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Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

chicago il
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Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

Im going to Kauai the 1st week of September for 4-5 days with my wife and our 4 year old daughter. I was originally going to stay at the Hyatt until I found out you cant swim at their beach. So Im looking for a hotel/property that is on a beach that is decent for swimming. Id like to be near an area that has ok surf for beginners as well.Not sure if the Marriot Lihue fits this description or the Westin Princeville. How far is the Na Pali coast from the main resort areas on the island and is it doable by boat with a four year old? Best Luau on the island? Any other suggestions and/or help is appreciated. Thanks!

Michigan
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1. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

I would definetly stay at the Hyatt - the beach is just down the road - not even a 5 minute drive with the best child friendly beach! I say go for it! The Hyatt has great pools for little ones! or you can try the Sheraton - it is a great beach and good beginner surfing!

San Diego...
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2. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

The Hyatt has a very nice salt water pool as well as a fabulous fresh water pool. I've also been swimming at that beach many times. It can be rough, but lots of fun for body surfing. Dozens of people are there most any day. Is it calm and flat like the Gulf of Mexico?? No way. And when the surf is up it's flat out scary. But the same people that will tell you Shipwrecks is unswimmable will also tell you the beach at the Sheraton is terrific, yet when the surf is up, the Sheraton is also rough and scary.

If you are looking for calm salt water, the Marriot in Lihue has one of the most sheltered beaches here, but nowhere on Kauai is dead calm/safe all of the time. You'll still have to watch a 4 yr old constantly and pay attention to the flags/lifeguards/surf reports.

Westin P-ville is up on the bluff. Beach access is down a long, fairly steep trail to the end of Anini beach. I'd hardly call that a beach there either. The one time I walked down there, the end was mostly blocked by hau bushes etc. Princeville just doesn't have great beach access unless you are in the St. Regis (marginal beach IMO) which is currently closed. I know some consider HBR's shuttle down to their beach (same marginal beach as the St. Regis) beach access, but it wouldn't work for me. 5-10 min walk down a fairly steep hill lugging beach gear with no bar/amenities etc isn't the same as walking from the pool to the beach and back. If you did a house on Hanalei bay, you'd be in a far different situation. Perfect beach/access. Or one of the other beachfront houses on Anini or other NS beaches.

You could also consider the new Koa Kea in Poipu. Right in front of the hotel the beach isn't, but to either side (50 yds tops) you'll find very nice beaches.

Many older threads on luaus and boat trips. I'm not sure I'd do a boat trip with a 4 yr old and you might need to call to confirm they take kids that young. Can get pretty rough out there even in Sept.

Healy, Alaska
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3. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

It would be rather difficult to find a beach that is safe for a 4 yr old to swim and have surfing - two very different requirements. But the good thing is that you don't have to go far in Kauai for either of those! If I had the $$ to stay at the Hyatt, I would stay there - lovely property and I believe they are known for the best kid pools on the island.

Not sure - I think the Napali boat trips leave from the north shore during the summer, south in the winter - not sure where from in Sept.

Best luau on the island is Smith's. http://www.smithskauai.com/luau.html

Your daughter would love going to Lydgate for part of the day - has an amazing playground as well as rock rimmed ocean pools that will work well for her. Have fun! :)

California
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4. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

The Hyatt is a 4 year olds dream come true. Don't take her to the Koa Kea. With the Hyatt you have the fun pool, lagoon area and Poipu Beach just a short drive away. They also have the kid's club so maybe mom and dad can sneak in some "alone time" if ya know what I mean. :) The Hyatt has the bird show and Torchlighting and sounds like the perfect place to be with your family.

As far as the Marriott, that's a good option too, but they are renovating and it could get noisy. Westin is fun for kids (good shallow pool) but as Dave said beach access is poor. Since Dave hates HBR I won't go into why I think it's a good option.

If it were me and I could afford the Hyatt I say go for it.

Manhattan Beach...
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5. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

Last August we had our 4 year old GC with us at the Hyatt. It is a wonderful place for a little one. The huge saltwater Lagoon with the sandy bottom, is right next to the ocean. She could play in the sand at the water's edge, and our lounges were right next to the water. Put a floaty vest on her if you wade.

They have a Parrot talk in the Lobby which is great for kids several mornings a week.

If you stay at the Poipu wing at the Hyatt, you can sit on your balcony and listen to the Luau below on the grass, next to the ocean for free. Order room service and your little one can watch as long as she likes, or go to bed.

Los Angeles...
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6. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

I join with those who recommended that you do not bail on the Hyatt. It is a stunning property and you and the kid will have a great holiday. You may not be able to swim at Shipwreak but you could certainly wade in to your ankles, maybe knees. A five-minute drive will bring you to Poipu Beach Park with a sheltered cove for little kids, good snorkling and swimming opportunities.

I cannot help you with a boat tour or a luau (we are not nearly as active while on Kauai). But, for lots of great advice pick up a copy of Kauai Underground Guide by Lenore Horowitz. A great book written by a mother of four with lots of tips for a family vacation.

Moorpark, California
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7. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

We love the Hyatt! My kids are now 7 & 10 and they still want to know when we are going back. Great pool and wonderful salt water lagoon. Great for the little ones, too. You can see trhe surf and the waves from the lagoon and still swim in a safe enviroment.

Also, Captain Andy's does a great job with the little ones. They have a wonderful sunset dinner cruise.

Having been to a lot of luaus on the island, I would recommend either Smith's in Kapaa (probably the best on the island) or the one at Kilohana Plantation (Gaylord's). They have a great little train ride that the 4 year old will love. Smith's has a wonderful garden setting. Search on TA for more comments on those two luaus as well as Captain Andy's.

Kaua'i, HI
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8. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I may be biased (I act as narrator for the Hyatt's torchlighting ceremony), but I do think the Grand Hyatt is a wonderful place for a keiki - altho' the ocean certainly is not considered swimmable there in general (and safety personnel will also bear this out) - they have several "fantasy" pools to make up for it - the salt water lagoon, the keiki pool area, etc. - all great for families with little ones - and the beach is lovely even if you are unable to swim there - plus it is a 5 minute drive to Po'ipu Beach Park, which is generally considered one of the most family friendly beaches on the island also - a special rock walled "keiki" area is for the little ones - lifeguards, showers, pavillions, bathrooms, etc. make this a wonderful family beach park.

The same beach (Po'ipu Beach) runs along in front of the Waiohai, Kiahuna Plantation and Sheraton Kaua'i -while you should certainly check every day before entering the ocean (conditions can change quickly) - these areas are generally swimmable.

Just my thoughts!

Malama Pono,

Janet

Melbourne
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9. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

We're staying at the Sheraton for the same reason as the beach looks a better place to be swimming.

San Diego...
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10. Re: Hotel and Planning Help...A bit overwhelmed.

I don't hate HBR. Never stayed there. I just sometimes think those of you that own there hype it in a fashion that borders on a conflict of interest.

I admit I don't much care for Princeville in general due to what I consider poor beach access and the whole non-tropical feel. It strikes me more as a California manicured country club as opposed to Hawaii. Hanalei is where I'd go if I was vacationing on the North Shore. Different strokes.