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“Calling This A Resort Is A Bit Misleading”

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Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Princeville
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 18 June 2014

I received one of those SPG offers and I couldn't pass it up. (It offered 5 nights in a one bedroom "villa," $185 toward an Avis rental car and $75 of resort credit - this is not what I got, but I'll take that out on SPG). I had only been to Kauai once before (during a very RAINY week over Thanksgiving) so decided to give it another shot. I asked a girlfriend to come along because she loves sun and scuba too (don't go to Kauai to scuba - ill review that separately).

First, Princeville is lovely, but it's a haul - from anywhere. About an hour from the airport - 90 minutes from Poipu - and there is ONE single-lane road and virtually no streetlights at night. Bring your patience and excellent vision. Second, upon arrival to the resort (about 2 pm) the lobby was moderately impressive. The staff were nice. I thought this could work. I presented my documents and was told that only a studio was available - despite my paperwork clearly stating I reserved a one-bedroom villa. After much back and forth, I was offered the one bedroom - for $500 extra dollars ($100 per day). We were told check in wasn't until 4pm, but they'd see what they could do for us after a very long, early morning journey. They made us wait until 430 and only told me our room was ready after I bugged the front desk 3 times. Once the checked us in, I was told the room wouldn't be "cleaned" at all during our stay, cut would be given a "light tidy" once during our stay. What? What hotel or resort does that? This means they don't replenish your in-room coffee/tea and if you need a clean towel, you have to call the front desk and wait. And wait. And wait. Island time. You get the idea.

The room was basic, the kitchen was higher end than expected and the place was unnaturally jammed with furniture. It's a small space and they try to cram a big dining table, couch, chairs, end tables, etc into the little space. We had a view of the parking lot and air conditioning unit. A teeny balcony overlooking that lovely site off the one bedroom space. The bed was comfy and the shower was nice - consistent with the Westin brand. The hallway was unusually hot every day.

The property is well maintained. There are three pool areas. The main pool is theist packed with kids, so we tended to avoid it. The other pools were small- ish but fine. The property has no direct beach access. You can hike down to it, but it's quite an uphill walk back. If it rains, you're muddy and it's slippery. The beach, once reached, was full of hippy types, lots of pot smokers and quite a few campers/homeless "Lord of The Flies" types. There were a few unsuspecting families, but it's mostly 20 something grungy folks. We only needed to visit once.

The property is heavily timeshare/family populated. Think lots of people with floaties, a gaggle of kids and dads cooking up burgers and dogs on the multiple outdoor grills for guest use. This is fine, but what I'm getting at is that this place gives off a very string "do it yourself" vibe. It's no resort. It's like a pretty cul de sac in the suburbs. It's the kind of place that doesn't expect, want or can even accommodate guests who don't do their own cooking, shopping and cleaning. Sure, there is a (slightly less overpriced) grocery store nearby, but I don't want to cook on vacation. And if you do want to go off property to eat, be ready for a long drive and bring a sober driver. Forget about calling a taxi - the drivers either go to bed at 8 or are a minimum of an hour or two wait away (because they are all at the airport).

The wifi service at the hotel was generally terrible, unless you're in the room or the lobby. Not at all handy for those that don't have the freedom to unplug entirely. Downright frustrating when you're just trying to get directions somewhere or look up restaurants.

The Westin grants "privileges" to the St. Regis and you should visit. They have a beach! They also have nice pools and a great sunset view (when it's not raining) and do a cool sabering of champagne nightly at sunset.

The hotel charges $18/night for parking, regardless if you self park or valet (you see how the Avis car credit gets quickly eaten up). They don't even give you one courtesy bottle of water for free. They charge for EVERYTHING. There is one restaurant and one pool bar. The latest you can hope to get food is 930 pm and that on weekends, friends. The food is pricey and totally average. Happy hour is a wee bit better (cocktails are a deal at $8). The market came in handy for quick breakfasts and coffee/tea - they make a great acai bowl.

I was offered, but passed on, the timeshare presentation. They offer you $175 worth of resort credit to attend, but I couldn't see sitting through it nor hanging around the "resort" long enough to spend $175.

Just as an FYI, they don't call this the "garden isle" by accident. It rains. A lot. Almost every day. In June. I would say a conservative estimate was that it rained 40% of our stay. When it's raining, everyone takes cover and there is not much to do. They say you can always head south and it's usually sunnier in Poipu. We found that to be hit and miss too. More like intermittent passing rain. And it's a really long drive to go chasing decent weather. If you don't care about sun, this may be the place for you. If you do, choose another Hawaiian island. The island is really pretty, the Na'Pali coast is otherworldly, but frankly I think I'm done with Kauai.

