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“Koa Kea vs. Grand Hyatt. Read this before visiting Kauai.” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Poipu
Certificate of Excellence
Santa Barbara, California
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 120 helpful votes
“Koa Kea vs. Grand Hyatt. Read this before visiting Kauai.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2011

I just got back from a lovely vacation in beautiful Kauai. My wife and I spent 5 nights visiting the island . I had a chance to spend some time on both properties and I think I finally figured it out (the debate between the Hyatt and Koa Kea).

First, the Pros of Koa Kea.
*The staff (reception, concierge, valet staff) are absolutely amazing. They treat you like you're a guest in their home.
* The rooms are modern and well-appointed. Big pillow-top mattresses, HUGE fluffy towels, etc. Nice flat screens, etc.
*The resort is quiet, quiet, quiet. You won't hear kids yelling, or drunk 20-somethings stumbling through the halls. In the pool area the guests keep their voices to a whisper. It truly feels like you're in paradise, not Waikiki.
*It's a short walk from your room to the ocean (especially those ocean-front rooms). I'm pretty sure that if you're lying on your bed and you threw a rock, you'd hit the ocean. It's THAT close. No enormous corridors, hallways, etc. to contend with at this property.

Cons:
*Don't expect the "Awe-factor" that you'll find at the Hyatt or any Four-Seasons you might have seen on the Big Island, Maui, or Lanai. There won't be a lei, cocktail, etc. when you arrive, or any waterfalls, or grand lobby. There isn't a waiter or waitress taking orders at the pool. In fact, the grounds are well-kept but there's not much to explore. It's very simple and understated. Even the lawn chairs and deck chairs don't have cushions.
*I'm not sure what other guests are referring to when they speak of the great beach "in front" of the hotel. From my vantage point, the great beach was either in front of the Marriot next door, or possibly the Sheraton next door. Only rocky shores directly in front of the Koa Kea. (Google Earth it if you don't believe me)

The Hyatt has a TOTALLY different feel/vibe. It's almost like Hawaii meets Dubai. You'll definitely feel the WOW factor. Gorgeous grounds, acres of pools and waterfalls, lagoon for swimming, adult pool for relaxation, etc. etc. Of course, you'll also get the oodles of kids playing, running, screaming their little hearts out. You will probably not feel "serenity" in the traditional sense (unless you're lucky enough to have an ocean front room away from all of the hub-bub.)

So, here's my advice that I wish I knew BEFORE coming to Kauai.

Stay at the Hyatt if you:
*Have kids. Kids would HATE the Koa Kea. Your kids will kill you if you show them the waterslide at the Hyatt and you mistakenly booked a room at the Koa Kea. You can swim across the Koa Kea pool in 5 strokes (it's quite small comparatively). I'm not sure if you can even SEE the end of the Hyatt pool (or pools since I counted 4 I think)
*Are extroverted. A lot more stimulation of the eyes at the Hyatt. Introverts might like the Koa Kea better than the Hyatt.
*Want to feel pampered. There are hammocks, leis, lots of fish in the ponds, open-air lobbies and restaurants to choose from.

Stay at the Koa Koa if you:
*Want that boutique feel.
*Dig the 1960's architecture replete with rock walls, etc.
*Want a more serene and peaceful environment. There were times when it was just my wife and I laying out by the pool (on a weekend in August!). You won't find that at the Hyatt with over 600 rooms.

There you go! I've done my duty. :)

Room Tip: See if you can cough up the extra dough for an ocean front.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
110 Thank JamesDeVries
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (634)
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English first
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2011

This is kind of like a boutique hotel. Small, not crowded. No kids. Very quiet and beautiful. The staff and service are great and there are plenty of them. Valet is good to do. Get the breakfast package too! Worth the money!!nice views but a very short walk to actually get down to poipu beach.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kt520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moscow, Russia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 22, 2011

We stayed at Your hotel for 5 nights.
Welcome service was awesome: front-door guys were very friendly and front manager (Alina) made us comprehensive description of the hotel facilities.
What I DISLIKE:

