Bonus : The Best Hotels For Couples In Kauai
Kauai is a very romantic island and also a famous destination for honeymooners and couples. Thats why I wanted to give some more hotel options to those of you looking for a romantic getaway. All of the hotels are sorted in descending price order so you can choose the best one for your budget!
- Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort Located on the south shore, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort has everything you need for a romantic holiday. You will love the beautifully decorated hotel rooms that have a private balcony overlooking the ocean and the fancy bar where you can watch the sunset and have a great selection of cocktails. There are 3 tennis courts, a large swimming pool, a private beach, and 7 restaurants that offer food from international cuisines.
- Koloa Landing Resort For those dreaming about the palm trees, laying on the powdery sand, and watching the amazing scenery. Koloa Landing resort is located on the south shore and has romantic rooms with stunning ocean views, an upscale restaurant, 4 glamorous swimming pools, and a fancy bar. You can pamper yourself with good treatment in the luxurious spa and enjoy a very good breakfast in the morning.
Luxury: Four Seasons Resort Lanai
Four Seasons Resort Lanai is where to stay in Hawaii if you want to splash out. The five-star resort is second to none and pretty much owns the entire island. You can relax in your ocean-view suite, visit the resorts stables, organize a private tour with concierge services, or enjoy the tennis courts and outdoor pools. Booking.com / TripAdvisor
For something a little different, we also stayed at the Sensei Lanai Resort nestled in the forest of Central Lanai. The wellness retreat is an adults-only resort where you can unwind and disconnect. See more on TripAdvisor
Tips For Choosing Where To Stay On Kauai
When you choose where to stay in Kauai, its good to know what kind of experience you are looking for. The island of Kauai is divided into five main regions. The main regions of Kauai are Lihue, the East Side , the North Shore, the South Shore and the West Side
Scattered throughout the regions of Kauai are the incredible towns and villages that make this island such an incredible destination. However, certain areas such as the Na Pali Cpast are very mountainous and difficult to access. You wont find many places to stay in Kauai within the interior either as much of this area is rough terrain and difficult to build on.
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Where To Stay In Princeville For Couples
If its in your budget, theres no better option in Kauai than the St. Regis Princeville, especially if youre traveling to Kauai for a honeymoon or romantic retreat.
Its such a fantastic property that Ive stayed there every time Ive come to Kauai. Its a great option if you have lots of air miles or hotel points.
The St. Regis location has a postcard-perfect view of Bali Hai and the beach in front of the hotel is not crowded and perfect for swimming. Sunset cocktails in the lobby bar are a must, even if youre not staying at the hotel. Dont worry Ive included a happy hour stop in this Kauai itinerary!
Where To Stay In Hawaii: Best Places For You By Island
Hawaii is something else. The islands have far surpassed being just a tourist destination and have become a dream destination for many travelers. Hawaiis natural beauty is unrivaled. From the beautiful beaches, dramatic volcanic landscapes, and abundant native animals like sea turtles it is no wonder you want to visit.
Now youve just got to figure out where to stay in Hawaii. The islands are associated with luxury hotels, but there are lots of options to suit different budgets. This guide will take you through the best places to stay in Hawaii.
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Vrbo: Deluxe Oceanfront Condo
This condo is ideally situated on the Waikiki beachfront. In fact, you can jump straight out of bed and onto your private balcony for views of the beach. The bedroom is the most impressive room in the condo. It features sliding patio doors to create an open-plan balcony effect.
This is the best rental in Oahu if you want to experience the Hawaiian beach lifestyle. See it and more apartment rentals on VRBO
Finish Your 7 Days In Kauai With A Beachside Sunset Dinner
7 days in Kauai sure do fly by! Cap off your time in paradise with a final dinner at the Beach House. Another Kauai favorite, the Beach House is perched right in front of one of Kauais best surf spots, Prince Kuhios.
Arrive early to dinner to grab a spot at the bar and watch the surfers while the sun sets. Its the perfect ending to a week well-spent!
