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“Ready to go back” 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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Hotel amenities
Special Rate
4th Night Free
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Poipu
San Francisco, California
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Ready to go back”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We stayed at the Koa Kea Hotel for our birthdays in November. We were greeted by friendly staff including the valet (parking is valet only and is included in the resort fee). The outside of the hotel looks a little old, but the rooms are very modern.

Pros:
-We stayed in a Garden View room, which means a room on the first floor facing away from the pool. The room was very nice and spacious and had excellent amenities. There was a patio area with furniture, and there is a partial view of the ocean.
-Concierge was very helpful and booked excursions for us.
-We ate at Red Salt for breakfast - breakfast was delicious every morning. The coffee is smooth. The staff there knew us by name and where we sat the previous day (even staff who didn't serve us).
-There is excellent snorkeling off shore in front of the hotel. Get in at the sandy beach to the right, or walk left on the boardwalk until it ends and get in the water there. We saw lots of fish and a couple sea turtles.
-The hot tub is really nice. Temperature is perfect. We did not swim in the pool.
-We did a stand up paddle board excursion with Outfitters Kauai, booked through the hotel. The excursion was pricey but was worth it. We paddled down a river, then did a hike and zip lined into a pond. The guides were excellent, but take what they say with a grain of salt - for example, they make statements like "Noni cures cancer" which might offend some people.
-We took a helicopter tour of the island through Blue Hawaiian, also booked through the hotel. Would definitely recommend this.
-The hotel is walking distance from Poipu Village. Eat at Puka Dog, the veggie dog is delicious.
-There is another shopping village nearby that has Uncle's Shave Ice and Lappert's ice cream.
-The hotel is quiet, and there were only a few children. This made it more relaxing.
-No issues with the wifi.
-Staff including valet has great recommendations for places to visit/eat/etc.

Things to know:
-Upgrading to a partial ocean view would not have made much of a difference - it's the same room, just one floor up. You can easily see into the rooms facing the pool and the ocean. I'm glad we didn't upgrade.
-We did not get the breakfast buffet bc it seemed like standard continental fare. Instead we ordered a la carte. The pancakes were my favorite. Eggs benedict was also good.
-We ate at the bar area of Red Salt for dinner/snack one night - crab cakes were great, and the blended beverage (can't remember the name) was good but low on alcohol.
-I would recommend wearing water shoes when getting in the ocean. There are lots of rocks and sea urchins.
-We didn't use fins the first day we snorkeled and got pretty tired swimming back to shore - there is a strong current. We rented fins from Snorkel Bobs the next day and ended up buying our rentals - very comfortable. I wouldn't rent gear from the hotel bc they charge a lot per hour.
-You might get a better deal at this hotel by booking on Orbitz like we did (booked flight, hotel, and car), but you probably won't be offered a room upgrade if you book through a 3rd party (not a problem for us).
-Da Imu Hut is a great place for Hawaiian food. Also recommend Brick Oven Pizza. You have to drive to get there.

Overall this was one of our favorite hotels, and we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed November 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
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1,424 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 (424)
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English first
Rochester, NY
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

Koa Kea is a small, older, but very upscale hotel somewhat hidden by the Marriott in Poipu (south side of Kauai). It's part of the Preferred Hotel chain and worth that exclusivity. We stayed here for four days after staying 5 at the Grand Wailea (Waldorf Astoria) in Maui, and we would definitely come back to the Koa Kea before the GW. The staff is extremely knowledgeable and friendly from the front desk to restaurant, even the valet staff knows where to go for dinner, and fun. The restaurant is highly rated, and deserves it. Both service and food were outstanding! Environment was relaxed, yet extremely professional. Pool and beach were just what we thought Hawaii should be. Kauai is more pastoral and lush than the other islands, but still plenty to do. Drive to Hanalei and have lunch at the Mediterranean Gourmet, on the beach past the town. Perfect setting. Waimea Canyon was spectacular.

If you can afford it (it's not cheap), definitely stay at Koa Kea rather than the bigger names on Kauai.