1) when I made reservation and got confirmation letter from the hotel - there was no information about included breakfast packages in my reservation. I knew about it only during check-out - the front manager settled it - but I assume confirmation of the reservation would have to be more comprehensive.
2) delays during meal order. We made our first breakfast at the restaurant and waited omlet during 60 minutes. Next day we had excursion and decided to order the breakfast in the room. I specified that we need to get the breakfast at 6:30 (as we will need to go out from hotel at 7:00). As a result we got the breakfast at 6:50 and almost missed our plans. Another problems for the order the breakfast in the room. We were two persons in the room but we could order only for one person as in the form there's no possibility to show that we will need breakfast for two person.
When we decided to make a dinner in the restaurant - the concierge said that there were no available seats in the restaurant (but the hall was half of full). We order the dinner in other restaurant. And when we came from the room 15 minutes later the concierge came to us and said that she found the table for us but it was too late. Why she didn't call to the room it is an enigma for me. But it was hard for us to find a place to eat as it was our first evening on the island.
4) very very noisy air condition system - very low sleeping quality.
What I liked:
1) good location - Not far from
Waimea Canyon /
Port Allen good for Na Pali water tour /
Port Allen airport - good for island helicopter tour) /
Sand Beach - the most amazing beach on Kauai - be caution during parking under Acacia - we scratched the top of the car - Acacia's sticks as hard as iron pins)/
1 miles from Spouting Horn and National Garden /
25 minutes from Kipu falls (good for taking photos, jumping from waterfall to the pool, swimming)/
500m from Brennecke's restaurant (Crab's legs are highly recommended!!!)
2) Hotel's amenities:
- self-service laundry,
- whirlpool with hot water
- pool with warm water
- 4 very small buildings (means lack of neighbors)
- swimming gear, beach amenities rental services (You can take all around the island) for a reasonable price( pair of fin costs 5 USD per day). PLS keep in mind - fins are not very good for swimming - they are too short - but You will never find better fins in other rentals. May be only in divershops.
- next lagoon is good for snorkeling. PLS keep in mind - there is no a lot of fishes in this area (as well as in Na Pali coast area and Tunnels Beach - North side of the Island). The best our snorkeling was in Ha'ena Beach Park - highly recommend to swim under the corals where 50-60 cm deep - You will see a lot of different creatures - I don't why but where the water is deep we didn't see a lot of marine creatures.)
- 300 m from the shops (where You can take a breakfast - NOt Only at Starbacks - go inside the village)
3) Hotel housekeeping was very very good. I have never meet with the same service quality before (better than in Four Seasons Maui).
Hope You will make right decision for Your vacation plan.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank lonelyapart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2011

There are probably more than a few types of travelers to Kauai. For starters, there are people who go backpacking and camping....been there, done that multiple times. Kauai won't disappoint in that regard. There are families searching for quality family time. Plenty of places that do that very well. There are those who go seeking a lavish, flashy and somewhat contrived Hawaiian experience, like the poster who said that the Koa Kea had too many shortcoming to recommend and that the Hyatt in Poipu is better. I guess there's something for everyone! Let him enjoy the large, overly landscaped and manicured massive Hyatt hotel on the south shore. Been there and done that too! No thanks.

And then there are people who want luxury, quiet and relaxation on a small scale. This is where the Koa Kea shines! Never mind its spectacular ocean front setting. It's understated, small, quiet, elegant and comfortable. The bathrooms are beautiful, the beds are comfortable and the poolside drinks are stiff. The staff is friendly and full of Aloha. The ocean front rooms are stupendous from sunrise to sunset. We were lucky to be there during a great swell in July. It was a surfing show every day in front of our room. The Koa Kea sits in the footprint of the former Poipu Beach Hotel, and it was redone PERFECTLY. The new owners stuck with the original small footprint, and they did it right. The hot tub is hot. The pool is salt water....and free of pool toys and small children. Sorry, but for those of us going to relax and have some quality time with a spouse or friend, kids playing and yelling just messes with the vibe. Just for that alone, the Koa Kea rocked! To one side of the Koa Kea, there are the Kiahuna Plantation condos, which are nice, but a bit noisy and hectic by comparison. To the other side there are the renovated Waiohai time shares (which used to be a lovely, grand hotel before hurricane Iniki). Zoo is a word that comes to mind. Kids, wall to wall chaos and drinking and high density living. Even though it's only a building and some well placed landscaping away, the Koa Kea is a world apart. I've lived in Poipu and seen this part of Kauai go through a lot of changes that are not for the better. The Koa Kea is the exception. It brings luxury, comfort, style and peace and quiet to an increasingly popular resort destination.

