I based my decision to stay at hotel coral reef solely on tripadvisor reviews. Starting with the great things, I would say George and Rhonda were incredibly accommodating. Each morning during the wiki wiki (I think that's what they called the continental breakfast), I enjoyed conversing with George and the other guests about their Kauai experiences. Each morning from 7-9, the hotel provides coffee (make your own in the k-cup machine), croissant or toast, scones, cold cereal and fresh mixed fruit. This was a great way for me to find out the inside scoop on the best attractions, events and restaurants on the island. George had great suggestions as to which beaches to go to, and we tried many. Everyone raved about the north shore. Many people suggested haena beach, north of hanalei. It was lovely, but for kids, you can't beat Lydgate park. It's protected by a man made rock barrier. Safe for kids and a wonderful place to snorkel. We saw many different colorful fish while knowing we weren't going to be swept out to sea in the undertow. Pay attention to the signs posted at the beaches. The rip tide is powerful! We tried getting into the smith family luau, but they were booked solid. If you absolutely have to get into this particular luau, book it well in advance. We went to the luau at the plantation in lihue. They offer a train ride through the property before dinner. We did not take the train, but it looked like fun. They say it starts at 5:30, but really it's just a time to mingle and booze it up, which they encourage with an open bar. Of course you pay for that with price of admission, which isn't cheap, so drink and eat aplenty! I believe it was called luau kalimaku, but can't remember at the moment. They provide plenty of delicious food. George from the hotel had mentioned he preferred this luau to the smith luau because this one stayed true to Hawaiian culture, while smith included other Polynesian islands. The entertainment was truly amazing. So much talent! The hula dancers, fire and drum beats will really amp up your total experience! Back to the hotel- roosters will crow every morning. These birds seem unavoidable no matter where you are on the island. They roam freely and are a part of the island "charm". The location of the hotel was another plus. Traveling to the north and south shore was a breeze from centrally located kapaa. Taking a left out of the parking lot to go south can be a challenge since the hotel is on the busy two lane hwy. just be a little assertive and people will stop for you. The maid service at hotel coral reef was not the greatest. I did not complain, but if I had, I'm sure George and Rhonda would have remedied it straight away. This is not the place for you if you expect to waited on by the pool. If you want that, stay at the Sheraton in poipu. We had the fortune of stumbling upon their poolside restaurant after touring mcbryde botanical gardens (more on that in a bit). Sheraton pool and beach side looked like the typical glamour beach spot. Many beautiful sun worshippers were soaking up rays, eating and drinking to their hearts content. Quite a contrast from hotel coral reef, which only has 25 rooms, no bar or restaurant. Plenty of great food and beverage places within walking distance of hotel coral reef, though. We tried them all. I highly recommend the art cafe Hemingway across the street. I had the goat cheese quiche the last three mornings of our trip. If only I had discovered this place earlier! High quality food, prepared fresh while you wait. The Americanos were excellent there also. My daughter went crazy over the sweet crepes with strawberries and Nutella. Not within walking distance, but well worth the drive was Kauai pasta. Great food! It was only recommended to us the last night of our trip, otherwise we probably would have eaten there more. It's behind Taco Bell. Had George not mentioned it, we never would have noticed it. We also had an excellent dinner at the hukilau linai. Eggberts was recommended to us by one of my coworkers here on the mainland, but I wasn't that impressed. The birds wandering through the restaurant, hopping up on tables and doing their business on the floor was just too much for me. There is a place called rainbow living foods that was great for me because of food allergies. Loved the ingredients on the menu, but its outrageously priced and took them about a half hour to make three smoothies with no one else waiting to be served. The east side cafe was a joke! Do not go there. Food was disappointing and the prices way too high. Mermaids was good, as well as the coconut cup, but only offer outside seating. The birds and insects that swarm around the food just rob you of an enjoyable eating experience. I highly recommend taking the steel grass chocolate tour. It was entertaining, informative and delicious! It was the one tour we took that I thought exceeded my expectations. Mcbryde botanical gardens, on the other hand was not so great. The tour bus had no air conditioning. We were dying! The plants were not in bloom, so in all fairness, it may be a better tour during a different time of year.i honestly think the highlight was stopping to look over the Gilligan's island lagoon on our way out. Bug spray was a must on this tour, or just in general for the island. Something I was not prepared to deal with was the Mosquitos. We all have over twenty bug bites! We did find a cockroach in our bathroom the last night of the trip. I was told that they are common. I wasn't that freaked out about it although I was startled at first. The beds were really comfortable and the air conditioner was wonderful. I wish there had been a mini fridge in the room, but we found a styrofoam cooler at Safeway for $3.99 that worked well for us. We were able to carry it easily to the beaches to hold our...sodas or whatever we wanted to keep cold. Overall, great trip. George and Rhonda were great hosts, but I still have to say hotel coral reef is just average. Like I said, if you want luxury, this is not your place. But if you just need a soft pillow to land on in between all of your fun activities, then the hotel coral reef is a great value!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Coral Reef built in 1956 is known to be the islands original boutique hotel. Located in the historical town of Kapaa featuring a variety of local shops and restaurants for any visitor to enjoy. Experience our newly renovated oceanfront guest rooms approximately 50 feet from the waters edge with direct ocean views. Hotel Coral Reef is an ideal location for any visitor looking to have Easy access to all Kauai's exciting points of Interest. Come Join us for a true Hawaiian Experience. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Coral Reef Kapaa
- Hotel Coral Reef Kauai/Kapaa