1 Hotel Hanalei Bay Review: 5-Star Luxury Resort Perfect For A Wellness Retreat

Marguerite "Peggy" Cleveland Avatar
The beautiful family pool at the 1Hotel Hanalei Bay sparkles as the sun goes down. Views of the ocean and mountains in the background.
Sunset at the family pool at the 1Hotel Hanalei Bay. Photo credit. Peggy Cleveland

The writer was hosted.

The 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is a luxurious retreat from the hustle and bustle of life. Formerly the St. Regis Princeville, this opulent resort has been transformed into a sustainable enclave that blends into the natural scenery of Kauai, Hawaii. It is just stunning. Sustainability is not just a buzzword with 1 Hotels but a philosophy that permeates the resort. There is also a commitment to the community which can be seen in sourcing locally as much as possible, with the architecture that highlights the breathtaking Hanalei Bay and the surrounding mountains, and aspects of Hawaiian culture through entertainment and cultural offerings with the Day Life program.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - A cold rolled towel, fresh juice in green glasses, and a rum in a brown shot glass all presented on a wooden tray.
The Welcome Refresh Service included an oshibori which is a cold, rolled towel, a delicious fresh juice blend, and a shot of rum. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

My flight arrived late in the evening and the long, dark drive from the airport just built up the anticipation to see 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay. A security guard checked off my name and I proceeded to drive up a landscaped and decoratively lit entranceway to the hotel.  My wellness experience began with check-in. Instead of waiting at a front desk in a brightly lit lobby, I was escorted through a low-light open-air area with a garden, rushing waterfalls, and fire pits to a comfortable couch to begin the check-in process. The Welcome Refresh Service included an oshibori which is a cold, rolled towel, a delicious fresh juice blend, and a shot of rum. I was truly relaxed by the time I was escorted to my room. This is truly a luxury hotel.

Read More: Which Hawaiian Island is Right for You?

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - A guest sits in a wellness room on the floor while enjoying sound therapy with a singing bowl.
A Wellness Sanctuary where guests stay during a Within Wellness Journey. Photo credit: Mikkel Vang

Within Wellness By 1 Hotels

The newly launched Within Wellness program at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay makes the resort a global wellness destination. As part of my press trip, I was able to preview aspects of the program and I was so impressed with the attention to detail and thoroughness of the wellness treatments. I don’t think I have ever been this relaxed before. The program draws upon Hawaii’s natural beauty and rich cultural heritage as well as global healing practices, and the latest health and well-being treatments to create a wellness experience like no other.

The personalized multi-day Within Journeys begin with a consultation with a wellness sage three days before your arrival. Typical journeys are four to seven days long with a choice of four themes; Renewal, Seeker, Awaken, and Nourished. Each is then tailored to guests’ wellness goals. Stays are in your own private wellness sanctuaries where the rooms are a hotel within a hotel. Journeys include touchless therapies, mindfulness practices, therapeutic treatments, spa treatments, fitness training, and so much more. Your wellness sage is available during your visit and also follow up with you once you return home.

I stayed in a Wellness Sanctuary and enjoyed different treatments during my trip to sample the experience. If I had to choose a Journey it would be Nourished. I write so much about food and this journey immerses you in the culinary and health traditions of Kauai. Guests will enjoy farm tours, nutrition consultations, cooking classes, Hawaiian plant medicine and so much more. This is in addition to the wellness treatments each journey offers.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - I woke up on my first day to this view from a Wellness Sanctuary Ocean View Studio Terrace. Photo Credit: Peggy Cleveland
View of Hanalei Bay from an Ocean View Studio Terrace room. The terrace has lounge chairs and plants with water and mountain views. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

Guest Rooms at the 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

The hotel offers a variety of luxurious accommodations with a mountain view or ocean view of the North Shore of Kauai and Pu’u Poa Beach. All rooms have air conditioning, free wifi, room service, and many room amenities including Bamford Bath Products with the hotel’s signature scent. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is both family-friendly and pet-friendly. One of my favorite amenities is the water station with clean, filtered water from a special tap. I drink a lot of water so a station to refill water bottles or use the recycled glass carafes and glasses was a much appreciated amenity.

