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The view from our private lanai at the Sheraton Kauai Resort gave new meaning to the term oceanfront. Waves breaking on the rocks right outside the window were mesmerizing by day and soothing at night.Since 1968, the Sheraton has occupied 20 prime acres on Poipu’s sunny south coast. The grounds are landscaped with tropical foliage and lagoons stocked with koi. A massive reconstruction, necessitated by hurricane damage, was completed in 1997, essentially creating a new resort. In 2006, a major renovation upgraded all guestrooms, and 2007 will bring improvements to the grounds, restaurants and fitness center.During our stay, senior sales manager Simone McCaffrey offered a personal tour of the 394-room property, which consists of low-rise, four-story oceanview and garden-view buildings. McCaffrey said families constitute 50 percent of the resort’s clientele, with honeymooners representing 40 percent and the balance made up of groups, which are well taken care of thanks to 8,000 square feet of interior space and 13,000 square feet of outdoor space.The resort has two swimming pools, two children’s pools, three tennis courts, a beauty salon, massage center, fitness center and guest library with Internet access. Clients can rent beach equipment and receive instruction in watersports, like scuba diving. Championship golf courses are nearby.The Sheraton offers a wide range of dining choices in its three restaurants overlooking Poipu Beach. Equally impressive is its dedication to Hawaii’s culture. Evening torch-lighting ceremonies, musical entertainment and hula dancers heighten the island experience. For a nominal fee, the Keiki Aloha Club offers children ages 5-12 a range of local activities from lei making to bamboo pole fishing. The hotel’s luau, held twice weekly, provides an introduction to Hawaiian history and tradition. The Sheraton also presents a weekly program to educate guests about the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.Service at the Sheraton is prompt, friendly, discreet and courteous. Rooms are well maintained and housekeeping is generous with towels and linens.During our stay last fall, a $25 per room daily resort charge covered breakfast buffet for two, use of the fitness center, tennis courts, library use, self-parking and many other amenities. Since January 2007, this charge has been reduced to $15 but will no longer include breakfast.Gayle Christensen is a travel consultant with Alamo World Travel in Alamo, Calif.
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