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“Nice resort-but disappointed”
Review of Kauai Beach Resort

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Kauai Beach Resort
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Lihue
Certificate of Excellence
Alberta, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Nice resort-but disappointed”
Reviewed January 19, 2010

We came here to celebrate our 25th anniversary. I did alot of researching on different resorts on Kauai. From what I read on the Hilton website to what we received was totally different. We booked our stay mid October/09 and new ownership happened Jan 01/10

When the resort was under the Hilton name, the website stated Friday evenings there was to be a Hotel Manager's Meet & Greet, lamps around the resort were to be lit and entertainment was to be provided. To my dismay, this did not happen in the 2 weeks we stayed here. Also, to our surprise, for internet service in your room, you will be charged $12.95/day, parking your rental car 12.95/day. When I had reviewed the information prior to making the reservation, this was not mentioned. In the hotel room, there is a sign stating that the type of services you are entitled to...they put a white label over internet services and parking.....cheaply done as you could see thru the label. It does indicate you can have access to the Business Centre, but they fail to tell you that you will be charged $0.50/minute to use the internet and charged $1.00/each page you print.

When I questioned the staff on the various charges and the Friday night event, they just stated that they are now under new management and items previously stated on their website were incorrect.

The rooms were okay, but, I expected something quite different for a high end Hilton Hotel Resort.

You must have a rental car while you are here. Nothing is within walking distance from the resort. With out transportation, you are stuck paying high prices for your meals and any incidentals or souvenirs you may need will cost you a fortune in their gift shop.

The appearance of the resort is really nice, until you try to go swimming in the pools. They are absolutely freezing cold. We had weather 80F and plus the whole time we were here and not once was it comfortable to swim.

The nicest thing I can say about the resort is their staff are very friendly.

Unfortunately due to nickle and diming you to death, plus added charges for internet, parking etc, and the lack of things to do, we will not be returning to this hotel.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank grammakim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sao Paulo, Brazil
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2010

Indeed, the Kauai Beach Resort is now (since January 1st) managed by Acqua Resorts (no longer Hilton). However, the friendly and committed staff won't let you notice that the hotel is passing through major administrative changes, as everything is working properly. The Lonely Planet's Hawaii guide classifies this property as a "business-class hotel" rather than a resort, but I greatly disagree with them... I would say this is a "right-sized" resort: spacious and clean rooms, very nice pools (with plenty of artificial cascates, two hot tubs and one sand pool), good spa, decent restaurant and bar, and you don't need a cart to move around! The location is also very convenient to fully explore Kauai, close to Lihue Airport and in the middle way between the south and north shores.
Things would be even better if the parking (U$ 12.90/ day) and the high-speed internet in the room (U$ 12.90/ day) were complimentary...

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MVZanetti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mannheim, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 144 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2010

The Hilton Kauai is definitely a good place to sleep, but overall very dated and - not only relating distances - far away from most other Hiltons I have seen before. Standard rooms are medium-sized, clean and equipped with balcony, but frumpish furniture and small and dark bathrooms. Nice gardens, different pools, good breakfast, but concierge and front desk services are mediocre. As a car is essential in the middle of nowhere and as there is definitely no alternative to Hotel parking lot the parking fees are impertinent. Major fault is the beach: Apart from three foots sandy grounds between hedge and the very rocky ocean it doesn’t exist in this ‘Beach’ Resort. However you come usually to enjoy this most beautiful Hawaiian Island and not the Hotel, the Hilton is generally a good place to stay

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brian72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 16, 2010

We didn't have the opportunity to stay here while it was a Hilton property but appreciate the great reviews it received during their ownership. The property changed hands on January 1, 2010 and is now the Kauai Beach Resorts. While the property itself is very nice, staff would appear to be signficantly reduced from what I expect was the case under Hilton. There was effort to be responsive to requests, but manpower and knowledge were simply not there. As they work through the transition, training of staff, etc. they may improve the overall experience but for now I'd go elsewhere.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank stevetoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern California
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 12, 2010

