Two weeks ago, I visited the Grand Hyatt Kauai for the second time. I first visited the resort in June 2012, using my free night certificates from my Hyatt Credit Card, and today, the property is just as beautiful and vast (situated on over 50 aces) as I remembered, and a great place for couples and families to stay while visiting Hawaii.
The resort is located on the south side of Kauai on Poipu Beach, and it’s truly a Hawaiian paradise with luscious gardens, fiery tiki torches that light up the resort at night, and what seemed to be an endless amount of pools, waterfalls, and lagoons.
Rather than a standard review of my own, in this post you’ll find a condensed trip report with lots of pictures and 10 tips I think you’ll find useful if you’re planning a visit to the Grand Hyatt Kauai soon.
Free Nights are Possible
Using World of Hyatt points is an excellent idea if you’re considering a stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. With standard room rates starting at around $550, you’re getting more than 2 cents value with your points when you redeem 25,000 points per night.
The new World of Hyatt Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after spending just $3,000 in 3 months, which covers two nights.
The points and cash rate of 12,500 + $150 is also an exceptional value, too. I would not recommend spending an extra 8,000 points per night for a free night with Grand Club access.
There is a $35 nightly resort fee (waived on full points bookings), which includes free self parking, wifi/fitness center access, etc. Here’s everything that’s included in the resort fee.
The standard room for a points redemption is a garden view room. As a Globalist, I was given a room on a high floor with amazing pool views. As, I mentioned, this property is huge, so to put that into perspective, the distance between the lobby and my room was approximately 1/4 of a mile.
The room itself was spacious and comfortable, but certainly ready for a renovation. I was a huge fan of the cocomango bath products.
Aside from everything that’s included in the resort fee, here’s a list of elite benefits available for each status tier:
- Member: 20% off lunch at Ilima Terrace between 11am – 2pm, 15% off Anara Spa Retail, $25 a car rental from Avis (minimum 2 consecutive days).
- Discoverist: All “Member” benefits, plus 2pm late check out and preferred room type booked.
- Explorist: All “Discoverist” benefits, plus complimentary access to Anara Spa and upgrade to best room available, excluding Club Lounge access and Suites.
- Globalist: All “Explorist” benefits, plus 4pm late checkout, upgrade to best available room (up to standard suites), waived resort fees on free night awards, complimentary valet parking on free night awards, complimentary access to the Grand Club Lounge.
The ride from LIH to the Grand Hyatt Kauai takes approximately 25 minutes and will cost about $50 for a taxi or ~$35 for an Uber. Since self parking is included in your stay, it might economically make sense to rent a car for a short stay and have the freedom to explore the island at your leisure and try restaurants that are off the resort.
Plus, you’ll have a chance to stop at a nearby supermarket on the way (Big Save Mart) to stock up on water bottles, wine, and snacks to bring to the resort before checking in.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai opened up in late 1990, and I’ll be honest – though the property is beautiful and meticulously-manicured, it’s due for an upgrade (especially the guest rooms).
The good news is that they are slowly renovating the rooms and suites (I saw some construction during my stay), and the manager I spoke with confirmed that more renovations are scheduled for later this year. I did get the opportunity to peek at a renovated suite and was impressed.
There are a total of 39 suites ranging from 1,050 – 2,813 square feet of space on the property, and two newly-renovated smaller ocean suites are opening this week.
While there wasn’t a suite available for me during one night of my stay, I did ask a manager if I’d be able to briefly see what they looked like before checking out – a pool suite and an ocean suite. Both of these are considered standard suites and are available as an upgrade.
I was really impressed with the pool suite, featuring 800 square feet of contemporary Hawaiian furnishings, a king sized bed, separate sitting area with a full size sofa sleeper, 65-inch television, wet bar, coffee maker and refrigerator.
The bathroom included a spacious wet room with a luxurious double shower and a free standing French tub.
Though a bit more dated in design, the ocean suite is also really spacious and a nice upgrade, especially for families. There is a separate living room, wet bar, dining table for 4, and large bathroom.
Pools & Beaches
There are pools to suit every pool desire you may have – including a “lazy-river” style pool, a salt water lagoon (my favorite), an active pool with a volleyball net, and even a pool with a water slide.
From what I observed, none of the pools were ever overly-crowded and the majority seemed to be family-friendly. All of the pools were heated, and some pools were warmer than others, but all were perfectly comfortable to get right in.
Lounge chairs, towels, and sunscreen are provided, but you’ll have to pay extra to reserve a cabana for the day.
Shipwreck Beach (the resort’s private beach) was also very nice, but the waves were a bit rough, so the little time I actually spent in the ocean could have ended tragically, LOL.
I enjoyed climbing up to the top of the cliff on Shipwreck Beach to catch some great views, though I wasn’t daring enough to take the plunge into the water below!
