The children’s pool at the Westin Princeville features turtle-shaped fountains. // © 2011 Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Nightly rack rates from $650. Commission: 10 percent.
Take a luxury hotel, blend in all the comforts of home, add a heavy dose of fun in the sun and, then, perch it on a 200-foot bluff directly facing the Pacific Ocean on Kauai’s gorgeous North Shore. That’s the recipe for the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, a property that easily earns two thumbs up from traveling families.
Open since 2008, the resort is spread across well-maintained grounds, with accommodations in low-rise buildings whose green roofs complement the lush natural environment. Outside, tiki torches line the pathways while interiors emphasize local woods, island art and natural light, all of which evoke a strong sense of place.
The Westin Princeville stands out from other resorts in the area thanks to its villa-style accommodations. Each of the spacious units features a full kitchen and a washer/dryer — two great perks for families. Villas also come with a Jacuzzi tub, a flat-screen television, a DVD player, a Bose stereo system and complimentary Internet access.
For dining, the clan can choose from the Westin Princeville’s sit-down restaurant, poolside eatery, market-style carryout or in-villa dining. During the day, if guests don’t want to leave their lounge chairs, they can have a frosty beverage and a sandwich or salad delivered to them by pool servers. Better yet, 20 barbecue grills with tables and chairs are spread across the resort, so clients can enjoy a home-cooked meal outside. That’s good news for the kids, who don’t need to get dressed up or even change out of their swimsuits when it’s time to eat.
Mom and dad can unwind with an oceanview massage in one of the private outdoor cabanas, while the kids are busy at the bustling children’s pool, featuring turtle-shaped fountains and a water slide. The hotel has three other pools as well, plus a Westin Kids Club.
Senior sales manager Mariko Harper said that the Kids Club has enhanced its services to include more cultural aspects. It now offers lessons in hula, ukulele, Hawaiian language, poi ball-making and poi-dancing as well as introductions on snorkeling, surfing and scuba.
The Westin Princeville is equally well-suited for families looking for a little adventure. It’s an easy drive from the resort to opportunities for ziplining, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and boating along the Na Pali Coast. Small wonder, then, that families comprise more than half of the Westin Princeville’s occupancy.
According to Harper, most guests come from the West Coast, primarily California, Washington, Oregon and British Columbia, Canada. To reach those visitors, the resort participates in several marketing campaigns individually as well as collectively with its Starwood Hawaii sister properties.
“We utilize both print and online marketing opportunities,” said Harper. “Another great marketing tool is our website, where we post daily activities and entertainment as well as annual events that will be happening, to help travelers plan their trips to Kauai.”
As the on-property point person for visiting agents, Harper leads site inspections and fam tours, and she’s available as a resource so agents can share specific details about their clients.
“We want our guests to feel special, and working with our travel agents helps make that happen,” said Harper.
The resort also has three account directors based in Northern and Southern California and Illinois who attend trade shows and meet with travel agents throughout the U.S. and Canada.
To further assist agents, the Westin Princeville has designed an Aloha Amenity program that gives a complimentary welcome gift to clients upon arrival, while agents earn points or cash.
To provide value for guests, the Westin Princeville is currently listing the Sunsational Savings package from $435 per night, which includes daily breakfast for two people, a $100 dining credit and the third night free.
From the barbecues to the behind-the-scenes operations, the Westin Princeville is positioned to offer a Kauai family vacation like none other.
“While we’re proud of our resort, we always look at changing the services we offer based on what our guests want and feedback we receive from the travel agent community,” said Harper.