St. Regis Princeville Leaving Starwood November 16, 2018

Filed Under: Hotels, Starwood Preferred Guest

Update: This is an update to a previous post to indicate that this is officially happening. The St. Regis Princeville will be leaving Marriott/Starwood as of November 16, 2018. As noted by LoyaltyLobby, here’s what guests with reservations are being told:

As a valued Starwood Preferred Guest member, we are writing you to inform you of a change in the status of The St. Regis Princeville Resort. As of November 16, 2018, the property will no longer be part of Marriott International or the St. Regis brand and will no longer participate in the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program. The hotel will now be called the Princeville Resort.

We see you are currently holding a reservation We are pleased to advise you that the hotel will honor your reservation room rate and/or for a Preferred (free) Night Award as confirmed. However, since the hotel will not be affiliated with the Marriott or SPG system, you will not earn Reward Points for any eligible charges incurred. You will also not receive any of your Starwood Preferred Guest membership amenities or benefits.

You can find the original post from August below.

The St. Regis Princeville on the island of Kauai is one of the most aspirational Starwood properties in the US. There aren’t many St. Regis resorts in the US, so this has been a popular place for redeeming Starpoints.

Unfortunately it is being reported that the St. Regis Princeville will be leaving Starwood. While an exact timeline hasn’t yet been revealed, Starwood Capital has agreed to purchase the hotel for $225 million, and they plan to spend a further $80 million renovating the hotel.

At that point it will be rebranded as a “1 Hotel” property, as the brand currently has two properties in New York, and one in Miami. 1 Hotels are also currently under development in California, China, and Mexico.

You might be saying “wait a second, Starwood Capital is buying the hotel and rebranding it as something other than a Starwood hotel?”

Starwood Capital’s CEO is the founder of Starwood Hotels, though clearly he doesn’t have a connection to the brand anymore, so at this point the similar names don’t mean much. It doesn’t look like the hotel is leaving over any bad blood regarding the Marriott and Starwood merger, but rather just because Starwood Capital is trying to grow the 1 Hotels brand.

The St. Regis Princeville was first opened as a Sheraton in 1986, and then in 2009 was rebranded as a St. Regis.

The fact that they’re renovating the hotel suggests that this should be a nice upgrade in terms of the guest experience. However, it goes without saying that this is bad news for those of us who like loyalty programs, regardless of whether you were staying at the St. Regis to earn or redeem points, or just appreciated the elite perks offered as part of SPG.

I’ve never made it to this property before, and I guess at this point I won’t be going. Fortunately there’s another good points hotel on the island, the Grand Hyatt Kauai.

Are you sad to see the St. Regis Princeville leave Starwood?

(Tip of the hat to @Jeffsetter)

  1. @ Lucky — FWIW, additional follow-up reporting said that Starwood Capital denies the purchase. But it was worded in such a way that didn’t deny they had an interest in buying the property. It is pretty clear though that current owner wants to sell.

  2. I recently spent 4 nights at princeville and was struck how dated the property was, the lobby was beautiful but dated, the rooms were not modern and there was no unifing overall theme at the hotel.

  3. I’ll choose the Grand Hyatt every time over Princeville. The drive up there along makes it avoidable.

  4. It was a Luxury Collection property before they renovated it and branded it as a St Regis. I actually liked it better before it became a St Regis…it had a bit more of an island vibe. Also used to get great upgrades as an SPG Plat, but that ended when it became a St Regis.

  5. I stayed at this resort last August and I had a terrible time. Everything was dated and the exterior of the hotel looked dirty, disgusting, and sketchy. We were supposed to have a butler, but he never showed up. Also, it was on by far the worst beach in Hawaii. The water was dirty and you couldn’t even swim because it was so shallow. Also, it was difficult to swim because if you go out like 10 feet there is a ton of corral. Also, there was a snake in the water. However, the pool was decent, but nothing special. Also the hotel breakfast was really great. And finally the views from the property were incredible. But, I am still ok with this property leaving because it is not nearly as nice as other St Regis and other resorts on the island. I even liked the Sheraton I’m Poipu a lot more.

  6. St. Regis as a brand just never seemed awfully coherent to me, either in terms of their mix of urban and resort properties or their brand standards or design…. high end yes, but aside from the iconic original in New York what was the defining philosophy? In many cases it seemed to be a slightly more glammed up version of The Luxury Collection, and I’ve often preferred my stays at luxury collection properties for that reason.

