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Kauai Overview/DansMeals:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39185

Trip Reports:
Dan 2014
Dan 2009, Auntiemus, Benarroc, Westman812, Hudi, Yellow, Lechaim2life, DanFan2010, Jmansour, Something Fishy, Rivky, chuchem, dealvr, Amusch,
Tzadik Nistar, an613, @Yehuda, @Ygygold

Dan's concierge packet.


Related DDF Threads:
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread


Before you go:

How long should I go for?
You could spend 10 years on Kauai and not get your fill. That being said, the bare minimum to enjoy your stay is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.

It's possible to do a short trip by leaving early Sunday morning, getting there in the afternoon, and then leaving Thursday night and being back home for shabbos.

Do I need a guide book?
Very definitely. Sure you could find most info online, but nothing compares to a good, written-by-a-local, guide book. Kauai Revealed is by far the best option, and will possibly be the best $16 you spent on your trip.

What about Shabbos?
Some authorities hold that there's a dateline issue with Shabbos.
The local communities keep shabbos on Saturday.
Definitely ask your LOR before you go - some hold simply that Shabbos is on Saturday, some hold that you have to keep Shabbos on both Friday and Saturday, and some hold that you have to keep D'oreisas on Friday and full Shabbos on Saturday.

If you must keep 2 days, remember that there are many questions that could come up (such as when to light Shabbos candles, how to warm up food, etc.), so make sure to discuss it all with your LOR.

There have been books written about the Chabad opinion of keeping shabbos only on Saturday. Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz gives an absolutely fascinating pilpul on the topic, if you get a chance to attend one please record it (with permission) and upload the video online.


Getting there and getting around:

Air:
The main airport is in Lihue, and is designated LIH.
You could fly directly from the mainland to LIH from
DEN (UA)
LAX (AA, DL, HA, UA)
OAK (AS, HA)
SAN (AS)
SEA (AS)
SFO (UA)
SJC (AS)
PDX (AS)
PHX (US)
YVR (WestJet)

There are no direct flights from the East coast, so you will stop in one of these cities.
Alternately, you could fly directly to Honolulu (HNL) and continue to LIH from there.

Hawaiian, Go, and Island Air fly interisland to LIH from HNL and OGG. There are no direct flights between LIH and the Big Island (ITO/KOA).

There is a DansDeals corporate account for Hawaiian Airlines that allows you to take 2 free bags per person, a $34 value per flight. It also gives free standby on earlier flights. You can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies.

Alternately, you can also use 5K AA or, 6k UA, or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.

Car:
A car is necessary on Kauai. All major companies have branches, mostly at the airport. There are also some local companies.

National has Executive Aisle/Selection at the airport, but Hertz doesn't have Gold Choice. Avis also has a desk at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Check out www.discounthawaiicarrental.com - they book from the major brands, and are worth a try.

There's nothing like a convertible on Kauai, but a 4WD is better (sometimes even necessary) for certain places such as Polihale Beach or Milolii Ridge Road. Taking a convertible for most of your stay and a 4WD for a day or two is a good idea.


Where to stay:

There are 3 major areas where to stay. The South side is drier so good weather is more or less guaranteed. The North side is far prettier, with sheer cliffs and a backdrop of lovely green mountains. However, the weather in winter could be rainy and it can be buggy as well.
The rain typically doesn't last long, and is usually accompanied by numerous rainbows, so it's usually not too bad. However, it's something you should take into account. The East side has the cities of Lihue and Kapa'a, alone with countless hotels and resorts. This area isn't as beautiful and the North or South side.

When choosing an area also consider how far it is to your chosen activities, not just the weather, For example, it takes about an hour from the Grand Hyatt to Waimea Canyon, but over two hours from the St. Regis.  On the other hand the St. Regis is much closer to north shore activities.

