This Beautiful Oceanfront Resort in Kauai Just Got a $5 Million Renovation

Ko'a Kea Resort is full of new touches and classic finishes.

Courtesy of Ko'a Kea Resort
Courtesy of Ko'a Kea Resort

Ko'a Kea Resort has made it on Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards list 10 years in a row, and with good reason. The resort is as close to the waterfront as you can get at any Kauai hotel, and the property sits on the stunning, rocky shore of Poipu Beach. After years of earning high distinctions, Ko'a Kea is stepping it up another level with a $5 million renovation and an expansion of service at its award-winning on-site restaurant Red Salt.

"Ko'a Kea has long been established as a destination unto itself amid Kauai's coveted setting," Ajeet K. Anand, Vice President, Sales And Marketing at Meritage Collection, told Thrillist in a statement. "Fostering an even stronger connection to the destination through the resort's design only further enhances the experience that is already so revered—especially for so many of our guests who continue to return to the property."

The renovations include reimagined guest rooms that feature enhanced comfort (the plushest pillows you'll ever rest your head on), furniture and decor made with local materials, and a soothing warm palette of colors. Think wood-paneled headboards, terracotta and gold fabrics, and art from Hawaiian natives. Take a look at the newly designed rooms, many of which feature oceanfront views out to Poipu Beach:

Courtesy of Ko'a Kea Resort
Courtesy of Ko'a Kea Resort

At Red Salt, the restaurant will soon be offering brunch service seven days a week, becoming the only establishment on the island to do so. Executive Chef Noelani Planas leads the restaurant. The Kauai native is a world class chef, and you'll find delicious menu items from breakfast all the way to dessert. (Think lemon pineapple soufflé pancakes, Australian lamb chops, and lobster-topped burgers.)

The Australian Lamb Chop at Red Salt | Opheli Garcia Lawler for Thrillist

In addition to the new offerings, the resort will continue to offer luxury services at The Spa at Ko’a Kea, a pool with panoramic views, a pool bar serving up fresh cocktails, smoothies, and poolside bites, a lava rock hot tub, oceanside fire pits, a fitness studio, and sunrise yoga classes every morning on the lawn.

Courtesy of Ko'a Kea Resort
Courtesy of Ko'a Kea Resort

Are you starting to fantasize about sipping a Mai Tai on a beach chair while watching the sunset over Poipu Beach? Don't worry, me too. And considering I've actually experienced that exact scenario, I can confirm it's a dream come true. Fortunately, there's an opportunity to take advantage of all the Ko'a Kea has to offer with its "With Love, Ko'a Kea" accommodations package, which is geared towards couples but is perfect for any duo looking for a truly memorable and pampered experience.

Starting at $2,090, this package will include accommodation including a complimentary fifth night at the resort, the choice of an ATV tour or Sunset Dinner Cruise for two, a curated basket of local Kauai treats like body oil, chocolate, and macadamia nuts. The package also includes a Chef’s Tasting Menu experience for two at Red Salt and a couple's spa treatment at an outdoor spa cabana. For the Chef's Tasting Menu, I recommend wearing a pair of loose and comfortable pants, because you'll want to eat every last morsel you're served.

You can make inquiries and reservations for the "With Love" package by emailing concierge@koakea.com. You can make bookings through August 31, 2023 for travel dates through December 31, 2023. To learn more, you can head directly to KoaKea.com.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.