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The world is full of beautiful beach destinations. While I have experienced my fair share across the globe, I still have not found a beach destination that excites me more than the islands of Hawaii. In November, my family arranged a get together to celebrate a new niece in the family fueled by the power of points and miles.
- American Airlines Flight and Marriott Kauai Resort
- Exploring Lihue
- St Regis Princeville
- Exploring Kauai’s North Coast
American Airlines Flight
I purchased my round-trip ticket to Hawaii for about $500 all-in from Chicago. This was a no brainer as the routing and bonuses earned me about 15000 American Airline miles or what I value at a 300 dollar rebate. My flight was on an American Airlines 737-800 to LAX with a short 25 minute layover and then onward on a very OLD 757-200 into Lihue. I’m pretty sure the audio and video systems haven’t been upgraded since the 757’s went into service in 1983! Other than that observation, the flight was rather uneventful. I am always surprised at how short the flight to Hawaii from the West Coast is. It makes me quite envious of you all.
Marriott Kauai Resort and Beach Club
While I had 13 nights reserved at the St. Regis Princeville, I was coming in a day early and leaving a day later than the family so I booked two nights at the Marriott Kauai at both ends. Each night cost 25K Marriott Points. I must say, this has to be the most beautiful ‘Airport Hotel’ I have ever seen. Now while it’s not technically an airport hotel, it is a short 2 miles from the airport, close enough to jog if you are ambitious. Given the number of flights arriving each day, the drivers of the complimentary hotel shuttle can literally watch the planes on approach and drive over to pick up the arriving passengers.
Within 20 minutes of landing, I traversed the airport, took the short shuttle ride to the airport, and checked in to my upgraded Deluxe Ocean View. While the upgrade was greatly appreciated, most of the rooms are your standard Marriott 500 square feet rooms. Most every room has a balcony that overlooks the beautiful Nawiliwili Beach from one vantage point or another. My room on the first day was on the top floor and had unobstructed views of the bay. On the last day of the trip, I received a Partial Ocean View which was nearly identical.
View of Nawiliwili Bay from Hotel Room
The Resort Property
This resort is sprawling. I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to explore the property because Nawiliwili beach was far too tempting. Of particular note, the 5 swim up-only Jacuzzi’s attached to the extremely large pool were very attractive in the evenings to watch the sun go down over the mountains. The resort was at relatively low capacity so it was not too difficult to secure a ‘private’ Jacuzzi for our group in the evenings.
The Marriott Kauai is one of the rare properties in Hawaii that does not have a resort fee but do expect a 14 dollar per night parking fee. As a nice cost saving opportunity for staying at the Marriott, I was able to save two days of costs on the rental car and parking by using the shuttle to and from the airport when I was ready to pickup and drop-off the car. Oyster does a good job on this resort capturing every nook and cranny. You can get a good idea for the full grounds of the resort here.
The Bottom Line
The natural beauty and convenience of the Marriott Kauai make this a very attractive property. It doesn’t quite match what you will find at the St Regis or Grand Hyatt on Kauai, but I didn’t expect that coming in. The Marriott Kauai definitely met my expectations and the convenience to the airport without any ‘airport noise’ was an added bonus.