Kailua-Kona, BIG ISLAND, HI 96740
This is by far the nicest resort DH or I have ever stayed at (and we both have traveled a lot for work). We booked the “romance package” for 5 nights, which included monogrammed bathrobes, a bottle of champagne, and breakfast (we ordered room service every day). If you’re lounging at the pool they come around with Evian mist spray, cold towels and will even clean your sunglasses for you. The resort is beautiful and I’m really glad that we decided to stay here even though it was a splurge. We're already planning to go back for our one year anniversary!! Ask for a room on the lower level, since they have amazing outdoor lava showers. Just heavenly.
We got a good deal here from Hotwire (I think we paid about $180 per night), but we got what we paid for. There wasn’t anything wrong with the hotel, but the service wasn’t great. The room décor seemed a bit dated and they kept getting confused about which name our reservation was under (even though when we checked in they specifically asked us if we had the same/different last names and we gave them both my and DH’s names). We had to call three times to get them to bring us our luggage (because they couldn’t find it – confusion about which names they were under). The restaurant by the pool wasn’t very good, although we did have a really nice dinner at the Coconut Grille. The beach in front of the hotel is really nice and somewhat makes up for the hotel itself. We took the shuttle to the Mauna Kea resort (which is the sister resort located next door) and were more impressed with that facility. The Mauna Kea beach is a bit more protected, so it’s a little calmer and overall that hotel just had a nicer feel. If we were to go back, I’d stay at the Mauna Kea instead.
Koloa, KAUAI, HI 96756
(808) 742 1234
We went down to the south shore of Kauai just for one night to check it out. This hotel has a very “tropical resort” feel to the grounds are beautifully landscaped. We didn’t use the pools, but they looked pretty nice! Overall the service was good (but it wasn’t quite as good as the Princeville). The Anara Spa is extremely nice – pricey but worth it. The spa is being renovated now, so they are doing treatments in guests rooms next to the spa which overlook a big lawn. When I had my facial, there was a ten-year vow-renewal ceremony going on right outside. I didn’t mind listening to it (for obvious reasons), but it didn’t exactly have a serene feel to it. We had dinner at Tidepools restaurant which was outstanding (both in food and setting).
P.O. Box 223069
Princeville, HI 96722
This hotel is simply top rate. The service is excellent and it is still one of the nicest hotels I’ve ever stayed at (although it got downgraded a notch after we got to the Four Seasons on the Big Island – more on that later). Our guests raved about the pool service (swim up bar, flags on the back of the chairs you raise when you want a drink, ice water, and fresh pineapple slices). The Living Room is an awesome place to sit and watch the sunset. We didn’t actually eat in any of the restaurants there, but our guests said the breakfast in Café Hanalei was good. The only issue I had was that I wanted to have my dress pressed, and they don’t press wedding dresses on site (they send it out to one of the local dry cleaners). Since the turnaround time was 2 days, and I was afraid that we wouldn’t get it back in time I just hung it up in the bathroom and “steamed” it myself by letting the shower run. It didn’t get all the wrinkles out, but it was good enough. And it was free!
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 204-0363, (866) 462-2552
Kauai didn’t have a lot of linen available for rent, so I opted to use BBJ instead. They have virtually any type of linen you could ever want! They ship them to you (or in my case they shipped it directly to our caterer) and provide a duffle bag with pre-paid Fed-Ex label to return them (you just need to drop them off at a FedEx location or you can call and have them picked up by FedEx).
Lihue, KAUAI, HI 96766
They delivered and set everything up as promised, which is pretty much all I expected. Only downside is that they don’t have email so a lot of things had to be done via fax.
We went with the recommended wine pairing suggested by our caterer. They can order pretty much anything you want, if you give them enough notice. I just called and placed an order and picked it up when we got to Kauai. Very straightforward.
I debated whether or not to hire a separate musician for the ceremony and cocktail hour, but I’m so glad that we did. He was very prompt to respond to emails and was very flexible about some last minute changes we wanted to make. He is very talented. For the cocktail hour I simply requested that he play upbeat music, and although we weren’t there to enjoy it the guests said it really added to the overall experience.
Mike was our DJ for the evening and he did a great job. He was very responsive to all the guest requests and everyone spent most of the night on the dance floor (including me!!) He brought a bubble machine (which I did not ask for) which was great entertainment for the kids who thought it was fun to chase all the bubbles around.
I fell in love with his website and knew I wanted him to photograph our wedding. He was so easy to work with. He was very accommodating to our request for beach shots. The only issue is that he didn’t always respond to emails promptly (he was better via phone).