Few places on earth pack as much into such a small space as the island of Kauai. With some of the most ravishing scenery anywhere, friendly locals, and a wide variety of accommodations and activities, Kauai is a great vacation spot.
Less developed than Oahu or Maui, Kauai has a low-key charm that makes it impossible not to relax. And there are excellent Kauai hotels for those who don’t mind spending a lot, as well as those who only want to spend a little.
Luxury Kauai hotels.
The most luxurious hotel in Kauai is the St. Regis Resort Princeville. When money’s no object, this is the place to stay. The former Princeville Resort Kauai underwent a multi-million dollars renovation before reopening in 2009. Views of Hanalei Bay and the mountain known as Bali Hai for the movie South Pacific take your breath away. And butler service ensures that guests in suites want for nothing. If you prefer not to stay here, at least come for an expensive cocktail.
On Kauai’s South Shore, not far from Poipu Beach, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is one of the biggest Kauai resorts with half a dozen restaurants and bars, a full-service spa, beautifully landscaped gardens, and dramatic ocean views.
Kauai beach resorts.
Those who prefer a resort with lots of facilities and amenities have plenty of choices on Kauai. The Sheraton Kauai Resort is on a beautiful, swimming beach adjacent to Poipu Beach. Sunsets from their lounge called the Point are unforgettable, and they offer the only ocean-front luau on the island.
Nearby, the 121-room Koa Kea Hotel reopened last year after being nearly destroyed by a hurricane in 1992. It has a swimming pool, ocean-front restaurant, and spa. For those who want all the amenities of a big hotel without hundreds of fellow guests, this is a good choice.
The Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club enjoys a great location on Kalapaki Beach. If you dream of a huge, undulating pool, tennis, fitness center, and lots of activities, you’ll love it here. There are good programs for kids too.
The Hilton Kauai Beach Resort has four pools, water slides, lots of restaurants and bars, and free transfers to the airport, which is nearby.
Kauai vacation rentals.
A condo with a kitchen can save you quite a bit of money, especially if you’re traveling with a group of friends or family. And there are several good ones on Kauai to choose from.
With amenities like granite countertops, Sub Zero refrigerators, and a two-acre, winding swimming pool, Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort and Spa are the nicest – and most expensive – vacation rentals on the island. If you can afford it, pop for an ocean-view unit. Choose this one if you like to walk to shops and restaurants.
The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas are a close second with private lanais, in-unit washers and dryers, and access to some of the island’s best golf. It has a great program for kids of all ages, and the layout makes it seem smaller than it is.
Marriott Waiohai Beach Club has two-bedroom condos with modern kitchens, ocean views, and private lanais. Although expensive, groups of six will spend less here than they would with two separate condos. It has a pool, and you can walk to many great restaurants and Poipu Beach.
Next door to the Sheraton, Kiahuna Plantation has one, two, and three-bedroom condos in a variety of price ranges. The grounds here are especially attractive – there’s even a cactus garden surrounding their excellent restaurant, which is housed in an old plantation house. The beach is great, but there’s no pool. Although it’s not as glamorous as some of the newer properties, it has a lot of Hawaiian charm.
The most affordable vacation rental is Wailua Bayview, which is located close to the beach in Kapaa. The Coconut Marketplace is nearby for shopping and restaurants.
VRBO – Vacation Rentals By Owner
1) St. Regis Princeville Resort
2) Grand Hyatt Resort and Spa
3) Sheraton Kauai Resort
4) Koa Kea Hotel and Resort
5) Kauai Marriott Resort
6) Hilton Kauai Beach Resort
7) Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort
8) Hilton Kauai Beach Resort
9) Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
10) Kiahuna Plantation
11) Coral Reef Resort
12) Waimea Plantation Cottages
13) Hanalei Colony Resort