What if you could take a Hawaiian vacation at a hotel deemed one of the best on Kauai, but it won’t break the bank? It’s possible at The Cliffs at Princeville Kauai, a four-diamond, award-winning hotel and condo resort. So whether you’re going to Hawaii with kids, or prefer a residential-like environment for vacation, here are 13 reasons why this Nā Pali Coast favorite is recommended by a mom who has traveled to Kauai more than 30 times.
Why You’ll Love The Cliffs at Princeville Kauai
The Cliffs at Princeville Resort is an excellent option for travelers seeking a little slice of Hawaiian paradise tucked away from the crowds. After days hiking Kauai’s trails through lush rainforests or kayaking down rivers surrounded by waterfalls, you can relax by the resort pool or spread out in your condo room.
You’ll have easy access to North Shore Kauai adventures and some of the best places to eat. However, if you need help planning your dream Kauai vacation, the resort has an expert concierge team. They can find activities and restaurants around town, book tours, excursions, or even arrange babysitting services.
1. It Has One Of The Best Views On The Island
One of the prettiest places on Kauai is the North Shore. It’s incredibly lush, and it’s so beautiful that it was the filming site for South Pacific and The Descendants. The Cliffs at Princeville Resort is situated on a secluded bluff with a sweeping view of the Pacific Ocean. Not only can you see humpback whales, sea turtles, and epic waves, but you’ll also get to experience gorgeous sunrises and sunsets right from the resort. They even have Adirondack chairs set up in the best spots to take in these views.
2. The Property Location
The Cliffs at Princeville Resort is part of the larger Princeville Resort, tucked away from the highway. Guests can walk around the area away from cars and still take advantage of the on-site restaurants of the larger resort complex. 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay, slated to open in the Summer of 2022, will have a full-service spa and five gourmet restaurants.
3. Condo Rooms
One of the biggest perks of staying at the Cliffs at Princeville Resort is their spacious condo offerings. They offer one-bedroom suites as well as two-bedroom units that span two floors. So if you’re planning a family or group trip to Kauai, you don’t have to worry about living in a tiny one-room hotel unit.
You’ll also get a fully equipped kitchen with granite countertops, great for cooking your own meals, even if it’s just breakfast. So whether you have picky eaters or are looking to stretch your vacation dollars, cooking one or more meals in a full kitchen is a big plus. There’s also a separate living room and two full bathrooms. Finally, each unit has two private lanais. These features are fantastic for families who enjoy being together and appreciate a little space from time to time.
4. Lots of On-Site Amenities
The Cliffs at Princeville Resort offers various amenities and on-site conveniences. Kids will definitely want to spend time at the swimming pool, the basketball court, and the playground. You can rent bikes to ride around the resort or into Princeville town. They also have helmets and locks so you won’t have to worry about packing those accessories in your suitcase. Whether you’re heading out to a nearby golf course or not, the hotel offers a mini putting green to practice your strokes.
They also have a Kauai farmers market on the property. It is an easy way to try local, fresh fruit and vegetables. There are food trucks with regular hours; you can even get fish meals made with fresh Kauai fish. Finally, they offer outdoor yoga on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, a beautiful way to relax and practice mindfulness on your Kauai vacation.
5. Eco-Friendly Resort
The Cliffs at Princeville is Kauai’s greenest resort. They consistently win awards for their sustainability practices and their commitment to protecting the environment. They are even rated #1 out of 2,508 RCI resorts in North America. In addition, the Cliffs at Princeville operates with Aloha’ Āina, a love of the land.
6. Book a Timeshare Unit to Save Money
The Cliffs at Princeville is a mixed-use hotel/timeshare resort. A little more than half of their rooms are Kauai timeshare units affiliated with the world’s largest timeshare exchange company, RCI. So if you also own a timeshare affiliated with RCI, you can trade yours for a week at the Best Timeshare in Kauai, according to Hawaii Magazine readers.
If you’re not a timeshare owner or couldn’t get an exchange, you can rent one from an owner, saving 25 to 75% of the resort direct prices. So if you think that a trip to Hawaii is out of your budget, you may be surprised at how much timeshare rentals can save you!
