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.

Princeville versus Poipu in December

Boulder, Colorado
1 post
Save Topic
Princeville versus Poipu in December

Hi!

My fiance and I are going on our honeymoon in December to Kauai. We're planning on leaving December 25th and staying for around ten days. Should we stay in Princeville or Poipu (or maybe even Kapaa)? My concern is the weather in December on the North shore. I've heard there is a chance it could be very rainy. Otherwise the North shore sounds beautiful. Poipu seems to be more touristy but could have better weather in December. Is Kauai crowded with tourists in December? Does anyone recommend splitting our time between the two cities? We want a relaxing honeymoon but still would like to spend some time on the beach and doing a few activities. Is Kauai the place for our honeymoon in December or should we go somewhere else altogether in December? Or push back our honeymoon and go another time of the year to Kauai?

Thanks for all of your help!

Kelly

Joseph, Oregon
Level Contributor
450 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

The North shore definitely has a higher chance of being rainy throughout the year than the South shore, especially during the winter months. That said, the island is small enough that it is almost always possible to drive to a sunnier part of the island if the rain is getting in the way of your plans. Unless, of course, there is a huge weather system over the whole island.

I would suggest the South shore during the winter months, but the beauty of the North shore is really hard to beat. The chance that the water conditions would be swimmable is higher on the South shore in the winter months if that is important to you.

I wouldn't worry about Poipu being "touristy". Kaua'i is quite rural and laid back. The only areas that have the usual types of crowding you would get in small to medium-sized cities are Lihue and Kapa'a. If you want to be close to more restaurants and shopping and be central to both the North and South shores, Kapa'a could work well for you. Just know that traffic is the heaviest through that area on a regular basis.

Only you can decide how much experiencing some rainy weather would impact your enjoyment of your honeymoon. Those of us who love Kaua'i always say, "no rain, no rainbows" and embrace the rain as part of Kaua'i's charm. We experienced short showers and wind pretty much every day when we visited Kaua'i (and Maui, too, for that matter.) But, it never stopped us from doing what we wanted to do. In fact, being caught in a huge downpour, being soaked to the skin and running under the eaves of a shop with other folks was part of the fun of our visit to the Farmer's Market. And I loved being caught in a gentle warm rain while on our daily walk around the Poipu area. Magical.

Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
16,708 posts
1 review
Save Reply
2. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

On pushing back the date of your honeymoon I don't think any of us will even want to go there. I know I don't !

On the weather and location on Kauai. It's totally your call. Some people will post that despite the odds they had nonstop sunshine in December in Princeville. Others will post that it rained their entire visit. You could experience either. All that any say for sure is what the averages are.

Scroll down to the bottom of this link for Kauai and you'll see the average rainfall for Princeville is double that of Poipu in December and annually too. Up to you on how big of a risk you want to take. It sounds like weather is important to you.

No part of Kauai is 'touristy'. Poipu may have more resort hotels than Princeville but there is nowhere on Kauai that I would consider touristy. It's all pretty laidback. Poipu is nothing like Oahu or even Maui. The mostly highly-trafficked spot on Kauai is still low-key by comparisons.

One could easily argue that Princeville is touristy. It's pretty much 100% tourists in resorts and rental condos. Poipu is a real residential area for locals and local businesses, not just tourists.

What many folks do in this situation is go with the location with better weather in the winter and head north on good days. Good luck with your decision

Edited: 15 October 2010, 14:59
Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
16,708 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

Looks like I forgot the link....

http://www.hawaiigaga.com/WeatherGuide.aspx

California
Level Contributor
36,413 posts
119 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

Even though I adore the North Shore, the odds of sunshine are greater in Poipu in December. I would choose it over Kapaa for sure, but for other reasons. I have been to Kauai in December at Xmas and if it was a rainy day on the North Shore, we drove to Poipu or the West side for the day.

Poipu will definately be more crowded in December but its not Maui. The beaches, especially on the weekends will be crowded.

Pushing back your honeymoon? Gee, I don't know, but if you did and you REALLY wanted to stay on the beautiful North Shore, go May-October.

