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“Beautiful Ocean Views”

Review of PUU POA 413

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Excellent
20 reviews
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Overview
Holiday Rental House -
2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, Sleeps 6
Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

Reviews from our community

Excellent - based on 20 reviews
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Reviews from our community

Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
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English first
Wendy R
Santa Barbara, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Beautiful Ocean Views”
Reviewed 19 July 2014 for a stay in June 2014
1
person found this review helpful

WE had a wonderful relaxing stay at this property. The views and space are fantastic. Woke to the sunrise and were there for the sunset almost every day.

The Hideaway beach below is a truly precious spot. The water was the clearest we have ever seen. We only brought a towel as you basically have to rappel down the hillside but there are ropes and handrails and it was nice not to have to drive to a beach.

Great to be close to the St Regis where we walked to and had a beautiful meal on the fabulous deck.

We will always remember this trip and highly recommend this condo. Someday we may be back!

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The views and spacious ness
Liked least: it was warm
Travelling group: Spouse/Partner
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
Recommended for:
Friends getaway Older travelers
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Was it a good value for the price paid?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CO
Reviewed 12 March 2014 for a stay in January 2014

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
Luxury-minded travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
CA
Reviewed 3 March 2014 for a stay in February 2014

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Older travelers
Luxury-minded travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
3 Mar 2014
Thank you - happy to hear you had a good holiday!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Colorado
Reviewed 26 June 2013 for a stay in May 2013
1
person found this review helpful

Value Rooms
Location Cleanliness
Check-in / front desk Service
Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?  
Recommended for:
A romantic getaway Luxury-minded travelers
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Management Response
26 Jun 2013
Mahalo for your review!
See you next time:)
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Paul H
mission bc
Level 6 Contributor
133 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 183 helpful votes
“Very good but expected it to be better”
Reviewed 9 June 2013 for a stay in December 2012
7
people found this review helpful