7. Close to Stunning Beaches
There are several beaches nearby that are worth checking out. Pu’u Poa Beach is located at the end of Ka Haku Road and is great for a summer swim. Take the 191 stairs down to the beach if you park at 1 Hotel Hanalei.
Hanalei Bay is the most popular North Shore Kauai beach and is only 3 miles from The Cliffs at Princeville Kauai. The bay provides calm water for swimming, the sand is powdery soft, and there’s even a pier you can walk out on.
8. Check Out the Island’s Best Snorkeling Spot
One of the best places to snorkel on Kauai is Tunnels Beach. This is ideal for experienced snorkelers looking for an epic spot to see tropical fish and sea turtles. It can get crowded with visitors, but you don’t have to jockey for a parking spot since hotel guests can walk (it would be an adventurous one though!) or take the shuttle bus from The Cliffs at Princeville Resort.
9. A Stone’s Throw to Princeville Town
The Cliffs at Princeville Resort is so close to Princeville town. Once you exit the resort, you’ll be right at the Princeville Shopping Center. This is a cute little shopping area with boutique shops, restaurants, and even a Foodland grocery store. They have free hula shows on Saturdays, daily free live entertainment, and offer a night market.
76 Station at Princeville Shopping Center is a hidden gem. Located inside the North Shore General Store, they sell some of the best pizza on Kauai. After lunch or dinner, don’t forget to stop at the gorgeous Hanalei Valley Lookout right across from the shopping center. It’s a great spot to see the taro fields, Hanalei river, and majestic mountains in the background.
10. Close to Steller Golf Courses
Princeville is well known for its golf courses with two courses designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. The Prince Golf Course is challenging with five different tees at each hole to match different abilities. The Makai Golf Course offers both a nine-hole golf course and the full 18 holes, great for families or golf groups with varying comfort levels.
11. It’s Down the Street From Hanalei
When you stay at The Cliffs at Princeville Kauai, you’re in the premier spot to experience the various things to do in Hanalei. Hanalei, a surf town with cute shops and cafes, is right down the street from the resort. They host a variety of food trucks that are definitely worth a stop for locally made, inexpensive meals. So make to stop into Wishing Well Shave Ice, Holey Grail Donuts, and Hanalei Taro & Juice.
12. Close to Limahuli Botanical Garden
If you’d like to explore a beautiful botanical garden while on Kauai, head to Limahuli Garden on the west end of Hanalei near Ha’ena. You can learn about Hawaiian history and native plants. There’s an easy hiking/walking trail that meanders through the garden for small children or those with limited mobility.
You’ll explore a historic Hawaiian hale (hut), cross over little bridges, see a little waterfall, and see the stunning mountain and ocean views. It’s easy to see why it was named the Best Natural Botanical Garden in America.
13. Easy Access to Na Pali Snorkeling Tours
In Hanalei, you can also access excursions to the Na Pali Coast. Almost all snorkel boats leave from the South Shore of Kauai; however, there’s a Na Pali Coast snorkeling excursion from Hanalei. This is a great way to see a part of Kauai that is hidden away without having to travel all the way to the South Shore to hop to join a tour.
Traveling to The Cliffs at Princeville Kauai: 3 FAQs
1. Why is it Called Princeville Kauai?
This Kauai resort town is named after Prince Albert of Kauai. He was the last Hawaiian prince born before the end of the Hawaiian monarchy.
2. How Far is Princeville from the Lihue Airport?
Princeville is about 29 miles from the Lihue Airport, which is the main airport on Kauai. The drive usually takes about 45 minutes if there is no traffic or natural disasters. There’s also an airport in Princeville, but it’s pretty tiny.
3. Do I Need a Rental Car in Princeville Kauai?
Yes. Unless you aren’t planning on leaving your resort, you’ll want a rental car to explore Kauai. There are little one-lane bridges to get from Princeville to Hanalei (just a few miles away), and it’s much safer to drive than walk or ride a bike. And you’ll want a car if you plan on going hiking, seeing Waimea Canyon, or doing most Kauai adventures.
Marcie runs the family travel site Hawaii Travel with Kids and has traveled extensively through the islands for more than 25 years. She currently lives in Seattle with her husband and 2 kids.