I'm splitting the vacation up into 3 parts, which is how the trip was structured. We spent our first 3 nights at The Princeville Resort in Kauai, the next 3 nights at the Grand Wailea Hotel in Wailea and the last 5 nights at the Sheraton Maui on Ka'anapali Beach. Sorry in advance b/c it's going to be long and picture filled.
We flew into Lihue, Kauai at around noon on September 1st. After picking up the rental car we started on the approximate 45 minute drive up the coast to the Princeveille Resort. I made the mistake of not eating something before we left the airport and wound up getting very car sick on the drive. So, no pictures of the beautiful drive. I seem to recall the foliage was amazing, but I was too sick to capture any of it on film. Oops.
After getting to the resort, we checked with the valet staff and after greeting us with leis we made our way into the lobby. Um, wow. The picture doesn't do the place justice.
The "magic window" in the bathroom that goes from opaque to clear with flip of a switch! Conceivably you could take a shower while having a view of the ocean. Interesting concept, but not something we really took advantage of.
Monday morning, after a quick breakfast at the hotel, we were off to Ke'e Beach for some snorkeling and laying around on the sand. We were there for a few hours and were planning on beach-hopping the rest of the day, but the fact that it was Labor Day made finding parking more of a hassle than we cared for. So, back to the hotel we went. But not before a quick stop at the Hanalei Lookout to see the taro fields. Pretty cool.
Tuesday morning we woke up to a downpour, but it was actually really relaxing eating outside under a covered patio while watching the rain come down. While most of the rain had let up by the time we were done eating, the skies were still dreary on our drive up the coast to Tunnels Beach.
- We usually vacation on Maui, so going to Kauai for a few days was a nice change of pace for us. It's much greener than Maui and moves at a slower pace. I think Maui is still our favorite island, but Kauai was a lot of fun for a change.
- The Princeville Resort is huge, the common areas are gorgeous and the location is paradise. The rooms themselves, however, are not worth what the hotel charges for them. Our room was clean and spacious, but not overly "luxurious" and somewhat in need of a face-lift. We specifically stayed at this resort because we got a killer deal through my retirement association (almost 70% off), so we felt like we got the room for a steal. However, if we had paid rack rate for the room we would have been pretty upset. I have read that St. Regis has purchased this hotel and over the next 2 years or so will be making major rennovations and turning it into one of the Starwood Luxury Collection resorts. I would be interested to see what the resort looks like at that time.
- Princeville is very isolated from other major tourist areas on Kauai and for that reason, the food choices are severly limited. For ease, we ate at the hotel for most of our meals, but it is very very expensive to do so. While the food isn't bad, for what you're paying, we expected more. Something to keep in mind for anyone considering staying here.