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“Generally poor atmosphere”

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Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai
Ranked #7 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Kapaa
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Met with suspicion upon arrival, which is unusual for somewhere in the hospitality business, and the staff are quite inflexible if you want to change your arrangements. Experienced a very uncomfortable discussion between the manager and a guest, due to a simple request which was not only refused but led to the guest being demeaned and being told to pack up and leave. The place is old and run down, not unusual for many hostels, but the rooms are overpriced and the showers are lukewarm dribbles. I was willing to give this place a chance despite its poor reviews, but it lives up to them. Next time i'll visit the other hostel, where I received a warm welcome despite their being very busy.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled with friends
25  Thank Badbushka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GM_Honuea, General Manager at Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai, responded to this reviewResponded May 27, 2014

Mahalo for your comments. I apologize if you were made to feel uncomfortable during a private discussion with a guest. Luckily we have very few issues and are full most of the time. Arriving during business hours 11am-9pm will most certainly get a big ALOHA! This it the first we have heard of one of our 6 showers being a problem, I will look into it immediately. We admit our hostel is more geared for surfers and students than business travelers, but aren't all hostels? I am sorry you thought we were overpriced. Maybe camping will suit you better next time as the other hostel is more expensive than we are. As to the bad reviews, we have only had 5 one bubble reviews since taking over 3 years ago. The others were from previous management. However, we do strive to have all 5 bubbles, sadly we cannot please everyone. We hope your future travels are more to you liking.

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Reviews (124)
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56 - 62 of 124 reviews

Reviewed May 1, 2014

From the moment we were greeted we felt the aloha!! As a small family, we weren't sure how this place would work out for us, but it was great!! We had a comfy private room, full use of the kitchen & living area & a semi-private bathroom. Everyone we met was very kind and helpful and understanding of the fact that we have a toddler.The staff were wonderfully gracious & we really enjoyed meeting the other travelers. The experience reminded me of traveling in Europe, where hostels are much more common. (But honestly I would stay away from the other hostel on island!) It's not the same as staying in a hotel, so don't expect chocolate on your pillow or free tiny shampoos, but for a hostel it is a wonderful place!! And as a family, I highly recommend it. Thanks to the lovely staff especially for making our stay magical :)

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
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Thank ClaireBear6683
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

Where do I even begin with this hostel?!

First, I was told I needed a ticket off the island to even check-in (which almost didn't happen). I've never been asked about a return ticket at a hostel, even while traveling all through out Europe. I watched quite a few people get turned away when they said they didn't have a plane ticket off of Kauai.

And apparently they have a 2 week maximum stay, which I was told wouldn't be possible to extend (I asked this when I first arrived in case my plans changed, then realized how awful it was there and was wanted to leave as soon as I could). However, I then came across people who had been staying there for 2+ months. Does that make any sense at all?? Guess next time I'll just give my money to the other hostel that's down the road.

Let's move on to the staff/managers. I read a previous review, that stated it was like staying at a military camp. This is actually pretty accurate. What really bothered me, was that you couldn't cook a meal and sit down to eat until your dishes were washed, dried, and put away. If that didn't happen you were pretty much publicly shamed for leaving those dishes in the sink for 15 minutes while you were trying to eat your hot food. And the so called "cleaning" of the fridge is a joke. That fridge hadn't seen a good cleaning since about 10 years ago. The "cleaning" was basically a way for the staff to get free food. And if you sat anything on the counter for more than 2 minutes it was taken by an employee, who either tossed it out, or ate it. And don't even bother asking them a question about the area, they either have no clue what they're talking about, or they act extremely annoyed that you'd even think of asking them. They're just annoyed, period. Why treat you're PAYING guests with respect, right? Everything shuts down at 10PM in Kapaa (except the bar), including this hostel. You can't even sit outside and visit, you're either forced to go to bed or chased off the property. Speaking of being chased off, when you check out you can't stay anywhere on the property, even though you just paid about $400 for a 2 week stay. Like it's said in other reviews, they literally tell you to go sit at the beach. So if you've got a late flight, you're out of luck.

Last, but not least, are the rooms. There's one bathroom in your dorm room for roughly 15 people, and one in the common area. Obviously this wasn't a fun experience. The beds are are extremely uncomfortable, and you only get 2 thin sheets when staying, so if it's a cool night then you freeze. The rooms need major renovations, everything looks half rotted.

