This is a beautiful hotel/condo property with an interesting feature. All of the rooms are studio units, with a combined sleeping/living area, kitchenette, nice full bathroom, and a balcony (always referred to as a "lanai" in Hawai‘i). As far as I can tell, most of the property is the corporate hotel, run by Aston, but interspersed, in the same property, maybe in the same building next door to each other, are some studios that are privately owned condo units. The grounds of the whole property are meticulously kept.
We stayed 5 days in Unit 224, which is a privately owned condo in this resort. Renting a privately owned unit, rather than a traditional hotel room, made me VERY nervous. What if we got there and it was a bait and switch? Well, all I can say is that for the price that we paid -- which was about what a room in a Days Inn in Iowa would cost -- it was beyond my best expectations! It is a gem. We found the unit clean, well stocked and nicely appointed. Most of all, however, was the view and location. We would definitely stay here again, and would recommend the cost saving of renting private unit without hesitation.
Another bonus of going with a privately owned unit, is that you are selecting the actual unit you are going to stay in, rather than just a class of room.
This particular unit, #224, truly has a million-dollar view (and I mean that literally, if you were looking to buy a house in Kaua‘i with this view, it might easily cost you a million bucks!) Being on the second floor is great, too. You are up just enough to see over the low dunes, for a full ocean view, and yet feel secure in leaving the sliding glass door open with the screen closed, to hear the surf lull you to sleep. Early risers will love the balcony -- the "lanai" -- to enjoy a cup of coffee, read and watch the sun come up.
We heard no roosters crowing during our stay, but be forewarned, they are everywhere on Kauai. It's like a Caribbean island, everywhere! This property is not any different from any other on the whole island. You could have a rooster decide to crow outside your window at any hour. Anyone who would complain about it hasn't done their research.
The location of the unit, in Kapa‘a, is also great. It is the perfect distance from everywhere. You will want to go to the south and west side to drive up Waimea Canyon, but you will also want to go to the north coast, which is incredibly lush, but more touristy, and accordingly more expensive. From the Pu‘u o Kila overlook, at the top end of Highway 550, in the extreme far west, it is 1 hour and 45 minutes to the unit. From Ke‘e Beach, at the end of the road on the north, it is just under 1 hour. Wal-Mart and Costco are just 15-20 minutes down the road in Līhu‘e, where the airport is located.
Amenities of the unit include a couple of lawn chairs, and two beach towels. (Bring a couple more of your own towels. Assuming two people, it is good to have ones for the sand, and clean ones to dry off with.) There are a couple of boogie boards on the patio, but read your guidebook about dangerous surf in Kaua‘i before getting in the water! There are robes in the wardrobe, and plenty of extra soaps and shampoos in the bathroom, which is a nice touch. The air conditioner worked great, but we mainly just left it off, and opened the screen door. Free Wi-Fi was a breeze to access.
There are some basic things in the kitchenette, like salt/pepper, silverware, knives, cutting board, plastic forks, paper napkins, etc. Be prepared to make a run to the store for paper towels, or whatever else you need. (Foodland seemed nicer than Safeway, and had a killer selection of fresh poke in the deli.) There is a microwave and toaster over. Don't do what we did, and overlook the blender tucked under the sink. Pina Coladas over the rocks are just not the same!
If you want to be more sociable, without actually driving anywhere, the Sand Bar at the complex's pool is a nice thatched roof palapa-style tiki bar, that draws a lively group every evening to hangout for sunset cocktails. If you have drinks at dinner, or drive anywhere to go out, remember that Kaua‘i does have surprise DUI checkpoints, although, we never saw one. Luckily, the most popular nightspot on the island, Trees Restaurant & Nightclub, is within walking distance, literally across the parking lot from the front of the property.
If you have kids, or are having a more family style vacation, the owner of this unit also owns the adjoining unit 225. A pass-through door allows both units to be opened up into one larger space.
Of course, at this price, you will understand that there is no daily maid service. I guess that is the biggest trade off staying in a private unit vs. in one of the corporate hotel-style units. No one is going to bring you fresh towels everyday. There are, however, self-serve laundry facilities in the complex. Remember also, this is a tropical island, and the unit is like 40 feet from the surf. It is humid. We did NOT detect any mildew or bad smells, but if you open the door, the air is damp. If you don't want dampness or humidity, you might want to consider Palm Springs, rather than Hawai‘i.
My only frustration with the unit was in trying to figure out how to unlock the door for the first time. This could have set a bad tone for the stay, if we hadn't finally sorted it out. It was dark and late when we arrived, so that made this more difficult. Hopefully, the following will help clarify the procedure of getting in for anyone else renting the unit:
First, note that there are two lock boxes. Both accept four digit codes. Use the one with the physical buttons to push, not the one with the combination-lock style tumbler.
Once you have figured out which lock box to use, begin by hitting the "Clear" button. Of the two buttons in the center, this is the bottom one (almost impossible to read in the dark). Then, enter the four-digit code provided to you, using the push buttons. Next, press down on the top button-looking thing in the center, which is actually kind of a latch that moves slightly down.
The latch doesn't move much, so the first time you do this, it can be rather hard to realize that you are trying to press it down while pulling it out at the same time. Also, salt air is hard on everything made of metal, and has made it a little hard to slide. When done correctly, the latch moves down, the top pulls outward, and the whole face comes off.
There is one key inside the lock box. Use it to get in the unit, and then put the key back in the lock box, in case you accidentally lock yourself out. There are two keys on wrist straps inside the unit to carry about.
The ocean side rooms are amazing, and have a great sunrise view. On the other hand, you're goin...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.