each sunset generates a Princeville keepsake that’s as sacred as the prehistoric fishpond that sits just below the hotel.
The great outdoors are on splendid display in Princeville and beyond. The Robert Trent Jones-designed Makai Golf Course is just a stone’s throw from the St. Regis Princeville. The National Geographic Traveler rates Makai as one of the Top 5 Golf Courses in America. Makai’s ocean holes, wildlife, and lush green mountain backdrop, make it a one-of-a-kind golf experience. The course is so scenic that the St. Regis Princeville made Makai’s signature 7th hole the site of its twice-per-week Sunrise Yoga sessions.
Kauai is a great place to get in touch with nature. Check out Princeville’s Botanical Gardens, the Queen’s Bath, or take a breathtaking helicopter tour of the island. Another can’t miss experience is driving down to the southern end of the island to witness the jaw-dropping beauty of Waimea Canyon.
As day turns into night, evening dining is another opportunity to take in northern Kauai’s beautiful surroundings while sampling from the resort’s exquisite culinary menu. The wall-to-wall views at the Kauai Grill present a dining setting that compares favorably with any restaurant in the world.
Share Your Travel Story
Your St. Regis Princeville vacation happening is enhanced by the genuine care and customer service provided by their far-reaching hospitality team. On any given day, there are no fewer than four St. Regis Princeville concierges graciously addressing the needs of hotel guests. For 26 years, Concierge Hennie Villaneuva has served hotel guests with a unique perspective regarding how she benefits from each new exchange.
“Even though I’m in the hospitality business, my husband and I have rarely traveled ourselves. I’m grateful for my job because I travel by listening to my guests. We are raised on this island to respect and acknowledge everyone we meet. It’s the Kauai island way to help our guests feel at home,” Villaneuva said.
Whether you need a bucket of ice, the recipe for a favorite cocktail, or simply wish to share in the experience of a spectacular sunset, it’s good to know there are people like Hennie Villaneuva waiting to make the St. Regis Princeville Resort feel like your ocean meets the mountains new home.
Tim Cotroneo is a freelance writer specializing in island travel, business, and golf features.