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“Beautiful property, cookie-cutter rooms”

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Kaua'i Marriott Resort
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 31, 2007

Stayed for 5 nights in May. Beautiful property; well-groomed grounds; fabulous pool. Hotel rooms very clean but very standard -- inside, you could be in any Marriott anywhere in the U.S. It certainly didn't feel Hawaii specific.
That said, you get what you pay for. W/our Marriott Rewards membership our rate for a pool-view room was $249 + taxes. We just weren't willing to pay nearly double that for the Hyatt. We thought it was an overall good value -- kind of like a Consumer Reports Best Buy rating -- not the most bells & whistles, but works reliably and well.
Pros:
Service -- All staffers we met were helpful, friendly, very responsive and eager to accomodate. Esp. front desk, who agreed to move us to a higher floor after our first night. (Our first room, also pool-view, was on the second floor up from ground level, directly across from a well-traveled path to the pool, affording no privacy on our balcony.) On our second day (nothing was available the night we checked in) we were moved to the same category room on the third floor from the top -- views of the ocean and pool were much better and we could enjoy a.m. coffee in our hotel-provided bathrobes.
Location: After a grueling, 16+ hour flight from the East Coast, it was nice to hop on a 5-minute shuttle from airport to hotel and check right in.
Pool/Jacuzzis: So entertaining/relaxing, esp. the latter after a long, active day of snorkeling or kayaking. It's very over-the-top, but it's a lot of fun!
Cons:
Cost: Like any resort, so food/drinks are EXPENSIVE. Suck it up when it's convenient, like @ the pool bar/grill when you're enjoying the sun and just buy elsewhere where you can. Such as: If you get a car, stop @ the WalMart 5 mins away to buy bottled water, snacks, beer/wine for your room.
Nickle/diming: We know hotels need to make money, but we think it's a little silly to rent pool floats for $5/hr when there's so many sitting unused in a rack and certainly enough for all guests to enjoy. We rented a float the first day and enjoyed it, but bought inflatables @ WalMart the next day (we saw other people w/them) for less $ and enjoyed them even more.
Local kids hanging out on-site: My husband and I were soaking in the Jacuzzi one evening when a teenage boy joined us. Thinking he was vacationing w/his parents, we started speaking w/him, only to find out he was an 8th grader from Lihue! He told us teenagers regularly go pool-hopping @ the Marriott in the evenings and pointed out a few other girls in another jacuzzi.
We know the property is easily accessible by foot from the Anchor Cove shopping area, but hotel management should do a better job of enforcing a guests-only policy. We couldn't believe they'd allow unaccompanied teens to consort with hotel guests in hottubs!
Neutral (for us)
Beach: W/so many fabulous beaches (Annini, Secret Beach, Tunnels) don't spend all your time here and then complain it's not all that great. Head out to see the real Kauai!

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank Likestodine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,427 - 2,433 of 2,768 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2007

Just checked out after a two day stay at the Marriott, Kauai - our transition between normal life and our week long stay in Poipu.

The Marriott is VERY convenient to the airport. We were off the plane and on the beach in under 30 minutes! The property is in a spectacular setting with a terrific expanse of Kalapaki Beach and great ocean swimming right in front of the property.

We waited awhile to check-in, but were rewarded for our patience with an upgrade to a pool view room, Hapua Tower, 3rd Floor. The room itself was just ok, not great. There was a distinct mildew smell and I woke up with horrible sinus headaches both days. Not good.

I understand they've renovated other rooms, so if you suffer allergies as I do, might want to ask for one of those.

Bathroom and amenities were quite nice, TV selections good, balcony overlooking pool with ocean view excellent! We also really enjoyed the food at both the outdoor restaurant/bar and the Kalapaki Grill. Try the mahi wrap - yummy!

One of the other great things about this property is proximity to the Kauai Lagoons golf course and spectacular walking trail. We took early a.m. walks both days and really enjoyed the scenery - both of the manmade lagoons/golf course and the natural shoreline/ocean.

All in all, I think this is among the best options for beachfront hotels on Kauai. Convenient, beautiful beach, and good swimming.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank CherHaines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2007

We stayed here two nights and decided to leave and go to the Big Island, since the Kauai Hyatt was all booked up....