If you do choose Poipu and you plan on being there Dec 25th, you'd better get a move on, girly!

Corona del Mar, CA
Destination Expert
for San Diego, Orange County, California
Level Contributor
52,622 posts
422 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

Napaguy is right, Poipu does have more resort hotels than Princeville, Poipu has two, Princeville has one :) And he is also right that no part of Kauai is what I would call touristy. The south should have better weather in Dec.

If it were me, I'd do 8 nights at Popiu, maybe the Hyatt Regency, maybe the Sheraton or even a condo at Poipu Kapili or Kiahuna Plantation and then finish with two nights at the St. Regis in Princeville. Even if it were rainy for those two days in Princeville, it is a very romantic place to be rained in and you can still visit Hanalei in the rain.

Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
16,708 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

Napaguy is right, Poipu does have more resort hotels than Princeville, Poipu has two, Princeville has one :)

I look at it as Poipu having 4 - Hyatt, Sheraton, Marriott and Koa Kea.

Princeville having 2 to 3 - St. Regis, Westin and some would consider HBR to be a condotel resort.

Guess it's all in what one considers a resort. Tfimeshares like the Westin, Marriott Waiohai, and timeshare units at HBR included or not.

No matter how you look at it I agree there isn't much of a difference in the number of 'resorts'.

San Jose, California
Level Contributor
51 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

Funny to be reading this question this morning. I had dinner last night with a good friend who is the sales manager at the Westin Princeville Ocean Villas and she mentioned they have really great rates for December travel. We have stayed there 3 times since they opened in 2008 and we LOVE it. You could split your stay between the north and south shores and get the best of both worlds.

Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
10,408 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

There is a high probability a December honeymoon on the North Shore of Kauai will be negatively impacted by rain.

There is a moderate probability of disruption on the south side of the island.

If you want to insure desirable weather conditions on Kauai, put your visit off until late April or so.

Or, visit South Maui or the Kohala Coast of the Big Island, which are normally the driest visitor locales in the State during the rainy season.

Kaua'i, HI
Destination Expert
for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
Level Contributor
17,874 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

Aloha from Kaua'i!

December is winter here - no getting around that - and that does mean a higher chance of rain - and the area that does get more rain than other parts of the island (which makes it so green and lush) - is the North Shore.

So, while there are absolutely no guarantees about it one way or the other (you could have lovely sunny weather up there, just odds are somewhat against it) - I personally would say that if having nice weather is important to you - the South Shore (Po'ipu Beach) is the "traditionally sunny" side of the island - it is where the Hawaiian ali'i (royalty) came to spend the rainy winter months. It is usually the sunniest part of the island during the winter, except for the West Side, which at any time of the year is always the warmest and driest part of the island.

I definitely don't think Po'ipu is more touristy than any other resort area on island - including the North Shore - Princeville (with the exception of the lovely Hanalei Bay Resort) is one condo development after another with jogging paths, etc. and reminds me quite heavily of Southern California......my apologies to Princeville buffs....just my personal opinion.

It is a planned community and it does look like one - albeit with incredible views!!

The Po'ipu area is also designated as a visitor destination area (aka resort area) - we are a spread out however over a large area along the Po'ipu Beach coastline area - there are 3 hotels (Grand Hyatt Kaua'i, Ko'a Kea, and the Marriott Waiohai) and several condos and vacation rentals to choose from. Some right on the beach, some in quiet residential areas....just depends on your budget and your taste.

I certainly wouldn't "nix" a vacation here in December - while the time from Christmas to New Year's is popular here on the island - it isn't "crowded with tourists" either - we are not like Waikiki or Ka'anapali on Maui with beaches massed with people jostling for space - you can always find your own private area and beach!

Good luck in choosing - and if you really want to stay on the North Shore - just be prepared for rain - but as someone else mentioned - you can always drive West on the island to get to sun - almost always!

Malama Pono,

Janet

Santa Rosa...
Level Contributor
16,708 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: Princeville versus Poipu in December

" there are 3 hotels (Grand Hyatt Kaua'i, Ko'a Kea, and the Marriott Waiohai"

Don't forget the Sheraton!