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Grand Hyatt KauaiSouth sideWebsiteGenerally considered to be the top hotel on Kauai, and countless DDF'ers have stayed there. The weather is perfect year-round, it's right by Poipu beach, and you drive through an awesome tree tunnel to get there. There are countless pools and exotic birds all around.
St. Regis PrincevilleNorth sideWebsiteAnother beautiful hotel, this is an SPG category 7. The setting of the SRP is absolutely breathtaking, with the ocean crashing on the cliffs below and the waterfall-filled mountains in the background. The views from the rooms are unparalleled, but most rooms have no balconies.
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas North sideWebsiteSPG category 6.
Sheraton Kauai Resort South sideWebsiteSPG category 5.
"Get your own place"AnywhereWebsiteThere are countless condos, timeshares, or villas available to rent on the island. The advantages are that you get more for your money - a couple of bedrooms, living/dining rooms, and a full kitchen. There will usually be a pool, sometimes even a private one. Additionally, they're often cheaper than a hotel. There are many places to find them -
 HomeAway Kauai
VRBO Kauai
Airbnb Kauai, etc.


What to do:

Beaches:
There are countless beaches on Kauai, and all are public. Most offer amazing snorkeling. The East and South side beaches are safe for swimming / snorkeling year round, while some North and West beaches could be deadly in winter. Here are some popular ones, in no particular order:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PoipuSouth sideThis beach is right by the GHK. Full amenities (lifeguard, showers, etc.). Snorkeling is amazing here, especially in the morning. Sea turtles and the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal are commonly seen here. Gorgeous sunsets.
Ke'eNorth sideThis beach is the gateway to the famous Kalalau Trail. The view from here is amazing, looking out over the majestic Na Pali cliffs. Great snorkeling, with a large fringing reef. This beach could be deadly winter, when 20-foot waves crash onto shore. However, at times it's perfectly calm. Use common sense. The beach is part of Hāʻena State Park
TunnelsNorth sideBeautiful crescent beach, with a lovely view of "Puff the Magic Dragon" mountain. Great snorkeling, and beautiful sunrises. May be dangerous in winter.
LumahaiNorth sideVery pretty beach, where they filmed South Pacific. Extremely dangerous winter.
PolihaleWest side17 solid miles of uninterrupted sand. Fairly remote, and accessible only via dirt and sand road, so 4WD is preferred. Unswimmable most of the year, but the area called Queens Pond is safe all year round. Since it's so huge, you could easily find a secluded spot. Great view of the south side of Na Pali, with amazing sunsets.
Queen's BathNorth sideThis is a rocky beach by the cliffs under Princeville. Very cool during the summer, when you could swim in a rock pool with the fish, but absolutely deadly during the winter (people die there all the time).
KalalauNorth sideOne of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Unfortunately, it's only accessible via one of the most difficult and most dangerous hikes in the world, the Kalalau Trail.
HonopūNorth sideAnother one of the top ten beaches in the world. The only way to get there is by swimming - from Kalalau beach :o!
Hanalei BayNorth sideA beautiful crescent beach with wonderful views. Mediocre snorkeling, but safe even in the winter. Very predictable waves, so this is the top spot for learning to surf or paddle. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
SecretNorth sideRelatively secluded beach, and needs a bit of a hike to get there.
LydgateEast sideA fully protected beach, with pretty good snorkeling. Great for little kids, but is usually very busy.
NawiliwiliEast sideBoring beach, but the park of the the side is a nice place to stop for lunch and watch the kitesurfers.
Kapa'aEast sideAnother relatively boring beach, but a nice place to have lunch if you're in Kapa'a.


