As I pulled back the curtains of our deluxe ocean-view room, I couldn’t help but squeal with delight. Glistening turquoise waves crashed over a curving shoreline. Palm trees danced in the wind. The sunshine sparkled off of the ocean’s surface. I was literally staring at paradise.
This was my view from the Sheraton Kauai Resort in the picturesque town of Poipu on the southern shore of Kauai. Perfection.
I had heard countless descriptions of the beautiful ocean views and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see them for myself. We chose the Sheraton for a number of reasons, but especially for its availability — we booked our room here less than a day before our arrival. Compared to other hotels in the area, this one offered reasonable last-minute prices, especially when we considered the amenities and location. Furthermore, we had planned to stay here during our cancelled honeymoon last year.
I’d say we made a great decision.
Here’s a brief run-down of a few of my favorite aspects of our stay at the Sheraton Kauai Resort:
- The view! One of the best features of our stay, by far, was being able to sit out on the lanai and watch the ocean. The price difference between a garden-view and ocean-view room was minimal, so it was an easy decision.
- The check-in process was outstanding. The staff was friendly and thorough. We were greeted at the front entrance with seashell leis and complimentary pineapple elixir (ice-water flavored with fresh island pineapple)! Checking in was quick once my husband remembered that we’d booked the room under my name. We even received a free night of valet parking, so the bellhop took care of everything for us. All we needed to do was make our way up to our room and await the arrival of our bags — which didn’t take much time at all! It was wonderful to be able to begin relaxing the moment we arrived.
- Our room was beautiful. We had a king-sized, four-poster bed, a little sitting area, and a nice bathroom with a big shower (plenty of space to hang up our wet swimsuits and towels). The furnishings in the room were tasteful and the bed was comfortable. The quality of our room genuinely enhanced our stay and helped us to feel relaxed and content.
- Nearly all Hawaii’s resorts append a resort fee to the nightly room price. I found that the Sheraton provided enough offerings to account for their $30 resort fee: free in-room wifi, daily bottled water delivered to our room, free parking throughout our stay (including one night of valet parking), an assortment of free resort activities, and a free Sheraton tote bag. When I booked the room, I also signed up for the free Starwood Preferred Guest membership, which provided further discounts on food and purchases throughout our stay.
- The hotel provided a ton of useful services. They helped us to find and plan activities, a huge benefit as we hadn’t had the time to plan anything before our arrival. The beach activities desk was outstanding; their friendly staff helped guests to book surfing lessons or scuba diving excursions, check out pool towels, sign up for free resort activities (like ukulele lessons and beach yoga), and buy or rent pool and beach necessities. We used their services to book a surfing lesson and a scuba dive during our stay in Poipu and found the experience easy and enjoyable.
- The resort hosts its own luau a couple of times per week, and one of these happened to fall the evening after we arrived. I was particularly excited to attend my first-ever luau, and I’ll be sharing more details about that experience in a future post.
Disappointments & Weird Things
While our stay was excellent overall, there were a few disappointments and weird quirks that I noticed:
- This is a family friendly resort. Not necessarily a bad thing for most people, but my husband and I were anticipating something quieter and more romantic. It was difficult to relax at the pool or on the beach because it was swarming with kids and families.
- The alcoholic beverages served at the hotel’s restaurants and bars were an immense disappointment. The drinks were overpriced, weak, and generally poorer quality compared to those found elsewhere on the island.
- The water thing was a little strange. Every day, as a part of our resort fee, we received two bottles of water in our room. As long as we drank the water, or put it in the fridge, or just moved it from its spot by the coffee maker, the cleaning staff would replenish the bottles daily. That’s simple enough. But then there was the third bottle of water. This bottle sat right next to the free bottles, but this bottle was bigger, fancier, and had a big tag on it informing us that it was five dollars. Everyone warned us about this bottle of water. The woman at check-in, the bellhop, the concierge — everyone. Don’t drink that bottle of water, or you’ll be charged five dollars. Okay, then why was that bottle of water there? It was the only extra thing in the room you had to pay for. It almost seemed like they were trying to trick us into drinking it by placing it with the other, free bottles. But clearly they weren’t trying to trick us because everyone kept warning us about it. I found the situation extremely bizarre.
Out by the ocean pool was Lava’s on Poipu Beach, a bar offering pool-side service, light lunches, and a daily breakfast buffet. The drinks, as I mentioned above, were underwhelming. However, the breakfast buffet was a food lover’s dream. Two long buffet tables nearly buckled under the weight of the widest assortment of breakfast foods I’d ever seen in one place: bagels, toast, cereal, eggs benedict, scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, spicy sausage, thick-sliced ham, roasted potatoes, fresh local pineapple, mango, and banana, sliced tomatoes, warm waffles with sweet coconut syrup — and that’s just what I can remember! The most popular item at the breakfast buffet was the house-blended fruit juice: a harmonious blend of pineapple, passion fruit, mango, and orange juices.
We indulged in the buffet for our first two mornings at the resort, but at $28 per person decided to subsequently search for other options. The cozy [email protected] Cafe became our go-to for an efficient breakfast before undertaking the day’s adventure.
For more upscale fare, the Sheraton Kauai boasts its fine dining establishment: RumFire Poipu Beach. Lavish decor, live music, and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the dazzling coastline are what first struck us as we settled into our softly lined hardwood chairs. Instead of bread or chips, we munched on a mixture of popcorn and glazed soy crackers in an artfully arranged conical vessel (this is the literally the best description I can come up with) as we sipped our drinks and awaited our meal.
The drinks at RumFire were the best that we had during our stay at the hotel. Eric’s were particularly fun because he ordered a pair of drinks made by local area bartenders, pitted in competition with one another. Seriously, he was given a score card and asked to compare the cocktails. We each dined on fish, which, while agreeable, was considerably dry compared to the seafood we found elsewhere in Kauai.
Overall, our stay at the Sheraton Kauai Resort was relaxing and pleasant. The price of the room was reasonable, the amenities plentiful, and despite the high prices of the resort’s eating venues, there were many eateries within walking distance of the hotel. In the end, the Sheraton Kauai was the perfect hub for a fun-filled few days in Poipu.
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