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“Trip of a Lifetime (up to this point)”
Review of Pono Kai Resort

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Pono Kai Resort
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Kapaa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 17, 2013

We are Bluegreen owners and were treated very well during our ten day stay. We had a 1BR condo in Building J (J304) which fronted the main road. Light sleepers may want to use earplugs if the sounds of (light) traffic or the ubiquitous roosters could bother you. We did not notice them after the first day. Plenty of closet space and the bed was extremely comfortable. Well appointed kitchen allowed us to fix several meals (and every breakfast) during our stay. Couch was suprisingly comfortable (sofa beds are notorious for not doing either well) but we did not try it as a bed. The lanai afforded a nice spot to enjoy the pleasant temperatures. I do have to agree with a previous review that having the A/C unit only in the main living space could be an issue during the warmer months. The ceiling fan in the bedroom was enough to keep us cool for this time of year, though.
Other reviews were very helpful, we requested and received a top floor room. The floor in the bedroom was rather creaky so we tried to limit our movement so as not to disturb other guests below. Linens and towels were exchanged about every other day by Housekeeping. We did have to request an extra roll of toilet paper to start off, but were kept well stocked after that.
Great location for getting to all our planned activities both north and south (mostly birdwatching and nature trips). Restaurants and shopping were within easy walking distance. The Ono Family Restaurant next door was reasonablely priced with large portions and the Shaved Ice vendor next to it provided a must-have treat!
The orientation breakfast allowed us to hear from several vendors on available activities and receive good discounts. We had already pre-booked most of the activities we were interested in, so it was mostly just informational for us. We did attend the usual timeshare presentation (Shell Vacation Club, not Bluegreen) in order to receive $100 off the luau we wanted to attend.
The grounds are lovely with koi ponds, an herb garden, crouquet, putting greens, and bocche court areas as well as access to the bike trail (which allowed access to the nearby beaches). There really is no beach area at the resort itself with orange construction fencing up to keep guests from falling over the steep edge on the other side of the bike trail.
The hot tub got some use after our day trips but the pool was not heated and thus too cold for our taste. But we freely admit we prefer MUCH warmer water for swimming than the average person.
True "Aloha Spirit" from all the staff we encountered from the Front Desk and Housekeeping to the groundskeepers.
One of the nicest features was the Courtesy Suite. Our departing flight was not until 9pm, but checkout was by 10am. We were able to lock up our luggage (you must sign for the key so access is controlled) and spend our final day making "goodbye" visits to our favorite spots. We were able to return, freshen up using the full bathroom area, and relax on the couches and watch TV until it was time to head for the airport. There are several refrigerators in which to store food, although access to those is open (think workplace breakroom, only someone actually cleans them periodically!) and a microwave. There were also books, games, and puzzles available to use. I wish more resorts had this feature.
Overall, probably the nicest Bluegreen affiliated resort we've visited.

Room Tip: Ask for a top floor room so you do not need to worry about noise from the upstairs neighbors. You co...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ADCollier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 16, 2013

We had a 2 BR / 2 Bath Condo that we shared with our daughter. It was a great week. Condos are older, but well maintained, grounds are beautiful and right on the beach. excellent value for the money. Golf at puakea was great

Room Tip: Ask for beach front
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank Wotsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
araikes, Manager at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2013

Mahalo for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed in one of the condos we manage, but I am glad you enjoyed the tropical grounds, beach, and nearby activities.
We hope to see you again at the Pono Kai.

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

My family (including 3 young boys) stayed here for our 4th trip to Kauai. We have stayed on the north and east side in the past and really liked this location at Pono Kai B-208. It was central to getting to north shore and south shore (although the north beaches were closed for the majority of our stay this time due to high waves). The condo was very well maintained. The kitchen was fully equipped and there were chairs and beach toys available. I loved the sleeping arrangements because there were beds for all 3 of our children. Usually, a bedroom only sleeps 2. Since there was no a/c, we were a little warm at the beginning of our stay. The bedroom windows were looking on to the outdoor walkway so I didn't want to leave the windows open at night for air flow. However, we left the family room balcony window open and that was usually enough to get a decent air flow.

The family room was comfortable and the view was amazing. The only bummer that is not reflected in the photos on VRBO is the low, bright orange fence that goes along the beach outside of our condo. This may sound petty but it was a distraction from the otherwise heavenly views. Otherwise, the beach was gorgeous and right outside our balcony!

The private mgmt was very helpful and accommodating in letting us check out late. This was a HUGE help because it allowed us another full day of play since we had a place to clean up before leaving for our night flight.

