Topic Wiki

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 182313 times)

Offline Dan

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Kauai, HI Master Thread
« on: January 25, 2010, 07:49:21 PM »
Read my trip report on Kauai here:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/6088
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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Kauai Trip Help
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2010, 11:45:04 AM »
Hi I would like to go to Kauai, for a honeymoon I can only go for 4 days in August is it worth going? What are the must dos while I am there. I read Dans trip report sounds like amazing fun just I need help prioritizing my itinerary?
I am going from LAX and tickets are a fortune! Aug 1 - 4 cheapest are $717
Also, I have SPG points and was thinking of using them at the St. Regis Princeville its a whopping 21,500 per night or the Westin Princeville.
The GH Kauai looks gorgeous just way out of my price range $450/ nt and I dont have any Hyatt Points! The Westin has its own kitchen which will be convenient. Did anyone stay there?

If anyone has any ideas how to get cheaper airfare and hotel please let me know?


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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2010, 11:59:38 AM »
Do you have any miles for the flight?
How many Starpoints do you have?

I know in the winter the north shore (St Regis/Westin) can be very rainy and the south shore (Hyatt) is very dry, but all 3 of my Kauai trips have been in the winter so I can't speak for the summer.

They are very far from each other and personally I like the activities around the south shore better.

Definitely order Kauai Revealed as soon as possible, it's an incredible guide book.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 12:04:02 PM by Dan »
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2010, 12:06:12 PM »
Also airlines often will run very a very good sale into HNL and from there you can book a round-trip flight to any other island for just 10,000 miles on any arline.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2010, 12:15:32 PM »
08/22-08/26: LAX-HNL.
$350 on Continental.

08/22-08/26: HNL-LIH
$128 on Hawaiian.

Grab that if the dates work!!!
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2010, 01:00:20 PM »
I have about 60,000 spg points. Should I book at the St. Regis or Westin or should I are there any good deals to pay cash? I can only go on those dates. I didn't find any specials for flights . How much is the helicopter tour? Also am I making a good decision by going to kauai and not maui. I want fun but not so jammed as it is summer so I would like emptier beaches etc. Also are there any private beaches I could get into?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2010, 01:09:27 PM »
Also I will be in NY in the end of July so I priced out a ticket on DL Miles including my JFK-LAX leg which would run me $250. I am making a "stopover"  in LA then continuing on to LIH. On the return they made me go all the way back to JFK so I am thinking of ditching the last leg. What will happen if I do that? Should I just add a another lax-jfk leg for my next trip to NY its an extra 20k miles?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2010, 03:27:05 PM »
I have about 60,000 spg points. Should I book at the St. Regis or Westin or should I are there any good deals to pay cash? I can only go on those dates. I didn't find any specials for flights . How much is the helicopter tour? Also am I making a good decision by going to kauai and not maui. I want fun but not so jammed as it is summer so I would like emptier beaches etc. Also are there any private beaches I could get into?
The Westin is a category 5, it should be 12,000 points unless it's sold out of regular rooms.  The empty beaches are all on the very far side of the island, at least 1.5 hours away each way.  In fact I don't think there are any beaches in front of the Westin or St. Regis properties.

Maybe look into the Sheraton on the south side.  Nothing special as a hotel, but it's only a category 4.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I would spend that much money/miles/points on a stay of only 3 nights.  Maybe save up for when you have a little more time to go.

Also I will be in NY in the end of July so I priced out a ticket on DL Miles including my JFK-LAX leg which would run me $250. I am making a "stopover"  in LA then continuing on to LIH. On the return they made me go all the way back to JFK so I am thinking of ditching the last leg. What will happen if I do that? Should I just add a another lax-jfk leg for my next trip to NY its an extra 20k miles?
Are you sure you can't do an open jaw and just not book the last LAX-JFK leg?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2010, 03:39:24 PM »
The Westin is a category 5, it should be 12,000 points unless it's sold out of regular rooms.  The empty beaches are all on the very far side of the island, at least 1.5 hours away each way.  In fact I don't think there are any beaches in front of the Westin or St. Regis properties.

Maybe look into the Sheraton on the south side.  Nothing special as a hotel, but it's only a category 4.

Truthfully, I'm not sure I would spend that much money/miles/points on a stay of only 3 nights.  Maybe save up for when you have a little more time to go.
Are you sure you can't do an open jaw and just not book the last LAX-JFK leg?


This is my only chance to get away and I don't know if I will get another one. Dan you are right!! as usual they let me just drop the last leg!!!! So if I value the delta pesos as you call them at 1.1 then it like $450 per ticket not great but doable.

