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“Our stay at the Pono Kai” 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 #7 of 12 hotels in Kapaa
S. Elgin, Il
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Our stay at the Pono Kai”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

This was my 2nd visit to the Pono Kai (October 2012 and October 2013). Last Oct we came for a vacation and stayed with our friend in their timeshare. This year we came back for their daughter's wedding and I was fortunate enough to get my own unit on bonus time through their timeshare. We stayed in building D /ocean front and whoever manages the timeshare units does a great job. I really enjoy staying at the Pono Kai. While the room's may be a bit "dated" as someone pointed out, they are still nice, clean and well stocked with a full kitchen, which is wonderful to have for making meals if you don't want to go out. The grounds are maintained beautifully and the staff we had contact with were very pleasant and helpful. The front desk staff were very nice to us especially Makana. He was wonderful and went out of his way to accommodate us. The Pono Kai is also in a very good location. It is close to the airport and right in Kapaa so you can walk into town. There is beautiful walking path along the ocean and we also had a little strip of beach outside our condo unit that we could go out on. I look forward to come back again next year. Kauai is a beautiful island, with lovely people and the Pono Kai has been a great place to stay for me.

  • Stayed October 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
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399 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 (103)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

stayed four nites before we moved onto next destination - it was a bit dated but very clean and had everything you can imagine to cook with and bbq's are handy - bike riding rental next door which we used- the bike walking trail is right there so head west see some historical sights that you would not see by car- highly recommend - and take your camera- also right next to the Pono Kai is a great local breakfast/lunch/shaved ice next door too (name? 'OHO' ?)-all the locals ate there too - including Kauai's finest :) ...i had tuna benedict breakfast everyday - great service, good coffee and inexpensive local fresh.
but we will be back to the Pono kai - very handy location.

  • Stayed September 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CondoRentalsHI, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, November 11, 2013
Thank you for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed in one of the condos our management company manages, but glad to hear you enjoyed your stay, the scenic bike trail, and nearby restaurant "Ono Family Restaurant". "Ono" means delicious in Hawaiian! We hope to see you again at the Pono Kai.

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
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Goldsboro
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 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
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
13 helpful votes 13 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.

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Additional Information about Pono Kai Resort

Also Known As:
Pono Kai Hotel Kapaa
Pono Kai Hotel
Pono Kai Kapaa
Pono Kai
Pono Kai Resort Kauai/Kapaa
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:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kapaa
#5 Family Hotel in Kapaa
#7 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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