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“Beyond our expectations!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of St. Regis Princeville Resort

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St. Regis Princeville Resort
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   5520 Kahaku Road, Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722   |  
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Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Princeville
portland
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Beyond our expectations!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2009

We travel to Hawaii 7 or 8 times a year on business and pleasure and decided to try to the St Regis despite the mixed bag of reviews. After an amazing stay we can't wait to go back! The property and setting is truly stunning and the service ranges from typical Hawaii to spectacular.

It's amazing to listen to people gripe about this hotel... where don't you pay $25/day to park and $15/day for internet. An yes people, cocktails at a 5 star resort are going to be $15.

The staff while sometimes slow and unpolished (typical Hawaiian) is trying very hard and I'm sure that once they get some seasoning will be fitting of the hotel.

I have already recommended this hotels to many friends and plan to return again soon.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,723 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
NY
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2009

My wife and I spent our honeymoon in Maui and Kauai in late November. I was a little nervous about the St Regis since the reviews on Tripadvisor were mixed. From our experience, I would recommend the hotel to friends and stay there again if we visit Kauai. The resort was beautiful and well run. You get what you pay for and I found this met our expectations.

Detail:

Overall, the resort was beautiful and we stayed there when Kauai got hit by the worst tropical storm in 20 years. So the weather was a bit spotty. While the hotel couldn't control that, what they could control was excellent. The renovation is really beautiful and the rooms were terrific. We had a Junior Suite on the 8th floor with a terrace overlooking the Bay, the views were breathtaking. We had a prime ocean view at the 4S in Maui and the St Regis view was a lot nicer. The butler service wasn't as formal as at the St Regis in Manhattan, but they got ice when we needed it .... etc.

The rooms are very comfortable, the bed's great, though for some reason the TV doesn't recess into the furniture. that really cracked us up, though they offered to raise and lower in each morning. we passed. The bathrooms are wonderful and showering with that view is really fun. the bath-product is the standard high-end Bliss stuff my wife loves. The shower's a little weak, but that's probably a plumbing issue they can't fix.

The hotel's staff isn't as polished as a Four Seasons, which I think is a combo of nerves and getting the procedures ironed out. That said, they were trying really hard which is all we want. They screwed up a couple things, but in each case more than made up for their mistakes with comps. We got a better room, a free dinner and a $200 taxi ride on the hotel.

The pool is beautiful, i'm not sure what people are complaining about and the drinks are great. It's a St Regis and $15 - $20 for a drink, which is the same as an RC or 4 Seasons. Their version of the bloody marry is amazing and my wife had a couple every day. The pool food was bad which was a surprise.

We ate in the main dining room and the Jean George restaurant. The hotel main restaurant is great, we had an excellent dinner. Jean George is Jean George, food and service are spectacular; though it's cheap. We had dinner for 2 with a wine parring and with tip it came to less than $200. We were really surprised. Breakfast was good for a US hotel, though no one can compete with the buffets in Asia.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tacoma, Washington
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2009

Despite some of the criticism (some completely over the top and nit-picky, some warranted), the St Regis is a fabulous hotel in a perfect part of Hawaii. You simply won’t find a better place on the North side of the island… and you simply can’t miss the North side of the island!

My wife and I were debating between the North side and the South side. Since we’ve never been to Kauai (and given that the world is a big place to visit, we thought we might not be back) we decided to stay at the two nicest places on both sides of the island. On the south side, we booked through Hotwire for about $250 / night (keep that website a secret before the Hyatt no longer participates!). On the North side, we stumbled on the best deal we could find at the St Regis - $390 a night including breakfast. So we knew going into it that we were paying a premium just to stay at the *only* nice place on the N side of the island.

We also knew going into it that St Regis required $25 / day parking. However, the Hyatt charges an extra $20 fee for no reason whatsoever. And you don’t get valet parking out if it at the Hyatt. I never tipped the valets at the St Regis, and they didn’t care and didn’t expect it, the valets were always quick and in good spirits.

Grounds: brilliant. You can’t really compare it to the Hyatt. The Hyatt is straight out of a Disney theme park. It’s large and in charge. The St Regis grounds are spotless, well manicured, beautiful tile, concrete, gardens, etc. But it’s smaller. At full capacity, the St Regis will have about 250 rooms. The Hyatt has closer to 700, so the grounds are obviously bigger.

Food: less options than the Hyatt for the same reason as above (1/3 the people at St Regis). The breakfast buffet was beautiful. It was incredible all 3 days we were there. It was included in our room, but even at $25, it was *cheaper* than the Hyatt’s breakfast buffet (I believe Hyatt’s is $28 or $30). No, the St Regis doesn’t have an omelet bar (I can’t believe people care so much about an omelet bar). Their breakfast is incredible, and their breakfast views spectacular. Overall, my one suggestion to St Regis is to have Asian food on the menu…. and to have a hot water boiler in each room. We brought ramen noodles to our room one night (see “needs Asian food” above), and had to call room service to deliver a pot of hot water (it came free, in a beautiful silver carafe on a rolling tray, with a flower!)