THE DOWNSIDES-- the food at every restaurant we tried was TERRIBLE, as well as really SLOW service. The food was SO expensive and NOT good-- the buffets in particular were NOT good and really expensive for what you get- like $40+ for breakfast! Plus there's a lot of bugs around the outdoor restaurants and pool/beach areas. And, it is SO close to the airport that almost every hour or so you hear an airplane or helicopter going right over the resort. Oh, and you can't see the sunset from that side of the island.

THE GOOD THINGS-- the room was nice, we had a newer looking room with a nice ocean view. The pool is REALLY nice, it is very large, and heated, etc., I really enjoyed their pool and they have a nice beach area (except for the bugs).

RECOMMEND The HYATT at POIPU BEACH, we drove over there and walked the grounds for quite awhile-- awesome beach and a huge, and very unique/beautiful pool area. The Hyatt is a really beautiful hotel and the Marriott pales in comparison to it (unfortunately for us, it was booked solid when we were on the island).

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank emo55939
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2007

We were originally booked to stay at this hotel for 5 nights, but we fell in love with Kauai. We cancelled our trip to the Big Island and stayed another 5 nights. The hotel was beautiful, the staff very friendly, the room lovely and large and the location on the island was perfect. It's a really small island, but being centralized made traveling to both ends easy. I didn't think traffic was as big of an issue as I had read.

The hotel shuttle picked us up at the airport and we were surprised at how close it was. The property must be directly adjacent to the airport. I think we drove down a private road connecting the two. Yet you could never tell when at the hotel. I think we heard airplane noise once, and we were outside. The driver of the bus was very friendly. There was a cooler with bottles of water for the guests. I thought that was a nice touch. The hotel grounds were very well kept and beautiful. Chickens running all over the place - but that's how it is all over the island. They're fun to take pictures of!

We arrived way before check in, but our room was ready and they checked us in. Our room did not have a balcony, but was an oceanview. Initially this concerned me, but the ocean view room has sliders, you just don't have a balcony to sit on. The staff was more than willing to relocate us to a room with a balcony the next day, but we opted to stay put. The couch in the room is just as nice and it's nice to be able to open the sliders. The view was great - it overlooked the pool, beach and bay. Very lovely. See attached photo for view from room.

The room itself was a bit dated, but nice and comfortable. Also see attached. I like the couch and coffee table area, and the dining room table area. It made staying here for 10 days very comfortable. Water pressure in the shower was good. I found the bed to be very comfortable. My husband did not. We ended up removing the feather bed a few days into our stay. Robes were a nice touch. Towels could be a little bigger since it is a resort.

Only major complaint about the room - no dresser and no full length mirror. I will say housekeeping needs some training. I had to clean the shower head myself (it was covered with mildew). We had to chase them every day for something - either clean glasses, or ice bucket liners, or something. They just weren't very detail oriented. They need to implement a check list of some sort. I said as much in my review sent to Marriott headquarters. But all of the people were just so genuinely friendly. We found that all over Kauai.

The pool area was very nice and clean. Plenty of food and drink around the pool during the day. It never seemed crowded and we always found available lounge chairs. Same with the beach. My only complaint about the beach is the water isn't all that nice. It's sort of a grayish blue - more like the atlantic. A river runs into the bay and the cruise ships come in and out, so it isn't that crystal clear blue like in other areas of hawaii. Oh, the gentleman who gave out the towels by the pool was Mr Cranky. Not sure what that was about.

As I mentioned, the location is fantastic. There is a KMart, Borders, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and major shopping plaza (Kukui Grove) about a mile up the road. There is also a Walmart a little further up. Very convenient. There's another little shopping plaza at the end of the walk area by the hotel beach - past Duke's and Portofino's - with touristy shops and an ABC convenience store. The cruise ship port is the next block past the convenience store. The little bay that the hotel faces does appear small, but it isn't - cruise ships were in and out of there each day. It amazed us the first time we saw it! Even with all that traffic, the hotel never once felt crowded.

Room Service from the hotel was similar to housekeeping. They just didn't quite get it. Super friendly, but not detail oriented. Each time something was missing. So we stopped getting it and just headed down to Kukui's. The whole restaurant is outdoors. The birdies eat with you - it's cute at first, but it can be annoying when they eat right off your fork. Yes, the breakfast buffet is expensive ($20 per person) but the selection is fantastic. If it wasnt included in our rate, we probably would have passed. All of the staff there could use a lesson in friendly service. Omelet lady was the best - I think she was one of the few in this restaurant who was actually nice. We did not eat here for dinner - figured it would be average quality and the price was astronomical.

