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Pono Kai Resort
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Reviews (791)
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468 - 473 of 791 reviews
Reviewed May 26, 2013

I previously gave this resort 4 stars, based upon my 3-month stay a few years ago.

I've downgraded it to 3 stars based upon a one-week stay last month, because I now realize that you simply don't know what you're getting when you stay here.

If you stay at a timeshare resort managed by, say, Hilton or Marriott, you're pretty much assured that all the rooms will be uniformly well-kept. But that's not how it is at Pono Kai. And the problem is, you don't know which units are nicely updated and which are not. And forget about changing rooms; it doesn't work that way.

This time, my wife and stayed in unit D101 - an oceanfront two-bedroom. The plus side was that it was extremely spacious, with large bedrooms, large bathrooms a very large living room, a dining room and a large kitchen. We could sit in the living room and look across a nicely-manicured lawn at the ocean, with the sound of waves wafting in.

The downside was that the unit was very run-down. The furniture had to be at least 30 years old and the ceiling in one bathroom was mildewed and crumbling. There was no air conditioning and the ceiling fan in the master bedroom didn't work. The kitchen utensils were like something out of a Goodwill store.

Now, personally, I'm not all that picky about things like that, but since I'm writing this for your benefit, I have to warn you that the actual lodgings were two-star, at best.

Another problem is that most of the oceanfront units seem to be inhabited full-time by retired owners and they have an attitude problem. A lady upstairs from our unit yelled out her window at me while I fed bread to some adorable doves and threatened to call the police. There were other issues, but I won't go into them.

We were lucky that the unit was very well-stocked with towels and beach towels, because the housekeeping staff never showed up during the entire week. And we had to take our trash to the dumpster ourselves.

Alright, here are the positives: I still think that Kapaa, despite it's occasional traffic jams, is the best location on the island. The units are incredibly spacious: if you're party of 4 or 6, you just cannot do better than this. And I love the broad, green lawns. And having a fully-equipped kitchen is a real plus - you don't have to spend insane amounts of money for room service or the island's uniformly-mediocre restaurants.

On top of that, Pono Kai is situated on a 5-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that takes you to three of the island's best beaches - Wailua, Kealia and Donkey Beach.

So here's the bottom line: the location is great; the two-bedroom units are spacious beyond anything else you could get on the island for 3 times the price and it's a good value. But if you're dreaming of staying in someplace where everything in the room is fresh and sparkling, stay somewhere else.

Room Tip: Avoid unit D101, even though the oceanfront location is great.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank kurtzken21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 30, 2013

I am sorry you did not enjoy your stay in unit D101, which we manage. We are surprised that you did not like the unit, as this is the first poor review we have received for this condo. Most guests enjoy the ceramic tiled floors, island-themed furniture, and Hawaiian touches throughout. As soon as we became aware of the ceiling we blocked the condo from any future guests and had it inspected and repaired. The bedroom fan has also been repaired. We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your second stay as much as your first trip to 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 May 23, 2013

We love it so much here that we bought a timeshare. We have stayed all over the resort and found that we love the 1br end units because there is an extra window in the dining room. The only thing I might change is putting washs and dryers in the units.And more comfortable seating. Otherwise, we always feel like we are home when we get there.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank BonnieRosen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Our ocean front suite was pleasant, clean and well equipped. Pono Kai is central - convenient to Kapa'a restaurants and equi-distant to the north and south shores. We enjoyed mornings and late evenings on the lanai. Our suite - and bedroom - were right by the stair well so there was no hope of sleeping in. We heard every bit of early morning chatter and every suitcase being humped up the stairs.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
Thank LemonandHill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

They had us switch rooms multiple times which is fine but without notice on the last time. The too.s are old and the appliances very outdated. 12in t.v and long walks to anywhere. Staff is just terrible.

  • Stayed: May 2013
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5  Thank Rob_Gamm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2013

I am sorry that you did not enjoy your stay at the Pono Kai Resort. I don’t believe you stayed in one of the condos our vacation rental company manages as we would not move guests without working with them to find an agreeable substitute. Each condo owner at the Pono Kai can choose to furnish and upgrade their condo differently. In the future, I encourage you to view specific condos online before you solidify your booking, so you can assure your tastes and needs are met.

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 May 10, 2013

The rooms are large enough for my wife and I. The kitchen and bathrooms are fine (large clean). The bed and pull down bead in the living room was comfortable for sleeping but the rest of the furniture was uncomfortable. The pool is nice (just a fairly long walk from our unit), barbeques clean.

We could see the ocean if we craned our necks off the deck. It was strung with plastic orange fencing warning of sink holes. Staff was friendly, parking close by. Air-conditioner ran 24/7 and didn't seem adjustable.

We stayed at the Kapaa Sands the first week. It's small and "quaint" and homey with a few quirks. The Pono Kai is very large and a bit sterile feeling. We enjoyed the beach at the Kapaa Sands and really didn't go anywhere else. That was restful. While at the Pono Kai we ventured out to other beaches each day so we had to do the packing and driving routine. Of course there is no shortage of nice shady beaches so who's complaining.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kevin O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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