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Travel agents seeking a fresh product to pitch on Kauai need look no further than Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu.
While it isn’t new, the south shore retreat recently finished a $110 million expansion that resulted in more suites and villas, an elaborate water playground, a restaurant, a spa and a state-of-the-art meeting facility. In addition, it has become a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, which prides itself on properties with distinctive personalities.
“We are especially popular with the higher-end, very cultured traveler who expects top-quality appointments, amenities and accommodations,” said Sally Halm, director of sales and marketing for Koloa Landing. “We have had celebrities stay at the property as well as CEOs and businessmen with their families.”
But that doesn't mean Koloa Landing is stuffy. Instead, it offers a laid-back ambiance with a healthy dose of aloha spirit. As incoming guests step into the open-air reception area, they’re greeted by views straight out to the sea. Each arriving client receives not only a flower lei, but also a gratis mai tai to ease them into an island state of mind.
The spaciousness of Koloa Landing’s 306 accommodations makes it a good fit for families and multigenerational travelers. Studios start at 500 square feet — nearly twice the size of a standard Kauai guestroom — with villas as large as four bedrooms and 3,600 square feet. Units feature kitchens and pantries, which can be stocked before a guest’s arrival. Washer/dryers in every unit add appeal for families. Upon first entering their rooms, visitors receive a welcome amenity of a beach bag, a box of chocolates and bottled water.
Families also gravitate to the resort’s new 350,000-gallon saltwater lagoon pool, which features cabanas, Jacuzzis, slides, a swim-through grotto and waterfalls. Next to the pool is Holoholo Grill, a collaboration with Hawaii’s James Beard Award-winning chef Sam Choy. Holoholo Grill’s casual, al fresco layout sets the stage for small-batch craft cocktails and what it calls “Hawaiian comfort food,” such as fresh fish tacos and mahi-mahi tempura. Come evening, tiki torches and live local music create a relaxed tone for sipping and supping.
Now that the expansion has wrapped up, Koloa Landing is courting group business. The property’s new 12,000-square-foot meeting facility boasts a grand ballroom that can hold up to 1,000 people for receptions. Its two outdoor, oceanview lawns are well-suited for luaus, weddings and networking events.
Active clients can work with Koloa Landing’s personal concierge, who will customize guest experiences, such as snorkel cruises, ziplining and beach days. On property, guests can play on the activity lawn with its putting green, volleyball net and soccer field. When it’s time to indulge, the resort’s 4,000-square-foot spa obliges with Kauai’s only copper “ofuro” (Japanese soaking tub).
According to Halm, Koloa Landing’s inclusion in the Autograph Collection makes it easy for travel agents to sell the resort to their clients.
“Instead of being an independent property, we have joined a high-end, unique collection of hotels and resorts that matches our sophistication and luxury feel,” Halm said. “Travel agents and their clients know that Autograph Collection by Marriott represents a certain level of luxury.”