Hiking:
There are a tremendous amount of great hikes on Kauai. Check the Kauai Revealed book for detailed info on all of them, with maps, difficulty ratings, etc. These are just a few which are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hike 1Area 1Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Hike 2Area 2Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


Other activities:

ActivityComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Helicopter toursEasily the most expensive activity on Kauai, and easily the most amazing. You get to see otherwise inaccessible places - among others, you fly into Waimea Canyon, along the stunning Na Pali coast, and into the crater of the extinct Mount Waiʻaleʻale, now the wettest place on earth. It's an experience that could simply not be matched. Blue Hawaiian is the most popular and usually recommended. Jack Harter also flies amazing doors-off tours, which are wet, windy, and exhilirating :D.
Powered hang glidingThis is a unique flight lesson (counts a flying time for a pilot's license) in what's basically a motorized tricycle with wings. Supposed to be tremendous fun. Offered by Birds in Paradise.
Waimea CanyonLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Kalalau Valley overlookLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Hanalei Valley overlook
Kayaking
Biking
ATVing
Horseback riding
Ziplining
Cruises
4 Wheel Driving


Shopping:
  • Costco in Lihue has some kosher food, as well as the cheapest gas on the island
  • Wal-Mart, also in Lihue, also has some kosher food

« Last edited by ygygold on January 25, 2016, 09:44:02 AM »

Author Topic: Kauai, HI Master Thread  (Read 181747 times)

Offline Traveler

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2010, 01:27:20 PM »
I have reservations for August 1-4 So I really only have 3 full days. I am staying in the Sheraton for the first night. For the next two nights; Both Kekaha and Kappaa will cost me $195 per night in a beach front condo on the water.


Regarding renting a convertible: Enterprise finally got availability for one. When I tried reserving it under the CHABAD rate it would not be available anymore. Just regular cars no convertibles. So I reserved it without o corp rate and they are charging $20 extra per day for the car. Anyone ever have that issue when trying to rent convertibles? I will try to call them up and put add the rate manually.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2010, 01:28:20 PM »
Did anyone ever try SNUBA? Is it comparable to SCUBA? or Snorkeling?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #32 on: October 19, 2010, 01:48:03 PM »
(Long time reader, never posted) Thinking about a trip to Kauai with my wife in late January for 4 nights (23-27) from LAX. Any thoughts on getting a good deal at the GHK? Neither of us have the new Chase Hyatt Card... is it worth it to each get one and then get all 4 nights free? Maybe its more worthwhile to find a way to get a deal in cash and upgrade to a suite somehow? Any thoughts are most appreciated...

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #33 on: October 22, 2010, 01:46:33 PM »
Since no one seems too keen on my winter travel plans to Hawaii, I am open to maybe trading some SPG points for Hyatt if its a worthwhile deal. Otherwise, any thoughts on the Chase Hyatt Card idea would still be appreciated. Thanks!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #34 on: October 22, 2010, 02:00:43 PM »
it is a very nice property most people like it. what do u have to lose by signing up for the cards i say go for it! you will be saving yourself well over 1000 dollars(assuming you and your wife both get the card

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2010, 07:04:08 PM »
No luck on the credit cards because we have just opened some new ones... anyone have any way to get a discount at the GH Kauai? Or any other ideas would be great. Thanks!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2010, 07:12:15 PM »
The sheraton is pretty nice,or if u want to stay on the princeville side the st regis is beautiful. I stayed at the westin in princevillebut that is more of a timeshare place or u could always priceline a 4 star and above

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2010, 07:23:36 PM »
There's really nothing like the GH Kauai IMHO.
Absolutely fantastic hotel with the best grounds you'll find just about anywhere.  And the dozens of pools and numerous hidden hot tubs and lagoons means it's easy to find a private spot.

Go as a Diamond and you also get Grand Club access and free spa usage.
What kind of rates are you finding for what dates?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2010, 09:01:45 PM »
Looking at March 13-17, 2011 (4 nights). Cheapest I found was $459/night. Thanks for any help you can give me in advance!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2010, 09:10:02 PM »
Looking at March 13-17, 2011 (4 nights). Cheapest I found was $459/night. Thanks for any help you can give me in advance!
Fast days on vacation =  :P
Are you sure that's when you want to go?
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2010, 09:12:02 PM »
Ya I know, it's not ideal, but that week is the best time for us to go... I asked my wife and she said she was fine with it. We figured that would be the day we don't run around as much but lounge by the pool or do something a little less active (maybe even a helicopter ride that day would be good?).