We ate at Duke's and Portofino's instead. Both were fantastic. Seafood yes, but many other options too. The harpist in Portofino's was a lovely, romantic touch. Drinks very weak at Duke's. We also found a great local spot in Rice St shopping plaza called Rob's Good Times Grill. Great people and great, cheap food. There's a reason the macaroni salad comes with many items - it's fantastic. Great chicken teriyaki. Dinner entree - $9. There's a great Laundromat in that plaza too.

The hotel is really large and the courtyard area is just beautiful. Hammocks are all over the place. Business center was good - although the computers don't let you do much. Lots of restrictions. Good for checking e-mail though. Make sure you get a map of the hotel grounds and read it. There are hidden elevators and pathways that shorten the walk from the rooms to the beach or restaurants. Bell staff was great. You have to Pay $7 to park on the property, or $10 for valet. Do the valet - the regular parking is far away and the extra $3 a day is worth it. Plus, it's nice to get that kind of service.

Highlights of the trip - Na Pali Coast boat ride - call Na Pali Catamaran. Excellent trip - we left out of Hanalei Bay on the north shore - about an hour from the resort. Just an amazing experience! They were very professional. But they are one of the few that leave out of the north shore. Pick up a copy of the Ultimate Guide to Kauai (it has a blue cover). That will fill you in on the differences of the boat tours. We opted against the helicopter - enough accidents in Kauai to make me nervous, but i'm sure there are plenty of companies to choose from. The boat tour was nice because you were right there looking at it.

The drive up to Waimea Canyon - take Waimea Canyon Road. It's so much better than the other route that the street signs direct you to take. Make it to the last look out for sunset - it over looks the Na Pali coast and is just breathtaking! The look out points are labeled on most maps that we found.

Poipu Beach is lovely, National Tropical Botanical Garden tour of Allerton Gardens is amazing. Jurassic Park was filmed there. Well, parts of it. Call ahead - they only give guided tours. Coconut Market Place is dated, but there's a great shave ice place there. Poipu Shopping Plaza is deserted. Spouting Horn is very cool - but try to see it at high tide. Wailua Falls and Opaeka'a Falls are two great waterfalls that you can see without hiking - just drive right to them. Lydgate State Park is a nice, safe place to swim - and there are great facilities. All of the surf was very rough when we were there - so as much as we wanted to go in, we knew better. Only swim where you see other swimmers!

Sorry there arent more photos included - the file sizes were too large.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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19  Thank Jross46
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 16, 2007

I have stayed at this resort many, many times (since before it was a Marriott) and have never done a review before. So I figured it was time !
We were here from May 7-12 and loved every minute. We happened to get a room on the ground floor in the Haupu tower. The bellman told us that all the rooms on the ground floor are the only ones that have been renovated recently. It was beautiful - had a flatscreen TV and a great desk with computer hookups. All the furniture was new, but the bed was a bit soft. It kind of ditched out when you laid down.
The pool and beach area are just awesome. I love the grassy lawn right by the beach. It's nice and cool. The food wasn't that great at the Breakfast Buffet at Kukui's but the waffles were an exception. Very good.
In the past the pool was ice cold but it was not too cold at all this time. I don't know if they heated it a bit, but it sure felt good. And of course, the 5 hot tubs always feel good.
The beach can get a bit busy on weekends, so if you like it more quiet, then plan to be there during the week. The cruise boats dock nearby, but the people from the boats mostly stayed down at the other end of the beach. This is a GREAT beach for kids to learn to boogie board at. I learned here myself when I was 13.
The resort is very convenient to shopping and dining --- just stroll down the beautiful beachside paved walkway.
I can't comment on the condition of the other hotel rooms, but the newly renovated ground floor rooms are awesome. We will be back ! Again !