    It does seem St. Regis have been losing quite a few properties recently… I understand there are various reasons behind this but one wonders how sustainably Marriott views this brand in terms of growth. Maybe they should retrench and try to focus it a bit more.

  7. No loss imo. While the setting is beautiful, this hotel is beyond dated. The rooms are tired with low ceilings, the exterior has a concrete ‘prison’ vibe, and the St. Regis ‘service’ totally misses the bar. In the end, this hotel was, and always will be, a Sheraton with a lovely view.

  8. @Lucky–As IvanY says above, the reports now indicate that the sale news was premature and not accurate. As of now, the hotel still is up for sale, as it has been since late 2016.

    The StR Princeville is most clearly dated. Obviously, it will take a new owner to finally renovate the property. The current owner is a LA pension fund which was less interested in improving the property and far more interested in its investment potential.

    That being said, the StR Princeville feels more traditionally Hawaiian than a large number of other Hawaiian Island luxury properties (including the much larger and much less luxurious Grand Hyatt Kauai). The StR view is the best in the Hawaiian Islands–nothing else even comes close. While the StR building is dated, the interior public spaces are quite nice and traditionally Hawaiian, even if the rooms/suites definitely could use a refresh/refurbishment. Of course, most Hawaiian luxury hotels could use a refurbishment! And the StR service, food/beverage, and pool area are among the finest in Hawaii.

    Which is why we’re booked for the StR again in April–assuming it’s still part of the Marriott/SPG portfolio.

  9. It’s a nice property with fantastic sunsets but it’s not worth the nightly rate. A bit dated and feels packaged. Better off renting a private home on Kauai (which is likely less expensive) and having dinner at the St Regis Princeville to experience the view at least once.

  10. I was just in Kauai last week. My wife and I stayed at the Grand Hyatt, but we loved the St. Regis Princeville property so much more. We were sitting at their outdoor bar terrace for hours – the view was amazing! I can’t say anything about the rooms, but I did think the lobby was nice. The Grand Hyatt was much more dated and we didn’t particularly care for it. We both agreed that if we were to go back to Kauai, we would stay at the St. Regis Princeville.

  11. This property is just not an elite property. I stayed there not that long ago and the location and lobby is great. Certainly from the restaurants and rooms you get a wonderful view. But keep going past the lobby and it’s very dated…to the point that it’s unappealing. The rooms and the facade of the back where the pool/water is is pretty uninspiring…and this is me being kind. This property is slightly better than a nice Sheraton.

    I’m a lifetime plat SPG so I’ve been to two or three starwoods for reference.

  12. We got double upgraded to a suite a couple years ago on a 2nt inexpensive FHR paid stay with gold status and it was awesome. Fantastic property and super nice $$$$ restaurant.

  13. I’ve stayed there maybe 8-10 times over the years, and it has not changed a bit since 2000. Somewhere along the way, we decided to rent homes in Hanalei instead, which I recommend for a better Kauai experience. Occasionally, I’ll meet a first-timer friend for a drink at the bar for the view, but otherwise, there’s no reason for any experienced Kauai traveler to stay there. If you’ve never been to Kauai, and can stay for free with points, then great. But just use it as a base to get out and about. It’s not a luxury resort in and of itself. For example, the twice-weekly luau takes in tour buses from outside…

  14. Amazing property but desperately in need for a update. The rooms look dark and very beaten up.

  15. I stayed there 3 years ago and was extremely impressed with their service. I had lost my wallet while sitting at the pool bar, waiting for our room to be ready. Upon checking in once our room was ready, I found that I was missing my wallet. I had to do nothing but sit and within minutes they had my wallet back to me, found where I thought I had lost it. I have never seen anything be resolved quite that fast so I was impressed. We had one other occasion to experience their service and it was again, beyond the norm. The lobby was beyond elegant and as most have said, the views from the lobby, breakfast area, pool, etc are some of the best in all of Hawaii or perhaps the world. I was inspired and in awe looking out every day. Yes the rooms were not perfect, but are you in Hawaii to stay in your room? Breakfast was excellent and just sitting there first thing in the morning, having coffee with that view was breathtaking. I went snorkeling among the coral that some have complained about and it was some of the best snorkeling I have ever done as there were no waves and the salt content in the water kept me bouanyt unlike any other time I have snorkeled, making me enjoy the experience even more. I have no idea what the service is like now, but I will say I had one of my best travel experiences at this hotel and will remember it fondly. And before anyone says that I must not have traveled to to many places, I will tell you have been around the world and stayed in some of the top hotels, with glorious views and service. This Princeville Resort will remain among the most memorable. I only wish everyone could have had such an enjoyable experience. And yes, I am Platinum and paid for an upgrade, so really all we got was a free breakfast, but we did get our parking comped too.