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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
Best Airbnb In Kauai: Oceanview Studio
For staying in Kauai for one night or longer, this studio is a great choice. It has enough space for 4 guests in the surroundings of unprecedented beauty and luxury. Just steps from the beach, the studio features a kitchenette, private lanai, and access to the buildings pool, spa, BBQs, tiki bar and free onsite parking. It is one of the best Airbnbs in Kauai!
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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
This is a delightful boutique-style property in Poipu on the sunny south side of the island.
The hotels 121 rooms feature in-room Nespresso machines, marble showers with dual showerheads, deluxe bath amenities and free WiFi.
Each guestroom also sports a private lanai.
Koa Kea has won a slew of awards over the years.
Most recently, it was named the No. 2 Best Kauai Hotel by U.S. News & World Report . It was also voted the No. 2 hotel on Kauai in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards .
When it comes to luxury hotels in Kauai, youll be hard pressed to find a better small hotel than Koa Kea.
Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort
Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort is on the grounds of what was once the Kauai Marriott Resort. It stood out for years as one of the best resorts on the island, and under new ownership, this Kauai resort has continued to thrive.
This Kauai resort is located on the southeast corner of the island near the Lihue airport. It features the largest open-air pool in Hawaii. If you prefer the crystal waters of the Pacific Ocean, you can relax on the sand at Kalapaki Beach. This protected beach offers excellent swimming and is a great spot to learn how to surf.
The resort features a kids club for children under 12-years-old. It features arts, crafts, puzzles, and fun experiences to keep them busy if the adults need a little time alone.
Throughout the resort and beautiful grounds, youll also find an 18-hole golf course, six tennis courses, five restaurants, and a full-service spa and salon.
Read Also: Where To Stay In Kauai On A Budget
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.
Best Places To Stay In Kauai Hi
Famed for its Jurassic Park filming locations, Kauai combines stunning beaches and luxury resorts with outdoor activities through its green mountains. Each part of this beautiful Hawaiian island has something unique to offer travelers.
Kauai is split into four major regions: North Shore, South Shore, East Side, and West Side. The regional split means travelers can chase a memorable beach vacation with plenty of cocktails or the peace and quiet of lush valleys without much crossover.
Figuring out how you want to experience the beautiful island will help you decide which area of Kauai will work best for you. Along the shorelines, families will find plenty of spacious accommodations leading to calm beaches. Hikers can chase towering jungle summits while couples can kick back beside the candlelight in the many high-end resorts spread around Kauai.
The best areas to stay in Kauai are:
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Main Regions And Neighborhoods Of Kauai
Kauai is easily broken down into 4 different geographical regions, each with its own distinct attractions, style, climate, and vibe. To put it simply, here’s what you need to know about each of them.
- North Shore Graced with the picturesque Napali coast, beaches, lush valleys, and the affluential Princeville, this is simply postcard-worthy.
- East Side As the most populated part of the island, it’s as busy as the island gets with a big part dedicated to commercial development, and essential big stores and restaurants. That said, there’s still plenty to see and do here.
- South Shore This part of the island gets the best weather and as a result, you’ll find it the most popular with visitors. Anchored by Poipu, there are many resorts and beaches here.
- West Side This part of the island becomes dramatically much more raw in both the development sense but also the geology. Drier and more barren, you’ll find the Grand Canyon of the Pacific here and the start of the Napali Coast.
Vrbo: Oceanfront Condo With Pool Access
This cozy condo is part of the Maalaea Banyans Resort. Guests receive access to an outdoor swimming pool and spa, although you are only meters away from the beach if you want a dip in the ocean.
From your private balcony, you can often spot migrating whales as well. This vacation rental is easily one of the best places to stay in Maui. See more on VRBO
Read our full breakdown and guide of Where to Stay in Maui: Best Hotels, Condos & Vacation Rentals by Area
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How To Get Around
- Car Exploring the island by rental car is your best bet. To make sure you get the best deal, make sure you use one of these codes. Like the rest of Hawaii, you’ll have your choice of standard cars but you also have large fleets of convertibles and jeeps.
