Over the years, I’ve found that sometimes the elements of a vacation that I’m most looking forward to turn out to be the things that I could have done without. A great example of this is the St. Regis Princeville on the beautiful island of Kauai. We just wrapped up a two-night stay at this luxurious property, and we all agreed that the word that most describes it is, “meh.” It was really just okay.
Our stay began on an auspicious note, with leis draped around our necks as we stepped out of the car, a room upgrade when we checked in, and a personal tour of the property. However, things kind of fizzled out from there. For us, the property was “all show, no go.”
There was a lack of attention to detail that was surprising. Although I had requested and triple-confirmed connecting rooms (and I had the email in hand to prove it, just in case), when we arrived there was no record of my request. It worked out fine, but it was not what I was expecting from the St. Regis. Another miss on their part: before our stay, a “Personal Vacation Services Coordinator” from the resort emailed me to ask if we had any special requests or if we were celebrating any special occasions. I replied that we were indeed celebrating Father’s Day and also a job promotion…but neither of these occasions was marked or mentioned during our stay. I thought it was odd that they would reach out to ask, but then fail to respond in any way.
In the rooms, neither fridge worked, so we asked for a replacement, but we had to ask twice more before we actually got it. A couple of the lights in the room didn’t work, the sliding doors to the lanai were really hard to open and close, and one of the sinks was very slow to drain. The coup de grace, however, was the yucky surprise we found in the coffeepot (they did give me a $50 credit for this “inconvenience”).
The pool was on the small side, but lounge chairs were plentiful. The beach was steps away. Pool/beachside service was prompt and attentive. We had snacks and drinks by the pool a couple of times, and the price tag was astronomical, but this was not surprising.
I booked this trip months ago, before Starwood “enhanced” their Cash and Points rates. We had two connecting rooms for two nights and paid 8,000 Starpoints and $150 per room, per night; the current Cash and Points rate is 15,000 Starpoints and $275 per room, per night. So while we paid 24,000 Starpoints and $600 for two nights (ouch!), if we wanted to book the same trip again, we would pay 60,000 Starpoints and $1100 (DEFINITELY NOT).
This was an expensive redemption either way, but I imagined that it would be one of those properties that was worth it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. At least not to me.
Positives: the hotel was gorgeous. The grounds were lushly manicured and there were breathtaking views from the lobby. The beach and pool area were beautiful.
Our rooms were serene, and the beds were very comfortable.
But it lacked personality and heart. My kids commented more than once that it felt “too perfect, like something bad was about to happen.”
Did we enjoy our stay? Sure. It was pleasant. Would we return? No. To me, the St. Regis was like a bland, pleasant person you met at a friend’s party. Bob? Steve? You can’t remember his name, or even what he was wearing. Khakis? Jeans? You talked about the economy….the weather…his vacation to San Diego. He was nice enough, intelligent, with perfect manners, but he lacked a real point of view. Nothing made him unique.
So, Bob/Steve/St. Regis: it was nice meeting you.
What was your name again?