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Oyster Hotel Review
Set on a beautiful section of Poipu Beach with sprawling grounds, two restaurants, barbecue grills, and golf, tennis, and soccer facilities, the Outrigger Kiahuna has enormous condo units with full kitchens, but inconsistent decor and amenities.
A huge resort in a town full of huge resorts, Kauai’s Kiahuna Plantation spreads three- to 18-unit bungalows across 35 acres of manicured lawns furnished with barbecue grills, a lagoon, a native Hawaiian garden, and, of course, the beach -- a long, narrow crescent of sand flanked by lava rocks, with calm waters and surfable shore breaks. Moms and dads snorkel, take surfing lessons, and max out with the kids, spending evenings at the barbecue grills, taking in sunsets, cooking in the fully furnished apartments, or watching TV.
One of the resort's drawbacks is that many of its features sit across busy Poipu Road, including its smallish pool, the tennis courts, and the indoor-outdoor "Hawaiian” soccer courts. Between the two restaurants associated with the resort, only one, the high-end Plantation Gardens, actually sits on the property. Joe's on the Green is across the street. At least the beautiful beach is right on property.
Outrigger Kiahuna shares all of its amenities with the Castle Kiahuna Plantation Beach Bungalows; the two management companies each run a portion of these privately owned condos. Whether managed by Castle or Outrigger, rooms possess the same layout and size, but depending on the owner's diligence in renovating, a TV can be anything from a 32” flat-screen HDTV to a modest 23” tube, and design can run from island charming to island gross.
Travelers in search of more privacy may prefer the nearby 39-room Whalers Cove. The Cove's larger and more luxurious rooms all have ocean views and in-room washer and dryers. Plus, its infinity pool overlooks the ocean. The trade-offs: no restaurant on-site and a $15 daily resort fee that doesn't appear to pay for anything in particular.
In resort-heavy Poipu, on a beach shared with several resorts
The Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation 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 resort is located on Poipu Road, the town's main strip, which is flanked by resorts on one side and the Poipu shopping mall on the other.
- 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
- Guests get free access to the courts and pool at the swim and tennis club across the street.
- Near Poipu Shopping Village, with affordable restaurants including Keoki's Paradise and Puka Dog and fine dining like Roy's
- Five-minute drive from highly regarded Kiahuna Golf Club and Poipu Bay Golf Course
- 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
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 surfing 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.
- Outrigger Kiahuna offers free beach chairs and towels; beach hut (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.) rents boogie boards and snorkels, and sells snacks and small items.
- Minutes away from Waiohai Beach, in front of the Marriott Waiohai, which has larger waves for more experienced surfers and a cove and sand bar that create a shallow pool sheltered from waves
Large condo units; decor varies widely depending on unit
All one-bedroom apartments run 880 square feet, larger than those at other condo-style properties like the Kauai Coast and the Westin Princeville, but significantly smaller than those found at Whalers Cove. Standard-unit balconies have "garden views", which means they look on shrubs and trees or the sides of other bungalows, and feature full kitchens. Varying decor, condition, and amenities make it difficult to know what you're getting, however. To illustrate how different these rooms can be, one one-bedroom apartment boasts a 32" Vizio HDMI DTV flat-screen, a full stereo system, and an iPod dock. Another has a dusty, beat-up tube TV. None of the rooms have air-conditioning, and a lack of glass shutters on the windows leaves rooms vulnerable to outside noise.
- Beds and bedding vary slightly from room to room, but be prepared for dated, island-themed bedspreads and unremarkable, generic-brand mattresses.
- All units have full kitchens with microwaves, dishwashers, coffeemakers, blenders; washers and dryers are only in some units, while none have AC.
- Balconies are a decent size, at 160 square feet.
- TV size and quality varies, but all rooms have 76 channels (six HD), more than many resorts; all two-bedroom suites have VCRs and guests can rent videos. (Castle, however, doesn't offer video rental.)
- Free in-room wired Internet
- No elevators in the two- and three-level buildings
Rooms and Rates
The Outrigger's best features draw mainly from its proximity to the Kiahuna's golf club and swim and tennis club across the street, for which guests get free passes, just like at Castle Kiahuna. There's no spa or fitness center, however, and the only other facilities here include the on-site stretch of beach for great snorkeling, swimming, and beginner's surfing, and the barbecue grills throughout the property.
Two well-regarded, 18-hole golf courses within a five-minute drive
Kiahuna Plantation offers ready access to Poipu's two golf courses, both designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Decent for families, though there's no kids' club
The main draws for families at Kiahuna Plantation are the generously sized one- and two-bedroom condos with full kitchens and pullout sofas, the gentle on-site beach, and the pool across the street with waterslides.
- Easy to sleep whole family in enormous units with pullout sofas
- Full kitchens with microwaves, dishwashers, coffeemakers, and blenders
- Pool has waterslides and mini-waterfalls, but it's across a busy street.
- Children ages five to 10 get a free "Island Explorer Kit" at check-in that includes a reef adventure guide in English or Japanese, a backpack, sunglasses, a pen, and binoculars.
- Convenient beach hut offers boogie board and snorkel rentals (as well as snacks and small items for sale).
- Do-it-yourselfers like the barbecue grills scattered throughout the property
- Coin-operated laundry facilities on-site
- As is common at Waikiki resorts, cribs are free, rollaways carry an extra charge; babysitting is arranged through concierge.
Grounds, facilities, and units are well-kept.
Two worthwhile resort restaurants: one on-site, one across the street
- On-site; serves high-end Pacific Rim fare in former 1930s sugar plantation home overlooking extensive gardens
- Open for dinner and drinks only
- Across the street; serves American fare in an open-air setting with views of Kiahuna golf course
- Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Rental Car Service Desk Onsite
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Located on the Beach
Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space
|Address||2253 Poipu Road, Poipu, Hawaii 96756, United States|
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