We stayed at the Westin in a 1 bedroom villa on March 12-14 to spend some time on the North Shore. Here's what you need to know:
The Good: relatively spacious suites, very large bathroom with jetted tub, amazing water pressure in dual shower head shower, nicely equipped kitchen. There is a welcome package of dish soap, dish scrubber, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent which is nice. We booked an island view but ended up on a room which overlooked the parking lot and neighboring golf course but had ocean views which was great. Excellent and fast wifi access. Washer and dryer combo. Food and service at the restaurant onsite (Nanea) was very good and the ambiance was warm and the outdoor seating area was lovely in the evening. Amazingly, the restaurant has a separate vegan menu with several choices for apps, entree, dessert... woot! Updated decor and furniture. Staff was uniformly friendly and helpful- Beautiful grounds in and around the hotel. There's a walk/run/bike path that leads out of the hotel property which is nice (running maps available at the concierge).
Make sure you check out the hidden beach (Hideaways) that is accessible after a walk/drive to just before the St. Regis property. Park at the tiny lot next to the Puu Poa condo tennis courts. There's a dirt path that leads to an overlook and super steep steps/short trail leading down to the beach. Note that this will be challenging to anyone with ambulatory issues and possibly very small children but should be doable for anyone else if the ground is not wet and slippery (although it requires a bit of a scramble and there are only rope railings for the most part). Not a good swimming beach but beautiful for relaxation on the beach away from crowds. (see YouTube link I found which shows the spectacular beauty of the beach, as well as the condition of the path to get down to the beach: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8GX486ym9Q&feature=youtube_gdata_player).
There's another beach accessible on the property to the right of the lobby, next to the parking lot (it's marked by a small sign). It's a relatively easy walk on a wide path (5-10 minutes) to the beach which had gentle water and easy snorkeling,
The Bad: No housekeeping, even though our rate was to include daily housekeeping (and we were not given the option of trading housekeeping for the vouchers other reviewers have mentioned). We were there for only 2 nights so by the time we realized it wasn't happening, it wasn't worth it for us to ask for it and didn't make a difference but if you have a family or it's otherwise important to you, you should confirm with the hotel. Paying for self parking at a hotel in the middle of nowhere is really pretty terrible. Finishings and appliances at the property were not really high end, if that sort of thing matters to you. A lot of ceramic tile in the bathroom (although granite counters), perfectly functional but dated black appliances in the kitchen. Reeeeeeeally uncomfortable couch. Walls are pretty thin, the unit next to ours had a family with small children and we could definitely hear entire conversations and people sneezing... There's also construction going on at the pool so the noise was a bit of a distraction pool-side although you can kind of tune it out. The 11 am checkout and 4 pm checkin are pretty ridiculous.
The Ugly: The room seemed pretty clean upon arrival, but I discovered the following icky items: clean sheets but with some stains and there was a clearly used bar of soap and half empty shampoo bottle remaining in the shower from the prior guest which had not been cleaned. Ick.
Trip Tip: in retrospect, because we stayed for the majority of the time on the east side in Kapaa, which is central to Poipu and the North Shore, it really wasn't necessary to stay on the North Shore (it was about 45 minutes from Kapaa) so you may want to skip a stay as well. You can really see everything you want to see in a daytrip without the necessity of staying over.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas are atop the lush, emerald cliffs that line Kauai, this retreat is perfect to savor refreshing Pacific breezes while gazing at the sparkling ocean. Stay in spacious one and two-bedroom villas with up to 1,310 square feet accommodating up to eight adults. Each villa includes fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers, generous living and dining room areas, and complimentary Wi-Fi. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas Hotel Princeville
- Westin Princeville Ocean Hotel
- Princeville Westin
- Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas Kauai