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Sheraton Kauai Resort Review – Oh What a Beach!

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Kauai may be an island surrounded by water with loads of beaches, but few Kauai hotels are located literally right on a fabulous beach. I define a fabulous beach as: uncrowded, litter-free powdery sand, clean water with decent but not pounding surf, good for swimming and snorkeling, with incredible sunsets. It's a tall order. The Sheraton Kauai Resort is, and also isn't, located on such a beach.

Sheraton Kauai's fabulous beach

Sheraton Kauai Resort's fabulous beach

The beach

Let me explain. The Sheraton Kauai Resort is located in Poipu, on the south shore of Kauai, in the main resort and hotel area. It is situated on the thrice-named Sheraton/Poipu/Kiahuna Beach, which is also open to the public. This gorgeous stretch of fine white sand is one of the hotel's greatest, most enviable assets. Half of the Sheraton's 394 rooms offer oceanfront or partial ocean views. The other half of the resort, however,  is located across the street from the main resort. Garden views are standard on this side, giving a completely different feel to hotel guests—not necessarily in a bad way—just very different. Prices reflect that difference, which provides families a good choice in terms of splurging or saving.

My family of four was fortunate enough to have an oceanfront room and we absolutely loved it. The view onto the beach was beyond beautiful. Listening to the waves at night felt particularly Hawaiian. My husband and I could even watch our teen-aged kids playing at the beach or pool while we relaxed on our lanai.

A beautiful oceanfront view of Poipu Beach

View of Poipu Beach from Sheraton Kauai Resort

Rooms

We didn't spend too much time in our suite; even though it was very clean and roomy, if fairly standard. More than half of the hotel's rooms can connect to another room or suite, handy for large or extended family travel. The Sheraton is planning to make incremental renovations of many of its rooms over the next few years, which will be challenging since the resort is nearly fully booked all year.

Restaurants

The resort's public areas, Link Cafe, and two restaurants, Lava's and Rumfire, have recently been tastefully renovated to the tune of $16 million. Lava's offers casual poolside drinks and food, as well as sit-down meals. Rumfire is more fancy (but still island-casual), and kids 12 and under eat for free from the Keiki menu. Rumfire's location provides stunning views of the ocean, resort and beach.

If you visit in the winter months of whale watching season, don't be surprised if you see humpback whales jumping in the distance while you enjoy breakfast or dinner at Rumfire. We saw whales playing and leaping every day on our 10-day Kauai holiday, from every beach and vantage point around most of the island. It's truly a wonderful sight.

Ocean Pool at Sheraton Kauai Resort

Ocean Pool at Sheraton Kauai Resort

Pools

The beautiful Ocean Pool at the Sheraton Kaua'i has also been refurbished. The pool is very child-friendly, not too deep or large. It was too shallow for our teenage boys, however, who much preferred the beach surf. There is also a pool in the Garden wing of the resort.

Nearby, the pool services desk offers pool and beach toys, and snorkel gear for rent by the hour or day. The snorkel gear rental is not cheap at the resort—you're paying for the convenience and location. For a family of four (or even a couple), it would be much cheaper to rent snorkel gear from an offsite snorkel or scuba shop in nearby Koloa.

We really enjoyed the towel service though, which is part of the daily resort fee of $30 per room. The resort fee also includes Wifi service (supplied by a third party). I don't love resort fees—they add up quickly and I really think free Wifi included in the room rate should be de rigeur by now.

A swish poolside bungalow - mai tai anyone?

A poolside bungalow – Mai Tai anyone?

Private poolside bungalows can be rented for $100 per day. Beachfront double-loungers are also available for about half that fee. The bungalows are lovely and offer some nap-worthy chaises, as well as shade from the sun and heat. The inclusion of a flat-screen TV was curious. I can't imagine anyone watching it when surrounded by Hawaii's natural beauty, but you never know. Pool chairs are always free, but get there early enough to snag some—they're “reserved” with towels or people by 9 a.m.

Spirit of Aloha

A word about the the staff at the Sheraton Kauai Resort: everyone we met or chatted with was polite and accommodating, almost to a fault. People here and throughout the island are warm, friendly, and helpful. They truly emanate the spirit of Aloha. This isn't the case on all of the Hawaiian Islands (and certainly not on the Mainland). Perhaps it's just easier when you live in paradise.

Ladies of the luau in Tahitian finery, with appreciative guest

Ladies of the luau in Tahitian finery pictured with my son, an appreciative guest

Sheraton Kauai Luau

The Sheraton Kauai Resort hosts the Auli'i Lu'au twice per week, which is a traditional Hawaiian luau run by a local entertainment company. You can book through the concierge desk at the hotel. The food was better than I expected, particularly the kalua roast pig. You should definitely try the poi, just so you can criticize it with authenticity.

The hula show is the highlight, showcasing Polynesian dances from all over the South Pacific, including Samoa, New Zealand, Hawaii and Tahiti. I found the Tahitian dancing to be the most colorful, energetic and exciting to watch. Although the male fire dancer was pretty spectacular too. Audience participation is encouraged. The oceanfront setting will wow you as the sun sets on another day in paradise.

Have you been to Kauai? Share your thoughts about the island or this hotel in the comments below!

Disclosure: A small portion of our experience at the Sheraton Kauai Resort was discounted by the hotel. This did not influence our review in any way, nor was there any expectation by the resort.

All photos by Claudia Laroye.

About Claudia Laroye, The Curious Travel Mama

Claudia Laroye lives in Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two sons (ages 18 and 20). She started travelling at a very young age, and has never stopped. She’s had the fortune of visiting more than 20 countries on four continents, and has also lived abroad in Sweden. Claudia is passionate about family travel and about educating children through the travel experience. She is the author of the thetravellingmom.ca, and contributes to many online and print media publications. Connect with Claudia on Twitter as @travelling_mom.

Comments

  1. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Claudia – you are killing me with all of these Hawaii stories – I want to go SO BAD! I think I’ve got to go back to Hawaii in 2014!

  2. Lisa Goodmurphy says:

    This sounds like such a fabulous place to stay – I love the idea of being able to fall asleep listening to the waves from my oceanfront room!

    • Claudia Laroye says:

      I know, right? Waves, sun and warm trade winds = idyllic holiday = Hawaii. And Kauai is so worth the visit.

  3. This would be a great trip to unwind and fall asleep with the sea breeze. Kauai is really the place to be.

  4. I would say beautiful place…..not so much for the ALOHA Spirit with the some of the staff.

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