Marriott Kauai Resort And Beach Club Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Kauai, Hawaii, United States

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

Cons

  • Lesser spa than at Grand Hyatt
  • Daily fee for Wi-Fi or wired in-room Internet
  • Both self and valet parking have a daily fee

Bottom Line

Renovated in 2009, this 356-room, family-oriented resort on Kalapaki Beach boasts big flat-screens in every room, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, and the biggest single-level pool in Hawaii. It might not have the fancy frills of the pricier Grand Hyatt, but it's still the best resort for the buck in Kauai.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

An '09-renovated resort that bests the nearby Hilton

The pool deck
The pool deck

Tucked into a swiftly developing resort complex just around the corner from the Lihue Airport, this gargantuan 356-room, family-focused Marriott offers a huge, Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, the biggest single-level pool in all of Hawaii (26,000 square feet), five affordably priced restaurants with a local following, a free fitness center with exercise classes, and a beachfront on Kalapaki Beach, which is great for both surfing and swimming.

Only the Hilton Kauai compares in terms of price and features, but the choice between these two resorts is clear: The Kauai Marriott offers the better beach (Kalapaki's soft sand and excellent surfing versus the Hilton's rocky coastline), a better fitness center with a separate aerobics studio, and a greater variety of restaurants (five to the Hilton's middling two). After the Kauai Marriott's $50 million renovation, the gap has grown even more pronounced. Beautiful bathrooms with Kohler basins resting atop black granite counters and sleek black wooden cabinetry; huge 42-inch LG flat-screens; contemporary furniture in shades of orange and red (inspired by the colors of the Japanese garden in the center of the hotel) to replace the staid, chain-hotel furnishings of yore: It has the look of a chic boutique hotel, but the amenities of a grand resort.

As part of the Marriott Vacation Club time-share program, the Marriottt converted some of its units into one- and two-bedroom time-share condos. Unfortunately, these units are also in the section of the hotel that is closest to the water. There are still beautiful units with ocean views (many of which include a view of the pool as well), but to get as close to the ocean as possible, you'll have to stay in a time-share or hotel suite.

 Service

All you'd expect from a mega-resort, from room service to poolside drink service

A bartender at Kalapaki Grill
A bartender at Kalapaki Grill

An extensive staff -- multiple front-desk receptionists; dedicated concierges; porters; poolside drink servers -- makes sure guests' needs are attended to. While the bellmen failed to help me with my bags, they do stand at the ready to hail cabs and check in luggage. Room service is not 24 hours, but if your express breakfast is not there within 15 minutes -- it's free.

  • Room service daily
  • Fruit-infused water and complimentary Garden Isle newspaper in lobby
  • Fantastic, full-time concierges who provide local-restaurant suggestions (unlike at the Hilton, where they seem more concerned with just selling you on certain excursions).
  • Poolside food and drink service from Kalapaki Grill
  • Valet parking
  • Free 24-hour airport shuttle

 Location

Just a mile from Lihue airport; bordering kid-friendly Kalapaki Beach

Just off one of Lihue's main roads, (Rice Street), the Kauai Marriott shares a well-manicured resort development with both the Kauai Lagoons golf course (managed by the Marriott), the privately owned Grand Residences by Marriott, and the tony Ritz-Carlton residences. With a car (and one ought to have a car in Kauai) many sites and necessities come within easy reach via Kuhio Highway. (Or walking, you can still reach the next-door Anchor Cove shopping center and its sports bar, Kalapaki Joe's.)

  • Just a mile away from Lihue airport -- a free 24-hour shuttle takes guests back and forth
  • Wailua waterfall (five-minute drive) and Opaekaa waterfall (20-minute drive)
  • An hour from the Hanalei Beach Bay in the North Shore (surfing) and an hour and a half from the scenic Na Pali Coast (hiking, sightseeing)
  • Waimea Canyon, the largest canyon in the Pacific, is about an an hour and a half away.
  • Kukui Grove, Kauai's largest shopping center, with a Macy's, Kmart, and movie cinema, is just 2.5 miles away.

