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“Perfect Honeymoon Stay”

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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Poipu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 2 February 2012

We stayed at the Koa Kea for 5 nights on our honeymoon, and it was perfect. The Koa Kea is as good as the reviews indicate. We booked a package that included breakfast for two daily (including room service or eating in the restaurant) as well as a $50 resort credit. We found the environment incredibly relaxing and the staff outstanding - every single person we encountered at the hotel was phenomenal -- professional, and kind. This is a hotel where they do everything right. The location in Poipu is great for exploring and swimming off the area beaches. There are only a couple restaurants within walking distance, but Red Salt is excellent on sushi nights (Friday and Saturday) and Roys is an excellent dinner within an easy walk. We were actually disappointed with Red Salt's usual dinner menu - the food and service were both disappointing in light of the reviews and the rest of the hotel experience. However, we ate there late on a Sunday so perhaps it was just an off night or time. We ate the Mahi, which was good, and the Seared Ahi, which was very disappointing. We were happy to have lunch at Brennecke's Broiler (a short walk down the beach - casual place) and dinner at Merrimans a short drive away (at the upstairs restaurant - excellent fish and scallops). We have wonderful memories from our stay at the Koa Kea and we hope to have a chance to return there for an anniversary someday!

Room Tip: We booked partial ocean view and were upgraded to the ocean view - I think this usually happens if y...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank LMBC28970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 February 2012

My husband and I just checked out of Koa Kea after spending 6 nights at this heavenly resort. The last reviewer (posted 1//29/12) provided many details which also reflect our experience. This resort is truly a paradise. From the moment we arrived to the time we left, the service was impeccable (valet, reception, concierge, wait staff, housekeeping, etc.) We were upgraded from a partial to an ocean view room and loved its comfort and attention to detail (e.g. a refrigerator for us to keep our own cold drinks, wine opener, wine glasses, turn-down service each evening, etc.) We opted for the resort package which included an incredibly delicious and ample breakfast and a $50 daily credit towards food and beverage. It was a great value as the bar service and restaurant were superb. We chose this resort based on other reviews and our desire to stay in a smaller resort as compared to the nearby mega hotels. We were extremely pleased and would return to Koa Kea in a heartbeat. We have stayed in many fine resorts around the world and this ranks among the best in terms of quality and value.

Room Tip: Request ocean or partial ocean view. It is worth it for the incredible view and stunning sunsets.
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Sara K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 January 2012

Where do I start? At the beginning I guess.

On November 21, 2011, I went to a Northfield MN travel agency by myself, and also without telling my spouse where I was going. I booked and paid for airline tickets, a rental car in Kauai, and two night's deposit for an ocean front room at the 5 star luxury resort and hotel called Ko'a Kea on Poipu Beach on the island of Kauai. I had been searching the Internet for weeks to find a perfect place for a winter getaway. I did this in spite of my wife's absolute insistence a few days prior, that if I did it, I would have to find someone else to go with me, as she absolutely would not go. This went on for a few days, until I bribed her with a promise that she could buy a black pearl pendant that she wanted to get from the Spouting Horn outdoor bazar when we were at Poipu before, but did not buy one then (24 years ago). Gradually over time she warmed to the idea, but not fully embracing this vacation trip that involved being on an airplane. The date of our stay at the Ko'a Kea was booked for January 21 through January 26th.

As the weeks went by until the date of our departure, my wife became fonder of the idea, even shopping for and buying a new swimsuit, and asking me to buy some comfortable walking shoes, a couple of Hawaiian shirts, and some khaki shorts. Her biggest obstacle was overcoming her long held fear of flying. But the day came and we departed on a very long day, with a 10 hour flight to Kauai from Minneapolis with a 3 hour layover at LAX. This was in coach class seating on two different Delta Airline's jets. The long flight was very tiring, and even more uncomfortable. We were dog tired and sore by the time we landed at Lihue airport, which was about 15 miles from our destination at Poipu Beach and our hotel.

Picking up the full size car at Alamo Car Rental was so smooth and seamless, it was actually a pleasure being that it had already been paid for back in November. It took less than 5 minutes with some minor paperwork and signatures at the desk, and then a lovely Hawaiian gal walked us to an area of full size sedans and asked me to choose one. We could have anyone we wanted. I picked out a white 2012 Nissan Altima.

