I will start by saying that we had visited Hawaii, Maui to be exact, six years ago and really hated it. It was full of tourists and the horrible honeymooners. If I heard a conversation at breakfast about how one of them didn't know that the other liked eggs, I was going to puke.
So, we had owner time with our Westin ownership and we decided, based on comments from our friends, that Kauai may be better for us. Our experience was much better and Kauai is certainly better suited - quiet, less touristy, less commercialized and fewer egg discussions. We will probably not go back to Hawaii for awhile, though, as we really are more Caribbean people.
That said, it was a very nice property. We had the small one bedroom, studio. It was okay sized for the two of us, but we did have some challenges. But on the whole, the pluses far outweigh the negatives.
Prior to going we read a bunch of reviews on TripAdvisor. We noted the comments, especially the complaints. So to do this review, we will address these:
1. Quiet, very quiet. Yes there was construction noise due to the redoing of the children's pool. But this was only during daytime hours and it needed to get done. If I owned the place, I would choose low season to do it, and that is just what they did. Would you rather have a place that is falling apart??
2. Full size fridge. For the size of the unit, this is a big plus. Plenty of room to store stuff.
3. Good bathroom. Functional and well sized.
4. Parking - It is free for owners and it was NOT that hard to find a place. The reviews made it sound like you had to walk a mile to park. From what we saw, most of the people could use the walk.
5. Convenient to a very good market. The food store in Princeville Shopping Center was great. Sure its expensive, but it is Hawaii. The selection was very good and they had a great meat and produce department. The beer and wine prices were as expected.
Side note: Avoid going to WalMart in Lihue - its like going to Cambodia.
6. Great Happy Hour and specials.
7. Clean and functioning BBQ's. We had read how the BBQs didn't work and were dirty. We noted that every night they removed the grills and they were spotless the next day.
8. Sales Presentation - We did not feel pressured or anything. We did our "owners update", collected our points and had a nice chat in less than 60 minutes.
1. The lounge chairs at the pool are just not comfortable. No way around this one. They are clean and in good repair, just not very good to sit in.
2. AC noise - we agree with the complaints. It was bad. And worse, the vibration due to the AC unit in the adjacent units. Poor design. Did it ruin our trip? NO, but it was a noticeable thing.
3. Unit lighting - they went minimal on it and better tasking lighting in the kitchenette would have been good. Another design problem.
4. Cheap pots and pans - Really hard to clean if you burn something in them. Come on and step up to some non-stick cookware. Go to IKEA and do it cheaply.
A few additional comments:
Beach - we walked down to Anini Beach. It was a simple walk, the trail is a bit rough in spots, but it is easy to navigate. The people who complain about the walk are the same ones that complain about walking to their cars.
Beach II - we didn't go to the St Regis beach, as we saw that the one that you can walk to is much larger and the water is calm for swimming.
There are some good restaurants in Hanele Bay, but if you are looking for 5* dining, you probably should stay on Maui.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.