We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time in Kauai, advice needed

Level Contributor
100 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
First time in Kauai, advice needed

I know there's a lot of posts that already ask for recommendations, I haven't gone through them, but I will soon when I have time. We're planning to go to Kauai this October and we have only few months to plan. It's a late honeymoon for us, but after we got our schedule set, we can finally go!

I need advice where to go. I've always relied on TA and other folks recommendations then I make the decision. I've been to Oahu and Maui, but this will be my husband's first time in any island.

Oahu was too touristy for me since I stayed in Waikiki. We wanted somewhere less downtown feeling and more relaxing. We're not into nightlife and stuff. Our purpose is to relax, enjoy the scenery, good food, and relax.

Maui, I've been to South and West sides. I actually enjoyed South Maui better. West side was too touristy for me and the beaches were okay. South Maui had great beaches and although Wailea was there, there was still Kihei that was more townlike. Plus it rained less there. So that's kinda waht I"m looking for in Kauai.

As for budget, but probably mid-range. We're willing to splurge here and there. Since it's our honeymoon, I wanted to stay in a beachfront place. I think I would rather spend it in not so big hotel to have more privacy and less people to deal with. Although, resorts can spoil you and that's nice too.

I like food, so I want to check out local places. We're not too adventurous, but hiking here and there is nice and we're willing to do.

Right now, I need help on where to start which is what part of Kauai to stay. That way, I can get started with my search. Thanks a lot folks!!!!

California
Level Contributor
39,713 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

Sounds like you would enjoy the North or West side (less touristy) but also look at Koa Kea Hotel in Poipu.

www.summitpacificinc.com/kauai_map.html

http://www.koakea.com/

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
3,511 posts
103 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

Sounds like Kauai will be a perfect fit for you. Every time we plan a trip to Kauai we always consider going to another island, but we always end up back in Kauai exactly because it isn't "touristy" - no high rises anywhere on the island.

If you definitely want a beach front hotel, your choices will be somewhat limited, but if you're willing to consider a cottage or condo, you will have many more options.

October is pretty much of a transition month between summer and winter. In summer, I'd defintely go for the north shore, but if you want to avoid the rain, the south shore will be your best bet in October. However, since it is drier, it will not be as green and lush as the north shore.

As you can see, some of your desires somewhat "conflict" when it comes to choosing what part of the island to stay, so you'll have to let us know what is most important and then people on the forum can narrow things down a bit more.

La Mirada...
Destination Expert
for Kauai
Level Contributor
17,095 posts
136 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

If you have 10 days or more on Kauai, you could split your stay between North & South. We always do this. Each area of the island has something special. We'll be there in Oct too for two weeks.

3Chihuahuas

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Level Contributor
43,900 posts
44 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

Welcome to the Kauai forum - I think you are going to love it here - sounds like your cup of tea! :)

I like this website for its virtual tour - you can see what each area of the island looks like, which may help you make your decision on where to stay.

http://www.kauaivisitorsbureau.com/

I would also recommend the Ultimate Kauai Revealed guidebook - great maps and details, though caution should be used with some of their "access" recommendations. So much you can see and do on Kauai - or nothing - just taking in the scenery is fabulous. Have fun planning your honeymoon! :)

Level Contributor
100 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

Unfortunately, we can only stay about 7 days in kauai. thanks for the replies so far. I'm leaning towards North, i was reading about south too. We're willing to do condos, cottages or b&b.

our main thing is to relax, near great food areas (more like local food) and check out the beaches which is to relax. i usually plan my trip around food (hahah). there will be times we will be hiking and exploring the island, but i would like to stay in a place where things are a little bit accessible around places driving or walking.

although beachfront would be nice, we probably can't afford it. much. so walking distance would be nicer.

we would also like to feel the local culture, not must of the tourist. i see travelling as experiencing the culture too.

am i conflicting myself again? i hope people can help me. i'll do research again and come back to ask more questions.

California
Level Contributor
39,713 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

<< i usually plan my trip around food (hahah).>>

Well then, we like you on this forum because it's all we talk about.....

