The Courtyard Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach has a great location on the island. // © 2012 Courtyard Marriott Kauai
One of the aspects that visitors to Kauai enjoy most is the island’s quiet, country vibe. The Garden Isle generally feels a bit less hectic than Maui or Oahu and is certainly much smaller than the island of Hawaii. Yet for all its down-home charm, its accommodations’ scene is generally dominated by large — albeit friendly — resorts. Now, there is a new choice for travelers and travel agents on Kauai: the Courtyard Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach.
Technically, “new” is not the correct word to describe this property. A hotel has occupied this space on the island’s eastern coast for many years, but after the completion of a $13 million renovation, the property certainly feels born anew.
It’s important for agents and clients to understand that this property is not what many people imagine when they think of the Courtyard Marriott brand. In fact, the hotel is much more in line with the Courtyard Marriott properties throughout Asia: four-star hotels with upscale guestrooms and a range of amenities at a value price. Certainly, the value aspect of Courtyard Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach fills a great niche on the island, offering a comfortable, quiet and sophisticated option to clients who either don’t like a large resort or don’t want to pay for a large resort.
Perhaps the first thing that travelers will notice about the Courtyard Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach is its setting. Located in Kapaa, the property sits on a wild stretch of the island’s coastline near Wailua Bay. Seventy percent of the guestrooms have ocean views and, from just about anywhere on property, guests will find mesmerizing vistas of endless waves crashing on the beach. The views make it well worth requesting an oceanfront room on an upper floor of the four-story property.
Another benefit to the hotel’s location is its convenience to many of the island’s main attractions. It’s located about the same distance from Hanalei to the north as it is from Poipu to the south or Waimea to the west. The shops of the Coconut Marketplace are next door, and the hotel is an easy walk to the shopping, restaurants and amenities of Kapaa. Just two miles down the road is the very swimmable beach at Lydgate Beach Park, as well as the entrance to Wailua River attractions. For golfers, Wailua Golf Course — consistently rated one of the best municipal courses in the U.S. — is also nearby.
The recent renovation touched on many aspects of the 311-room hotel, including the public spaces, restaurants, the meeting rooms and even the lobby. One of the main changes is the addition of a fire pit next to the pool and near Cook’s Landing, the hotel’s lounge and lunch venue. This was a stroke of genius in that it not only improved what was a somewhat plain pool area, but it gives the resort a place where guests naturally seem to congregate in the evenings. Another great improvement was increasing the size of the Jacuzzi, once again giving the property a more communal ambiance. Other changes include the addition of the Marriott Market, offering snacks and meals to go, as well as the creation of an eLounge with Wi-Fi and computers for guests. (Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the resort.)
Services and amenities around the property include Voyager Grill, a restaurant serving breakfast and dinner that has just launched a new menu featuring fresh ingredients from local farms; a renovated fitness room; in-room refrigerators; 17,000 square feet of updated indoor and outdoor meeting and event space; laundry service; and more. The hotel also features the Pua Day Spa, which offers massages, facials, skincare and hair and nail services from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
It’s important for travel agents to explain to clients that the Courtyard Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach should not be compared to the much larger full-service resorts on the island. However, for some guests, that will surely be a plus. The property offers friendly service, comfortable accommodations and the kind of quiet, beautiful setting that many people expect from a laidback Hawaii vacation.