True aloha spirit at the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort
The Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort in Kauai, Hawaii, got a major makeover right before the pandemic started, and getting a look at the reimagined property has been on TPG's to-do list for a while. I jumped at the chance to stay and I'm glad I did. I had a fabulous couple of days.
If you are looking for low-key glamour and easy access to all there is to do in Kauai, then this hotel is for you.
Read on for our full review.
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I booked the Sheraton Coconut Beach directly with Marriott. I paid $1,266.33 for three nights. That's not that expensive for Hawaii, but still pretty steep. Still, it's a downright bargain considering rates for October and onward start at $479 a night and go as high as $1,152 per night for a basic room. The word is out on this hotel.
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The base rate was $319 a night. There is a room tax of $15.03 per night, an accommodation tax of $32.70 per night and a $32 resort fee per night. Hawaii resort fees are egregious and annoying, in my opinion. Still, the resort fee isn't as high as you will find at places like the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, which charges $50, or the Hilton Waikoloa Village, which charges $45.
The resort fee includes beach chairs and umbrellas, bicycles and the gym and gives you $70 off a round of golf at the Princeville Makai Golf Club.
Unlike other Hawaii properties, self-parking is included in that $32 resort fee. That's a bargain in my book.
I used my Chase World of Hyatt Credit Card to get 2x points on travel for a total of 2,533 World of Hyatt points, which TPG values at $43.06.
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I also earned a total of 12,463 Marriott Bonvoy points, including 9,570 base points, 2,393 elite bonus points and a 500-point welcome bonus. That's worth about $99.70, according to current TPG valuations.
The property and lobby
The Sheraton Coconut Beach got a major remodel back in 2019, and as my colleague Summer Hull discovered at the time, it was a pretty significant upgrade.
There are more than 300 rooms and suites -- all with private balconies.
I liked the modern and light furnishings and design.
The lobby is open-air and welcoming.
The building itself was built in 1978 and hasn't changed too much on the outside, but the rooms and public spaces have been totally transformed in a remodel that cost some $35 million. Read on for more on those lovely changes.
The pool in the courtyard area is twice as large and features what they call a zero-entry edge.
The best part is the ocean right off the hotel and the beautiful beach. It's a bit rocky in places but still perfect for wading, wave-surfing or snorkeling.
There are also outdoor showers.
And lots of lovely hammocks.
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Check-in was fast and friendly. The front desk staff was cheerful and helpful. I was greeted warmly and given a flower lei on arrival and even offered a welcome drink.
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The property transformed from a Courtyard to the more upscale Sheraton in 2019, and the staff treats it like a full-service resort instead of a select-service property like in the past.
The Sheraton Coconut Beach is in a prime location in Kauai. It's on the island's east side in the Kapaa region with ocean access at Coconut Beach. It's not a long drive to Lihue Airport (LIH), and across the street from a Longs Drugs. There's other shopping nearby, too, including a Safeway grocery store in case you need to stock up. There are also many restaurants nearby, so ask the hotel to arrange a dinner, but remember to make reservations.
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It's a short drive to Wailua Falls and the beautiful surrounding area, where you can hike and spend a lovely afternoon.
The rooms at Coconut Beach are fantastic. As I mentioned, the hotel underwent a major renovation in 2019, and the room interiors remain brand-new looking. The bedding is crisp and clean with lots of pillows. My bed was very comfortable.
I love the wooden shutters as a Hawaiian touch to act as blackout shades. There are a lot of room options available. They all have balconies, but only some have oceanfront views. I asked the hotel to show me some of the room types so you can get an idea of what's on offer.
All the rooms have minifridges and coffee makers with drip coffee.
I loved the lighting fixtures and the very responsive air conditioning system, which kept the room nice and cool.
Closets are roomy, and there's extra bedding, a safe, an iron and an ironing board in each room. Bathrooms are modern and clean. Some even have giant soaking tubs. I loved the amenities by Aloha Kauai.
There were also plenty of electrical outlets.
The internet speed was just OK. I was often booted off the internet, and it wasn't easy to stream television shows or movies. I also had some trouble uploading photos and screenshots (for this article, too).
My favorite part of the room was the lanai with a view of the ocean. Different rooms have different lanai options — some rooms have swings.
Other rooms have a small table and chair.
Obviously, when it comes to the Sheraton Coconut Beach, the beach is the top amenity, but I'd rank the pool up there too. There's also yoga available and the gym is excellent. Don't forget to get a free bike and take a ride around the nearby oceanfront trails.
Check out that huge hot tub, too, which never got too crowded to use.
There is a really nice gym that is open 24 hours a day. Guests are asked to wear their masks inside.
Another cool feature is the fact they have ice machines, vending machines, a microwave and even a coin- or credit card-operated laundry available. This is a holdover from when the hotel was a Courtyard, but it's nice to have on the property.
Food and beverage
Offerings at the hotel are still fairly limited because of COVID-19. There are two options for breakfast. The First Light Coffee and Juice Bar offers pretty much any kind of coffee you could want and you can order food to go, too. It shares a menu with the other breakfast option, Daybreak Restaurant. Be aware that there was usually a line for the coffee bar and the restaurant in the morning, so come prepared for that.
For lunch and dinner there is the Crooked Surf, which serves from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It doubles as the pool bar and restaurant, but there's plenty of seating as one of the spaces for another restaurant is empty at the moment, but the space is open to guests to use.
There is live music from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. many nights, featuring local musicians.
I mostly got takeout food while I was there. The food was good if pretty basic.
The Sheraton Coconut Beach is also offering room service right now, but be aware there is an 18% service fee and a $5 delivery charge.
Konohiki Seafoods is a 20-minute drive from the hotel, and while I didn't get to check it out, it comes highly recommended.
The service at the Sheraton Coconut Beach was excellent. When you read online reviews, most folks rave about the staff and I have to agree.
Robert Ancheta was a standout. It turned out he was in charge of guest services, and he really was fabulous. He helped me several times during my stay, including arranging for a hike of the nearby waterfalls. He even helped me get to the airport to fly to Maui a few days after my stay. Talk about above-and-beyond service. He told me it was part of the aloha spirit.
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The Sheraton also offers daily housekeeping, which is becoming rarer and rarer these days.
There were just a few hiccups. Trash didn't always get picked up right away when it was left outside rooms, phones didn't always get answered immediately and there were long waits, at times, for food -- especially for breakfast. I don't blame them too much because of how busy Hawaii is right now and how tough it is to get workers. Staff shortages have become legendary in Hawaii.
I felt the Sheraton Coconut Beach Resort did a really good job with accessibility. The hotel has wheelchair ramps all over the property and elevators are wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs easily. In fact, all the amenities are wheelchair accessible. Hallways and doorways are wide, and signage is all in Braille. There are grab bars near appliances and in the bathrooms; assistive listening devices are available too. Finally, there are low-height outlets and viewports and lever door handles in some rooms.
There are pool assists to help get disabled guests into the water as well. And the hotel features Americans with Disabilites Act-compliant rooms, too.
I really enjoyed the remodeled Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort. Great service, excellent location and the modern, refreshed rooms would have me book it again (if the price was right).