A couple of friendly dogs wander the property. Myna birds sing out from banyan and palm trees. And while not recommended for swimming (there's a pool for swimmers), the local beach is a gathering place for shell collectors and those seeking driftwood.
While the resort's restaurant is undergoing alterations, guests dine at the popular Hanapepe Cafe & Espresso Bar in nearby Hanapepe (breakfast and lunch served Tuesday through Saturday; dinner Wednesday through Saturday). On the menu are such appetizers as ricotta cheese dumplings with pesto and sauted mushrooms, roasted goat cheese cakes served with eggplant on a bed of mesclun with tapenade focaccia, honey-glazed shallots and ginger strips in a balsamic vinegar wine sauce. Dinner entrees range from polenta with cheese, raisins and mushrooms served with bell pepper sauce over a bed of zucchini, to a frittata bread souffle with green peppercorns marinated in a light saffron broth and served in marinara sauce. On the menu at noontime are veggie burgers made of mushrooms, rolled oats, low-fat mozzarella, cottage cheese, bulgar wheat, walnuts, eggs and Cheddar cheese. Proprietors are Chris Ayers and Larry Reisor, recruited chef Christian Rizzo from L.A.'s Restaurant Row.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday March 8, 1998 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 6 Travel Desk 2 inches; 58 words Type of Material: Correction
Hawaii--Due to an editing error, two pictures of Kauai island hotels were misidentified and inaccurately credited ("Poipu to Princeville: Lodgings With Aloha," March 1). On page L15, the photograph at the top left shows the Princeville Hotel, not Waimea Plantation Cottages; the photographer was Michele Burgess. The photo to the right is of Waimea Plantation, not Princeville, and was taken by Peter French.
For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday March 15, 1998 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 7 Travel Desk 1 inches; 34 words Type of Material: Correction
Kauai hotels--Due to an editing error, the caption on a picture of the Kauai Marriott Resort ("Poipu to Princeville: Lodgings With Aloha," March 1) incorrectly located the resort at Poipu. The Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club is at Lihue.
Of all the resorts on Kauai, the Marriott Resort & Beach Club at Lihue best resembles a scene from TV's old "Fantasy Island" series. What with wild animals (kangaroos, wallabies, gemsbok, zebras, monkeys and llamas), acres of man-made lagoons and man-made waterfalls, four restaurants, 356 rooms, Hawaii's largest swimming pool and 36 holes of golf, the Marriott could secede from the state of Hawaii and operate as a kingdom unto itself. Opened in 1988 by Westin, the $350-million resort facing Kalapaki Bay was done in by Hurricane Iniki to the tune of $100 million, which is the amount Marriott spent in three years putting everything back together again and incidentally toning down the resort's old Disney image.
Thank you, Mr. Marriott. The 2 1/2-acre reflecting pool with its seven life-size marble horses that snorted water from their nostrils and were drenched with the spray of a 60-foot geyser, a la Versailles, was transformed into an impressive garden composed of waterfalls, swimming pools with carp, a forest of trees, sweeping lawn and paths that lead into secret niches.
The swimming pool is fed by waterfalls that spill from the Aupak Bar while guests sun themselves on a man-made island dead center of Marriott's relaxing water world.
On Kauai's north shore, anchored to Puupoa Point, the 252-room Princeville Resort provides a sweeping view of Hanalei Bay and the awesome Na Pali coast. What with waterfalls spilling from verdant peaks and valleys laced with rainbows, it's a world where waves collide with lava and coral in a display of white-water rage.
The hotel features reproductions of furniture from the missionary era along with Hawaiian artifacts. At Hanalei Cafe, a recent seafood buffet consisted of Thai-style clam chowder, a calamari salad, fresh Dungeness crab, shrimp and mussels, a seafood paella, baked escargot, a crab-meat casserole, bouillabaisse with lobster and mahi-mahi, steamed clams with white wine and parsley, spicy shrimp cakes, sushi and sashimi, kimchi, shrimp lasagna and a selection of 10 desserts.
Offerings on other evenings included sake-marinated salmon with roasted fennel and red onion relish as well as broiled freshwater Japanese eel over steamed rice with a mirin shoyu sauce served with miso soup and pickled vegetables.
Not exactly your everyday Hawaiian fare, but wow--the view. . . .
I have warm aloha for Hanalei Colony Resort, Kauai's best-kept secret on the island's far north shore. If you find yourself ensconced in one of the bungalows facing Hanalei Bay, consider yourself blessed. The white-water display is like a stormy scene from "South Pacific." Hanalei Colony features 48 units in 13 buildings near the end of the road at Haena, five miles north of Hanalei.
Following a six-month, $4-million sprucing-up, the island's former Wailua Bay Resort at Kapaa on Kauai's eastern shore reopens April 1 as the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort. Its 216 rooms and suites have been repainted, re-carpeted and refurnished with new TVs, new beds, drapes and refrigerators. This pleasant 10-acre property is near the Wailua River on the Pacific, featuring a protected cove for swimmers plus picnic facilities at Lydgate Park. The SunSpree Resort will be targeting families (children 19 and under will stay free in rooms occupied by their parents).
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Keys to Kauai
Getting there: Currently there's connecting service only LAX-Lihue on Hawaiian Airlines, American, Northwest and United (plane changes in Honolulu); lowest round-trip fares begin at $419. Beginning June 10, United Airlines begins nonstop service; lowest fares start at $602.