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“Nice location, serious front desk issues.”
Review of Hanalei Bay Resort

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Hanalei Bay Resort
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Princeville
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed January 21, 2013

I stayed in units 1523-1524 for a week. The booking through Tingo was very easy, so that's one good point. This place appears to be a hotel converted to condos, so I had adjoining rooms: one side of the adjoining room door had a bedroom and full bath, while the other side had a small kitchen, a living/dining room with a sofa bed and a full bath. There were definitely more ants than I have ever experienced in my 15 years of traveling to the north shore of Kauai, but they were only a minor inconvenience. The units, while clean, are in serious need of upgrading. For instance, the refrigerator, although in good working condition, had rust stains from where condensation has been dripping from the corners over the years. The bathrooms also lacked fans so that after a shower, the place fogged up, and the airconditioning -- and its dehumdifier function -- doesn't reach into the bathroom. The view out the lanai/balacony was quite nice, and the furniture was comfortable. Although I did not watch much TV, something larger than a very small tube type unit would have been nice. The kitchen sink was too small to fit other than a small plate.

Now to my list of bad points. As mentioned, I paid and booked through Tingo up front. But, upon check-in, and as mentioned by Tingo, you are assessed a one-time resort check-in fee of $25, plus $5 for each day of your stay. The Tingo write-up said that there was maid service. It turns out the daily maid service was $30 per day, AND daily towel service was an additional $10 per day. I opted not to do those. I did actually get maid service once during the week.

Tingo stated that Internet was available in the room and in the lobby and pool areas. I called to ahead of time to ask about Internet service because I needed to have connectivity during my stay. I was told by the front desk staff that in-room service was via Ethernet and that there would be a $40 charge to use it for the week. Upon check-in I asked about paying for Internet service, and the front desk person said I was to do this from my room. When I plugged the Ethernet cord into my computer, nothing happened. I tried rebooting the box in my room -- I know to do this because, like most of the rest of us, I have had to do this in other places -- and nothing happened. I called the front desk and reported that the Internet connection in my room was not working. What was the response? It was, "Yes, we know it's not working in that room." Huh? Why wasn't this mentioned when I checked before my trip, or when I checked in?? I was told to come to the lobby or go to the pool for Wi-Fi. I responded that this was unacceptable because I had some serious work I needed to do. The response was that nothing could be done, because it was a problem with the cable and Internet provider. OK, I said, and then asked about calling the cable company myself. Response, and I am not making this up, was, "I don't know about that, but perhaps I could ask the cable repair guy standing next to me here. He's here for repairs, but you are not on the list." OMG! Then I heard the front desk person asking the cable repair guy if he could also stop into my unit. The cable guy agreed and very shortly appeared at my door to do the repair -- the box was faulty, and he replaced it.

I also had additional run-ins with the front desk when I asked about late check-out, as my departure flight was not until 11 pm, while check-out time was 10 am. When I first called the front desk, I was told I needed to check back closer to my departure date. I checked again two days prior to my departure and was told the same thing, i.e., check closer to my departure date -- tomorrow! -- and that there would be a lot of departures and arrivals. I then decided that the day before my departure, it might be better to talk to the front desk in person. I engaged the front desk person in conversation and was told I needed to go ask the property manager. I took a short walk to the property manager, explained my situation, and was immediately told that I could have late check-out for a very reasonable fee. The property manager also asked why I had come to her and not check with the front desk. I replied that the front desk person had sent me there, and the property manager rolled her eyes.

Here I must apologize for my long review, but after all of the great reviews about this place on TripAdvisor, I simply had to write this bad review. I have traveled for many, many years and to many places around the globe, but this place stands out as providing one of the worst travel experiences I've had. The only reasonI give it a "poor" instead of "terrible" is that the location is good and the bathrooms were in good working condition.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Hummba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,059 - 1,065 of 1,844 reviews