  16. Fantastic property – best on island. Hyatt location is vastly inferior. Wonderful staff – beautiful rooms. I don’t need an Andaz with a tub in living room and no bathroom door. The grounds are great and pool/beach cannot be beat. 5 hours from mainland USA so easy to reach unlike Bali, Maldives etc. Plus in USA with US service standards in a country not run by religious fanatics. Really it is hard to top Hawaii and this property. Sad to see it go – wonder if it will survive as an independent a la Hotel Hana or ultimately return to the fold.

  17. Loved the property – stayed here with my kid who was a toddler at the time. The hotel staff went above and beyond – free baby and kid’s menu, a stuffy and looked after us overall.

    While the rooms were a bit dated, I like old grand hotel rooms with lots of marble – the sleek look with sharp edges and no personality don’t appeal to me. It’s one reason why I keep going back to the Kahala Hotel – the large rooms!

  18. Staying at the Westin in Princeville next month. Was hoping to take advantage of the shuttle and use of the beach at the StR. Can anyone confirm that this service will be eliminated with the departure from SPG?

  19. @lucky, as an SPG gold with a 5 night award stay already booked for March, I feel like I won’t be getting what I paid for (no elite benefits, no points earned while there, etc). Do you think there’s a case to be made for preemptive compensation from Marriott?

  20. There is Westin Princeville next door, a timeshare property. It can be booked with Vistana points.

    It would be nice if you cover timeshare points, like Hyatt, Vistana, Marriott, etc. in your points blog. It’s a different animal than hotel points, but there is a tremendous outsized value in them, if you learn the ropes.

  21. Does this mean that the 99 million posts comparing it to GHK will cease and GHK can be declared definitively better? 😀

  22. I remember being there on business right after it opened. I remember they use to sell T Shirts ” where the hell is Princeville” !!!!!

  23. No tears here. I stayed there this summer and it was such a disappointment. My husband called it the “Ain’t Regis” the entire week. Like someone else here said the exterior had a “prison vibe”, the rooms smelled and were extremely dated. The food/service was hit or miss. The Westin guests down the road received open resort privileges and free parking. Because of this, the pool was so crowded that it was impossible to score a pool chair. There were literally Westin guests lugging coolers and pool floats through the lobby. Not exactly a $900 night caliber hotel. Luckily I have stayed at a real St. Regis in Bora Bora, so I knew that it was just this hotel and not the entire brand. Good riddance…

  24. @ The Hamburglar — Historically hotel groups don’t really offer anything for situations like this. It’s not fair to consumers since we book the hotel because of their association with the brand we’re loyal to, and it’s not our fault when that changes. However, it’s an area where the hotel groups are technically covered, so I’m not sure there’s much that can be done. It can’t hurt to send an email and ask if they’ll do anything, but I wouldn’t expect it, unfortunately. Hope you have a great stay nonetheless!

  25. Zero loss to me. There are a trillion islands with top tier Marriott-SPG properties, this is just one of god knows how many.

    And I still find it fascinating how nearly every blogger only talks about the exotic islands and practically never cover highly coveted ski destination ones (and actually talk about the ski aspect of it instead of “Davos for the sake of Davos”).

    Those can easily be more aspirational to a very wide swath of the population than yet-another-over-water-bungalow

  26. @kabukijuul- I’m calling bs. Everything I’ve read about the benefits extended to the low-rent Westin guests at their ghetto property down the road begins and ends at a shuttle to the StR and use of the (public, see law, State of Hawaii) beach.

    Westin dirtbags must bring their own (low thread count) towels and cannot so much as lay a hairy, greasy finger on a StR chaise longue (not that they’d know how to pronounce it). I’ve read many accounts stating there is no pool access whatsoever for Westin undesirables.

