Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Kauai, Hawaii, United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • No on-site beach access
  • Early checkout
  • No breakfast at restaurants
  • Card system for towels, with penalty charge

Bottom Line

The 346-room Westin Princeville's condo-style time-share units, four beautiful pools, expansive cliffside grounds, and excellent service (for a condo property) make it a solid, quiet option for families and couples. However, there's no on-site beach, better rooms can be found elsewhere, and restaurant options are limited.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Condo-style amenities meet diligent service geared to families and honeymooners

The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

This 20-acre cliffside resort consists of seven buildings containing one-bedroom, suite-style “villas” with washers and dryers, loaded TVs, near-full kitchens, pullout couches, and luxurious bathrooms. With open-air massage facilities and tucked-away quiet pools -- as well as an active main pool, a waterslide, and a full kids' club -- the hotel itself caters equally to romantic couples and families with kids. Set in Princeville, a north shore town that's half country club, half gated community, this hotel runs quieter and less crowded than other Kauai resorts. Plus, the hotel is large enough that both couples and families with small children can carve out their own respective territories.

The well-equipped studio and one-bedroom suites don't stand out much from similarly priced time-share/condo accommodations, so if rooms are the most important part of the trip, look elsewhere. One can find larger rooms with better furnishings at Whalers Cove or the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort for lower rates. And there's no beach on this property; vacationers have to walk down a steep path for about five minutes, drive 10 minutes, or take the free resort shuttle two miles down the road to get to the sand.

Still, its upper-crust Princeville locale and a good level of service and amenities for a condo property give the Westin an edge. It handily trumps the typical do-it-yourself attitude found at the majority of Kauai's condo-style resorts. The mere presence of diligent concierges and proactive, friendly front desk staffers sets this hotel apart. Added perks like daily housekeeping, a host of free kids' activities, and room service (even if it's limited) are rarities at other condos.

The features too are beyond what one typically encounters at a Kauai condo resort. The main pool, the hotel’s hot spot, has two levels, separated from one another by a man-made waterfall. There's a Wii system and a billiards table, plus a bartender serves frozen drinks, sandwiches, and pupus (appetizers) from the poolside café at the main pool. And if you’re into grills, you’re golden. There are six dedicated cookout spots, each with a collection of chrome-finished Webers, finished-wood picnic tables, and steel-framed chairs. Two of them are tucked into the resort's northwest corner, overlooking the bluffs and the ocean below. Toward the waterfront lie two “plunge” pools, where honeymooners and others enjoy relative quiet.

 Service

Excellent for a condo property -- nearly on par with that at luxury hotels

The concierge desk
The concierge desk

The Westin Princeville has undertaken the complex task of offering hotel-style service to guests staying in suites that compete with high-end condos at the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort and Whalers Cove. Those two competitors have higher-end appliances and larger rooms, but can't touch the Westin in its offerings.

Here, the front desk calls the room following each request to confirm it was fulfilled. Not even our top luxury pick, the Grand Hyatt, did that. Concierge desks at the pool, by the convenience store, and in the lobby make orientation and activities booking more convenient than at other resorts. Similarly, the range of activities offered by the staff far outstrips that found at other condo resorts: koi-fish feeding, outdoor movies, arts and crafts.

  • Multiple concierge desks throughout property open throughout the day
  • 24-hour porter service
  • Daily housekeeping; staff can arrange specific cleaning times with a day's notice -- par for the course in this price range
  • Same-day laundry service
  • Scheduled free shuttle stops at Prince Golf Clubhouse, Makai Golf Course, Princeville Shops, St. Regis Princeville Resort, Princeville Rance, and Princeville Airport (but no commercial flights fly in or out of this airport)
  • Room service from Princeville Market available for lunch and dinner; 60-minute delivery time -- slower than at other hotels, but an excellent perk for a condo property
  • Outdoor massages can be arranged through concierge
  • DVD rentals via kiosk 24 hours a day
  • Daily activities include koi-fish feeding, introduction to surfing and SCUBA, hula, lei-making, and more

