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Grand Hyatt Kauai REVIEW- MASTER THREAD - mid-2011 Forward

Grand Hyatt Kauai REVIEW- MASTER THREAD - mid-2011 Forward

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Old Jul 8, 21, 1:58 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 don’t 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 Jun 13, 21, 9:25 pm
  #2056  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SEA, YVR
Programs: Alaska MVPG, Flying Blue Gold, BA Silver, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 529
The hotel appears to be completely sold out for the first 3 weeks of July - a little surprised because I've never seen a ~600 room hotel sell out completely before, although I guess they are not operating at 100% capacity and hawaii has been crazy busy lately....
lily23 is offline  
Old Jun 14, 21, 4:34 pm
  #2057  
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Programs: WOH Globalist
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Originally Posted by lily23 View Post
The hotel appears to be completely sold out for the first 3 weeks of July - a little surprised because I've never seen a ~600 room hotel sell out completely before, although I guess they are not operating at 100% capacity and hawaii has been crazy busy lately....
It’s completely sold out during the holiday week until January 1 (I know bc I tried to book)
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Cometstar is offline  
Old Jun 14, 21, 9:50 pm
  #2058  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,859
Check Sep 2021. I just booked 10 nights @ 25k. Reservation wouldn’t book without at least 8 nights. Room type was not available for cash or for points, until you added the 8th night.

E.G.
Sep 6-10
Sep 14-17
Sep 12-17
Sep 10-17
Sep 11-17
Sep 13-17
Sep 14-17
Sep 19-24

But... these days are bookable at 25k/nt.
Sep 8 - 17
Sep 9 - 17
If you went out to late Sep/Oct, shorter stays became available again. E.G. - Sep 26 - Oct 1st.

This experience made me commit my travel plans. Couldn’t explain the behavior. Not sure if they were trying to encourage longer stays to reduce outbreaks and keep transient visitors out.

BTW - wanted to say, I think the Andaz Maui hype is overrated Not sure what everyone likes about that hotel. Uncomfortable beds, small pools. Just mediocre. The Marriott Wailea does it better. Would never recommend spending 30k/nt at that Andaz.


Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
While this is extremely concerning (to the level of Andaz Maui), without knowing even approximate dates, this isn't very helpful as we cannot discern how widespread these award/minimum stay games are. I was able to find award stays of 3, 5, and 6 nights in February 2022, and a 3-night midweek award stay in late August 2021.
factory81 is offline  
Old Jun 14, 21, 11:29 pm
  #2059  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: SEA, YVR
Programs: Alaska MVPG, Flying Blue Gold, BA Silver, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 529
Originally Posted by factory81 View Post
Check Sep 2021. I just booked 10 nights @ 25k. Reservation wouldn’t book without at least 8 nights. Room type was not available for cash or for points, until you added the 8th night.
thanks for sharing and good catch! I'm seeing some availability popping up with longer stays. I've never seen the min. night stay for that long even for cash rates though! usually its more like min. 3 nights for award nights.
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Old Jun 14, 21, 11:56 pm
  #2060  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 3,840
Based on some limited experimenting, it seems like a check-in date restriction. I can get a standard room award for any length of stay checking in on the 8th or 9th (Wednesday or Thursday), but not on the 10th (Friday).

It's especially baffling/offensive/both that the hotel is starting to play these games during what is historically considered to be a shoulder season for Hawaii.
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dkc192 is offline  
Old Jun 15, 21, 11:10 am
  #2061  
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Originally Posted by lily23 View Post
thanks for sharing and good catch! I'm seeing some availability popping up with longer stays. I've never seen the min. night stay for that long even for cash rates though! usually its more like min. 3 nights for award nights.
Andaz on Maui is doing this as well. It's irritating, but seems to be the way the "popular" redemption places are going right now.
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Old Jun 15, 21, 10:33 pm
  #2062  
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Posts: 69
Originally Posted by MechMachine View Post
Back in March I booked thanksgiving week flying back on thanksgiving evening here. Flight got changed so decided to extend booking by a day. Staying on points.

The original booking I was able to secure 2 Standard Queens. However award space is filling up, so rather than cancel or modify the existing reservation I let it be and made a new reservation for one night. Problem is the only room available was an ADA 2 Queens, which I got. However I just looked again and after booking only kings come up, literally got the last one.

I’m planning on telling the property to link these two reservations together and hope I can get the same room all nights rather than having to change on the last day. Anyone have any success getting upgraded from an ADA to a standard, or how that has worked in the past? Tempted to call and ask if the property can confirm me into 2 Standard Queens, if they have space they’re holding back. Or in a perfect world would get upgraded to a pool view or ocean view for all the nights and wouldn’t have to worry about the partial ADA partial Standard mess.

Also - another thing I was thinking of trying was calling to add a Club certificate to the room to try and confirm into another category. I did see the property was actually selling the Club 1 King or 2 Queens category so I could try that too. Fingers crossed. Thanks everyone. Would appreciate anyone’s input or thoughts!
Originally Posted by factory81 View Post
I won't reveal the dates I am looking, because...well, secrecy is necessary, given the circumstances.

I can confirm there appear to be standard room restrictions. E.G. look for an award trip that is 8 or 12 days in length. You will find 25k/night award nights. Now look for the same dates, but reduce the stay to 6 nights (cut the tail end or the beginning of the trip off), and you will find the 25k/night is no longer advertised. It won't be advertised for cash or points.

I am not sure why they are doing this with cash rates, but maybe that is because people could call Hyatt customer service and successfully argue that the nights should be available for award booking, if it is available for cash booking.

