We're currently torn between two condos for a week-long July visit. Ali'i Kai on the north, and Banyan Harbor on the east.
Ali'i Kai has its north location going for it, with quick access to all the nice beaches at that time of year. But we're used to quick access to stores/services that you get in the East Coast, and I don't think you can walk to anything from it. I've also yet to be impressed by eateries in the North (well, Hanalei, other than Wishing Well), although we're planning on doing most of our cooking in the condo.
The Banyan has its location across the street from Kalapaki, which should be a good beach for the kids. It's also easier to get North and South from the east, as well as having all the grocery stores nearby. But it's not as pretty, and we should be avoiding a lot of Kapaa traffic up north.
Just as some back info, there will be six adults, a 4-year-old, and a 1-year-old. It's our first time coming in July and we've always stayed in the east (KCR/Marriott). For my parents it's the first time they've been since moving from Oahu in 1981. And for my Hawaii-born sisiter, it's her first time going as an adult. We're planning on getting two 2BR units. Both places should be around $1000 for a unit/week, way under our budget, but meeting our needs. Our only requirements for a unit is a full kitchen and washer and dryer (the 1-year-old has cloth diapers).
We wanted the Kauai Coast Resort, but all the 2BR units are booked. And we contemplated the Waipouli Beach Resort, but couldn't find any units for less than $2000/week (including taxes/clean out), slightly over our maximum budget. It's hard to justify twice the price.
Any help and all opinions greatly appreciated.