The Sheraton Hotel recently emerged from an extensive renovation this year. They upgraded their rooms on the Ocean side of the property and they reconfigured and renamed their ocean front restaurant. The newest restaurant in Poipu is called RumFire. It is located only steps from our Kauai rentals in Poipu so it is an amenity that is only steps from our home.
Prior to this evening, eating at the Sheraton Hotel always came with regrets. In four previous visits in the past 25 years. I would walk away promising never to return. There are few places where the kitchen and the service competed for worst dining experience. Bad food served with a scowl. Such a contrast to the most beautiful ocean front setting for an eatery anywhere.
But that was in the past. Our meal last night was really good.
Here are a few suggestions to take it to the next level.
Are you a sports bar or a higher end eatery? The table locations with stunning views of the ocean compliment an appearance of intimate dining. However, hearing the bar and the TV’s quickly erases the thought of a special night of dining and conversation.
Don’t serve popcorn, no matter how fancy the container, when diners are preparing to spend $50 per person for food and drink. I suggest a “sampler” of your parmigiana with arugula flat bread, just a taste, a small sampler for each diner. It presents itself to the table better than movie theater popcorn. Leave the salty snacks at the bar.
Train your wait help. So much has improved at the Sheraton Hotel, unfortunately not the service. Management needs to experience a well run dining experience such as Roy’s in the Poipu Shopping Village. Our water glasses were never refilled despite 3 of the four guests having drained their glasses before finishing the main course. Not at these prices.
Write down the patrons order. We requested two Mojitos and were served three. The wait help removed the drink when told, but failed to remove it from the tab when we reviewed the final bill. They happily adjusted the total.
Squeegee the windows. We were seated ocean side with an epic view of the south shore but it could have been improved by cleaning the windows. The salt spray leaves deposits on the glass.
If you do select a booth close to the ocean avoid the last four booths. The AC vents are directly above these seats blowing freezer level cold air. This was to counter the heat of the setting sun streaming through the “we are not allowed to open” windows. Unfortunately there is only one rheostat for the large space to control air temps in this area. Bring a light jacket for these booths or select any of the first four booths closest to the front door you will be comfortable and have epic views.
The Sheraton’s food has improved greatly and with a few tweaks, it will be the place to go for that special occasion.
Manage the social media sites, they give you insight into your operation based upon customer reviews. You have feedback on Trip Advisor, Yelp and Zagat that have gone unanswered. Responding to customers shows that you care.
Have you eaten at RumFire? Tell us what you think. Are my opinions unfounded?