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2010, 12:07:18 PM »
Any other thoughts on getting a good rate, or at least getting some sort of upgrade out of for those dates, Dan? Thanks again for all your help!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2010, 12:16:47 PM »
Any other thoughts on getting a good rate, or at least getting some sort of upgrade out of for those dates, Dan? Thanks again for all your help!
Yes, send me an email dan at dansdeals.com
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #43 on: November 09, 2010, 04:05:22 PM »
We were In Kauai from November 1st to November 7th.
Dan helped make this the trip we had dreamed of.
First, all the pre-trip advice, Kauai over Maui, Car rental from Costco, Hyatt certificates, and of course the GH, government rate with a suite upgrade.
So we walked into the GH and my wife and I knew we were going to love the place. What an incredible property. Although we arrived at night and did not get the full impression, none the less it was still a grand entrance. The service was top notch. The suite upgrade along with all its perks was incredible.
The full ocean view suite was jaw dropping. Large living room/ dining area. large bathroom with jacuzzi tub. The most comfortable hotel bed I've slept on.
Suite upgrade got us:
1.Beautiful suite
2.Fresh fruit platter delivered to our room on arrival.   
3. Access to the Grand club ( saved us a lot of money) which got us free breakfast every morning with some kosher food options, Starbucks coffee (mocha's also)  every morning and throughout the day if you want, drinks (non alcoholic) all day, $4 beers ( as opposed to $8 elsewhere on the GH property), NY times and WSJ every day.
4. Access to the Anara spa which we used every day and loved it.
5. Free wireless internet for the entire stay.
6. Ability to opt out of $18 resort fee and only pay $8 a day for parking ( we ended up getting the $8 credited as well because of a service issue we had)



The GH has the most incredible pools I've ever seen. They go on for ever and the fresh water pool has a big water slide. the salt water lagoon overlooks the ocean and gives you the feeling that you are in the ocean but you are not.

We brought a box of frozen double wrapped kosher food with us and arranged in advance that they would warm the food for us wrapped and deliver it to our room. The first night we got a tray with our food, a single paper plate and a $40 bill (15 per meal, 10 for tax and gratuity). Very poor service. I have done this at the Ritz and they did not charge and went out of the way to make a very nice presentation (table ,with table cloth, pitcher of ice water, flower, candle, etc) and no charge.
I spoke with the assistant food manager and everything changed. He comped 2 nights of fees for dinner, no corkage fee for my wine for the entire stay,  gave us a complimentary fruit platter, and served us wherever we wanted. The rest of our meals were incredible. Private dinners (restaurant only open for breakfast, lunch and private parties), with our own waiter,  in the Ilima Terrace overlooking the ocean. We also had dinners served to us in the  Seaside Lounge also overlooking the ocean with live entertainment.

As for activities we used the Ultimate Kauai guidebook and it was excellent. We followed the recommendation and took the Blue Hawaiin Helicopter tour. The eco star helicopters are incredible, great views and excellent pilot. Unfortunately, I was assigned a middle seat, but it was still incredible.
Due to weather conditions there were no boats leaving from the north shore to see the Napali coast. We took Captain Andy's from Port Allan and it wasa lot of fun. The Catamaran was beautiful and the crew and captain were excellent also.
The Kauai guide book recommends Silver Lake stable in the North shore for Horseback riding and a swim in their secret falls. Definitely a dud and not worth it. No real views other than slowly trotting along the property and seeing trees. The secret falls is a glorified swimming pool.
Of course ( thanks to Dan!) all adventures were booked through the Hyatt concierge and paid for with Costco Hyatt gift certificates.
We snorkeled Poipu beach, watched 25 foot waves on the north shore with surfers getting towed on jet skies to surf them, we hiked waiemea canyon, and of course relaxed in the pools and the spa at the Grand Hyatt.

Cant wait to go back!!

Thanks Dan





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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #44 on: November 09, 2010, 04:42:42 PM »
Wow that sounds like an incredible trip. Hopefully we can also enjoy such a beautiful place. Thanks for the trip report!