Room Tip: Partial Ocean View is fine as the view is almost the same as the full ocean view
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  • Stayed November 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vienna Region, Austria
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2012

We just spent several nights at Koa Kea and we couldn’t have enjoyed it more than we did. The grounds are beautiful, the rooms are nicely designed, the atmosphere is very private and the staff is extremely friendly. No matter what we asked them, they were always happy to help. When coming back from a day trip we were always welcomed by the valet guys. They were extremely nice. The restaurant offers delicious breakfast and the dinner is great too. Maybe the menu could be a bit larger. We went to the Hyatt to have dinner at some Italian restaurant (very disappointing) and once we had seen the large resort over there, we were so happy to get back to the much more personal Koa Kea as fast as possible. We want to come back asap!

  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 5 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.
Santa Clarita, California
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 28, 2012

Upon arrival we were greeted by the valet. They immediately took our bags and someone from the front desk came out to greet us. Rather than handing us a key and map to our room, she walked us right to our rooms and showed us everything we needed to know for our stay. The rooms were clean, the beds were soft, no outside noise from the hallways. We had an ocean view room that was next to the staircase and surprisingly hardly anyone used it. Every night we slept with the slider door open so we could hear the ocean. The hotel offers snorkeling, body/boogie board rentals, surf lessons. The hotel is on the beach however there isn't much beach space and it's like that for the neighboring resorts too. It's just the way the beach is. And its also somewhat rocky in the water so I advise to bring water shoes or you can rent them at the hotel. Our girls took surf lessons from Chris. He was great. He was your typical looking Hawaiian surfer dude. The girls loved the lessons. The valet service was terrific. Everytime we came out to the car they remembered our name. Room service was great too. My only complaint was the menu choices on the room service menu. It's very limited and much different from the restaurant menu, I guess they figure why would anyone stay in the room while in Hawaii. The one thing I really liked about this resort is the size. It's not one of those really huge commercial size resorts with a ton of people by the pool or on the beach. It's small and offers the same amenities as those bigger resorts but with more personal service.

Room Tip: If you want to view the sunset get an ocean view or ocean front room facing the west. We were in ro...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

This resort was excellent. From the arrival when we were greeted with smiles and simple suggestions for how to spend our evening to the car attendants (who were very professional) to the well manicured grounds to the beautiful and comfortable rooms... the whole experience was incredible. The sauna is particularly lovely. The pool was immaculate. This was not like the Marriott next door - there was no fighting for pool space, no noise, no "activities director", no waking up at 6am to make sure you have a spot on the beach. Everything was just perfect. All this - and I was not on a honeymoon or anything! This was just a relaxing getaway, but I can imagine it would be absolutely perfect for a honeymoon (three of my friends have stayed here for just an occasion and also recommended it highly).

Red Salt, the restaurant on the premises, is delicious. Sure, it's pricey, and you won't eat there every night, but it's totally worth the splurge. Fish dishes were all great. The shrimp appetizer is excellent. The root beer float was great too.

Room Tip: Anything that overlooks the beach. (all of them may?) Not having poolside view means you don't h...
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  • Stayed November 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, Virginia
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
49 hotel reviews
Reviews in 51 cities Reviews in 51 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

This hotel gets high marks for a reason. The service is excellent all around, the quality of the rooms and rest of the facility are excellent and the cost is reasonable. This is not a full blown resort like the Hyatt or Sheraton so if that's what you are looking for, don't waste your time here and become disappointed. The rooms are basic hotel rooms with everything we needed (mini-fridge, coffee maker, TV, desk, lounge chair, excellent bathroom and shower). The main building housing the lobby had a great bar and one restaurant that serves all three meals. They also have a gym and a departure lounge for those having late flights that have to check out but use the facilities all day then shower up before heading to the airport. Outside, the pool is the right size for this hotel and the lounge chairs were plentiful - we never found that we couldn't get excellent sunning options, whether on the pool deck or on the grass lawn nearest the beach. That said, the hotel is steps from the beach. I found that if I was tired of laying on the lounge chair, I could walk to the beach for a swim in a matter of a minute then walk back, use the outside shower to remove the sand and get in the hot tub or pool and resume my laziness on the lounge chair with no hassle at all. Adjacent to the pool is a tiki bar that serves lunch and drinks. They open around 10 or 11 so if you are early birds like we were, you will need a Plan B. They also close at 6p which was disappointing to us as we often didn't want to dress for dinner and go into the formal dining room, Red Salt (reviewed elsewhere). We spoke to the front desk about this and they said that they tested keeping open for a month until 8 pm and only got two customers and that it takes two hours to shut down the tiki bar. I found that hard to believe and it seems like poor marketing/planning and organization/management to me. Overall this is a great place. Loving the Poipu/Koloa area and having previously stayed next door at the Marriott Waiohai using a time share week, I would certainly come back to the Koa Kea.

