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Kauai Hotels Reviewed

Please check out my Hawaiian Vacation Review to read about the Kauai Marriott where I actually stayed.  These hotels are ones I only "inspected" as a travel agent.

The first resort I checked out on Kauai, besides my wonderful own Kauai Marriott was the PRINCEVILLE RESORT on the north side of the island.  This is truly a luxury resort, with fabulous food, fabulous rooms, great views, and just upscale in every way.  I should start by saying Princeville itself is a weird place to go if you’ve never been.  Princeville is a master-planned community, so you drive into what almost looks like a gated community, where folks have houses and there is a great golf course, and there is only small signs leading you toward the hotels located within Princeville.  When you drive up to the PRINCEVILLE RESORT, don’t even bother with the self-parking.  It’s postage-stamp sized.  Just go straight to the resort and do the valet parking.


THE PRINCEVILLE RESORT is built on a hill, so you can’t take an elevator from the lobby at the top down to the pool at the bottom.  Think…terraces, where you take an elevator from the 10th down to the 4th floor (considered ground level), and then walk forward and take another elevator down a few levels to the pool.  The rack rates at the PRINCEVILLE RESORT ranged from $465-$820 per night, not counting the huge suites.  The sales lady giving me the tour there said it would be a great perk for me to remember to book my clients into the mountain/garden rooms as they nearly always get upgraded to partial ocean view or higher.  That’s because THE PRINCEVILLE RESORT belongs to the Starwood chain of hotels and the points program reserves all the mountain/garden rooms for those using points at all times.


THE PRINCEVILLE RESORT was damaged, along with many resorts in Kauai, during Hurricane Iniki in September of 1992.   During the renovation necessitated by the hurricane, they removed all the balconies that had been on the rooms facing the ocean, and created larger rooms with an expansive opening window and window seat instead.  This gives all the rooms a little bit of a suite feeling, as you have a really nice sitting area.  The rooms also have a signature feature that is very interesting.  They have glass in between the shower area of the bathroom and the bedroom.  With the flick of a switch in the bathroom, you can have a very private bath/shower, or…not.  And the spa looks incredible.  Definitely a luxury, resort experience.



The HANALEI BAY RESORT was a nice place, also in Princeville, but I’m not going to spend a lot of time discussing it.  Most of the resort is now timeshare owned, and within the next couple years the last, remaining hotel rooms will be sold to timeshares as well.  It’s a beautiful resort, right on Hanalei Bay with great views.  The property is “hilly” again, somewhat like Princeville, so you don’t want to go here if you can’t do steps.  The hotel rooms are nearly all garden view, as the ocean view ones were taken for timeshares first.  The rooms are nice and spacious, and a great value compared to the true luxury of Princeville, so if you have a chance to try it while it’s still a hotel, go ahead.  Stated room rates were about $185 a night. 



The SHERATON KAUAI RESORT at Po’ipu Beach was quite an interesting place.  There is  a “by the water” section, a road running through the whole place that leads to the parking lot, and then the other section on the other side of the road.  WELL, I started by looking at a beautiful ocean front room on the water side and was really impressed.  The room was nice, the view of the ocean was nice, the pool area was nice.  I loved it.  I got to view a corner room, and it even has TWO lanais, one facing the ocean and one facing the pool.  Truly wonderful.  This category would be Deluxe Ocean Front and the rack rate is $575 per night.


Now comes the interesting part…step across the street into the garden view rooms area and you enter a whole different dimension.  The garden view rooms are very old looking with 70’s décor, wicker, etc.  The gardens and pool on that side are fabulous, but wow, what a difference in the rooms!  Obviously, the hurricane in 1992 wiped out the buildings along the ocean, and they’re all re-done and nice, but the garden rooms were not harmed.  I’d suggest the ocean view here, but not sure about the garden.  I don’t think I’d want to pay the $335 rack rate for one of those garden view rooms, no matter how lush it is.  Please note that the “Deluxe Garden” category is on the backside (non-ocean) of the front-facing buildings.  Those would probably be OK if you wanted to save just a couple dollars for a kids’ room or something, and you were getting the Deluxe Ocean Front.



The last property I looked at on Kauai was the WAIMEA PLANTATION COTTAGES.  Now, these are interesting.  They are now owned by ASTON, so ASTON has been promoting them and I wanted to check them out.  OK, so these are actually the little cottages that the plantation workers lived in when there were sugar cane fields there.  They are tiny little squares with really old appointments, restored for sure, but “modern”?  I think not (except for the microwaves!).  However, the lush garden / grassy area you look out upon is rather peaceful.  There are some beachfront cottages, lots of garden ones, some larger than others, lots of variety.  They are “condos” on the listings, as they have kitchenettes, and come with 1-5 bedrooms.  I saw a one and a two bedroom.  You’d certainly have privacy here, but I’m not sure if you’d want to stay in an ancient little building as part of your Hawaiian vacation.  Again, I’m a modern conveniences kind of gal, so I prefer the contemporary 4 star hotel. 


The WAIMEA PLANTATION COTTAGES cost between $195 and $735 per night rack rate.  They only have maid service every third day according to the listing, so this would be a get-away if you really wanted to live somewhere with your own little place or something for a while, do your own cooking, etc. 


(Great if you want to run off to Kauai to write your memoirs or something like that.)



To read my reviews about a list of Oahu hotels, please see my Oahu hotels page and also my Hawaiian Vacation Review.


Please remember to contact me, Suzy, if you're interested in booking a vacation to Hawaii.  Not only do I write detailed reviews, but I take care of all the details when I book your vacations as well.  Please hit "Contact Us" at the top of this page for personal service, or just go to our main Vacations page and click on "Book your Dream Vacation" for live online booking!