Hotel Review: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort
Family-friendly resort in Kauai By Holly Rosen Fink
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort (Courtesy Westin Princeville)
Why Go: Located on Kauai’s North Shore, the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort offers a wide variety of options for families, from spacious rooms and suites with kitchens to a kids’ pool, kids club for ages 5-12, an on-site restaurant serving healthy meals, two plunge pools, a children’s pool with interactive fountains and a waterslide to a complimentary shuttle to destinations around the island. The resort is laid back but elegant at the same time, sitting along a cliff two hundred feet above the ocean with sweeping, dramatic views of Kauai and opportunities for all kinds of adventures.
Room options: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort is a 346-room luxury beachfront hotel. Its air-conditioned rooms feature fully equipped kitchens, which can simplify a traveling family’s existence, giving them the choice to dine in. All rooms have a queen-size bed and sofa bed for extra people, private lanais, a flat-screen TV, a washer and dryer, complimentary wireless Internet access, bathrooms with separate jetted bathtubs and showers. The resort also offers villas, which feature studio, one and two bedroom options, providing more space for families. All rooms feature Hawaiian décor, which adds to the authenticity of a visit.
Keiki (kids) pool with waterslide and spouting honu (turtle) fountains (Courtesy Westin Princeville)
Just for Kids: There is much for parents to love about the resort. When you stay at The Westin Villas, you get a monthly activity calendar that features daily activities for the entire family, mostly free, some with a nominal cost. Activities include intro to paddleboarding, sand art, lei classes, Wii games, story telling, nature walks and even cooking classes. Kids can get healthy meals in the restaurants. They’ll also appreciate that the resort is implementing better environmental practices, including energy and water conservation, waste minimization and responsible purchasing. Kids will also love the resort for its offerings and ability to run around safely.
Princeville Makai Golf Club (Courtesy Westin Princeville)
What to Do: Activities on the Westin grounds include a golf course (with a scenic background), four heated pools, a children’s pool with a water slide, a hot tub, a fitness studio and a tennis club. At the year-round Westin Kids Club, kids ages 5 to 12 go on nature walks, create crafts, play games and learn how to shoot photos and make videos. Kids can choose half-day, 9 am to 12:30 pm, or full day 9 am to 4 pm programs.
Where to eat: The Nanea Restaurant & Bar offers a variety of cuisine during all times of day. They offer a buffet in the morning and healthy options, including gluten-free and vegan options, for lunch and dinner. Children three and under eat free when accompanied with an adult who is a registered guest at the hotel, and kids ages 4-11 get 50% off regular menu items.
For something really different and fun, try the Pohaku Iron Chef Cook-Off and Poolside BBQ Dinner. You’ll be split into two teams to compete in a cook-off after being presented with a slate of fresh ingredients and given an hour to prepare a great dish. Judges will choose the best one, while the hotel’s chef and team prepare a delicious meal for you. Kids will love this Food Network-type competition.
If you’re in a rush or have an early start, grab a quick bite to eat at the Princeville Market in the lobby. If you want to educate your children about Hawaiian heritage, there is no better way than heading to a luau, like the one at Kilohana Plantation. The evening will be full of Hawaiian cuisine, a traditional show with music and dance and arts and crafts demonstrations.
Pool at Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas (Courtesy Westin Princeville)
Getting There: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort is located on Kauai’s North Shore. The nearest airport is Lihue, which is 40 miles away.
Getting Oriented: The resort is very down to earth, with a gentle staff that is happy to introduce you to the island they love. There are all sorts of Hawaiian touches throughout the resort, from the décor to native staff who can tell you where to go and what to do.
Insider Tips: Venturing off the property offers a wide variety of attractions including Limahuli Garden, Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Hawaiian Art Museum, Kauai Children's Discovery Museum, Moir Gardens, Waimea Canyon State Park, and miles of incredible beaches as well as activities like surfing, shopping in Hanalei, whale watching, horseback riding, bicycling, SCUBA diving, and snorkeling.
For parents who can get away for a bit on their own, hotel’s on-site Spa features both outdoor and indoor spa treatments. Massage services are between 25, 50 or 80 minutes and include a choice of lomi-lomi, Swedish, reflexology, sports, deep tissue or deep lomi-lomi.