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Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Olympia, Washington
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Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Hi again everyone! My wife and I are thinking about heading back to Hawaii for our 1 year annivarsary. We went to the Big Island for our honeymoon and stayed at the fairmont orchid and mauna lani bay. I have been looking into going to Kauai for our annivarsary because by the looks of the pictures it intrigues me much more then maui and oahu. It looks gorgeous but I have been reading this forum and people saying that the quality of resorts or hotels is sub par compared to the kohola coast on the big island. I am wanting to explore the island a little but also enjoy the resort and beach areas. I was looking into the kauai beach resort for our stay due to price. What are your thoughts on that resort and suggestions on things i should know about comparing kauai and the BI?

California
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1. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

If you think Kauai Beach Resort will be anything CLOSE to Orchid, do some more homework. Ugh compared to any 4 Seasons. KBR is way down on my list of places to stay but its ok. It is isolated which is a negative, its close to the airport, doesn't have a good swimmable beach and is 3 stars compared to the 5 star resorts you stayed in. If that's ok, then it should work. Just know what your getting yourself in for.

The differences between Kauai and BI are huge. Kauai is smaller for one thing. Its green and lush and very laid back. Your research that the resorts on Kauai aren't as fancy smancy as some 4 Seasons resorts is spot on. The fanciest hotel is St Regis. Next fancy, but more family oriented (and one I adore) is Grand Hyatt. KBR isn't even in that same league. Kauai is not about sitting at a pool with a drink in your hand, though that is nice, its about exploring. If you want a resort to hang by the pool, choose Hyatt and pay the price.

Olympia, Washington
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2. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

We stayed on the Big Island for 8 nights and felt we explored too much when we could have enjoyed a little more relaxation at the resorts. I knew that kbr wasnt in the same league but I really like the scenery atleast from the pictures of kauai and it seemed like a good deal. I don't have the same budget as I did for our Honeymoon which I tried to make as special as possible. One thing it seems like kauai has is more of a lush tropical feel to it than the side of the BI we stayed at. I am hoping to find a resort that isn't surrounded by empty flat lands with no view. So if you have advice on a resort that has very nice scenery, nice view, great pool and a decent beach that would be great and hopefully its not rainy like the hilo side of the BI. Kind of ruined that side of the island for us as we live in western washington and it reminded us of home haha.

California
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3. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

When are you going? Did I read on another thread Sept?

Gosh lets see.

Good pool, good view, beach access and lush and tropical? Yikes!

Well I prefer the North Shore as its green and lush and has awesome views, but depending on when you come will depend on the rain. Today was gorgeous but December will most likely be rainy! The North Shore doesn't have a lot of hotels. The St Regis is way to expensive. Westin is ok. You might check that out. No beach but very nice pool, some units have good views and you are going to be driving to great beaches anyway so just figure that in. They are actually timeshares but nice.

On the South Shore (not as green and lush but very nice) I would recommend a garden view room at The Sheraton. Its going to be more than KBR but most decent places will be. You'll get the sit by the pool and drink a mai tai feel for less than your honeymoon. I would rather stay at Courtyard By Marriott than KBR. I am just not an east side to stay fan for more than a few days. Kauai lacks middle of the road, ask for a mai tai by a pool kind of place. Kauai Coast Resort might fit the bill but again swimming at this beach can be rough. They have a small pool though that is nothing to write home about.

I just think you can do better than KBR. Like I said its okay! Just not great. Others might disagree! I just don't want you to be disappointed.

So tell us when you coming.

Olympia, Washington
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4. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Still debating on dates. Our schedules would allow september, december, or march.

California
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5. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

My vote is Sept for sure! That time of the year on the North Shore is fabulous.

IF you come in December and especially March, choose South Shore.

Olympia, Washington
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6. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Thoughts on Hanalei Bay Resort?

California
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7. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Well I own there so I like it, obviously. I am here now listening to the evening rain.

It will not offer you poolside beverage service until next year when the bar/restaurant reopens from the remodeling. Its not a hotel, but a combo of timeshares and privately owned units. It does have a nice pool and a path to the beach but just realize its not a full service resort and be choosy about your unit. Some are nicer than others.

I like 3201-2 for a studio. I like 9305, 4302, 9323 and 9106 to name a few depending on size and budget.

San Diego...
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8. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Kauai resorts are not sub par compared to the BI except at the rarified 5 star+ level.

Kauai Beach resort is a moderate sort of place with a beautiful beach for walking but mostly iffy to poor for swimming. For the price, it's not bad. Check the reviews and keep in mind you can't compare it to a St. Regis or Hyatt at 3X to 5X the price. For me, being isolated is a plus not a negative. You're only 5-7 min to Lihue and 5-7 to Kapaa. It's not that big a deal to leave the grounds and find services near by though the turn left on the highway is a bear.

Do you have a budget idea?

The combo of good pool, good beach and tropical is a tough one on Kauai. Might want to look at the Lihue Marriott. Princeville does not have great beach access so keep that in mind, You have to hike down steep rough trails except at the St. Regis or HBR where there are paved walks (and an elevator at St. R).

Check this photo and you'll see what I mean.

http://hawaiianimages.net/cgi-bin/aerial?!2ivTvk21tiAauAaE1COvd9orKk3arenNufeHIAnud4ehKddar0AsufekIfCcnj7hKf3zteEquieHI3nudov0O0bwToE1nieLm3nlr5v9OCbIToETnner12nOn3obOfb1TmESafefmdnbdlvbOrdnftgUoliTmed1r3o98C2Of2fNNSaRmbnudvvhOjdaT0EnnoaA1COld5ahKj3ztoEUngekI2Cb0ovd8i2QTfgSa6mfm1nZeeeOvMbpTfEqugmHnedauvvaF1bYRlgNNfmoO3C2

As post #1 says, HBR is not a full service resort. It's condos with no real services on site though you can walk down/up and over to the St Regis for food/bev (heavy lift to carry all the money you'll need though).

Poipu has more hotels right on the sand, but it's not as lush as the north shore. The Hyatt has the best pool on that side, but the beach is so - so due to surf conditions. Sheraton is a big step down on hotel quality but the beach is better. Koa Kea is very nice but a tiny pool and quite pricey. Loads of condos on that side too. Best beach access is Kilohana but their pool is across the road and closes at 5:30 or some such.

Denver
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for Poipu
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9. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

Kauai's resorts may not match the 4/5 star resorts on Maui, but I will say there are some privately owned condos and houses that are just gorgeous. Jebett is not allowed to recommend her own unit at HBR, so I will - 4222 looks incredible in the photos and lots of folks on TA have stayed there happily. www.summitpacificinc.com/pics-42212.html

Parrish Kauai and Caldwell Banker Bali Hai rental agents feature very nice condos and cottages at all price ranges and all over Kauai, so check those out if you're willing to branch out from the resorts.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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10. Re: Kauai for our annivarsary. Advice needed.

I love the Big Island, but Kauai is my favorite because of its incredible scenery - do go! You might also consider staying in a condo - much cheaper than a hotel, so perhaps you could stay longer enjoying the garden island. I would go in September and stay on the northshore in heart beat.

Check out that area - my favorite webcam for Hanalei Bay:

http://www.balihai.com/Blog/kauai-hd-webcam