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“Reasonable condos in good location, nicely refurbished” 3 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 #8 of 12 hotels in Kapaa
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Reasonable condos in good location, nicely refurbished”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

Resort itself a little uninspired looking from outside; has good amenities- pool, croquet, by beach, tennis, bbqs. Friendly staff. Very nicely refurbished units with all kitchen equipment etc required. Kapa'a short distance by road from airport and is a very pretty old style town with lots of inexpensive bars and restaurants. Cannot swim easily from beach though as not life guarded, and although good location from to explore island, does not have the best weather. Be aware in winter months that this area is colder and rainier than the south west of the lsland.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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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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 (113)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Montecito, California
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
51 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

For many years I've driven by this resort and and snickered a bit at how charmless it looks from the road. But when I was able to trade in for a two-bedroom unit for Christmas week, I decided to take a chance. It certainly exceeds my expectations. The grounds have mature plants and a lovely koi pond. We enjoyed playing shuffleboard, croquet, and golf on the small greens. Unlike a few other people who have written reviews, we were very fortunate and were given a very large two bedroom unit on the third floor overlooking the ocean. The unit is spotless, as are the grounds. There is a small army of people who work to maintain the property and they are all very friendly. It rained a bit here, but the resort has a family room which supplies board games.
Kapaa has put in a multiple mile paved walkway and bike path that runs along the shore, so walking the few short blocks into town, or miles beyond, is very pleasant. Although we did not rent bikes, I saw a sign next door advertising the rental of 2 bikes for $10. Not a bad price for Hawaii.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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, January 3, 2013
Mahalo for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed in one of the condos we manage, but I am glad you finally got to give the Pono Kai a test-drive after your many years of coming to Kauai. The paved beachfront bike/walking path is a very popular feature we hear about from many of our guests. I am glad you enjoyed your stay and we hope to see you again at the Pono Kai Resort.

Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Its a great resort...sorta in a time warp with the decor and appliances.... but the location is the ultimate!! Its mid island... perfect for exploring North and South, its within a 5 min walk of bars/restaurants/shops....Kapa'a is a funky little town....its also RIGHT ON THE BEACH!!! bonus... we were beachfront on the 1st floor.... the beach was literally our lanai!! the rooms were a bit stuffy but open the patio slider and a bedroom window and those refreshing tradewinds would just blow right through and air it out immediately.... staff was 99% awesome..... a couple of snotty ones but hey, we just tipped the nice ones right in front of the nasty ones!!! we met a local old- timer fishing on the beach... he took us to his local pub for happy hour where we met tonnes more locals.... such cool, down to earth people!!! we loved the Pono Kai and loved Kauai and her people.... definitely we will be back, in fact I am already starting to plan it out

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Santa Rosa, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2012

We stayed here off season thru our time share program..We had a unit that faced the parking lot in front,ground floor,back faced the tennis courts..Noisy and no privacy. When we complained there was no recourse. Where can you swim on the beach? Not a good time to be on vacation with no views,noisy ,ugly place,not crowded AND NO PLACE TO SWIM...

  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
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, December 18, 2012
I am sorry that you did not enjoy the condo you were placed in through your time share program. I cannot speak on behalf of the timeshare company you worked with, but we work closely with the guests that stay in our privately owned vacation rentals that we manage at the Pono Kai to make sure that their room/stay is enjoyable and all requests are met.

Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

We stayed at the Pono Kai for two weeks in June and absolutely fell in love with this place. I'd like to address all gthe negatives from people in here. I've seen the reviews about the people who worked the concierge desk and could not DISAGREE more. They were helpful and bent over backwards to accomodate my wife and I. Amy and Cyrus were absolutely phenominal. Also, concerning the small pool, give me a break. It's not Olympic size I grant you but it plenty big enough to swim in plus they have a heated small tub right next to it. Most of the time when my wife and I went it was empty so it wasn't like we had no room to move. If you came to swim in the pool with all that beautiful blue water around the island, then you have a serious head problem. The pool area is a nice setting that my wife and I visited frequently at night after all our running around and found it very relaxing and enjoyable. A great way to end the day before we went back gto our room. I love how people are so upset over the decor. Again, I mean really? Did you spend all your time in your bedroom and get depressed because of the "outdated" decor instead of going out and enjoying the community of Kapaa? As far as the "sink holes", well, you mean you couldn't find another beach within a few minutes drive to find? My wife and I did and frequently. I think all you whiners out there should be thankful that you even got to go on a vacation to Hawaii in these times. I know I am. And the memories from the staff at the Pono Kai made it a trip we will never forget. I would love to be the staff director there just to tell all the guests what a great place this hotel really is. My wife and I loved it so much we bought a time share. yes those horrible time shares, which by the way, the guy that sold it to us was so not pushy and the price was great since it was a re-sale. The last item I want to address is the person who complained about the orientation. We went to the orientationa nd found it fantastic. We were able to book all our trips through there, at reduced rates I might add, and di not have one problem on any of the trips we took whyich included horseback riding, helicopter tour, tubing, catamaran dinner cruise, and zip lining. ALL were made seamless due to the concierge's professional ability to juggle multiple trips for many people. So for those of you coming, stay at the Pono Kai and have a vacation of a life time. I know my wife and I did.

  • Stayed June 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nikiski, Alaska
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2012

I reserved our timeshares rooms rather late in the game and ended up needing to change rooms twice during the week. The first room was in building G. It is back from the water but still had excellent ocean views. We were on the second floor and realized pretty quickly that the floors were VERY creaky. Sure hope the folks below couldn't hear! Room was comfy with large livingroom area. Kitchen appliances weren't new, but were clean and worked great.
The second room was in B. We were very close to the water. This was a two bedroom unit. The master bedroom is HUGE but the livingroom is very small. I believe it used to be two seperate units. Floors were not as creaky as G. The people below us smoked at night so we were unable to enjoy the paio or leave the door open. Appliances in this unit were old and needed updating.
The third room was in A. Again very close to the water. This time back to the one bedroom, but on the ground floor. The convenience of the ground level patio was nice for walking out to the beach or pathway, but there is a level of concern since you are RIGHT on a public pathway that is heavily traveled. Appliances were newer.
The pool at Pono Kai is nothing to brag about. We never went in once as it is very small.
Daily beach towel exchange was a wonderful asset to us as we hit the beaches every afternoon.
Onsite snorkel gear rental was very convenient.
Beach in front of the resort has very little room to lay out. The flat area is grassy. Lots of sand crab that are very fun to watch.
Location is VERY convenient to touring the island. Safeway is just up the road with lots of restaurants.
Resort is located at the head of a 5 mile paved coastal path. Bike rental is across the street.
I would recommend visiting this resort.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
araikes, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, December 14, 2012
Thanks for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. We manage a group of condos here but are not with the timeshare program you stayed through. Regardless, we are glad you enjoyed your stay. I am glad you enjoyed the central location, nearby restaurants, and the 5-mile bike path. That path is real fun to walk or jog along for a morning exercise!

Thanks for the recommendation to visit the resort. We hope to see you at the Pono Kai again in the future.

Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

The good: centrally located if you plan to spend lots of time on North shores and South shores, lots of restaurants and shopping nearby, on the beach, nice bike/ run trail right outside property, close to Wailua River (kayaking, SUP) and Lydgate Park (great protected kids' beach and playground), large units, expansive grounds, clean, friendly staff.

The bad: equally inconvenient to the South shore and North shore, beds need upgrade, not "luxury", small pool, beach is so-so, far from Scuba diving location

Most people seemed pretty happy with this resort and i met many who have come year after year. Our unit was on the end and we could open windows on three sides of the unit for nice breezes.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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
    • 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.
araikes, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, December 14, 2012
Thank you for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed at one of the condos we manage, but I am glad you had a fun stay and would return if you were back on Kauai in the future. I don’t see many reviews mention our close proximity to Lydgate Park, but you bring up a great point that the property is very close to an ideal family-friendly beach park on Kauai. If traveling with young children, we highly recommend a stop.

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative 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
#7 Romantic Hotel in Kapaa
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Kapaa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pono Kai Resort 2.5*
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Also Known As:
Pono Kai Hotel Kapaa
Pono Kai Kapaa
Pono Kai Resort Kauai/Kapaa

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