 Beach

Only resort directly on Kalapaki Beach, a soft-sand beach protected from rip currents

The beach
The beach

Kauai Marriott is the only hotel in Kauai that fronts versatile, kid-friendly Kalapaki Beach. Free of debris and driftwood, Kalapaki is guarded from strong currents and undertows as it lies in its own separate cove, making it excellent for swimming, bodyboarding, and beginner's surfing -- unlike the nearby Hilton's ruggedly beautiful but rocky coastline.

  • Like all beaches in Hawaii, Kalapaki is a public beach -- you'll have to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas from the water-sports desk (it's almost cheaper to buy your own).
  • Poolside drink service only offered at the pool area, not the beach
  • Impressively wide stretch of clean, soft sand
  • Shallow side on the left for young children
  • Excellent waves for swimming, bodyboarding, and beginner's surfing
  • Water sports are available at Kalapaki Beach Boys (the Kauai Marriott's water-sports desk), right next to Duke's. Rental prices are better if you rent by the week; surfing prices are standard but you can find cheaper rates by asking around on the beach.

 Rooms

Large, stylish rooms with beautiful Kohler sinks and 42-inch flat-screens

The Renovated Double Guestroom
The Renovated Double Guestroom

After the Kauai Marriott's $50-million renovation, the gap between it and the less-impressive Hilton has grown even more pronounced. Almost all of the 356 guest rooms' previously staid, chain-hotel furnishings, old tube TVs, and standard bathroom fixtures have been jettisoned for beautiful bathrooms with Kohler sinks, 42-inch LG flat-screens, and contemporary furniture in colorful, contrasting shades of orange and red.

  • Large standard rooms (425 square feet), each of which comes with either two double beds or one king-size bed and a sleeper sofa
  • Guest rooms differ by view: a spectacular ocean view overlooking both the pool and beach; pool view overlooking the phenomenal 26,000-square-foot pool; or a garden view overlooking the grounds (not as stunning a view, but the $100 more or so a night for an upgrade is pretty pricey)
  • One-bedroom suites available (1,000 square feet) with separate living room and dining areas
  • "Revive" beds: king-size bed with thicker mattress; 300-thread-count sheets; down duvet
  • Bathrooms with shower/tub combo, Paul Mitchell bath products.
  • Huge, 42-inch flat-screen TV with 40 cable TV channels, including HBO Family, and pay-per-view movies
  • In-room coffeemaker with Kauai Coffee
  • Daily fee for Wi-Fi or hard-wired in-room Internet

 Features

You can't get more features for this low a price.

The tennis center
The tennis center

The Grand Hyatt might best the Kauai Marriott in features, but it can also cost twice as much. You won't find this many features for this low a price -- and definitely not at the nearby Hilton.

  • 24-hour fitness center (free to access) with separate aerobics room and exercise classes (yoga, pilates, boot camp--all of which are a seperate fee) plus four LG flat-screens, TVs attached to half the StarTrac cardio equipment (eight treadmills, three ellipticals, six exercise bikes), and seven Hoist strength-training machines
  • Six tennis courts available for rent; free generic-brand racket rentals
  • 24-hour business center with Dell computers (seperate fees apply for computer use, printouts, and WiFi)
  • Free Wi-Fi in lobby, public areas and at Aupaka Terrace, a cocktail lounge overlooking the pool that's open during the day
  • Alexander Day Spa and Salon -- one of the better hotel spas in Kauai, although it pales in comparison to the Anara at the Grand Hyatt -- has a full menu of massages (indoors or in an outdoor cabana), waxing, body treatments, manicures and hair cuts/styling. But in-room massages are a little on the pricey side
  • Free 24-hour shuttle to Lihue Airport and two days a week to Kukui Grove Shopping Center

 Pool

Biggest in Hawaii

The pool
The pool

Although the nearby Hilton may have five pools and a 90-foot waterslide, it can't compare to the grandeur of the Kauai Marriott's phenomenal pool facilities. Only the Grand Hyatt on the south shore on Kauai, with its lazy-river pool and infinity lagoon large enough to kayak in, can best Kauai Marriott's 26,000-square-foot super-pool -- the largest single-level pool in the entire state.

