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“A great island base!”
Review of Pono Kai Resort

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Pono Kai Resort
Ranked #6 of 11 Hotels in Kapaa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 27, 2013

We have been coming here for years. The beachfront views are incredible- sunrise is gorgeous. The beach is pleasant with welcome shade. Swimming is fine, but there is no lifeguard. They have a pool, sauna, putting green and a helpful concierge. It is an easy walk to restaurants and even a Safeway. The location works well for us- we can get to the North Shore and the South Shore. The area is not as pretentious as Poipu and there still is some local charm. The units are clean and spacious and housekeeping was very helpful. The kitchens are well stocked- we even had a rice cooker.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view condo
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Barbara F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 26, 2013

Stayed in G-102, ground floor not "on" the ocean but no building in front of us so view of ocean was great and sunrise was awesome. Beach right out in front and so was the walking/biking trail.

There were comments about you pay for everything, most resorts in Hawaii seem to be this way (have stayed at 4 others on 3 islands). Yes in the unit the Wi-Fi is an extra fee but I think $17.95 gets you 30 days and some places are $14.95/day with NO weekly/monthly option so.... Not free but not a deal breaker. Yes they are on the main road in Kapa'a and if in one of the front buildings sure there might be a noise concern but the middle and ocean buildings are buffered and road noise is not an issue.

Maybe our unit had a recent update as the furnishings were not as dated as I was led to believe from previous postings. Way more than enough dishes and utensils in the kitchen (odd that it had a pizza cutter but no pizza pan). Bathroom was nothing special but it was functional and had plenty of storage space.

A car is really needed to see the balance of the island when in Kapa'a (Princeville & Poipu etc.) but there are many stores within walking distance. Multiple grocery stores, package goods, restaurants, aloha wear, gift shops and some of the best "shave ice" in town is right next door.

I found the staff to be responsive to our few requests and they always greeted us with a smile. The Sunday AM informational session was one of the best I have been to in 20+ years of timeshare travels (they do run it a 2nd time during the week too). The resort is not exceptional but the destination is KAUAI, not the resort. It is a great home-base for sightseeing and coming home to relax after a long day. Start your day with coffee and breakfast on the patio and a fantastic view of sunrise and if you want use one of the many (dare I say it - FREE) gas grills on the property for a wonderful dinner in the evening.

I feel Kauai is the most beautiful of the islands, the pace in Kapa'a is very relaxed (you struggle to find stores open after 7PM other than Safeway) even most of the gift shops and clothing stores close by 6PM. Nightlife, well it is almost non-existent in Kapa'a but a full day of exploring leaves most ready for some rest to get prepared for the next days adventure.

Room Tip: If concerned about road noise try to get in the middle row of buildings if ocean front not available
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TravelJunkie146
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

Located in the center of Kapaa, Kauai, this resort is good for the family. Nice pool on property, old timehshare, but well maintained. Walking distance to several restaurants. Location is on the ocean, but the beaches nearby are not really for swimming. Nearest beach for swimming is outside of the town, about 3 miles away.Building A-D offer the best view of the ocean. Units are well maintained, staff is very helpful, and you can cook in the room. Great views of the sunrise. Location is 30 minutes form Hanalei bay and 1 hour from Waimea canyon. It is only 15 minutes from the airport to the property and 5 minutes to the wailua river, which is beautiful and a great place to kayak.

Room Tip: 2 and 3 bedroom units are available for famiiers. Washer and dryers are not in the room.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Docmark320
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 September 27, 2013

Aloha,
Thank you for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. We agree that the central location on the island is great for exploring all the different landmarks, hikes, and resort towns on the island. We hope you also got a chance to walk or ride a bike along the paved oceanfront trail that fronts the resort and runs through Kapaa.

Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2013

After reading all the reviews before we left, we were not expecting much. But to our surprise the ocean views were beautiful. Our unit while it was "dated" which we expected, was very clean. As mentioned it is in a very busy part of town, which we knew ahead of time, was nice to be able to walk around the town and pick up our meals. We were one of the "lucky" winners on the buy one/get one free on an activity, which we really enjoyed. The staff was great! The only compliant we had was that our bedroom floor had creaks and because we were early risers for all of our activties the people below our unit would BANG very LOUDLY on the ceiling and on our door. NO Aloha spirit with them and after a couple days of that we complained and they were moved. Pool was a clean and well kept pool, but then again we came for the views and beaches not to sit at a pool.

Room Tip: Request a ocean view, it is breathtaking every morning.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SharonBG416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2013

Oceanfront rooms are spectacular. Sitting in our room all you see outside the patio window is ocean. We felt like we were on a cruise ship.

Facility shows it's age but is very well kept. Beautiful gardens.

All staff was courteous and helpful.