Last gripe: check out was at 10:00 a.m. and it's not negotiable. Who does that? For a laid back island with little to no service, you'd think they'd be a bit more flexible.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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6  Thank travellerrrrrr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestinPrincevilleMgr, Manager at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 2 July 2014

Aloha travellerrrrrr,

Thank you for choosing The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas for your accommodations in the islands and for taking the time to share your experience with us. While we are delighted that you decided to give Kauai another try, we are sorry that your experience did not meet your expectations. With an array of resort amenities and services, The Westin Princeville appeals to many different travelers by providing the conveniences of home - such as BBQ grills and kitchens/kitchenettes in our villas - as well as the comforts of a Westin resort, such as our Heavenly beds, in-room dining and much more. We appreciate your feedback so that we may continually improve upon the guest experience at The Westin Princeville. Should you wish to discuss your stay further, we welcome you to speak with a manager on duty at your convenience. Aloha.

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806 - 812 of 1,927 reviews

Reviewed 15 June 2014

This resort is the perfect place to spend your vacation!

The facilities are incredible: there are several pools - all very clean and with a nice water tempurature, the hot tubs have very good air massage and the several barbecue places are very clean and easy to use.

The room has been very clean and spacious, with a private small tub with massage functions and a kitchenette - everything you need was provided!

The staff starting from the reception to housekeeping has been absolutely professional, very friendly and service-oriented!

This has been by far the hotel that offered the best value for money - it is not cheap, but it's perfect!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank n23mj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2014

We have received offers from Starwood Properties (Westin) and accepted on several occasions. The sales presentations have never been mandatory and we did not attend at Princeville. If I was interested in a timeshare, I would first consider Starwood Properties based on my experience. The property located atop the cliffs overlooking the ocean so no direct beach access. Lots of pools with a variety of appeal; several are for for adult quiet experiences. Plenty of room for all the guests to find places to be in the sun, shade or pool. BBQ's are available for guests to enjoy cooking their meals outside. One restaurant on site serves meals through out the day with additional casual food near the pool. Every day has activities and there are massages. Golf at the Makai and Prince Courses is quite convenient as is the local store and shopping center. The small market on site produces very good pizza, sandwiches and salads. The units are well provided so you will be able to easily prepare meals as you wish.

Room Tip: We stayed in a one bedroom unit in Building 5 on the third floor overlooking the pool and countrysid...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Clubsecretary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestinPrinceville, Manager at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2014

Dear Clubsecretary: Thank you for your review. We are delighted to hear that you had an excellent resort experience during your stay. We appreciate your positive comments about the amenities offered throughout the resort. We hope to welcome you back on your next visit to Kaua’i. Mahalo and Be Well!

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Reviewed 13 June 2014

Well, I think we love our home resort the most because we love Kauai. Nevertheless, we have been owners since "pre-construction", and we still enjoy coming back to the heavenly bed and comfortable rooms and relaxing pool areas. The market has just the right assortment of snacks, condiments, and villa necessities (like extra laundry detergent!) that you might need. The Westin always has a good assortment of vendors with unique items on display. We don't take advantage of their activities because we like exploring the island on our own and use the villas as our home base. But they do have plenty to do to keep you busy if you like to "stay in". We do enjoy late afternoons poolside with a nice Mai Tai (although this time bar service was a little on the scarce side) and then barbecuing fresh fish procured from local fishermen at night (although this time bbq's were a little on the disrepair side -- lights out, briquets not in shape). It is hard to get stressed about these details on Kauai -- it is so relaxing. We had a great end room with a view of the ocean below. Keep in mind this is "hiking" distance to the beach, not direct access to the ocean, but it is a nice hike that not many people take so the beach is pretty private. Love staying here -- we will be back no doubt!

Room Tip: Building 3 or 7
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Christy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2014

Just returned from a 7 night stay at the Westin Princeville. Lovely property! Grounds are immaculate and our 1 bedroom unit plus 1 bed lock off unit were ideal for our family of 4. The kitchen is quite nice with stainless appliances and granite. We stay at Westin's every year and did miss the use of an oven in this unit. But that being said... it was a very minor issue to get around. Although not beachfront we did hike down the small trail to the east of the resort to the beach one morning. The pools were great. Love the condo resort feel. Always a treat to have pool service with drinks and food available. The parking was super easy although at night we did have to use the parking garage if we returned late. LOVED the use of the St. Regis! We went 3 times... used the car valet and enjoyed the beach, drinks, and watching the sunset. The resort is just a short drive to Princeville Center and 10 minutes to Hanalei. We only had one day of pretty marginal weather - the other days were ideal with bright sunshine and passing clouds. Enjoyed paddle boarding, kayaking, golf, hiking all within in minutes.

