Where To Stay In Kauai With A Family
Spending time in Kauai with your family is sure to be a true family bonding experience. Kauai has so many sights and activities to be enjoyed together as a family, how does one begin to organize their time?
Well, here we go starting from the northwest of the island and moving counter-clockwise, below we offer our insights on each area that caters to the perfect family experience.
What People Are Saying
Better than the 5-star resorts… Yes. In some ways, the Kauai Shores Hotel has a leg or two up on the 5-star resorts. Nowhere else on the island were we able to find a hotel with true beachside dining or a true beachside stay. The big resorts have patios, decks, large pool areas, railings, shrubbery, and other barriers separating you from the shore , but KSH delivers a nostalgic and authentic Kauaian time on every level. Not only can you dine near the shore of the ocean, but you can do yoga, and you can walk from your hotel room, onto some grass, onto some sand, and then be in the water in a matter of seconds. There’s no walking through lobbies, walking through gates, across patios, pool areas, through other gates, through shrubbery, and the hotel itself is devoid of all of the corporate/branded trappings, distractions, and annoyances of the big resorts as well. It’s just a pure Kauai experience. The hotel is somewhat retro but clean, and the staff we interacted with, especially Richell at the front desk and Jennelle and the two Sofias at the restaurant were fabulous. While the rooms were basic , they were also clean, and the beds were comfortable. If you’re tired of the stuffy and corporate environment the 5-star resorts offer and are looking for a truly relaxing, peaceful, and joyful time, try KSH next time you go to Kauai.
Comparison Of The Best Kauai Hotels
Heres a quick overview of some of the best Kauai hotels, resorts and condos. Youll find more detailed reviews below.
|Ocean view condos on a beautiful beach||$$|
|Mountain view condos with tropical resort feel||$$|
|Most luxurious resort with huge pool||$$$$|
|Spacious, self-catering homes for all budgets||$+|
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Staying On The South Side
Including Koloa, Lawai, and Poipu
The Southern Shore of Kauai is where youll find the best weather, as its both drier and has more sun along this part of the island. This makes this part of the island especially popular with visitors, so youll also discover an abundance of great shopping and dining options here in addition to the many resorts. Just also expect there to be more crowds here too.
The South Shore makes for a great location to explore all of the sights and attractions on the western part of the island or to explore along the eastern coconut coast, but the drive can be a bit far to visit the attractions along the north shore.
The beaches along this part of the island are certainly bustling more than other beaches on Kauai, but theres a nice variety of beaches to select from – one of our personal favorites is Shipwreck Beach.
- Sunny and dry almost year round
- Good selection of beaches available
- Many good restaurant and dining options
- Beaches are more crowded than on the North Shore
Kauai is home to many beautiful places to stay.
Queen’s Bath, North Kauai
Other Hanalei And Princeville Hotels
Condos in Princeville
Other condos in Princeville are not on the beach and dont have as much of a resort feel as Hanalei Bay Resort, but many have clifftop locations with stunning ocean views.
There are also some large houses in the golf course area, which are great for families or groups.
Vrbo is the best way to find condos and house rentalsthere are both budget and luxury options including:
- Breathtaking Oceanfront Condo at Cliffs Resort This 2-bedroom apartment has gorgeous ocean views and is surprisingly affordable. The clifftop resort has lots of facilities including two pools, hot tub, and tennis courts.
- Mid-century Remodeled Spectacular Ocean and Golf Course Views A well-designed, spacious 3-bedroom house overlooking a golf course. Theres even a hot tub. Ideal for families.
- One of the Most Spectacular Views in Kauai A one-bedroom condo with incredible ocean views. Its in the simple Sealodge condo complex which has a small pool and access to a secluded beach down a steep walking track.
Vacation Rentals in Hanalei Bay
Accommodation in Hanalei Bay is limited and pricey. Youll pay more than in Princeville, but the easy access to a beautiful beach and charming town could be worth it.
Many vacation rentals in Hanalei have minimum stays of 3-5 nights. Youll regret it if you stay for less anyway!
The best option is to look for vacation rentals on Vrbo. Here are some fantastic places that are on our wish list:
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Kauai Kapaa Hotel Guide
Looking for hotels in Kauai? Trip.com is a great place to start. If you want to stay at the best hotel in Kauai, Trip.com is here to help! If you travel to United States, visiting Kauai is a good choice. In Kauai, both areas with attractions and the city center are good places to stay.
Every day, travelers worldwide arrive at Lihue Airport to start their vacations and business trips in Kauai.
