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“Tropical Gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   2251 Poipu Road, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756 (Koloa)   |  
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4th Night Free
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Poipu
Auckland, New Zealand
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
“Tropical Gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

we stayed for 3 days in april and really enjoyed our time here. the check in was smooth and immediate and exactly as we were promised. the check in lady actually took us to our room, and showed us how everything worked, the coffee machine, the air con, the remotes. the inter connecting door was not opening so she has a service man fix it immediately. very impressive.

the rooms are lovely, the bathroom is spacious and beautiful. the bed is divine, and everything worked.

housekeeping showed up every day whilst we were breakfasting, so we would return to fresh tidy rooms every day. they locked our sliding doors if the were left unlocked by us, to ensure our security.

We were otherwise totally undisturbed by the staff, as it should be.

The facilities are great, the bar is amazing and the food was good hotel food, and by that i mean be reaslistic about the what you will get, not Michelin, but tasty and fresh. We had an impromptu dinner for 14 one night, and they coped wonderfully, the food was great, the service perfect and professional. I mean they are just on to it! My ONLY issue really is that the buffet breakfast is very limited, could include more variety, ie a Birscher muesli, some hot food. Of course there is an A La Carte menu.

The beach is typically a bit rocky for Hawaii, but the surfing lessons available were fun for all, and the teacher is a true blue Hawaiian surfer. The snorkeling right off the beach was great too, and there is just enough sandy area to enjoy a crystal lear swim.The gear hire there is great and all the staff are really knowledgeable and helpful.

You can walk across the road to a shopping area where you can eat, shop and hang out, and as short drive 5 mins down the rad is another great area to eat out, and has a great Living Food store for organics and coffee and snacks.

There were not a lot of children at this resort, we had our with us and they had an amaxng time, the pool is really great for them as it is not very deep and always warm. But we enjoyed it also, and it was nice that there was not a lot of screaming and craziness!

Check out was smooth and efficient and all the credits we were due were taken off. When we returned home there was an email to say we had left a camera charger in the room, and where should they send it! amazing service and very much appreciated.

Room Tip: we enjoyed ground level ocean view very much. Beach front would be fantastic but obviously a little...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
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1,422 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (422)
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English first
San Francisco, CA
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

The Koa Kea was a very pleasant boutique hotel with excellent service from arrival to departure. The rooms are modern with all the amenities in a very pleasing design. However the clothing storage in terms of dresser drawers was lacking. The grounds are well maintained, but somewhat spartan. I would have enjoyed seeing some flowering vegetation on the property.

  • Stayed April 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
    • 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.
Charlottesville, Virginia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012 via mobile

We're taking a two day break from our extended family and couldn't decide between the Grand Hyatt and Koa Kea, so let our fate (and frugality) decide for us by picking the 4.5 star hotel available at the last minute through Hotwire. We got Koa Kea for $297/nt and have been very pleased. Snorkeling on Poipu Beach, steps away from the hotel, has been wonderful. The amenities are very modern and chic. Best of all, it's QUIET. You're not going to be rubbing elbows (or worse) in the pool with anyone like at the Marriott because it's not crowded. The service is as personal and genuine as I've ever experienced.

Having just eaten dinner at the Hyatt, it seems super fun and lux. I'd love to stay the for 2 days with my 5 year old. But kind of like Disneyland, I think I'd need a break at Koa Kea just to recover.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Malibu, California
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2012

