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Just back from Waiohai

californiagirl

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Aloha! We are just back from a wonderful relaxing week at Waiohai. I will post more later, but wanted to share some thoughts. We definitely felt a tightening of the economy in Hawaii. In the newpaper each day there was a new article about the decrease in tourism and the related effects on the residents of Hawaii. We felt the decrease immediately upon arrival. The shopping centers were nearly empty and few people were buying. Costco and K-mart were not crowded on Saturday. I went mid-afternoon. The most noticeable was that the restaurants were not busy. We never made a reservation and walked right in and got seated. We went to Roy's, Keoki's Paradise and Dukes. The quick serve places were just as busy as ever: Bubba's Burger, Shrimp Shack etc.

Prior to going we decided to economize and we ate out less and used the grills more than ever before. We went to the Koloa town market on Monday and bought great fruits and veggies. We did not go on any tours, but made our own. It was one of the most relaxed trips we have taken to Hawaii.

Our room was ready at 11:30 in the morning!! (We had arrived the day prior and stayed at the big Kauai Beach Club in Lihue.) When the check-in clerk circled building 4 my heart sank since we were on an exchange. Before I could express any emotion she quickly said "you do not face the parking lot!" Our room was in building 4...facing the interior. We were on the top floor and had a wonderful view with a glimpse of the ocean. I was a happy girl!!!

A few more observations: This was our 3rd exchange into Waiohai. The other two times we stayed in rooms nearer the ocean, in the "front" of the resort. We were in the "back" of the resort this time. As I looked out over the resort at night, I noticed that the landscape lighting is minimal beyond the quiet pool. There are no tiki torches and very little lighting in the trees in the back section. It seemed fairly dark in comparison. It did not diminish our experience in any way, but I'm sure it was a cost saver. We also noticed many resort crashers in the hot tubs and pools. Each night when we went to the hot tub there were young people who were island residents and clearly not guests at the resort. (By their conversation re: jobs, school and friends etc.) We were in a relaxed, island live and let live mood and did not want confrontation, so we did not say anything. Only one day were there lounge chair hogs! Even then there were chairs available, just not in prime spots. Every other day we had our choice of location in sun or shade.

For our return home we had a 6:30 a.m. flight out of Lihue and set 2 alarm clocks for 3:30 a.m. There was a power outage and our alarms did not go off! Amazingly I woke on my own at the time the alarms should have gone off. I woke up because I became hot. The ac and ceiling fans went off with the power. (I am a heavy sleeper and usually do not wake in the night.) When I awoke and saw the clock flashing 12:00 I jumped out of bed and grabbed my watch. Such a relief. I hope no one missed a flight or tour because of the power outage.

We love Kauai in general and this resort in particular. Hopefully we will be able to exchange in again in 2011.

I will be happy to answer any questions.
 

dougp26364

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Aloha! We are just back from a wonderful relaxing week at Waiohai. I will post more later, but wanted to share some thoughts. We definitely felt a tightening of the economy in Hawaii. In the newpaper each day there was a new article about the decrease in tourism and the related effects on the residents of Hawaii. We felt the decrease immediately upon arrival. The shopping centers were nearly empty and few people were buying. Costco and K-mart were not crowded on Saturday. I went mid-afternoon. The most noticeable was that the restaurants were not busy. We never made a reservation and walked right in and got seated. We went to Roy's, Keoki's Paradise and Dukes. The quick serve places were just as busy as ever: Bubba's Burger, Shrimp Shack etc.

Prior to going we decided to economize and we ate out less and used the grills more than ever before. We went to the Koloa town market on Monday and bought great fruits and veggies. We did not go on any tours, but made our own. It was one of the most relaxed trips we have taken to Hawaii.

Our room was ready at 11:30 in the morning!! (We had arrived the day prior and stayed at the big Kauai Beach Club in Lihue.) When the check-in clerk circled building 4 my heart sank since we were on an exchange. Before I could express any emotion she quickly said "you do not face the parking lot!" Our room was in building 4...facing the interior. We were on the top floor and had a wonderful view with a glimpse of the ocean. I was a happy girl!!!

A few more observations: This was our 3rd exchange into Waiohai. The other two times we stayed in rooms nearer the ocean, in the "front" of the resort. We were in the "back" of the resort this time. As I looked out over the resort at night, I noticed that the landscape lighting is minimal beyond the quiet pool. There are no tiki torches and very little lighting in the trees in the back section. It seemed fairly dark in comparison. It did not diminish our experience in any way, but I'm sure it was a cost saver. We also noticed many resort crashers in the hot tubs and pools. Each night when we went to the hot tub there were young people who were island residents and clearly not guests at the resort. (By their conversation re: jobs, school and friends etc.) We were in a relaxed, island live and let live mood and did not want confrontation, so we did not say anything. Only one day were there lounge chair hogs! Even then there were chairs available, just not in prime spots. Every other day we had our choice of location in sun or shade.