The Grand Club
The Grand Club is located near the Anara Spa and serves breakfast between 6:30 and 10am, afternoon snacks from 12 – 4pm, and cocktails (honor bar) & hors d’oeuvres from 5 – 7 pm, and cordials & desserts between 7:30 – 8:30pm daily. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
The spreads were decent and breakfast included fresh fruit, yogurt, pastries and some hot dishes like eggs and miso soup. Grand Club access is great for families and to pop in for a cold drink, have coffee, and snack through the day.
If you’re craving a more substantial breakfast offering, the food at Ilima Terrace was tasty and not too expensive:
Spa & Fitness
One attribute of the resort that I thoroughly enjoyed was their commitment to fitness. When I’m away, it’s nice to be able to stay fit, and being in an environment that’s conducive to staying healthy is important to me.
The fitness center here is large and is fully loaded with new equipment, and there’s also a number of fitness classes available free of charge ranging from power walking, Zumba, water aerobics, and conditioning classes. I took part in a 7am HIIT class one morning, and it was one of the most fulfilling (and challenging) classes I’ve taken in a while – I was sore for days afterwards!
The Anara Spa is also a nice place to kick back and enjoy the facilities, even if you do not have a scheduled treatment planned. There were separate steam rooms and saunas in the mens’ and women’s locker rooms, as well as a lap pool and hot tubs.
Make a Furry Friend
This is so heartwarming! The Grand Hyatt Kauai has a special partnership with the Kauai Humane Society, which allows guests to take a dog out for a field trip. You can take a furry friend hiking, to the beach or just spend time hanging out outdoors.
The Mahaulepu Heritage trail, adjacent to the hotel, is a nice easy walk that’s good for dogs. The Humane Society will provide you with information about trails and beaches you can go to, give you towels, treats, and a water bowl for your day out.
It’s a great program that gets the dogs out of the shelter, socializing, gives you your dog fix, and has resulted in many adoptions across Canada and the US. There is a map in the shelter that shows where some of the alums have moved to which includes Germany, all across Canada and the US!
While the Grand Hyatt Kauai as a whole is extremely family-friendly, there is a Camp Hyatt kids club option available for kids ages 3 to 12.
The price is $125 per child, per day, for a full day from 9am-3pm (includes lunch). A 1/2 day is $60 for 3 hours. There is a 50% discount for siblings.
Though I personally think that’s steep and would opt-out all together, some parents may crave some bits of alone time on a family vacation.
Below is a sample schedule of daily activities available for kids:
I’ve rambled a lot in this post, but I hope I was able to provide some helpful information to those who are planning a trip to the Grand Hyatt Kauai. I truly enjoyed my stay, and I’m excited to visit again after the property refresh.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to comment below, and I’ll do my best to answer them.
For those who have visited the Grand Hyatt Kauai already, what were your impressions?
Great pics! I think resort fees are now waived for all globalist bookings. As long as they are eligible rates/stays for elite credit.
We stayed there the first week in June and loved it. There were a few hiccups with our stay, but I was astounded and how committed to service the entire team is. We used our two free nights that we got for the Hyatt card (before they switched the enrollment offer) and combined that with the Citi Prestige stay 3, get the 4th night free benefit. So we were there for six nights and only paid for three.
Location is everything – we had a room close to the pool which was nice given that we were there with small kids. I’d ask what your options are before committing to a room location because some were very far from the pool area.
On site luau – We had a great time at the luau. The entertainment was amazing as was the food. The beverage service was a little lacking (we had a terrible server). But it was nice to fully partake in this without having to worry about driving back after a few mai tais.
A few perks you didn’t mention:
Laundry facilities are included in the resort fees. They even supply the detergent and fabric softener. I didn’t see that mentioned here but it is a nice perk. It definitely takes a bit of persistence during busy times to find enough units but it was amazing to go home with all our laundry done.
Free sunscreen – They have free sunscreen in a dispenser by the activities desk. This was great if we got down to the pool and realized we’d forgotten to bring it with us.
Free water bottles and filtered water – Do not buy water if you go to the grocery because they supply water bottles and filtered water all over the property.
Departures lounge – This was a huge benefit to us since we had 10 pm return flights. We were all able to shower late in the afternoon before our late evening flight. The facility is small (only one shower) and it needs some updating. When I turned the hair dryer on, the lights dimmed. But this allowed us to actually enjoy our last day without worrying about how we’d freshen up before 12 hours of traveling.
Oh – one more thing. You can request a fridge and a microwave for the room. The rooms come standard with a small chiller, but we needed more space for actual food items and that chiller was really not enough. The microwave was also nice because we were able to reheat leftovers, make popcorn, etc.
Angelina Aucello says
Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your detailed experience about your stay! Yes, I did see the laundry perk and I think it’s truly a fantastic benefit for families! I just updated the post to include it. Though I am generally not a fan of resort fees at hotels, I do think this property is very generous with the amenities they offer (free fitness classes, parking, the laundry etc). I’m glad you had a wonderful time!
I’m not a fan either but at least I found tangible benefits with these.