Rooms

Even the basic rooms at the hotel are luxurious and, at almost 550 square feet, very large. Thoughtful touches and neutral colors provide a relaxing space. There are a variety of king and queen-size rooms. Some are available with a seating area or terrace. Views of the majestic mountains, the lush gardens, or water views of Hanalei Bay and the Pacific Ocean are options. Connecting rooms are available for more space for families or a girlfriend getaway.

Suites

The available suites are over the top with sizes ranging from 820 to 2400 square feet. Opulent amenities and gorgeous views just add to the tranquility of these restful abodes. The neutral design provides a soothing decor along with fresh plants and comfortable beds and seating. Suites also come with some amazing perks including a daily breakfast buffet, complimentary mini bar snacks and non-alcoholic beverages, round-trip airport transfers, a helicopter tour, and so much more.

Wellness Sanctuaries

I stayed in the Wellness Sanctuary Ocean View Studio Terrace during my stay and what an incredible experience. Definitely my favorite room type. Throw open the floor-to-ceiling doors and hear the sounds of the pounding ocean waves of the North Shore and enjoy views of Hanalei Bay from your terrace. This hotel within a hotel provides numerous wellness amenities. It is unbelievable how many are offered, each day felt like Christmas as I discovered new things. I was able to try Normatec 2 Manual Lymphatic Drainage Compression Leg Cuffs which helped with swelling from my long flight. Weighted blankets, crystals and gemstones, state-of-the-art lighting, white noise system, natural sleep patches, and so much more. I highly recommend taking the offered room tour which shows guests all the room and wellness amenities.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay Restaurants

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Two appetizers served at 1 Kitchen, the 1 Kitchen Milk bread and Wood Oven roasted Baba Ghanoush with brightly colored fresh vegetables.
Two appetizers served at 1 Kitchen, the 1 Kitchen Milk bread and Wood Oven roasted Baba Ghanoush. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

Dining at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is a delight. Almost 90 percent of the ingredients are sourced locally. Whether it is herbs from the on-site garden to produce from neighboring farms, guests will enjoy the plant-forward offerings at the onsite restaurants created by fabulous chefs. One of the things I enjoyed most about dining was the expertise of the wait staff. Everyone I met was well-versed on the menu and the inspiration behind the creations. I am a big foodie so I ask a lot of questions about ingredients and preparation. I received answers to all my queries and if someone didn’t know the answer they went to the kitchen to find out.

1 Kitchen

I dined here every day for the fabulous breakfast buffet with made-to-order eggs, hot and cold offerings, a huge pastry table with at least 10 different choices, fresh juices, and bottomless coffee served at my table. I have to mention Jimmy who has worked on-site for over 25 years. He was such a fount of knowledge about the area and the hotel’s history.

Dinner at 1 Kitchen is a wonderful experience especially if the weather is nice and you can dine al fresco while watching the sunset. Ask Evans if he is working when you visit. He was well-versed in the menu and made great wine-pairing recommendations. The house-made 1 Kitchen Milk bread served hot from the oven with Maui butter and black lava salt was so good and a must-order. I enjoyed the wood oven-roasted Baba Ghanoush. It is a simple dish but the locally grown vegetable crudité elevated this dish. For an entree, I tried the Bucatini with local shrimp, and English Peas, in a white wine sauce with fresh herbs, garlic, and a hint of chili. Very good but I could have used more peas in the dish. The Chocolate Mousse Tart was incredibly delicious with a macadamia nut crunch crust topped with the chocolate mouse which was fudgelike thick and topped with a fresh creamy whipped cream. Very memorable.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - The nightly Napo’o Ana O Ka La Sunset Ritual. This local tradition gives gratitude to the setting sun. Enjoy the blowing of the pū kani nui (conch shell) followed by a traditional hula dance. The photo shows a man and a woman with tikki torches, mountain, and ocean views.
The nightly Napo’o Ana O Ka La Sunset Ritual at Welina Terrace. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

Welina Terrace

Reservations are a must at the Welina Terrace as it is known for being the best spot on Kauai to watch the sunset. Plan your arrival about an hour before sunset so you can catch the nightly Napo’o Ana O Ka La Sunset Ritual. This local tradition gives gratitude to the setting sun. Enjoy the blowing of the pū kani nui (conch shell) followed by a traditional hula dance. Take the time to reflect and appreciate your day. This is just one of the ways the resort shares traditional Hawaiian culture with its guests. Certain nights of the week, enjoy live music from local bands.