For our return home we had a 6:30 a.m. flight out of Lihue and set 2 alarm clocks for 3:30 a.m. There was a power outage and our alarms did not go off! Amazingly I woke on my own at the time the alarms should have gone off. I woke up because I became hot. The ac and ceiling fans went off with the power. (I am a heavy sleeper and usually do not wake in the night.) When I awoke and saw the clock flashing 12:00 I jumped out of bed and grabbed my watch. Such a relief. I hope no one missed a flight or tour because of the power outage.

We love Kauai in general and this resort in particular. Hopefully we will be able to exchange in again in 2011.

I will be happy to answer any questions.
Glad you had a good trip and didn't miss your flight home. It just highlights why I take my cell phone (alarm clock in it, even on battery power) and a battery powered travel alarm clock. I've always been paranoid about missing a flight because the wake up call didn't happen (actual experience) or the power went out and the alarm clocks didn't go off.
 

Jpollo

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About a year ago Waiohai replaced all their outdoor lighting with low-energy led's, which may be why it looked so dark at night.

One question: How are the two new resorts nearby coming along? I believe the one right next door should be open now.

Thanks!
 

californiagirl

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Jpollo,

So glad you asked about the resort next door. (Don't know about any other new resort.) It is nearly done. The exterior is almost finished. Looking inside, the rooms do not have furniture, but the fixtures are in. The swimming pool area and poolside bar/cafe are still being worked on. The landscaping looked completed, green grass and nice plants. It has a retro, old Hawaii feel to it. So nice to see what will be a beautiful resort instead of a dilapidated shell of a building. My guess is that it will be ready by Christmas or January at the latest.

Also one of the timeshare reps said that they were going to be closing the sales office at Waiohai "soon" and reopening at the Kauai Beach Club. (To sell the Grand Residences and Ritz Carlton Club.) We declined invitations to attend any timeshare presentations and did not go to the new properties. However when flying in, we saw that one or two buildings are up at the new property. Not sure to what extent they are finished. We could see large equipment in use at the property, so it is safe to assume that they are still building and have not halted the project.

There was also building going on at the new shopping center in Poipu. They have installed a round-about at the turn-off for spouting horn. On the NW side of the round-about is a new shopping center. It looks to be very nice. Reminded us of the shopping center in Mauna Loa on the big Island where Tommy Bahamas is located.

On last item I wanted to share. From visiting with other guests at the pool, we estimated about 50% were exchangers.
 

McFail

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They are making a real effort for energy conservation at Waiohai. Even the bulbs in the elevator were replaced by LEDs. I don't think most people would notice. At night they had a regular shut down including turning off all the gas burning torches and the pumps to the waterfalls.
 

californiagirl

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I appreciate all the responses about the lighting. What I observed was a difference in amount of lighting between the portion of the resort on the ocean side of the quiet pool (more lighting) and the inland side of the quiet pool (less lighting). I am glad to hear that they went to LEDs and are saving energy. It is a beautiful resort, but the back area is pretty dark at night.
 

taffy19

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Am I glad you didn't miss your flight. You really had a nice relaxing vacation without all the tours, etc. After so many times, you don't need to do this anymore. How warm was the ocean water this time of year?
 

Jpollo

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Thanks again Californiagirl for the updates.

Isn't there another new resort going in just after you pass the new roundabout and continue on Poipu road? When we were there last summer it looked like a rather large resort going in on the immediate right (beach side of Poipu Rd).

Thx,

jason
 

californiagirl

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Jason,

You are right!! (I was thinking Marriott resorts.) They are working on it with large equipment. Looks to be the foundation so they have a long way to go. The housing development on the opposite side of the street had no action whatsoever, just graded land. I feel bad for both of these projects...bad time to be selling.
 

vacationtime1

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Isn't there another new resort going in just after you pass the new roundabout and continue on Poipu road? When we were there last summer it looked like a rather large resort going in on the immediate right (beach side of Poipu Rd).

See http://www.koloalanding.com/ with a map at http://www.koloalanding.com/poipu_beach.html

This is in addition to the 1000 acre development to the right before you get to the roundabout.

I would hate to be doing the construction financing on these projects right now.
 

Jpollo

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Thanks to both. I've been curious that site since our last trip. I hadn't realized the construction adjacent to the beach were going to be 2-3 bedroom homes (townhomes?).

Boy... the traffic from the airport to Poipu is going to get interesting in a couple of years.
 
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