We stayed 15 nights in PP413 and others in our family stayed in PP105, both managed by Great Vacation Retreats. I am only reviewing PP413 in detail because that is the one I slept in. I will give some info on 105 to help you compare the styles of units available - I spent lots of time there as well. This was the first time I’ve booked a private condo rather than a hotel. I spent lots of time to make the best decision I could, but found it much harder than choosing a resort, mainly due to the limited review count and scant details. Our budget allowed me to book the best available using the information I could find. I am giving you all the details I wish I had. I am not attempting to sway you one way or the other.
Princeville is by far the nicest, most upscale area on Kaui – we drove virtually very road. If you like walking, jogging, or golfing, you can’t go wrong here. Pu’u Poa is a nice complex with plenty of parking. It’s clean and well maintained, with a pleasant onsite care taker, and royal palms. This complex is a poor choice for those with mobility issues as ALL floors require using concrete stairs, there are no elevators or ramps. I am in good shape and found humping our large suit cases and two weeks of Costco groceries up to the 4th floor a chore. The climb down to the small beach below the complex is treacherous with poorly made rotten hand rails and frayed ropes. I would not recommend this beach for children. The beach at the St. Regis down the road is public and much easier and safer to access.
You will notice that Great Vacation Retreats are well reviewed. This is because they are really nice people and honest. There were no games with the money, I had trouble getting them to take mine, and they delivered as promised. I chose a professionally managed unit instead of an owner managed property after reading some horror stories about the difficulties people have had trying to resolve issues with private owners. Here they offer damage insurance for $35 with a $1500 limit (if I recall correctly) - cheap peace of mind for me - I knew I wouldn’t have to worry about being accused of scratching a piece of furniture or something. We dealt with Lou mostly. He is really nice and very easy to work with. I do have some service complaints about the service from the office (not involving Lou). The balance of my contract was due 60 days prior to arrival, 45 days out I hadn’t heard anything and my card was not charged. I sent a detailed email replying to the booking confirmation offering to pay, this email was ignored. 4 or 5 days later I phoned and left a message with the answering service which was also ignored. Now I am left to worry that maybe something is wrong and I don’t have a place to stay. I called twice more over a couple of days and got the answering service each time, not wasting my time to leave further messages, but to be fair I should point out I was calling outside of regular business hours by mistake. I tried yet again later and got the GVR office voice mail so I left a detailed voice mail which was also ignored. After a couple more attempts I finally got a real live person on the line, they knew right away why I was calling, no mention, explanation, or apology for the service lapse was given but they were being nice so I didn’t bother making it an issue. They processed my payment quickly and promised to email the confirmation promptly which they did. The final receipt price was as agreed with Lou, but that was supposed to include the rental car with a $700 upgrade to a Jeep 4X4, the receipt made no mention of the car. I replied to the email asking for confirmation that the up graded car was included but that email was ignored too. I called and got someone easily this time and was told not to worry Lou handles the cars and the details would come later. I eventually received a detailed information package with all the correct info, complete with directions, lock box code, and use full local information. They offer to book tours but after the way they handled the booking that wasn’t going to happen. I should add that Lou was great, all phone calls, messages, texts, and emails directly to Lou’s cell phone and email address were handled promptly with no trouble. We found the office to be useless when we called for help with non-functioning lights and down internet (I fixed it myself - the breaker had tripped in PP105). A few light bulbs were burned out on arrival. The rental cars worked out well, I recommend them for car rentals. My other party had a convertible from Lou and they were happy also.
The condo felt much larger than the photos appear, I would call it very nice but not luxurious. I have stayed in many luxurious places - this is NOT what luxury looks like. The top floor units mean vaulted ceilings, skylights and plenty of windows. The sea and cliff views are fantastic - we brought along binoculars and saw breeching whales from the lanai. The furniture is in great shape and clean, the couch, cushions, bedding, towels etc. were all clean and in good condition. What made it only “nice” are the finishing, and minor maintenance issues. It felt a bit under furnished, sparse in places, the opportunity to have some serious wow factor is being wasted here. It feels like a rental. The whole inside has new floor tiles but they botched the grouting job - dried grout is permanently smeared over the tiles, it looks terrible, making the floor look dirty. The closet door in the guest room is very dated and corroded, one bedroom venetian blind is badly corroded and old, jamming solid part way open. The screen door kept falling off the track which was annoying, according to the guest book others had complained about this months ago. Both bathrooms are nice and were very clean. The large jetted tub in the ensuite is great for two, but the jets have a mind of their own, cutting out after only a few minutes then randomly restarting which was frustrating. Neither bathroom has anyway to lock the door which was a minor issue as my wife’s sister was staying with us. The kitchen is well stocked with all the utensils etc. that we needed.
The area with the hide-a-bed in front of the window was originally built as an outdoor court yard entrance - you walked through it to the condo door. In some, as with this unit, they have covered it over with a glass patio cover, removed the units entry door and a section of wall, to make the now enclosed courtyard part of the suite. This creates the third sleeping area and quite a few problems. To start with it leaks and has been for a long time. Water drips on the floor when it rains and the exposed steel beams are corroded, but at least they sort of painted over the rust. The single pane glass roof is dirty and old looking, not really a nice room at all. Another problem is the large window in this area has no blinds or any way of blocking light. Like it or not you will be up with the sun. After dark, anyone using this part of the condo with the light on is on display to the road, side walk, and a public sunset viewing area. I will attach a photo that does the best job of scaling how close the road and pedestrian area is to the unit. When it rains, as it often did, the noise under this roof is impossible to sleep through. These issues will not likely cause significant concerns unless you are using the hide-a-bed. We used the two bedrooms and really didn’t use this area at all. Note the condo front door (formerly the court yard entrance) is clear glass that has been sand blasted, but they stopped short of the top. Anyone over 5’ 8” can walk up to the door and very clearly see the hide-a-bed and the entire living room area. I was lying on the couch watching TV when the neighbor left their unit next door – I clearly saw their face from the living room couch! We made a point of placing all luggage and valuables out of site when we went out for the day.
