The Point at PoipuPoipu, Kauai, Hawaii
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A worn-down complex of full condos, occupied primarily by time-share residents
The Point is a sprawling condo-resort composed of nine adjoining or near-adjoining buildings, each with around 20 two-bedroom suites. One would think that at 215 rooms, the property would be a lot smaller, but the standard room is a behemoth, and the buildings sit on a mass of unused terrain.
As one guest put it, the property "could use a little T.L.C." Weeds grow along the pathways, and rust creeps along the doorframes. Around the grounds, you'll see everything from a well-maintained multitier koi pond to unpaved red-dirt paths by the waterfront, and a haphazard lobby with unused furniture. A central segment of the resort rests on an old Hawaiian burial ground. Out of respect for the interred, the resort has confined maintenance of that spot to chopping the trees in half and cutting off their branches.
While its features -- the pool, fitness center, and playground -- are average in most respects, the resort falls short in one key area: The "beach" is not a beach, but rather steep, craggy rocks pounded by rough waves. I saw one fisherman climbing out of the water with a snorkel, spear, and hook full of fish -- pupus for his baby shower -- but other than that no one dared brave the surf.
Despite the drawbacks, the Point does offer two-bedroom suites for very affordable rates, which is nothing to sneeze at in Kauai. But for about the same price, also consider the one- and two-bedroom accommodations at the Castle Kiahuna Plantation or the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, which both have free Internet, prettier grounds, similar pools, and a far superior beach.
Annoying time-share sell hurts otherwise run-of-the-mill offerings
A desire -- dare I say need -- to sell time-shares on the property creates annoying wrinkles in otherwise solid service. Check-in takes longer than it has to; after picking up room keys at the front desk, guests have to listen to a time-share presentation pitch from the concierge. Only then can they have their parking passes -- without which, the front desk assures them, their car faces a certain towing. Similarly irksome, when asked about local dining options, the concierge pushes Keoki's Paradise, Brennecke Beach Broiler, and Casa Di Amici -- not coincidentally, the three restaurants that accept a $100 meal credit in exchange for guests' attendance at the time-share seminar.
- 24-hour front desk; bell staff; luggage storage
- Housekeeping arrives once a week for the bed-changing, towel-washing, and carpet-vacuuming
- Paid cleaning appointments beyond the scheduled services -- $35 for trash and towel service, $95 for a full cleaning, and $15 for extra towels
- Solid activities desk/concierge helps with general requests and also books activities; stations both in the lobby and by the pool.
On a rocky stretch of coast in resort-heavy Poipu, next to a lackluster beach and many shops and restaurants at the Grand Hyatt; not much else
The Point feels fairly isolated, sitting on Pee Road, an offshoot of Poipu Road, the town's main resort drag. The property is a mile east from the main cluster of vacation action -- and the south shore's best beaches -- around the Sheraton Kauai, Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, Castle Kiahuna Plantation, Koa Kea, and Marriott Waiohai, as well as the Poipu Shopping Village. There isn't much right next to the hotel, just a couple other similar condo-resorts and the mammoth Grand Hyatt, which has the nearest usable beach.
- Like most Kauai resorts, a car is essential; free parking.
- Five-minute drive from Kiahuna Golf Club and Poipu Bay Golf Course, a five-minute drive away
- Spouting Horn, where a hole in a lava shelf creates a pseudo geyser of ocean water, is five to 10 minutes away by car.
- Five minutes' drive from a few quality restaurants and ocean-accessory stores at Poipu Shopping Village
- 15 miles, 30 minutes from Lihue Airport
- 45 miles, 90 minutes from the north shore, which has access to the popular hiking and nature at Na Pali Coast and Queen's Bath
- 20 miles, 40 minutes from Waimea Canyon, which at 10 miles long is the largest canyon in the Pacific
It'd be dishonest to call the coastline next to the Point a beach; it's a rocky series of cliffs beset by temperamental -- even dangerous -- surf. It makes for beautiful sunrise views and fun exploring among the cavelike rock formations, but forget about swimming, snorkeling, surfing, or even wetting your feet.
- Nearest usable beach is the so-so affair by the Grand Hyatt, a five- to 10-minute walk away.
- Poipu Beach -- good snorkeling, swimming, and beginner's surfing -- is a 15-minute walk or five-minute drive.
- Poolside beach hut rents snorkels, scuba diving equipment, floats, boogie boards, and other amenities.
