Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

This gorgeous Category 6 Starwood vacation property on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai was a steal as a (then) category 5 redemption at 12,000 points/night (before it moved up to a category 6 on March 5, 2013). When combined with with the 'redeem 4 nights get the 5th free', this made for one of the best aspirational value redemptions I've ever made at 'just' 48,000 SPG points.

Your visit begins with a stop at the main lobby where the check-in desk is located. The front building also houses the gym/sauna/steam room and the highly informational concierge desk.

On the lower floor is the restaurant and Princeville Market where you can grab food to go. Just outside the restaurant are the main pool and a beautiful koi pond off to the side. Here's a picture of the resort taken from the main building in the wee hours of the morning.

Also, be warned that there are chickens on the property (heck, all over the island as well!) which means that they'll be squatting around your lanai and doing some 'cock-a-doodle-doo'-ing early in the morning. So if you're a light sleeper, you might want to request an upper floor room to get away from their squawking. Here's a couple of pictures of the main pool (where you'll find the chickens roaming about as well)

The resort essentially consists of studio, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom units. Although there is no distinguishing between mountain/garden/ocean views (unlike most other resorts on Kauai), different rooms do offer varying views so do scout around to see if you can snag a room with a view of the ocean. Our room offered this spectacular ocean view from our lanai:

The other thing I really liked about this property were all the subtle touches that gave the property a sense of refinement. From the decorative pieces in the hallway to the design of the fan and even the tiled patterns in the shower, everything came together very nicely.

We stayed in a premium studio villa and our ocean view was amazing. The studio was quite roomy with a pleasant overhead fan (with a bamboo-like design) and a great in-room whirlpool tub located next to an interior window allowing you to enjoy the hot tub while gazing out at the Pacific ocean. Here's a sample of a picture located in the room along with a view of the tub.

The studio is also equipped with a kitchenette and a washer/dryer unit so you can have bring less and get your laundry done while you're here. This might come in real handy as the resort is located on the north side of the island which tends to get a bit more rainfall than the south side.

The resort features several pools for guest use. The Napali Plunge Pool, the Main pool, the Kids pool and the tranquil Maile pool provide plenty of options for the entire family not to mention three separate outdoor hot tubs co-located near the pools. If that's not sufficient, the Westin also allows guests to use the great beach looking out at Hanalei Bay at their sister property down the road at the St Regis Princeville. Here are some shots of the Maile pool:

There is also access to the beach beneath the cliffs where the Westin is located by taking a short 10 minute trail from near the resort entrance down to the beach. The area is quite secluded and is rather inaccessible by car so you'll likely have most of the beach to yourself.

I also liked the addition of torches around the resort, especially the pools, giving the complex a magically island feel to the property at night (the pictures didn't come out that well though so you'll have to take my word for it). And if you can wake up early enough to catch the sunrise at the pools (especially if you're jetlagged), you'll be in for a treat.

All in all, this was an amazing aspirational property for a vacation stay and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. Hopefully next time, I'll have stashed up enough points to stay at the St Regis Princeville!

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