Driving to Poipu in the dark was a bit more challenging and stressful. The highways are all very dark at night and the street signs all have names that are nearly unpronounceable and all look alike with lots of letters "K" "L" and "M" in them with lots of vowels. I should have paid the little extra for a car with a GPS in it, but did not think to do so. But, I had my new smart phone with me; that was a god save. Even though my T-Mobile cell phone was useless as a phone on Kauai (AT & T is fine for phone calls on Kauai), the GPS off the satellite worked like a charm once I decided to give up on remembering the drive from 24 years ago when we were last there. The female inside the smartphone's GPS gave me at least 300 feet notice for the next left or right turn, along with the unpronounceable name for a wahine and haole such as my wife and myself. I just kept looking at the blue line on the Samsung screen, and knowing which way to turn and stay on the blue line. Did not even get a "Recalculating" message from a driving error after I wised up and turned on my phone's GPS.

Now comes the good part of our vacation.

This was the dream vacation of our lives. I became the hero of my wife's dreams, and that's hard to do after 44 years of marriage. I lost track of how many times she thanked me for booking this vacation in spite of her recalcitrance when I first made a unilateral decision to go, and then relied on my subtle persuasive powers to sway her to finally give in and come with me. She just kept saying to me several times a day while at Ko'a Kea how wonderful Ko'a Kea is; the staff, the property; our room, the Red Salt Restaurant, and the beauty of the trees, flowers, and wonderful warm sunny weather we were blessed to have in late January.

When we drove up to the porticoed driveway entry to the Ko'a Kea after dark, we were greeted by an extremely friendly and charming valet. He said with a smile as wide as any I have ever seen, "Welcome to paradise". All three of the valets on duty when we drove up were all just charming, as we would learn over the days to come. One man took our luggage out of the car, another drove the car away to park it, and another gave me a little wallet ticket with a 5 digit number on it, and explained that when ever we wanted to drive somewhere to just call the valet number on our room phone and give the last 3 digits of the ticket, and our car would be ready for us to drive off in by the time we got to that porticoed car port. Then one of the valet men brought us into the hotel and introduced us to Briana; one of two lovely concierge's we met there. And I would be remiss if I did not mention Alina Kuznetsova in Guest Services by name. She was so helpful and charming with everything we asked of her. Wonderful young woman that is a credit to the Ko'a Kea. And the General Manager Chris Steuri was a marvelous fellow too. We enjoyed every person on the hotel staff we met, even if I don't remember their names. And that's a shame, as every one of them remembered our names by sight.


Briana could not have been sweeter or any nicer to us. She had us sit down at her desk and she went over all the things we should know about Ko'a Kea that would be helpful to us during our five day and night day as their guests. She answered all questions we had, though there were not many, as her explanations of the hotel and our stay were more than complete and understandable.

When finished at the concierge desk, Briana took us on a tour of the hotel's public areas, and then escorted us to our room. It was beyond beautiful! There was a tremendous bouquet of fresh cut Hawaiian flowers on one night stand by the bed. There was a chilled bottle of Champagne in a stainless steel bucket of ice and two crystal glass Champagne flutes to have in celebration of our stay. There was also another ice bucket with bottled Fiji water in it, and on the main dresser, three clear packages of Macadamia nuts with different flavors. We were shown a number of the amenities of this gorgeous room, bathroom, lanai, and lighted closet. Inside the closet was a wall safe that we would create our own electronic push button LED combination for us to access. We chose the last four digits of my wife's social security number. We both locked our wallets and other valuables in that very well built safe, as there was never a need for money or credit cards while we were there. Every purchase was charged to our room number and would be added to our account as they took place. The last thing I need at the pool or the ocean beach is a billfold or watch to lose or drop in the surf. I would take my wallet out when we took the car for a ride to have my DL, and other stuff one normally carries while out and about.

