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“Breathtaking!” 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
Placerville, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Breathtaking!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2013

Oceanfront rooms are spectacular. Sitting in our room all you see outside the patio window is ocean. We felt like we were on a cruise ship.

Facility shows it's age but is very well kept. Beautiful gardens.

All staff was courteous and helpful.

Only drawback is the traffic in Kapa'a. But if you are staying here or driving thru it you have to deal with it.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 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.
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419 people have reviewed this hotel

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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 (116)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2013

I took my 80 year old Mom to Kauai for a little R and R. We stayed at a privately owned unit. The service at the resort (even though we were in a private condo) was excellent. Pool was great, hot tub wonderful and ocean view from our condo was epic. They even had an elevator for my Mom even though it is only 3 stories tall. Not a place I would call romantic but definitely a great value for a family or couple who just wants a nice, inexpensive, comfortable stay. Great location on path and walk to great retail and restaurants. Kapaa is not as romantic as North Shore but all and all, I would definitely recommend Pono Kai for family.

Room Tip: Pick ocean view only.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2013

It was such a horrible experience, I will get right to business.
CONS:
>The "resort" (I use the term "resort" loosely because it reminds me more of a Motel 8)
is located on a very busy street, actually it is the main street that runs through Kapaa. No security in sight. Anyone can walk onto the property and go exploring.
>OUTSIDE GROUNDS: The outside seems to be well kept and is the main focus for up keep...I think in order to fool people who look at the pictures and think it looks wonderful at first glance because the rooms are horrible. They were actually polishing the concrete when we were leaving. The pool...no comment. The buildings are old and run down.
>THE UNIT: Our room, A107, was a ground floor room that was dark with a hideous odor of musty mildew. If you or your family have any type of breathing problems (allergies, asthma, sinus infection), DO NOT stay at this place. It is a respiratory nightmare! Being an RN, I was appalled! My husband and I both are allergic to dust and mold. We could not breath comfortably at all during our entire stay. Unfortunately we were not in a position to be able to change our room. It was like there was water damage to the carpet but it was not appropriately cleaned. We had to buy a can of Lysol spray just to be able to reduce the smell so that we could get some sleep. There was a damp musty feeling to the air. This smell permeated all of our clothes...even my hoody that I had hanging in the closet. It is a RANCID SMELL!! NO AIR CONDITIONING in the small spare bedroom. A/C is only in the living room and master bedroom. Whether the filters are changed in the A/C is unknown because it never got rid of the musty odor. After a hot day of site seeing in Kapaa, it would have been nice to come back to a clean, cool, bright, fresh smelling room. We would get up and out of the unit as soon as possible and did not look forward to returning to it at night.
>KITCHEN: Dirty dishes were put in the cabinet of clean dishes or what we thought were clean dishes. It took our appetite away.
>DO NOT expect any amenities at this place: no free nothing. You have to pay a DAILY fee for internet connection, using the safe in the room (which you need on the ground floor since the rooms are easily accessible from the outside...like a motel), and washing your clothes in washer and dryer that is used by housekeeping. Of course, detergent is available at the front desk for a FEE! The dryer has one temperature...HOT. I could not even unpack my clothes in this place let alone wash them here! ALL these FEES add up so be sure and budget for them. At least an extra $30.00 - $50.00 to your bill.
>SPARE BEDROOM: Our room faced the sidewalk which is used by everyone so we could never open the blinds. When I did look outside our window, there were dead bugs in the windows and a steel bar for our protection. The safety rods for the windows provided by this motel for our safety were of little comfort. This place is in the worst part of Kapaa and well known for robberies. The rods did not look like they could stop someone who really wanted to get into the room.
>BATHROOM: Our bathroom sink facet was broken and leaking everywhere. A lot of our items got wet before we realized the leak.
>EVENT PLANNER: she was pushy and condescending. She kept pushing to book on high priced excursions stating that they fill up fast. Was not impressed with her at all! We found cheaper deals ourselves and had a great time. For having years of experience in this field, as stated by her, she was a huge annoying disappointment but that is what Pono Kai is...a huge disappointment!
>OCEAN VIEW: the ocean view was blocked by orange fencing due to sink holes. There was no beach to go to for swimming.
>TO MANAGEMENT: no one seems to take accountability for the unacceptable conditions at this motel. In reading replies of other people who have had horrible experiences here at Pono Kai, the buck seems to get avoided. No one steps up to the plate and takes action even if the concerns are not with the one unit they manage. If it is not your unit to manage, then at least step up to the plate and contact the people who are poorly managing this place. In the end, EVERYONE gets a bad name for poor customer service! I have been in healthcare for years and I have been a project manager. This place would not be acceptable nor would it pass any type of regulated inspection. A simple "we are sorry" that is not my unit to manage is again unacceptable!

PROS: the bathroom sink got fixed the same day we issued our complaint. The locals were nice.

Room Tip: TIP: There are NO good rooms to choose from at this place. Research other true resorts, Marriott, S...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Litchfield Park, Arizona
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2013

We are bluegreen owners and stayed at Pono Kai for five nights. It was our first time to Hawaii and we'd spent two nights on Oahu which left much to be desired. We are a married couple with a young child and hotel living is not for us. When we opened the door to our two bedroom condo at Pono Kai we could have cried tears of joy!! There was so much space and the massive wall of windows showed us the most incredible view of the ocean! Had I not wanted to explore the island I could have sat on our patio for the entire week drinking mai tais and watching the waves crash in!

We loved the grounds as well. The grass was perfectly manicured and the flowers and bushes kept up so well. We wandered around and allowed our son to feed the koi fish using the food provided - for a quarter of course! We never did get to use the pool - who needs to when you're this close to the ocean.

We took advantage of the board game borrowing system and played Candyland one night - don't be jealous!! We also used the rental shop to rent snorkeling and beach gear. Super convenient and inexpensive.

We have already started to plan our trip back to Kauai and Pono Kai!!

Room Tip: We were in building C and had an amazing view!!
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2013

This was perfect for us. I prefer Kapaa over Poipu as it is quieter and slower paced.I had read some reviews and was concerned about noise, but it wasn't bad, and the chickens didn't wake us, either. If you don't like chickens or crowing, Kauai is not the island for you! We enjoyed our stay at Pono Kai, and hope to return.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, September 19, 2013
Thank you for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed in one of the condos our vacation rental company manages, but glad to hear you had an enjoyable stay at the Pono Kai! We hope to see you again in the future.
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ellisville fl
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

Check in was easy and quick. Front desk staff were all extremely helpful and firendly as well as knowledgeable of the area ! Room was comfortable. Tho ' walls were thin... Orientation was extremely helpful if you will be doing activities on the island. They also give away 2 for 1 's to alot of activities ! They are not pushy regarding their time share sales. Great location. Restaurant, bike rentals right next door ! Great bike path on ocean right at hotel! Shopping, ABC within walking distance ( 5 min ) In my opinion best beach is minutes away Kealia Beach less than 10 min away by car. Must see Waimea Canyon Make sure you go all the way to the top ! Awesome !

Room Tip: If available oceanview upgrades for a minimal cost
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  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2013

We stayed here through a condo swap. Was a little concerned after reading the reviews. We were pleasantly surprised. Pool was nice and never too crowded. Great location on the island for exploring the north and south ends of the island. Beautiful sunrise right on the water. Room was clean, master bedroom was huge and had a king bed. Quiet, which we like. Walking distance to some good restaurants. Full kitchen was very helpful to keep costs down.

It was just my husband and I in the 2- bedroom place (that was what was available for the swap). My ONLY issue would have been if we had stay with others who would have had to stay in the bed that was up in a loft (I don't think considered a bedroom since no doors) or in the other bedroom at the back of the hotel because there was a A/C unit in the master and then one in the living room that had to cool down the living room, kitchen, lofted bed, and second bedroom. Pretty sure we would have been miserably hot staying in that back bedroom.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 1
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 Top resorts Hotel in Kapaa
#6 Family Hotel in Kapaa
#7 Romantic 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*
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Also Known As:
Pono Kai Hotel Kapaa
Pono Kai Kapaa
Pono Kai Resort Kauai/Kapaa

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