Aloha from Kaua'i!
Whaler's Cove is set at the end of a quiet cul de sac in a residential area off Ho'ona Road....all units face directly out to the ocean, and the condos are on a cliffside directly above the ocean...the pool is set on the ocean cliffside. Quiet, mostly adults stay here, not a lot of kids. Within walking distance to Baby Beach and Lawa'i Beach.
Po'ipu Kapili....on Ho'onani Rd., many units with ocean view...there is a road between Po'ipu Kapili and the ocean (there is a rock wall with the ocean beyond) with a walking path that is very popular. Pool set in the middle of the complex. Within walking distance to the popular section of Po'ipu beach that fronts the Sheraton Kaua'i. Plantation style architecture with nice landscaping.
Small overview of each....disclaimer...I have not stayed at either location, although I am familiar with them since I live in the area.
You can't compare the oceanfront units at these two places because the units at Poipu Kapili have a small road in-between them and the water.
That said, I'd take Poipu Kapili over Whaler's Cove any day. The ocean views are still quite nice. Poipu Kapili has an added advantage of location. It's walking distance to the great beach in front of the Sheraton, the shops and restaurants at both Kukuiula Village and Poipu Shopping Village. Walking distance to Poipu Beach Park too, along the waterfront. The units are larger and the architecture is more solid and richer. Let's put it this way...... if you were looking at these two places to buy a unit you'd probably feel like Poipu Kapili was the better buy for the money.
This is my opinion....... Whaler's Cove is resting on it's laurels and overly-complacent because of the security that it sits oceanfront. Take a walk through of most of the units at both places and you'd see what I mean by this. I don't know which units you're looking at but Whaler's Cove is way behind in the game of updating units. All privately owned complexes have units that are and are not updated but Poipu Kapili has stayed ahead of the game in this regard. The quality is consistent there.
Outside of all of that I'd still lean towards Poipu Kapili for it's convenient location alone. Go to PoipuKapili.com to check out the insides of each unit and the layout of the property.
One thing about Whaler's Cove. It will usually have a more adult's feel to it.Edited: 5:30 pm, January 27, 2013
<<but Whaler's Cove is way behind in the game up updating units.>>
I've seen a few units updated recently including this one from Parrish so it looks like the owners are starting to make improvements. www.parrishkauai.com/kauai-condos/wc134/
I personally like the location of Whaler's better since it's a very quiet, residiential neighborhood near Baby's Beach. It's also very close to the new Kukui'ula Shopping Village.
Napa....you couldn't have said it better. i wholeheartedly agree.
For me....Poipu Kapili ...Hands down. We have stayed there in various units and the views are spectacular....even from the set back units.
The road in front of the property did not seem to obstruct the view whatsoever....during our visits
Poipu Kapili is extremely well managed, and maintained. You really get a sense of " Ohana"...and that you are staying in a special place. Our stays there have been for extended periods of 3 + weeks.
IMO, there was a time that Whaler's was a notch above.. i'm going to say the mid to late 90's.....not so much any longer. Sure you can hit on a remodelled unit.....and the location remains lovely.
However , it would be tough to be dissuaded from choosing Poipu Kapili with it's gracious Hawaiiana feel.
Wanderlust, once again we have similar taste. We have stayed at, and loved, Poipu Kapili.
That Parrish Unit still has those laminate cabinets, even with granite countertops. I don't get it.Edited: 6:25 pm, January 27, 2013
Thank you so much for answering so quickly. We are very excited to come to Hawaii - Poipu Kapili sounds nice but so does Whalers' Cove - each one a bit different. We are coming as two couples celebrating my sister's 25th anniversary. Spending 4/5 nights in Kauai and a week in Maiu. My sister gets ocean front room in Maiu and I get it in Kauai. Maiu is all set but need to decide between the two spots - which once is the most picturesque? How far apart are each of these resorts - sounds like they are not too far apart?
I have stayed at Whaler's Cove. Would not stay there again. Did not like the floor plan. Not enough windows. Dark and hot inside. Very poor air flow.
Plus everything Napaguy said.
I remember when we were looking to buy and hadn't decided on Princeville or Poipu, I looked at Whaler's Cove. I adored the location (off the main road) and the sound of the water, but OMG for way over a million the interiors were inferior. Dark doors, ugly and tacky small kitchens. I have not seen many changes. Poipu Kapili interiors are much nicer. If you can give up being right on the water, I vote PK.
Wow. I figured I was alone in my opinion of Whaler's Cove. lol. Wanderlust..... yes, there was a time when Whaler's Cove was a notch above. My guess is with some of the new construction in Poipu they're going to eventually figure out they have to up their game a little. Many other places in Poipu have figured it out already.