Reviews of Pono Kai
The resort is now non-smoking. I have stayed at Pono Kai six times. I have always obtained an oceanfront unit, which can require planning months in advance, although I have lucked out booking non peak times such as the months of February and November. The location is ideal, the grounds and staff are wonderful. The construction can not be changed as one reviewer said via "an upgrade". The construction is poor so that sound transference between units - up, down and sideways - can be annoying including heavy feet, running children, TV, cupboard doors. I find the trade off of noise issues for the Kapaa oceanfront location easy to do ... especially sitting on the lanai and watching the waves. I purchased after my first stay and my neighbors did the same after they rented my week.
Stayed here for 9 days. Stay helpful and friendly and accommodating. Grounds keep beautiful, Cleaning service everyday with fresh towels and linens. Laundry machines in each complex pool towels free and exchanged as needed weber grills and picnic tables through out resort. cleaned every early morning. beautiful sunrises so many amenities. So happy we bought a time share.
This was our second stay here, Mar. 2013. Wonderful staff, Great views, only problem was everyone smokes on their lanais' making it impossible to enjoy the lanai view. The resort needs to address this issue if they want non smokers to stay or even purchase more weeks.The other issue we had was uncomfortable beds, squeaking floors and lack of insulation from neighboring rooms. You can actually here conversations, snoring etc.., with all windows and doors closed. An upgrade is needed.
Just stayed in a 2 bedroom unit facing the ocean. Loved sitting on the deck watching the sunrise. A 5 mile paved walking/biking trail starts near the resort and follows the shoreline. There is a beach at the resort and many nearby. Unit has quiet AC heads in Living Room and Master Bedroom. Room accommodations are acceptable with all amenities you would expect. New Weber BBQ grills are conveniently located between buildings. Grounds upkeep was immaculate. Staff very pleasant. Within walking distance to many restaurants in Kapaa. Driving can be a bit of a hassle around 8:00 AM and also at 4:00 PM going thru Kapaa, otherwise central location is great to visit any other part of the island (South, West North).
This was our 2nd year at the resort and we truly enjoyed it. Both times we stayed in a 2 bedroom, ocean front unit. The living area and master bedroom had air conditioning, which was much appreciated. The unit and the grounds were very clean. The staff was very friendly.
There is a small stretch of beach in front of the resort. Lydgate Beach Park is close by with life guard and great for families. A little further to the North is a great beach for surfing (also w/life guard).
Plenty of restaurants are within walking distance.
We are looking forward to returning again next year.
Stayed here for a week in October, 2006, in a one bedroom unit fronting the ocean. Was okay, but not what we expected from literature, etc. The Unit was renoated, but poor workmanship and cheap approach to renovations. The location of the Unit relative to the ocean was nice with direct patio access for sunrise viewing, but the Unit was not well maintained (dirty bathroom, cealing fan blades full of dust....about a half inch thick, and the entry carpeting smelled musty). Would not stay here again if other options are available.
Also, Kaapa is somewhat of a working class town in Kauai. The area to the north (Priceville) is much nicer as is the area of Poipu. My brother and his wife stayed in Poipu in late September, 2006, and they loved it.
Pono Kai is a nicely maintained resort with many amenities. The grounds are beautiful and the units are refurbished on a regular basis.
Availability seems to be very good and we were even able to stay for a few extra days at a very nominal rate.
Be aware that the resort does not front on a beach even though it is "ocean front." But good beaches are close by.
There is plenty of shopping sites in Kapaa and the location is a good place to access all of the tourist sites in Kauai.
Well, here we are again. We decided to come for 4th of July , 2005- this is our second stay at the Pono Kai- we had the 2 bedroom with an upstairs loft (perfect for my 17 year old son)! The resort is remodeling and updating the furnishings but our room had not been done yet- that's okay- it was still great! We had such a good time we actually bought a 2 bedroom they day we were leaving to go home. Can't wait to come back and see the newly decorated rooms! Kauai is heaven on earth!
We loved our vacation. The location was beautiful. Make sure you get a rental car in advanced. They do run out of rental cars on the island and you need a car. There is so much to see. We did the helicopter, wonderful. The catamaran day cruise with Captain Andy's (my favorite part of the whole vacation) and the Kyaks jungle tour, also wonderful. If the weather is not good look into the sky for the sunny spots and head there. You can always find a sunny area on the Island. The west side is the warmest and the sunniest but there are no resorts there. We had a 1 bedroom with a loft extra bedroom at the resort, it was a great room and the decorations palm trees and pineapples so hawaii! I loved the open air resturants and the food was out of this world! Can't wait to go back I cried when it was time to leave.
We visited the Pono Kai last week in Aug, 04. Overall it was a good experience. We have a 4 yr old and found the place to be very family friendly. It's a good location for budget travel because it is close by to the few discount supermarkets on the island and inexpensive restaurants. It's also centrally located on the island between the more desireable north and south shores.
The 1 bed room unit was spacious and had a couch along with a murphy bed, plus a full kitchen. The master bedroom had a double bed. It also had a free washer/dryer in the unit, but we learned that these only come with the Sunterra-managed rooms.
The only negative is that we found it to be a "no frills" resort - which is fine because we paid accordingly. The grounds are nice and the location is OK, but it wasn't the kind of place we wanted to spend the day during the trip. The reason is that the pool is very small for a resort of that size and was crowded. Also, the beach was small and not very inviting. The town of Kapaa is also a bit seedy.
So we ended up getting in the car every day and driving to nicer parts of the island like the Hanalei Bay. It would have been nice to stay on campus more and avoid the lengthy drives. We visited a few other resorts that had much nicer beaches and pools like the nearby Beachboy resort and the Radisson. But of course these are also priced higher
So overall, I'd say the Pono Kai is a good value-oriented vacation. It gets you to the most beautiful Hawaiian island inexpensively and gives you the basics.
Great place for kids & adults. Activities at the resort include tennis, croquet, shuffleboard, putting greens, pool, spa, jacuzzi, volleyball and nice beach area. All equipment can be signed out at the main desk. This eliminates the "there is nothing to do" remarks (yes, I have kids & they were always on the go). There is a Concierge desk on site to help with activities & rental equipment (ie. golf clubs, boogie boards, snorkel equipment, etc. saves $$$) Short walk to town, restaurants, and stores. Several grills in the courtyard for guests to use if you don't want to eat out all the time. This East side location makes it easy to get to the airport, Princeville, Hanalei, grocery stores and yes, it is true, even Wal-mart. The resort has a lot to offer... Enjoy!
Pono Kai is very desirable being on a beautiful beachfront with walking path.
It is well maintained and refurbished on a regular basis.