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“Great location, laid back resort” 5 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
Berkeley
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Great location, laid back resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 1 week ago

We liked this place as soon as we arrived. After a grueling 10 minute drive from the airport, we showed up at 10 AM. Check in was at 3 PM, and we were directed to a guest room that has a place to lock up your luggage if you want and a bathroom and some couches and a TV so you can change and hit the island or use the resort's facilities until your room is ready. We had 2 groups in 2 buildings and Makena at the front desk was nice enough to get us both in the same building with adjoining rooms. I'm giving five stars taking into consideration that this is a relatively inexpensive condo complex, not a luxury hotel.
Grounds- Like most people in these reviews say, the grounds are beautiful, grass and lush foliage manicured to a tee and studded with little nooks that contain gas grills and picnic tables. There is a koi pond next to the small but nice open air lobby. There is a little shop there that rents snorkel equipment and beach chairs/umbrellas at reasonable rates. The property lies directly on the beach and a bike/walking trail. There are some little perks like shuffleboard, croquet, bocci ball, and a putting green. The modest pool/jacuzzi area is actually pretty nice, better than it looks in the pictures.
Location- Perfect if you want to explore- 25 min to the jungly north shore and 35 min to the sunny south. There are nice beaches within minutes also, but they were a little rough for swimming. Then there is Lydgate park, 4 min away which has sheltered ocean pools for the little kids. Kapaa, the small, semi-funky town is steps away, with shops and many dining opportunities. Ono restaurant is right next door for breakfast/lunch (don't miss the specials board) and shave ice. We liked Bubbas burgers as well. There are 3 supermarkets within a 3 min drive. Very convenient, as there is no restaurant at the resort.
Rooms- Our rooms were great- spacious, newly remodeled, and clean, with full kitchen, nice TVs, DVD and a stereo. There was a queen bed in a separate room and also a sofabed. The maids did a great job as well. We were in building E, with partial ocean view rooms on the third floor. One thing that reviewers complain about is the creaky floors/noise from above. Unfortunately, this is true. It never bothered us as we were on the third floor. Also, as some have said, the AC, which was quiet and high tech with a remote control, is located at the opposite end of the room from the bedroom, which made it warmer in there. Again, no problem for us because it was never that hot, being early spring. In-room wifi was spotty at best but the lobby and pool area (free) wifi was fine.Some reviewers complain about "musty" or "run-down" rooms. Keep in mind that these units are owned by different entities and do a little research on this site to make sure you get a good one. And go for the third floor.
Staff- Everyone from the front desk and concierge was friendly and helpful. In fact everyone, the housekeeping and gardeners, etc., was very nice.
We all had a great stay there!

Room Tip: Try for top (3rd) floor and of course ocean view is always nice. We were in E 304 and E305. 305 has...
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  • Stayed April 2014, 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
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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
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English first
Chemainus
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

B109 We had a lovely stay for sharing you lovely suite. Very clean enjoyable relaxing place. The view is 5* level entry which was great for my little gogo scooter. The fruit dropped by owners Dad did us ll week long. Thanks for sharing your wonderful condo.

Room Tip: Lots of things to do pool hot tub mini golf right outside the door.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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CHICAGO
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Great Location in Kappa,
We had a Ocean Front Balcony on 3rd floor.
We were able to see pods of Whales from our Balcony.
Full kitchen with room. Rooms are somewhat dated.
45 Min to South end of Island
35 Min to North end of Island
from Kappa. Grounds are well kept..Friendly staff.
Resort has 10 pm 8 am quiet rules
free parking... workout room and small Pool..

Room Tip: 3 rd floor has best Ocean front views. also, if on 2nd or 1st floor you can hear people wal...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this review, 2 weeks ago
Mahalo 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 were able to see whales from your lanai! Guests also like to walk along the paved beachfront trail and look for whales. 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.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This is a wonderful resort and our condo had a gorgeous view of the beach. Most everything in Kapaa was within walking distance of the resort. We enjoyed walking on the boardwalk that is between the beach and the resort. The grounds are gorgeous. Will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2014, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego, ca
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 weeks ago

Pono Kai is an older resort which is half time share/ half vacation rentals by owners. C-305 is a VRBO newly remodeled with AC in the bedroom and available through a rental agent at a price lower than renting a condo from the resort. If this unit is not available, only go for the oceanfront buildings which are A,.B, C, D. Go for level 3 for the best ocean view and quiet--and make sure the units is air conditioned (note:Over 50% of the condo units on Kauai are NOT air conditioned. Do not believe the"You don't need AC because of the tradewinds" story some rental agents will give you. It is not true! Pono Kai grounds are well kept, and resort is well located for island touring, shopping. Parking is free. PK is a good value--C-305 is a real find.

Room Tip: Go for the oceanfront buildings only and go to third level for best ocean views and least amount of...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 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.
Toowoomba, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

We stayed here for a week at Christmas time. This is a lovely, spacious resort and we had a large two bedroom unit. The decor was good and the unit was well appointed. The grounds were immaculate and well landscaped and it was only a short walk to the beach. Unfortunately, the only thing that let down the unit were the floor boards. They were extremely noisy to walk on and we had to tip toe around in order to try and make it quieter for the people below. I did ask the resident below if he could hear anything, and he said he could hear it all the time. It is a real pity about the floor boards as this could otherwise be a lovely relaxing resort.

Room Tip: Take a top floor unit if you can
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  • Stayed December 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Alberta
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 weeks ago

My wife and I stayed here in January 2014, at Building B on the ground floor. We faced the ocean and we were literally 25 steps from the beach. Our view of the ocean, especially in the morning as the sun rose, was amazing. Overall, we were happy to be in Kauai and would return to this resort under certain conditions.

If you are used to Marriott, this place is not the Marriott!
Here are the Pros:
1. Great location right on the ocean with a great view, especially if you get a unit along the beach.
2. Kauai hiking path is right outside the patio door, 8 miles of cement/paved sidewalk along the beach, great for walking or cycling. Awesome morning walks with the sun rising over the ocean!
3. Close to lots of little coffee shops and little restaurants in the area. You can get a Starbucks down the road or go to one of the home-grown places
4. Good size unit for two people, with adequate storage and good bed.
5. Nice grounds.
6. Friendly staff.

Here are some Cons:
1. Room smelled musty. I am sure it was cleaned but the smell made it feel dirty.
2. Air conditioning in the unit was added after construction, and only covers the kitchen and living area effectively. We found our bedroom at the back of the unit to be quite warm and the air conditioning did not really help us back there. Leaving the fan on over night did not really help either.
3. The pool is not a drawing card, compared to other resorts. It is a basic pool and the deck cement is cracking/crumbling/uneven in spots. I would rather go to the beach anyways.
4. We did have some noise above us at night, almost as if the unit above us had hardwood for a floor. If it had carpet, would we have heard so much?
5. The TV had lots of channels but was pretty small. Not that we watched much TV, but places today have larger than 23 inch screen in the bedroom. It was more like a computer monitor size than a TV
6. There is no free internet in the rooms. But you can get free wifi at the lobby.

We would come again if the price was right and availability required it.
Contact me if you have any questions.

Room Tip: Ask to be in building A, B, or C
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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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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