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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
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Reviews (2,328)
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Reviewed November 28, 2012

Upon arrival we were greeted by the valet. They immediately took our bags and someone from the front desk came out to greet us. Rather than handing us a key and map to our room, she walked us right to our rooms and showed us everything we needed to know for our stay. The rooms were clean, the beds were soft, no outside noise from the hallways. We had an ocean view room that was next to the staircase and surprisingly hardly anyone used it. Every night we slept with the slider door open so we could hear the ocean. The hotel offers snorkeling, body/boogie board rentals, surf lessons. The hotel is on the beach however there isn't much beach space and it's like that for the neighboring resorts too. It's just the way the beach is. And its also somewhat rocky in the water so I advise to bring water shoes or you can rent them at the hotel. Our girls took surf lessons from Chris. He was great. He was your typical looking Hawaiian surfer dude. The girls loved the lessons. The valet service was terrific. Everytime we came out to the car they remembered our name. Room service was great too. My only complaint was the menu choices on the room service menu. It's very limited and much different from the restaurant menu, I guess they figure why would anyone stay in the room while in Hawaii. The one thing I really liked about this resort is the size. It's not one of those really huge commercial size resorts with a ton of people by the pool or on the beach. It's small and offers the same amenities as those bigger resorts but with more personal service.

Room Tip: If you want to view the sunset get an ocean view or ocean front room facing the west. We were in room 342 and had an awesome view of the sunset every night.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank cassnsyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2012

This resort was excellent. From the arrival when we were greeted with smiles and simple suggestions for how to spend our evening to the car attendants (who were very professional) to the well manicured grounds to the beautiful and comfortable rooms... the whole experience was incredible. The sauna is particularly lovely. The pool was immaculate. This was not like the Marriott next door - there was no fighting for pool space, no noise, no "activities director", no waking up at 6am to make sure you have a spot on the beach. Everything was just perfect. All this - and I was not on a honeymoon or anything! This was just a relaxing getaway, but I can imagine it would be absolutely perfect for a honeymoon (three of my friends have stayed here for just an occasion and also recommended it highly).

Red Salt, the restaurant on the premises, is delicious. Sure, it's pricey, and you won't eat there every night, but it's totally worth the splurge. Fish dishes were all great. The shrimp appetizer is excellent. The root beer float was great too.

Room Tip: Anything that overlooks the beach. (all of them may?) Not having poolside view means you don't have to deal with people. My room overlooked the surrounding trees, so was quiet.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TimTran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 25, 2012

This hotel gets high marks for a reason. The service is excellent all around, the quality of the rooms and rest of the facility are excellent and the cost is reasonable. This is not a full blown resort like the Hyatt or Sheraton so if that's what you are looking for, don't waste your time here and become disappointed. The rooms are basic hotel rooms with everything we needed (mini-fridge, coffee maker, TV, desk, lounge chair, excellent bathroom and shower). The main building housing the lobby had a great bar and one restaurant that serves all three meals. They also have a gym and a departure lounge for those having late flights that have to check out but use the facilities all day then shower up before heading to the airport. Outside, the pool is the right size for this hotel and the lounge chairs were plentiful - we never found that we couldn't get excellent sunning options, whether on the pool deck or on the grass lawn nearest the beach. That said, the hotel is steps from the beach. I found that if I was tired of laying on the lounge chair, I could walk to the beach for a swim in a matter of a minute then walk back, use the outside shower to remove the sand and get in the hot tub or pool and resume my laziness on the lounge chair with no hassle at all. Adjacent to the pool is a tiki bar that serves lunch and drinks. They open around 10 or 11 so if you are early birds like we were, you will need a Plan B. They also close at 6p which was disappointing to us as we often didn't want to dress for dinner and go into the formal dining room, Red Salt (reviewed elsewhere). We spoke to the front desk about this and they said that they tested keeping open for a month until 8 pm and only got two customers and that it takes two hours to shut down the tiki bar. I found that hard to believe and it seems like poor marketing/planning and organization/management to me. Overall this is a great place. Loving the Poipu/Koloa area and having previously stayed next door at the Marriott Waiohai using a time share week, I would certainly come back to the Koa Kea.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank ImATravelinFool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed here for a week over Thanksgiving. We selected Koa Kea because of the high ratings on Trip Advisor, and were not at all disappointed with the customer service. Every person you encounter, from the valet to front desk, restaurant or pool staff was friendly and accommodating. No matter what we asked - from recommendations for restaurants or local places, to traffic issues or directions, everyone on staff was willing to help us.