 Location

In country club-style Princeville, on Kauai's north shore

Kauai's north shore resort town of Princeville houses some of Kauai's most high-end resorts. The Prince Golf Course in many ways defines the area, lending the semi-gated town its country-club vibe. The St. Regis hotel chain chose Princeville for the unveiling of its first Hawaiian resort, which opened in September 2009. Despite the frou-frou vibe, the town also contains access to Queen's Bath, a natural oceanic pool carved out of a lava shelf that juts out of the shore, and offers some of the island's most convenient access to the picturesque Na Pali Coast, a must-see for nature lovers.

  • No direct beachfront; Anini Beach is a five- to 10-minute walk or a five-minute shuttle ride away.
  • 15- to 25-minute drive from Kalalau Trail, a breathtaking hike along the towering cliffs of the Na Pali Coast past waterfalls and secluded beaches
  • 28 miles, 60 minutes from Lihue Airport, Kauai's main airport
  • 90 minutes from the resort area of Poipu and the south shore, where one finds some of the best swimming and surfing beaches on Kauai
  • Two hours from 10-mile-long Waimea Canyon, which Mark Twain called "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific"

 Beach

No beach on-site, a 10-minute walk down a steep path to nearby Anini

There's no on-site beach at the Westin Princeville, which sits on the edge of high, rocky cliffs overlooking the ocean.

  • A steep path connects the resort to Anini Beach, about a five- to 10-minute walk away (guests can also drive 10 minutes to a main entrance).
  • Calm, uncrowded beach shaded by overhanging trees with broad sand and shallow water (good for wading and snorkeling, not surfing)
  • Free resort shuttle also goes to beach next to the soon-to-open St. Regis Princeville , two miles away.
  • Guests get beach towels from poolside huts; $20 penalty if not returned
  • No on-site equipment rental, nearest shop in Hanalei, about a 10-minute drive away

 Rooms

Among Kauai's best suites -- studio, one-bedroom, or two-bedroom

Modern kitchen in the One-bedroom Premium Villa
Modern kitchen in the One-bedroom Premium Villa

The immaculately kept suites at the Westin Princeville have kitchenettes, washers and dryers, Westin "Heavenly" beds, and the island's best TVs, but they're not quite full apartments -- no oven, for example. If fully kitted condo units are the most important part of the vacation, the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort offers larger condos with ovens and top-notch appliances for similar prices.

The Westin's accommodations start at 512-square-foot studios:

One-bedroom apartments (799 square feet), and "two-bedrooms" (one-bedrooms adjoining a studio), are also available. One-bedrooms have the same amenities as the studios, plus:

 Features

Extensive for a condo resort

Outdoor spa cabanas
Outdoor spa cabanas

The number of features -- pools, fitness center, and barbecue grills -- are great compared with those at other Kauai condo resorts. There's no on-site spa facility, but guests can order in-room treatments or take them in the outdoor cabanas. Guests also get free access to nearby Princeville Spa facilities, a 10 percent discount on spa treatments, and a 10 percent discount at Princeville Clubhouse and Bar.

  • Four pools (open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., including a large two-tier main swim area, a well-equipped kiddie pool, and two quieter "plunge" pools set away from the main family action)
  • Deck chairs and lounges available on first-come-first-served basis
  • Towels available at pool hut, $20 penalty for failure to return
  • Free, large 24-hour fitness center with up-to-date equipment and extras seldom seen in Kauai: yoga mats, steam room, sauna, balcony overlooking pool
  • Six top-notch grill facilities, each with multiple chrome propane grills, steel-frame chairs, wooden tables; full grilling utensils in suites
  • 24-hour business center with free wired Internet and boarding-pass printing
  • On-site convenience store
  • World-class golf course next door (see Golf section)
  • Free activities scattered throughout the week include: koi-fish feeding, intro to surfing and intro to scuba classes, storytelling, and outdoor movie nights
  • Paid activities include: coconut postcard making, eyelash-yarn lei-making class, puka-shell necklace-making, and sand art

 Golf

Next to two golf courses, including the Prince, Golf Digest's No. 1 Hawaii course

Guest get discounted rates at Princeville Golf Course.
Guest get discounted rates at Princeville Golf Course.