I am not sure what the strategy is here. Is the hotel trying to reduce the number of transient visitors, and therefore reduce the potential covid exposure (or outbreaks)? That would make sense to me.
Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Based on some limited experimenting, it seems like a check-in date restriction. I can get a standard room award for any length of stay checking in on the 8th or 9th (Wednesday or Thursday), but not on the 10th (Friday).

It's especially baffling/offensive/both that the hotel is starting to play these games during what is historically considered to be a shoulder season for Hawaii.
Originally Posted by bsdstone View Post
Andaz on Maui is doing this as well. It's irritating, but seems to be the way the "popular" redemption places are going right now.
Just wanted to update my previous issue. I have been stalking the availability for adding a night onto my thanksgiving trip to this property. I had a 4 night stay standard 2 queens bookended by a 1 night placeholder ada 2 queens. I looked and that date had opened up 1 standard queen; so I called the globalist line. They were able to cancel the one night ada reservation and extend my 4 nights to 5 standard 2 queens. While I was on the line I asked if they could see any booking restrictions and they said they didn't see any minimum stay requirements from their end except there were restrictions on the number of club rooms the property was selling for each night to control number of people in the club. However, explicitly the property had a notice to agents that this would be waived irregardless of the number of club rooms sold/not available for globalists.

I would like to mention a relatively unknown "hack" allowed by WOH to globalists I was only made recently aware of. If you are finding issues with getting availability for the dates you want and are only finding a longer stay is showing availability; call and ask for them to "advance" you the points even if you don't have enough for the longer stay. Then you can call back and trim it down; or even if you explained the situation to the phone agent they may just be able to book the longer stay even without the necessary balance in your account and trim it down themselves, or circumvent that entire step. But the phone agent did say there weren't any restrictions she could see other than the club rooms; I asked. Hope this helps.
MechMachine is offline  
Old Jun 17, 21, 9:54 am
  #2063  
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
It's especially baffling/offensive/both that the hotel is starting to play these games during what is historically considered to be a shoulder season for Hawaii.
While it would normally be considered that, this is different. Demand for Hawaii is incredible right now.
SNA_Flyer is offline  
Old Jun 17, 21, 10:07 am
  #2064  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 3,840
Originally Posted by SNA_Flyer View Post
While it would normally be considered that, this is different. Demand for Hawaii is incredible right now.
High demand does not give hotels carte blanche to violate the terms of the WoH program.
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Old Jun 19, 21, 3:27 pm
  #2065  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 51
We were given a 6th floor parking lot view on the shipwreck side but have club access on the far other side of the property. It's a lot of walking. Beautiful property.
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Old Jun 19, 21, 8:39 pm
  #2066  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ATL
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by cebee View Post
We were given a 6th floor parking lot view on the shipwreck side but have club access on the far other side of the property. It's a lot of walking. Beautiful property.
I believe you used club certificates for the nights of your stay. Assuming you are not also Globalist (which is why you used the certificates), I wonder if that's why they placed you in the Shipwreck wing, e.g. you're not Globalist and there are plenty of those (and/or paying non-upgrade guests) staying at the same time.

Interestingly enough, when we checked in on 5/31, the front desk rep mentioned that they were only allowing club access to Globalists at that time.
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Old Jun 19, 21, 10:18 pm
  #2067  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 49
We are on property now in 1st floor Shipwreck room. We booked on points and added Club certificates but requested a ground floor room in Shipwreck wing to be close to pools. It is only a 5 min walk to the club so no big deal for us.

What is ridiculous right now is the lounge chair availability around the pool. The hotel has removed lounge chairs from the pool area to space things out more but every chair next to an umbrella is taken by 8AM by people leaving towels, or other things on them. It is so bad that I went out at 7AM this morning and probably 90% of them were already claimed yet no one was actually there!! I claimed ours and just stayed out there, the people who claimed 6 chairs behind me showed up 3-4 hours later. W T F?? So rude.
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Old Jun 20, 21, 3:01 am
  #2068  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
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Originally Posted by timeo1 View Post
What is ridiculous right now is the lounge chair availability around the pool. The hotel has removed lounge chairs from the pool area to space things out more but every chair next to an umbrella is taken by 8AM by people leaving towels, or other things on them. It is so bad that I went out at 7AM this morning and probably 90% of them were already claimed yet no one was actually there!! I claimed ours and just stayed out there, the people who claimed 6 chairs behind me showed up 3-4 hours later. W T F?? So rude.
This is a problem at virtually all large Hawaiian resorts. I wish resorts would adopt policies banning such selfish practices and actually enforce them. Many do the former; few, if any, do the latter.
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Old Jun 20, 21, 10:33 am
  #2069  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: ATL
Posts: 101
Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
This is a problem at virtually all large Hawaiian resorts. I wish resorts would adopt policies banning such selfish practices and actually enforce them. Many do the former; few, if any, do the latter.
The GH has a policy with signs, e.g. towels will be removed if no one shows after an hour, but they don't enforce it. One day we saw a family of 6 claim multiple chairs under umbrellas by the main pool and then do the same under umbrellas by the salt water pool, which is where they stayed for a while.
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Old Jun 20, 21, 1:04 pm
  #2070  
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Originally Posted by ahself View Post
The GH has a policy with signs, e.g. towels will be removed if no one shows after an hour, but they don't enforce it. One day we saw a family of 6 claim multiple chairs under umbrellas by the main pool and then do the same under umbrellas by the salt water pool, which is where they stayed for a while.
BTW, they will enforce it if you flag a pool attendant and ask them to check if there are any "unused" loungers. They do keep tabs on them, and will remove items.
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