So, we checked out of our two night stay at the Marriott Kauai and headed our for our week stay at the Marriott Waiohai. I'll tell you something -- I was very concerned that we would feel a little let down after our short stay at the very nice Marriott Kauai, but that didn't turn out to be the case! Whew!
It's about a 25-30 minute drive from LIH to Poipu and the resort. It's a nice drive and vey easy, but having my daughter using the map app on her phone was a help. Upon arrival, the facility has a very nice entry -- open air, friendly staff and the start of a nice view through the foyer into the grounds of the facility.
To get this out of the way, I'll tell you my only real complaint with the resort and there's nothing MVCI can do about it. The facility does not have many rooms with ocean views! I pushed hard for an ocean view room before we got there, and actually spoke with the GM after our arrival when we were told no ocean view rooms were available, and in the end, it didn't happen. We were disappointed at first, but got over it very quickly once we settled in.
MVCI built eight rectangular four story buildings in a general circle shape, so you can visualize that most of the buildings are not on what one would consider prime territory on this particular property -- how could they be! In fact, only three of the buildings offer true ocean view suties (#1, 2 and 8), so if that's a high priority for you, do what you must to get it. And another complicating factor -- even in those three buildings, only half the buildings actually directly face the water. The interior side of building 1 gives you a side view from your balcony only. The interior side of building 8 is all interior, so choose wisely.
With that negative out of the way, let me move on as all else is positive. They do a terrific job with the interior grounds! Really, after a very short while, we came to appreciate the effort they make, so I think they realized that they better offer guests beautiful interior views since they can't offer many ocean views -- they succeed.
The facility offers a couple of really nice barbecue pits with four bbqs per pit. We saw them used every night by a number of guests. It's a really nice feature allowing folks to dine in and save a few bucks a couple of nights in a week if they want, something my wife had no interest in us pursuing! One other thing about the bbqs -- they are thoroughly cleaned every morning by a staff member. I mean it -- we saw them cleaned every morning and it took about 60-90 minutes for them to be completed. That surprised us.
They offer two pools and four or five jacuzzis, and all are maintained very nicely. Kids are directed to one pool, and there's another that is for adults and those looking for some serenity -- each was used properly by the guests. The kid's (and active folk's) pool is the bigger of the two and is nearer the beach, so they don't mind skipping past the quiet pool.
Then there's the beach, which is really nice. Their setup offers you the option of sitting directly on the beach or just off it separated by a row of low bushes. The beach is a nicely sized cove that is generally protected from waves, though you still get some action. Lots of paddle boarding, snorkling and swimming is constantly going on! The water is beautiful, dropping quickly to a decent depth just a bit off the shore; it is filled with ample species of fish to satisfy most snorklers.
A nice feature: the water is frequented by large sea turtles, which I learned are very common around Kauai. We saw one on four of the seven days we were there, and they are quite an attention getter, too, as many people wanted to get up close and personal with the visiting turtle. I have to admit -- my son and I were snorkling when one came up, and we made a number of hand contacts with the turtle. He (or she) was not upset and took it in stride (don't worry -- we watched for nervousness before approaching the turtle -- there was none). We ultimately decided he must be one of the regulars because he just went along with all the attention, and eventually swam away when he chose to and was on to his next feeding site. Way cool getting up close to one.
As for accommodations, we were in a two bedroom unit (#7202) which became our home away from home. We really liked the setup. There was a kitchen, living room, good sized eating table, and two bedrooms, each with its own full bathroom. There was a large, digital flat screen tv in the living room and one 32 inch in each of the bedrooms. Our room had a very comfortable king size bed, while there was a king and a pull out couch bed in the other room where my adult kids slept. All of us were very comfortable with the beds and suite accommodations. Oh yeah, it had a nice patio with table and chairs, too.
The facility offers a very nicely equipped fitness center, too. A nice extra that MVCI offers its guests is that, like most flights heading east out of HI, they are generally in the evening, so you have most of your last day to kill waiting for your flight. Though you need to be out of your room by 10am, you can stay on site, store your bags either in your car or with the bell hops, and spend the day enjoying your last day in the sun and on the beach. At the end of the day, you hit the fitness center that has showers and towels allowing you to get cleaned up and ready for the flight home. We ended our day around 4pm and left the site about 5pm.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Waiohai, and I would recommend it to anybody considering it.
I offer the following info to you East Coast folks out there. We hadn't been to Hawaii in 18 years due to our East Coast location and the dreaded 10 hours of flight time to get there (from Atlanta), excluding any extended layovers (we had a scheduled two hour layover in LA, but it got extended to five hours due to mechanical issues with the craft -- ugh!). We have spent most of our beach vacations in the Caribbean during that 18 year period, and we were very relieved to learn that we gave up very little, if anything, by taking the shorter flights to locations nearer than Hawaii. Yes, it is the good ol' USA there, and that's great, but we're in our 50's and not in the habit of getting into legal trouble, so those type issues are very low on our scale of concerns. A MVCI facility in the Caribbean (ours is in Aruba) can offer us everything those in HI can, which is great for both coasts! Hawaii, we loved visiting you again! See you in another 18 years! Just don't like the travel time!