The Koa Kea can best be described as a boutique hotel. Which means it will appeal to a certain group of travelers but it doesn't have some of the amenities that other travelers want. It is best for adults who want a quiet low key hotel, but not the best pick for families. I went with my husband (no kids) and we like small quiet hotels so the hotel suited us just fine. If you have kids you will be much happier at a place that has a better pool and a sandy beach like the Sheraton next door (the pool at the Sheraton has waterfalls and lower depth kids area and there is a nice sandy beach) . The Koa Kea hotel faces a rocky (lava rocks) beach. To get to a sandy beach with good swimming take a short walk on either side of the hotel (by the Sheraton or Kiahuna Plantation hotels or the Marriott). We didn't care about access to the beach since we were out touring much of the day. The hotel lobby is very contemporary in design, it has one restaurant (Red Salt) and a bar. We ate breakfast there, but didn't eat dinner there because the menu didn't appeal to us (pan-asian cusine) but apparently it is popular for dinner. Breakfast was included in our package and was excellent. The only other food option is the outdoor bar with a limited menu. The hotel has a small pool and hot tub. For lounging, there is the pool area and a grassy area that overlooks the ocean but there are no lounges on the beach because as I stated earlier there is no sandy beach directly in front of the hotel. We had an ocean front room which had a great view of course. I don't know what the views are from the other rooms. The room itself was excellent, with a contemporary decor, comfortable bed and well laid out bathroom that had a tub and a separate shower. I really liked the separate toilet closet and dual shower heads ("rain" and standard) in the shower. The hotel has great customer service and a friendly staff. For us, the only thing I would change is the valet parking only policy. I would much prefer to self park because I like the ease of coming and going often, particularly when I am staying at a hotel that it not self contained (meaning it doesn't have a lot of restaurants and amenities on site). Other than that we were pleased with our choice. We did look at the hotels nearby while we were there so here is what I saw. The Marriott is a condo type property with 2 bedroom apartment type units popular with families. The Kiahuna Plantation only has a few rooms with ocean views because most of the property sits further back from the ocean, but the beach in front is nice. The Sheraton is a large property and it looks like it has many rooms with good views, a nice sandy beach with lounges and the pool I mentioned earlier than has cabanas in addition to the lounge chairs.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

I am not sure I can add much that hasn't already been said about this place before...great location, super friendly staff, overall the best place I've stayed in Kauai. We were upgrade to a 1st floor room with direct access to the courtyard / pool and it was great. Didn't have any issues with noise or privacy and my wife and I really enjoyed the ability to walk right into our room from the pool if we needed anything. Also having free in-room wifi and around the property was very handy and much appreciated.

I can't comment on the restaurant as we never actually had a formal dinner there, but the rest of the amenities were top notch. I've seem some people complain about the mandatory valet parking, but in my opinion it was a great free perk that made staying there extra special. Simply call ahead and your car is waiting there for you and the valets are very helpful in getting you set with towels / directions for any adventures you might have on the island. While there is no dedicated beach for this resort, you need only to walk a minute in either direction to get to two great beaches in Poipu.

If you have any hesitations about booking rest assured you will have a great stay!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miramar Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2012

I looked at several hotels for our honeymoon trip to Hawaii. There are several nice resorts on this island such as the Sheraton and the Marriott, but they seems to be too family-friendly for a romantic honeymoon. Boy, was I right. We actually went to check out those other hotels and the first thing we saw was screaming kids everywhere. The Koa Kea was just right: quiet, beautiful, romantic. The service has been phenomenal and the view from our beautiful room is... well, I've never seen anything like it! I highly recommend this hotel to anyone who's looking for an intimate getaway with that special someone.

Room Tip: Room 378 is amazing!
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2012

Hands down, the best vacation in Hawaii in our thirty-three years of visiting the islands. Trust me on this: you will feel like you have gone home to visit your family after a long absence, and they are spoiling you just the way your folks used to. But, at least in my case, home was nothing like this! Here you have world-class gourmet food (not that Mom's food wasn't good, but...well, you just have to eat here to know what I mean) and a marvelous (actually hot) hot tub. With those two things alone, I could die happy, but there is so much more to be savored at this delightfully refined haven.

Manager Chris Steuri has worked magic here. (We were impressed that he talked personally with us upon our arrival, as we waited for our room to be readied...we were several hours early). From the moment you arrive and are greeted by the magnificent valet/porter team, you are carefree. That term is bandied about often, but in the case of this hotel, it is actually true. Your specific needs are completely catered to, without any hint of pretentiousness or fawning. The staff makes you their number-one priority, and you can tell it's genuine on their part. I honestly have never experienced quite this level of hospitality before at any hotel. We are experienced Hawaii travelers, so I'm not speaking out of turn here. A special appreciation to Kathleen at the Front Desk, who is in my book one of the treasures of the Koa Kea.

