My husband and I returned home on Saturday after spending 10 wonderful days on the gloriously beautiful island of Kauai in celebration of our 20th wedding anniversary. With a 6 hr time difference, my body (and my soul) are still on Kauai time. Mahalo for the many, many helpful tips received through fellow TA reports. The journey was intended to be a completely relaxing 2nd honeymoon, and that's exactly what Kauai provided.
We stayed at the Hideaway Cove Villas at Brenneke's Beach/Poipu Beach in Poipu, which is located just 1 block behind the waterfront (just east of the boogie boarding beach), with a beautiful view from the 2nd floor balcony. We had the Dolphin Studio unit on the ground floor, and I can't express how sincerely pleased we were with our "home away from home". So clean and beautiful, the unit provided all we needed for our stay. The air-conditioned units have a complete kitchen, barbeque, beach gear provided (towels, chairs, straw mats, umbrella and cooler), laundry facility at the corner of the building (with detergent and dryer sheets), and our rental snorkel package was waiting for us (with boogie boards too). We will definitely return to our little paradise, and will not be waiting another 20 years to do so.
The only planned events we had were (1) snorkel/tour with Na Pali Explorers, (2) anniversary sunset dinner at the Beach House and (3) Smith's Family Luau. The remainder of our days were spent snorkeling, exploring, snorkeling, sitting on the beach, snorkeling, enjoying the Mango smoothies, snorkeling, shopping, snorkeling, and enjoying the sights, the sounds and the smells of Kauai. This truly is a breathtaking island. With no buildings taller than the coconut trees, and unobstructed views of the mountains and the sea, I couldn't have wished for anything more.
The Smith's Luau was great fun and an enjoyable colourful way to enjoy the luau food (lots of it - with as many free Mai Tai's as you wanted), and to enjoy the show.
The dinner at the Beach House was exactly as was hoped for. We were seated at a prime table outside under the shade of the canopy, listening to the sounds of the sea and watching the surfers and sea turtles. It was very romantic. If you're celebrating a special event, ask to be seated outside also as you're not bothered by the noise or movement of those inside the restaurant. Dinner was delectable - complete to the chocolate dessert that other TA's have also raved about. We actually visited the Beach House grounds on another 2 evenings, just to sit on their manicured lawn and watch the surfers and enjoy the sunset.
The highlight of our trip was the snorkel/boat tour with Na Pali Exploers. Although I can't compare it to any other company, I would highly recommend it to all readers. We were blessed by the most perfect weather, with extremely calm seas for our day out. Captain Rob commented that in his 10 years of tours, he could count the number of similarly calm days on one hand. As the seas were so calm, Captain Rob, Justin and Gary were able tour us up the entire length of the Na Pali - and I mean entire coastline!! We left the small boat harbour just north of Salt Pond Beach, past the pod of swimming dolphins (with a football-sized baby), all the way past Ke'e Beach to see the Princeville Resort and the Lighthouse in the distance, stopping a few times to enter the sea caves on the journey there. Returning part way, we stopped and snorkeled and ate a tasty picnic lunch on the boat. But the best part - snorkeling with the Hanu (sea turtles). That was my goal for the trip, and I am so thankful that I was able to swim with 2 turtles. They are the most graceful creatures I have ever seen.
While I had been searching the world through TA since July 2005 to find the perfect location for my husband and I to celebrate our 20th anniversary, we were blessed to have have found Kauai and the Hideaway Cove Villas. Upon our return home, we told our boys (16 & 13) that we would be returning - as a family this time - in 5 years. Although the journey there, and to return home is very long (11 & 1/2 hr flight time from Ontario, Canada + any stops along the way), we will definitely do this trip again.
Mahalo for your helpful assistance in this special celebration!