The hotel is rather small - about 120 rooms total. We had a "garden view" on the first floor (there are 3 total), which for us meant we faced the exterior of the property - a sidewalk was on the other side of the fence. This was not at all disruptive - there's enough privacy you can leave the curtains open and not worry about others seeing in. I can see where if you face the interior of the property it could be unsettling having people constantly walk by. Note that their site says "private" balcony for each room, but if you're on the first floor it is "less" private because there aren't the small waist-high divider walls between the patios. The rooms are nicely decorated, but small. For 2 adults with luggage it becomes a little cramped. Talking with other guests who had ocean views, they also felt their rooms were small (same size as ours) and not necessarily worth the extra cost. The good thing is that we never heard the usual noise from neighboring rooms nor anyone walking overhead so the rooms are well insulated. The hotel provides ample amenities such as large towels which you can take down to the pool area, and L'Occtaine toiletries. The Neospresso coffee machines seem easy enough, but we found that per person 2 a day was necessary due to the small size of the cups - you get 6 complimentary to start out (4 regular/2 decaf), but must buy any additional "pods" for the machine at the gift shop for $1 each (you can exchange the 2 decaffeinated pods for regular at no cost). Some couples noted they arrived to either fresh flowers or champagne, but we had neither. We did get a welcome sampling of macadamia nuts upon arrival and they had nightly turn down service and room cleaning which included an additional bottle of water.

Although the hotel doesn't have a private beach, the well known Poipu Beach is less than a 5 minute walk from the hotel. There seemed to be ample beach chairs for the pool area - although you could find people starting to stake out their spot by 9am, so I would recommend doing so if you plan on sticking close to the hotel to get some sun and relaxation. Oftentimes the water in the ocean seemed warmer than the pool. There's a hot tub which is great to use at night, and the wait staff will bring drinks out from the bar area to you if requested.

There's a sand bar not 3 minutes from the hotel (in front of the Marriott timeshares) and we'd often walk over the sand bar to the lava rocks in the morning. One day we got up early enough to see a Hawaiian Monk Seal laying in the sand. There were also sea turtles frequently along the shallow part of the shore as they were eating along the rocks. Well worth it to take a morning walk along the beach and try to see these things.

The restaurant Sea Salt is nice - we had dinner once and breakfast every morning (included in our rate). They recommend dinner reservations, and require you to wear something dressier than flip-flops. The cost is a little high - we spent $135 (without tip) on 2 entrees and 3 alcoholic drinks. The breakfast is a great deal - highly recommend you book a package that includes this option. This entitles you to not only the continental buffet (fresh fruit, oatmeal, cereal, cheese, breads) but also one entree per person. The well-known pineapple souffle pancakes were okay, but left you feeling hungry a few hours later. The macadamia nut waffles and chocolate chip pancakes were both great, as was the breakfast burrito. It seemed the best option of all entrees was the omelet if you want a meal that truly fills you up and comes with extras like hash browns or potatoes.

Valet parking is required, but included in the daily resort fee. They were very fast about getting our car each time - we never had to call ahead, but rather just showed up and within 2 minutes we had our car. They deliver a local paper each morning, as well as the Wall Street Journal during the week.

Overall I think this is a hotel/resort which is well worth the rates - if you like smaller, boutique types of accommodations this is ideal. The care that has gone into making this a personalized experience is well worth it. By the second day most of the staff knew what room we were in, which is not something you could expect at a larger hotel. I would definitely stay here again if traveling to the area.

Room Tip: As noted above, if garden view request one facing the exterior of the property to avoid having a constant stream of traffic walking by your window
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HeritageSoftail14843
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2012

Great little resort on the south coast of Kauai. Very warn and welcoming staff and the room product was a wonderful surprise. Best bed I can remember in all of my years of travel! First class experience!

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Kawaiboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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