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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8  Thank Dinkydi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2007

We booked one night here using Marriott Reward points at the end of our recent stay in Hawaii. We had stayed in the Time Share units before and liked them. During the booking of the room this time, we needed 2 upgrade certificates to move from a Garden view room to an Ocean view (Pool view is between the 2).
When we got to the room, the only way to see the ocean was by standing on the balcony. But the real issue was the musty smell in the room. We spoke with the Front Desk who asked us to leave the room for an hour while they ran an ozone machine to clear the odor. We did as requested, but the smell persisted. The only other option for removing the smell was a scented spray, which really just traded one odor for another. So we were put instead into a Garden view room that didn't smell. The "Garden" view was really of a mound of plants and a concrete wall, but at least we could sleep in this room.
Overall, this was not up to Marriott's standards. As a Category 6 trade, I expect a quality room that doesn't stink. I think they had flooding with last year's storms and have not yet cleaned everything out. Unfortunately, I will not return to this hotel.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank 2KauaiGuys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 28, 2007

I went there with my mom March 20th - 27th for a mother and daughter trip. We loved every minute of it. The Marriot is only a 10 minute drive from the airport. When we arrived we received a room that smelled very badly of mold. I called the front desk and was promptly upgraded to a larger room overlooking the pools and ocean. It had a refrigerator where we kept items like milk and yogurt that we bought at Kmart. We couldn't have asked for a better room!
The resort itself is very beautiful. You can tell its older by the pink buildings but the grounds are spectacular and very well kept up. There is a very large KOI pond that I saw staff keeping up every morning. There is a large Cockatiel named Kukui to greet you when you walk in the hotel. This bird was super friendly and loved when I scratched behind his neck every morning. The staff was very friendly and helpful during our stay. The beach is fantastic. Very sandy and lots of children boogie boarding. You can rent boogie boards, snorkel equipment and boats at the hotel. The pool was nice and very big. It has cabana chairs you can rent ($30 -full day/ $15 after 2pm) with shades to pull over your chair. We took advantage of those a couple days after getting too much sun. It also came in handy when it would rain. It only rains for a what seems like 10 minutes at a time. Everyone cleared the pool but we just pulled up the shade over our chairs and waited for it to pass.

I highly recommend stopping at the Kmart which is about a 10 minutes drive. You can stock up on food to keep in the room as well as the same souvenirs you will see at the hotel but for half the price.
The food at the Marriot was just ok. Nothing spectacular. I really didn't like the food at the Italian restaurant there at all. The burgers at the restaurant near the pool were good. The breakfasts at that restaurant was not so good. Very runny eggs and the yogurt parfait was very bland.

We did a Napali Coast tour which was beautiful, however I got extremely sea sick. I have never gotten sea sick before but the the water is so choppy when you get to the other side of the island and start to approach Napali. We saw whales and about 30 dolphins following our boat but I was too sick to enjoy it. I highly recommend you take Dramamine or Bonine before taking this tour. My mom did (she normally gets sea sick) and she was just fine with the medication. Since I had never been sea sick before I declined the medicine and boy was I sorry!

Overall we had a wonderful trip and really enjoyed the resort. I highly recommend this place.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled with family
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12  Thank dmusca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kaua'i Marriott Resort

Address: 3610 Rice St, Kalapaki Beach, Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766-1705
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Lihue
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Spa Hotel in Lihue
#1 Business Hotel in Lihue
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Lihue
#2 Family Hotel in Lihue
#2 Romantic Hotel in Lihue
Price Range: $272 - $610 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Kaua'i Marriott Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 356
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Known for its warm island hospitality and idyllic location on the Garden Isle, the Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Beach underwent a $50 million upgrade, with major enhancements to all its guestrooms, suites, restaurants and pool deck. Unique among hotels in Kauai, our resort sits on Kalapaki Bay and offers a wide variety of recreational activities, a superior beach experience and 18 holes of Jack Nicklaus championship golf at the adjacent Kauai Lagoons Golf Club. Business travelers will enjoy our 5 Star Hotel's 20,230 sq ft of flexible meeting and event space in Kauai. Guests traveling for pleasure will enjoy one of the largest family-friendly pools in Hawaii and our spacious 5 star hotel rooms, most of which offer spectacular views and feature a balcony. Pamper yourself with a luxurious spa treatment at our hotel's on-site Alexander Spa and Salon. Discover a leader in style and service among Kauai hotels and resorts and enjoy breathtaking beachfront views at the Kauai Marriott Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marriott Kauai Hotel Lihue
Marriott Kauai Hotel Beach
Marriott Lihue
Lihue Marriott
Marriotts Kauai Beach Club
Kaua'i Marriott Resort Kauai, HI

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