When Briana was leaving the room, a bellhop showed up with our luggage. He gave us some hints on the air conditioner, the Casablanca ceiling fan over the bed, and a few other things. He asked if he should open our Champagne and pour it for us, but we demurred to have it the next night and put it into the room's refrigerator. I asked him where I could get a new bucket of ice, as I was in the mood to unwind after a shower and get out of my Minnesota winter duds and into something more suited for the tropics and the warm 75 degree night air. He told me where the ice machine was, but then grabbed an Ice bucket and went and got it for me. I was in the mood for a couple of stiff drinks from a bottle of Macallan's 15 year old single malt Scotch I had brought along in my luggage from home. My wife and I sat out on the lanai until 10:30 p.m. that night, too tired to have a meal even brought up to the room. I sipped on my Scotch/rocks, and wifey drank Fiji water as we watched the lit torches off the balcony and listened to the surf pound the beach below our lanai.

I had booked a promotional package I had seen on the Ko'a Kea web page. It was for an ocean front room for 5 nights. It had a special discounted rate for this promotion during the dates we reserved.

But, there were a couple of things that mitigated some of the hotel bill.

First, we both got an exquisite free breakfast in the hotel's wonderful Red Salt Restaurant facing the courtyard and pool. That by itself was a $52 a day value as we always ordered off the entree section of the menu, and that included the buffet as well as a hot entree cooked to your order. I always had the wonderful eggs benedict or three egg omelet stuffed with red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, cheese, bacon bits, and presented like it was for royalty. My wife was partial to lemon-pinapple pancake souffle that was as light as a as a feather and oh-so-good. That came with cups of maple and coconut syrups to spoon on to suit one's liking. Both the taste and presentation of the dishes the chef made were impeccable. We were advised by the wait staff not to tip, as that was already paid for by the Koa Kea. We would see the charges on our bill, and then right underneath that charge was a credit for the same amount as part of the promotional package I booked.

The second item that mitigated our costs in this 5 day package, was a credit of $50 a day for the other meals and/or bar tab from either inside bar at the Red Salt, or drinks and snacks from the poolside thatch roof Tiki hut bar. So that was worth another $250 off our other meals and drinks that we would have at the Koa Kea. The food was so good, we would have eaten all our meals at the Red Salt even without the $50 a day credit. We ate all our morning and evening meals at the Red Salt in Ko'a Kea. Magnifico!

I had a bogy dollar amount budgeted in my mind for this winter getaway. Now that I am home and have had a chance to add up all the costs we incurred, (including even the boarding of our 2 year old Golden Retriever while away), I find that my actual expenditures for this vacation came in under my budgeted amount. Under budget is good!

The Ko'a Kea is definitely oriented to adults. We did not see anyone there during our stay who were minors. Perhaps that is because school is in session, and there really are not many 'kid oriented' things for youngsters to do. The guests mostly appeared to be at least in their mid 30's or older. Though there were a few guys and gals who were very physically fit that may have been in their early 20's. The lack of screaming kids running in the hallways or creating havoc in the swimming pool and jacuzzi made for a very relaxed and peaceful stay....every single day and night.

We were able to watch Humpback whales spouting and breaching every morning and late afternoon from our own lanai. Pods of porpoise swimming by, sea turtles, and surfers riding the waves right off our balcony was great, and on two days there was a monk seal sunning himself/herself right on our sand beach. They were not the least afraid of humans and we could get very close to them without disturbing them. Snorkeling and surf boards can be rented here for a very nominal hourly or daily fee.

The Ko'a Kea is stunning in its design, decor, amenities, and most of all its pristine cleanliness. A polished jewel in every respect. And one last thing I would be remiss in if I did not report in this review, is the heavenly king size bed we slept on. The linens were very high thread count as well. It is the most comfortable bed my wife and I have ever been in. The maid service came to our room twice a day; mid morning and late afternoon to replace used towels and bathroom supplies and any other obvious housekeeping needs. Very high end L'Occitane soaps and lotions were incredible. There are no plastic, paper, or styrofoam cups in the rooms. All very high end crystal glassware for each type of use. There even was a wonderful Nespresso Espresso machine in the room that made outstanding espresso. I liked it so much that when I got home I ordered one for myself identical to the one in the hotel. I am even considering buying a new mattress and pillow top like the ones at Ko'a Kea.

