Bike rentals available plus beach shops at Coconut Marketplace
Free Wi-Fi throughout plus free DVD rentals in lobby
Lacks features of similarly priced hotels, like a restaurant
Hotel's beach is not great for swimming
Finding parking can be difficult
This two-and-a-half-pearl resort is tucked between the tourist-friendly Coconut Marketplace and the ocean, and while there are fewer features here than at nearby hotels, it is quieter. Nice-to-have features include a small, clean pool plus barbecues as well as a shop for beach gear. Each of 198 simple, island-inspired rooms have microwaves, refrigerators, and balconies. The beach here is rocky and currents make it too rough for swimming, but it's a short drive to swimmable spots. There's no restaurant, but a small poolside bar slings drinks and some of Kapaa’s better restaurants are within an easy walk. Guests wanting a spa, gym, restaurant, activities, or larger pool area might prefer the nearby Courtyard Marriott Coconut Beach at a similar same price.
Quiet and clean beachfront hotel without many frills
The nondescript entrance to this humble hotel is easy to miss, as it sits at the back of a busy parking lot serving a shopping center and nightclub. Walking into the lobby you know right away this is a ‘check-in and go to your room’ kind of place by the stripped down reception area furnished with a handful of dark bamboo plantation-style chairs arranged around a coffee table. A simple print above the seating area features palm trees in a Hawaiian-style frame. The limited public seating insures that crowds can’t gather, which is one of the reasons this simple resort is a favorite with budget-conscious travelers who dislike the typical resort hustle and bustle. The 198 rooms are housed in eight three-story buildings scattered around six landscaped acres facing the ocean and pool, with the entire complex fronting a seaside walking path that leads to nearby beaches and restaurants. Couples are far and away the most frequent guests here, though plenty of families pass through as well.
Behind Coconut Marketplace on Kauai’s east side, a five-minute drive from downtown Kapaa
This is one of a series of hotels lining the ocean side of the highway along the Coconut Coast on Kauai’s east side. The hotel sits smack in the middle of the island, making it easy to get to either the world-class north shore beaches or south shore sights like Waimea Canyon. Only 13 minutes from the airport, the Aston Islander sits right behind the Coconut Marketplace, a small mall packed with tourist shops and cheap eateries. Downtown Kapaa is a five-minute drive from the hotel, where there are plenty of restaurants and little shops. Traffic on the way into town can be pretty intense, and there’s an enjoyable art walk the first Saturday of each month.
Nearby sights include Lydgate Park, a great place to learn to snorkel, and Opaekaa Falls, both about five minutes away by car. It's also a five-minute drive to the Wailua River, which is home to Smith’s Tropical Gardens and decent luaus. For those who enjoy cycling or long walks, there's a spectacular eight-mile walking and biking path that begins south of town and runs right along the sea, with great whale-viewing opportunities in season. The best beaches are at Kealia, a 15-minute drive north of town, where there's surf equipment for rent and swimming in lifeguard-protected waters.
Figure about 45 minutes to get to either Hanalei or Poipu. If you’re headed to Waimea Canyon, it will take about an hour and a quarter to get to the top.
Bright motel-style units with basic tropical decor, kitchenettes, and balconies with seating
There’s nothing fancy about the smallish rooms at the Islander on the Beach. Furnishings are basic wicker and bamboo pieces, and while the decor isn't exciting, it's clean and in good condition in most rooms. Dark wood headboards have carved pineapple details, a token local nod, but otherwise most rooms lack much in the way of decor, with travertine tile floors, mostly bare walls in many rooms, and all-white bed coverings with just a small pink accent pillows. Palm tree-print upholstery and soft green walls do brighten things up a bit, and marble or granite surfaces put just a touch of polish on everything.
Sliding glass doors lead to nice-sized balconies with a table and chairs overlooking a view of either the ocean or tropical grounds. Some rooms have green tropical-print pullout couches into the corner abutting the beds. Otherwise, it’s two double beds with nowhere to sit except on one of the hardback chairs at the writing/dining table. The lack of seating means the 37-inch flat-screen TV must be watched from the bed. There's also a One-Bedroom Ocean View Room available on request.
This is one of the few budget hotels along the strip that offers kitchenettes, though counter space is limited. They include microwaves, mini-fridges, and Keurig coffeemakers, but there’s only tableware in the cabinet and no cooking utensils are provided. For entertainment, every room has high-speed Wi-Fi, a PlayStation 3 Blu-ray console, and a DVD player -- nice features for the families that stay here. Bathrooms sport granite counters plus shower/tub combos, oversize mirrors, and simple toiletries.
Small pool with small bar, barbecues, rocky beach for
The Islander on the Beach is just that -- on the beach -- and though the rocky shore isn't swimmable due to dangerous currents, sunrises over the ocean are gorgeous, as are walks along the seaside path. In fact, a five-minute stroll along that path leads to the new Lava Lava beachside restaurant serving three meals right on the sand -- this is key as there's a lack of food service at the hotel. For swimming, there’s a meticulously maintained, compact pool -- it's quite small given the size of the resort. Poolside loungers sit under thatched umbrellas, and a small poolside bar is open throughout the day. There’s also a hot tub and barbecue grills available for guest use.
All guests pay a daily amenity fee that includes a daily newspaper, coffee in a windowless room off the lobby each morning, a welcome non-alcoholic drink, free Wi-Fi, and unlimited local calls. There are a few extras also covered by that fee, like airport transportation upon request, unlimited DVD rentals from a kiosk in the lobby, free laundry detergent to use in the guests-only coin-operated laundry on premises, and free use of bicycles for two hours.
Unlike similarly priced resorts in town, there’s no fitness center here, no spa, no business center, and no restaurant. Guests seem happy, though, because the convenient location allows easy access to eating, shopping, walking, water sport rentals, and even a nightclub next door. There is parking on-site, though it can be hard to find a spot sometimes.
Customers Who Viewed Aston Islander on the Beach Also Viewed