 Golf

The two Jack Nicklaus-designed, 18-hole courses are under renovation, with only part of the famous Kiele Course open.

Kauai Lagoons course
Kauai Lagoons course

Due to renovations, only 18 holes in total of the two Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses at Kauai Lagoons are open: 12 holes of the Kiele Course, rated #56 among Golf Digest's "America's 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses," and six holes of the Mokihana course. The remaining 9-hole-course Kiele Wiaikahe was completed in Spring of 2011, and has a total of 27 holes (compared to 36 holes previously). Rates start at $95 for an afternoon round. For cheaper golfing, take a 10-minute drive (about five miles) to the incredibly affordable ($32 to $44) Wailua Municipal Golf Course -- voted as one of Hawaii's 15 best golf courses by Golf Digest.

  • Kiele (7,070 yards, par 72); Mokihana (6,900 yards, par 72) -- only 18 holes combined are open at the two courses; remaning nine-hole course will opened in Spring 2011
  • Taylormade Burner Club and ball rentals in excellent condition

 Family

Built for families: gigantic pool; daily activities; kids' menus; shallow section of the beach

The pool
The pool

With its 26,000-square-foot pool, shallow-water section of the beach (to the left), and free rollaways, the Kauai Marriott beats most other mega-resorts on the island (Sheraton Kauai, Hilton Kauai) in kid-friendly amenities and activities. Its only competition is the Grand Hyatt, which has a kayak-able pool and interactive parrot demonstrations.

  • Kalapaki Kids Club offers activities for children 5-12
  • Referrals to child care agencies are available upon request
  • Standard rooms come with two double beds, or one king and a pullout sleeper sofa, to sleep up to four people
  • Free rollaways, cribs, high chairs
  • Kids' menus at Duke's, room service, Kalapaki Grill
  • 26,000-square-foot pool and a separate children's pool

 Cleanliness

Renovated in 2009 and very clean

Well-maintained grounds; scrubbed bathrooms; dust-free rooms -- but the hallways and elevators looked a little scuffed up.

 Food

Five tasty restaurants offering fresh fish, Pacific Rim, all-American hamburgers, and local cuisine

A dish at Cafe Portofino
A dish at Cafe Portofino

With greater number of restaurants and variety than the nearby Hilton, and cheaper menu prices (for the most part) than at the Sheraton and Grand Hyatt, Kauai Marriott's dining options really beats out what's offered at the major chain-hotel resorts on the island.

  • Daily drink specials and bar menu, affordable tropical drinks, and fresh-catch seafood upstairs at the hugely popular (and often packed) Duke's
  • Cafe Portofino is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in the area.
  • Room service until 11 p.m.; one of the best omelets in Hawaii: Portuguese sausage, Maui onions, and tomato topped with garlic fried rice
  • Japanese restaurant, Kukui, with a beachside sushi bar and a popular breakfast buffet

 Bottom Line

Renovated in 2009, this 356-room, family-oriented resort on Kalapaki Beach boasts big flat-screens in every room, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, and the biggest single-level pool in Hawaii. It might not have the fancy frills of the pricier Grand Hyatt, but it's still the best resort for the buck in Kauai.

Things You Should Know About Marriott Kauai Resort And Beach Club

Address

  • 3610 Rice Street, Lihue Kauai, HI 96766

Hotel is Also (or Was Formerly) Known As

  • Kauai Marriott
  • Lihue Marriott
  • Marriott Kauai
  • Marriott Kauai Hotel Beach
  • Marriott Lihue
  • Marriotts Kauai Beach Club

Room Types

  • Deluxe Ocean View Room
  • One Bedroom Suite Corner Room
  • Standard Room Garden View
  • Standard Room Oceanfront
  • Standard Room Ocean View
  • Standard Room Partial Ocean View
  • Standard Room Pool View

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 356
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Spa: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Kids Club: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Address: 3610 Rice Street, Lihue Kauai, HI 96766
(See Map)
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