Today I am bringing you my fourth and FINAL honeymoon recap! I think I am going to do a couple of additional Hawaii/honeymoon-related posts, but this will be my last recap post, and after this one I will have covered the whole two weeks of our vacation. This last recap covers the last few days of our honeymoon, which we spent in the northern part of Kauai in Princeville.
But before I get there, I have to cover the rest of our drive from Waimea, where I last left off. After checking out the gorgeous Waimea canyon, we circled around the island, stopping in the town of Kilauea. Kilauea had been recommended to me by a couple of people as a fun place to get lunch, and it was SUCH a good rec! We did some shopping, including at an adorable store called Hunter Gatherer.
We also shopped at a vintage pop-up called Lolo’s and each got some fun things—I got the rainbow sweater and Grace got the seersucker overalls that we’re both wearing in the first picture in this post :) It was awesome hearing the shop owner tell us the stories of these vintage finds!
While we were in Kilaueau we also got some lunch. And although I hadn’t heard of this place prior, by sheer luck and blessings we got THE BEST poke bowls we have ever had. I still dream of these. They were served out of a tiny little shop (kind of like a tiny house had a baby with a food truck) called Sushi Girl.
The crisp pieces of sea asparagus might have been what made it over-the-top perfection, and of course the fish was out of this world. YUM! If you love poke like we do, you have to try it in Hawaii.
We also stopped by a beautiful lighthouse that was so captivating to me—I hadn’t seen any other lighthouses in Hawaii. It strikes me as more of an East Coast thing, I don’t know why.
After the lighthouse, we drove on to Princeville. Princeville has a planned-community feel to it, and basically the entire thing is made up of hotels and condos. Once we turned into the Princeville area in our Jeep, we drove to the veerryyyy end of the two-mile main road to get to the beautiful St. Regis Princeville Resort, our final stop of the trip. We checked in and beautiful kikui nut leis were placed around our heads as soon as they took our car. The hotel was palatial. Very different from anywhere else we’d stayed—the St. Regis almost felt like a college campus with how big it was and how much there was to do.
As gorgeous as the hotel was overall, I think the moment my jaw really dropped was when we got to our room. I knew we’d booked an oceanfront room but the view still took my breath away! Although Grace and I probably preferred the vibes of some of our other hotels better than the St. Regis, it indisputably had the best location/views of anywhere we stayed.
And it didn’t hurt that a bottle of rosé and chocolate truffles were delivered to our room with a “happy honeymoon” note a few minutes after we got there :)
We just soaked it all in and rested until dinner! We had a 7:30pm reservation on the Makana Terrace, which we both agreed was good but not our favorite meal of the whole trip. We shared the beet and goat cheese salad, soy-cured salmon, a Kauai crab cake with a seared scallop on top, and the mac n cheese. The mac n cheese was honestly my favorite part! We also tried their drinks—a macadamia martini, a Thai basil mojito, and a Hawaiian old fashioned. We do not drink often (in our real life—our honeymoon is a different story) and were not even buzzed from three drinks. But they were yummy. We later learned about a tucked-away bar elsewhere in the hotel, which is THE place to go. . . but I’m glad we tried Makana Terrace (it ended up being incredible for brunch, which I will write about below).
Unlike the exploring we did in other portions of the trip, as the next couple of days rolled by, we really just did nothing but enjoy each other and the beautiful hotel. We spent a whole 6 hours in the St. Regis’s pristine section of beach in Hanalei Bay, which was divine. We started the day by going to the little hotel store and grabbing pre-made pb&js, extra sunscreen, and coffee, and we claimed some front-row chairs (they are first come, first served for hotel guests). We just hung out and read our books and splashed in the water and periodically ordered food. It was perfect.
After a perfect day of reapplying sunscreen every hour and taking in the view, which truly cannot be beat, we went back up to our room. We had to get changed and ready because we were getting some professional photos taken. A few months prior, I had booked a photographer in Kauai to get some lifestyle/honeymoon pictures. Given as much as we focus on wedding pictures, I find it weird that no one seems to have good photos of BOTH newlyweds on their honeymoon, so I wanted some professional pics! I have a post coming out soon about that experience and sharing the pics—they turned out great. Here’s one of my favorites:
After our photos, we sat down at the bar that we ended up falling in love with. Tucked around the corner from the lobby, near where they do the nightly champagne saberings, there is an awesome little bar that was one of my favorite things about the St. Regis. They serve a to-die-for sushi menu and REAL drinks (as opposed to watered-down resort drinks). The people working there are so nice, and we just loved it. We ended up going back the next night for dinner, as I’ll get to.