I was attracted to this unit in particular by the photo of the lanai. I was looking forwarded to enjoying this gorgeous looking deck, doing some barbequing, some private sun tanning, and having some outdoor dinners and social evenings while the waves crashed bellow. Things didn’t work out that way. Upon arrival I wasn’t impressed with the deck. The tiles and grout are tired and overdue for replacement. There is a large low spot in the middle that was filled with water, dirt and algae. The deck was dirty and the grout was very dirty. They moved the dining table over this slippery area so you get to sit with your feet in an inch of gross water while you eat. The table was VERY dirty. By day two I had to do something. Luckily, for my convenience a long handled scrubbing brush with an attached grout scrubber was in the outdoor storage cupboard. I was able to use the plastic beach toy storage box as a bucket. I sweated for 45 minutes scrubbing down the furniture and the entire deck area, making 12 trips to the kitchen sink and back to fill the storage box with water as no outdoor water is available. When I was done the table and deck looked far better. My wife then pointed out I had splattered algae stained dirty water all over my clothes, including my recently dry cleaned silk Hawaii shirt. I guess I should have bought a set of work clothes! My wife spent 20 minutes cleaning up the lanai’s planters, filling a garbage bag with dead leaves and plant material. The lanai still looked good two weeks later so obviously it hadn’t been cleaned properly in weeks before we got there. They charged us a $200 cleaning fee as part of the booking.
Lying in the sun didn’t pan out that well. The condo faces a northerly direction so the sun came from behind over the roof. We got a 1.5 hour window in the late morning where we could get some direct sun. I assume the sun is higher in the summer months? By strategically placing chairs with towels draped over them we were able to get enough privacy. The lanai railing looks directly over the lower floor (2nd and 3rd) lanais’. Luckily they went unused most of the time. At one point a lady on the floor below came out in a small bikini, put her towel down, looked up at me leaning on the railing only a few feet above, picked up her towel and went back in. We could very clearly hear everything from the lower lanai when we were out on ours. If you want privacy avoid floors 1 thru 3. PP105 is on the ground floor - our family complained their privacy was compromised when a yard maintenance man walked past 3 feet from their patio door (not the resident care taker) at an awkward moment - the only way to ensure privacy in this unit is to keep the blinds closed. PP105 and other ground floor units face towards the ocean but all you can see is grass and the sky, the ocean is at the bottom of the cliff. Another issue with the lanai in PP413 that was a significant problem for us was the lighting. There is none. Even with all the condo lights on and the doors wide open the lanai was too dark to use by 6pm (In December). I had to use the emergency flash light to check my steaks on the bbq. My plan to enjoy the warm evenings outside flopped. Candles wouldn’t work due to the strong ocean breeze. There are no outlets on the lanai, so if you want to use it after dark I would suggest you bring a couple of outdoor patio lamps and a couple of 30 foot extension cords.
Note that PP105 is furnished much more extravagantly, almost too much stuff! The units that are not on the top floors have a bit of a tunnel feel, like a high rise condo, with windows at one end, so they are quite dark. The PP105 Japanese soaker tub was a flop, my family tried it for two but called it a bit of a joke - small and cramped and not relaxing. PP413 has a much better tub.
The upper floors are cantilevered out over the parking lot so floors 3 and 4 literally have cars parked under them, causing an amphitheatre effect. We had to have the second bedroom windows open to allow cooling air to flow through the unit. This combination means the parking lot noise was intrusive, especially in the second bedroom. The honking car door locks are an annoying and pointless intrusion, more so late in the evening. With the rain, wind, rough winter ocean, road noise, and parking lot noise, this is the noisiest place we have ever stayed in. It took us some time to get used to this as we live in a quiet setting.
Note that it is a long drive to the major (i.e. affordable) grocery stores, Costco, the mall, airport, and many attractions. It is a very long way all the way around the island. Traffic jams were frustrating with no alternative route, during rush hour we literally hit grid lock starting after we backed out of our parking space at the grocery store. We had sat in traffic jams for several hours by the time the trip was done. Traffic around the Princeville area was not a problem, it’s heading anywhere more than 5 miles south that is a problem. Hit Costco and get all your groceries as soon as you get off the plane and have your rental car.
We found the pool very cold and couldn’t stay in it for long.
This all sounds picky I know, but we paid over $400 a night by the time the dust settled, for that price you can get into a pretty impressive 4 star full service hotel in most major cities in the USA, we did this in Honolulu. I think we paid top dollar - it’s 12 grand a month for this place! The suite should be cleaned and maintained to a higher standard at this price. The booking process could be smoother also.
Maui is still our favorite island.
If you have read this far you must be seriously thinking of booking a trip. If this is your first to Kauai contact me, and I will give you a few tips and an amazing place to visit that many overlook.

How easy was it to book the property? How helpful were the directions to the property?
How easy was key pickup/access to the property? Overall condition of the property
Bedding & mattresses Kitchen & utensils
Bathroom cleanliness Other facilities & amenities
Service
Liked best: The view
Liked least: Lanai condition and lack of lighting
Travelling group: Extended Family
Would you recommend this hotel to a friend?   Yes.
  • Was the property as advertised?
  • Would you recommend the location of this property?
  • Did the property offer wi-fi/internet access?
  • Was your security deposit returned on time?
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 guests
Adults2
Children0
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