The North Shore doesn't have as many dining options as the east and south. It has plenty, but if you are looking for true local flavor you will go into Lihue after a day of site seeing down that way.

Some of my favorite places on the NS to go are Mediterranean Gourmet in Haena, BarAcuda, Hanalei Dolphin for sushi and fresh fish and Hanalei Gourmet in the old schoolhouse for a good salad and burger. For breakfast I love Wake Up Cafe, a real hole in the wall and only open for breakfast.

Look up these places and let us know if we can help any more.

Edited: 12 August 2010, 14:39
Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tucson
Level Contributor
3,511 posts
103 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

On the north shore, the only hotel is the St. Regis, which sounds like it is out of your price range. All of the north shore condos are in Princeville on a bluff above the ocean, so none are "ocean front" although many have very good ocean views. Other than the Hanalei Bay Resort, all require a walk down a steep trail to get to the beach and in October, those beaches may or may not be swimmable. Hanalei Bay Resort shares the same beach with the St. Regis and you can walk there down a paved path or they will drive you there on their golf cart. We really like Sealodge for its great views and overall value, but the units there, like at any other condo complex, vary greatly, so make sure you read reviews on the specific unit you are interested in.

You might consider a cottage at Anini Beach or in Hanalei or Haena. Look at sites like VRBO.com. Hanalei has the advantage of having restaurants and shopping close by, but it will cost you more for a decent place within walking distance of the beach. Haena is more remote and there is only 1 restaurant there, but you are only a 10-15 minute drive from Hanalei (on a narrow curving road). There are no restaurants or shopping at Anini Beach, but you're only 5 minutes from Princeville and 10 minutes form Hanalei.

Here are a few places that I've checked out for our trip next summer that would be private and romantic for a honeymoon:

http://www.vrbo.com/104754

serenity-rentals.com/kauai-vacation-rentals-…

www.summitpacificinc.com/plumeriamoon.html

http://www.vrbo.com/171793

http://www.vrbo.com/30434

Canada
Level Contributor
9,450 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

Even though you don't quote a nightly budget other than"Mid-range"..

I am going to suggest you take a look at Kiahuna Plantation on the wonderfully Sunny South shore in Poipu.

In the past while, many of the owners have been offering incredible deals on their units at this Beachfront property. Depending on your budget..you might be able to select a unit..a little closer to the water. Lots of dining and shopping choices in the area.

There is much to explore on Kauai...small towns, fabulous nature hikes, glorious beaches..

There are numerous "Local" eateries in Lihue...however not an over abundance of accommodation choices...(Marriott Hotel)

The Island is not very big..so getting around with your rental car...will take you to all of the places of interest.

Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
18,133 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

", there was still Kihei that was more townlike. Plus it rained less there. So that's kinda waht I"m looking for in Kauai."

This tells me that it's important for you to cut down on chances of rain. If this is true, you might want to rethink the north shore then. You can always head on up for a day or two when it looks like the weather is cooperating.

There really isn't a place on Kauai that compares to the Kihei area, which is more commercialized yet has fabulous beaches and ample condos to pick from right by those beaches. The more "town like" area of Kauai doesn't have those great swimmable Kihei beaches. So I'd recommend Poipu for you. You'll have better chances of the kind of weather you liked in Wailea/Kihei. While it has it's resorts, etc., it's not like the 'controlled' resort development of Wailea or Kaanapali. You'll find hotels, condos, homes , local neighborhoods. You can pick from a high end resort hotel or a more private cottage. You can choose to spend as much or as little as you want. It's pretty diversified in price and theme. While it's a major tourist destination even the busiest of locations on Kauai is low keyed next to Waikiki and many spots on Maui.

Edited: 12 August 2010, 15:10
Kailua, Hawaii
Level Contributor
739 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: First time in Kauai, advice needed

If you end up on the North Shore, here is a page with many links to activities, maps, event schedules, personal opinions about the area, etc.

Unfortunately, many of the restaurants on the list have closed, (so marked) but perhaps some will reopen by the time you get there.

visitprinceville.info/Princeville_Informatio…

Hank