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“Don't want to leave!” 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
Adelaide, Australia
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Don't want to leave!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013

We are checking out tomorrow and don't want to leave. This place is heaven. Excellent location right on the beach, lawn chairs facing the ocean or right next to the pool are perfect for enjoying cocktails on. Food has been excellent, service outstanding and the island overall is just so relaxing. I would recommend hiking Waimea canyon while you're here, Ziplining, and snorkelling and swimming too. The resort is a little expensive but I think worth it for a special occasion, like our honeymoon. We will remember it forever.

Room Tip: All rooms have a lanai (balcony), ocean front would be magical
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
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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 (387)
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English first
Dallas, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

I cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed our stay here. The rooms are beautifully appointed with every amenity (including a great coffee-maker), the food was wonderful and the staff could not have been more friendly and accommodating. And, I didn't have to walk 10 minutes to get to the pool, restaurant, valet, etc. It's a perfect destination for anyone who wants to relax and enjoy the beauty of the island. I highly recommend the beach front rooms - definitely worth the money.

Room Tip: Spring for the beach-front!
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Washington, DC
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

We've been planning this latest visit since the moment we came home last year. We can't get enough of this truly special place. We were delighted to find almost all of last year's staff and management still there, working their magic.

I've read all the reviews this past year, and once in awhile there will be a negative viewpoint. It's almost always from somebody who does not understand the fundamental charm of this hotel, or does not have a clear picture of its nature. I would agree with many that perhaps some of these false expectations might be avoided if the hotel did not have the word "resort" as part of its name.

Quite simply, this hotel is very modestly sized and geared toward adults who want a quiet, relaxing, low-key, welcoming, warm, hospitable, stress-free interlude. It's comfortably luxurious without being over the top. It's for people who want to feel dreamily disconnected from the world for just a moment in time, without giving up all the modern amenities. It's for people who like things on a smaller scale, and don't necessarily have to be right smack dab in front of a wide expanse of beach (nearby short walk good enough) OR have at their disposal all manner of resort activities...people who would rather have a small pool if it means they can get a chair when they want it, get served poolside, read a book, and hear themselves think. It's for people who love a clean, really hot, large, hot tub that you often can have all to yourselves. It's for people who like to lounge on the lawn, looking out over the ocean, and dream. Most of all, it's for people who value the warm-hearted aloha spirit that genuinely lives in every single person who works here.

Lovers of all ages, those seeking to celebrate significant milestones in their lives and relationships, gentle adults who enjoy being surrounded by other gentle adults....those will find this place perfect. Families with small children would be much better served at other, larger resorts...or condominium complexes with expansive play areas. I do not say this unkindly, but this is one of the few places adults can find tranquility and children are rather out of place here, and often quite understandably resented by some other guests.

As always, the food at the Red Salt was world-class. Just like last year, we had almost every dinner here. We come from a major metropolitan city on the mainland, but this restaurant puts all of our so-called fine dining to shame. I'm not kidding. This place is great. Again, it's geared toward adults rather than children. It's sophisticated, stylish, and sometimes takes awhile for the custom preparation of fine cuisine. Children seem uncomfortable here on the rare occasions that I've seen them.

If you don't expect (or WANT) to be spritzed on the face with Evian water poolside and if you like to be coddled without being intruded upon, suffocated, or patronized, come here. If you're not looking for craft activities, hula lessons, luaus, torch-lighting ceremonies, hokey entertainment acts at sunset, and tacky vendors selling mementos, come here. If you like the feeling that you're the only guest in the eyes of the staff, but don't need your ego massaged at every turn, come here. EVERYONE gets special treatment here, so nobody stands out.

We stayed the first seven nights in west-facing oceanview room 240- and if you get a room like this (out near the ocean), you can see nice sunsets. We spent the last two nights in an ocean-front top floor and it absolutely spoiled me for anything else. Sometimes they offer honeymooners who have booked a lesser category an upgrade to an oceanfront room with two doubles, if it's not occupied...here's a tip...at least look at the room...it might be worth scrunching up into one double bed to get the view. I'd avoid the rooms on the back of the east wing (facing the Marriott). Understand up front that the rooms are NOT really very large...not much room for luggage. Pack light and use laundry facilities. You could even unpack and ask the front desk to store your luggage (I'm sure they'd do it). DO get the breakfast package.

Room Tip: I personally don't think ground floor rooms have enough privacy. Go higher.
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  • Stayed March 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

The Ko'a Kea is not a resort but a small relatively quiet, refurbished hotel on the beach that tries too hard to contradict its U-shaped 70s motel architecture and dated exterior (right down to the faux cement lava rocks lining the pool and jacuzzi) with trendy decor. This is a $180 to $225 per night kind of place with a the $350 to $450 price tag.

