Important Update: this resort has been renovated and rebranded as The Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort Lihue. Our review on this page is based on the previous management under Marriott. Though the management has changed, the “bones” and location of the resort remain unchanged. So, it is still worth a glance through our review. For more updated reviews, see this TripAdvisor link.
As I was tagging all our photos from our stay at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, I couldn’t help but wishing that I was there today. The resort grounds along with the extensive Oriental and Hawaiian art and antique collections are tremendous. I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled all over the Hawaiian islands and I’d have to say that the Kauai Marriott is easily in the top ten most beautiful resorts.
The Kauai Marriott is located at Kalapaki Bay near the town of Lihue on the eastern side of Kauai. (See this Google Map.) It is very convenient to the airport. In fact it’s only about a five minute drive from the airport. With that in mind, here’s a money saving tip for you: take advantage of the resort’s free airport shuttle to minimize the number of days you rent a car. There’s a Hertz counter on site or you can take the free shuttle to the airport for more rental agency options. You will only need to rent a car for the number of days that you plan to sightsee.
For first time visitors to Kauai, one of the most difficult decisions to make is to choose where to stay. I tend to be more of a North Shore gal, but I have to say that I found the central location of this Kauai Marriott to be very convenient for sightseeing, plus it’s relatively close to good restaurants in Lihue and Kapaa. It’s also in a good location on Kauai to avoid rain.
The resort is located right on Kalapaki Bay which is one of the safer beaches in Kauai making it great for families and trying all sorts of ocean activities. The beach has a rare all sand bottom. If you are interested in learning to surf or try stand up paddle boarding, the Kalapaki Beach is a perfect location. By the way, the resort offers lessons for both surfing and paddle boarding for a fee.
The resort rooms are spacious and offer good views of either the ocean, pool, or garden grounds. All rooms have a lanai for enjoying the view. Each have a small refrigerator, cable television, in-room safe, robes and slippers, plus all the amenities that you’d expect from good resort. We thought that the bed and linens were particularly comfortable. (I’ve heard whispers that the rooms and furnishings may be upgraded this year. We thought they were just fine, but probably just a tad on the older side. Note that the rooms have been renovated since our stay.
The marble and ceramic-tiled bath was separated into two areas – the lavatory area and the tub area. We liked the generously-sized and tropical-inspired toiletries.
The blogger in me wishes that the high-speed Internet connection had been free, but I can appreciate that not everyone is a nerd like me. If I remember correctly, the connection cost was around $12 per 24-hour cycle starting and ending at noon each day.
The Grounds and Facilities and Other Notables
As I mentioned earlier, the grounds here are beautiful and quite peaceful as well. The resort sits on 52-acres of ocean views and lovely gardens. I remember being impressed by the grounds here from my very first visit to Kauai. Here is a summary of some of the notable amenities:
- We thought that the staff here was exceptionally friendly.
- Impressive Oriental and Hawaiian art and antiques located throughout the resort make you feel like you’re living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. I thought that the art and antiques of the Four Seasons Manele Bay on Lanai were impressive. I’d say that the Kauai Marriott rivals those decor and grounds there.
- The large koi pond must cost a fortune to stock and maintain. I’ve never seen so many koi in one place. It’s beautiful.
- The pool here is the largest single pool in Hawaii. I loved that the size of the pool allowed enough space to lounge without feeling like your fellow guests were encroaching on your personal space.
- If you like to golf, then you’ll love the ocean front courses designed by Jack Nicklaus.
- For your health, the resort offers a spa and fitness center.
- There are several onsite restaurants, plus the budget friendly Kalapaki Beach Hut is a very short walk away. We have always enjoyed Dukes with great ocean views and where sampling a hula pie is a must! We had breakfast at Kukui’s which was excellent. I liked that the Kauai Marriott restaurants’ menus incorporated locally grown ingredients and there was always a tasty healthy menu option.
- The Kauai Marriott offers a ton of activities. Some activities are free like a guided fitness walk and a guided hike to search for seabirds. Other activities like lei making classes and surfing lessons require an appropriate fee.
- The resort offers some excellent ballrooms and meeting spaces, which makes for a good location for weddings or business conferences.
- It is easy to self-park here, which is something we always appreciate.
I think the Kauai Marriott resort is one of the rare places that’s both family and couple friendly. Andy and I really enjoyed our time here. As I reflect back on our stay, I have memories and visions of a tropical and peaceful environment. I’d go back without hesitation.
In addition to my good review, this 4-star resort also earns predominately positive reviews from TripAdvisor.
Have you stayed at the Kauai Marriott and Beach Resort? What did you think of it?