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Kauai Marriott Resort Beach Review

Updated on December 3, 2012

Kaui Marriott Resort and Beach Club

View from the 8th floor, overlooking Kalapaki Beach
View from the 8th floor, overlooking Kalapaki Beach | Source

Kauai Marriott Resort Quick Facts

  • Address: 3610 Rice Street Lihue, Kauai, HI 96766
  • Phone: 808-245-5050
  • Toll Free Phone: 1-800-220-2925
  • Number of Rooms: 345
  • Number of Suites: 11
  • Smoke-free Policy

Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club

3610 Rice Street Lihue - Kauai, HI:
3610 Rice St, Lihue, HI 96766, USA

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Review of the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club

The feeling of aloha starts almost immediately after making the left turn onto the road leading up to the resort. You can self-park in the lot to your right, or continue on to the porte cochere, where helpful and cheerful staff will handle your bags and valet-park your car. Take the long escalator down to the main grounds of the resort, where you will find the check-in lobby to your left and to your right, beautiful gardens and a large koi pond. Take a moment to find the small duck(?) staring at herself in the mirror - she's a daily lobby visitor, poor thing, and completely smitten by her own reflection.

The interior grounds of the resort are worth a longer look because of the extensive art collection. Some are large pieces, and include murals, sculpture, and Hawaiian cultural artifacts. Take a stroll through the foyers to fully appreciate the art on the grounds.

There are two parts to the resort: the hotel side (Kauai Marriott Resort) and the timeshare condo side ("Beach Club".) The condo side is made up of one and two bedroom condos, or "villas" in Marriott-speak, comfortable enough, but nothing terribly fancy. The one bedroom villa, where we stayed on a recent visit, looks like two adjoining hotel rooms. One side has a full bath, small refrigerator and a king bed. The other side has a wall-unit type queen bed, cleverly disguised as a built-in with a couch in front, as well as a small kitchen area (sink, microwave, small refrigerator and small dishwasher,) and a full bath. The villas, honestly, are a bit dated in appearance even though they were renovated not that long ago. The bedding is comfortable, however, and towels are plush.

The rooms on the hotel side look like any other upscale Marriott hotel room, serene and spacious with dark wood accents. They've recently been renovated so the beds are comfortable and the decor feels fresh and new. Rooms look out onto well-manicured gardens, the pool area or Kalapaki beach. Pool room views have a partial view of the ocean as well. Robes, slippers, hairdryer, ironing board, refrigerator and in-room safe are typical amenities. Shampoo, soap and lotion are of good quality and towels are high-quality and plush. While rooms do have wi-fi access, it is at extra cost. Public areas like the lobby and Aupaka Terrace where the sushi bar is have free wi-fi access, though it is slow.

Daily activities are posted; you can take a lei-making lesson, try in-pool scuba, or see and buy Hawaiian art or crafts. On one visit, we purchased "made in Kauai" seasoning salts from a vendor who set up a table at the Aupaka Terrace.

Poolside at the Kauai Marriott

The grounds are lush, tropical and everything you'd expect of a nice Hawaiian resort. It's a casual vibe - the resort is definitely family-friendly - and outdoor activity seems to center around the pool, billed as the largest "single level" pool in the state. It's probably true, it's a huge circular-shaped pool about four and a half feet deep, with five swim-up jacuzzis. Marble animals spout jets of water across the pool's surface which also helps to drown out some of the surrounding chatter. The poolside bar is the Kalapaki Grill, which serves a mean Mai Tai as well as pupus and light lunch fare. You can order from your chaise lounge from a server who is more than happy to start a tab for you, or pull up a chair at one of the tables next to the bar.

The only problem we have ever encountered at the pool here is that in years past, it has been overrun by non hotel guests when the cruise ships have been docked at the harbor. Since last year, however, the hotel has seemingly made an effort to control the situation by handing out towels only to hotel and timeshare guests who have wristbands. It appears to have worked, as we have since never had a problem finding a lounge chair.

Alexander Day Spa and Salon

When you've had enough sun by the pool, check out the Alexander Day Spa and Salon, where you can get an amazing sunburn treatment called the Hanalei Noni. They mix Noni fruit nectar with aloe vera gel, and then put it onto your sunburn and cover it with ti leaves. It's soothing and cooling at the same time, and very effective for sunburn relief. Also recommended is the hot rocks massage, which will leave you limp and noodle-ish.

The staff at Alexander's is very accommodating. When I showed up to make an appointment for a pedicure, they said they could take me right away if I wanted. I demurred, claiming my beachy feet were not worthy, and that I really wanted to go upstairs to my room and clean up first. They kindly and graciously invited me to stay in spite of my sandy feet, cleaned me up and then gave me a first-rate pedicure.

The Fitness Center at the Kauai Marriott Resort

The fitness center is located in the interior of the resort, near the business center. It's compact, with just enough aerobic equipment, machines and free weights to get in a decent workout. There is also an aerobics room where a limited number of classes are held. Our yoga class, though, was held outside in one of the expansive foyers just off the fitness center. A beautiful location, but hard on the slate covered concrete. You can also show up for the morning fitness walk, which may take you out towards the harbor at Nawiliwili bay, or up to the grounds at the Marriott Lagoons next door.

