The view across Hanalei Bay to rugged Mount Makana and the Emerald Mountains is so soothing, draped in fog in the mornings and in grades of magenta after sunset, that just looking at it from 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay could be a wellness experience on its own. But there’s a lot more at this hotel which opened in February in Princeville on the North Shore of the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i. A new program, Within Wellness, was just introduced as a comprehensive, integrated plan, establishing this already tranquil place as a serious option for real rejuvenation.
The hotel visually fits this role from the moment you arrive. After a multi-year, $300 million renovation from its previous lives as Princeville Resort and St. Regis Princeville, the hotel sports the trademark one-with- nature 1 Hotels look: lots of greenery, natural materials, water features, neutral tones. Guests check in in a partly open air clifftop lobby constructed of reclaimed teak, puka lava stone walls and abacá fiber woven ceilings surrounded by gardens, a waterfall and stream. They then proceed to lower floors down the cliff to rooms created from more reclaimed teak, abacá furniture, floors of local basalt and artifacts from local artisans. The buildings’ roofs are laden with grass and chef’s garden herbs, improving the air quality as well as furthering the melding into the landscape. Through a massive salvage and re-use effort, the hotel is on track to be 100% carbon neutral.
Surrounded by this natural environment, Within Wellness combines elements from the 18,000 square foot Bamford Wellness Spa, the 10,000 square foot fitness/sports/movements section Anatomy and Vitahealth Precision Wellbeing, a science based, doctor/nurse led specialist in hormone balancing and the infusion of bioavailable nutrients to reduce inflammation and other conditions. Treatments ranging from cryotherapy to vibrational acoustic therapy and procedures using native Hawaiian medicinal plants are available either a la carte or in themed journeys customized in length of stay and purpose: Rejuvenate & Renew focusing on mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing; Replenish & Restore combining traditional healing techniques and medical therapies; Adventure Seeker specializing in performance and recovery training through the outdoor pursuits prevalent in this location and Flavors of Kaua’i using nutritional education for weight loss, immune health and mental clarity.
Guests going all in on the program can also take one of the 22 rooms within the resort’s 252 that are equipped with special features such as mattresses with sleep enhancement technology, infrared PEMF mats by HigherDOSE (mats with a mild electrical current to reduce pain or inflammation and increase blood flow to cells) and HyperIce Hypervolt 2 Pro percussion massagers. The culinary program will also be tailored to incorporate longevity foods that are a mainstay in Blue Zones around the world such as whole grains, seasonable fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds along with hyper local farm and ocean to table ingredients and items from the rooftop organic garden.
Even without following a special menu, though, regular guests eat extremely well, and if they choose, very healthily here. The Sandbox, the casual restaurant near the beach and main pool, features a menu that includes the self proclaimed Healthy Bowl with rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, baby kale, etc. with Huli Huli chicken, grilled prawns or fresh catch add-ons, roasted beet hummus and a classic spicy poké bowl along with, at the other end of the cholesterol scale, a short rib and wagyu ribeye burger with a bacon-pineapple preserve, cheese and caramelized onion and an enormous flatbread with Huli Huli chicken, mozzarella, cheddar, caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon and BBQ sauce. (All are delicious.) The signature restaurant 1 Kitchen is extensively farm/ocean to table with dishes such as tuna carpaccio with grilled golden pineapple and the local fish kanpachi with macademia nuts and gremolata. The top floor Welina Terrace has an extensive and delectable Japanese menu ranging from a long list of nigiri, sashimi and rolls to chili Hamachi, A5 Wagyu grilled on a table hibachi and pan seared Hokkaido scallops with balsamic teriyaki. Even if they’re dining at one of the other restaurants, guests gather on the outdoor terrace, the perfect position for sunset, and the nightly traditional sunset ceremony including a haunting song and accompanying emotive hula by a solo dancer.
All hotel guests also have access to the natural wonders outside of the resort, from kayaking on the Hanalei River and hiking nearby trails to exploring the towering cliffs of the nearby Nāpali Coast by boat, snorkeling the waters surrounding them and surfing lessons with noted Kaua‘i surfer Bill Hamilton. And every month, a prodigious list of activities is issued for guests to reserve, from learning about crystal healing and the art of hula to ukelele lessons and the secrets of healing through native Hawaiian plants. Or they can just take a position in the adults only infinity pool perched outside of 1 Kitchen and stare at the view.