Reviewed January 14, 2013

This was my second stay in unit #4222 and there is a reason I came back to this unit in particular. One is the view which is beyond spectacular of Hanalei Bay (whitewater view of surf break to gauge size of waves) and the unit itself. I have stayed in other units at HBR but I can tell you that this unit is not only spacious, cozy, modern, etc. it is beyond complete! Having a full kitchen with pots, pans, silverware, plates, coffee maker, toaster, blender, etc. makes a huge difference in your spending since it minimizes the need to eat out. Since we stayed for two weeks in the unit it helped us save money on food and since there are no restaurants nearby (St. Regis and Princeville Center are the closest) it is a critical factor. The furniture, bedding, TV's, amenities, are all in fantastic condition and there is sporting equipment available also like tennis rackets, boogie boards, snorkeling gear, etc. Although this is a pricier unit than others the additional cost is offset by the view and the amenities. HBR is an older property but the view (did I mention the view?), proximity to the ocean, pool, jacuzzi, and location make it charming, fun, and idyllic for us. Perfect for the entire family or just a couple that want to treat themselves to the bomb accommodations without staying at the St. Regis! General Notes: Listing description is accurate. Photos don't do it justice. Clean & Well Maintained. Owner is beyond helpful and professional. I would recommend this property to anyone! Another great thing about this unit is the fact that since it can rain alot on the North Shore, the view from this unit is so magnificent that you can stay indoors and still enjoy your vacation.

Room Tip: View from this unit is incredible. You can't see the actual surf break of Hanalei but you can se...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DarkHorse66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
jebett, Owner at Hanalei Bay Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2013

Mahalo for the lovely review and I am so glad you enjoyed your stay in my island home. I must admit that view of the surf is pretty exciting during the winter.
There will be exciting new things happening at the resort in the next year. The restaurant, Bali Hai, is being rebuilt, the bar refurbished, there will be a brand new indoor outdoor fitness center and more suprises to be announced. I can't wait for your return to my second home so you can enjoy all the resort has to offer. Hurry back....
Joan Bettencourt

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2013

The unit (1557-1558) we stayed in was perfect. The location is amazing. You can walk to an amazing beach in 5-10 minutes and swim/snorkel with sea turtles. This place is amazing. The view is spectacular. The condo is equipped with everything you need and more. It is 5-10 minutes easy walk to a wonderful beach where you can snorkel and swim with large sea turtles. Don't hesitate to rent this place for your vacation. So much better than a hotel.

Room Tip: 1557 or 1558 or both if you can. We had the 2 units and it felt like we were home. Also being the la...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank simonxhebert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

We've been to Kauai many times over the past 15 years, but always stayed in Poipu at the Hyatt prior to this visit. Since we love the North Shore, we decided to try a condo in Princeville for the first time. After reading about a zillion reviews on tons of different websites, we decided on unit 9323, owned and managed by Bill and Patti Schrader (from the Summit Pacific Hawaii Vacation Rentals site, but ultimately handled by Kauai Pacific Realty), and absolutely loved it.

The unit we stayed was on the third floor of one of the Bamboo buildings, which are the furthest from the parking area. We had an amazing view of Hanalei Bay and the mountains. The unit was beautifully furnished and very well kept-up. My wife is VERY picky, and didn't have any complaints at all. Although the staff does putt around in gas-powered golf carts (why don't they invest in electric carts? seems like a lot of people complain about the noise...) a lot the location and orientation of our unit kept the noise to a minimum. We saw lots of cool birds (yes, including chickens - hey, it's part of the charm of Kauai) and tons of geckos in and around the buildings. The landscaping throughout the complex is nice (although nothing truly amazing, aside from the massive avacado tree right outside the neighboring (Palms) condo which was pretty cool - don't see those in western WA...).

It's a short albeit steepish walk to/from the beach (the 5-7 minute estimate seems about right). There are fascinating places to explore from there (check out the remains of the resort on the next bluff, right across from Hanalei - very cool!) and watching the sunset from the lawn by the tennis courts or from the beach was amazing. We also hiked up to the Princeville Hotel and then clambered down a steep trail to an amazing beach just beyond it which was beautiful, secluded, and had great snorkeling.

We enjoyed the pool (although nothing compares to the pool at the Hyatt) but didn't really use any other amenities (tennis courts or neighboring golf course), and the restaurant was still a burned-out shell (and sounds like it will be for another year or two).

We will definitely be back!

