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Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

Louisiana
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Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

I am planning a trip and although my dates are not decided yet I am already researching my lodging. I plan to stay 4 days/ nights in Poipu (Kuhio Shores) and go to the North for 4 nights and am going back and forth on the two places -Hanalei Colony or Hanalei Bay.

from what I can tell with my very limited knowledge, HBR overlooks the Bay with a steep walk down but there are golf carts to shuttle you there and also take you to the St Regis restaurants.

On the other hand , HCR sits right on the beach and has an onsite restaurant.

It is just me and my husband and although we like a kitchen to cook sometimes - we want a place to eat we can walk to or easily get to .

My questions are:

Is one resort's beach preferable to the other?

Is one resort's grounds nicer?

Are either close to the Town if Hanalei?

My budget is $325 to $375 a night for this part of the trip. That doesn't mean I mind spending less if one costs much more but the views and accomadations aren't worth it. We snorkel a little these days( used to go Caribean and Mexico to snorkel for many years). We like strolling beaches and enjoying the views from our rental just as much these days as being in the water

Just want your opinion on these two choices. I think I've gone back and forth reading on each I have confused myself ( not hard to do I assure you) Thank you in advance for any advice , opinions or input.

Orlando, FL
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1. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

We just completed a stay at Hanalei Bay Resort. The grounds are very nice and the main pool is really, really nice. As is the hot tub. The views are probably close to the best in area. However, it is situated up and away and hence the views are distant and you probably won't hear the ocean. Still very nice, though.

We walked down to the St Regis beach a couple of times for sunset. Personally, I was not impressed with this beach. Not when you consider all the other beaches in the area, like Ke'e, Tunnels and Anini. It was nice enough for sunset, but for just hanging out & relaxing I think you will be happier if you drive to a beach elsewhere.

We did not eat at the St. Regis restaurant but did order drinks once at the poolside bar. Everything is more expensive on Kauai, and you expect that, but I really do not like getting gouged. $15 for a so-so Mai Tai is what I call getting gouged. Admittedly, part of my sour opinion is because the service was also incredibly s-l-o-w.

California
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2. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

I own at HBR so I can tell you the differences.

Hanalei Colony is the only condo complex on the North Shore directly on a beach. It is located much further north than Princeville where HBR is located. HCR (Colony) are ALL two bedrooms. The second bedroom has little privacy. There are no tvs. It is next to an excellent restaurant, Mediterreanean Gourmet and there is a coffee place inside the gift shop/art gallery. The ocean in front of HCR is not swimmable. It can get quite windy there certain times of the year (like fall and winter). I usually tell people not to stay that far north in the winter due to the weather conditions and chances of the bridges closing down due to flooding. During the summer its a lovely location and you are very close to the top beaches for snorkeling like Tunnels.

HBR (Hanalei Bay Resort) is high on a bluff in Princeville like all other condo complexes. The beach path is paved, it is a 5 minute walk down and 10 up. There is one steep hill so if mobility is an issue, by all means call for the golf cart attendant. There is a phone at the bottom of the beach path to call for a ride back up. Is the beach (Puu Poa) the best on the island? No, but you can snorkel, it has abundant shade areas and then there are the views. You can't beat them. The entry to the water is rocky in spots. I wear beach shoes. The St Regis is right there. You will see their loungers to the right. You can eat in the poolside restaurant or go to their pool bar. They make a really good burger though it is pricey. You can also go up their elevator and have cocktails on the terrace, breakfast outdoors or dinner at Kauai Grill. Don't walk back up the path at night is my recommendation. There are no lights. I agree with the above poster that service can be slow at the hotel. I have had 2 bad experiences at the terrace for drinks. $15 for a mai tai IS expensive, but I have paid more at a Four Seasons and I didn't have that view.

The resort difference are great between the two places. HBR has a large lagoon style pool, a smaller pool near the 8000 building, 8 tennis courts and a world renowned tennis program if that is your thing. The hot tub is great. HCR has a nice new pool but its small.

You can rent an HBR condo in many different ways. You can rent a studio, a hotel room, 1, 2 or 3 bedroom and they are all within your budget. The views depend on the location of the building. The premo views are in the 9000 building like 9305. The other buildings with great views are 4000, 8000 and 3000 for a studio unit. Check out 3201. Can you hear the waves? Oh yes you can if there are waves. Of course during the summer there aren't waves so that's why the OP couldn't hear the waves. I can hear them from my condo.

The grounds of HBR are MUCH prettier than HCR. There are no cars on the property and its just paths of flowers (orchids are everywhere), ginger, palm trees and even banana trees. HCR is configured around a courtyard type grassy area. The thing HCR has over HBR is the beach is right there. The waves can really come crashing down from Oct-April. If you are coming then, you will most certainly fall asleep to the sounds of waves.

Princeville is a planned community. It is surrounded by two golf courses and there's a lovely path you can walk on. You are also close to Hideaways Beach which is beautiful, good for snorkeling (or better yet rent a kayak and kayak to this location from the bay) and uncrowded most of the time. Queen's Bath is also close by, but I do not recommend venturing down if you aren't in good shape or once the ocean gets rough. You can get sweeped out to sea. It has happened.