Red Salt was great, by the way! We could not recommend this hotel any more highly. We are going back this fall. It's our new favorite place. Mahalo Koa Kea!!!

Room Tip: Spring for ocean front.......
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Lovapanda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Carolina
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2011

My husband and I came to Kauai to hike the Kalalau Trail (the WHOLE trail!). After doing so, we found the Koa Kea a fabulous reward for having completed this rigorous and mentally taxing back-packing trip. I came to the Koa Kea from the trail with a nasty upper-respiratory infection and they took very good care of me with hot teas and kind words. Luckily we met a local physician on the Trail and he got me on a Z-pack right away so I was recovering for much of my vacation. Now for the hotel: The Koa Keal is costly (500.00+ per night) . What you pay for is personal service, quiet, lux rooms and view, and amazing appointments. Loved the double (ceiling and wall) marble shower, the salt-water pool so salient I floated, the truly hot whirlpool, L'Occitane products, big fat towels, wonderful comfy beds with the softest sheets I have felt had at a hotel, the pretty room lighting. The room itself was beautiful: great view of ocean with a surf-break that was apparently one of the favorites of the locals. Watching them surf from our balcony was like having live entertainment with front row seats. Quiet, no kids and frankly, that was the real vacation. Next door at the Marriot it was kid-heaven with tricked-out swimming pools and a kiddie beach. Not so at the Koa Kea. It was 100% adults while we were there and therefore serene and quiet. People talked quietly, swam quietly, drank quietly: you actually heard the surf and not people...God it was heaven!!! At one point a a couple of very attractive hot-Mamas with little snips of bikinis tried, with their wild kids, to poach on the Koa Kea's pool and within 5 minutes were politely approached and asked to leave. It was apparent that they been used to doing things like this (judging from their looks they probably had!), but the hotel held firm and really followed up and they did leave. The on-site restaurant The Red Salt was exquisite, the hotel staff (especially the bellmen) were genuinely friendly, and the on-site surf/paddle-board hook-up was fun for my husband. We ate only one breakfast at the hotel and it was delicious. For the rest of the time (7 days) our breakfasts at a great little local place in Kalaheo called the Kalaheo Cafe; fresh, healthy, locally-grown fare. The macadamia, sweet-potato, banana pancakes were amazing, the omelets so-so, the Portuguese sausage and the eggs all other ways were great
All-in-all I would totally recommend the Koa Kea for a serene, relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank AppstateGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brea
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 14, 2011

The hotel was amazing! My husband and I went for our honeymoon. We had a friend recommend this hotel to us. There were very few children which was great. When we walked next store to the Marriott there were children everywhere and it was really loud. The Koa Kea was relaxing! The service was great! We had dinner at the restaurant which I must say was way better food than the Beach House. I would recommend this hotel over any other hotel that we visited on Kauai. We will come back for sure!

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Megan S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
philadelphia
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 12, 2011

We found this online, and feel so fortunate. What a gem. The rooms are beautiful, the bathrooms even better. Top notch amenities. the restaurant Red Salt is one of the best restaurants on the Island.
If we are fortunate enough to return, we will definitely stay here.

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank dubin7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

Property: Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Address: 2251 Poipu Road, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756-9534
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Poipu > Koloa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Romantic Hotel in Poipu
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Poipu
#2 Luxury Hotel in Poipu
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Poipu
#3 Business Hotel in Poipu
#5 Family Hotel in Poipu
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Koa Kea Hotel & Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 121
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Encounter the golden beaches of Ko`a Kea Hotel & Resort, an upscale 121-room boutique oceanfront property in sunny Poipu on Kauai's south shore. This intimate and romantic Hawaiian resort offers the island's closest hotel accommodations to the water, complemented by award-winning service that is both highly personalized and personable. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Koa Kea Hotel Poipu
Koa Kea Hotel And Resort
Koa Kea Resort
Koa Kea Hotel & Resort Kauai/Poipu

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