Now, I need to back up for a sec. One of the reasons I wanted to stop at this bar was to try this St. Regis location’s bloody mary. If you’ve read this post, then you know that’s my favorite drink. The St. Regis claims to have invented the bloody mary at its New York location (a claim which I understand is disputed, but that aside). And because the bloody mary is such a celebrated St. Regis tradition, each and every St. Regis location has its own spin on the drink. The Princeville St. Regis’s drink is called the Aloha Mary. And one of the things I LOVED about this little bar is that it has on the menu several of the OTHER locations’ bloodies—they had the Mexico City one, the Bora Bora one, and so on. HOW FUN!
The Aloha Mary was pretty similar to a classic bloody, but the vodka was Ocean Vodka (a Hawaiian vodka made with deep ocean mineral water—they have it at our local Whole Foods in West Hollywood, so you might be able to find it), with guava smoked sea salt around the rim. It was also supposed to be garnished with sea asparagus (an ingredient in that best-ever poke bowl from Kilauea), but they had run out.
Our room also had a copy of the St. Regis’s bloody mary book, which of course I pored over.
After our drinks, we headed back to the room and got room service dinner. Even with great restaurants in Hawaii, room service is something we consistently got on this trip because we just always love it and it feels like such a luxury to us. We also wanted to watch Bachelor in Paradise with our dinner, if we’re being honest.
We also got treated to the most amazing sunset view right from our room!
Purple Hour—that fleeting dusk time that follows Golden Hour—has always been my favorite. This night felt so special.
The next day we woke up and decided to try out the Makana Terrace’s brunch. Although our dinner there from a couple of nights before had been just-okay, I am happy to say that the brunch was a highlight of the whole trip! I have never in my life seen a brunch buffet like that. There were Hawaiian BBQ pork eggs benedicts, taro waffles, stir fries, every type of meat you could want (none of which I wanted, but I was still impressed), eggs, several different “stations”: hot cereals, cold cereals, a charcuterie spread, omletts, a whole station of different hot sauces, spreads, and salsas, breakfast pastries, a juice and fruit bar (rows and rows of cute little jars of every type of freshly made juice you could want, green smoothies, and fruit smoothies), and even a drinking vinegar station (for digestion). Just SO good. We sat at a gorgeous table and enjoyed the feast.
After brunch we decided to drive into Hanalei town. I’m so glad we did because it was adorable—I would have loved to have spent more time there had we known how cool it was. Out of everywhere in town, our absolute favorite was the Spinning Dolphin. It’s a t-shirt store but also so much more than that. The owners are true animal lovers, and what we noticed first was the signs on the door:
The store will make custom Kauai t-shirts screenprinted for you, and they also sell handmade jewelry and promote pet adoptions (they had several cats in the store, but mostly they link to other humane organizations). They will even help you bring a pet back to the continental US. Our favorite part was that they sold dog leis! They are not made of real flowers, so they last, and all the proceeds go to help homeless dogs. Of course we had to get one for each of our boys. They look precious in them.
Before we left we also had to test out the St. Regis’s spa. It was amazing, and such a relaxing thing to do before facing the real world again. We spent a whole afternoon getting a hot stone couple’s massage followed by ocean facials (using seaweed extracts). They were SO good—we were both glowing! After our treatments we lounged in the spa for a while and the staff brought us champagne because it was our honeymoon. It was bliss.
As I mentioned earlier, we ended up going back to our favorite little bar, and we decided to eat dinner there too from their sushi menu.
Of course I had to try one more bloody mary variation, so I got the Mexico City one. It was made with tequila and had an avocado garnish. I think it was my fav over the Aloha Mary.
We decided to start out dinner with a cheeseboard and then got some sushi, and it was all amazing. Such a good last dinner of the trip!
After dinner, we went back to the room and ordered a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Also, Grace caught up on her Korean soap opera which she had become obsessed with at this point and is only available in Korea and Hawaii, as far as we can tell. I realize how ridiculous this sentence is, hahaha.
The next day it was time to fly home, but we had a later flight so we decided to go for a morning dip in the pool! We woke up to a foggy, beautiful day and did not want to leave.
It was hard to believe our perfect honeymoon had come to a close . . . but it also felt like we were gone a LONG time, and we were so excited to get home to the doggies. These faces made leaving paradise more than worth it:
That’s it for honeymoon recaps! Thanks for following along! Next up—our professional honeymoon pictures, some overall thoughts and recommendations on honeymooning in Hawaii, and WEDDING blog posts! If you have any requests or suggestions, I’d love to hear them.