Westin Princeville: Gazing, grilling, grazing

Westin Princeville
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Source: travelweekly.com

Extremely rare just about anywhere else in Hawaiʻi, encounters with nene, Hawaiʻi'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 Kauaʻi," 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 Kauaʻi'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.

The resort also offers a cooking option for guests: 20 poolside, gourmet barbecue grills where one can cook up grill-ready beef, locally caught fish and chicken purchased at the resort's Princeville Market. Folks can also arrange a catered barbecue with one of the chefs from the property's terrific Nanea Restaurant & Bar.

Providing travelers with local produce and products is a major point of emphasis at the Westin Princeville, where the restaurant, market and deli showcase a variety of locally grown fruits, veggies and more. One standout is the organic salad greens produced at Kailani Farms, a 15-minute drive south.

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