Hawaii Trip Part 13: Grand Hyatt Kauai Review

Before we fly home from Kauai, I’ll provide a detailed review of the Grand Hyatt Kauai, now one of our favorite hotels.

Resort Layout

Before the detailed review of our suite and the resort, I’ll give you an idea of the layout as depending on your Hyatt status, whether you have kids, and whether you have mobility issues, you may want to request a room or suite in certain areas of this massive resort.  The lobby area has the check-in area, bell desk and concierge.  Then in the same general area are the main restaurant (Ilima Terrace) near the check-in area, the sushi restaurant (Stevenson’s) downstairs on the left, and a coffee shop (Seaview Terrace) downstairs in the center.  There are also quite a few shops both on the left and right of the main building as you head toward the rooms.  Bottom line: this place is huge, and you will need your walking shoes and a good sense of direction if you want to maximize your time here.

There are two wings where the rooms are located – the Poipu wing to the right of the lobby and the Shipwreck wing to the left.  The Grand Club is in the middle of the Poipu wing, along with the spa in a separate building nearby.  The pools (and there are a lot of them) are much closer to the Shipwreck wing.  The higher-end restaurant, Tidepools, is also located basically in the middle of the pool area but separated by a koi pond.

Both wings have about 5-6 stories, but the Poipu wing is separated into two buildings, with some rooms and suites in a 2-story building in front, then a larger, taller building behind it.  The lobby is on the 4th floor of the resort as it set higher up than the beach and the Grand Lounge is on the 3rd floor.  See what I mean about it being a bit confusing? 

The Shipwreck wing is more straightforward with a 6-story building that basically just overlooks the pool area and beach.  You may see some reviews about confusing dark hallways and getting lost, but with 600+ rooms, they tried to maximize the number of ocean views by spreading things out.  All the hallways and the lobby area either were completely open-air or had large window-style openings out to the fresh Kauai breezes.

The pool area is huge, with an adult pool area and bar at the top near the Shipwreck wing.  Following the path down toward the beach there is a lazy river, waterslide, hot tub, several other pools (with a towel/pool toys check-out desk and the pool bar and restaurant) and then a large salt-water lagoon and manmade beach.  Beyond the pools is Shipwreck Beach, which has very high surf and isn’t great for swimming, although locals were enjoying surfing, boogie boarding and bodysurfing.  There’s also a rocky cliff at the east end that people were jumping off into the surf (I watched this but was told by my better half that under no circumstances should I attempt it!).

At the time we were there in early July, things were relaxed covid-wise (prior to the Delta variant becoming a concern).  Masks were encouraged but did not seem to be required for guests anywhere except walking into Stevenson’s (which is completely indoors) or the stores.  Remember that every guest here either was tested within 72 hours or vaccinated before entering Hawaii.  Many guests wore masks around the lobby area or walking through the hallways, but many did not wear them. At this point, Hawaii has removed all of its covid restrictions, but it would likely be one of the first to reinstate them if there was another wave.

The Suite

We were in suite 1029, which opened onto a grassy area with the beach in front of that.  It wasn’t a panoramic ocean view, but we liked the ability to exit out of our sliding door and get directly to the pool and beach area without navigating through the hallways.

The suite opened to a large living area with a 4-seat dining room table.  Sliding doors led out to a lanai with a couple of chairs and a lounger.  There was a large TV and a comfortable couch with a separate oversized armchair. In the room was a covid kit with sanitizer and masks.  A bottle of champagne was left for us on the dining table with a nice note from the GM regarding our anniversary. There was also a wet bar area with a small fridge and two branded refillable water bottles on the counter. (Note: do not put these in the dishwasher when you get home as they will melt ☹) 

Entryway
Dining area
Living area

The small king bedroom had sliding doors (likely so you could see the outside view from the bed), two closets and another TV. 

Bedroom

There was a large bathroom with double sinks, separate soaking tub and shower, and a separate toilet area with…a Japanese toilet!  I suppose this resort gets a lot of Japanese guests in normal times.  The bathroom could be accessed from the bedroom and the living room.

Shower and bathtub
Japanese toilet

The only downside to the suite – very few outlets.  There were a couple installed on one nightstand and a couple of poorly located ones in the living area, with no USB A or C connectors anywhere.

Overall Thoughts

Even though this is not a new resort (it’s about 30 years old), it’s extremely well maintained.  The rooms and suites are nicely appointed, and the bathrooms have all been redone recently.  The only negative about the room was the lack of outlets. 

The staff were all friendly and helpful, from the bartenders to the front desk to the valets to the lounge attendants.  The lounge breakfast was a bit underwhelming, but free breakfast is free breakfast, and it was certainly better than paying $40 for a buffet.  The Globalist benefits are excellent, especially the laundry credit, which I’ve never seen at another resort. We’re not usually ones to return to hotels as we like to try new places.  We will likely make an exception and return to the Grand Hyatt Kauai someday.

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