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.
*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. :)
- 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