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Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. Regis Princeville Resort To Open in Hawaii

St. Regis Princeville Resort To Open in Hawaii

by Doug Porter

Nearing completion of a $40 million renovation, the former Princeville Hotel will open this month under the ultra-luxury St. Regis brand. A soft opening is scheduled for September 26th with the long awaited official grand opening set for October 1st.
Soon to become Hawaii's first and only St. Regis, this high-end luxury resort will certainly stir things up in Princeville on the north shore of Kauai which has been hit hard by the recent recession.

Over the past year many restaurants and shops on the island have been forced to close, adversely affected by the drop in tourist dollars. But Hawaii is starting to notice an uptick in visitor arrivals. Just as things are starting to turn around and visitors are coming back to Hawaii, the new resort will open with 252 guest rooms and 51 suites, four restaurants, several boutiques and shops, and a 10,000-square foot Spa and fitness center.

Although it might seem like bold move to open in this economy but the timing of the renovation was planned way before the economy took a nose dive. They had their plans and financing already in place and were able to do their construction and get the place built while tourism was down. Now they’ll open just as tourism on Hawaii is starting to show some signs of life. Things will probably be pretty soft until Christmas and hopefully a recovery will be underway going into 2010.

To celebrate the opening, the St. Regis is offering packaged specials which include free rounds of golf and other outdoor adventures, or free package deals at their spa and restaurant. But they are clearly marketing to the higher end guest with room rates starting at $465 dollars a night and going up to nearly $6,000 per night. It remains to be seen if those rates will hold up. They’re obviously going to be marketing to the rich and famous.

Those not willing to shell out the big bucks for a vacation at the St. Regis have other options. There are several other Kauai vacation rentals available in Princeville.

After waiting for over a year and putting up with the construction, owners of neighboring condos and rental homes are excited that the hotel is finally going to open. They’re expecting the St. Regis to help promote the island of Kauai and boost tourism on the island. They also expect that after seeing the rates that the hotel is planning to charge, (starting at about $500/night and going up to nearly $6,000/night) many guests will like what they can get next door at Hanalei Bay Resort and other condos in Princeville for a lot less money.

One condo owner at Puu Poa said he is excited to see the construction finally finished so that guests can stay in his condo and walk next door to the hotel to eat. “We’re planning to be there for the Grand Opening and we wish them well, but we won’t be spending the night.” “We’ll hang out on the beach with the celebrities but be able to come back to our own condo for some reality.”

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