This hotel has undergone significant renovations since our visit.
We will update our photos and review as soon as we can.
Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
You'll find just about everything at this top luxury resort -- unless what you want is time alone and personalized service.
Vacationers in search of a Kauai resort that "has everything" need look no further. Poipu's 602-room Grand Hyatt Kauai piles on the amenities: five acres of pools, a 40,000-square-foot Anara Spa, sprawling manicured gardens, four tennis courts, an award-winning 18-hole golf course, 11 restaurants, and 13 shops.
The Grand Hyatt is about, well, grandeur. Multistory arches in the lobby create movie-screen-size views of the grounds and ocean. An enclosed lobby garden that's home to parrots leads to a terrace with panoramic views. Guests can wander into the shops, take in wildlife presentations or live musical performances in the open-air atrium, and chose from 11 restaurants, many with ocean views (which may help cushion the blow of the high prices). At one, Tidepools, diners eat in island-style huts on stilts in the middle of the resort's koi pond.
The pool facilities alone set this hotel apart from any other on Kauai, and probably any in all of Hawaii. Open 24 hours, the four beautiful, free-form giants draw crowds for good reason. You can kayak (kayak!) in the oceanside saltwater lagoon, float in the lazy river pool, then line up at the waterslide to reach the winding "freshwater action" pool with a volleyball net and basketball hoop. The on-site Anara Spa has its own 25-yard lap pool and lava-rock outdoor showers.
Make no mistake: This quintissential mega-resort has its attendant minor annoyances and stresses. Despite all the open space, the resort can feel crowded, especially at the pools and in the lobby. And the staff, while diligent, seeks to offer the broadest possible array of services rather than creating a rapport with each guest. And the rooms — renovated in 2011 — are average for the price: spacious and attractive, but lacking extra touches like the espresso maker and welcome gift of macadamia nuts that guests find at Koa Kea, a former motel turned boutique hotel about a mile down the road.
One other complaint: The beach, though large, is rocky, and the water is rough. With big waves crashing on the shore, it's good for boogie boarding, skimboarding, and body-surfing, but not for beginner's surfing or snorkeling, and parents will have to keep a sharp eye on kids even if they're just wading. The Kauai Marriott, Outrigger Kiahuna, Castle Kiahuna, Marriott Waiohai, and Sheraton Kauai all have better beaches.
The Grand Hyatt emphasizes activities along with luxury. For a more laid-back luxury atmosphere, consider the less overwhelming Westin Princeville or Koa Kea. But travelers who want a heap of amenities in one place need look no further.
High-end service, but the staff isn't quite as attentive as at Kauai's other luxury resorts
Travelers can expect the usual trappings of a giant resort, but they won't find the intimate kowtowing treatment on offer at the Four Seasons Maui, Fairmont Kea Lani, or Koa Kea; turndown service is only on request, and housekeeping comes once a day, not twice. The staff actively engages guests, saying "Hello" or "Aloha" as they pass by in the hallways, and asking "Can I help you?" when people approach them in the lobby, but the size of the resort limits more personal touches.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai is in Poipu, the south shore development that's one of Kauai's biggest resort areas. The town is known for its consistently sunny weather (versus the rainy north shore), picturesque, treelined streets -- and constant construction, as developers add more condominiums and hotels to these former sugarcane fields. The Grand Hyatt is on Poipu Road, one mile east of the main resort strip that's home to the Sheraton Kauai, Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, Castle Kiahuna Plantation, Koa Kea, and Marriott Waiohai, as well as the Poipu Shopping Village.
Renovated in 2011, rooms are worth the price, but lacking a few of the extras found at the nearby Koa Kea.
Starting at 500 square feet including the balcony, the rooms at the Grand Hyatt, renovated in 2011, combine tasteful decor with up-to-date technology and comfortable beds. The spacious bathrooms have marble accents, his-and-her sinks, and a separate toilet closet. Not much to complain about, though the rooms at the nearby Koa Kea, while smaller, provide larger TVs and personal espresso makers. In 2011, the hotel renovated its guestrooms in honor of its 20th anniversary. All 602 rooms received new furniture, decor and bathrooms that appear to have made them even more luxurious—mahogany furniture, rain showers, and marble entry ways are just some of the new features.
Handily trump the amenities at any other Kauai resort
With a host of on-site activities and facilities, all top-of-the-line, the Grand Hyatt Kauai thinks big when it comes to amenities. The 46,000-square-foot Anara Spa, our pick for Kauai's best spa, far outshines the facilities found at other Kauai resorts, the well-equipped gym is free, and the business center can actually help guests do business.
Excellent: One of them's big enough to kayak in
Five acres of pool facilities accommodate rambunctious families and quiet couples alike. The lazy-river pool with mini waterfalls connects with a sprawling lagoon-style facility with volleyball and basketball. And that's just the beginning.
Although all Hawaii beaches are public, the Grand Hyatt's can feel semiprivate because the hotel is the only resort on its stretch of shore and not many locals congregate there. The beach runs a considerable distance along the property, but much of it goes unused because of big rock formations. Guests stick to a small stretch of sand.
Two well-regarded courses are within a five-minute drive.
Guests at the Grand Hyatt can quickly reach two notable golf courses, including Poipu Bay, the site of seven PGA Grand Slam of Golf victories by Tiger Woods.
Grand Hyatt guests can find on-site entertainment every night of the week.
The hotel appears to have been built with children in mind. A waterslide connects the enormous lazy-river pool to an equally massive activity pool (with volleyball and basketball). Families can kayak in a separate saltwater lagoon. Plus, the Grand Hyatt has the best kids' club on Kauai, handily beating the one-room affair at the Sheraton Kauai and the one at the Kauai Marriott (currently under construction).
Perfectly clean: immaculately groomed grounds, sparkling rooms, spotless lobby.
Eleven restaurants, but prices at all of them are high
Food at the Grand Hyatt Kauai consistently impresses, and the majority of the 11 on-site restaurants boast spectacular views of the resort's manicured gardens, koi ponds, lagoons, and beachfront. Dondero's has won a AAA four-diamond award; Zagat ranks Tidepools as the best Kauai restaurant for 2009; and Yum Cha was named Best New Restaurant in 2006 by Honolulu Magazine.
One of the best luxury resorts in Kauai, this 602-room behemoth (renovated in 2011) rewards guests with large, tasteful rooms, award-winning golf, immaculate grounds, and a host of high-end restaurants. Honeymooners will appreciate the spa, secluded gardens, and pools that stay open all night. Families will love the five acres of aquatic fun and Kauai's best kids' club.
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