Ocean Activities Near the Resort

You can rent stand-up paddle boards or take a lesson at Kalapaki beach, sign up at the shop in front of the beach, near Duke's Restaurant. They also rent boogie boards, surfboards and Catamarans.

Unfortunately, Kalapaki Beach is more for swimming, beach combing and sunbathing, and not so good for snorkeling. In the past 15 years, we've never seen so much as a single fish, although we have seen locals fishing off Nawiliwili Bay, and we once saw sea turtles. For great snorkeling, take the short 10 minute drive to Lydgate Park.

Photos, Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club

Grounds at the Kauai Marriot Resort and Beach Club
Grounds at the Kauai Marriot Resort and Beach Club | Source
Grounds at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club
Grounds at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club | Source
Koi pond at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club
Koi pond at the Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club | Source
Kauai Marriott Resort.  villa side bedroom. King bed, lanai and nice view.
Kauai Marriott Resort. villa side bedroom. King bed, lanai and nice view. | Source
Villa, interior. Small kitchen area with sink, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave.
Villa, interior. Small kitchen area with sink, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. | Source
Marriott Lagoons, home of new condos, above Kalapaki beach and next door to the Kauai Marriott Resort
Marriott Lagoons, home of new condos, above Kalapaki beach and next door to the Kauai Marriott Resort | Source
Sunrise view from villa at the Kauai Marriott and Beach Club
Sunrise view from villa at the Kauai Marriott and Beach Club | Source
Sunset view from villa at the Kauai Marriott and Beach Club
Sunset view from villa at the Kauai Marriott and Beach Club | Source


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Restaurants at the Kaui Marriott Resort

Our favorite, hands down, is Duke's Bar and Grill, a casual spot. Walk up from the beach and try to get a table close to the front where you can watch the ocean waves and the tourists taking paddleboard lessons, but be mindful of tables in full sun. They often have late afternoon and evening entertainment, locals who are pretty good. On a recent visit, a young singer had us laughing with his dry, comedic asides. A popular drink is the Tropical Itch, served with a backscratcher and often accompanied by a cheerful "Night night!" from the server. It's true - you'll sleep soundly after only one. Duke's bar menu is brief but good. Try the fish tacos, made with fresh locally caught fish and a smattering of pico de gallo. There is an excellent daily fish special, like saute'd opakapaka with a light lilikoi sauce. The waffle cut fries aren't bad either, and you can't go wrong with the cheddar burger and a Caesar salad. Although Duke's is not owned by the hotel, you can do a room charge there.

Upstairs Duke's is a more formal dining room, open for dinner only. The fish is impeccably fresh and the service excellent. It's definitely a "splurge" kind of place.

For the daily buffet experience, try Kukui's, next to the pool at the resort. The food is pretty good and definitely plentiful. If you're an early riser and you don't want to spend a lot of time and money on the breakfast buffet, you can get a quick breakfast at the sushi bar, which they turn into a coffee and breakfast bar in the early hours. Get a bagel or a pastry, a coffee, juice and a half papaya for a reasonable amount.

The Kalapaki Grill, next to the pool, is open until about 5pm, and best for a snack or quick lunch poolside. In previous years, they offered a drink deal where you buy a mug for about $30, which you can refill with iced tea or softdrinks for free for the duration of your stay. Finally, the sushi bar at the Aupaka Terrace serves very high quality sushi in a business-casual sofa-and-bar-tables setting.

Resort Shopping at the Kauai Marriott

For sundries, snacks and your daily newspaper, try Lamont's located around the corner from the lobby, next to Alexander's Day Spa. They have an array of foodstuffs that you can microwave, refrigerated sandwiches and drinks, and tiny cartons of Ben&Jerry's ice cream in the freezer section. It's a good place to pick up chocolate covered macadamia nuts, too. About half of Lamont's is stocked with souvenirs, including the usual t-shirts and hats, candles and other made-in-Hawaii goods.

Other shops at the resort are more high-end, like Tropical Tantrum and Grande's Gems. Tropical Tantrum has tropical-style clothing with matching accessories like beaded bags and shoes. Fun tropical pillows shaped like gekkos are a favorite. The fabrics and prints are amazing, and dresses come in a wide range of sizes. Grande's Gems has fashion jewelry, some pieces designed by island jewelry designers that you can't find elsewhere.

A short walk from the Kauai Marriott will take you to the Anchor Cove mall, a very small shopping mall on Rice Street but with some very good shopping. It has an ABC store - the best place for cheap t-shirts and shorts - where you can buy your straw tatami beach mat for just a few dollars. There is a Crazy Shirts store and a jewelry store as well. Be careful of times when a cruise ship is in the harbor, as the mall can become quite busy.

Kauai Marriott Resort in a Nutshell

The Kauai Marriott is best known for its drop-dead gorgeous views, mostly quiet resort atmosphere, and friendly and casual vibe. Golfers can set up tee times at the next door Kauai Lagoons Golf Course. Swimmers can hang out at Kalapaki beach or at the expansive pool. Plenty of nearby restaurants offer something for everyone. Shopping ranges from inexpensive to extravagent. It is easy to never leave the resort and have a great time on the island of Kauai, but make an effort to see all the beauty that the island has to offer. Think of the Kauai Marriott as a good base from which to take off on your daily adventures.It is perfectly located and a comfortable and relaxing "home" that you will return to again and again.


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