Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kauai: Luxury Travel for Less, Part I

The sky turned golden precisely at 5:55 a.m. then went gray and within 30 minutes was a brilliant blue background to the rising sun's antics of playing peek-a-boo through pink-tinted clouds and palm frond silhouettes.

That was how each day began during our first week in Kauai.

GreeceKauau2014 146
Sunrise in Kauai from our room
We were at the Westin Ocean Resort Villas in Princeville on the island’s North Shore.  Princeville, with its high-end accommodations is nicknamed 'the Bel Air of the island', after California’s similarly ritzy city.

Kauai2014Aug 052From the deck on our studio condo we’d sip both morning coffee and evening wine – there was no better ocean view to be had in the complex than ours.

 We like luxury.

And we’ve surrounded ourselves in it on this trip.

What we like even better is when we find luxurious accommodations for less!

And that’s what The Scout does best. . .so let me show you what he found and how much it cost.

Kauai2014Aug 049
Our home away from home - week one Kauai
The Westin Villas are ‘time shares’ or ‘interval ownership units’ where a week is purchased (either deeded land or points), maintenance fees are paid annually, and you’ve got your own – albeit, tiny – piece of Hawaii, in this case. (We own such property on the island of O’ahu and Arizona and for those new to the blog, check the links on the homepage for more about those).

PicMonkey Collage
Westin Ocean Resort Villas - Princeville, Kauai
Often times owners can’t use their reserved time and choose to trade it for somewhere/sometime else or they rent the reserved time. A number of web sites are designed for just that and that’s where The Scout found this Westin unit for rent.

PicMonkey Collage
Bathroom, kitchen and laundry off the entry hall
Our spacious unit had a large walk-in shower, jacuzzi tub for two with a shuttered wall that opened to the ocean view, an en suite washer and dryer and a kitchen that included garbage disposal, dishwasher, microwave/convection oven and was stocked with more dishes and pans than I planned to use! Once a week maid service brought new towels and sheets and a room tidy. And our bed was “Heavenly” the kind trademarked by Westin and used in all their hotel and vacation villa properties. For parents out there: the couch was a sleeper sofa - bedding provided.

Kauai2014Aug 006
BBQs with a view
Food and drink prices were high at this end of the island, so we ate ‘at home’ often. BBQ’s were cleaned daily for use by residents. I tell you sipping wine and enjoying the view while cooking was one of the stay’s high points. . .and it was a better views than many of the restaurants.

PicMonkey Collage
Beach at St. Regis Hotel - and its view: NaPali Coast
A real plus was  regular shuttle service to the nearby St. Regis Hotel where we could sunbathe on its beach or dine in its restaurants and bars (rooms at that luxury hotel began at $500+ a night).

So . . .What we paid:
This room is called a Premium Studio, 512 sq. ft. plus 44 sq. ft. balcony. 
Rate per night on the Westin site: $450;
on Expedia $399.
We paid: $150 per night, booking through the owner’s rental site. I’ve listed a few of them below.

If You Go:
The Scout did a quick Google search for ‘timeshare rentals’ and found a number of websites, including Redweek.com, Sellmytimesharenow.com, TUG (Timeshare Users Group)com.

Note: We didn’t expect to have an ocean view as it hadn’t been specified in the rental - it was luck of the draw. “Ocean views” -- should you book one -- can be tricky because some places consider even a peek-a-boo view of water as ocean view.  Do a bit of research and check floor plans.

Common Sense Note:  We rented from owners using two different web sites. We did not send full payment at the time of booking. We made a payment to hold the reservation but waited until confirmations were sent, in this case from The Westin, with our name on the rental and a confirmation number before we made the final payment. (We also called The Westin prior to arrival to make sure we did have a reservation.)

Next week I’ll “show and tell” the luxury for less we found on the island’s other side our second week. Hope you’ll come  check it out~ until then, Happy Travels. And thanks for your visit!

Linking to three incredible blogs:
Travel Photo Thursday – Budget Travelers Sandbox
Weekend Travel Inspirations – Reflections en Route
Mosaic Monday- Lavender Cottage Gardening

28 comments:

  1. What a great way to save money especially on amazing sites that command those types of prices - great find and thanks for sharing this concept!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found it of interest, Noel. Thanks much for the comment and visit!

      Delete
  2. Beautiful accom, Jackie. The price is amazingly good. I'd love to cook on that barbecue with a view :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was a luxe getaway, Nancie and at a price that for Hawaii was very reasonable! Thanks for hosting Travel Photo Thursday!!

      Delete
  3. $150!! That's incredible, especially considering that view and how nice the accommodations are. You have definitely peaked my interest in looking more into how to do this myself. The last time we were in Maui, my uncle offered us his Westin timeshare for free. Free is good, but I can't rely on that deal every time. (P.S. Was this after your Greek disappointment? Good way to distract yourself.)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great tips -- Scout did well! Nothing wrong with 'eating at home" when you've got a place like that with such awesome views. Ah, Kauai!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, he did well on this find and did even better on our second week. . .stay tuned! (And thanks for the visit!!)

      Delete
  5. This really does look and sound like luxury :) Great that you managed to save some pennies along the way too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Catherine, we did save some pennies. . .of course those pennies we 'saved' usually go towards more travel so not sure how it balances out. Thanks much for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. Hi Jackie, what an amazing "home" you found in Kuia! Scout did a great job. Keith loves to BBQ and with a view like that he might want to do it several times a day! Great tips about renting a timeshare unit. We have not done it and will definitely keep your tips in mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really did enjoy the bbq's . . .in addition to the view, we met some other interesting folks (all who love travel) so the time always sped by as we 'cooked' dinner. . .thanks much for your visit!

      Delete
  7. It looks like an incredible place to spend some time. I hadn't thought of looking at time share rentals before, so thank you for the tip.

    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad I might have provided some helpful information and thanks much for the visit, Karen. Happy week ahead~ Jackie

      Delete
  8. Sounds wonderful! Happy Mosaic Monday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the visit! Happy week and Mosaic Monday to you as well!

      Delete
  9. Knowing I will likely never travel to Kauai, I took in every detail and put myself in your shoes. My hubby and I would have loved the place with this view, morning coffee and access to BBQs would have put him on cloud 9.
    What a great bargain and fabulous way to journal the stay on your blog.
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday Jackie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Judith we've learned never to say never when it comes to travel possibilities, so maybe one day you will get to enjoy that same scene over morning coffee (and put your husband to work on that bbq!) Take care - Jackie

      Delete
  10. I like luxury, too. You've found a great way to enjoy all the perks at a reasonable price. Looks lovely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really did get a deal and love these self-catering places much more than hotel rooms these days. Thanks much for the visit Lorrie - Happy Monday to you!

      Delete
  11. You and the Scout are a match made in heaven, and it sure seems like heaven on earth where you stayed, Jackie! What stunning views!! So glad you could enjoy this level of luxury for so much less!

    xx
    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh it was a heavenly view that's for sure Poppy! Thanks so much for your visit- hope all is well in Crete, another heavenly place to my way of thinking! Hugs, J.

      Delete
  12. Wow is all I can say...fabulous accommodations and now I know how to get there myself!! Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Donna, and thanks much for the visit. Hope my tips will help you save some travel dollars should you find yourself in Kauai. . . Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Our stay at this property convinced us we were going to move to Kauai, and we did! Nanea is one of our favorite restaurants for special occasions, and there was nothing like working poolside with a handsome cabana boy to serve drinks. ;-)

    ReplyDelete

So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...