Welina Terrace is a Japanese-inspired lounge and restaurant. It is led by Chef Misao Masuda whose diverse menu is grounded in Japanese cuisine and influenced by the local culture and ingredients. I was completely overwhelmed by the menu and had no idea what to order. Hannah, the delightful server for the evening came to the rescue with a suggested chef’s tasting menu. She questioned our preferences and food allergies before bringing out an amazing selection of delectable bites. Everything from Chili Hamachi, a yellowtail fish with chili garlic, ponzu, and fresh chili pepper to a flaming Table Hibachi to cook Japanese A5 Wagyu Beef. It was truly an amazing experience. The chef tasting menu is not on the menu but each server can help design the perfect experience for your table. Hannah was very knowledgeable about every course and recommended the perfect Sake

The Sandbox

The Sandbox elevates the whole pool and beachside dining experience. The meals are served in reusable boxes with lids that protect your food from seagulls and the local wild chickens. It is also a nice sustainability touch. Enjoy poke bowls, fish tacos, wagyu beef blend burgers, wood-fired flatbread pizzas, and a variety of craft cocktails.

I ate at the Sandbox twice and both times ordered the Tempura Kaua’i Shrimp Tacos. Oh my gosh, this was so delicious. Each taco had one jumbo tempura shrimp. I’ve never seen a shrimp that big. Served on a grilled corn tortilla with avocado tomatillo salsa. Best enjoyed with a craft cocktail.

SheBuysTravel Tip. On Mondays, the Sandbox is open late for dinner and live music. Lots of fun and the pool is gorgeous after dark with lit fire pits and the beautiful waterfalls.

In addition to the above, 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay also has Neighbors, a coffee shop with light bites for breakfast and lunch, Kai Maika’i By 1 Kitchen for lunch and cocktails by the adult pool, and Wai’oli for shave ice. The gym Anatomy has a juice bar for post-workout refreshments.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Infinity pool with views of Hanalei Bay and mountains in the distance.
The beautiful adult infinity pool at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay offers breathtaking views of the bay and mountains. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay Pools And Hot Tubs

The resort offers three pools. The adults-only pool is an infinity pool with an attached hot tub. It is located on the 8th floor near 1 Kitchen restaurant. With views of Hanalei Bay, the resort, and mountains in the distance, it is the perfect spot to relax. The family-friendly pool deck has two pools and is on the first floor next to the beach. It has a fun beachy vibe with lots of palm trees, landscaping with native plants, and beautiful waterfalls. There are also three hot tubs. Pool attendants are available to set up the comfy lounge chairs at each pool with a cover and additional towels. Even though I was not traveling with children I enjoyed spending time at the family pool due to the scenery and views. Sipping a craft cocktail while watching the sunset is the ultimate form of relaxation. Poolside service is available at all pools.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Therapist massages the neck of a guest during a facial.
Facial Treatment at the Bamford Wellness Spa. Photo credit: Mikkel Vang

Bramford Wellness Spa And Other Wellness Experiences At The 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

The 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay is a true wellness retreat with not only a world-class spa but Anatomy, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, Vitahealth Precision Wellbeing, and Touchless Therapies. A true wellness experience encompasses mind, body, and spirit and the resort delivers with curated offerings. Book a Within Wellness Journey for your stay or book treatments and experiences ala carte. The wellness offerings below are open to all guests for a fee.

Bamford Wellness Spa

The Bamford Wellness Spa is inspired by Carole Bamford, a passionate champion of wellness based on a heartfelt connection with nature. Treatments use specially formulated products from the Bamford body and skincare lines made from natural and organic ingredients. This beautiful spa has 18 treatment rooms with two dedicated to couples. Guests will enjoy unwinding in the steam room or the serene relaxation lounge before or after their spa treatments. The spa’s gift shop is the largest shop on the property with a beautifully curated line of body and facial products as well as clothing and accessories.