Only drawback is the traffic in Kapa'a. But if you are staying here or driving thru it you have to deal with it.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 2NewlyRetired
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 18, 2013

I took my 80 year old Mom to Kauai for a little R and R. We stayed at a privately owned unit. The service at the resort (even though we were in a private condo) was excellent. Pool was great, hot tub wonderful and ocean view from our condo was epic. They even had an elevator for my Mom even though it is only 3 stories tall. Not a place I would call romantic but definitely a great value for a family or couple who just wants a nice, inexpensive, comfortable stay. Great location on path and walk to great retail and restaurants. Kapaa is not as romantic as North Shore but all and all, I would definitely recommend Pono Kai for family.

Room Tip: Pick ocean view only.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank JustinandJennah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2013

It was such a horrible experience, I will get right to business.
CONS:
>The "resort" (I use the term "resort" loosely because it reminds me more of a Motel 8)
is located on a very busy street, actually it is the main street that runs through Kapaa. No security in sight. Anyone can walk onto the property and go exploring.
>OUTSIDE GROUNDS: The outside seems to be well kept and is the main focus for up keep...I think in order to fool people who look at the pictures and think it looks wonderful at first glance because the rooms are horrible. They were actually polishing the concrete when we were leaving. The pool...no comment. The buildings are old and run down.
>THE UNIT: Our room, A107, was a ground floor room that was dark with a hideous odor of musty mildew. If you or your family have any type of breathing problems (allergies, asthma, sinus infection), DO NOT stay at this place. It is a respiratory nightmare! Being an RN, I was appalled! My husband and I both are allergic to dust and mold. We could not breath comfortably at all during our entire stay. Unfortunately we were not in a position to be able to change our room. It was like there was water damage to the carpet but it was not appropriately cleaned. We had to buy a can of Lysol spray just to be able to reduce the smell so that we could get some sleep. There was a damp musty feeling to the air. This smell permeated all of our clothes...even my hoody that I had hanging in the closet. It is a RANCID SMELL!! NO AIR CONDITIONING in the small spare bedroom. A/C is only in the living room and master bedroom. Whether the filters are changed in the A/C is unknown because it never got rid of the musty odor. After a hot day of site seeing in Kapaa, it would have been nice to come back to a clean, cool, bright, fresh smelling room. We would get up and out of the unit as soon as possible and did not look forward to returning to it at night.
>KITCHEN: Dirty dishes were put in the cabinet of clean dishes or what we thought were clean dishes. It took our appetite away.
>DO NOT expect any amenities at this place: no free nothing. You have to pay a DAILY fee for internet connection, using the safe in the room (which you need on the ground floor since the rooms are easily accessible from the outside...like a motel), and washing your clothes in washer and dryer that is used by housekeeping. Of course, detergent is available at the front desk for a FEE! The dryer has one temperature...HOT. I could not even unpack my clothes in this place let alone wash them here! ALL these FEES add up so be sure and budget for them. At least an extra $30.00 - $50.00 to your bill.
>SPARE BEDROOM: Our room faced the sidewalk which is used by everyone so we could never open the blinds. When I did look outside our window, there were dead bugs in the windows and a steel bar for our protection. The safety rods for the windows provided by this motel for our safety were of little comfort. This place is in the worst part of Kapaa and well known for robberies. The rods did not look like they could stop someone who really wanted to get into the room.
>BATHROOM: Our bathroom sink facet was broken and leaking everywhere. A lot of our items got wet before we realized the leak.
>EVENT PLANNER: she was pushy and condescending. She kept pushing to book on high priced excursions stating that they fill up fast. Was not impressed with her at all! We found cheaper deals ourselves and had a great time. For having years of experience in this field, as stated by her, she was a huge annoying disappointment but that is what Pono Kai is...a huge disappointment!
>OCEAN VIEW: the ocean view was blocked by orange fencing due to sink holes. There was no beach to go to for swimming.
>TO MANAGEMENT: no one seems to take accountability for the unacceptable conditions at this motel. In reading replies of other people who have had horrible experiences here at Pono Kai, the buck seems to get avoided. No one steps up to the plate and takes action even if the concerns are not with the one unit they manage. If it is not your unit to manage, then at least step up to the plate and contact the people who are poorly managing this place. In the end, EVERYONE gets a bad name for poor customer service! I have been in healthcare for years and I have been a project manager. This place would not be acceptable nor would it pass any type of regulated inspection. A simple "we are sorry" that is not my unit to manage is again unacceptable!

PROS: the bathroom sink got fixed the same day we issued our complaint. The locals were nice.

Room Tip: TIP: There are NO good rooms to choose from at this place. Research other true resorts, Marriott, S...
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank krfett
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
Phone Number:
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: $184 - $312 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Pono Kai Resort 2.5*
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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