- Bus If you’re on a budget and looking to get around Kauai by bus, there is a public bus system that takes you to major parts of the island. The fares are $2 USD per trip. In most cases, buses only come once an hour so you do have to be mindful of the schedule.
- Tour If you’d rather join a tour, take a look at this Best of Kauai Tour.
- Airport Transfer and private transfers from the Kauai airport.
Lihue A Convenient Base To Explore The Island
Referred to as the governmental and commercial center of the island, Lihue has held great historical significance to Kauai for centuries.
It is a heavily trafficked area due to the presence of Lihue Airport, as well as Nawiliwili Harbor, a major cruise ship port and shipping center. But Lihue is more than just a place where tourists enter into Kauai.
The area itself has several great sites and natural wonders to check out, as well as several historical spots that hold great significance to the island. If youre a history buff and interested in learning more about the culture of Kauai, this is the place to do it.
Lastly, if youre into adventure and watersports, Lihue is an amazing place to bodysurf, swim, paddle board and snorkel amongst incredible, palm-tree lined beaches.
Lihue was once a booming hotspot for the sugarcane industry. Although those days have faded away, you can still see many abandoned sugar mills now open to the public for exploring.
Grove Farm Homestead Museum, built in 1864, is a great place to tour a former plantation home of a sugarcane owner. A tour provides a true, authentic experience into Kauais sugarcane heritage and youll be able to see a working farm flourish in modern day.
The Kauai Museum, the official repository for all things Kauai history, is also located here. Youll also learn about how Lihue played a pivotal role in modern-day Kauai, as well as how indeginous Hawaiians contributed to a dynamic heritage not found anywhere else.
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Best Luxury Hotel In Lihue: Kauai Marriott Resort
This hotel offers 5-star accommodation close to local attractions and restaurants. The rooms have ocean or garden views, and all the amenities youll need for your stay. It boasts tennis courts, a rooftop terrace, outdoor pool, water slides, childcare, and activities. Theres also a gym, restaurant, and bar on site.
Kapaa Where To Stay In Kauai For Shopping
Again located on the east side of the island, north of Wailua, Kapaa is the most populated town on Kauai. Being more built-up, amenities and facilities are abundant, creating an incredibly convenient destination.
Numerous shopping and dining businesses provide plenty of choices for you to eat, shop, and drink during your visit. There are also plenty of hotels, so people of all tastes and budgets will be able to find somewhere to stay.
Kapaa offers a unique shopping experience with Kinipopo Shopping Village, Wailua Shopping Plaza, and the Coconut Marketplace where you can find Hawaiian souvenirs, antiques, jewelry, and craft items.
Kapaa Town Park is a great place to relax. The wide-open spaces give you somewhere to walk, while a skate park and water features are ideal for keeping the kids entertained. Theres even a weekly farmers market, where you can purchase fruit and veg, flowers, baked goods, and other local wares.
Outside of the town, there are also a number of natural attractions, the range of which will appeal to a variety of different people.
You have Kealia Beach, a beautiful stretch of sand with amenities like bathrooms and picnic pavilions. It is popular with surfers, boogie boarders, and even those who simply want a relaxing day sunbathing.
Best places to stay in Kapaa:
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Princevilles Finest For Drinks And Dinner
Once youve cleaned up from your beach day, head over to the St. Regis Princeville for happy hour drinks at the lobby bar. Try to time your visit so that you can enjoy the magnificent sunset views from the hotel. Just make sure to go on the early side so that you can get a table, because this is a popular spot and rightfully so.
After happy hour, head back into Hanalei for dinner at my all-time favorite Kauai spot: Bar Acuda. Request an outdoor table and enjoy tapas and wine to round out a great start to your Kauai trip.
For more of my favorite restaurants in Kauai, I put together a post on my top 10 favorite places to eat in Kauai.