The bathroom was pure luxury. Marble walls, marble floors, and a bench in the marble walled shower to sit on. And two shower heads in the shower compartment.

We left the glass wall sliding door to our lanai open with just the screen door closed, and were lulled to sleep by the surf crashing into the beach below us. And we were pleased to be awakened every morning by the wild, feral chickens and rosters all over Kauai crowing at dawn. Just so very tranquil and stress free.

We already decided we will go back again next winter barring any health restrictions that might pop up between now and then. I might need to consider business class or first class airline tickets, as those cramped coach seats for that long a ride for people in their 70's is nearly medieval torture for those like me with lumbago and bad backs.

Mahalo.

Room Tip: We had room 244. It is an ocean front room on the second floor at the end of the hall, so only one...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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19  Thank hfnorth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 January 2012

Just checked out from here. Wonderful stay. Of all the hotels wr have stayed in Kauai this has to be #1. Only 120 rooms. Personal service. You see the same staff and guests every day. Upscale amenities. Great on-site restaurant - Red Salt. No waiting for service, towels, beach chairs. Perfect location for snorkeling right off the beach. Only complaint is the thermostat. Never could get air conditioning to work in our room. But we just slept with door open, screen closed.
Worth paying a bit more for what you get.

  • Stayed: January 2012
    • Value
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2  Thank Rannynm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

We just stayed here during our Honeymoon in November 2011.
Kauai is dreamy to its core, but Koa Kea really takes the blissfulness and serenity to another level. The service was warm and hospitable. The room and amenities, including essentially your own little beach, were modern and luxurious. It really is a little oasis tucked away amongst many beaches, and cliffside hikes. We were pleasantly surprised at every turn, right down to our sunset view. Highly recommend it if you like a boutique hotel that is small and special. It made our Kauai experience that much more memorable.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank dineencarpenter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

My husband and I just got back from a 6 night stay at the Koa Kea. I chose the hotel based on Tripadvisor’s recommendations and I am so happy I did. All the wonderful things that people said are absolutely true. The location in Poipu is amazing; we had amazing weather 99% of the time. No rain or clouds at all (which is the advantage of staying in the south this time of year).
The hotel is a small boutique hotel with modern and luxurious rooms. The toiletries are from L’occitane which I love. Each room has a Nespresso machine which makes amazing coffee. The room is serviced twice a day and you are given free chilled water at night.
The salt water pool is a bit on the small side but was perfect. There were always lounge chairs available around the pool or on the grass. The pool bar serves great cocktails and good lunch food. The amazing beach is steps away. It is shielded by a reef so is pretty calm for swimming and great snorkeling.
The Red Salt restaurant serves great breakfasts (which were included in the price of the hotel). You can get food from the buffet AND order off the menu which has a large selection of items. We had very good sushi for dinner there one evening.
The hotel is very quiet and relaxing since there weren’t many kids. This is a small hotel which doesn’t offer any activities, which I guess is the reason there weren’t many families with kids. For me and my husband it was perfect.
The entire staff is very friendly and helpful. All in all this hotel deserves to be ranked #1 in Kauai and in the top 25 in the country. I can’t wait to come back!

Room Tip: If you are an Iprefer memeber you can get a free upgrade to the room (if avaialable). We were upgrda...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Loveagreatvacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 January 2012

We found the Koa Kea based on a review that recommended it over the St. Regis. We agree! We visited the St. Regis and thought it was huge, ostentacious and, except for the gorgeous view, in a lousy location. By contrast, the Koa Kea is a more intimate size, is right on the beach, is conveniently mid-way on the island and has excellent service and amenities.

Room Tip: We paid for partial ocean view, but were upgraded to ocean view, which meant we were facing the pool...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Dan W
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

Address: 2251 Poipu Road, Poipu, Kauai, HI 96756-9534
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Hawaii > Kauai > Poipu > Koloa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Top resorts Hotel in Poipu
#1 Romantic Hotel in Poipu
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Poipu
#1 Luxury Hotel in Poipu
#3 Business Hotel in Poipu
#5 Family Hotel in Poipu
Price Range: £343 - £1,213 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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, Hawaii

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