Spiffed up after a $16 million renovation, the 394-room Sheraton Kauai Resort on Poipu Beach rebranded its oceanfront restaurant, RumFire. We stopped by for a fun mixology class where we worked with local ingredients like pureed mango, lehua honey syrup and juices from lychee, coconut and pineapple. Think passionfruit punch and mango mai tais.
“The Sheraton brand is about bringing people together,” says Simone McCaffrey, group sales manager. “Groups can gather for dinner in RumFire following a cocktail reception around our new courtyard fire pits just outside.” Strolling waiters are armed with pupu (appetizer) platters of seared Hawaiian tuna flatbread, ahi tacos, sweet potato fries, Chinese char siu ribs and shrimp ceviche taquitos. The pool area has also been expanded and refreshed with eight VIP bungalows with loungers, WiFi and flat screen TVs.
“While we have 50,000 sf of indoor/outdoor function space, groups tend to prefer our pool area and lawns since they’re literally just steps from the ocean,” says McCaffrey. She adds that as part of a global brandwide initiative with Wine Spectator, the resort is rolling out the Sheraton Social Hour. Three evenings a week, guests have access to 90+ wines served in Riedel stemware and a selection of local specialties from the kitchen.
Starwood’s “Stay At One, Dine At All” privileges let planners mix in experiences at the St. Regis Princeville Resort and The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas on Kauai’s lush north shore. At the Westin’s Nanea, executive chef Kahau Manzo presents a dazzling island-inspired menu with honshimegi risotto, ahi wraps, huli huli chicken and stuff tofu salad. Sprawling along 18 acres that hug a cliffside above Anini Beach, the Westin’s 173 two-bedroom villas break off as studios and 1-bedroom units.
Perched on Hanalei Bay a few miles away, the 251-room St. Regis provides groups with a 45-foot traditional Hawaiian sailing canoe and the 11,000-sf Halelea Spa. Treatments tap into locally sourced ingredients like taro butter, seaweed, coconut oil, Kauai sugar and organic aloe. Few will argue that the views from the St. Regis Bar are among the most dramatic in the Islands. And the resort’s Kauai Grille is Hawaii’s only dining experience from Michelin chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten.