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“Still a good Kauai HQ” 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
San Diego
Top Contributor
132 reviews 132 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
123 helpful votes 123 helpful votes
“Still a good Kauai HQ”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

On our third stay since 2007, we found Pono Kai just about the same -- location is very convenient, unit good but not great, and front desk staff as diffident as ever. The grounds seemed even more well-maintained than before, and it was amazing to see what a thorough cleaning the BBQ below our balcony got every morning from the staff (good, because it got a lot of use). If you manage to get a unit off the highway (our timeshare gets us nearer the ocean), the complex is very quiet; it even seems there were many fewer roosters this time!

A plus this time is that they have taken down the ugly orange fence along the cliff over the beach. At the north end of the complex, there is beach, and we found it very nice for swimming - nice sandy bottom, and this trip there was little wind and wave chop, so the little waves were nice to float on.

A big minus is the internet service available in the room. It costs $19.95 per month (or for the week I used) through ShakaNet. I ended up calling their customer support 3 times in six days due to inability to get on or to being repeatedly dropped off -- and all I was doing was checking email, reading a home newspaper and checking restaurant reviews/hours online. On the first call, the agent noted that their software kept changing my password back to PASSWORD. "It does that sometimes," he said (and I could feel the shrug). I got no explanation for the other problems. It was extremely frustrating to have to manually log in every morning AND every single time my iPad went to sleep. And even when it worked, it was very slow. I mentioned it to the front desk -- and this time I got to SEE the shrug!

A traffic tip: Learn to use the Kapaa bypass. You can pick it up only a couple of blocks north (and toward the mountains) of Pono Kai, and it dumps out at the Coconut Marketplace after a very rural and scenic drive.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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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422 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 (118)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Goldsboro
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2013

Checked in 0n 10/19 everything went smoothly, the Bluegreen timeshare suit was clean with the expected amenities. You have to pay $2.50 a day to use the safe in the room and also pay for internet; I had good internet speed in the building I was in. We were in building H with pool view, room 306. The suit was listed as being able to sleep six I would not recommend doing that. It has one bedroom and a loft bedroom and a pullout sofa but only one bathroom. The AC only blows into the living room kitchen area, so the bedroom and loft are not cool unless you have the AC really high which makes the living room to cold. It is within walking distance of Big Save supermarket, they have cheaper prices than the Safeway father down the street. Close to some good restaurants. Traffic is bad in the area, but most drivers were courtesy. This is a good resort, helpfully staff, and good location for exploring the rest of the island I would stay there again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

My wife booked our stay through Travelocity, when we got there to check in we were asked if we had gotten an e-mail with the code to enter the room, which we had not. Apparently there are 5 different management companies that handle various rooms on the site. The reception we received was they did not care for the private ownership and for this reason we could not get maid service, the cupboard did have sufficient towels, boogie boards, and sand mats.
When we got to the room it smelled closed up but not really musty. There was no air conditioning (Room F104) but with the windows open and large fans it was quite comfortable.
The room was dated, we could see some of the rooms had been remodeled but this one looked like it must have looked in the 70's when it was built.
We enjoyed the fact we could just walk out of our patio and across the grass to the ocean. We had an ocean view not ocean front which was fine, we could see the water just fine and since there was a putting green near the public bike/hike trail, there were no hedges blocking our view. My wife and I would walk along the path daily and nightly.
The grill for cooking was just across the walk, and if someone was using the grill and if there was space on the grill we'd share. This grill did get used a lot.
Beautiful sunrises and moon rises (there was a full moon when we were there).
The chickens are funny and yes the roosters do crow when the sun comes up and all day long.

Room Tip: Ocean front is the way to go, but to save money ocean view is a good value.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, November 5, 2013
Thank you for your review of this ocean view room at the Pono Kai Resort. I am glad you enjoyed the grounds and took advantage of the paved beachfront trail. It really is a treat to walk, jog, or ride a bike along the coastal path every day!
We hope to see you at the Pono Kai again in the future.

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California, United States
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2013

I'd give this 3.5 stars if I could. It's current overall rating of 2.5 stars is inaccurate so my 4 stars is meant to bump it a little. It's right on the water, walking distance to the grocery store and the center of Kapaa. Facilities are older, but 2.5 stars makes it seem like a run down motel, which it is not.

-Pool area is small, but usually not too crowded.
-Good number of outdoor bbq's
-Volleyball/putting green/croquet
-Very close to ocean. Though not really the type of beach where you'd spend the day.

Has a nice family vibe to it. If you're interested in staying in this laid back town, this is a great place to stay

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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, October 31, 2013
Thank you for the review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed in one of the condos our condo management company manages, but appreciate your kind words. The location definitely can't be beat and we hope to see you at the Pono Kai again!

Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

I have visited the Pono Kai several times over the past 20 years and it remains one of my favorite place to stay in Hawaii. The grounds are large and feel like a park. The rooms are comfortable and general well kept. Although the property is a little dated, the resort strives to keep it in good order. Kapaa is a nice small town on the east shore of Kauai with a few bars and restaurants but nothing fancy or pricey. Also, there are at least 4 grocery stores within walking distance. The Kauai Trail is right off the property and runs for several miles, it is a wide concrete path which is well marked and easy for bikes. Swimming on the beach is not good so you will need to drive to a nearby beach for ocean swimming and snorkeling. Look for a timeshare owner renting their week for the best price. Stay away from the K building, small units overlooking the tennis court. Best buildings are A, B, C, and D; E and F are OK but set back more from the ocean.

Room Tip: C306, B304 have best ocean views
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lethbridge, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

My husband & I had a 2nd-level one bedroom apartment in this complex; stayed here with a group of friends who shared a ground-floor 2-bedroom apartment. We had a great time! Loved the location in Kapaa, and on Kauai, and we were VERY pleased with the price we paid per night. Staff were friendly, units were clean, enjoyed the pool, loved being so close to the beach and the walking path, and I went snorkelling for the first time by the canal and saw some great fish. Would definitely stay here again and recommend this location to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Tahoe
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2013

This is the 3rd year we have visited our timeshare at Pono Kai. While we still love the accommodations, cleaning, and maintenance supplied, the "Concierge" has steadily gone down in our estimation, becoming nothing more than "used car salesmen" for the various tours on the island. They are fun and inviting during their sales pitch to go on 2 for 1 outings, but they are definitely not helpful if you request help with reservations for something/somewhere not on their list. We experienced this last year when they refused to make a reservation at a restaurant we had selected. This year we wanted to rent 2 beach chairs for the week and while adjacent to the desk, handed them my credit card. This was greeted with an exasperated tap on the surface of the desk, where a notice was stuck stating that no cc's were accepted under $50.00 - no words were spoken. I was looking at 2 chairs, $35.00 each for the week. Do the math. This demonstrated an obvious lack of respect on their part. This definitely put a damper on our trip this year. Not sure that we want to go back again. Too bad! Having worked in the hospitality industry for almost 20 years, to my mind there seems to be room for a lot of improvement in this area. This being said, we were up front in building A, loft suite, clean and comfortable. Our little piece of paradise. It's a shame so much review time centers on the negative when it's only one department. Shows how upset we were at the time.

  • Stayed September 2013, 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
    • 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 Top resorts Hotel in Kapaa
#6 Family 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*
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Pono Kai Hotel Kapaa
Pono Kai Kapaa
Pono Kai Resort Kauai/Kapaa

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