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A busy mega-resort with five restaurants, a weekly sunset luau, poolside wait service, and daily happy hours for an attractive price.
Stretching its 20 acres over both sides of Hoonani Road, the 394-room, family-friendly Sheraton Kauai Resort boasts a long, sandy stretch of beach with room enough for aggressive surfers and little kids, a weekly sunset luau, and attractive rooms with Wi-Fi and HBO. Think of this as the cheaper Grand Hyatt: fewer restaurants, pools, and amenities -- but with a better beach -- at much more affordable rates.
The Sheraton offers all the extra services one expects from a mega-resort: porters, poolside drink service, and separate concierge and activities desks -- but room-service hours are limited (stops during lunchtime and after 10:30 p.m.). Like most Hawaii resorts there's a daily resort fee, but you get a lot for it: use of the tennis courts with free equipment rental, in-room Wi-Fi, and daily morning yoga and crafts. (By contrast, the Grand Hyatt also charges a resort fee plus an extra $15 a day for Internet). For the Sheraton's low price, you'd be hard-pressed to find this many features elsewhere in Poipu.
Friendly and efficient; limited room service
Like the island's other midrange chain resorts -- the Kauai Marriott, Hilton Kauai -- the level of service here occupies a middle ground between on-your-own condo rental (like at Whalers Cove) and the white-glove treatment of a Four Seasons. At least three porters stand by the entrance, ready to open doors and say aloha to guests with a fresh flower lei. But, unlike at the pricier Grand Hyatt with its 24-hour, in-room dining, Sheraton's room service skips lunch hours and ends around 10:30 p.m.
- Friendly porters greet guests with fresh flower leis.
- Efficient daily housekeeping, but no turndown service
- Poolside wait service ends at 5 p.m., four hours before the pool closes.
- Separate desks for check-in, concierge services (until 8 p.m.), and activities (until 7 p.m.)
In resort-heavy Poipu, on a beach shared with several resorts
The Sheraton 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. Located on Poipu Road, the town's main strip flanked by resorts on one side and the Poipu shopping mall on the other, the Sheraton is sandwiched roughly in between Kiahuna Plantation and Whalers Cove.
- On family-friendly Kiahuna beach, whose clear water is perfect for snorkeling and gentle waves are good for surfing lessons
- Minutes away from Waiohai Beach, where more experienced surfers can find larger waves
- Near Poipu Shopping Village, with affordable restaurants including Keoki's Paradise and Puka Dog and fine dining at Roy's
- Five-minute drive to Spouting Horn, a lava rock formation that shoots water 50 feet into the air
- 15 miles, 30 minutes from Lihue Airport, Kauai's main airport
- Two hours from the scenic, undeveloped Na Pali Coast on the north shore, popular for hiking and kayaking
- 90 minutes from the stunning Waimea Canyon, the largest canyon in the Pacific
- Five-minute drive from highly regarded Kiahuna Golf Club and Poipu Bay Golf Course
Updated but not as large as others -- and some sit across the road from the main lobby
The Standard Room
A 2006 renovation added 32-inch flat-screens, half-canopy or four-poster beds, and new furniture -- lifting the 394 rooms a notch above the more staid furnishings and old tube TVs of the Marriott Waiohai and Kiahuna Plantation -- but still stopping short of what you'd find at the more luxurious Grand Hyatt, Koa Kea, or more recently renovated Kauai Marriott. And, unlike those competing properties, the layout of the Sheraton is fairly awkward: Its 20 acres are split up into three different wings (Garden, Ocean, and Beach) with a road separating the Garden Wing from the rest of the property.
- Garden view and partial ocean view rooms are 410 square feet; ocean front rooms, 510 square feet (smaller than the Grand Hyatt, but about on par with the standard rooms at Kauai Marriott and Hilton Kauai).
- All rooms come with private lanais (balconies), with patio chairs and table.
- Garden Wing rooms lie across the street from rest of the resort but have updated bathrooms
- Beach Wing looks onto the main pool and the beach; the Ocean Wing looks onto the Pacific only; deluxe ocean front rooms in both wings offer the best views (but can be about $100 more than garden view).
- Partial ocean view is not always worth it -- my room had a view of the ocean out to the left, but mostly overlooked the parking lot.