We arrived at this hotel just after it departed the Hilton system and stayed for seven days. We had a Hilton Hhonors reward stay, which the hotel honored. They provided fee breakfast coupons (continental) for both as a Diamond level ammenity. Our room was booked as lagoon view, but we were upgraded to pool view. The room had a partial ocean view and a small but nice lanai. Overall, the room was nice, clean and spacious. It was comfortable, though not as opulent or luxurious as a typical high end Hilton resort. The grounds are beautiful, and it has a nice beach for strolling and exploring. A good swimming beach (Lydgate) is a quick drive up the road. This is a smaller resort, and lacks the variety of activities facilities found in large all inclusive resorts. Someone who just wants to stay in the resort most of the time will likely get bored after about a day or so. On the other hand, the Lihue location is ideal for taking advantage of the many parks, beaches and activities found on Kauai. Most days, we left right after breakfast and didn't return until dark. The hotel restaurant has a nice buffet on Friday and Saturday..all you can eat including King Crab legs. However, their regular menu seemed overpriced. Lots of better dining choices a short drive away in Kapaa. You definately need a rental car if staying at this resort, nothing is in walking distance. All things considered, we had a really nice stay and enjoyed this hotel. The grounds are absolutely fabulous, and the hotel property is somewhat separate from others rather than being in a "hotel city" like so many in Hawaii. The one disappointment was the activity concierge who is really an outside salesperson for "Expedia Local Expert"..which have a limited menu of overpriced activities..and as far as we could tell, absolutely no local knowledge (at least not unless they could sell it for $85 per person). Gather up some of the free local guidebooks and browse the ads. You can get better activities and tours for half the price directly from the vendor. Summing it up, this hotel will never be mistaken for a posh 5 star resort. But it's wonderful for what it is..and their typical room rates are about what I pay typically to stay in far less interesting mid range business hotels.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank JTVohana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2010

This trip took place during Christmas 2009 (i.e. end of December) and is the 2nd time I visited the island of Kauai. As a Diamond VIP with Hilton HHonors program, I have stayed at many top level hotels and resorts worldwide but was new to this particular property.

Prior to the trip, I read many reviews here and formulated a relatively low expectation about this property. Thus, I only booked 4 nights at this place when I could get a ultra-discounted rate of $96.75, even during the very busy time at Christmas and spent the rest of the time at the much larger Marriott resort. I read that many people felt this place was nickle & dime them a great deal hence I really wasn't sure what to expect. Well, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

About 2 days prior to arrival, I could already see that the hotel has already upgraded me to an Oceanfront Room, their highest room category, online (in my HHonors account) even though I only booked the lowest category room at a rate of $96.75 through the Hilton & VISA joint promo of 25% off Best Available Rate. Some reviewers only got a partial oceanview, but mine was directly facing the ocean as you can see from the pictures I attached. That gave me a good vibe as in my experience, hotels that upgrade elite guests prior to arrival tend to be more pro-active in their service delivery. I wasn't wrong. We took an early morning flight from LA and got to the hotel before the check-in time yet they made sure our room was ready for us. Everything was already organized, including our HHonors breakfast certificates. The hotel also informed me that as a HHonors Diamond VIP, I automatically get complimentary in-room internet where other guests have to pay $12.95 / day. Normally, this benefit is only eligible through My Way Preference at HHonors if you select free internet as the preference but this property made a point of making sure you get everything, which means, room upgrade to the best available room, free breakfast, free internet and the 1000 bonus points per stay. I can confirm I got all the above benefits without asking. From the standpoint of HHonors benefits, if you are a HHonors Diamond or maybe even Gold, you should be treated very well here though I am not sure if they extend the free internet courtesy to Golds however as it seems they only make a point of waiving that charge if you are a Diamond since they are only required to give you one of the three My Way benefits and this hotel knows their rules & obligations very well as their staff are very well trained.

In terms of service standards, like I said above, staff seems very well trained and generally happy. The only mishap is one evening, we called for a shuttle from the Lihue airport but because the hotel was very busy, the shuttle driver missed us twice by passing directly in front of us 2 times and was witnessed by a police officer who was there at the time. The front desk manager was very apologetic about the mishap, and asked us to take a taxi from the airport for which the hotel will pay for it. On arrival, the manager said she would make no excuse for the mishap and promptly credited us an in-house credit for $100 as part of Hilton Promise. Again, maybe my elite status played a part in her decision or maybe the hotel is just very professional about their service standards.

The rooms were definitely a little small compared to some of the other larger resorts on the island but they are adequate, clean, well stocked with lots of towels and toiletries. Overall, the room is comfortable but nothing fancy or luxurious.

The main restaurant where breakfast is served is o.k. They have a breakfast menu where the HHonors Breakfast coupon is valid for the Continental option (worth $10) but there are many other choices and the most inclusive option being the buffet breakfast at $21. Service in the restaurant is good. The buffet selection is average based on U.S. standard but many would consider disappointing is compared to some other top European or Asian Hilton hotels as it has limited number of hot items of either bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs and mushroom cream and the selections don't really change from day to day. Although smoked salmon is served and there is an omelette station where someone cooks for you, the choices of cold items, including fruits and juices, pastries / cereals are just adequate, nothing extraordinary. With the $10 discount, it may worth the $11 upgrade per person but if you have to pay full $21 for it, I would think twice. Since we were on to go almost every day, the buffet made sense as we didn't need a big lunch or didn't need to eat again until well past noon. I would have expected the quality of the buffet to be a little nicer however.

The fitness center consists of a few treadmills and some basic weight training machines and weights. It's adequate to maintain or keep up with basic training while you are on vacation. At home, I train 6 days a week but only used this gym once since there is so much to enjoy here on Kauai. You can however get water refill here since the property doesn't provide free water bottles in your room. The spa & activities desk are run by outside companies who rent space at the property, so you won't be able to charge them to your room nor can you use the spa facilities for free, unlike at some other Hilton properties.

