We’re staying at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Poipu, which is a quiet area about half an hour’s drive from the Lihue Airport. This oceanfront resort is absolutely gorgeous, without being overly fancy or pretentious. The design is actually very similar to the Waldorf Astoria on Maui, where we stayed this time last year, and it turns out it was the same designer that did both resorts. Like the Waldorf, the Hyatt sits on several terraced levels looking at to the sea in the distance. We learned from the Concierge at the Hyatt Club here that a local ordinance forbids hotels from being ‘taller than a coconut tree’, so the resort sprawls on and on thru out the many acres of property, with each section of buildings only a couple levels high, with the exception of the main tower. By thoughtful design though, all of the buildings are connected – even with the elevators! While that sounds strange, we are on the ground level, but after walking a maze (and I do mean maze) of corridors, take the elevator up to the 4th floor ‘lobby level’ which is also ‘ground level’ due to the resorts sloping hillside design.
The property faces the ocean, and we get the morning sunrise views. As we haven’t adjusted to Hawaiian time yet (with a six hour time change from the East Coast), we wake up early naturally in the morning. By 6am I’m already up and watching the beauty of the sunrise, as I just walk out the sliding door onto our terrace and across the lawn to the oceanfront.
The Poipu area we are staying in has a few resorts, condos, homes, etc, but for the moment is still quite underdeveloped, relative to Maui and of course Oahu. Truthfully, I hope it stays that way for years to come, as it has a feel of the ‘real Hawaii’ to it, with a natural ruggedness to it, beautiful coastlines, and not the influx of high rise hotels and condos.
There are a couple shopping villages in the Poipu area, and we did visit both of them for some souvenirs and in search of restaurants. The first and closest one to our hotel was only a mile from the hotel. Poipu Shopping Village was the smaller of the two and not as upscale, but offered a Whaler’s General store as well as clothing and souvenir shops, along with a couple restaurants. They did have our favorite Hawaii T-shirt store, Crazy Shirts, and we and bought some nice dyed T-shirts there.
We love Crazy Shirts, which are located all over the Hawaiian Islands, and offer great quality shirts for a slightly premium price. The shirts are dyed in a variety of sources, including coffee, tea leaves, and even the new products dyed in beer or pineapple!
The other mall, The shops at Kukuiula, was another mile or so up the road, and was more upscale and larger.
We walked around there a fair bit before having lunch at ‘Bubba Burgers’. Bubba Burgers is a no-frills burger place, (with only counter, no table service) but offers terrific burgers, fries, onion rings etc with cheap prices, and a cool atmosphere, with self seating indoors and outdoors.
You order your food, and then sit wherever you like. Great place for a burger, and the price can’t be beat! I told DOS, this was like the ‘Five Guys’ of Hawaii, for it’s fresh made-to-order products and great food.
Back at the hotel we took our purchases back to our room. While the Hyatt has self parking (free) and valet parking for a fee, the walk from the parking lot is quite a hike! DOS dropped me off at the entrance while he parked, and a bellman saw how much stuff we had, and offered to deliver it to the room! I declined, but that was nice of him, as DOS was meeting me back at the entrance momentarily. We definitely needed a bellman when we checked in however, or we might still be looking for our room! I kid you not, there are so many corridors you have to go down to our room (Suite 1007) that you could use a Segway getting there! I set my Apple watch to count, and it’s over 1/4 a mile from the lobby, not to mention the distance from the parking lot. I’m not complaining as it’s great exercise and gives us a chance to burn off some of the calories we are overeating at the meals here, but you really don’t want to forget something when you leave and have to go back and get it.
Here are some photos of the hotel and grounds, Koi fish and Black Swan ponds, multi-sectional lagoon pool and beach, etc – quite a magnificent property.
Here’s a couple photos of our room as seen when we checked in on Saturday night, before we had a chance to mess it up.
And our view outside the room, which we walk right out too:
We had a magnificent dinner last night at Tidepools, which had a similar but better design than the restaurant than at the Waldorf, as it was better lit and offered a better menu. We had a seat overlooking the lagoon, and watched the night gradually get darker as we ate. There was a special event setup on the other side of the lagoon, and we enjoyed the sights, sounds, and colors of the group’s celebration while we dined.
Like many Hawaiian resorts, the hotel does seem to shut down early, most likely due to the huge time change from the East Coast, or even the three hour time change from the West Coast. After getting up at sunrise, there’s nothing wrong with that! And tomorrow’s another day in Paradise!