HBR's restaurant and bar are being rebuilt after a fire. It won't be complete until probably spring of 2104. You can buy sodas, wine, beer and snacks in the tennis/logo shop. Besides the St Regis, there are no other walkable restaurants near HBR. There are some in the shopping center about 5 mins away by car or they have a shuttle service (fee) to drive you into Hanalei if you don't want to drink and drive. From HCR to Hanalei is about 10-12 mins and same from HBR to Hanalei.

So depending on the time of year, both are good choices but different. If you like secluded choose HCR. If you like gorgeous views of the mountains, bay, Bai Hai, Tunnels Beach, choose HBR.

Louisiana
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3. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

Thank you both Dementia-Dog and jebett for your detailed replies. I am looking for nice grounds and a view. Since I will have plenty of oceanfront view and surf sounds while staying in Poipu, I would like some mountain and bay views and nice grounds. So I think HBR sounds like a good fit plus the shuttle to town sounds nice (we like our wine).

We like our tropical drinks too. So a run to the Liquor store sounds better than $15 a drink!

Thank you both once again for your help. Once my better half decides on when to go I no doubt will be back asking more questions!

Edited: 07 July 2013, 16:37
California
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4. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

For HCR you only rent one way (through their website) but for HBR you want to rent a privately owned unit and not one of the timeshares. Once you decide on which one, come back and ask me about it. I know 95% of them and I can also tell you if that is a building with any timeshare renovations going on in it or if its close to the construction of the restaurant.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

You should also read the reviews of each in the hotel reviews sections of TA. You'll get a range of opinions and some details on why people liked or didn't like their stay at these or any other resort.

If you pick HBR you MUST get a privately owned unit. If you go via expedia or some such you will likely get one of the tired timeshare units that get the blistering reviews. Some of the privately owned ones are stunning. Others less so depending on how much $$ the owners have chosen to spend and how long ago.

Louisiana
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6. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

Thanks for the heads up Jebett and dave820 on renting directly thru owners. I will definitely take you up on your offer jebett to get your advice. I really appreciate the help.

Kauai, Hawaii
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7. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

Yep, we would also select the HBR, it is probably our favorite place to stay on the island, and for sure on the north shore.

Killer views of hanalei bay and the mountains, with lush suroundings . We actually walk down the easy trail to the beach at the St. Regis, and besides the beach, we can walk over toward the hanalei river. Hanalei town is pretty easy to drive to in about 5 minutes and we also visit the long hanalei beach.

The grounds are wonderfully kept up and just feel good to the heart. The tropical style swimming pool is lots of fun, and they have small wateralls that you can relax under as well as a jacussi. Also, when we have stayed there , even tho the restaurant is closed, there is a pool style open air cafe to get snacks, bugers, and drinks.

Also there are outdoor bbq's near the smaller pool, and a bbq lanai where we cook up our prime steaks

( thank you costco) . We can take our steaks back up to the condo and eat out on the lanai, or we can just relax for an outdoor picknic at the bbq.

Oh, and one thing that is important to us is freindly people, and the HBR has always been brimming with easy aloha from the guests and the employees.

If you should select the HBR, by all means do drive over the HCR. Their Med. Gormet Restaurant, is our top choice on the north shore. Right on the beach, friendly service, always good food and drinks, and another one of always leaving us with a feel good experience.

Also, even tho we have not stayed at the HCR, we do enjoy walking from there along the shoreline and beach up to Ke'e beach and back. Very pleasant.

Have fun!

California
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8. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

Yes reading the reviews is important. The timeshare rooms are improving as they get remodeled but for now you would get a unit not renovated and most likely near the restaurant construction with no views. The renovated rooms are beautiful, but those go to the timeshare association owners. It is a resort that people buy into multiple weeks and use them every year. You also get to choose the condo you want by going with an owner. If you book through the 800 number or through Hotels.com etc you don't know what you get till you get it. There are a few poor reviews for some privately owned units too, unfortunately, so choose carefully.

Louisiana
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9. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

So are there certain websites/agencies to search for units that are privately owned? I prefer a ground floor or second floor. My husband can do stairs but since we'd be on bluff I would like to reduce the amount of "climbing" he'd have to do. He is very fit and a serious swimmer but has a hip injury from a major waterskiing accident that troubles him on stairs or such.

I had bookmarked unit 7102 I saw on Summit Pacific website as it was ground floor and appeared to have nice views. I see I have to do some research which I find a fun part of traveling. Just not sure how to start finding the privately owned units.

California
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10. Re: Hanalei Colony Resort vs Hanalei Bay Resort & Suites

If you need to reduce climbing, don't consider the 7000 building. It is very far away from the parking lot and main pool area of the resort. Remember the higher in the building the better the views.

Summit Pacific is a good place as is Parrish if you want to consider unit 3201-2 or 9302. VRBO is probably the best place. I would stay away from Oceanfront as their units they manage are not the greatest. Kauai Pacific has some nice rentals.

When are you coming? I will see what I like that is open.