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“Don't Worry About the Chickens” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pono Kai Resort

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Pono Kai Resort
2.5 of 5 Resort   |   4-1250 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #9 of 12 Hotels in Kapaa
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Don't Worry About the Chickens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We were more than pleased with our stay and had read some of the other reviews. Our unit in the J building was clean and up to date and well stocked with the dishes and supplies. New Televisions in the living area and the bedroom. We had a garden view on the first floor but like everyone else we had hoped for an Ocean View. Not available with our timeshare company. The good news, you were a 30 second walk from the ocean and there was a 5 mile walking path adjacent to the ocean. A walk into town took about 5 minutes. Plenty of restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, ABC store etc. Yes, Kauai has chickens everywhere but they did no disturb us. Note: The walls in our building were very thin and we were on the first floor. So we could hear folks walking around and sometimes heard our neighbors talking.

Room Tip: Stay away from Building "k". One side faces the street and the other side faces the tennis...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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470 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (138)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Billings, Montana
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2012

There are nicer places to stay for the same price, and before you book with the conceirge, make sure you know exactly what you are getting. We booked what all 6 of us thought was a snorkel tour off a boat and didn't find out until the 6:00 the night before it was off shore. Tried to cancel all but were told it was within 24 hrs and we couldn't. We all heard at the orientation that it was on a boat and 3 of us didn't want to snorkel and we asked at the desk if we could stay on the boat and they said yes. They at least took 1/2 off, but we still had to pay almost $300 for NOTHING. We felt that they should have helped more since we were led to believe it was on a boat. Book things yourself, you can get them just as cheap and when they say you have to hurry and book they are filling up, that's not really true, look it up online and book yourself, we did for things the night before. Won't stay here again, there's lots of other places. It was clean and the front desk was nice.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
araikes, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, November 1, 2012
Aloha,
Thank you for staying at the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed in one of the condos our condo management company rents out, but it sounds like your frustrations were directed more at the onsite concierge, which unfortunately our company does not manage. As for the condo itself, it sounds as though you found the room to be clean and hopefully the location very convenient to exploring all parts of Kauai.

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Des Plaines, IL
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2012

Good stay in a two bedroom, two bath garden unit. We had stayed here previously and loved the resort so opted to stay again. We really wanted an Ocean view but there weren't any available. On Tuesday, the front desk called to say they has an Ocean view available. They allowed us to look at it first. We opted to stick with the Garden view that we were in. Our decision was based on the fact that the Garden view was ground level and was centrally located on the property. It was directly across from the pool and just a building away from beach access. The Ocean view was a very nice unit as well but had only a sliver of an ocean view and seemed smaller.

Other than the disappointment of the no ocean view, our stay was most excellent. The property is absolutely beautiful and well maintained. As previous reviews stated towel service is every other day. This is nice considering most timeshares do provide once a week towel service upon request. The kitchens are well appointed. And its my understanding that the rooms were just recently renovated. We constantly saw maintenance people busy. The front desk and concierge folks were very helpful. I also really appreciated the "orientation" at the Pono Kai. Typically this means they try to do an owners update which means high pressure sales to buy more timeshare. This wasn't at all what it was. The orientation was an opportunity to learn about the island and tours. This is really good information and well worth sitting through.

We decided to do the ATV Kauai tour and it was awesome. It was well worth the 4 1/2 hours. We also did the National Botanical Gardens Allerton tour. Was really nice as well. Also got to try some fruits that were picked right off the trees. On our own we drove North on the Kuhio Highway until the road runs out. At the end is an absolutely beautiful bay to swim and snorkel in. It has a reef where you can see lots of different fish. We ate at Bull Shed, Lemongrass, and Gaylords. All were good but pricey. Also did the Luau Kalamaki. The food was just ok, the drinks were awesome and all you could drink and the show was really good.

All in all great stay in a really nice room! Next time though, I will take suggestion of previous reviewers and call ahead to request a Ocean front room!

Room Tip: Ask for buildings A, B, C, or D for ocean front rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ukiah, California
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012

The Pono Kai is central located on the Island. You can get to anywhere on the Island in less than 30 minutes. The grounds are well keeped. The staff is friendly. If you haven't been to Kauai they have a meeting 1 or 2 times a week to tell you about Kauai and things to do. I have been staying at the Pono Kai for more than 10 years. I love it.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled solo
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
araikes, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you for great review! We are glad you love the Pono Kai and look forward to seeing you at the Pono Kai for the next 10 years as well.