Drinks – same as Hyatt. Don’t be fooled and discouraged by the reviewers description of drink prices. They are the same (or less) that what you’d find at the Hyatt… and they are generally stronger and better (not a lot, but you’d definitely get more for your drink dollar at the St Regis than at the Hyatt … maybe if you stayed at the Aston with a kegger you’d get the “most” for your money. Here’s a suggestion, order a boat drink not on the St Regis special menu. Instead of the St Regis pina colada, order a “normal pina colada” for $3 less ($12 instead of $15). I think it was even better than the St Regis Colada (which includes pineapple pulp – hard to suck through a straw). I got a super-strength Long Island Ice tea for $12 and it contained much more “value” than their beautiful and more classy $18 drinks. Hyatt drinks are the same price, averaging $12-$16.

Children – We left our little 2 year old at home, but could have taken him to either place. He would have had more fun at the Hyatt, but seriously, the Hyatt is like Disneyland, and the St Regis is a small exclusive resort.

In conclusion, I say this: will you be going to the N side of the island? You’d better! Because you’ll be missing out on the prettiest side of all Hawaii. And when you do stay on the N side of the island, do you want to stay in a rambler rental property (they’re all built in the 1980s), a moldy cottage (it’s really wet up there), or a 2-star Hanalei Bay / Hanalei Colony “resort” (both properties are scary looking)? Or do you want to stay at a truly world-class hotel that – sure – probably costs 20% more than it should, but which can charge that because the next nicest hotel is 90 minutes away on the S side of the island? If you’re already spending thousands of dollars to visit Kauai, you’re going to want to spend a little extra to stay at the St Regis. My wife and I are thrilled that we did. We had a fabulous experience at the St Regis, and we just came from the Disney-esque Hyatt the night before. Highly, highly recommend. If you’re visiting the N side of the island, please don’t stay anywhere else unless you know what you’re getting into.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2009

Stayed at the St. Regis for my honeymoon, got a deal on Costco and thought, hey why not stay at a 5 star resort with a great view. The view was the only thing we were really happy with, and we could have driven down there and saw it for free.

Things we were UNHAPPY with:
-We had many bugs by our door
-Lizards in our room
-Everytime we turned on the faucet to take a shower, it would take a few minutes for us to get hot water. We called and complained a few times, but it kept happening.
-25 bux a day for valet parking. When I asked if I could park by myself, the front desk person said, you're being charged for it, you might as well let them go out and get it for you.
-15 bux a day for internet! And in the book, it says that internet was free in the lobby, well that only lasted a day, until that policy changed and they started charging for that as well. I asked the front desk person and he sounded amazed that it was free even for that one day, he looked it up and said that it had just changed. When I asked him, did they charge for everything, he looked at me funny and actually said YES!
-Buffet breakfast was luckily included in our package, but it was the same thing everyday we stayed and not only that, it was initially 28 bux a person, but also during our stay, that price went up as well - to 32 bux a person!
- Only one large pool
- The parking guys were really nice and friendly

Things we did like:
- The view is truly amazing, especially the sunset. But again, you could just drive up there and see the view for free.
- Large flat screen tv
- The bathroom did look nice, although a little dark
- The jacuzzi was nice, but it was facing the wrong direction, it wasn't facing the sunset.
- They gave you free bottles of water, I was surprised at that.

Overall, we were quite disappointed with the St. Regis Princeville. We thought it was way too overpriced. If it wasn't for the view, the hotel would not survive given its need to charge you for almost everything. You might say, well that's how luxury resorts are, but I have to disagree to that.

When we do return to Kauai, we will NOT be staying at the St. Regis Princeville

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2009

Ok. I took tropical style clothing but had to layer it all over my body while staying in the room. I had to sleep with at least 3 extra blankets. Problem is that there is a thermostat that does not have heating capabilities. Constant cold air is blown into the bathroom (from the North Pole) through 2 vents and the air makes it out into the room. There is NO way to switch off the cold air that is constantly pumped into the room. I know because a hotel electrician and handyman told me so.

Besides the cold air, the room was beautiful, mostly clean but it could have been cleaner and there was NO COFFEMAKER in the room to at least keep me warm while freezing in the room. The only way to warm the room maybe 1 degree was by leaving the sliding doors open with screens to let warm air in, I was there in the winter so it almost was always warmer outside by a few degrees.

The service wasn't always great. The nicest people there were Zoel at the front desk and the parking valets. There is nightly local entertainment in the lobby every night but it is also pretty cold there. I would NOT recommend if you get cold easily.

