Princeville on Kauai’s north shore is a resort development with two golf courses, Westin Princeville, St. Regis Princeville, and hundreds of timeshare properties, some Wyndham branded and several independent places.
Most people rent a car when arriving on Kauai. A car is highly advisable as a tourist for getting to the Princeville area and around the island since public transportation is limited in space, stops and schedule. Since my travel purpose was to hang out at a resort and not spend my vacation driving around the entire island of Kauai all day, I opted to not rent a car.
A taxi from Lihue Airport 30 miles to Princeville is about $100.
There is a public bus that costs $2.50 to travel from the airport to Princeville Shopping Center. The public buses are small with no dedicated luggage space and you are not allowed to bring luggage on the bus over the size of 10” x 17” x 30”. I was the only tourist on my flight who rode the Kauai public bus out of the airport.
Princeville Shopping Center is a location for a few restaurants, ACE hardware store and the Foodland supermarket. Westin Princeville is one mile from Princeville Shopping Center. Foodland will likely become your go to spot for supplies to stock up your kitchen at the Westin Princeville Villa. There is also a WalMart in Lihue to stock up before driving the 30 miles north to Princeville.
A kindly local named Tom stopped on the road as I was looking up the directions on my phone to walk from the shopping center to the resort. Tom drove me to the Westin entrance. Kauai has always seemed a friendly place to me.
I was checked into my Westin room about two hours after getting off the plane.
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort consists primarily of 173 Studio and 173 One Bedroom Villas. The room styles alternate in the building so you can combine a studio with a one bedroom villa. There are also a limited number of 2-bedroom villas available on request.
My stay was booked with Cash & Points at $90 and 4,800 points per night. As an SPG Gold member I was upgraded from a studio to a one bedroom unit.
One bedroom villa living room has sofa couch, chair, TV, balcony, and six-chair dining table.
The kitchen has all modern conveniences with full size refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher and cooking utensils.
Princeville Market at the Westin resort carries basic food items and even beer and wine. There is a fresh foods deli in the market too.
The prices are about double the price of food at the Foodland supermarket in Princeville Shopping Center. Foodland is a standard size supermarket and offers a large deli with sushi, fresh meats and seafood.
The closet door on left contained vacuum, broom, iron and board. There was also a washer and dryer near the front door.
Utility closet and washer/dryer unit.
Westin Heavenly Bed. I preferred the softer pillows at the Westin to those at the St. Regis.
The bedroom is an open space with the bathroom.
A spa tub is beneath the shutters. The toilet is in the distance and the separate shower is to the right of the toilet.
Double sink bathroom vanity.
The tub view also reveals that this unit on the ground floor of Building 1 has a patio facing the parking lot. Fortunately this was not the room for my stay. I was in Building 2 on the second floor of a three floor building.
The drawback to Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas is lack of ocean views from most rooms.
Most rooms at Westin Princeville did not appear to me to have ocean views. The resort is built on a bluff and there is actually no beach access from the resort. Westin operates an hourly shuttle during the day to take guests to the beach at the St. Regis Princeville three miles west.
View from my room 2206. I could get a small glimpse of the ocean through the trees from the proper angle on my balcony.
This is the center of the resort with separate room buildings around the complex.There are ocean views from some rooms.
And the grounds offer locations with ocean views from atop the resort property’s location on a bluff.
The Pools at Westin Ocean Resort Villas
My vote for best hot tub at Westin Princeville.
This photo is looking away from the Westin Princeville to another property. The photo shows why you can’t access the beach from the Westin.
Westin Princeville lobby building and main pool.
The fitness center seemed rather small and is located on the second floor to left of main building. Princeville Market is on ground floor left. Nanea Restaurant is located on right with indoor and outdoor seating.
I attended a Vacation Kick Off informational meeting and won a prize for a complimentary day use of the covered Papa’i rental.
The main pool is two levels and the children’s pool is a separate unit.
The children’s pool was frequently utilized. The Resort seemed heavily geared to servicing children as well as adults.
Children’s pool with turtle fountains and water slide.
There are numerous barbecue units around the property for grilling up some hot food.
Grill 4 at Westin. Most of these photos were taken just after a morning rain shower. The rain held off for another two days, although the skies were cloudy much of the time. The weather was a wonderful 70s to low 80s in early December.
Wailele bar by the pool was the active hub for adult guests most of the day. Happy hour from 3:30 to 5:30 offered discount drinks and food.
Golf is a major activity at Princeville with two top courses including Makai and Prince golf courses.
Majestic tree at Makai Golf Course adjacent to Westin Princeville.
Wild Chickens of Kauai
The island of Kauai is occupied by thousands of feral chickens. They are all over the Westin Resort. Aside from cars there are no predators. You will see chickens and likely hear the roosters crow early in the morning during your stay.
This fowl family decided to leave the golf course to explore the Westin parking lot.
Westin Princeville Resort is a good option if you have a family and you desire to make your own meals.
But when it comes to ocean views and beach access the Starwood sister property, St. Regis Princeville three miles down the road has the better location.
St. Regis Princeville, Kauai.
And I’ll leave you with a sunset photo from Westin Princeville.
Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. You can follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.