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
This is a beautiful, small, relaxing beachfront resort. The renovated rooms are very nicely decorated and the staff are all very pleasant and professional. There is good snorkeling right in front of the resort and the surfing looked pretty good also. It is also a great place to watch the sunset. The place is on the quite side and it is not really a good spot for kids. We really enjoyed our stay but I could not give it 5 stars for a couple reasons.
First, we booked a partial ocean view room and I realized that we would not have a pristine view. However, I didn't expect a view primarily of a parking lot, a giant propane tank and some shrubbery. It seems to me that there are a lot of complaints about this very issue they need to stop booking rooms like ours (361 directly next to the parking lot and propane tank) as partial ocean view. The view is just bad from some of these rooms and they shouldn't pretend that it isn't. Second, they need some more lawn chairs. We went down to lay out one morning at 10:30am and every single chair at the pool and the lawn was taken. I asked if they could bring out some chairs for us and they politely told us they could not. We had to hang around like seagulls waiting for some chairs and saw other couples in the same predicament. At these rates they need to buy some more lawn chairs and keep some in storage to accommodate their guests if all the chairs fill up. Finally, I think the food and beverage prices were a little over the top. I realize you are gonna pay a premium for food and drink at a beachfront resort on Kauai - but charge me $14 for that mojito at the pool in a 16oz plastic cup - I am fine with that - but at $17 you just feel like you are getting ripped off. I really think that if they toned down the food and drink prices just a little they would sell more food and beverage and have happier guests.
Despite these issues we really enjoyed our stay and would recommend this resort to a couple or some adults for a beautiful and relaxing place to stay on Kauai.
Booked this hotel as part of my honeymoon and I expected much better. The service was slow throughout the hotel EXCEPT the bell staff who were always on point.
The room: the bed mattress was pokey and provided zero back support. The shower has some grime and mildew along the edges, with visible dents and marks in the plasterboard outside.
The poolside staff were slow to bring up drinks, although it seemed the couples next to us always seemed to have a speedy service.
Red salt - took FOREVER. When we ordered our mains we waited what felt like an eternity and the portion sizes for the prices didn’t really add up.
I personally won’t be recommending this hotel - disappointed with me stay.
I've stayed at the Ko'a Kea twice and loved it both times. The vibe is very different from the surrounding properties, many of which are all-inclusive resorts, and that's exactly why I love it.
If you're looking for a quiet entry-level luxury getaway or a very low key, chill vibe - stay at the Ko'a Kea. I'm a parent and I know some people will say don't bring your kids here, but if you have well-behaved children who don't need a Disney-style pool, than this is a great place for families.
The property is on the beach, but the beach itself is not very conducive to laying out or for taking kids as the water can be very rough. You can walk a short distance to the other hotels in the area and the beaches are far better for casual enjoyment.
Oh, let me not forget the roosters. The first time we stayed there we were woken up on several occasions by the roosters around the property. We didn't hear them the second time, not sure if that was because of the room we were in or if they just moved on, but good to note for light sleepers. :)
I'd recommend a stay here for sure, though I think Princeville might be a better location after coming back to the island for a second time.
Koa Kea is a small boutique hotel in an area of Poipu Beach that is easy to navigate by foot. Plenty of good food and drink nearby as well as good beaches. The resort itself has a modest pool, one of the best restaurants in the area, a fun pool tiki hut for drinks and a nice sushi bar for evening apps and dinner. Rooms are a bit dated but the bathrooms were modern and in good condition. Nice amenities like yoga, pool towels, lobby refreshments are complementary. Only valet parking, which frankly was a pain. All-in-all a very nice experience with lots of Aloha spirit in the employees.
Perfect boutique style hotel oceanfront on Poipu Beach. Great food in Red Salt and very helpful front desk. Rooms are comfortable and cleaned twice daily. Lots of nice touches with premium toiletries, champagne on arrival, cosy bath robes and complementary sandals. Everyone went out of their way to be helpful. Would definitely book here again.