After much deliberation on exactly where to base ourselves for 8 days on Kauai, I decided on the Marriott Lagoons because it allowed us to visit all parts of the island fairly easily and was just 5 minutes to the airport. (It was also impossible to find a plain hotel room that accommodated 5 persons.) They have a fine shuttle service to and from the airport but you will still want a car.
I was on the verge of going with a rental home but stumbled onto this owner/timeshare condo arrangement after looking here on TA.
We arrived quickly to the Lagoons and given a beautiful 2 bed/2 bath condo on the second floor with a wonderful view. We were placed by choice in Building A which is closest to the water. Not a complete ocean view for our unit but half ocean, half bay. Perfect. We could also see from the large balcony the beautiful landscaping around the pool property though we were not immediately on top of it.
Beds were King in each room and extremely comfortable. There was also a large sofa for good sleeping as well as a floor futon for those who want it. The kitchen was completely equipped for cooking which we used to make two evening meals. Everything was high end and new. The cleaning service put the dishes through the dwasher daily. Coffee was continually supplied but no other food staples. Several beach towels were replaced daily. The staff was always available and helpful but never intrusive. We loved the accommodations! Having a laundry room in the unit was useful and they give you detergent.
The Lagoons is somehow connected to the Marriott hotel on the other part of the property. We went there for their beach which was fine for swimming and renting boards, etc... and for Duke's restaurant. Duke's is always an enjoyable and reasonably priced choice for dinner on the water. Downstairs is casual, upstairs a higher end menu. The shuttle runs constantly to bring you back and forth to the Lagoons, but we often walked the beautiful property back to our place.
We thought the grounds of the Lagoons were so nice, especially the pool area, that we had little reason to go to the hotel except for dinner and an occasional swim.
The Lagoons has a great little private beach reached by the golf course path and is nice for sunbathing and relaxing during low tide. Like many beaches on Kauai, it's rough for real swimming and I wouldn't. Many people also barbecued on the four grills/patio setups near the pool. We did this once and it was fun. My husband and son enjoyed golf on the 9 hole course one morning, but there is an 18 hole along the ocean, too.
I don't know if we were just lucky, but the Lagoons was not crowded at all. The pool area was lovely, never rowdy or overrun with kids, though there were several families. You can also request to take a couple beach chairs out with you for the day around the island. There are four nice mountain bikes to tour with around the property. The fitness center looked very well equipped and had full view windows facing the ocean.
We had mixed weather everyday and went all over the island to enjoy what Kauai has to offer. Some people on TA complained about plane and helicopter noise but we didn't mind either. Few flights come in to Lihue each day and being so near the airport far outweighed that. The helicopters could be bothersome to some in the morning when they all fly out for tours but after 9:30 or 10 we were usually out and about by then. It wouldn't deter me in the least from staying here.
I found the room on the Marriott site and plugged in my Marriott rewards number to get a great deal under 300 per night for this unit. It is so worth it for a larger family. Since Kauai has weather that can change, it was nice to have such a large place to relax after a long day or when the weather was off a bit. You couldn't find a hotel room, much less a condo, with these amenities for the money. Not by far. (Unless you had frequent flyer or hotel points)
Lihue is a pleasant town, not touristy but a regular small town where you can easily buy supplies at Kmart or Walmart, go to farmer's markets, get fresh fish, etc... Kapaa is a little more touristy but still nice.
We spent a lot of time in Hanelei Bay which is in the north side. The beaches are hands down the best of the island and Hanelei is a great little spot for dining and hanging around. Don't miss Tunnels beach for absolutely wonderful snorkeling, swimming and sunning- and Ke e beach for sunsets. We stopped at many other beaches around the island and the north is stunning. Salt Pond Beach in the West was very nice as well. I was not as impressed with the Poipu area beaches though we tried three.
Don't miss a Waimea Canyon hike: scary but thrilling- but go early morning as the clouds roll in by 11, it seems. Or go after 6 when the sun returns beautifully on the canyons. A nice time is also had doing a bit of kayaking on the peaceful Wailua River.
We didn't do the helicopter or airplane rides, nor did we take a boat ride. Next time!
When we return we will stay at the Marriott Lagoons. It was a truly great vacation!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.