Sign Up for Our Monthly Hawaii Newsletter
Hanalei Colony Resort turned 50 years old last year, but the Kauai property had good reason for not celebrating: It was temporarily closed.
The oceanfront, north shore landmark was cleaning up after historic floods hit the island in April 2018. Three months later, a fire destroyed its pool, laundry and maintenance areas.
But now, Hanalei Colony Resort is back in business and exuding the same timeless serenity and hospitality that it has for the past five decades.
The 52-suite condominium resort reopened last December with a full house for the holidays. Since then, occupancy has fallen off due to the impact on tourism from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still, the small, independently owned and managed getaway is continuing to welcome clients with its untold riches.
Renewed and Unplugged AccommodationsDuring my visit in early March, I never would have guessed that the 5-acre resort had experienced flood damage. Its rooms looked exactly as I remembered them from previous stays.
Spread out across 13 low-rise, plantation-style buildings, accommodations have been lovingly maintained and restored with wood floors, area rugs, rattan furnishings, island-inspired touches and artwork reflecting the beauty of the surroundings.
Each unit features a full kitchen, a living room, a king-size bed and additional sleeping options for extra guests. Sliding doors open to lanais, and large windows provide ocean views.
As always, the property’s suites don’t have televisions, stereos, radios or phones, making it one of the few unplugged resorts in Hawaii. This allows clients to focus on the natural splendors of the north shore, embraced by waterfall-laced mountains and the deep blue sea.
On-Property PerksAdding value to Hanalei Colony vacations are three on-site amenities.
Hanalei Day Spa is a boutique hideaway with a variety of indulgences, from hot stone treatments to lomi lomi massages. Clients can opt for a service in the spa’s private, beachside thatched hut, where hands-on healing is enhanced by warm tradewinds.
Also on-property is the oceanfront Opakapaka Grill & Bar. For lunch or dinner, clients can dig into farm-to-table produce and fresh-caught seafood while gazing at palms and surf through picture windows.
Guests are also just steps away from Na Pali Art Gallery & Coffee House, a hub of culture and java. Locally created paintings, sculptures and jewelry share space with a cafe selling espresso drinks, smoothies, bagels and croissant sandwiches.
On the drawing board is a new pool and gazebo, which Laura Richards, general manager of the hotel, estimates will take about 10 months to complete. Once it’s open, it will give clients yet another fun spot to mingle.
“We’re a friendly resort,” Richards said. “Guests often become longtime friends, and some even book the same future dates to see one another again.”
Regional LuresWith so many delights at their disposal, guests might want to stay put on the property, but Richards encourages them to explore.
The resort stands just 1 mile away from Limahuli Garden & Preserve, a National Tropical Botanical Garden, and 2 miles from the beginning of Napali Coast State Wilderness Park.
To help clients get out and about, the property offers free transportation to beaches, shopping, restaurants and other activities and attractions.
Meanwhile, Hanalei Colony is a handy stop for the North Shore Shuttle, which is the primary service system for Haena State Park (home of Kee Beach and the Kalalau Trail). Resort guests must make reservations in advance to ride that shuttle, which limits its number of daily visitors.
Travel Advisor TipsTravel agents who want to sell Hanalei Colony will find success with targeting adventure- and nature-loving clients, as well as romance travelers, especially honeymooners, according to Richards.
The property does equally well with visitors seeking a wellness retreat.
“Many people come here to really rejuvenate,” Richards said. “Hanalei Day Spa caters to them with packages lasting from three to 21 days.”
Paying 15% commission, the property is giving agents one free night’s stay for every 10 nights they book for their clients.
It’s also extending a 50% discount on advisor stays. Richards hopes that agents will take her up on the offer, because the one-of-a-kind hotel begs to be experienced firsthand.
“Hanalei Colony Resort is not about us,” she said. “We’re here for you to immerse yourself in beauty, nature and adventure.”
The DetailsHanalei Colony Resortwww.hcr.com