1 Hotel Hanalei Bay: What it’s like staying at this new hotel in Kauai

I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to many incredible destinations, from snowy mountain peaks to private islands. However, when people ask me about my favorite spot to visit, my answer is always consistent: Kauai’s North Shore. There’s something truly magical about sitting on the warm sand as the sun sets over Hanalei Bay, with the green mountains bathed in golden light, the waves rolling by, and if you’re lucky, a rainbow appearing in the sky.

One of the standout features of the North Shore is the lack of big resorts. However, perched on a cliff overlooking the bay where The St. Regis Princeville once stood is the new 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay. Following a recent $300 million renovation, the hotel has been transformed into something as breathtaking as its surroundings. Gone are the heavy colors and textures of the interior, the stark white exterior, and the dated design. The new design seamlessly blends with the natural beauty of the area.

As someone who loves this part of the world more than any other, I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to experience 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay. Stepping out of the car and walking towards the lobby, I immediately knew that this was more than just a renovation ā€“ it was a rebirth. If you’re curious about what it’s like to stay at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, grab a cup of Hawaiian coffee and settle in.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is part of the 1 Hotel brand, which first emerged in 2015 with properties in Miami’s South Beach and near Central Park in New York City. The brand prioritizes being a part of the local community, which is evident in the style, architecture, and ethos of the hotel. At 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, there is a strong emphasis on using local materials, supporting local artisans, and sourcing food from local farmers.

Located on a cliff in Princeville on Kauai’s northern shore, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is surrounded by lush mountains, beautiful beaches, and a vibrant local community. Unlike other resorts on the island, which often feature tired corporate versions of Hawaiian decor, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay has a relaxed, natural, and high-end vibe. It feels like a part of the location rather than an outsider.

While the resort is undeniably luxurious, it is not stuffy. The atmosphere is one of relaxation and enjoyment, where guests can unwind and make the most of their time in paradise. The resort offers a range of activities that go beyond the norm, such as local rum tastings, guided off-property hikes, and sake tastings. There is also a swimmable beach and a large family pool complex, as well as a separate adults-only option.

The food and beverage offerings at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay are exceptional. From sushi to cocktails, the on-site options are worth enjoying even if you’re not staying at the hotel. The breakfast buffet is particularly noteworthy, offering a wide selection of fresh and delicious dishes.

In terms of booking, it’s important to note that 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is a luxury resort with a high price tag. Standard rooms often start at around $1,000 per night, and prices can increase during peak seasons. While there are no hotel points or award charts that can fully cover the cost, it’s possible to use flexible credit card points to reduce the overall expense. It’s also recommended to book through a program that includes breakfast and a property credit, such as the American Express Fine Hotels + Resorts program.

If the cost of staying at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is prohibitive, another option is to make it your base for a couple of nights and then move to a hotel where you can redeem points, such as the nearby Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas or the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

In conclusion, Kauai’s North Shore, and specifically 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, is a truly special destination. The natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and high-end amenities make it an unforgettable place to visit. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a wellness retreat, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay has something for everyone.

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