Guest Post Kauai – Trip Report – American Airlines Flight and Marriott Kauai

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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.

Trip Report

  1. Introduction
  2. American Airlines Flight and Marriott Kauai Resort
  3. Exploring Lihue
  4. St Regis Princeville
  5. 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.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed.

About alex

Alex loves to travel and does so a lot. Logging 100,000 flight miles each year over the past 4 years, Alex uses points and miles to power his passion. Alex is continuously striving to experience the far reaches of the globe. In his day job, Alex is a Management Consultant frequently on the road advising Technology organizations. I love thinking about, reading about, and talking about all things travel. Feel free to reach me at

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  1. “15000 American Airline miles or what I value at a 300 dollar rebate”

    wow.. i value them at $150…… do you come to a $300 value? would love some insight

  2. @Jamison – I generally use my AA miles for off-peak Milesaver awards to Europe (40K), Hawaii (35K) and (South) South America (40K). For these redemptions, compared to the cost of the ticket I’d be willing/have to pay (minus the miles accrued and taxes), I come out to around 2 cents per mile. Of course, YMMV.

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