I agree with a number of the poor/average reviews confused about this average hotel's top ranking. I chose the Ko'a Kea for the Kauai portion of our honeymoon based on its Tripadvisor ratings. While the place isn't horrible, after a few days of being here I'm genuinely astounded that this hotel is rated #1 in all of Kauai - so astounded, in fact - that I had to come and look at the reviews in more detail to figure out what was going. One point to ponder - take a look and you'll notice an unusually high number of the reviews from users that recently joined, have vague profiles and have reviewed only one hotel - the Ko'a Kea.

But I digress, my husband and I have travelled extensively independently and together and have stayed at all different levels of hotels. We've also been to two other islands and three other hotels prior to the Ko'a Kea on the same trip. Here is our mutual consensus on the place:

PROS -
1- The hotel is on the shore with a small beach as it promises (albeit it small and 50% rocks.) FYI We don't have kids, but this is NOT a beach for kids because it is filled with surfers and strong, frequent waves.
2- Beds are nice, with fluffy linens and feather tops.
3- The hotel is small, so not "Disney-like" or overwhelming
4- Rooms are redone to have a trendy modern look.
5 - $12 continental breakfast is decent quality and value for Hawaii

CONS
1 - The use of the term "resort" is outright false advertising because this hotel looks like a jazzed up motel and is, on its best days, a hotel.
2 - Customer service is inconsistent. At times we had a good experience and at others it was horrible. One waitress at breakfast responded "yeah?" from across the room when I raised my hand for her attention to explain I'd received the wrong drink. Sometimes your room will be cleaned and replenished, other times only the bed will be made and no new towels, water or coffee will be given.
3- COFFEE CONS - We were blown away when we were told that despite staying for 10 days at a cost of over $4000 the Nespresso machine they so widely tout in their advertisements is not replenished. You are given 6 pods for 2 people no matter how long you stay - 3 days of coffee. If you want more, you have to BUY THE PODS from them in the gift shop.
2- There is one pool with a bar with no music or waitstaff. If you want to be waited on like you are in resort you will be out of luck. You need to get your own towels and drinks and if it rains the pool will be surrounded by pond-size puddles with those yellow caution signs. There is no water mopping, free water or free sunscreen
3 - You must valet your car, which works sometimes but if you are leaving during a busy time you'll have to wait for the valets to get your keys and the car.


Bottom Line - Your experience with this place will really depending on what you are paying. Don't overpay and you'll be satisfied. If you are looking for a $400 a night hotel try the Grand Hyatt.

We wish we had.

Room Tip: Don't get "partial ocean view." We are looking at a fence and the adjacent property ou...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

From the moment we arrived we were made to feel special, the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgable and nothing is too much trouble for them.
Location is perfect directly , with a beautiful beach abd the ocean opposite the rooms.
Rooms are very tastefully decorated and have every amenity you could wish for..
Its a very peaceful quiet resort and a great nights sleep is guaranteed.
We ate at the Red Salt Restuarant and were not disappointed, food was excellent and a greta wine selection,
All in All a perfect place to take a vacation .....its a Paradise for Honermooners but all a great place for families
Almost impossible to find anything negative....
An absoulute MUST........A Mai Tai Cocktail at the Bar.......you wont find a better one ANYWHERE
,VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND ANYTHING NEGATIVE TO WRITE :)

  • Stayed April 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2013

We could not have asked for a more perfect stay in Kauai. This is a fantastic resort. Very small, friendly staff who are excellent all around. Not a lot of kids which was a huge bonus for us. Beautiful romantic rooms, great grounds, perfect views. Red Salt the restaurant served us many excellent meals- breakfasts are included and are also good. This is the only place I would stay on Kauai.

  • Stayed April 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bakersfield, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2013

This was our 5th trip to Koa Kea, we had a wonderful time as usual. We love the cozy hotel. Everyone of the staff are excellent, you feel like home. They go out of their way to help in any
way. Will book any sites you may want to visit. We have traveled all over the island, gone to the Farmers Markets, art shows, orchid exhibits. Even when we feel we have explored as much as
possible, we will still return to this Hotel again and again.

Room Tip: there are many rooms all have a wonderful ocean view and of the pool and cabana
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  • Stayed April 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 2
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 Luxury Hotel in Poipu
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Poipu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poipu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Poipu
#4 Family Hotel in Poipu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Koa Kea Hotel & Resort 4.5*
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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