- Beds have comfortable Sheraton Sweet Sleeper mattresses, with 200-thread-count sheets and down pillows.
- 32-inch LG flat-screen TVs with about 38 channels (around the minimum of what's offered in Hawaii) and free HBO; pay-per-view $15 for recently released movies, $14 for the rest
- Mini-fridges in every room, as is common
A steep daily resort fee, but a decent number of quality amenities
While the Sheraton Kauai cannot claim the same number of features as the Grand Hyatt, it's still a good deal given the cheaper rates, decent number of amenities, and slick new business center.
- Fitness center with ocean views, but not many machines, worn-looking free weights, and small tube TVs
- Tennis courts with free equipment rental
- Free 24-hour business center with five computers, two printers, and a sitting area with huge flat-panel TV
- Just one inadequate guest laundry with two nonworking machines; $2 for each wash or dry cycle
- Free Hawaii-themed activities (hula class, lei-making) and daily mai tai happy hour with live entertainment
- $75 weekly sunset luau is alongside the beach -- not directly on it, as it appears on Sheraton's website (a sidewalk and grassy lawn lie in between); MC can be a little corny -- try the luau at the Grand Hyatt instead.
- Daily resort fee, about an average price for the island.
- A ballroom space now open for wedding receptions.
Shares family-friendly Kiahuna Beach with three other vacation properties
One of the most family-friendly beaches in Poipu, Kiahuna Beach sits at the foot of three resort properties: Koa Kea, Kiahuna Plantation (run by Outrigger and Castle), and Sheraton Kauai. Beachgoers, predominately resort guests, take surf lessons, play in the sand, and snorkel in the clear water.
- Clear water good for snorkeling; gentle waves good for surfing lessons
- Rocks on the bottom are easy to cut your feet on; wear beach shoes.
- Sheraton Kauai's water-sports desk has basic snorkeling gear, boogie board, and beach chair rentals; no umbrella rentals
- Minutes away from Waiohai Beach, in front of the Marriott Waiohai, which has larger waves for more experienced surfers and a cove and sandbar that create a shallow pool sheltered from waves.
A nice beach for families but that's about it
Not the best and not the worst for families on Kauai, the Sheraton is a decent, affordable choice. Although it has fewer (and smaller) pools than the Marriott Waiohai and the massive Grand Hyatt (with its own kayakable lagoon), and there is no kids' club, it has a better section of beach than the Hyatt and costs less than both those hotels.
- Family-friendly Kiahuna Beach offers gentle surf.
- As is standard, cribs are free, rollaways cost extra ($50 per night, slightly more than other properties).
- Rooms with double beds available; families can book side-by-side Ocean Wing rooms, with shared entryway.
Two well-regarded, 18-hole golf courses within a five-minute drive
The Sheraton offers ready access to Poipu's two golf courses, both designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
- Kiahuna:18 holes, par 70, 6925 yards; $95/round, $50 club rental; on-site golf shop, practice facility, PGA Pro, and Joe's on the Green restaurant, but no locker rooms
- Poipu Bay: 18 holes, par 72, 7,123 yards; $220/round, $50 club rental, $15 shoe rental; on-site golf shop, locker rooms, Yum Cha restaurant
Very clean except for a few dusty surfaces
Daily housekeeping in the rooms ensures that everything stays pretty spic and span -- although the countertops were a little dusty. .
One of several resorts on Kauai's Poipu Beach, the 394-room Sheraton Kauai offers solid, if not spectacular, amenities -- a fitness center, five restaurants including Lava's and Rumfire, a spa, and a long stretch of oceanfront -- at attractive rates. Its small pools aren't quite as nice as those at pricier resorts but keep in mind that the hotel has undergone a $16 million "Revitalization"; expect positive changes at the beach pool, restaurants, bars, etc.
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Things You Should Know About Sheraton Kauai Resort
- 2440 Hoonani Road, Koloa, HI 96756
Hotel Is Also Known As...
- Poipu Sheraton
- Sheraton Kauai
- Sheraton Kauai Hotel
- Sheraton Poipu
- Deluxe Garden Room
- Deluxe Oceanfront Room
- Deluxe Oceanfront Suite
- Garden Suite
- Garden View Room
- Oceanfront Suite
- Ocean Luxury Room
- Partial Ocean View Room
- Presidential Suite