You’d think a condominium in perpetually sunny Poipu would need
air-conditioning, but at Kiahuna Plantation Resort it’s not
necessary. Like so many other aspects of this South Kauai property,
the in-room cooling system tradewinds, ceiling fans and screened
sliding doors is natural and refreshing.
Kiahuna management is split between Outrigger Hotels &
Resorts, which has 195 units in its rental program, and Castle
Hotels & Resorts, with 120. While I stayed in an Outrigger
unit, I could see virtually no division between the Castle and
Outrigger programs, except for the location of the check-in area.
Poipu is warmer and sunnier than much of Kauai, but it’s blessed
with breezes most of the year. Throughout my visit I was
comfortable whether inside or outside.
At Kiahuna, people tend to gravitate to the great outdoors from
predawn until post-dusk. All units are within walking distance of a
terrific swimming beach. Non-swimmers lounge on chairs on perfectly
manicured lawns dotted by coconut trees. Others relax on their
open-air lanais playing cards, reading, sipping drinks or just
napping. The property is well situated for popular South Shore
activities such as biking, horseback riding, golf and tennis.
Kiahuna’s tidy white buildings with long sloping brown roofs
recall the architecture of Kauai’s sugar plantations of a century
ago. Structures are no taller than three stories, and there are no
elevators for the upper units.
Inside, Kiahuna’s one- and two-bedroom condominium units include
living and dining areas and private lanais opening to garden or
ocean views. One-bedroom units sleep up to four people, with
two-bedroom units sleeping up to six. Rooms come with VCRs, and
movies can be rented from the front desk.
Units are identical in terms of floor plans, amenities and
services. Fabrics and art vary within a tropical or Hawaiian theme,
and furniture is rattan, bamboo or wicker.
My kitchen was so well-equipped that it was a shame I was
traveling alone. I could have hosted a small dinner party thanks to
the dishwasher, microwave oven, range, refrigerator, coffee maker
and cooking supplies. For groceries, guests can go across the
street to the convenience store at Poipu Shopping Village.
If guests don’t feel like cooking in their units, Kiahuna
features outdoor barbecue and picnic facilities, well-suited to
families and friends traveling together.
While it’s a condominium, Kiahuna provides such amenities as
daily maid service, free parking, a beach activity center, a tour
desk and a seasonal children’s program. The staff is quick to
please. For instance, I didn’t have a hair dryer in my bathroom,
but when I called the front desk, someone brought me one within
minutes of my request.
In keeping with the architectural theme of the resort, the
1930’s building housing Outrigger’s front desk and reception area
has an open-air garden setting. There, you’ll also find Plantation
Gardens restaurant, which offers Pacific Rim cuisine.