I enjoyed two spa treatments during my visit. My hands were scrubbed with Upcycled Coffee Scrub and Bamford Geranium Salt scrub then a manicure with Dazzle Dry products, with ethically sourced ingredients and a unique process that has dry nails in five minutes with no harsh chemicals or UV light. My second treatment was a Bamford Botanical Sugar Scrub. Sugar is a natural exfoliant that clears away dead skin cells and invigorates the skin. After the gentle scrub, my skin was nourished with healing oils based on Hawaiian Plant Medicine. On both visits, I spent time in the relaxation room.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Guest emerges from the Ocean Float room, a flotation tank, one of the Touchless Therapies offered at the 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay.
Guest emerges from the Ocean Float room, a flotation tank, one of the Touchless Therapies offered at 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay. Photo credit: Mikkel Vang

Touchless Therapies

These Touchless Therapies are unique ways guests can enjoy the latest in trailblazing treatments. Some are available in the Bamford Spa and others in a designated space in Anatomy. Try the Ocean Float Room, a flotation tank that creates a zero-gravity environment. The Somadome Meditation Pod provides stress relief in a tech-enabled meditation vessel. Breathe in 100% pure oxygen with the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. A variety of other items such as Normatec 3 compression leg cuffs are available in the spa. I tried these and found relief for swelling in my legs. Coming soon are a Cryo Chamber and Dreampod Ice Baths.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Photo of fitness equipment in the fitness center.
Anatomy is a fitness center with the latest in cardio and weight training equipment. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

Anatomy

This is the largest fitness room I have ever seen in a hotel. Once one of the ballrooms for the old St. Regis Princeville, it has been transformed into the latest in weight training and cardio equipment. Overseen by former NFL player Marc Megna, skilled Anatomy Body Architects help bring your fitness to a whole new level. Anatomy also offers a variety of fitness and body analysis tests for a fee. Each day there are group classes available for guests staying at the hotel or guests can book one-on-one classes and training.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Treatment room for Vitahealth Precision Wellbeing for their innovative premium IV therapy.
Treatment room for Vitahealth Precision Wellbeing for their innovative premium IV therapy. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

Vitahealth Precision Wellbeing

The hotel has partnered with Vitahealth Precision Wellbeing which offers a variety of treatments including innovative premium IV therapies that can be targeted to guests’ wellness goals. State-of-the-art medical aesthetics will soon be available as well. Treatments can be coordinated with your home medical care if blood tests etc are needed prior to your arrival or they can be done while staying at the hotel.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - View of the rocky cove, tide pools, and coral reef.
Guests can enjoy snorkeling from Pu’u Poa Beach. Sea Turtles are often seen here. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

Other Amenities

The 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay offers a kids club called the Aloha Club that offers childcare for ages 6- 12. It is part of their children’s program called Seedlings. Check the daily Daylife schedule which lists all the activities and cultural experiences available for the day. The concierge is conveniently located near the restaurants and can help book on and off-site adventures. Also available is an activities desk with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters which can arrange flightseeing tours as well as land-based adventure tours.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Take advantage of the Daylife programming. Many activities have no charge. I took a guided beginner’s hike with a local guide. I saw an area of the island I would not have known about.

1Hanalei Bay Reviews - Garden and waterfall with lava rocks.
Lush garden and waterfall in the 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay lobby. Photo credit: Peggy Cleveland

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay Details

The resort is located at 5520 Ka Haku Rd, Princeville, HI 96722. It is a 40-50 mile drive from the Lihue Airport. I booked a rental car with Budget Rental Car at the airport. Certain categories of rooms include roundtrip airport transfers. I liked having a car so I could explore other areas of the island.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Join a rental car program to speed up the process when you pick up a car. I am a member of the Budget Rental Car Fastbreak program. When I arrived at the Lihue rental car desk there was a separate counter for Fastbreak and I quickly picked up my rental agreement and was on my way.

I’m Marguerite Cleveland, an experienced travel writer but all my friends call me Peggy. My domain name was inspired by my friends asking, “Peggy, where should I go?” and then when I share tips they ask “How do you know this?” Well, because I really am a travel expert and I also have a super power. People love to talk to me and share their stories with me. It also leads to great travel tips which I can share with you.
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