  • Stayed November 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stafford, Virginia
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
37 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed here for a week over Thanksgiving. We selected Koa Kea because of the high ratings on Trip Advisor, and were not at all disappointed with the customer service. Every person you encounter, from the valet to front desk, restaurant or pool staff was friendly and accommodating. No matter what we asked - from recommendations for restaurants or local places, to traffic issues or directions, everyone on staff was willing to help us.

The hotel is rather small - about 120 rooms total. We had a "garden view" on the first floor (there are 3 total), which for us meant we faced the exterior of the property - a sidewalk was on the other side of the fence. This was not at all disruptive - there's enough privacy you can leave the curtains open and not worry about others seeing in. I can see where if you face the interior of the property it could be unsettling having people constantly walk by. Note that their site says "private" balcony for each room, but if you're on the first floor it is "less" private because there aren't the small waist-high divider walls between the patios. The rooms are nicely decorated, but small. For 2 adults with luggage it becomes a little cramped. Talking with other guests who had ocean views, they also felt their rooms were small (same size as ours) and not necessarily worth the extra cost. The good thing is that we never heard the usual noise from neighboring rooms nor anyone walking overhead so the rooms are well insulated. The hotel provides ample amenities such as large towels which you can take down to the pool area, and L'Occtaine toiletries. The Neospresso coffee machines seem easy enough, but we found that per person 2 a day was necessary due to the small size of the cups - you get 6 complimentary to start out (4 regular/2 decaf), but must buy any additional "pods" for the machine at the gift shop for $1 each (you can exchange the 2 decaffeinated pods for regular at no cost). Some couples noted they arrived to either fresh flowers or champagne, but we had neither. We did get a welcome sampling of macadamia nuts upon arrival and they had nightly turn down service and room cleaning which included an additional bottle of water.

Although the hotel doesn't have a private beach, the well known Poipu Beach is less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There seemed to be ample beach chairs for the pool area - although you could find people starting to stake out their spot by 9am, so I would recommend doing so if you plan on sticking close to the hotel to get some sun and relaxation. Oftentimes the water in the ocean seemed warmer than the pool. There's a hot tub which is great to use at night, and the wait staff will bring drinks out from the bar area to you if requested.

There's a sand bar not 3 minutes from the hotel (in front of the Marriott timeshares) and we'd often walk over the sand bar to the lava rocks in the morning. One day we got up early enough to see a Hawaiian Monk Seal laying in the sand. There were also sea turtles frequently along the shallow part of the shore as they were eating along the rocks. Well worth it to take a morning walk along the beach and try to see these things.

The restaurant Sea Salt is nice - we had dinner once and breakfast every morning (included in our rate). They recommend dinner reservations, and require you to wear something dressier than flip-flops. The cost is a little high - we spent $135 (without tip) on 2 entrees and 3 alcoholic drinks. The breakfast is a great deal - highly recommend you book a package that includes this option. This entitles you to not only the continental buffet (fresh fruit, oatmeal, cereal, cheese, breads) but also one entree per person. The well-known pineapple souffle pancakes were okay, but left you feeling hungry a few hours later. The macadamia nut waffles and chocolate chip pancakes were both great, as was the breakfast burrito. It seemed the best option of all entrees was the omelet if you want a meal that truly fills you up and comes with extras like hash browns or potatoes.

Valet parking is required, but included in the daily resort fee. They were very fast about getting our car each time - we never had to call ahead, but rather just showed up and within 2 minutes we had our car. They deliver a local paper each morning, as well as the Wall Street Journal during the week.

Overall I think this is a hotel/resort which is well worth the rates - if you like smaller, boutique types of accommodations this is ideal. The care that has gone into making this a personalized experience is well worth it. By the second day most of the staff knew what room we were in, which is not something you could expect at a larger hotel. I would definitely stay here again if traveling to the area.

Room Tip: As noted above, if garden view request one facing the exterior of the property to avoid having a con...
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 5 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 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 Romantic Hotel in Poipu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poipu
#1 Top resorts 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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