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Koa Kea on the lush tropical island of Kauai is a smaller set up than the ubiquitous Four Seasons resorts we recommend on other islands.
There are 'just' 121 bedrooms in a horseshoe-shaped building around the outside pool and lawn area. The rooms are cool and contemporary, and feel almost urban with tasteful dark wood panels, patterned carpets and brightly coloured bed runners.
The hotel's restaurant, 'Red Salt' serves contemporary cuisine and plenty of fresh sea food with regional flavours. The ocean front setting with large picture windows highlight the stunning location of this property. There is also a sushi bar and lunch is available poolside.
The kidney-shaped pool has plenty of sun loungers surrounding it, and there is a beach bar serving snacks and cocktails - we seriously recommend trying the frozen Coconut Mojito.
Poipu Beach across the road is a good spot for surfers and paddle boarders. There is a small activities hut at the hotel where you can rent equipment and book lessons for both. For relaxation the Spa offers five treatment rooms, and an extensive range of treatments all using natural island ingredients such as seaweed, coconut and pineapple.
Why we love it
Smaller than most mega-resorts on the island Koa Kea was built on the footprint of the Poipu Beach Hotel which was wiped out in 1992 by a hurricane. By building here, Koa Kea has the closest location to the beach.
Alexandra, Original Traveller