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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,
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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 188813 times)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2010, 02:39:34 PM »
Did anyone stay in kekaha? There are beautiful cottages and houses for rent for very reasonable prices. Is it too far away from the action?  I just like the secluded aspect. They say it is only 45 min away from poipu beach?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2010, 02:42:55 PM »
Did anyone stay in kekaha? There are beautiful cottages and houses for rent for very reasonable prices. Is it too far away from the action?  I just like the secluded aspect. They say it is only 45 min away from poipu beach?
Beautiful area with lots of beaches (though the water may not be swimmable there)
It's close to Waimea Canyon.
But it is very far (1 hour each way) from Wal-Mart/Costco should you need any provisions, and extremely far (2 hours each way) if you want to tour the north shore.

Also beware that pictures can be deceiving, see if they can supply references to make sure you don't rent a dump that may have used to look nice 15 years ago.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2010, 02:47:36 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.
The advantage of the GH Kauai is not necessarily the rooms (although I got a beautiful suite as a Diamond member there last year) but it's the amazing grounds.  Endless amounts of pools and hidden hot tubs, beachfront access with cabanas and hammocks, and beautifully manicured gardens, free spa access and Grand Club access for diamond members, multiple luaus weekly that you can watch from the open-air hallways, etc.

I've read that the Westin rooms could also be mistaken with a timeshare in Florida, nothing particularly Hawaiian about it.

But to each there own.

Personally I also strongly prefer the South side to the North side, but I've only been there in the winter when it's constantly raining up north.  Maybe in the summer it rains less up north.  But still there are more "attractions" on the south side.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2010, 08:21:38 PM »
Guide books recommend 4WD jeeps. Do you think it's needed? Would a convertible be better?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2010, 08:23:33 PM »
Guide books recommend 4WD jeeps. Do you think it's needed? Would a convertible be better?
I would rather have a convertible.
There are some a couple places high up in Waimea Canyon where a 4WD would come in handy, but overall I don't think it's worth it.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2010, 08:07:02 PM »
I just reserved a jeep wrangler its supposed to be a convertible for 4 days it was $436.00 with Avis quite expensive!! But it is the best of both world I guess. Any ideas with Avis I will save the $25 underage fee so...... Regular convertibles were sold out. And a full size car was $275. What do you think? Any ideas?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2010, 08:08:29 PM »
What is the best company to use for the helicopter tours? Prices?  What airport do they take off from?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2010, 08:38:46 PM »
I just reserved a jeep wrangler its supposed to be a convertible for 4 days it was $436.00 with Avis quite expensive!! But it is the best of both world I guess. Any ideas with Avis I will save the $25 underage fee so...... Regular convertibles were sold out. And a full size car was $275. What do you think? Any ideas?
The Wrangler is a true POS.  To take the top down is a huge hassle compared to the push a button on a real convertible.
It also drives terribly and is very prone to break-ins because it can't really be closed.

Find another company with a real convertible IMHO.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #23 on: July 02, 2010, 01:26:26 PM »
What if I get the hardtop wrangler? Also which other company will not charge me underage fee?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2010, 02:14:04 PM »
What if I get the hardtop wrangler? Also which other company will not charge me underage fee?
Get a convertible from enterprise using a corp code to waive the underage.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #25 on: July 04, 2010, 04:44:22 PM »
B"H

We just came back from an awesome trip to Kauai and Oahu, all on points, thanks to DansDeals.com.

We stayed at the GH Kauai for 3 nights, after switching points with Dan, and had all of his daimond status benefits! Then stayed at the WEstin for 2 nights.

The GH Kauai was breathtaking, got upgraded to a beutiful room, the hallways are all open air, and the whole time you are in awe of the beuty and the sounds of brids chirping and waterfalls running.

The Westin was good for the space. Its a full size kitchen and living room, noce whirlpool bath, big. Happens to be they were fertilizing the gardens when we were there, eew! We are calling SPG to get a refund. No comparison to the GH in the grounds, the rooms were nice and roomy.

Rented a car with Delta miles ad upgraded to a 4WD Jeep for the first 3 days, then for a luxury car for the next part. We could have gone to some great places that we found off-road without the jeep, but I must say, we were definielty ready for the luxury car afterwards.


I think its a grat idea to split the time in the car.

thanksfor all the good info  to all of you here on the forum!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2010, 10:29:20 PM »
B"H

We just came back from an awesome trip to Kauai



Rented a car with De

What activities did you do? Helicopter tour? Did you do the zipline? Which company? Any amazing hikes? If I have three full days what would you recommend?
I am thinking
1. ATV and Helicopter tour
2. Zipline Safari with Outfitter Kauai
3. kayak down Waimea river and snuba or Kayak up Nepali Coast and Snuba there

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #27 on: July 26, 2010, 02:06:04 PM »
Rumor has it that a great couple will be going on shlichus to Kauai for Tishrei...best of luck bro!
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2010, 12:18:56 PM »
What do you think would be a better place to stay Kapaa or Kekaha? Which is more beautiful? Which is more private? Emptier beaches? Also is Kapaa near anything worthwhile? Kekaha is a great place because it is near the Waimea Canyon. Although very far from Princeville North Coast.

Also which helicopter tour company would you recommend Jack Harter or Blue Hawaiin?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 12:22:44 PM »
What do you think would be a better place to stay Kapaa or Kekaha? Which is more beautiful? Which is more private? Emptier beaches? Also is Kapaa near anything worthwhile? Kekaha is a great place because it is near the Waimea Canyon. Although very far from Princeville North Coast.

Also which helicopter tour company would you recommend Jack Harter or Blue Hawaiin?
When are you going? How much would it cost to stay in each place?
Kekaha is much more secluded but you will be very close to Polihale and Waimea Canyon.
I prefer Poipu because it's not a very long drive from there to anywhere on the island and I love Poipu beach.

Blue Hawaiian was simply awesome, their planes are tip-top of the line and their pilots are great.  Plus you can get a nice discount if you stay at the Hyatt and pay with costco certs...
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