Kauai may be old (in terms of island age), but trust us when we say there is nothing dated or boring about the “Garden Isle.” Lush vegetation, unique bays and first-class accommodations make Kauai an ideal honeymoon destination.
One such accommodation is the Sheraton Kauai at Poipu Beach. The magnificent blue Pacific and golden shoreline, coupled with warm, sunny days and starry nights, make this island getaway perfect for honeymooners. The resort is spread out over 20 acres of Kauai’s pristine south shore, with 394 rooms and 11 suites. As soon as we checked in, the bellman escorted us to our room, which was spacious, tastefully decorated and perfectly situated to view the evening sunset.
But first it was off to the beach! Having arrived in the afternoon, we headed out to catch some rays before dinner at Lavas, the Sheraton’s restaurant on the beach. The servers are friendly and helpful, which made the overall dining experience great. I was even convinced to try the mountainous sundae, a huge dessert that is supposed to be for two (or possibly four), but since my partner does not enjoy dessert (yeah, I know), I had no choice but to finish it myself.
The next day we grabbed a buffet breakfast at the Garden Courtyard. Lots of fresh ingredients, a beautiful pond setting and friendly staff made it a relaxing meal. And luckily the relaxation didn’t end there. Next up, we had our scheduled massage for two in a cabana near the beach. What little stress we had was massaged away with the sounds and smells of the ocean close by.
After our massages, we headed poolside to enjoy the rest of the day in a cabana. Though it comes with a TV, neither of us could fathom turning it on. (I mean, seriously? Head to Kauai, get a cabana with an ocean view—and then watch TV?!) Instead we spent our time reading and enjoying a snack and, of course, a cocktail or two.
Our second destination on the island was the St. Regis Princeville Resort. On the way, we stopped by to check out and have lunch at the Westin at Princeville. This ocean-side property offers the luxury and amenities of a resort in a homelike setting, with a kitchen and laundry facilities in every room. But this is a resort, so even if you cook a meal, the staff will do the cleaning for you. The St. Regis even has a small (but gourmet) market on the premises, where you can buy ready-to-cook meats, fish and baked goods.
After our lunch, we headed for our final destination, and we really did save the best for last. If you have never stayed at a St. Regis property, a honeymoon is the best excuse to try staying here! This location opened in October 2009 and has been transformed into an elegant reflection of its island home following a multimillion-dollar renovation.
Upon entering the lobby, you’re immediately awestruck. Our host explained that many guests can’t seem to believe the view they’re looking at is actually real—and we both felt the same. Clichéd as it may be, this is what paradise looks like.
After checking us in, our host introduced us to our butler, Stan, who was to assist us during our stay as a part of the St. Regis Butler Service, available to guests staying in the hotel’s suites. On the way to our room, Stan explained some of the amenities of the butler service, including packing and unpacking of suitcases, pressing of clothes, daily coffee and newspaper delivery upon request and the butler’s availability as a personal guide to ensure you enjoy your stay. Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting all this and was too embarrassed to use the packing/unpacking service—I hastily unpacked and told Stan we wouldn’t be needing that service.
Our room, a St. Regis Junior Suite, is their most popular, which is understandable—it was outstanding in every sense. Every detail was completely thought out so that guests can have an exceptional experience. Even though we still had no intention of watching TV, I have to mention that the room did boast two large flat-screens, one of which
rises up out of the furniture when you want to watch and recedes back down to open up your view.
The bathroom also featured a huge window with amazing views, but with the (smart) addition of a privacy button, which instantly fogs or defogs the window.
As soon as we got settled in, we decided to check out the pool and beach area. The St. Regis comprises three cliff-side structures cascading down to the beach, adhering to Kauai’s strict rule that no single structure can be taller than a coconut tree, or approximately four stories. After taking two different elevators to get down to the beach, the first thing we noticed was how quiet it was. The way the bay is structured, most of the sounds from the ocean go up, so the waves are much louder up in your room than they are down by the beach.
Whether it’s from the beach, from your room or from the balcony off the main lobby, the highlight of the St. Regis is the impossibly majestic view of five mountains surrounding the bay, home to waterfalls, rainbows, wisps of clouds, fresh, sweet air and a sense that this must be what heaven is like. No pictures can ever do justice to this place. It’s perhaps on the scale of the Grand Canyon—you just have to experience it to believe it.
That evening, we had dinner at the Makana Terrace restaurant and were delighted with the selection. The sea-to-table fare, with an impressive variety of fresh fish and organically grown island produce, was a highlight of the entire trip. After dinner, we headed back to the room to spend some time reading and enjoying the magnificence of the
The next morning, we called our butler to have coffee delivered and requested to have some clothes pressed for dinner. We sat and enjoyed our coffee by the window overlooking the Na Pali coast but chose not to read the newspaper (we didn’t want to mentally leave our surroundings). After a quick shower, we headed back to Makana Terrace for a breakfast buffet overlooking the same awesome views. The food was as fresh and delicious as we expected after the previous night’s meal.
After breakfast, we went to the Halele’a Spa (House of Joy), which was recently honored with the 2012 Silver Sage Award by Spa Magazine and named one of the best spas in the world. We both had a wonderful massage at the 10,000-square-foot facility, where wellness consultants can design an individualized spa program for body and mind inspired by native Hawaiian healing rituals.
For dinner, we went to the Kauai Grill, a Jean-Georges restaurant and the signature restaurant of the St. Regis, developed exclusively by Chef Vongerichten and his team. The menu consists of internationally influenced cuisine utilizing the freshest fish and ingredients indigenous to the islands. The dinner was definitely something to write home about, from the succulent hamachi appetizers to moi with sweet-and-sour sauce to the decadent desserts.
The next morning was, unfortunately, our last, so we woke up early to enjoy our last couple of hours at the St. Regis. We went back to Makana Terrace and sat at the same table as we had the day before, snapping pictures in our best effort to take a little paradise home with us.