On a recent trip to Hawaii, we stayed at six different hotels and got a nice taste of what each one had offer. But out of all of the properties, the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas was our favorite hotel we stayed at.
It offers the perfect laid-back vibe along with some beautiful views from spacious balconies. Plus, it’s just an overall gorgeous setting.
In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know before heading to this resort.
On a recent 10 night trip to Hawaii we spent a large portion of the trip tracking down all of the Jurassic Park filming locations.
This meant that we would be focusing a lot on the island of Kauai since that is where most of the filming went down.
We would be doing a lot of hotel hopping at hotels like Marriott’s Kauai Beach Club so we wanted to have at least one stay where we would stay three nights and the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort seemed like a perfect spot.
We booked the hotel for 50,000 Marriott points per night and with rates going well over $500 per night that amounted to over one cent point for Marriott which is always a great deal in my book.
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Location Overview: Princeville
Princeville is located on the north side of the island of Kauai and about a 45 minute drive from the airport (LIH). It’s a beautiful and scenic area full of condominiums, golf courses, and resorts but it still feels pretty rustic and remote.
It’s perfect for exploring the north part of the island (Queen’s Bath, Kilauea Lighthouse, Limahuli Garden, etc.) but less ideal if you want to spend a lot of time in places like Waimea Canyon State Park or Allerton Garden.
You’ve got a few local places to eat nearby like Saenz Ohana Breakfast and The Spot North Shore Kauai. Also, if you need to head to the market there is the Foodland Princeville very close by (5 minutes by car).
If you head a little bit more west to Hanalei you’ll also find eatery hotspots like Kalypso Island Bar & Grill, Holey Grail Donuts, and others. Those places are about 10 minutes away.
The closest beach to the Westin Princeville that you can walk to is Wyllie’s Beach but you have to do a little bit of work to get there. The trail head is near the front of the hotel next to the golf course.
It’s a short but pretty steep hike to the beach. Very doable just be prepared for a steep walk on the way back.
We arrived after check in time so we were not able to request early check-in although it probably would not have mattered anyway.
This is a resort where Marriott status is not honored so even as a Titanium Elite member, I would not be entitled to benefits like early check in, late check out, free breakfast, and upgrades.
That’s honestly the only knock I would have against this property is that as an elite member you miss out on your benefits.
Okay, I guess one more slight knock would be the parking situation since it’s hard to find parking near your villa.
There’s a double-decker parking garage out front and also some side parking lots but we always struggled to find a spot in the side parking lots. It’s still not a very long walk to the villas so not a huge deal.
After we checked in, we made our way to our villa and I was pretty impressed by how well kept the premises were. Also, every staff member we encountered was very friendly.
We made our way up the elevator to the third floor and headed down to the end of the building where our room was.
The villa was not the biggest but still a beautiful room and more than enough space for our needs.
As you would expect at the Westin, the bedding was top notch.
Check out: Hawaiian Airlines First Class Guide
There’s a small sofa, ottoman, and some chairs and a table to utilize if you end up going the in-room dining route like we did.
You also have a large flatscreen TV with a Bose stereo system.
The room comes equipped with a nice kitchen so you can always head to the nearby market and pick up some groceries to make your own meals.
You’ll find a medium sized refrigerator, full-size microwave, electric stove top, small sink, and appliances like coffee maker, blender, etc. They also have glasses, plates, and other dishes you might need.
The room also comes with its own stackable washer and dryer which is super convenient.
In the closet, you’ll find the safe, iron and iron board, robes, extra bedding, and even a vacuum cleaner.
I really like the open and spacious bathroom.
The shower comes with a waterfall shower head and is pretty spacious. You’ll also appreciate the soft and plush Westin towels.
The bathroom had an enclosed toilet for added privacy.
The whirlpool tub was definitely a highlight of the room. You can swing open the panels so that your view opens up and looks out from your balcony. I found the panels a little bit tricky to work with, though. (It helped to pull from the very bottom to get them to open.)
As for the balcony, we were in love with the views from the third floor. We were at the end of the building and so we had a great view of the coast as well as the interior of the property. You’ll hear a lot of birds in the morning and of course roosters will be everywhere!
The resort property as a whole is really a beautiful place that is very well-kept. Take a stroll in the evening through the torch-lit paths and enjoy the cool, breezy evenings.
Dining is a bit limited as there is really only one restaurant at the resort: Nanea Restaurant & Bar. They have both indoor and outdoor dining but we just ordered to-go every time.
They have a variety of American cuisine and we were pretty happy with the food we ordered which included things like burgers, chicken tenders, etc. The sides like macaroni salad and rice weren’t bad either.
Just be aware that this place does close at 7 pm which makes things a little bit tough for dinner.
Also, we arrived around 6:15 pm the first night for dinner and this place was absolutely swamped.
It took us a very long time to even place an order at the bar and so I do think the hotel needs to do a better job of providing servers for the bar/restaurant. It was actually kind of ridiculous.
There’s also the Princeville Market.
This is a good stop for snacks and also a place that you might be hitting up for breakfast as they do serve Starbucks coffee and they have breakfast sandwiches.
From what I could gather, it’s mostly just heated-up items so it’s enough to get you by but nothing extraordinary.
It opens up at 6:30 am.
Here’s a look at some of your options. I will say that the muffins were on point and croissants weren’t too bad. Just don’t get your hopes too high.
You’ll find three pool areas around the property including one that is an adult only pool.
The main pool is the one pictured above which is found in the middle of the resort. Nearby the main pool, there’s also a more kid friendly pool with a slide.
Here’s a look at the adult only pool which is where are you can also find hot tubs. It’s more tucked away in the back of the resort between building two and three.
Heading out to the pool areas around sunrise can make for a pretty spectacular way to start your day. I especially liked the infinity pool, which is between building six and seven. Just take a look at these sunrise views yourself!
In the middle of the property there’s a nice lawn area where you can go on a relaxing stroll especially around sunrise or sunset.
If you’re in the mood to throw something on the grill there are several grill stations to choose from.
The fitness center is very nice and it’s in a spacious and well-lit room.
They have plenty of equipment in the gym so you should be able to have great workouts.
Some of the cardio machines lining the windows have some impressive views looking out to the ocean, overlooking the pool.
It’s always a shame when a great view goes to waste and I love that this resort did NOT let that happen with the gym.
I was also a bit surprised to see that the gym had both a sauna and steam room.
Out of the six hotels we stayed at on this trip to Hawaii, this hotel was by far my favorite. It’s just a very relaxing vibe at the resort and while the dining options are a bit limited, I just loved the premises and our view from the balcony. I’d definitely recommend this resort to anyone staying in Kauai.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time travel expert covering destinations along with TSA, airline, and hotel policies. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.