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Reviewed 3 September 2014

This is a nice place to stay with some caveats. We stayed in a 1 bedroom unit in building J at the end of August. This resort seems to have many older, retired visitors, although we saw visitors of all ages throughout our stay.

Pros:
-Centrally located resort for easy access to entire island. 1-1.5hr max to either end of island.
-Nice, modern, spacious accommodations (did not find our apartment dated like some other reviewers stated) with one major caveat (see below).
-Friendly, attentive and helpful staff (24 hour front desk).
-Fully equipped and stocked kitchen, very nice kitchen layout (minor caveat below).
-AC and overhead fan in living room, fan in bedroom.
-Pool and hot tub (though pool is rather small and gets heavily used).
-Nice garden of Hawaiian tropical plants and landscaping on the grounds.
-Store and concierge service on site to help you plan your trips on the island, rent snorkeling gear (for much cheaper than many other places).

Cons:
-Floors screech like crazy! The people above my bedroom get up really early and as a result, so do I! This is pretty annoying as I am on vacation and like to be able to wake up when I choose to rather than being awoken every morning by the people upstairs. (They do not do anything out of the ordinary, just walk around, so I do not blame them in any way, but I blame the design of the building!).
-No swimming beach within walking distance. We love getting up in the morning and taking a walk to and dip on the beach. The beach here has strong currents and high waves, so is not for swimming (there are 2 swimming beaches within a 5-10 minute drive).
-Paid wi-fi in unit that does not always work. Free wi-fi in lobby. Wi-fi should really be FREE in room in this type of resort!! And if you have to pay for it, it should at least work reliably!
-The bedroom faces the parking lot, so you probably won't be able to or won't want to open the window. Our living room faced the garden and had a much nicer view.
-The sink in the bathroom is VERY low, like it was designed for people who are 5 feet tall. I am 5'5'' and found it a slight annoyance. A person of 6 feet would probably find it much more so.
-A very minor thing - there is a lovely, Hawaiian herb garden on the grounds, which the visitors can use, but there are no signs to identify the plants, and as a newcomer to the island, I have no idea what I should try and how. Would be nice if they provided some information.
-Another very minor thing that again could be easily fixed - they only provide salt, pepper and coffee, as well as some sugar packets, tea bags and creamer. We stayed in similar type accommodations in Maui and got way more condiments, including a variety of seasonings in small packets.
-Parking is right outside building and is free, but there is no shade whatsoever, so your car can heat to 100F or higher unless you leave really early in the morning! It would be nice if they built some sort of canopy or planted some tres that could provide at least some partial shade for at least a part of the parking area.

Room Tip: Buildings A, B and C have ocean views. If you stay on the third floor of any of the buildings, you will not be bothered by the screeching floor of your neighbors upstairs, but your room will probably get much hotter.
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
8  Thank Carabiniero8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2014

The Pono Kai Resort was great. The check in and out process was great. The staff were friendly and informative. The one bedroom unit we had was clean and comfortable.

The pool and barbecue areas were great.

The location for walks on the beach path and being near town is plus. Morning walks on the path were great. Also nice to be able to walk to town for shopping, browsing and meals.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank MikeK42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2014

Relative who found this availability on internet didn't realize this was a privately owned unit rather than "time share". Desk folks weren't very helpful since it wasn't booked through them.

The furnishings were tasteful; a lovely unit per se. It was immediately obvious that "problems" such as broken closet door were not taken care of by whomever. The price per day seemed quite high as did the cleaning fee.

The grounds were well kept. The pool was clean.

Our previous time there was as a time share; I think we would have preferred that.

Room Tip: Second and third floors have less noise. No air conditioning. Usually a nice breeze. Ocean view was nice. (This was not a hotel; it was two bedroom condo.)
  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
2  Thank MissyMelody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 4 September 2014

Mahalo for your review and glad to hear that you found the condo and grounds very nice. You are correct that a majority of the condos at the Pono Kai are timeshares managed through the front desk. Some privately owned condos are rented out by owners or management companies like ours. I am not sure if you stayed in one of our managed condos, but we pay close attention to any maintenance issues in the condos to assure everything is comfortable, clean, and in working order for our guests. We will also send out repair personnel promptly if needed. For future stays, I encourage you to look on your confirmation email or placard in the living room on who you can call for any questions while in your condo.

We hope to see you again at the Pono Kai Resort in the future!

Mahalo,
Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 August 2014

We rented a beachfront unit. The unit was superbly appointed. Everything we needed, and more, was available. Your heart will skip a beat every morning when you wake up to the sound of gentle waves and the sight of the ocean right outside your unit. The staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. The only issue we had at the resort was with the Activities Director. They were very cold and terse when they felt we weren't going to do any activity through them. The place is ideally located. Ono Family Restaurant and Shave Ice are virtually across the street. You're within walking distance to everything in Kapaa. There is a great walking/riding path on the beach side of the resort. Ample safe parking. The pool is great. Don't miss the small herb garden. You can pick what you need for your meals.

Room Tip: If you want an ocean front unit, ask to stay in buildings A, B, C, D or E.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CondoRentalsHI, Condo Rental Agency at Pono Kai Resort, responded to this reviewResponded 3 September 2014

Mahalo for your review of the Pono Kai Resort. I am not sure if you stayed at one of the condos our condo rental agency manages, but glad to hear that you enjoyed the grounds, nearby restaurants, and overall Kapaa location. It is really a fun town located in a nice central location along the eastern coastline.
We hope to see you back at the Pono Kai again in the future!

Keith
Condominium Rentals Hawaii

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2014

The wife and I, enjoyed ourselfs for 5 nights at this resort, but we noticed it is older and outdated it needs some remolding, the room was huge and spacious. we had fun playing tennis, basketball, mini golf and swimming. The staff were very nice and helpful. The resort is close to everything you need within walking distance. The beach did not have much sand to hangout on in front of the resort so we drove to some really nice beaches. Overall great stay.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank branlaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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