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“Some great things, and some not so great.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Coral Reef

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Hotel Coral Reef
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   4-1516 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746   |  
Hotel website
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in Kapaa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Some great things, and some not so great.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013 via mobile

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!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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225 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (70)
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English first
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

I had to say average so as not to mislead people, but I definitely liked staying at the hotel. If you are expecting a resort or 5 star then you will be definitely disappointed. This is a small two story 21 room local hotel. It is just on the edge of Kapaa's Tourist zone. It is close enough to enjoy tourist spots, but not over crowd, busy, and noisy like tourist zone hotels. Parking is free. It is easy to get in and out of. The King bed was very comfortable. The room was large and clean. We had a second floor room. The view of the beach was nice. It was very quiet. We enjoyed drinking our coffee on our little balcony in the morning. There was a microwave, 2 cup coffee pot, free Kauai coffee, green tea, and lipton tea in the room. The maid replenished the beverages every day. The bathroom was huge and nice looking. I did find the shower challenging to get in and out of because I am so short. The tub was very deep. It reached two inches above my knees. it looked like a whirlpool or Jacuzzi tub. I carefully got in and out, but my husband is used to a handicap friendly custom built shower at home. He kept smacking his shin on the tub. The property caretakers were very nice and friendly. We enjoyed meeting them. It was fun to borrow the hotel's bicyle's then ride the ocean bike path. It is a wide long cement path easy to ride along a very scenic ocean front. This is one of the more affordable hotels on Kauai. Most hotels cost a lot more on Kauai.

Some things that could be improved:
Refrigerators don't work in the rooms....odd to have them in there and not working.
I like a little more security in my hotel rooms, but maybe there is less crime on Kauai then other places and I am letting my mainlander prejudice get in the way. It only had a dead bolt on the door. I would have liked a chain lock and a peephole too.

Room Tip: second floor room's feel safer and have a better view.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bend, Oregon
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

We stayed one night here between lodgings on Kauai. ( see my review of Aloha Beach Hotel) May 22, 2013
This is an older hotel that has been completely updated. We requested an ocean view room, a bit more expensive but worth it.
The rooms are small and have massive furniture, we had a king size bed, but we still liked it. There are three sinks, a microwave, and refrigerator. TV had good reception and the view is to die for. Its right on the walking/ bike path in Kappa. The is a small balcony where we sat and enjoyed our complimentary breakfast. It was a perfect breakfast for us, yogurt, sweet rolls, fresh fruit and good coffee done with a Keurig machine. The small staff was friendly and helpful. We enjoyed the sparkling clean pool with a waterfall. There are adirondack chairs on the large lawn area to sit in and enjoy the ocean and people going by on the path. We look forward to staying here again!

Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

Pros: set in the very nice Kapa'a town, our room (front ocean) was very nice, quite big and with a nice view on the ocean, we didn't test the beach in front of the hotel but the lawn with comfortable chairs was nice
Done: everything that maid us feel more like in a rental than an actual hotel: the staff is unequally nice and helpful, the rooms are not done each day, a maid just brings you fresh towels and beauty products if needed, the breakfast included is actually coffee and some muffins, with no real place to eat

Bottom line: it's pretty nice, but not a great hotel service

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Antwerp in Belgium
11 reviews 11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2013

Stayed there in April for five nights. When they say ocean view they really mean ocean view . Step uot of your room and dive into the Pacific ..... The rooms are very cosy which give you a 'home away from home' feeling. Very friendly service and an extra perk are the bikes they rent out. Beatiful bike route allong the coast just in front of the hotel , you might even spot some whales like we did!!!!
A real gem across the street is 'The Hemingway café' for some wonderful breakfast or lunch.
Try the Chai latte!!!!
If we were to go back to Kauai, we would definitely go back to the Coral Reef Hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bluffton, Ohio, United States
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

This facility was highly recommended in The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook -- said it was a "solid value." It's more than a solid value, it's a gold mine! They were so friendly the entire time we were there (9 nights) and clearly show pride of ownership. Parking is free, rooms are well-appointed and restful, pool is beautiful and everything is well maintained. We had a second floor king suite facing the ocean (east) and the bed was glorious. I was worried that I would miss seeing island sunsets, but I truly believe now that island sunrises are much more beautiful. We spent a lot of time on the balcony just watching the surf, the chickens, people on the bike path, etc. One afternoon, when we were tired of sight seeing, we sat at the pool and watched the owner tending to the lawn, trees, etc.

We rented bikes twice (from the owners) and took them on the bike trail; Kauai had just installed new historical signs along the bike path and they were so interesting. I really enjoyed speaking with the girl who provides maid service - they're very conscious of sustainability and provide all sorts of wonderful local foods for breakfast.

Great restaurants within walking distance and, while there's a lot of traffic in this area of the island, it is manageable since everyone is so patient and kind. Great shopping, too!

I saw other resorts that I had read about in the guidebook and was glad that we were not at a major, corporately-owned resort. While they treat you like family at Coral Reef, they also really respect your privacy. I will definitely be back on my next trip to Kauai.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

The Hotel Coral Reef was an amazing experience. You can't beat the price and I love that I was giving back to the local economy by staying at a locally owned facility instead of a big chain. This is a great bang for your buck and I have already suggested it to several people.

Newly renovated, and as far as I can tell all were ocean front. Our room had a mini-fridge, microwave, and coffee pot. One of our sinks wasn't operational, but we used it to store all of our beauty products.

The hotel was great, located right off a walking/running path its the perfect place for a morning stroll. They also have adirondack chairs situated around the property if you want to relax and watch the waves roll in. The hotel is located a few hundred feet away from the beach, which was great. The exterior of the hotel was well maintained.

We couldn't have asked for more. The hotel had beach chairs, coolers and towels available to check out, and bikes for rent. The hotel offers a complimentary continental breakfast every morning and they mix up the menu so you're not eating the same thing every day. When we were there they had oatmeal, toast, fruit salad, cereal, and yogurt. There is a small restaurant located at the front of the property, it sells salads, fruit smoothies, and shave ice. We ate there several times during our stay. It is not associated with the hotel. There is no charge for parking, and there is plenty to go around. The hotel also has a pool, not that you need it but it is nice if you are traveling with kids. It was well maintained and if I think there may have even been a BBQ grill there.

The owners were on site every day and always there to answer questions about the best seafood restaurant, fruit stand and farmers markets. Everyone on the staff was friendly, outgoing and always ready to help. By the end of our stay we felt like we were family, we even hugged the owners when we left! We did have a small issue with the maid service, but it was more of a minor inconvenience. We didn't want/need the room cleaned every day but we did have to ask for towels a few times because they took the dirty ones and didn't leave any clean ones. But the staff was very helpful and quick to respond when we asked.

Overall I LOVED this hotel and I would stay there again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Coral Reef

Address: 4-1516 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Kapaa
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Romantic Hotel in Kapaa
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Kapaa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Hotel Coral Reef 2.5*
Number of rooms: 21
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

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