The Best Room at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

Penthouse 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay


An inside look at the "crown jewel" penthouse at Kauaʻi's premier luxury resort.

Visiting Kauaʻi is all about immersing yourself in nature.

It's fitting, then, that 1 Hotel opened a new property on the Hawaiian island, nicknamed "the Garden Isle," after a $300 million renovation taking over the old St. Regis. (The renovation is so spectacular it earned a spot on T&C's best new hotels of 2023 list.) 1 Hotel Hanaeli Bay is all about a commitment to wellness and sustainability.

The location "was an incredible fit for the brand, because of what we use as our guiding principles with honoring nature and really expressing the beauty of nature in our properties," Alexis Eaton, the Director of Marketing, Public Relations & Programming at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, tells Town & Country. "This particular property had a very special place in our founder's heart, Barry Sternlicht. He had spent time here with his children growing up, having his kids learn to surf out on the waves here, spending time at the beach and the property, so he knew firsthand what a spectacular place it was."

Penthouse at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

Eaton adds, "A lot of people seek out vacations and travel to fill themselves up and there's a lot of ways to do that. So when they come, and when they depart, they feel recharged and ready—and in a better place than when they arrived."

And while all of the property's 252 guest rooms (including 51 suites) are stunning, the best place to stay is in one of 1 Hotel Hanaeli Bay's three penthouses: the Makana Penthouse, a 2,400 square foot haven. The "crown jewel" of the resort.

What do you consider to be the best room at the property and why?
I would definitely say that our Makhana Penthouse is our best of the best. We have a signature suite series [including Pu'u Poa Ocean Loft Suit and the Nāpali House Suite], and that is the crown jewel of those three. It has the most spectacular views.

It has two bedrooms—the master bedroom is looking straight out over the bay and to the point of Mount Makana. You have two outdoor lanais tied to that room, a beautiful dining table, and it really is a place to enjoy—whether you're with a significant other or traveling with a family, because you do have that second room.

Many of the celebrities that come to stay at the property all select that suite as their top pick.

How much does it cost per night?
The rate on that is $15,000.

How would you describe the guests and the vibe at the hotel?
Our guests are adventure seekers. They're electing to come to Kaua'i and stay here on the north shore, they're looking to see and do a little bit more. They do spend a lot of time at the property, going to the different restaurants, trying out the different pools—from the main pool that's beachfront to the infinity pool that leaves you feeling like you're floating on the clouds.

They love to feel like they are giving back in what they do. They enjoy exploring who our charity partners are, and finding ways to support them. We try to bring that to life, whether it's in room packages or different experiences or recommendations to go out and explore.

Depending on the time of year, we see more families or we see more couples. We certainly see a lot of couples traveling on special occasions for anniversaries, baby moons, weddings, and so forth.

Poolside lounge at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

What feeling about Kaua'i do you hope to impart to guests?
People really enjoy feeling closer to nature. You definitely feel the elements, whether it's walking through the open air lobby and feeling the light, feeling the breeze. From a cultural perspective, there is great significance in allowing all of that to flow through the property.

What's one thing about the hotel that you think first-time visitors will find surprising?
I think if if they have not stayed at a 1 hotel, I think one of the things that really stands out to them is the thoughtful touches.

When you're in the guest room and you see some of these pieces that have a second life, the water glasses where their past life was a wine bottle, for example, or how the hangers were notes and maps. One of the other things I love seeing on their face is as they walk through the lobby and they see the courtyard and they see the green roofs and they feel really immersed in the place.

Sometimes you go to properties, it doesn't have a sense of place. You could be really anywhere you picked up the building and put it in Arizona, Vermont or Europe, and it doesn't really give you a sense of destination. That is something that they really feel through and through here.

What’s a local attraction that you always recommend?
Getting out on the water in some capacity—whatever suits your style. Whether it's out on the catamaran, surfing, by kayak or paddle board. You look back on the land, you see the mountains. We're interestingly positioned because you have an incredible view of the mountains and the water all the time. So you really get that best of the best.

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