Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
What We Love
- Spa treatments highlight indigenous ingredients such as coconut and red Kauai clay
- The proximity to the beach can’t be beat
- The lounge hosts sushi nights Tuesdays through Saturdays. Breakfast is a highlight (hello, lemon-pineapple soufflé pancakes)
- The romantic, secluded vibe makes it great for couples (no organized children's programs here)
What To Know
- The cocktails in the lounge are bigger (and pricier) than at the thatch-roofed pool bar
- The layout is U-shaped, so some rooms have minimal privacy on the balconies, terraces and lanais
- A $26.04 resort fee per night will be collected at the Jetsetter checkout
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Located on the grounds of the old Po’ipu Beach Hotel, the Ko’a Kea is a modern boutique hotel (it opened its doors in 2009) with an indoor/outdoor vibe. Palm trees, green grass and winding paths dominate the landscaping. Inside, the lobby and Red Salt restaurant feature elegant but simple island decor, with white sofas and chairs, fresh flowers and shimmering chandeliers. The real prime real estate, though, is the palm-shaded lounge chairs surrounding the pool.
Bed and Bath
The guestrooms and suites emanate simple luxury. Soft, featherbed-topped mattresses and crisp white duvets make sleeping easy. Each room has its own private balcony or terrace. For that first, eye-opening cup of coffee, there’s a Nespresso machine in every room. The bathrooms are slick, with deep, modern sinks, spacious showers and baths, and bath products from L’Occitane.
Red Salt, a window-lined oceanview dining room, serves breakfast and dinner daily (lunch is poolside at the Pool Bar). Signature breakfast dishes include macadamia nut Belgian waffles and lemon-pineapple soufflé pancakes, while dinner leans toward seafood, with a modern approach to Hawaiian cuisine. Expect poke, kalua pork, pan-seared ono and splurge-worthy fare like lobster ravioli and wagyu New York steak. The Pool Bar and the lounge mix a variety of cocktails, including the classic Mai Tai, but the six different martinis and the martini flight deserve serious consideration. The spa has five rooms, including a couples suite; in-room services are also available. The beach activities hut rents snorkel gear, surfboards, boogie boards and beach chairs.
In the Area
Beaches including the tranquil Mahaulepu Beach and the lava tubes at Spouting Horn are easy stops. All sorts of water sports are within walking distance or a quick drive; Kauai Surf School offers surfing lessons for any age or level. And the Ko’a Kea is close to Outfitters Kauai’s meeting point for kayaking the 16-mile Na Pali Coast in the summer. Landlubbers might prefer golf at Poipu Bay Golf Course or shopping at Poipu Shopping Village. Foodwise, there are Keoki’s Paradise and Roy’s, the popular Hawaii-inspired chain. Or, much farther afield, there’s Mermaids Café, in Kapaa, which is worth a drive for the ahi nori wrap.
How to Get There
My husband and I booked this hotel based on the TripAdvisor reviews.
As a welcoming present (we were on our honeymoon), we received a little gift, which we considered as very nice. Our room was on the first floor with a balcony to the backyard. Unfortunately, the room was very dark which is why we consider our room as uncomfortable.
In general, the staff was very nice and attentive. The property is located at Poipu beach and has a beautiful view.
Overall, there was nothing to outwardly complain about this property but we felt that it was too expensive for the room that we lived in.
My husband and I loved our stay at Koa Kea. We arrived close to 10 pm, were greeted with a lei from the welcoming valet. The check-in person was so helpful in getting us the perfect room and providing the information we needed for our stay. We were hungry so she showed us he room service menu and placed our order for us right there so it would be ready for us shortly after getting to our room. A bottle of chilled champagne was ready in the room so we started our vacation toasting on the patio! The room was lovely. Fabulous toiletries, comfy robes and bed, nespresso machine. We had breakfast in red salt every morning and also ate a dinner there and one at the pool side bar. We could not believe how every single dish was so good. The vibe is very chill and relaxed. The pool was great and the beaches were so close and swimmable. All of the staff were so friendly. We cannot wait to return!! Thank you Koa Kea for making our vacation just what we hoped for and more!
One major, silly glitch was failing to make up our room by early afternoon and then over-promising that staff would "be there right now" yet it took 40 minutes for them to materialise. Given one is paying a premium price it is not unreasonable to expect good service.
But the rest of the stay was like being in a lovely dream. The setting is beautiful and restful and our accommodation was superb (though the duvet was far too thick). Also, most of the service is terrific.
The Koa Kea is a gem of a hotel! We really liked the location of Poipu as we had more sunny days vs north shore. Still some overcast here and there but that’s to be expected on Kauai in general. The resort itself is so calm and relaxed, a place where you can take a deep breath and just relax. The staff go above and beyond to help you with anything you need. We were on our honeymoon and I have to say this was the perfect place to end our trip! It’s definitely more boutique style vs some of the mega resorts you see in Hawaii which is exactly what we were looking for. It made for a very chill and romantic vibe. The food and drinks there are awesome! Pricey for sure but everything in Hawaii is haha. The drinks will run you anywhere from $15-20 BUT they put 2 ounces of alcohol so it’s not too bad when you think about it, they’re definitely strong and tasty! Red salt was amazing, our breakfasts which was included was super hearty and any meal we had in the evening was top notch. Poipu shops are just a stones throw from the hotel so you can always venture off site to have a few cheaper meals. The property has this amazing 70’s style layout which we absolutely loved!! When you walk in you feel like you’re transported back in time a little but all rooms and amenities are renovated and beautiful! It’s old school layout with modern updates. The layout has remained so you have beach access as the laws changed in recent years where new builds have to be set back further from the ocean. So thankfully koa kea kept its bones and you have great beach access! If you walk left there is a boardwalk with direct access to a great beach in front of the Marriott (a monk seal took a nap there on our last day!) but if you want a beach that’s more quiet and less kid friendly just walk tonthe right of the property and down a set of stone rocks where there is an even better beach. Views from the hotel are stunning as the pool area overlooks the water and they have these great fire pits with muskoka chairs you can sit at and watch the sunset over the pacific! It truly is a special place....a definite recommend for couples!
My wife and I really enjoyed our too-short stay at Kota Kea. It is a perfect size, perfect location, and what turned out to be a really great deal. Wish we had decided to stay there our entire time on Kauai. Hope to be back!