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Westin Princeville: Gazing, grilling, grazing

Source: Travel Weekly

Princeville, Hawaii
Westin Princeville Resort

Looking out over the Pacific from a poolside lounge chair on the North Shore of Kauai, I watched a newborn humpback whale jump completely out of the ocean while an endangered Hawaiian nene goose searched for snacks in the short grass beside me.

Extremely rare just about anywhere else in Hawaii, encounters with nene, Hawaii's state bird, were common during my recent visit to the Garden Isle. A small troupe of the endemic birds clearly felt right at home around the Na Pali Pool at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, toddling occasionally past the shallow-end stairs like any other hotel guest considering a dip.

"I think if you were a child growing up here, you wouldn't understand why the nene are endangered because there are so many on Kauai," said Denise Wardlow, the Westin Princeville's general manager. "We don't have the [introduced] predators you'll find on other islands like the mongoose."

Along with chances to interact with nene, not to mention terrific whale-watching during the December-to-April humpback season, the Westin Princeville seems to offer ideal accommodations for travelers interested in a base of operations with immediate access to Kauai's wide range of North Shore adventures and attractions.

Home to one-bedroom and studio condo units, complete with roomy, fully equipped kitchens and en suite laundry facilities, the property's 346 villas would certainly appeal to couples looking for a more affordable suite product, but they can also accommodate large families and multigenerational bookings, as the property offers a number of connecting units.

The Westin Princeville's Keiki Honu (kids' turtle) Pool was a popular place during my recent stay, but the resort's three other pools, all much more tranquil, provided plenty of room for guests to spread out.

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