On Trip.com, there are 44 recommended hotels in Kauai. The local average price is 192 USD per night. There are a variety of hotels to meet the needs of different types of travelers. There are 1 five-star hotels in Kauai at an average price of 192 USD per night. There are 6 four-star hotels in Kauai at an average price of 275 USD per night. There are 14 three-star hotels in Kauai at an average price of 190 USD per night. There are 1 two-star hotels in Kauai at an average price of 176 USD per night. Kauai has many well-known chain hotels which are suitable for both business trips and vacations. Those who favor Sheraton can choose a hotel under its name. Sheraton is the top choice of many travelers in Kauai. A popular hotel in Kauai, The St. Regis Princeville Resort is also one of the highest rated. Sheraton Kauai Resort is also one of the most frequently chosen hotels.
Where To Stay On The North Shore Of Kauai
Hanalei is the most desirable place to stay on the North Shore as the small surfer town has a relaxed vibe, beautiful beach, and some delicious food trucks and restaurants. Accommodation is limited, though, and there are no large hotels or resorts.
If you can afford and find availability for a Hanalei vacation rental , go for it, but most of us will end up in nearby Princeville .
Princeville is a planned community of upscale homes, a golf course, and a couple of resorts.
It felt rather soulless and overly manicured to us, but there are beautiful views from the cliffside location, a few small but lovely beaches , and its convenient for exploring the North Shore.
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Hanalei Bay Resort Princeville Review
Accommodation at Hanalei Bay Resort is in studio, one or two bedroom self-catering condos, but it feels more like a typical resort with a large pool and many activities, and it was fun to have that experience for part of our stay.
The mountain views are stunning and you pay much less than at the famous resort next door.
Our biggest disappointment at Hanalei Bay Resort was on arrival. Despite requesting an early check-in twice in advance, our room not only wasnt available before the 4 pm check-in time , it was not fully ready until 5 pm.
We also found the decor of our one bedroom condo dated, and more like a hotel room than a home. This depends on which unit you get as some have been updated. We had no choice when we booked, so you might want to check out individual units on Vrbo instead.
Despite not getting off to the best start, we ended up really enjoying our stay.
While our condo was nothing fancy, it was spacious, comfortable enough, and fairly well equipped.
It must have been a hotel previously as we had two connecting roomson one side was a large bedroom and bathroom and on the other was a living room, kitchen, and bathroom.
Unusually for Hawaii, we had air conditioning, although in January we never needed it and rarely used the ceiling fan either. The screened doors onto the lanai let in a breeze.
There was a table and chairs outside both the bedroom and living room but no sun loungers.
Kauai Accommodations By Region
Ultimately, each region of Kauai has its own unique personality. If beaches are your scene, then you’ll be happy almost anywhere on Kauai. The entire island is full of them – more than any other island in the state. If lush scenery is what you are looking for, again, it’s hard to go wrong since the entire island is known as the “Garden Isle.” Although, the North and East coasts are considerably more lush and verdant than the South or West coasts.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each of the areas we’ve briefly discussed above. As noted above, these are in order of popularity, by our account.
Poipu Beach, South Kauai
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Beautiful Beachfront Homes Condos And Hotels Are Waiting On The Garden Island
There are a number of accommodation options on Kauai, ranging from opulent resorts to budget condominiums and bed & breakfasts. No matter where you choose to staythe islands sunny southern shore, historic eastern shore or the lush North Shoreyoull find yourself surrounded by some of Hawaiis most spectacular natural scenery.
Tip: The best places to stay in Kauai are the sunny South Side and verdant North Shore.
South Kauai is highlighted by the sun-soaked Poipu Resort area, a world-class destination offering championship golf, tennis, restaurants, shopping and a full menu of beach activities. Here youll find the widest variety of accommodations, including luxury hotels, budget hotels, low-rise condos, vacation rentals, and bed & breakfasts.
Kauais North Shore offers the best of two worlds: great places to stay and breathtaking natural scenery. This part of the island is home to the Kilauea Point Natural Wildlife Refuge, taro fields and views of the Napali Coast. The principal resort areas here are Princeville and Hanalei. Popular accommodations include vacation rentals in Hanalei, condo rentals like the ones found in Hanalei Bay Resort, timeshares and world-class St. Regis Princeville Hotel.
There are no lodgings on Kauais western shores, which are dominated by the famous Napali Coast and isolated beaches.
The Garden Isle
Poipu Where To Stay In Kauai First Time
Poipu is located on the South Shore of Kauai and is a little quieter than other areas. Its also more atmospheric, with a beauty and relaxing atmosphere thats difficult to match. Poipu is one of the primary attractions on the South Shore and has been called one of the best coastlines in the country. Its the best neighborhood to stay in Kauai if you want to enjoy the beach without the crowds.
