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GH Kauai REVIEW - MASTER THREAD - mid-2011 Forward

GH Kauai REVIEW - MASTER THREAD - mid-2011 Forward

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Old Oct 15, 18, 5:30 am   -   Wikipost
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SHOPPING1. Safeway
a. Multiple locations (2)
b. Significantly more polynesian/asian offerings in regards to food, Made in Hawaii, Grown in Hawaii goods

2. ABC Stores
a. Significant number (3) of locations, accessible.
b. They carry almost nothing but local items, and also beer

3. Costco (2.6mi from LIH):
a. Gas up before dropping rental car off. It was at least $0.80/gal cheaper than anywhere else (8/20/18)
b. Kauai/Kona coffee, other gifts (e.g., macadamia nuts in multiple preparations)
c. Food court (many of the same items as continental US with same prices)
4. Walmart (1.3mi from LIH). Exceptionally busy. Busy store inside/outside/around it.
a. Beach/pool toys
b. Snacks (if you donít have a huge family staying a long time to eat Costco bulk item)
c. Souvenirs (they have a section in the front for this)

KAUAI TOURS/SELF-GUIDED ADVENTURES
Swimming/Snorkeling
1. Poipu Beach - Massive reef offshore, with a reef onshore separating two beaches. With the closure of Tunnels/Ke'e/Lumahai beach due to landslides on Kuhio highway, Poipu beach has one of the top snorkeling spots on the island currently, and is just 5 minute drive from the hotel. Turtles and monk seal are spotted here regularly
2. Lydgate Beach - protected snorkeling spot perfect for beginners. Located on East side of the island. This looks close, but traffic in Kapaa can make this a 45 minute drive.
3. Anini Beach - Northeast on island, 1 hour to reach. Reef with significant amounts of sea life.
4. Tunnels Beach/Ke'e Beach - currently closed. 1 hour 30 minutes away. Snorkel right next to the beginning of the Na Pali coast, with significant amounts of turtles. Before Kauai restores access to the beach via Kuhio Highway, residents are strongly considering limiting access to the beach (no vehicles, only shuttles, or limited number of vehicle permits sold per day). Parking fills up fast here, and these beaches are the end of the road on island.


GUIDED TOURS
1. Wailua River + Secret Falls Hike. 30-45 minute drive from hotel. Cost $40/pp. 4 hour+ trip. 1 mile of kayaking followed by a short hike to a large waterfall. Some tours offer pineapple as a snack at the waterfall. Some offer just chips or granola bars like what you might buy from Costco.
2. Kauai Sugarloaf Pineapple. See the Huber families sugarloaf pineapple farm. Hole in the mountain farms is situated on 38 acres of land, where you will be given the rare opportunity to taste sugarloaf pineapple. An extremely low acidic pineapple that has a core that is edible, and not stringy. $65/pp w/ free pineapple and smoothie. The ARV of the pineapple you receive will be around $8-15. Sugarloaf pineapple sells for $3-4 a pound, with an average pineapple being 5-6 pounds in size. This is a once in a lifetime experience. 1 hour from GH Kauai http://kauaisugarloaf.com BOOK TOURS IN ADVANCE. We booked two weeks in advance, and at the farmers market on a Wednesday we overheard them say they were booked out for 2 weeks (so almost September). They only do tours on Thursdays.
3. Chocolate Tour. Lydgate Farms has a chocolate tour. $95/pp
4. Captain Andy's Tours. Captain Andy is currently leaving out of the south shore in Port Allen. He offers all 3 kinds of boat tours. 55ft catamaran w/ restroom, warm water rinse, cooked lunch, snorkeling, napali coast, alcoholic drinks included (up to $179 pp). They have smaller boats that do not have restrooms/rinse/cooked lunch, but will go in the sea caves. And then they have raft boats that require you to wear gloves, and are very much a thrill ride. They do beach landings in those, and basically anything. The choices are listed from most comfortable to least comfortable. 55ft catamaran is the preferred way for most

HIKING/SIGHTS
1. Kalepa Ridge Trail. 1 hour from GHK. Free. 2 hour round trip. 1.7 mile hike. Classified as hard by alltrails.com. For the time and distance you walk, this trail beats the Awaawapuhi Trail
2. Awaawapuhi Trail. 55 minute from GHK. Free. Half day. 6.7 mile hike. Classified as moderate by alltrails.com. It is a longer hike, but once you get to the end, the views are IMO better than the Kalepa Ridge Trail
3. Canyon Trail to Waipoo Falls. 50 minute from GHK. Free. 3 hours. Hike to a the top of a waterfall on the Waimae Canyon.
4. Heritage Trail. Literally on the beach at the GHK. Free. Not necessarily a crazy cool hike
5. Wailua Falls: do some research if you plan on doing a hike down to the waterfall
6. Spouting Horn. 7 minute drive from GHK. Underwhelming, but worth it to say you've seen it. 2-3 minute drive from Spouting Horn is the Kukui'ula Village Shopping Center, which has a Bubbas Burger/Tortilla Republic/The Lanai/Merriman Fish House/Eating House 1849, Dolphin, Ruth's Chris and other restaurants. To see the spouting horn, you will walk past a 150-200ft of street vendors selling crafts, everyday of the week.
7. Queen's Bath-dangerous, slippery and muddy on way day, rocky and if you are inside you may get washed out by the waves. But go at sunset and you'll see why.

