Eco Chick Escapes to Kaua'i: Hiking and Staying in Sustainable Style

The walk from the St. Regis Princeville to the beach.

My favorite kind of wedding to attend is, by far, the destination wedding. While an open bar is never not fun, it’s even better if the drinks are located in a country that takes a passport to get into. And a wedding is a genuine excuse to blow your budget to travel (I barely need an excuse to get out of town, but it’s always nice to have one).

So when my boyfriend received an invitation to nuptials in Kaua’i, I started planning the trip immediately, even though I had never met the bride or groom. Having sojourned on the Big Island and visited Oahu numerous times growing up, I was excited to check out “The Garden Isle” of Kaua’i, which I’d heard so much about.

The Makana Terrace at the St. Regis is just one of the hotel’s restaurants that serves local, organic food. Image courtesy St. Regis Princeville.

After scouring the web for ethical accommodations, I ended up at the St. Regis in Princeville, a stunning hotel in the old-school style, with impeccable customer service and a lobby that I’ll never forget (picture several story-high glass windows fronting a view of one of the most famed spots in Kaua’i and miles of ocean and sky).

While not a small lodging, the St. Regis is well integrated into its environment, and unlike many of the newer hotels I’ve lately seen, it doesn’t try to be more than its location. I have a major antipathy for cheesy, overdone, glitzy hotels that seem designed in Des Moines and plopped down wherever tourists are flying this year. The St. Regis is not one of these, but in its elegance, seems almost to serve to remind us why a boutique hotel isn’t always the way to go.

I had a bit of a stretch out on the rocks in the bay off the beach at the St. Regis.

I had the chance to have a lovely breakfast with Stephanie Reid, the Director of Public Relations for the hotel; she is both a native Hawaiian from Kaua’i (going back 10 generations) and a wealth of knowledge of the natural and human history about the area where the St. Regis is located.

To read the rest of this post, and see all the amazing images, please click over to our sister site, Eco Chick Escapes.

Starre Vartan is founder and editor-in-chief of and the author of the Eco-Chick Guide to Life. She's also a freelance science and environment writer who has published in National Geographic, CNN, Scientific American, Mental Floss, Pacific Standard, the NRDC, and many more. She lives on an island in Puget Sound with her partner and black cat. She was a geologist in her first career, and still picks up rocks wherever she goes.