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The Newbie's Guide to Honeymooning on Kauai

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After reevaluating a mounting wedding to-do list, my fiance and I nixed more adventurous ideas (Croatia, Colombia, Belize) for the lush and quiet Hawaiian island of Kauai for our honeymoon locale. Other than book hotels and flights from SFO we did no preplanning, and it was the best trip of my life. We spent our days camped out at the beach, eating lots of good food, and going on breathtaking hikes. We chose to spend a few days in the south in Po'ipu, and then another few in the north in Hanalei Bay. Looking to do the same? Here are my recommendations.

Princeville and Hanalei Bay (The North)
Going from the south to the north was a nice change of scenery. The south has gorgeous rolling hills and felt arid and dry, while the north was like driving into a luscious jungle.

Princeville is essentially just a collections of condos and hotels, a grocery store, and a few little restaurants, and Hanalei Bay five minutes down the road is like an old-school beach town (think Stinson Beach).

Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

We stayed at two hotels while in the north, the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas and then the St. Regis Princeville. Although it was tough to leave the sound of crashing waves at the Sheraton, the Westin had wonderful features. The entire resort is centered around a spectacular pool area and massive communal lawn, and it backs up to bluffs overlooking the ocean with an insane view of the Na Pali coast. All the hotel rooms are actually suites, so they come with a full kitchen and washer dryer. We stayed in a one-bedroom room (they have studios too), and it was bigger than most SF apartments. After eating out every meal for days it's nice nice to stock up on groceries and cook your own meals. There are also high-end barbecues set up all over the property, so grilling is a great option too.

Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
St Regis Princeville Resort

The St. Regis was a totally different experience. It is stately, sophisticated, has a level of service I didn't even know existed, and is situated right on Hanalei Bay. Want a butler to come unpack your suitcase? They do that. Interested in french press coffee and biscotti every morning? Tell them when. Just got back to your room after a day at the beach? Your sheets have been turned down and slippers placed on either side of the bed. Not to mention the pool area is right on the beach, and the main-floor bar (don't miss ordering something from their extensive Bloody Mary menu) has an 180-degree view of the Na Pali coast and Hanalei Bay.

For the rest of my life when I close my eyes and think of my "happy" place, this will be it. Service and views don't come cheap, but it's an incredible experience if you can swing it for a day or two.

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Princeville News,  Press Releases - Princeville at Hanalei Kauai