    But apologies in arrears for having to mix with the hoi polloi Westin dwellers. I hope you didn’t catch anything nasty from that unwashed horde.

    FWIW, I’ll be staying at both the Westin and GHK next month. Wouldn’t waste points or $ on that StR.

  27. This recycling of posts is damn confusing when some comments relate to the earlier post. Can I go on record as saying I hate the practice.

  28. Surprised they will be renovating it extensively, again. It was renovated in 2009-2010 as it transitioned to St. Regis, though the architectural style of the hotel is somewhat dated. It is a nice property in a beautiful setting atop a cliff overlooking Hanalei Bay.

  29. @Grant – No BS from me…

    You admit you are only repeating what you “have read”. I posted what I experienced first hand during my stay as a paying guest (July 2018).

    What you state may have been the “official policy”, and may have been enforced in the past, but was certainly not enforced this July.

    The location is stunning. The fact that St. Regis has abandoned this property is all the proof that is required to know it was not up to St. Regis standards. Not even close.

  30. This was the worst St Regis I have ever stayed at. The hotel was so tired looking… from plastic lounge chairs to horribly dated hotel rooms not to mention high nightly rates for clearly underwhelming experience. The view is gorgeous and the whole time I was there, I was wishing Four Seasons/ Mandarin would take over to give this place a proper upgrade it deserves. Thank god it is leaving Marriot. That’s a start. Maybe Ellison will come and buy the hotel and rebrand it as a Four Seasons. One can only hope. The one at Lanai is incredible!

    Hyatt, on the other side of the island, has a more modern room and sunnier weather. But view is definitely not even close and they are more family friendly… ie lots of kids screaming and running around…..

  31. We only had the opportunity to stay at this property once. I wouldn’t say that the property itself was that nice of a room/accommodation sleeping experience but what was magical was its location overlooking Hanalai Bay and its pool spot on the bay. With that said, if I had the opportunity to stay there again I wouldn’t hesitate.

  32. As a Marriott Ambassador who has fond memories of staying at this property, it saddens me to see it leave the St. Regis portfolio. My husband and I were planning to stay here to celebrate our anniversary but once we found out this news, we now plan to celebrate at the Ritz-Carlton

  33. @DavidCurran – as mentioned above, there are no snakes in Hawaii. Are you sure that wasn’t a moray eel, which are known to populate coral areas throughout the state?

  34. Just returned from Kauai and we were extremely underwhelmed by the St. Regis for the price. Basic room was $660 plus daily $35 valet fee and $30 resort fee. For that I expected much more than a tired sprawling hotel that offers minimal amenities and outrageous prices on food and drinks (even by Hawaii standards). I’m glad we only spent 3 nights of our vacation here. The topper was that after spending $3000 my husband realized he left his glasses and we contacted the hotel, and they were able to locate and send them to us. And also added a $7 shipping charge to our credit card! I will say that the valet/bellman were all wonderful and helpful as we came and went.
    It is a beautiful location that needs an overhaul to be splurge-worthy. The restaurant could also benefit from a local chef to really deliver a more Hawaii specific experience.
    One other complaint about our vacation (the rest of our trip to Kauai was lovely, I promise!) was sadly Alaska Airlines. Before we even boarded our flight, the gate agents were announcing that we would have an overweight (really???) flight and they were looking for volunteers to take later flights. Once we boarded they wanted 14(!!!!) passengers to then leave the plane. Eventually they did get enough volunteers but I think they were just about to ‘force’ volunteers. We ended up sitting on the ground for an extra hour because of this mysterious weight issue, which frankly no one could understand since this is a regular flight that occurs every day. The Seattle-Hawaii route on a single aisle 737 is already not a good experience, and not one that I want to spend an extra hour on based on their poor planning. I like Alaska Air, but never again to Hawaii!

  35. This hotel had its day but just wasn’t kept up. I love old Hawaii architecture and authentic Polynesian vibes from the 60’s, but only if they are maintained! View and location are unparalleled, pool is nice, but the property is in desperate need of a massive cash infusion to bring it up to the standard that is expected. Service was abhorrent. I knew Four Seasons was considering buying for a while but my guess would be that it would take too much investment to see a timely return. Too bad another billionaire tech genius didn’t add it to their portfolio as this is the kind of financial backing it needs! I read that the new owners were planning on a $60M renovation? Yikes, hope they add another zero to that estimate!

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