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Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

Franklin...
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Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

Hello!

My fiancé and I are planning on a Hawaii honeymoon beginning in Kauai (6 days) and ending in Maui (6 days) during mid-September 2014. When researching Kauai, I found that some opt for the north shore, and some for the south. Can someone explain the difference between the two?

We both love the sun, GREAT beaches, nightlife and would like a luxury experience! However, we also want something without too many children running around. I also think it is important that we are able to explore and see the beauty of Kauai too! Our budget is around $8,000 for the entire trip (minus airfare).

Should we go to the north or south shore, and where should we stay?

Thank you!

California
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1. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

In mid-September, you can't go wrong with either shore. We go every July and split our stay. If you want a luxury experience, look at the St. Regis in Princeville. On the South Shore, Koa Kea and the Grand Hyatt are good options.

Huntington Beach...
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2. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

South Shore is more populated, more resorts/hotels and shopping, restuarants, and nightlife (Kauai really isn't a nightlife-type of island like Maui, so think about how you want to spend your time - relax,then party, or vice-versa). The Poipu and Lawai areas are pretty much right on the water with nice beaches. The West Side is similar, but not as many swimable beaches. The North Shore is a bit more remote, and a little slower paced. Much of it is on top of the bluffs overlooking the ocean, but has some nice beaches as well. Hanalei has some fun restuarants and a couple bars, but is more of an area to unwind than to party. Princeville is a condo area with much of it near or on a golf course with some awesome ocean views. Luxury? The St. Regis is it, but pricey. Watch the movie 'The Descendants' to get an idea of what the North Shore is about. Congrats !

Edited: 26 October 2013, 15:27
California
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3. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

Do your nightlifing on Maui. Not much on Kauai.

Sept is terrific all over the island (and warm) but if you want no kids you will need to choose Koa Kea Hotel in Poipu. It is very popular with honeymooners. Its a small hotel with fabulous service and read the 5 star reviews on Trip Advisor. The best beaches in my opinion are all over the North Shore and that luxury hotel would be The St Regis if you choose there. Please do some research on both and see what appeals to you. They are very different.

Have you decided on where to stay on Maui? That might make a difference on where I steer you. If you are going big like Grand Wailea, then don't do the same type of hotel on Kauai. If you are doing Ritz Carlton I might suggest another place. I might even suggest a fussy hotel on Maui and a beach cottage like Hale Makai or one on Hanalei Bay for your Kauai experience.

Sept is a really great time on the island and you have time to read over old threads and trip reports so take a look at top questions, punch in the search box "honeymoon" and read away.

Portland, Oregon
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4. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

I'd choose the north shore, if for no other reason than that it will afford the most dramatic change of scenery from anywhere you'll stay on Maui.

Not sure how to understand "(minus airfare)" though. Does the $8,000 budget include airfare (meaning you'll have closer to $6,000 for lodging, rental cars, etc.)?

Edited: 26 October 2013, 17:12
Franklin...
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5. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

Hello all,

Thank you for replying. We have been notified that we now must limit our travels to a $5,000 budget because of unforeseen circumstances. This means with roundtrip airfare we probably have about $3,500 to spend on hotel/expenses. Would it be best if we tried to stay at only one island instead of two? If yes, which do you think we should go to? Also, we would most likely be staying now instead for 8-10 days, and would still like to stay in a resort, but are willing to consider other options! Do you think it is possible to enjoy Hawaii on such a small budget, or should we consider elsewhere?

Thank you, again.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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6. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

I am budget traveler to the islands - and my motto is that the cheaper the lodging, the longer I can stay on my beloved island. :) I am biased - if I could only go to one island during September, it would be northshore of Kauai - gorgeous! You can find condos for $100 or less . . . just depends on what you are really wanting. But you can do Hawaii on a budget! :)

La Mirada...
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for Kauai
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7. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

Of course you can do Kaua‘i on a budget and enjoy it more. We do the same as coalminer...we stay cheap so we can stay longer!

3Chihuahuas

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Kapaa
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8. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

Sounds like you might not be able to afford a luxury hotel, but there are many resort condos on the island. A condo gives you more living space and the option to have breakfast in. We found we really enjoyed having our morning coffee on the lanai, and evening cocktail in the same setting.

I'd look at Hanalei Bay Resort on the north shore or, if you can find one in your budget, a cottage in Hanalei.

Saratoga Springs...
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9. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

With only $3500 for 8-10 days, I would only do one island for starters. This will save you a couple of hundred dollars in inter-island flight costs as well as not killing one of your days with the hassles of an airport and travel. You can certainly do Kauai on a $350 / day budget, however, it will not be luxury. The cheapest rooms at the hotels mentioned above go for at least that much if not way more,(and I am assuming you will still want to eat at some point). I think you need to ask yourself how important your original requirements are to your trip, (luxury, nightlife, etc.). If it is more important to explore a beautiful island and hit some beaches than go for Kauai, grab a condo in Poipu or Princeville, avoid expensive excursions like helicopter rides, and spend your days driving around, hiking, kayaking and just exploring. If a luxurious resort and dancing and drinking at night are important, then maybe look elsewhere, (Caribbean, Mexico, etc.), and save yourself some $$$ on the long flight and high airfare.

As mentioned above, many people do the islands on limited budgets. It all comes down to what is most important to you. When we travel, we like a little of both. If we are dealing with a smaller than expected budget for a trip, we will rent a cheaper condo for the beginning of the trip, do our exploring, and then splurge for an expensive resort for the last couple of nights of the trip and just relax by the pool and beach.

Dallas, Texas
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10. Re: Honeymoon in September - North or South Shore?

I would choose north. Both are nice that time of year but I found myself more on the north shore.