FARMERS MARKETS
1. Kukui'ula Village Shopping Center - Wednesday Evening, 3:30PM - 6PM. Kauai Sugarloaf Farms attends this, and will let you try their pineapple and buy tours here. There is supposedly a beer garden, but I didn't find it. There is also food from restaurants there, as well as a booth by the "Pie Lady" (The Right Slice).

RESORT FEE INCLUDES
1. Free self-parking (for all, not just Globalist)

2. Free laundry in each guestroom with free laundry pods

3. Towel at Valet for excursions (and after 7pm for pool)

4. Free bike use

5. Sunscreen at pool

6. Hospitality lounge for early arrival & late departing flights

7. Refrigerator in all rooms
  1. Self-parking
  2. Two complimentary refillable water bottles
  3. Purified water stations
  4. Poipu Bay Golf Course and Clubhouse shuttle service
  5. Coffee maker in room with Hawaiian coffee and tea
  6. Complimentary self-service washer, dryer and detergent
  7. Reusable logo tote bag located in closet
  8. Access to 24 hour Anara Spa fitness center
  9. Fitness and yoga classes at Anara Spa
    1. See daily activities schedule, 14 years and older
  10. Hospitality lounge for early arrival & late departing flights
  11. Welcome lei greeting
  12. Guided sunrise walk Monday - Saturday
  13. Hawaiian crafters daily in lobby
  14. Wildlife Walk twice weekly
  15. Hydroponic Garden tours twice weekly
  16. Entertainment and hula at Seaview Terrace
  17. Torch lighting ceremony three times per week
  18. Ukulele, lei-making and hula lessons
  19. Koi fish feeding and parrot talk
  20. Sunscreen samples at pool recreation desk
  21. Mountain Bike use - based on availability
  22. One hour tennis court time daily
    1. Reservations required, equipment rental available
  23. Complimentary boarding pass and incoming fax printing
  24. Unlimited local and toll-free calls
  25. In-room safe
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Old Aug 23, 11, 7:41 pm
  #1  
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GH Kauai REVIEW - MASTER THREAD - mid-2011 Forward

Mod Note: Older discussion of this property may be found at http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/hyatt...id-2011-a.html

Pseudo-trip Report:
Context: Stayed there recently for a work meeting. A standard room was covered by the host, but they offered a $75/night upgrade to ocean suite that I snatched. I am plat

In short: This place is an outstanding property for diamonds, and good for everyone else.

The good:
Physical plant is very nice. Wonderful setting, lovely pool area.
Newly-renovated spa area was great, underutilized. Free use for diamonds and plats.
A hidden gem was the lap pool at the spa for serious swimmers.
All the food (and drink) I had was of good quality
The staff were uniformly excellent and helpful
Plenty of free self parking

The not-so-good
Steep resort fee. Poor value for the resort fee. They knock $5 off for platinums and waive for diamonds. It was hard to see the value. The wireless internet in my room was awful, and the login interface should just be scrapped. Bottles of water can be purchased at Costco. An hour of tennis and free fitness center isn't worth it.
Common areas were not in great shape. Hallway carpeting and walls were in poor shape.
Resort-like fees for dining. If meals are not included in your package, go elsewhere. Tidepools was nice as noted, but very pricey. Plenty of good options in surrounding Poipu.

In short, I'd go back if someone else is paying or if I was diamond using FFN (or similar). I'm not sure I'd pay the $375/night rate they were offering the week of my stay. Nor would I use points at full "price" to stay here. I know this place has a loyal following on this board, and it's easy to see why, but I wanted to share my non-diamond perspective.

Last edited by peteropny; Jan 26, 12 at 7:20 pm
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Old Aug 24, 11, 1:06 am
  #2  
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I do think it's a bit unfair to complain about "resort-like fees" for dining. This IS a resort, in fact the whole darn island survives off tourism, so everywhere is a resort. Unless you get all your meals from the plate lunch stand outside the grocery store in Koloa or eat the $1.50 Polish sausage/coke offer at Costco, you will be paying resort-like fees for dining most everywhere on Kauai. Might as well get used to it!

It is true that the resort fee is not good value. I think most of us are opposed to hiding an extra fee under the monicker "resort fee." But it's not a good value pretty much everywhere it is charged.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 9:53 am
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Award Availability

I currently have a reservation at the Sheraton Kauai, looking to cancel that and book at the hyatt. I would like to use points but would need to transfer them, before I do that I would like to know if there is a way to check to see if they have rooms available.

The dates would be from 11/09-11/14
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Old Aug 24, 11, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by figgarro View Post
I currently have a reservation at the Sheraton Kauai, looking to cancel that and book at the hyatt. I would like to use points but would need to transfer them, before I do that I would like to know if there is a way to check to see if they have rooms available.