They even stamped and mailed my postcards.
Spent six nights there in January, and it’s by far my favorite resort in the world. If you are using the 25,000 Hyatt points per night (as I did), you do not get charged the resort fee, regardless of status (a lowly Discoverist) So it’s an even better deal on points!
I just booked the hotel for spring break 2019 for my wife and myself. I paid the extra 8k in points for the club level. I did that to guarentee ocean views. I have explorist status and could have used an upgrade but I wanted to make sure of the view. I was curious to why you send not to get the upgrade. Thanks for the review, we are excited!
I too am wondering why you recommend not spending the extra 8,000 on club access? I have 5 nights booked with this in the summer and now wondering if I should reconsider and drop room down a tier get an extra a night!
Angelina Aucello says
I personally value Hyatt points at 2 cents each, so 8K extra a night would be worth about $160 to me. Of course it might make sense if you have a large family and can definitely get that much value in lounge snacks. Best bet would be if you have someone with globalist or explorist status who can boom you a “guest of honor” booking. You can transfer points to them ahead of time and you can save 40K points and enjoy club lounge access
My wife and I had 2 days on Kauai (award airfare put us there) as part of 8 additional days with extended family on Oahu in July 2018. I booked a lounge room to secure ocean views, the room was amazing and the lounge really impressed us. Yes, it’s a ton of points to pay for that, but the lounge was fantastic. Drinks and some sort of food all day long were huge…eating out at lunch was the way to go, then we typically didn’t want much food at night. We loved it so much that we booked a full family trip (6 of us) for spring break this year. The lounge will save us a ton. Yes, we could get better value for those points…but we’ll be MUCH less cash out of pocket.
Forgot to mention they waived our valet charges for my Explorist status
Brian Cohen says
I stayed at this property years ago, Angelina; and for a long time, that stay was one of the best I had ever had.
However, most of the items and services included in the resort fee were included in the room rate prior to the implementation of the resort fee.
No matter how you slice it, the resort fee is still a sneaky and deceptive way of artificially lowering room rates which are already not inexpensive. I priced one night in August at $408.00 plus tax. I cannot believe that they really need to charge a resort fee of $35.00 plus tax on top of that.
I am always amused that people think this is a beautiful property. Sadly, it does not belong on Kauai and especially on the North Shore. It is an eye sore from the beaches below. But this is how most Americans think. It’s in bad taste. Sorry to offend, but iam sure I have thousands of supporters on this issue.
You clearly have this resort confused with another, probably either the St Regis or the Westin in Princeville. The Grand Hyatt is on the south, not north, side of the island. There are no beaches below. So other than your typing errors and slamming generalization of an entire nation, the only offense you did make was to truth. Oh, and maybe a case could be made for slander.
But Jim, “thousands” of people probably agree with him. :-)
Thanks for the review Angelina. This is our favorite hyatt hotel and always use points so the resort fee isn’t charged. We have gotten to know the club lounge attendants pretty well over the years and receive a great welcome with each return trip. The resort is great but the people here are even better. One thing to note is that they always have a hot item with a salad between 5-7. We have been able to use that as dinner on some nights when we were tired and didn’t want to go out to eat. They rotate the items from the other restaurants at the resort. They actually have a weekly menu if you ask.
I surely wouldn’t call the lush grounds an eye sore. That is laughable. Heading back there with my son on Sunday and can’t wait. I can almost smell the Aloha.
I think shipwreck is a public, not private beach. Just very accessible from GHK.
+1. All beaches in Kauai are public. Despite what Zuckerberg tried to do ;-)
I stayed for two nights, two years ago, and am looking forward to returning. I too used my free nights. I was on a very small budget and brought a few food supplies, did not eat at the restaurants at all, but did get excellent salads and sandwiches from the store on the property (which were reduced in price late in the day). I didn’t find out till departure that although check is 4 p.m. or so, a guest can use the wonderful outdoor facilities all day before that, and all day after check-out, for free. I had the dirtiest and smallest car in the parking lot, and spent no money on meals or extras, and had an extraordinary time because of the sheer beauty and immaculate maintenance of the place and the courtesy of the staff.
OMG… I love that they partnered with the Humane Society. I’ve never heard of hotels doing this, but it sounds great, especially if you are missing the fur-ball you left at home.
Les Young says
I’ll be at the Grand Hyatt Kauai in three weeks. I’m at the Explorist level and I’ve booked the Club room. I had only four Club access awards so I’ll save those for another stay.
We stayed there around 28 years ago or so and right after we left a hurricane did a lot of damage there. I can’t wait to see this place again. Thank you for the great review.
Christopher Minton says
Is the Globalist breakfast benefit limited to the lounge?
Does anyone know if you can have use of the facilities the day you check-in, prior to your actual check-in time?
Jon Price says
Hello. I read your review on the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Thank you. I am considering going to either there or the Aulani Disney Resort on Oahu with my six year old son. I was curious if you have ever been there.