Regarding hotels thanks for pointing that out. You see I am lost without you. How can I stay at the GH Kauai Hotel for a reasonable price? Can I book on Points and are there any beaches there? The price I get is over $400/ nt and even with Costco gift certficates it is alot! Thanks DAN YOU THE MAN!!
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 03:43:29 PM by Dan »

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2010, 03:58:39 PM »

This is my only chance to get away and I don't know if I will get another one. Dan you are right!! as usual they let me just drop the last leg!!!! So if I value the delta pesos as you call them at 1.1 then it like $450 per ticket not great but doable.

Regarding hotels thanks for pointing that out. You see I am lost without you. How can I stay at the GH Kauai Hotel for a reasonable price? Can I book on Points and are there any beaches there? The price I get is over $400/ nt and even with Costco gift certficates it is alot! Thanks DAN YOU THE MAN!!
There is a beach in front of the GHK and there should also be one in front of the Sheraton.

Let me give you a picture of the island.

Picture Kauai as a round wall clock.  There are no roads between "9:00 and 11:30" so circumnavigating the island is impossible.  Figure that is will take about 12 minutes to pass each "hour on the clock."  The Westin/S. Regis are in Princeville at "12:00".  There are gorgeous beaches on the north shore, but I'd doubt you'll find an empty one.  Be sure to wave to Puff the dragon in Hanalei.

The airport is in Lihue at "4:00", about 45 minutes or so from Princeville.  In Lihue is Wal-mart and Costco where you can get everything you need.  And Jamba Juice  ;D

The Hyatt and Sheraton are in Poipu are at "5:30"  Poipu Beach (4 minute drive from GHK) is incredible with amazing snorkeling.  I've seen turtles, whales, seas monks, and lots of other amazing sealife while snorkeling there.  However it won't be empty.

You head up Waimea Canyon at "7:30"  Breathtaking place with amazing hiking opportunities.

Polihale Beach is at the end of the road at "9:00"  Miles and miles of empty beaches along the west coast from "8:00 to 9:00."

OK, now regarding the GHK, they are sold out of standard rooms, so no FFN's or cheap point rooms.  The AAA rate on the Ocean-View room is $436+tax, or about $350+tax with Hyatt certs.
Another nice thing about Hyatt certs is you can use them in Kauai for a helicopter ride for example, knocking down the price from $200 to $160.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2010, 07:50:07 PM »
Totally random, but while on the topic of of Kauai, nobody on Jeopardy tonight knew the question to this answer:

"Speaking of this Island's Waimea Canyon, Mark Twain called it the Grand Canyon of the West."
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2010, 08:10:57 PM »
I stayed on the North side of the island and there were plenty of empty beaches. Although I went in March which is not a very busy time, while aug is. Just an aside be very careful of where you go swimming. The undertow and currents are very strong and unpredictable.Before you go into water either ask the lifeguards or if there are no lifeguards ask a local, they generally know the currents.  You will never see such beautiful  beaches and sites so be careful and enjoy       http://opentravel.com/blogs/worlds-most-dangerous-beaches/
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 08:15:03 PM by momo »

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2010, 08:27:30 PM »
"Regarding hotels thanks for pointing that out. You see I am lost without you. How can I stay at the GH Kauai Hotel for a reasonable price? Can I book on Points and are there any beaches there? The price I get is over $400/ nt and even with Costco gift certficates it is alot!"

I stayed in the westin and the GH in my humble opinion the Westin was nicer. It was more of a Timeshare then a hotel. We ended up with a one bedroom suite which had 1 bedroom(duh) ;D a full living\dining room and kitchen which was great cuz we were there for shab. OK before i get stoned by Dan and others about the Westin being nicer I will say that the grounds of the Gh are far superior. The pool was just a never ending stream of water, the spa was beautiful and there are tons of other things to do there. The rooms were dated though they are starting to renovate so im sure they will be much nicer soon. If you are not planning on spending a lot of time indoors ie not gonna be there over shab then you will enjoy the Gh.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2010, 08:32:37 PM by momo »

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2010, 10:02:33 AM »
Thanks for all the info!! I heard it gets very very humid in the summer, anyone ever go there in the Summer? I am concerned it will be too uncomfortable to go on the hikes, etc. Also, is it very crowded in the summer, as I was planning to go to this Island because it is supposed to be the least visited.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2010, 10:11:22 AM »
Thanks for all the info!! I heard it gets very very humid in the summer, anyone ever go there in the Summer? I am concerned it will be too uncomfortable to go on the hikes, etc. Also, is it very crowded in the summer, as I was planning to go to this Island because it is supposed to be the least visited.
Never been to Hawaii in the summer, so I can't help you here.  Definitely can't do any whale watching in the summer.

If you want the "least visited" Hawaiian Island look into Molokai or Lanai.
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