Best Place To Stay In Kauai

Best Place To Stay In Kauai – It was confusing trying to decide which side of the island to stay on, whether to split our time between the two areas, and which accommodation was worth the high price.

Hawaii was a dream trip for us, like many people, and we wanted it to be perfect.

Best Place To Stay In Kauai

In this post, I share what I’ve learned about where to stay in Kauai, including comparisons of different areas, reviews of the accommodations we stayed at, and suggestions for alternative places to stay in Kauai.

Best Place To Stay In Kauai

Here’s a quick overview of some of the best hotels, resorts and condos on Kauai. You will find more detailed reviews below.

The first decision to make when planning a trip is deciding which side of Kauai is best to stay.

As we were visiting in winter (January), the south coast was the most recommended area as it rains less than the north coast.

In practice, we did not notice the difference in weather between the two coasts and there was little rain during our stay (only a few cloudy days on both sides), but maybe we were lucky.

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The ocean was better for swimming on the south shore though (some days were calmer than others and we still had waves), and we loved staying on the beach (which we wouldn’t have been able to afford in the north).

For many people, Poipu and the South Shore are the best area to stay in Kauai because of the amenities and calmer ocean swimming.

The North Shore is the most beautiful part of the island and one of the best places to stay on Kauai.

Lodging options are limited and more expensive up north, however, and it was further away from many of our favorite activities (helicopter tour, boat trip, Waimea Canyon).

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Although the road past Hanalei was closed during our visit, so we weren’t able to visit many of the popular beaches or the Napali coast, we still had plenty to explore.

Check out our post on the best things to do in Kauai for all of our favorite activities and restaurants.

We didn’t spend much time in the east because it didn’t seem as attractive as the north or south coast.

But many people like to stay here because it is more affordable and convenient, especially if you can only choose one area as a base.

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Most people visit the west for a day trip instead of staying here, but if you’re an avid hiker, you might enjoy camping at Kokee State Park (just beyond Waimea Canyon). Advance reservations are essential.

Kauai is not a big island and you can drive from one side to the other in about two hours. You can choose to stay in one place and visit all the main attractions on day trips.

However, we wanted to avoid long drives, so we decided to split our 11 days on Kauai between Poipu on the South Shore (6 nights) and Princeville on the North Shore (5 nights).

This plan worked really well for us. We got the best of both worlds and all of our day trips were a manageable distance (the longest was an hour from Poipu to Waimea Canyon).

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It’s a bit inconvenient to change hotels, especially when there can be a six-hour gap between check-out and check-in.

I recommend asking for a late check out and early check in when possible, buy a cheap cool bag from Longs to store food in, and explore the east coast on the way.

Despite the inconvenience, we felt we made the right decision and it would be difficult to choose which coast we prefer.

If we had stayed on the south coast we probably would have just made a day trip to the north coast and it was worth much longer to explore.

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If the North Shore had been our only base, we would have had to make more long day trips to some of our favorite activities.

If you have a week or more in Kauai, I recommend splitting your time between two locations, unless you plan to spend most of your time relaxing at your resort instead of exploring the island.

The most common types of accommodation on Kauai are resorts (large hotels with pools, restaurants and other amenities) and apartment complexes (self-catering apartments, often with pools but fewer facilities).

If you want the full luxury experience in Hawaii, perhaps for your honeymoon or anniversary, you’ll probably want to stay at a Kauai beach resort where everything is available on-site and the service is excellent.

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Of the luxury resorts, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort in Poipu in the south is considered the best place to stay in Kauai.

In Princeville to the north, the new 5-star Hanalei Bay Hotel is the most luxurious option with a focus on wellness and sustainability. It has the highest prices on Kauai.

For a luxury resort, you can expect to pay over $600 per night including taxes (and maybe over $1,000 in high season).

If you’re on a budget (Kauai isn’t cheap!), condos are usually more affordable than resorts.

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You’ll also be able to save money on food, even if you cook some of your own meals.

We liked having more space with a separate bedroom and living room, and the apartments often come with useful amenities like deckchairs and umbrellas.

We’ve stayed at two great condos, the Kiahuna Plantation in the south and the Hanalei Bay Resort in the north, and we’ve written detailed reviews of them below.

The cheapest accommodation is on the east coast where you can find budget hotels like the Kauai Palms near the airport for around $200 a night.

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Vrbo condos in Kapaa are also great prices – you’ll pay much less for the beach than in Poipu or Hanalei Bay.

It was important to us to be within walking distance of the beach, so we paid a premium for this, but chose units further from the ocean.

Accommodation prices in Kauai vary greatly depending on the season and how far in advance you book.

The cheapest months to travel are from mid-April to early June and from September to mid-December. Make sure you book as early as possible in high season.

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Be sure to check the final price when comparing accommodation. Tax and sometimes resort fees, cleaning fees (for condos) and parking may be added as additional charges to the listed prices. This can really add up!

For example, a night at the Grand Hyatt Resort in November is listed as $533, but you have to add taxes ($41.09), tourist tax ($53.08) and tourist fee ($54.63) to that for a total of $682 .

Poipu is the most popular area in southern Kauai. There is a beautiful beach, a wide range of accommodation (albeit limited budget options) and plenty of restaurants and shops.

We stayed in a condo at Kiahuna Plantation, located on beautiful Kiahuna Beach (a quieter extension of Poipu Beach).

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Of all the places we stayed in Hawaii, Kiahuna Plantation is the place we most want to return to for a longer stay.

Kiahuna Plantation is a large complex of one- and two-bedroom apartments in cottage-style buildings spread over 35 acres of lush lawns that reach down to the beach.

Apartments have different owners and agents, so they are all decorated differently, and it’s a bit of a lottery which unit you get.

To avoid this, you may want to book a specific unit – check out Kiahuna’s range of apartments on Vrbo. We booked apartment 106.

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You pay more to be closer to the beach, but we were in the back row (on the 2nd floor of building 17) and still had a view of the sea.

We had some traffic noise as we were closer to the road, but for the most part we found it a very peaceful place.

It took us a few minutes to walk to the beach, but we could walk barefoot across the beautiful lawns.

Our one bedroom apartment was comfortable and well equipped with good wifi, dishwasher, blender, rice cooker, beach chairs and boogie board.

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There is no air conditioning (as is common in Hawaii) but we didn’t miss it as the apartment was cool and there are fans and screened doors to the lanai (balcony) to let in the breeze.

The bedroom is at the back and doesn’t have a lot of natural light or views, but the bed was comfortable and there was plenty of storage space. The bathroom was simple but good.

The kitchen overlooks the living room which has a sofa, dining table and chairs and simple but homely tropical decor.

Sliding doors lead to the lanai where there is another table and chairs and a few lounge chairs to enjoy the ocean view.

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Although you can’t see the sun sink below the horizon, the sky is beautiful when it lights up in shades of orange at sunset (see photo above).

There is no pool on site, but guests can use the resort-style pool, gym and tennis courts at the Athletic Club across the street for free.

There was no washer in our unit, but Kiahuna Laundry has plenty of machines and they take credit cards ($3 per wash or dry).

There are numerous grills on the grounds. The ones on the beach are popular at sunset when everyone gathers

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