I never heard any other guests in their rooms, mainly heard the roosters crowing us awake every morning about 5:30 am! The biggest problem is we had virtually no cell service at the resort. We had to stand on our deck with hopes of making phone calls. We were traveling with a large group that were staying in various places so communication was pretty essential. Of course the internet worked great so no problems there.

We have had the option at other resorts to personally know that our unopened food will be donated to local homeless shelters. My kids have liked be able to put those food items in a box/pantry knowing that will help a local family that may not be as fortunate as us. I didn't see that as an option at this resort. Maybe a suggestion if possible.

As owners in the Starwood Network we did opt to do a quick review of our ownership for extra bonus points. Our rep was very professional, knew we were pleased with our exchange and got us in and out quickly! I'd give the Westin an A+ on this property. Can't wait to return! Mahalo Westin!

Room Tip: All buildings are only 3 floors high which makes it perfect to use the stairs as the elevators are a...
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Kellkae
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestinPrinceville, Manager at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 26 June 2014

Aloha Kellkae: Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience you and your family had on your recent stay with us. We are delighted to hear about the great adventures you had on Kaua’i. We are fortunate to have our sister resort the St Regis Princeville located two miles away. Our complimentary shuttle will transfer you there every hour on the hour between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm. Our partnership includes use of the private beach at the St Regis and use of their restaurants and spa (sorry – no use of pool or pool chairs included). We do donate all of the unopened non perishiable food left by our guests to the Kaua’I Independent Food bank and apologize that this was not communicated to you. We will look at a more robust communication plan for this to our guests. We look forward to welcoming you back. Mahalo and Be Well!

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

Our stay here was fabulous. I really enjoyed the fitness room and the many pools and hot tubs throughout the complex. The market was a great place to grab a quick breakfast and coffee before heading out on our early morning ventures. Free breakfast in exchange for no housekeeping services was not practical, as restaurant did not open in time for us to utilize when we had planned excursions! Low sudsing shampoos were a problem, along with the need to request shampoo and conditioner, as only one small bottle of each was given for 2 people for a 4 day stay; just ask though and it's not a problem.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are fantastic!
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank AkSchubert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestinPrinceville, Manager at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Aloha AkSchubert: We are delighted that you had a fabulous stay with us and enjoyed the Westin Workout and the 4 pools and 3 whirlpool spas located throughout the resort. The Princeville Market is a convenient place for the quick grab and go meal whether it is breakfast sandwiches and Starbucks Coffee in the morning to hot & cold sandwiches, salads, smoothie, made to order pizzas or your favorite snack throughout the day and evening. Thank you for your feedback regarding the shampoo and conditioner and that when you requested additional, it was not a problem for the staff to provide it and meet your needs. We hope you will stay with us again soon for another wonderful vacation on Kaua’i. Mahalo and Be Well!

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Reviewed 7 June 2014

A very nice hotel with friendly staff and nice amenities. Their units had a washer/dryer and a kitchenette, and the bed was very comfortable. The grounds were very nice, but I would not call it a "beachfront" hotel, but we did not have time for the beach anyway. The dryer was very fast and helped clean all our stuff for the next location. I really liked their little country store that had wonderful breakfast and lunch sandwiches, and small salads, etc, and it opened early enough for us to catch a meal to go as we went to catch our tours. The pool and hot tubs were nice and convenient to the rooms. We did not bring children but it waqs very child-friendly. I highly recommend this hotel.

Room Tip: They offer a (one) free breakfast each morning if you do not require room service, but make sure tha...
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Lexaqua
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
WestinPrinceville, Manager at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, responded to this reviewResponded 15 June 2014

Dear Lexaqua: Thank you for your review and for highly recommending The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas as a place to stay. We appreciate that you have also recognized the friendly staff at the resort. The spacious villa amenities have the comforts of home including the fully equipped kitchens, flat panel TVs with DVD players, Bose Stereos, whirlpool tubs and separate showers in the bathroom, the Westin Heavenly Beds, washer/dryers, complimentary high speed internet access and more. The resort is not a beachfront resort being located on an ocean bluff 200 feet above the Pacific Ocean. There are some of the islands most beautiful beaches within a close drive from the resort. The staff provides a Beach Escape Guide which outlines the nearby beaches, facilities available, driving directions and ocean safety information. We are delighted that you enjoyed the convenience of the Princeville Market which opens at 6:00 am and closes at 8:00 pm. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. Mahalo and Be Well!

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Additional Information about Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Address: 3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, Kauai, HI 96722-5507
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Princeville
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Princeville
Price Range: £226 - £420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas 4*
Number of rooms: 346
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, Hawaii

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