Large, well-equipped -- but occassionally smelly -- condos with average, not top-of-the-line, amenities
All rooms at The Point are two-bedroom condos with full kitchens, two bathrooms, and pullout sofas. The decor and layout are standardized, unlike at at other condo-hotels, such as the Castle Kiahuna Plantation or the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, but accommodations at both of those resorts tend to feel more welcoming. At the Point, all I found were old, dated rooms and -- in two instances -- a bathroom that smelled like mildew.
- All guest rooms are large, 1,346-square-foot, two-bedroom, two-bathroom condos (corner and "angle" rooms are slightly larger)
- Full kitchens with cookware, dishes, dishwasher, stove, oven, fridge, toaster, microwave
- Serviceable, but not entirely comfortable king-size bed with generic sheets and a so-so Serta Innerspring mattresses; second bedrooms have either one queen or two twin beds.
- Separate shower and whirlpool bath in master bathroom
- Two 27-inch Zenith tube TVs with 45 channels, DVD players, VCRs, and in-room movies
- Washer and dryer in every room -- one of the only improvements over Outrigger and Castle Kiahuna Plantation properties
- iHome iPod docking alarm clocks
- Wired Internet charged daily; no Wi-Fi.
- New arrivals receive standard welcome kit of coffee, sugar, cream, and laundry soap.
Standard for a condo-style resort
- Well-equipped but unremarkable fitness center with four cardio machines, assorted weight machines, dumbells, pilates balls, and sauna (open 5 a.m. to 11 p.m., daily)
- Free Internet station with free printing in lobby
- On-site playground, tucked among condo buildings
- No on-site spa, but beauty and massage appointments available through the concierge
- Barbecue grills around the property
- Free water-exercise classes twice a week
- On-site "dive shop" offers free daily scuba lessons; two-hour guided ocean dive available
The main draws for families at the Point at Poipu -- two-bedroom suites with pullout couches and a decent kid-friendly pool -- can be found at just about any condo resort in Poipu, like the Castle Kiahuna Plantation and the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation. Plus, both of the Kiahuna Plantation resorts have a great beach for young ones, while the waterfront cliffs at the Point pose an outright threat.
- Shallow, sandy "beach-style" entry into the pool -- good for young swimmers
- Arts-and-crafts sessions Tuesday, Friday, Saturday
- Resort does not make recommendations for babysitting services -- it refers guests to the phonebook.
- Cribs available through separate rental company
- Rollaways available through housekeeping -- daily fee, limit one rollaway per room
- Children five and under eat free with paying adult at daily breakfast buffet.
Rooms are fairly clean; but elsewhere the property needs improvement
Some of the bathrooms are marred by powerful mildew smells, weeds grow on the pathways, and the doorframes are rusting. The resort isn't as well maintained as other properties in Kauai. In the same price range, one can find better attention to cleanliness at the Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation, Castle Kiahuna Plantation, Kauai Marriott, and Hilton Kauai.
Inexpensive, simple fare; head next door for high-end experiences
Poolside Grill, the Point's one on-site dining option, keeps it simple, often to a fault. Vacationers in search of decent food will have better luck buying groceries at Big Save, a five-minute drive away. But high-end cuisine abounds at the Grand Hyatt Kauai next door, and at Kiahuna Plantation, a five-minute drive west on Poipu Road.
- Breakfast buffet, which is cheap for a reason: witness the fruits of the amateur-hour omelet station and messy cereal presentation
- A la carte breakfast offerings range from a bagel with cream cheese to crab cakes Benedict.
- Lunch and dinner run snack-shack standard: a Reuben, a Caesar salad
- About five to seven minutes away in Koloa, try Sueoka's Snack Shop and Koloa Fish Market for some fresh catch and plate lunches
- About five minutes away in Poipu Shopping Village, Keoki's is great for kids: burgers, tacos, and virgin daiquiris
- About five minutes away, Plantation Gardens at Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation is good for romantic dinners with fresh seafood and island specialties
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Address1613 Pe'e Road, Poipu, Hawaii 96756-9727, United States
Also Known As
- Embassy Vacation Resort Poipu Point
- Point Poipu
- Point Poipu Kauai
- Three Bedroom Presidential Suite
- Two Bedroom Garden View
- Two Bedroom Oceanfront
- Two Bedroom Ocean View
- Two Bedroom Partial Ocean View