This year marks our 9th anniversary and to celebrate we wanted to enjoy a trip to a neighbor island. We went to Kauai last year for our anniversary, but we only explored the south and eastern areas of the island. This year, with the help of my dad, we were able to get a great deal on a room at the St. Regis Princeville on the northern side of Kauai. I had been to this property as a kid – perhaps almost 20 years ago – but remembered that it had some beautiful views of Hanalei Bay. We did head into the weekend a little worried due to the heavy rain and flooding that Kauai had experienced just the week before, but we were fortunate in that the St. Regis property was unaffected.

A local breakfast hotspot with big pancakes

Unlike last year’s visit to Kauai where we had several outdoor activities planned, thist time around we decided that we would just have a relaxing weekend and enjoy the resort. After landing and picking up the rental car in Lihue, we started the drive up to Princeville. Along the way we stopped off at Kountry Kitchen in the Kapa’a area for breakfast. This local favorite serves up homestyle breakfast fare, including some very large pancakes.

The lobby area of the St. Regis Princeville

We soon arrived to the St. Regis, nestled atop the cliffs of the Princeville community. The resort is built into the cliffside, with the lobby floor at the top of the property. Guest rooms cascade down toward Hanalei Bay, which affords visitors some of the most beautiful views from any hotel in Hawaii.

We were lucky to have mostly sunny skies during our visit

Our room was not ready when we had arrived so we took some time to explore the property. Walking outside to the terrace area off the lobby floor provides some of the best views of Hanalei Bay. Kauai had a bout of heavy rain and floods in the week leading up to our visit, but we were very lucky and had clear blue skies for most of our visit. To kill time we walked down to the pool and beach areas to explore, eventually finding ourselves on some adirondack chairs with an amazing view of the bay. There we relaxed (and maybe even stole a quick power nap) while waiting for our room.

Once we got into our room we immediately changed and headed down to relax by the pool. When I said we decided to just relax at the resort, I meant it! We spent most of our weekend down by the pool, at the beach, or relaxing around the hotel. It was a nice break from our typical daily routines.

Seared foie gras with beets, pistachios, and ponzu syrup

Dinner the first night was just on the property at the Kauai Grill. We were able to get a table up against the windows with a great view of the ocean and the bay. Kauai Grill offers an ala carte menu but we decided to try the chef’s tasting, which was actually modestly priced given the quality, quantity, and location (trapped in a resort).

The ocean, a rainbow, and a flying bird all in one photo

Breakfast the next morning was at the terrace restaurant, once again featuring views of Hanalei Bay. I had reserved ahead of time and with my status at Starwood was able to ensure a table with a front row view. The breakfast buffet at the St. Regis is decent, with a variety of dishes and a full juice/kombucha bar. Since it was our anniversary our server provided us with some complimentary guava mimosas as well.

Enjoying the sweeping views of Hanalei Bay

The day was again met with a lot of relaxation by the pool. We also ventured out into the ocean and walked down the beach toward Hanalei. We didn’t really swim in the ocean due to a lingering brown water advisory (just one of the affects of the flooding last week). Later in the day we had some afternoon tea in the St. Regis Bar, which was a little underwhelming and not as good as I would have expected for a hotel within this brand.

Seared scallops, yukon gold mash, crispy shallots

For dinner we headed off property to the town of Hanalei. There we tried Bar Acuda, which is seemingly the most popular restaurant on this side of town. Getting a reservation here requires you to call within a very specific time window during the day, but I had booked a table weeks in advance. Bar Acuda is not what you’d expect in that it is a tapas-centric restaurant in a small town on Kauai. The food was pretty good overall with the above scallop dish being one of our favorites.

A beautiful room service view

Our final morning started off with some room service. The staff member who delivered our food set up the table and chairs against the window of our room, which provided us with an amazing view. We’d wrap up our short visit with more time in the sun down by the pool.

This weekend getaway was very much relaxed and slow paced, which is atypical of our normal travel plans. With both of our careers keeping us very busy, it is sometimes nice to just take a breather and slow things down. Thank you to the St. Regis for a great experience and awesome service. And thank you dad for helping us get an amazing room rate!