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
washington
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2012

Our room at Pono Kai was very spacious and comfortable. It had AC in the living room and we left the bedroom door open so that it cooled the back room and it was still very comfortable. The place was clean and updated. The kitchen was stocked with the necessary utensils. The floors were a little noisy in the bedroom but everything else was very solid. The grounds were well maintained and the parking lot was well light if you arrive after dark. They do have a lobby area where you can rent snorkel gear, print boarding passes, or look at local restaurant menus. The staff was generally welcoming and we will would recommend staying here.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
araikes, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, October 24, 2012
Thank you for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. Our condo management company does not manage the specific unit you stayed in, but we are pleased that you enjoyed the grounds and your stay at the Pono Kai.

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paramount, California
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012

This condo was simply the best! We had 3 people staying for 1 week in Kauai and found the place very spacious and comfortable. It was centrally located so going to the North shore (Anini Beach) or the South Shore (Poipu beach) was an easy 20 minute car ride with no traffic. The check-in was hassle free, the front desk was very helpful and efficient. We got out keys and swimming pool key cards within 5 min and headed toward the condo. The condo was on the 3rd floor but right next to the elevator. Third floor means no walking noises above and a more safe feeling leaving our lanai door open at night to hear the wonderful ocean waves and cool ocean air right outside!! Every morning we made it a point to get our coffee and breakfast made from the well stocked kitchen and sat on the lanai table and chairs to watch the beautiful sunrise and moon rise lift up from the ocean causing a breathtaking trail of light across the ocean right to our lanai. It was very surreal!! We went to bigsave and costco to get our supplies and cooked most nights for dinner and ate like kings with steaks, jumbo shrimps, king crab legs, and fresh fish. Everything we needed was in the kitchen from pots to utensils and knives. We spend $180 on groceries and ate nothing but the best. I calculated that if we ate dinner for 3 every night on an average of $20 per person for 7 nights that would be $420 and we would not eat as good! The granite tops on the kitchen made it very easy to maintain. The free internet connection was very reliable and fast, the cable TV was a nice bonus and the cooler, beach chairs and umbrella was much appreciated. The place was very well decorated and I can feel the love and respect the owner has for the sea! The owner of the condo was very helpful. He even provided us with a printout of secret local hangout spots as well as great places to visit and eat. On our last day we went for a wonderful walk along the small town right next to our condo and got great gifts and in my opinion the best shaved ice right next door. Be sure to add at least 1 scoop of ice cream and condense milk. Simply the best! They even have bike rentals in the same complex (2 for $10 per day) very cheap! It was an amazing trip and the condo made for a wonderful home base. We look forward to staying here again when we get the chance to come back to Kauai! I will definitely recommend to all my friends and family about this wonderful condo! Aloha

Room Tip: Higher Floors have less noise and feel safer to leave your lanai open at night.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Redwood City, CA
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

It's not fancy, but it has AC and it's on the beach. We booked a two bedroom unit for two couples. The beds were comfortable, towels were soft and the location is perfect. The kitchen seemed to have everything we'd need, but we only stayed for one night and didn't cook, so I can't vouch for the quality of the cooking utensils. Our apartment had AC in the master BR and living room, but not in the second bedroom. Both bedrooms had plenty of storage space. The master had an en suite bathroom, a second bathroom is off the living room. Both bathrooms were a good size and had plenty of counter space. Ground floor units open out directly onto the lawn. Our unit wasn't on the beach, but there was just one building between us and the beach.

As I said before it's not fancy. We spent one night here and seven nights in a timeshare condo located in Princeville. The Princeville condo was fancier. It had higher quality appliances, hardwood floors, nicer furnishings and beautiful grounds; but it barely had enough drawer space for us to put our clothes away, not much counter space in the second bathroom and no AC. If I could do it over I'd spend my whole vacation at Pono Kai.

There were just a couple of negative points. We could hear people walking around in the unit above ours and you have to check out beach/pool towels from housekeeping. If you don't return them you will be charged.

Room Tip: Ask for a unit on the beach.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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 Pono Kai Resort

Address: 4-1250 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Kapaa
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Family Hotel in Kapaa
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Kapaa
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Kapaa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pono Kai Resort 2.5*
Number of rooms: 217
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Also Known As:
Pono Kai Hotel Kapaa
Pono Kai Kapaa
Pono Kai Resort Kauai/Kapaa

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