Poipu offers lots of water activities like paddle-boarding, sailing, and snorkeling in its warm, turquoise water. The beaches are seemingly endless stretches of white sand and the main beach, Poipu beach park, also has picnic areas, lifeguards, and showers just to make your visit better. And the collection of shops and restaurants in the area mean that Poipu is a good choice whether youre deciding where to stay in Kauai for one night, or for a longer visit.
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Things To See And Do In Kilauea
Learn more about the local animals at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
Just wander the streets, buying fresh tropical fruit and marveling at the little houses.
If youre looking for a bargain, step into The 1892 Kong Lung Company, the oldest general store on the island.
Order a pizza at Kilauea Bakery and Pau Hana Pizza.
Hike up to Larsens Beach for isolated and beautiful scenery.
Take a picnic down to Anini Beach where youll find BBQ areas and picnic tables.
Take the trail along the Na Pali Coast until you come to the romantic Kee Beach.
Dont miss the HonoOnapali beach, said to be one of the most spectacular in Hawaii.
How Long Should You Stay In Kauai
What is the minimum number of days you need in Kauai? While you may be visiting multiple islands in Hawaii, I recommend that you stay at least three days in Kauai if you are visiting more than one island. Visiting the tropical wilderness and remote beaches could be a good idea if you like the idea of a few days out in the wilderness.
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Before You Travel To The United States
With specific exceptions, noncitizens who have been in certain countries during the past 14 days may not enter the United States, either as immigrants or nonimmigrants. For more information, visit Travelers Prohibited from Entry to the United States.
For information about COVID-19 requirements for land travel, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Securitys Fact Sheet: Guidance for Travelers to Enter the U.S. at Land Ports of Entry and Ferry Terminals.external icon
What Side Of Kauai Is Kapaa
On Kauai’s East Side, north of Wailua, is Kapaa Town, a popular shopping and dining area. Shopping and eating in Kinipopo Shopping Village are just some of the things you can do there. Across the street from the water sports shop you can rent or buy everything you need for an adventure on the water.
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What Do I Need To Know Before Going To Kauai
Cheap Places To Stay In Kauai
For the truly budget-conscious the best situation is to locate yourself in Kapaa, and stay in the beachfront Kauai Beach House Hostel.
There are plenty of inexpensive food choices around town, and plenty of free activities from hiking to beachcombing.
Be sure to indulge in the local poke uniquely Hawaiian and utterly delicious.
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Is Kapaa A Good Place To Live
In addition to being called Kauai’s “Coconut Coast,” Kapaa is another nice place to live. This area has a number of properties available, and can be purchased at a more affordable price than other areas on the island. Be sure to take a look at this oceanfront condo for sale in Kapaa if you’re thinking about living here.
What Part Of Kauai Has The Least Rain
There are fewer accommodation options in Waimea than in other locations on the island because it is likely to be driest. You’re most likely to have a sunny and dry vacation in Poipu or Lawai, both of which provide a great deals on accommodations. Across the area, annual rainfall is usually between 30 and 40 inches .
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Choosing The Best Area To Stay In Kauai
The first decision to make when planning your trip is deciding which side of Kauai is the best to stay on. Heres a comparison of each area from the most to least popular:
- Sunnier and drier most of the year
- Calmer, swimmable ocean in winter
- Easily accessible beaches
- Wide range of accommodation including some of the best hotels in Kauai
- Convenient for helicopter tours from Lihue, boat trips from Port Allen, and Waimea Canyon
- Seals and turtles on the beaches
As we were visiting in winter , the South Shore was the area that was most recommended as it receives less rain than the North Shore.
In practice, we didnt find a difference in the weather between the two coasts and had little rain throughout our stay , but perhaps we were lucky.
The ocean was better for swimming on the South Shore, though, , and we loved staying right on the beach .
For many people, Poipu and the South Shore is the best area to stay in Kauai for convenience and calmer ocean swimming.
- Big waves in winter so most beaches arent safe for swimming
- Convenient for Napali Coast hiking
- Boat trips do not run from the north in winter
- Many beautiful beaches to explore
- Hanalei is the best town on the island
- Road closures are possible
The North Shore is the most beautiful part of the island and one of the best places to stay in Kauai. We loved the mountain scenery, string of beautiful Kauai beaches, and cool town of Hanalei.
Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Kauai
When youre looking for the best places to stay in Kauai, youll find a collection of charming small towns with great beaches, lots of opportunities for outdoor activities, and lush tropical surroundings. This island is pretty much the cliché of what a beach destination should be. And it definitely lives up to all the hype. Most people who visit there return again and again.
And dont forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. Theyre easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once youve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.
Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and youre on your way!
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