Two well-regarded courses are adjacent to the Westin Princeville. One, the Prince, has breathtaking views along Princeville's cliffs. The second, Makai, a 27-hole monster, was renovated in 2009.

Prince Golf Course:

  • Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
  • 18 holes, 7,309 yards, par 72, on 390 acres (golf carts equipped with GPS systems)
  • Discount for Westin guests -- includes use of facilities at Princeville Spa
  • Golf club rental, rider's fee, and golf shoe rental apply where necessary
  • 13-acre practice facility with 1,200-square-foot putting green, additional 1,200-square-foot chipping green
  • 15 percent discount on clothing; 10 percent discount on equipment purchases at Princeville Golf pro shop
  • PGA pro, private lessons available

 Family

Great for families, although the beach is weak

Separate kids' pool with waterslide at the Westin Princeville
Separate kids' pool with waterslide at the Westin Princeville

In addition to the suites' pullout sofas and kitchenettes, and beyond the active main pool and kiddie pool, the Westin offers a host of services that cater directly to families. Just don't expect a beachfront at the hotel proper -- sandy playtime rests a 10-minute walk or five-minute drive away. Plus, the rooms lack ovens, so in-room cooking options are somewhat limited.

  • Separate kids' pool, common for Kauai condo resorts
  • Westin Kids Club offered year round for children ages five to 12; includes parents' night out twice weekly, charged per evening
  • Free weekly activities, including koi-fish feeding, intro to surfing, outdoor movie nights
  • Weekly activities available for a fee, including, coconut postcard making, puka-shell necklaces, sand art
  • Although Nanea restaurant is a bit fancy for young ones, the on-site convenience store near the pool sells fresh fruit and vegetables, simple sandwiches, and other snacks for the kids.

 Cleanliness

Pretty darn spotless

No complaints: not in the rooms, in the lobby, or on the grounds

 Food

One restaurant, a convenience store, and a couple of poolside bars

Westin Princeville's poolside Wailele Bar
Westin Princeville's poolside Wailele Bar

The on-site restaurant, Nanea, serves great Pacific Rim and also American-Italian dishes for the less adventurous, but it doesn’t open for breakfast except to serve Sunday brunch. There are grab-and-go options (paninis) at the Princeville Market, but that’s about it for morning food. Still, aside from the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation and Castle Kiahuna Plantation, few condo-style properties have restaurants that serve all three meals.

  • Nanea serves surf and turf and Pacific Rim with outdoor deck seating overlooking the pool; open for lunch, dinner, Sunday brunch
  • Princeville Market is a convenience store near the lobby with Starbucks coffee, basic groceries, sandwiches, paninis, and pizza; delivers to suites for lunch and dinner
  • Wailele Bar serves cocktails and basic snack-shack food.
  • Room service from Princeville Market offers a kids' menu and features pizzas, paninis, and burgers, with delivery charge

 Bottom Line

The 346-room Westin Princeville's condo-style time-share units, four beautiful pools, expansive cliffside grounds, and excellent service (for a condo property) make it a solid, quiet option for families and couples. However, there's no on-site beach, better rooms can be found elsewhere, and restaurant options are limited.

Things You Should Know About Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Address

  • 3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, HI, US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Princeville Westin
  • Westin Princeville
  • Westin Princeville Ocean Hotel

Room Types

  • One Bedroom Premium Villa
  • Studio Premium Villa
  • Two Bedroom Lockoff Villa

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 346
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Address: 3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, HI, US
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