Room Tip: The resort has rooms for rent, there are time-shares, and then single-owner units. From what we hear...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Kevin F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 3, 2013

Stayed here for a night last week. The rooms are really worn out but the more serious issue is the ant infestation. They are everywhere including the bedroom and bathrooms. Also high number of roosters make sleeping difficult.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Traveller_World
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

We rented a condo in the Hanalei Bay Resort for a seven-night stay through VRBO. The booking process was smooth and uneventful. We were shuttled to our building in one of the resort's many onsite golf carts, which leads me to the first item worth mentioning about this place -- most of the buildings are a decent walk away from the parking lot, and inevitably require a 5- to 20-minute walk, or a ride on one of the golf carts.

We only used the cart once on check-in, and just walked to the car the rest of the time (a 15-minute walk from our building). The property is located on a hill that is fairly steep in places, so it served as a good and not altogether unwelcome bit of activity when leaving or arriving. However, not everyone will feel the same way. If you aren't feeling like walking, you're instructed to call the front desk, who will send a cart down to you -- but I imagine that could take a while when they're busy, and wouldn't be good if you were going somewhere in a hurry.

Anyway, the real problem I had with the golf carts is the noise factor. Since people leave and arrive at all hours of the day or night, the golf carts are always running, and since they're gas-powered, they are loud. Especially at three a.m. when you're trying to sleep and one tears on by -- it woke me up in our third-story unit more than once, and they really haul on those things. Maybe they should let off the gas a bit when it's the dead of night and people are trying to sleep. Better yet, invest in a few electric carts.

The housekeeping service was a little inconsistent but that was fine.

Our unit had been recently remodeled by its owners and was amazing. Since many *(most? all?) of the condos are privately owned and only managed by the resort, different units may be in varying states of renovation or lack thereof, so make sure you review photos or something before you book.

Finally: don't walk to Princeville at night on the walking path unless you have a flashlight. We did, and it was pitch black. Tripping-over-tree-roots-in-the-path black. We picked up a flashlight at the market which made the walk back much less bumpy.

Room Tip: Closer to the lobby, or the parking lot, is better -- you have to either walk or take a golf cart to...
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Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
5  Thank Jonah K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 26, 2012

This was our 6th time visiting Kauai & 3rd time staying at the Hanalei Bay Resort. 1st time without kid, just the little woman & I. The main lobby & building are being remodeled after a fire took out the Bali Hi resturant when it was being remodeled a few years ago. The staff says it will take 2 years to finish the Bali Hi restaurant. It had a beautiful view on Hanalei Bay / sunsets when we ate there before it shut down. The food was never great, just good, but was over-priced, even for Princeville.
The 3rd floor 1 bed room we had as a time share trade this time was sufficient for my wife & i. We asked for a top / 3rd floor after staying here back in 2010 in a 2 bed / 2 bath unit, with vaulted ceilings, makes the space feel much bigger.
They have a strech golf cart to help haul luggage & take you down or back from the beach, which is in front of the St. Regis next door. You can use the St. Regis poolside bar / broiler / restrooms.
Don't even think of walking back up the hill from the beach, make sure the phone at the bottom of the trail is working before going down, long steap walk back up.
The pool is cool looking, free formed with a few waterfalls

Room Tip: get a 3rd floor room for the vaulted ceilings & views, worth the walk up 3 flights of stairs.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jim D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hanalei Bay Resort

Address: 5380 Honoiki Road, Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Princeville
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Princeville
Price Range: $330 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hanalei Bay Resort 3*
Number of rooms: 134
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aloha Guests, Mahalo for choosing Hanalei Bay Resort. We’re delighted to have you as our guests! Lush, relaxing, and as comfortable as your own home, our Princeville accommodations offer all the perks of a vacation rental along with award-winning service from our friendly staff. Located on Kauai’s North Shore, Hanalei Bay Resort captures the island’s beauty inside and out. A Daily Resort Fee of $20 plus tax will be collected at time of booking. Please note repairs to a select group of lanais will be taking place January 5, 2018 through April 27, 2018. You may notice a minimal amount of noise between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Every effort will be taken to reduce the sound as much as possible and respond to any concern. Once again, mahalo for your understanding and cooperation during this emergency repair work. Warmest Regards, Resort Management ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hanalei Bay Hotel Princeville
Hanalei Bay Princeville
Hanalei Bay Resort Princeville, Kauai

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