You will never wait or want for anything at this hotel. If you ARE waiting, someone will magically materialize from a back room or from some other duty station to inquire about how they can help. Nobody will ever make you feel like a number here and nobody will ever make you feel as though they expect a tip (you're going to want to tip anyway). It's sophisticated, but you never feel that anyone cares how glamorous or well-dressed you are. It's YOU who are welcome. It's utterly unique in the annals of Hawaii hotels in regard to these things (with the possible exception of the Halekulani Hotel on Oahu).

Some specifics: You call to inquire if they have Priority Mail boxes. They ask which size(s), so they can have them ready for you (after having volunteered first to send them right out to your room). They lend you their tape and scissors if you need to pack the box; they pick up the box and send it out for you, charging the USPS rate to your room. Not one penny in service fees. Just a big smile of aloha. (Thanks, Cindy!) You inquire about buying an ice cream bar in the gift shop late in the evening (none for sale there); you think that's that, BUT before you leave the lobby, the waiter has brought you some from the kitchen to take back to your room. He was walking by the front desk and just happened to overhear your inquiry! (Thanks, Bryan) You see what I mean? I could get used to this!

More specifics: The breakfast is of the highest quality. Plump berries, whole pecans, sweet fresh tropical fruits, hot cooked to order main courses from a menu selection (no waiting at an omelet station here. Spotless food preparation and dining areas, constant replenishment of buffet items. The Restaurant Day Manager keeps everything perfect, and still has time to greet you by name every day and make sure you are satisfied. I believe her name is Catherine, but my aging brain is forgetting so many of the names I knew so well at the time. If I've got it wrong, I'm so very sorry, because you are a lovely, lovely lady.

The dinners at the Red Salt are of equally high quality. We ate there every night (8 nights) and never had one single thing we disliked. Not one! We just loved it! Never felt the need to leave for other venues. Superior inventive cuisine. The Food and Beverage Manager Paul Koulbanis outdoes himself every night to provide the best possible dining experience for every guest. And the wait staff! They all are so exceptional! But one person stands out as the best waiter I ever had the pleasure of knowing...Bryan. He made us feel like cherished guests in his home every time he served us. It was like a celebration just having a regular dinner when he waited on us (but the wait staff always behaves with great dignity and gives you your privacy and space). It's the perfect balance of professionalism and warmth.

You cannot go wrong here. The rooms are luxurious and comfortable, feather beds and duvets, fluffy plump pillows, l'Occitane bath amenities that smell so wonderfully fresh (my husband liked the crisp citron scent as much as I did). Really delicious Nespresso coffee in room (we had never had that before, and both are now fans). The sliding glass door and screen door on the lanai are SO smooth and silent that you can open them during the night and never disturb anyone. Effortlessly (how many times have you wrestled with a sliding glass door that sticks and weighs a ton, or a screen that slides off its track all the time?) NOT HERE you won't. Everything is kept in the best possible condition...and it's new construction, so no retrofitting of old with new. Almost instant hot water in shower, great water pressure, toilets that flush completely and ultra-quietly. Extra-long thick thirsty towels, too. Even (ahem) large-boned people like me can wrap them around with lots to spare.

Can you tell I just loved this place? Is it obvious? I better stop writing now, but I will say that we are already planning a return trip. At our age, we don't want to waste any time now that we've (FINALLY) found the ideal place to stay. I won't go into the stunning view or the immaculate heated saltwater pool or the sound of the surf as you lie in bed, or the mesmerizing flicker of the exotic tiki torches, or the super-helpful friendly pool/activities desk because so many others have covered that so well.

Go already! What are you waiting for? Money comes and goes, but these memories will last forever. I really do know what I'm talking about here, 'cause I'm older than dirt! :-) Aloha!

Room Tip: Get at least Ocean View, Pool Side (or Oceanfront). 2nd or 3rd floor for more privacy.
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  • Stayed March 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 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

Address: 2251 Poipu Road, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Poipu > Koloa
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poipu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Poipu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Poipu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Poipu
#3 Family Hotel in Poipu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Koa Kea Hotel & Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Koa Kea is a luxury boutique hotel with unmatched proximity to the ocean. Red Salt Restaurant and the Spa at Koa Kea are the newest additions to Poipu Beach, a great location for enjoying Kauai. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koa Kea Hotel Poipu
Koa Kea Hotel And Resort
Koa Kea Resort
Koa Kea Hotel & Resort Kauai/Poipu

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