Parking is highway robbery - $25.oo a night, BTW. Business center doesn't have a printer for guest's boarding passes. Fitness room was good, however -it was warm inside. This is where the cold air should be.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County, CA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2009

Just returned from a 4 night stay at this resort, I had high expectations having stayed previously at St. Regis properties in Bora Bora (managed by the same GM who now manages the Princeville) and Monarch Beach. Needless to say by the title of this review, we were grossly disappointed. Service at this resort is at best, uneven and often indifferent at times. Much of the staff (in particular, the valets and the bar staff by the pool) seem to only be interested in earning tips and will only help guests if the promise of a tip awaits. They forget that they are actually compensated to be of service to guests.
Some examples of the indifferent service we received:

- Upon checkout, we were "helped" by the valet / bell staff to get into our rental car. Because our luggage took the entire trunk, I had to put some things in the front. The valet stood idly with the door open on the driver's side just watching me as I struggled to pack a stroller into the tight front space. Even worse, after I got into the driver's seat, the valet delayed closing the door as if he was expecting a tip. UNBELIEVABLE.
- Similarly on return to the resort after a day of sightseeing, we had a bunch of items in the car to unload. A group of 3 valets after noticing that we were merely returning to the resort for the day proceeded to resume the conversation they were having before we arrived and ignored us even when we specifically beckoned for help.
- After ordering an $8 can of beer (who probably costs no more than 50 cents retail) by the pool, the server dropped off the glass, can, and bill then immediately left without even offering to pour the beverage out. I think I would probably get better service than this at the local TGI Friday's. Another thing about the pool, they say they have an 'infinity' pool, but you can't really call it that when the view from the end of the 'infinity' pool is obstructed by additional beach chairs that they've placed at the end. Hey, Princeville, take a page from the Intercontinental Tahiti's Lotus Pool if you want to see what a real Infinity pool looks like.

I wish we would have considered staying at the Grand Hyatt which is more centrally situated on the south shore and runs about $100 cheaper per night.

MR PRINCEVILLE GENERAL MANAGER SGARBI, THE SERVICE AT YOUR BORA BORA RESORT WAS PHENOMENAL, PLEASE TRAIN YOUR STAFF IN WHAT IT MEANS TO PROVIDE ST REGIS (NOT SHERATON) LEVEL SERVICE. THEN YOU CAN CALL YOUR HOTEL A ST REGIS.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern CA
Top Contributor
80 reviews 80 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 54 cities Reviews in 54 cities
258 helpful votes 258 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2009

We are frequent Kauai visitors so we decided to try the newly renovated St. Regis in Princeville on Kauai's north shore. It was formerly was a Sheraton. Sadly, after extensive renovations, the result is terrible. The decor in the public rooms is awful. The decorator chose to emulate the dreadful Merrie Monarch circa 1880 period, plus added horrible orange and brown colors from the 1970s. The Merrie Monarch period is a dark, heavy and uninspired attempt to copy late 19th century European design of the time. The designer instead should have visited some of the truly beautiful hotels in the State of Hawaii which reflect a Hawaiian-ness yet are contemporary or with only light touch of a period (for example; the Halekulani, Mauna Kea, Hyatt Regency Poipu, and Kahala hotels). Any of those would have worked much better since the underlying St. Regis building itself is contemporary which clashes with the additions from the renovation.

The food and beverage service was friendly and only a little slow, however the items we ordered were typical Sheraton hotel food being low quality with unwarranted pretense. It seems the Sheraton/St. Regis bean counters still rule the kitchens. Not only were our portions tiny, but several items were actually stale, yet the prices were high even by Hawaii standards. You can imagine we won't be going back.

After our unhappy (and rainy) stay at the St. Regis Princeville, which is nowhere the quality of its famous namesake, we went to Poipu Beach on Kauai's drier south shore. Once again we stayed at our favorite; the Poipu Kai Resort in the accommodations specifically run by Suite Paradise, which are a cut above. Sumptuous, clean, upgraded, home complete places and with two beaches from to which to choose- all at a fraction of what we paid at disappointing St. Regis.

As for great dining, there are many good places in Poipu Beach. Our fine dining favorite in Poipu is Dondero's at the Hyatt Regency Poipu. Dondero's is expensive but the gourmet food and great service and surroundings are worth it.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about St. Regis Princeville Resort

Address: 5520 Kahaku Road, Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Princeville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Princeville
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — St. Regis Princeville Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 252
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A 2006 AAA Four Diamond Hotel Award winner, Hawaii's St. Regis Princeville Resort offers 23 idyllic acres for rest and play. Luxurious dining, spa, swimming, and golf on the northern shore of Kauai ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
St. Regis Princeville Hotel Princeville
St. Regis Princeville Resort Kauai

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