Kauai Hotels: Breaking the Mold at the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort
I will be the first to admit that we are not your typical resort people. We like to get out of the hotel, explore the area, and interact with the locals. Yes, we go down to Hawaii to relax, but with two energetic little boys, and an insatiable need to explore we tend to hop in the car looking for a new beach or path leading to nowhere even when we are trying to be beach bums.
My past feelings on resorts were neutral to negative. I was convinced that all they wanted to do was trap you in, and never let you leave. And why would you want to? You had everything you needed right there. The Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort quickly proved me wrong in the best way possible. They stepped away from the mold of your typical resort.
The lobby really set the stage for the newest property in the Outrigger family on Kauai. Its spacious, open air design lets the island breeze filter in while you chat with the staff and check into your room. Dek was begging for ice cream; our receptionist pointed us across the street to Tropical Dreams. I was looking for whale watching information; there was an activities counter directly across from reception. Our room was not quite ready for us when we arrived (much earlier than the usual check-in time), but we were directed towards the pool that is the focal point of the resort. We could splash around while we waited for housekeeping to finish up. They would call me when our room was ready. We were happy to oblige.
While the boys swam, I brought our luggage up to our room once it was ready. I must have gotten the wrong keys because the room I stepped into was nothing short of a mansion disguised as a condo. The two bedrooms, three-bathroom suite was by far the largest accommodations we’d have during our tour of Kauai hotels.
I quickly decided on sleeping arrangements as I unloaded our bags. Mike and I would sleep in the master bedroom, Ty would take over the master bath (that baby seriously hogged the best bathrooms everywhere we stayed), and Dek would get the equally spacious 2nd bedroom with en suite bathroom. With the 3rd communal bathroom accessible from the kitchen we didn’t have to worry about sneaking around our sleeping children late at night. We could simply settle into our home away from home.
The state of the art kitchen stayed mainly untouched as we opted to try out some of the local eateries for most meals. In 2008, my friend stayed at this same resort for her wedding, and her mother made most of the food for the rehearsal dinner and the wedding cupcakes. She found almost everything she needed in the kitchen of her condo.
The living room/ dining area looked over our private balcony (of which we had three) onto the pool. I could easily see the boys playing while I maneuvered everyone’s luggage into their rooms and got a load of laundry started.
The hands down favorite part of this resort for our family was the pool. There were three hot tubs, one of which children could go into that was not too hot, a sand bottom children’s pool, a lazy river with waterfalls and caves, two water slides, and more than enough space to splash around on your own if you didn’t want to socialize. Dek loved slipping on his goggles to dive into the kid’s pool and pick up sand. Granted the pool could not have been more than 2 feet deep, but he figured out how to get himself under submerged time after time. I was happy to practice my underwater photography while he played.
I took Dek down the pool slide twice, but he wasn’t a huge fan. He had much more important things to do in the kiddie pool and hot tub. This did not stop Mike and I from giving it a go. We were like kids ourselves as we took turns slipping down the resort’s most popular built-in fun. If our kids didn’t want to jump on in, we were more than happy to pick up the slack.
We spent little to no time at the beach in front of the resort. The water was a bit rough for the kids in January, and quite frankly Dek had no interest in moving from the hot tub or kiddie pool. There were plenty of lounge chairs on the beach and spots to build a killer sandcastle, but with the winds blowing during our stay things got a little chilly. We were happy to stay put and relax in the heated pool.
What really set this resort above others is that it was very close to town. Of course they want you to hang out in their pool and experience their beach, but you can also walk across the street to the grocery store, grab dinner, or do a little souvenir shopping. South of the resort is the Coconut Market Place, or you can head north into downtown Kapaa where there is a weekly farmers market, plenty of coffee, and shopping to keep you busy all day. Or you can just sit and relax. There was no pressure to stick to the resort, they even offered you ideas to get out and explore. The folks at Waipouli made it easy for us to decide on what type of stay we wanted to have on Kauai.
Room 304-F Notes
Every condo is a little different, as most are individually owned. Our condo had tabletop fans in each bedroom, making the rooms much more comfortable at night as we settled into our cozy king-sized bed. It also came with its own pack n’ play, making it unnecessary to reserve one from the hotel (double-check before booking though). The owners of our unit were big technology buffs. We had loads of cable channels, a desktop computer in the master bedroom, and CD players and iPod docks at our disposal. For non-tech fun there were beach toys and a fold-up shopping cart in the 2nd bedroom closet. With a grocery store right across the street you could haul a whole lot of fruit (or Oreo cookies) back to your kitchen to devour while on vacation.
Know Before You Go
- Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort, 4-820 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746. Tel: 808. 823.1401
- Free on site parking
- Free Wi-Fi in rooms and communal areas
- Free crib upon request
- The resort offers 153 two-bedroom suits, and 37 one-bedroom suites with full kitchens, washer/dryer units, central air, and rather fancy décor.
- Spa by the Sea Day Spa services on site
- Limited house-keeping services (no daily service unless requested. Additional cost.)
- Pool towels are provided during your stay, but you will want to have a few of your own beach towels on hand in case you go exploring outside of the resort.
Many thanks to the Outrigger Resorts for hosting our family for two nights at the Waipouli Beach Resort in January 2013 for the purposes of review. As always my opinions are my own; when they aren’t you will be the first to know.
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