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
If you want a hotel with the ocean basically lapping at your room this is it. We had an oceanfront, and the term oceanfront doesn't even come close. You can't get any closer without being in the water. The swaying palm trees right outside our 3rd floor room was picture perfect with the ocean as a backdrop, gorgeous! And the rainbow framing the palm trees and ocean one day was an amazing photo op. The hotel grounds were just right for us, on the smaller scale, more intimate. No big mega resort for us this was just what we were looking for.
Our oceanfront room was the perfect size, not huge but sufficient. Nice touches upon our arrival, we were surprised with a split of champagne, macadamia nuts and a bottle of chardonnay. Not sure if everyone receives that but we enjoyed all our goodies! The complimentary water every morning and evening was an added bonus, 4 bottles total a day so no need to buy any for our hikes. We enjoyed sitting on our lanai both morning and evening just staring out at the ocean and watching the surfers. Be aware the lanai's are not totally private, so when our neighbors were out there we could see and hear them. Luckily for us everyone respected each others privacy so no big deal. I do think that some of the furniture could use a touch up, nothing major but starting to look a little worn. Also drawer space was at a premium, my husband had to live out of his suitcase for the week. And a rather weird thing was there were 2 bathroom lights, one would lite the entire bedroom portion of the room, there was a sort of cutout above the wall where the bathroom is and the lighted candles (mood lighting I imagine) illuminated both the bathroom and main room so not ideal if someone goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
The grounds were immaculate. Be aware there is not true beach directly in front of hotel. You have to walk either to the left or right, not a big deal for us but some might not like to have to trek a short walk to sit on the beach. There are lounges on the lawn area, which at first seemed weird to us but we actually enjoyed using them one afternoon. The pool was nice and plenty of loungers around it. There is an outside tiki bar and our favorite were the 2 fire pits. We made it our nightly ritual before going out to dinner to enjoy drinks sitting around the fire pit. We met a lot of interesting people and had some good laughs with our new found friends. Every person we came in contact that worked at Koa Kea were friendly and professional at all times. The valet attendants were great, car always ready when we needed it. You also have to valet, no self parking.
Yes, expensive but totally worth it. Skip the mega resorts and enjoy a relaxing, peaceful hotel experience here.
My wife and I picked this spot specifically for our babymoon. From all of the reviews that we had read, we had enjoyed that it wasn't that big, laid back, and rolled up the sidewalks at the end of the night. It was a great home port for our adventures around the island, as well.
A couple of things of note:
-only approximately 120 rooms, which means it can be quiet. Luckily, we didn't have to deal with any outrageous folks, like previous commentors had.
-we had booked an ocean view room, and were given a spot directly over the lobby. No one above us, no rooms below us.....quiet. We even had a slightly bigger lanai.
-Only one restaurant on sight. We ate breakfast there every morning (as we had an included breakfast plan). Dinner was good, we ate there twice, but also enjoyed venturing away.
-Poolside lunches were expensive, but tasty. On the days when we ventured out, we thoroughly enjoyed our offsite lunches.
-The spa is small, only room for massages and treatments--there are not the amenities (jacuzzis/pools/changing rooms/etc.) that I've seen in other hotel spas.
-Pool services started shutting down every night at 5, and the "night life" was pretty much over by 8:30.
-Umbrellas are only available around the pool. There are chairs closer to the ocean--on the lawn--but no umbrellas with them. We stayed mostly around the pool.
-Chairs were easy to come by whenever we arrived....just maybe not the perfectly located one that we wanted. Because it's a small hotel, no one plays the "towel game" as there are staff who keep a pretty good watch on it.
-One negative is the additional charges that are 'mandatory.' There is a $37+tax daily resort charge. If you park a car, there is an additional $20+tax valet fee--no self parking is available. So, above and beyond the room rate, you're paying an extra $57+tax per day. This seems a bit exorbitant--especially since there is no other parking options. The separate valet charge is fairly new--well spelled out, and I knew it was coming--just generally not happy about it. It was mentioned to the clerk at checkout.
-Overall, the service was amazing. From being shown to our room at checkin, to the pool buzzer server call, to the valets. We felt pampered during our stay.
In short, I would totally recommend this spot to anyone looking for a relaxing, quiet, vacation spot.
We were traveling 3 Hawaiian island and this was the nicest hotel of all ( the others were in the same category). The service is very attentive, the rooms are modern and very clean. The whole property is very well maintained.
My favorite hotel of the trip.
My husband and I spent our 10 year anniversary here. We stayed at the Marriott, Westin and here while in Kauai. This place was by far our favorite! When you walk in, they greet you with Leis and POG (passion orange guava juice). From valet for our car, to bringing stuff to our room, we had great service to start. While we waited for our room (we got there super early), we enjoyed the lawn chairs overlooking the water. Gorgeous!
The room itself had lots of extras, like free wine, free sandals, complimentary water bottles and robes. They even had a Hawaiian bracelet as the do no disturb, which was a cute idea. We had a partial ocean room and it was perfect! In addition to regular room service, they also had a nightly turn down service, which re-stocked your waters and brought little chocolates.
All the staff were extremely nice and it felt like you were part of their community, not just a number. We got room service the first day and they even white table clothes our balcony table for us. Did not receive this kind of service anywhere else.
Location was great. Right in front of a little area perfect for snorkeling. We were surprised by the different fish we saw and even saw an eel. To the right is a smaller, less crowded beach where we saw monk seals both days. To the left is the main Poipu Beach, which was beautiful but more crowded. We heard from others there was a sea turtle there the day before.
All in all, we had a great time here and wished we would have started and ended our trip here. Highly recommended.
I also have to mention that while expensive, Red Salt has the best steak I have ever tasted. If we stayed longer, we would have had the sushi in the bar area too.
My wife and I travelled to Kauai and Koa Kea hotel for our babymoon and it was absolutely perfect. Relaxed environment with great great service that was not pushy or intrusive but available, responsive and helpful.
The hotel was clean, well maintained, and in a perfect location. The restaurant was great and there were also great options for dining off premises both for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Would definitely recommend the two nearest shopping centers for breakfasts, lunches and dinners plus finding a hawaii shirt. There is even a little grocery store to pick up some snacks if you wanted them.
Valet service for the car was dependable, fast and friendly as was the service around the pool during the day.
The views are really unwinding and there's a lovely little beach to go into the ocean. While we didn't surf, there were plenty of beginners taking to the waves which we might well have done under other circumstances.
There were a number of other couples clearly on a babymoon as well and the rest of the clientele during our stay were respecting of the property and other people.
A 5 star experience and we would definitely love to go back and recommend to all our friends and others.