Overall, I would recommend this property if the price is right. We got very good deal during our stay especially considering it was during Christmas. Despite all the positives listed above, this property is most definitely not worth a classification of Category 6 per HHonors. In my opinion, this is a Category 4 at best and most of which is due to the location as a property on Kauai. The property itself is probably a Category 3 hotel at most. But the elite benefits are quite generous, except having to pay for a buffet upgrade and parking isn't free either. Unfortunately, this hotel has left Hilton HHonors as of 01/01/2010. When I asked a staff member about it, she explained that the franchising cost is too heavy on them, hence they choose to become independent. But they surely honored the elite benefits till the very end even though I feared that they wouldn't take me seriously as the property was prepared to leave the Hilton Family, which turned out to be unjustified. In a way, this renders this review somewhat moot as you will no longer get any of the above benefits as HHonors Elite. But you never know, this hotel has straddled between being a Hilton, Outrigger, Radisson back to Hilton again and now independent in the last 20 years. It may again be a Hilton, who knows?

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank philippeou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2010

The hotel staff really make this hotel special. We were met with aloha beginning with the belldesk staff and front desk receptionist. Since we arrived before check-in time, the belldesk stored our luggage while we began to explore the island until our room was ready. The restaurant wait staff is also exceptional and extremely professional and polite and seem intent on pleasing even their sometimes demanding guests. Housekeeping staff was conscientious and did a good job. Staff was able to field questions about the island and specific sites of interest without us having to go to the concierge for answers to every question. Take their advice about good local eateries as a change from pricey restaurants or franchise fast food joints

The hotel is adequate and centrally located. The front entrance, lobby and other public areas are welcoming and impressive. It's grounds are well-maintained and the 4 pools, one with sandy bottom, are interesting. However, with real beaches and the ocean available, it's difficult to understand why people would rather sit by the side of a pool. We booked a "mountain view" room to reduce expenses. What we got was a sort of mountain view room with a sort of ocean view. We had a great view of one of the employee parking areas and the employee entrance under our lanai. If we overlooked the alley-like view below us, the view was otherwise pretty. Hotel guests seem to use this road as a short-cut to their rooms in other buildings to avoid the longer route through the hotel lobby. The rattling supply carts, employee cars entering and exiting, passing hotel guests and other sounds decreased aftter 10 pm and picked up around 6 am.

The room was adequate but could use improvement. The bathroom had no towel racks, just a couple of hooks for towels. (Note to management: towels don't dry well in the tropics when hung from hooks.) There was nothing asking guests to conserve resources by reusing their towels, as there is in other hotels. The tub appeared to have been resurfaced, but there were numerous cuts and chips in the new surface. The tub didn't drain with the stop in its designated position, so we removed it completely. The room safe is in the TV cabinet just a few inches above the floor. It is difficult for anyone who has limited mobility and flexibility to use the safe easily. The mini fridge was a nice surprise.

When we awoke on Jan. 1, the hotel was no longer a Hilton, but had become an Aquos hotel. It was very evident that the staff we encountered that day, were excited about the change of ownership. They stressed that they were now owned by a local company and seemed genuinely proud of that. The staff eagerly asked us to tell all of our local relatives on other islands about the change of ownership and to invite them to the new hotel. With a little attention to the rooms, this ownership change could be just the thing to make this a better hotel. With the right marketing, and subsequent reputation, even locals may find this a welcome destination on Kaua'i.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TitaNui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kauai Beach Resort

Property: Kauai Beach Resort
Address: 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766-8109 (Formerly Kauai Beach Resort - an Aqua Boutique)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Lihue
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Lihue
#3 Family Hotel in Lihue
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Lihue
#3 Business Hotel in Lihue
#4 Romantic Hotel in Lihue
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Kauai Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 350
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kauai Beach Resort is a beautiful Hawaiian plantation-style resort situated oceanfront on 25 lush acres of Kauai's longest exploring and strolling beach. Guests enjoy stylish accommodations with modern day amenities and Hawaiian ambiance. In a convenient location close to the airport, shopping, and championship golf, the hotel also offers FREE airport shuttle service, 2 restaurants, a lounge, entertainment, 4 pool areas, a 75-foot lava tube water slide, a 24/7 fitness center, spa, business center, meeting rooms, a ballroom, and parking is a $25/daily fee. A daily resort fee includes WiFi internet access, movie and game rentals, and more. Experience the best in island hospitality and charm of Hawaii when staying at the Kauai Beach Resort. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Kauai Beach Resort - An Aqua Boutique Hotel Lihue
Hilton Kauai Beach Hotel
Hilton Lihue
Hilton Kauai Beach Resort
Lihue Hilton
Kauai Beach Resort HI

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