A 5-hour countdown to check-in at MSP, and I’m nervously peeking at my weather app yet again. A snow apocalypse is stalking the Midwest, and I am hoping we will get to take off without delay. I need to get back to Paradise. Kauai is calling. But it’s February, which means unpredictable weather in western Wisconsin.
Surprisingly, check-in and a single layover brought us to Lihue Airport 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Despite a bag jam inside the luggage conveyor that literally required a person to trudge inside for repairs, we were finally here! We spent a vacation in Kauai for 13.5 days.
We chose to split our accommodations during our stay to help with traffic and less overall car time. For the first five nights, we would be staying at the Koloa Landing, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, which is an upscale and independent property.
I booked the room as soon as reservations became available, about a year out. This is a great way to secure low room rates when staying at the resort. We reserved a king studio with an island view.
We drove our rental SUV South to Poipu where the resort is located. The sun was setting through the tree tunnel, and everything was lush and green. This was BF’s first time on this island, and his smile was gigantic as he drove.
We turned right into the Koloa Landing resort and were greeted by the valets with big smiles, a fragrant orchid lei, and a kukui nut lei. This was an enchanting surprise as I miss the old airport lei greetings that used to be part of the experience of coming to the Hawaiian islands.
Koloa Landing Location
We loved the location of Koloa Landing! You’re a close commute to Poipu Beach, where almost every sunset features viewings of sea turtles and endangered monk seals that come and snooze on the shore.
The Shops at Kukui’ula are a short walk away and have some great restaurant and boutique selections for all price points. We were also only ten minutes from Old Koloa Town, where you can find the best poke on the island!
Check-In At Koloa Landing
As the staff unloaded the luggage from the car, we walked into the beautiful open lobby to the front desk. The receptionist upgraded us to a one-bedroom villa at no extra cost, which was a pleasant surprise. We were also told about various activities that we could do on-site, including yoga, lei-making, and s’mores fire pits.
The Rooms At Koloa Landing
We finished check-in and made our way to the room, awaiting the bellman. The smell of tropical flowers perfumes the entire resort. Our villa had a semi-private elevator. This was a perk as only once during our entire stay did we share a ride and it all felt very safe and secure.
Walking into the resort villa, the first thing you notice is how spacious the design is. To the left is a second half bath with a washer and dryer that we took advantage of almost daily.
Continuing into the space is a walk-in closet, as well as a walk-in pantry and a huge kitchen with every amenity you can think of. The full-size fridge was stocked with water as well as a welcome fruit plate from the resort. There were also complimentary chocolates, reusable shopping bags, and a handwritten note from the team.
The dining room and living room are connected and beautifully furnished with teak, bamboo, and Hawaiian art. Plenty of space for lounging and relaxing.
The master bedroom had an incredibly comfy king-size bed and extremely high-quality linen bedding. It was like sleeping on a cloud. There was a walk-in closet with a safe and plenty of room for all of our belongings.
The attached master bathroom was equipped with a double-size deep-soaking tub, a walk-in shower with dual heads and two separate sinks, and a separate commode. Luxury bath products were organized and plentiful, and the towels were thick and luxurious.
But by far, my favorite part of our room was our lanai. The balcony extended from the living room side to the master bedroom side with a door at each. It had a full patio set and two loungers. Our view overlooked the green grounds and pool with the ocean winking on the horizon.
The first time I walked out there, the songbirds were still chirping, and even though the light was fading, the property took my breath away. We enjoyed a lot of time and several lunches out here, just taking in the sounds and sights of the resort.
Facilities At Koloa Landing
One of the things that impressed me about this space is how multi-functional it is.
There is a Marketplace with alcohol, grab-and-go items, and everything for your beach needs. Spa access is right there reminding you that you are on vacation and should be pampered. A beverage stand with complimentary coffee and fresh fruit-infused water is also there. There are water features, and you can just glimpse the ocean across the grounds. It’s both elegant and beautiful.
Our bellman brought our luggage and gave us a professional tour of the villa, along with some insider tips. He let us know that there was still live music playing for an hour, so if we wanted to head down to their on-site restaurant and bar, it might be a great way to celebrate our arrival.
We meandered through the property and had our first mai tais of our trip, listening to a singer/songwriter Hawaiian musician with a guitar play a plethora of songs. The staff was incredibly welcoming and gracious and this was our experience for the entire stay. The Holoholo Grill is open daily from 7 am to 9 pm for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have a full bar space with a few small TVs that show sports games.
Another thing we really enjoyed about this resort was its pool! The pool is open until 10 pm every night, and it’s received awards for being one of the best pools in Kauai.
The Koloa Landing has a huge infinity pool with a hot tub attached and cabanas surrounding it. This hot tub was the hottest of those on the property and became our preferred one. There are two water slides that are super fun, even as an adult.
The variety of pools and lagoons that are connected together is expansive and includes more hot tubs and a grotto with waterfalls. It’s fun to explore and meander around and it feels very private. There is also a separate adults-only tranquility pool for sunning that has a hot tub as well.
You can get wristbands and pool towels from the pool hut and they will ask for your room number in exchange. Pool towels must be returned at the end of your stay and can be traded in as many times as you would like. They have a great cocktail service throughout the pool area. If you need a break from splashing around, the resort has a fabulous fitness center as well as activities throughout the week.
Arriving during the rainy season, we lived by the rule of waiting a few minutes or driving a few miles to get out of the rain. There were several times we took refuge while in the hot tub which was so much fun. The south side of Kauai is known for being a little drier and it provided beautiful weather for most of our stay.
We also took a video of our stay that you can see down below:
It’s hard to nitpick what could be better at Koloa Landing but I have a couple of suggestions. My biggest concern with booking this resort was that it is not directly on the beach. There is a path that grants access to the public beach about a quarter mile from the resort. This really didn’t hinder us and we got plenty of sand and sun time. The privacy of the pool made up for the fact that beach access was not immediate, and a plus was that there was no sand in the bottom of the pool from people jumping in after going to the beach.
During our stay, they only did a deep clean of our room once. When you are paying top dollar for a resort, it would be nice to have turn-down service each day. The hot tubs could be a little hotter, but I am one of those people that always feel cold so maybe this is subjective. Also, the pool is not heated, so some might say that it was a little chilly but I thought it felt glorious.
After five nights in these amazing accommodations, we had to say Mahalo until the next time. But I will say there will definitely be a next time, and we will be choosing Koloa Landing again. Marriott completely won us over.
This helpful review was written by Liza Sterletske. You can find her on Youtube covering all kinds of activities and places in Kauai.