When we checked in, the Pono Kai front desk was professional and helpful. They never called or asked us to attend any weird timeshare activities. In fact, we didn't talk to the front desk again until check out. It was a relaxing and welcoming place to stay in our experience. The grounds were well maintained and an easy walk to stores and restaurants.

We would stay here again. Great location if you want access to North and South beaches, as well as very close proximity to Lydgate beach and the Wailua River.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank glcp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Our family of 5 spent 10 nights here over Christmas. I found other reviews of the Pono Kai helpful. The buildings are older, with creaky floors and thin walls but we had a great stay. The grounds are beautiful and building B is so close to the ocean that the screen doors on the lanai have salt spray on them. We liked our condo. Our was privately owned and well stocked. AC would have helped the sleep quality, but we were out all day seeing the island so only missed it at night.

If you want to lounge around at a resort and don't plan to get a car, I'd recommend somewhere else. If you just need a base from which to see Kauai, this is a great place. There are some fun things to do at Pono Kai. We used the pool a couple of times and played shuffle board one day. My kids loved feeding the fish in the koi pond. All the employees were very nice. One thing that I liked in particular is the check out hospitality. They have a locked room in which you can store your luggage if you have to check out but have a late flight. Ours didn't leave until 11 pm, so we appreciated that. We stowed our luggage and were able to spend the rest of day having fun and not worrying about the luggage. They even have a bathroom with a shower if you need to wash off after the beach. We didn't want to drag wet swimwear home, but it was a nice option if you need one more afternoon at the beach. They'll also give you a pass so you can use all the facilities at Pono Kai if you just want to hang around until time for the airport.

We tried to see as much of the island as possible so it was nice to be in Kapaa. Winter waves kept us in the south more than the north, but we went all over. Kauai is beautiful! We especially loved taking a helicopter tour to see it all. The traffic in Kapaa is pretty bad. When your gps tells you it will take 20 minutes to go 5 miles, it's sometimes right! We liked Kapaa and walked the path most mornings. Watching the sun rise every morning was great. Make sure you get shaved ice from Onos at least once.

I would definately stay at the Pono Kai again and recommend it to friends. Just make sure you check out the individual condo & make sure it's what you want.

Room Tip: If you have a room above you, you'll hear every step they make. If that bothers you, make sure...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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4  Thank farmgirlIdaho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Great location, Kapa is within walking distance to shops and restaurants. We did rent a car to assist us in seeing the rest of the island, however we found ourselves walking to the shops and nearby restaurants.
Unfortunately it rained a lot, and we did not get the tans to come home in Dec. to brag about.
We rented bikes and road along the shore, which was spectacular.
The front desk staff were very helpful, and always had a smile.
The unit was clean, and well stocked with kitchen supplies so that you could make some meals instead of always going out to a restaurant.
We had to talk to the concierge, and ask them to stop calling our room. They called the room the first 2 mornings at 8am. We let them know that we were on vacation, and would have liked to sleep in.
We would recommend this Resort to our friends and family.

Ross
Vancouver B.C.

Room Tip: the only ocean front room units are in section A B C D, sections F G have an obstructed view of the...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank hamilton333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2013

“Best location ever!”
Its a great resort...the location is the ultimate!! Its mid island... perfect for exploring North and South, its within a 5 min walk of bars/restaurants/shops....Kapa'a is a funky little town....its also RIGHT ON THE BEACH!!! bonus... we were beachfront on the 2nd floor.... the beach was literally our lanai!! the rooms were a bit stuffy but open the patio slider and a bedroom window and those refreshing tradewinds would just blow right through and air it out immediately.... staff was 99% awesome..... a couple of snotty ones but hey, we just tipped the nice ones right in front of the nasty ones!!! we met a local old- timer fishing on the beach... he took us to his local pub for happy hour where we met tonnes more locals.... such cool, down to earth people!!! we loved the Pono Kai and loved Kauai and her people.... definitely we will be back, in fact I am already starting to plan it out

Room Tip: No bad views!
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Martin1611
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Resort itself a little uninspired looking from outside; has good amenities- pool, croquet, by beach, tennis, bbqs. Friendly staff. Very nicely refurbished units with all kitchen equipment etc required. Kapa'a short distance by road from airport and is a very pretty old style town with lots of inexpensive bars and restaurants. Cannot swim easily from beach though as not life guarded, and although good location from to explore island, does not have the best weather. Be aware in winter months that this area is colder and rainier than the south west of the lsland.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Judith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pono Kai Resort

Address: 4-1250 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, Kauai, HI 96746-1658
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Kapaa
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Kapaa
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Kapaa
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Kapaa
Price Range: $191 - $321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pono Kai Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 217
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Also Known As:
Pono Kai Hotel Kapaa
Pono Kai Kapaa
Pono Kai Resort Kauai/Kapaa

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