In September we did a last minute two week trip to Hawaii. We stayed in the same area where we always stay, Poipu on the south end, but this time we stayed on the eastern part of Poipu, near the Hyatt. And it is a good thing that we did not stay in our usual location, in a cottage on Ho'ona Road, just off the road to Spouting Horn, because that part of Kauai is in the middle of a huge construction project!
I posted about this on the Slow Travel Forums, but wanted to repeat it here so anyone thinking about going to Poipu, Kauai in the next few years knows about the construction.
We had a lovely vacation, but the major construction projects have just started. They are digging now, but the building has not started. We won't be going back to Poipu for a few years - until these projects are done.
Monk Seal coming up on the beach to sleep for the day
Half of Poipu is under construction - the western half!! For years we have been wondering when the construction project along the road to Spouting Horn would start, but it kept getting stalled. There are houses on the water on the water side of this road, but on the inland side is are huge fields where a new development was planned. The project started this summer at the same time as several other major projects. The construction sites are huge - acres and acres - and currently they are dynamiting and digging. The sites are surrounded by high fences so you cannot see into them.
But you do not want to be staying anywhere in Poipu west of the Shearton. This rules out a lot of vacation rentals homes and condos in Poipu. The vacation rental sites make no mention of this (and did not mention it to me when I was booking). My guess is that people will go to Poipu this year, like we did, but won't go back for a few years. Right now is the best time to go - because once they start the building there will be a lot more traffic on the roads and noise in the area.
The noise and dirt did not affect us at all in the area near the Hyatt.
View east from the edge of Poipu, near the Hyatt
A lot of Poipu and Kauai is still undeveloped. Even with all this new construction in Poipu, I don't think it will feel over-developed.
There are concerns that the current infrastructure cannot support all this new development. Already the main road that does a horseshoe around the island can be very congested with traffic for several miles around the main city of Lihue. Most of it is one lane in each direction.
Here are the paragraphs I inserted on the SlowTrav pages:
In summer 2007, several large constructions projects started in the western end of Poipu. These projects will add 4,500 homes and apartments to this area. Construction has started on the large project of homes along the road to Spouting Horn. Several other large condo/resort projects, just west of the Sheraton have started. They are redoing the intersection of main Poipu road where it meets the road to Spouting Horn, so you have to detour.
If you are staying at the Hyatt end of Poipu (Pe'e Road, Poipu Kau, Poipu Beach Park) you will not notice the construction, but if you are staying in the Spouting Horn side (Ho'ona Road, road to Spouting Horn) you will be in the middle of this dirt and noise. These projects are expected to last for five years and will greatly increase the traffic to this area.
Here is a local article about it: Star Bulletin - Development projects affecting Garden Isle style