The dates would be from 11/09-11/14
Under the Hyatt program, if the lowest category of regular room is shown as available, then awards are available as well.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
Under the Hyatt program, if the lowest category of regular room is shown as available, then awards are available as well.
... which for this hotel means Garden View rooms.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 5:44 pm
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Thanks for the information!
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Old Aug 24, 11, 5:52 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by PHLbuddy View Post
....Resort-like fees for dining....
GH Kauai is one of the best resorts Hyatt manages. If you don't consider GH Kauai as a resort than I don't know what is.
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Old Aug 24, 11, 9:09 pm
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Originally Posted by todorovic View Post
... which for this hotel means Garden View rooms.
Garden, Pool, or Mountain rooms count as standard rooms, at least for the free award nights.
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Old Aug 27, 11, 12:44 am
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Just returned from a 5 night stay. Must say it is a very nice property.

Had a few observations and was wondering if others had similar experience. Might have been mentioned in prior posts.

1) one of the BEST lounge/clubs I have been to. Everyone working there are so friendly. Gave us a bag of taro chips to take on our trip, told us to take this, that. One thing that bothered me was not many guests were leaving tips...
2) also tip related. Left tip in the room for the cleaning people to take. No one took it during our 5 nights there. Was leaving $5 each day.
3) Activity for the kids was great. Ukelele lesson, lei making, bracelet (kokui nut) making, hula all were great (in that order). I thought each would have a slight pitch at the end to sell something, but nothing. It was really genuine lessons/classes for the kids. Nothing attached. Kids also loved the parrot talk at 10 AM each morning. My kids wanted to go to each one since there are 4 parrots that they alternate and let kids "hold" the parrots and take pictures at the end. Make sure to visit Duke and do the shoulder dance. If he likes you he will try to regurgitate food for you.
4) there were some hiccups with the room not being ready and posted classes not taking place (instructor sick). Each of these were very very generously compensated.
5) torch lighting ceremony and hula show Tuesday and Saturday from 6:15 PM. Highly recommend.
6) Luau was outside when I visited. If you get a room facing the show, you will enjoy it from your balcony. Hear that if it rains, it will be inside.
7) best concierge!!!!

Mahalo to everyone who make this such a great property.
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Old Aug 28, 11, 3:44 pm
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For those golfers it has a steller golf course which hosted the grand slam of golf ( a PGA event for the ignorant people who know little to knothing about golf)


Those in terms of actual resort and the food there Tidepools is good eats. Mahi Mahi is always on the menu.

not impressed with a starbacks in the lobby over than fact that it is Kona blend


Though i need to stay at the Stiff competition on the north shore. The St Regis Princeville
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Old Aug 28, 11, 9:15 pm
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Originally Posted by coterie View Post
1) one of the BEST lounge/clubs I have been to. Everyone working there are so friendly. Gave us a bag of taro chips to take on our trip, told us to take this, that. One thing that bothered me was not many guests were leaving tips...
I see very few people leaving tips in many club lounges.


Originally Posted by coterie View Post
2) also tip related. Left tip in the room for the cleaning people to take. No one took it during our 5 nights there. Was leaving $5 each day.

Where did you leave it? I always leave the tip on the pillow and have never returned to see it there unless they failed to clean the room all together.
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Old Aug 28, 11, 10:14 pm
  #12  
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We usually leave a note with the tip so they're sure it's for them - even just a big "THANKS!" with a few bucks. Or if we'd like some extra lotion or shampoo or something, leave a note requesting it with a few bucks and again, a big "Thanks." Then they know for sure it's for them.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 7:07 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CopperSteve View Post
Thanks, again, for the advice. We are here now and this is the exact layout of our room. Tons of room for the two rollaways. My 10-year-old loves having his bed directly in front of the tv.
Is this a renovated suite?
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Old Aug 29, 11, 9:41 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by coterie View Post
.
One thing that bothered me was not many guests were leaving tips...
I never leave tips in lounges. Why would you? It's not a tip job.

On occasion I tip the maid if my toddler leaves a mess or I think she has done a stellar job. Sadly that is all too rare these days. I'd leave it on the bathroom counter.

Originally Posted by coterie View Post
.
6) Luau was outside when I visited. If you get a room facing the show, you will enjoy it from your balcony. Hear that if it rains, it will be inside.
.
If the noise penetrated my room (as it does at some resorts) that would be a deal-killer for me. The last thing I need is hokey music interrupting the serenity of my vacation.
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Old Aug 29, 11, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
I never leave tips in lounges. Why would you? It's not a tip job.
I don't know how the RC/GC employees are compensated, and it's not really any of my business. However, the staff in the GC in Kauai has consistently gone out of their way to make sure our stays have been extraordinary. In addition to notes to their management, I have no problem leaving a tip as a small tangible expression of my appreciation for their efforts. I don't tip in most RCs but I usually don't get the service I do in Kauai.

Originally Posted by Boraxo View Post
On occasion I tip the maid if my toddler leaves a mess or I think she has done a stellar job. Sadly that is all too rare these days. I'd leave it on the bathroom counter.
I always leave a tip for the housekeeper. At some properties, they leave a signed card and I'll place the tip on that. At others, I'll place it in an envelope.
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