For the price of this place, it's definitely NOT worth it. Save your time, and money. Go sleep on the beach instead, trust me, it'll be a lot better experience.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled solo
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32  Thank Landon_1994
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2014

Had an amazing stay at this hostel! It made my trip even better to stay at a cool place like this! The location is perfect, staff is awesome, and the rooms are clean. Couldn't ask for a better place :)

  • Stayed: January 2014
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Thank Jaz_1221
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2014

If you ever want to experience how life in the army can be, visit this hostel.

You get to sleep in a 10 bed dorm and share only one bath. There is no soap but if you're lucky there is toilet paper! If you want to leave your soap, for others to use, staff will through it away.

Talking about staff...a bunch of kids playing the whole day arround and smoking pot with the owners son. No matter which time of the day you ask them for help "it's not the right time to ask for help right now". They always watch over your shoulders and check if you're breaking something...the randomly go through the fridge and check for food without label and just eat it or throw it away.

We left our milk (6$) in the fridge, with our name on it, and we were the last leaving the kitchen. The next morning we stood up very early to go on a hike, and our milk was gone. I saw the staff "cleaning" the fridge when we left the evening before. I put "cleaning" in brackets, because the fridges have not seen daylight for probably months.

If you plan on staying here, make sure to book a morning flight on the day you want to leave, because they will kick you out at 11am. "you can spend the day at the beach" That's very nice, since they don't let you enter the property anymore, to refresh or something. Even if you offer them money, to stay the day, as we did.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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26  Thank Weltbummler2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

It was my first hostel experience so my gauge may be off but it was exactly what I imagined! Basic, friendly people with just basic accommodations- it's good for either passing through or on a budget, if your looking for anything more then that then I imagine a hostel isn't what you want in the first place... If you've ever been to camp, sort of felt like that! Good experience!

  • Stayed: March 2014
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Thank Bbliss318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2014

A nice hostel on a nice place. I recommend you this hostel. It isn't expensive and it is relatively clean. If you come to know the staff and you accept the little rules they used, it is funny with them.
i was very surprised about they good service from the hostel staff, when we rent the Kajak for our adventure trip to the secret falls. We had also a lot of fun at the wettest of trip. The manager of the hostel brewed us a special hot chocolate with peppermint-schnaps. Delicious!!!
There is no noteworthy nightlife surrounding.
The disadvantage was the curfew which was already at 10 pm, but therefor i was full of power for the next awesome hiking trails of the beautiful island.

Room Tip: Don't use the private rooms in the Dorm building.
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled solo
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13  Thank David W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai

Address: 4532 Lehua Street, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746-1750 (Formerly Kauai International Hostel)
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Kapaa
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 15 Specialty Lodging in Kapaa
Price Range: $25 - $70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Aloha and welcome to our family owned, family operated 34 person hostel on the amazing island of Kaua'i! Our hostel has enforced quiet hours from 10pm-7am. We are not a party style hostel. We hope guests will take advantage of our low prices and quality service so that you may enjoy Kauai hikes and outdoor activities that are our premier location provides. Honu'ea International Hostel Kauai resides in the heart of Kapa'a Town, across the street from Kapa'a Beach Park! Take a stroll or bike down the 7 mile Ke Ala Hele Makalae ("The Path that Goes by the Coast") that stretches from Wailua Town past Kealia Beach Point with amazing surf and spectacular views! Or, do some shopping at some of the best locally owned shops on Kauai. Dine in amazing restaurants or cook your own food in our large, newly decorated kitchen/common areas. We have two dorm rooms with ten beds, women's only dorms, four private rooms (inside the dorms), and two deluxe rooms. All dorms have a private room and a shared bath en-suite. The two deluxe rooms are in the main house, share a bathroom and do not have restrictions on kitchen hours. We have common areas available to all registered guests that include lanai (covered patio), several garden seating areas, hammock and TV room. Snorkel gear, kayaks, and Free WiFi is provided for all registered guests. Please, registered guests and new check ins only. *We most always have room for walk-ins 3pm-9pm, aloha! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Kauai International Hotel Kapaa
Honu'Ea International Hostel Kauai Kapaa

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