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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 214421 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #450 on: July 31, 2012, 10:24:46 AM »
Checked in got gorgeous ocean suite!!! This place is awesome!! Thx Dan!
Pics please!
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 #451 on: August 01, 2012, 03:34:35 AM »
Is anyone is interested in buying a raffle ticket for a 1 week stay at an Exclusive Private Ocean-Front Estate?

this is a Fundraiser for the Chabad in Kauai (a.k.a GANI)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #452 on: August 12, 2012, 09:37:41 PM »
got back from kauai friday. Had agreat time, thanks to Dan and forum members who helped with all the planning and deals!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #453 on: August 12, 2012, 10:25:19 PM »
Just came across these. Better late than never!!
"Not all who wander are lost"

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #454 on: August 12, 2012, 10:27:56 PM »
And more...
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #455 on: August 12, 2012, 10:33:38 PM »
.
"Not all who wander are lost"

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Grand Hyatt Kauai Question
« Reply #456 on: August 15, 2012, 12:16:27 AM »
I'm going to Hawaii in November - 4 days on Kauai and 5 on the Big Island. I booked a house on the Big Island through Homeaway, and I'm trying to sort out Kauai now. I'd love to stay in the Grand Hyatt in an ocean view suite, which for 4 nights (11/11-11/15) is an insane $4001.84.

I'm quite confused at this point and can't figure out how to go about it. If anyone could help, please do!

I currently have 70k and 50k MR (two separate accounts). I also have signup bonuses for the Visa Sapphire and United cards pending (should come through at the end of either this month or the next). I don't have any Hyatt status.

Here are my options as I see it:

I could sell some MR points and use it to pay for a standard room, then transfer 6k UR to Hyatt for a suite upgrade for the entire stay. This would still cost me $1728.90, far more than I would like to spend.

I could also get a standard room through Priceline, where I'll pay about $180/night according to BetterBidding. The question then is if I could use the 6k for a suite upgrade. I couldn't find a definitive answer to that anywhere.

I'm also wondering about buying someone's free stays - but I have no idea how that would work as far as a suite, names on the reservation, status, etc.

I don't think that using UR for this is the best idea, since I won't even have enough for two suite nights. In any case, the point are still not showing up for a bit, and I'm worried about cutting it too close as far as availability.

Any ideas?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2012, 12:23:02 AM by Something Fishy »
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #457 on: August 15, 2012, 12:30:32 AM »
Suite upgrade on Priceline is YMMV but very unlikely
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #458 on: August 27, 2012, 04:27:21 PM »
Anyone at the GH Kauai this week?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #459 on: August 28, 2012, 09:43:58 AM »
Anyone at the GH Kauai this week?

Just came back....Weather was great though.

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Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #460 on: August 28, 2012, 09:47:06 AM »
And more...

Was this ground level? Looks like the one I got
JEWDA "RIP"

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #461 on: August 28, 2012, 12:41:29 PM »
Hey Dan,

Thanks so much for all your tips and all your credit cards!!!
My wife and I came back from Kauai last week and had the most amazing time. Although it was only 4 full days, it was totally worth it.
I know there are a bunch of trip reports out there, but it helped me to see all of them so I figured I'd give back, and I'll put prices bc i always wanted to know them before we got there.

We started off flying direct EWR-HNL First Class on United. I know it wasnt a lie-flat, but it was amazing. You can stretch out the whole way and not touch the seat in front of you. Hard to go back  to coach after. Right now im in middle of writing to United to ask for some points back because I called the week before to confirm Kosher meals and they said yes. When we got to the plane they said they dont serve kosher on domestic flights(a 10 hour flight-I remember getting meals on flights to Miami like 10 years ago!)The stewardesses were really nice and opened up all the $15 snack boxes for us which was nice, and thank G-d my wife brought some tradition soups so not too bad. But just a warning for all you out there...$0.

We then hopped on a Hawaiian Air flight from HNL-LIH using 5,000 united miles. Even though its an international airport it kinda feels like youre back in 1975....$0.

Got to Kauai and picked up our mid-size SUV(Nissan Rogue) for 4 days for $200. 

Wanted to spend some time on the North Shore, so used 24,000 Starpoints to book 2 nights at the Westin Princeville Suites. Beautiful resort with like 5 different pools all over so youre bound to get one that was empty. We were super jet-lagged so we woke up at like 6 every day which was amazing. Davened, ate some breakfast(got $10 at the store for declining room service), and sat out from like 8-10:30 both mornings. At that time the weather was amazing to just sit out and relax in the infinity pools which were totally empty.

After the pool we went down to the Lihue area to just walk around and then went to Wal-mart to pick up some $5 knock off Tabi's which were great. We then decided to go kayaking and went to the one all the way down the Wailua River so we wouldnt have to paddle for an hour. While we waited for the kayak to be ready we walked around the Kamokila Hawaiian Village. Village was fun and kayaking to fern grotto and secret falls was great. Nice hike and pretty waterfalls...$35 each of us.

The next day we hung out at pool and then went into Hanalei which is a chilled surf town. Rented snorkels and snorkeled at Tunnels Beach. Nice coral and fish, but swimming with the sea turtles is awesome..$5 each of us

Next we started the 11-mile Kalalua trail. Well we only did 1.5 miles but it was still fun. Beautiful views of the Northern coast only accesible by boat, heli or feet. Really pretty, but steep and rocky. $0

After that we drove down to Poipu to stay and the crazy and ridiculous Grand Hyatt for the next 2 nights. Thanks to Dan I opened up the Hyatt card as a Diamond member and got the Garden Suite. Its like the Disney version of a hotel where everything looks perfect and everyones always smiling. We told them it was our anniversary(ok maybe we used the word honeymoon) and they gave us a $100 poolside cabana rental which was nice.$0

Next day hung out in our cabana which comes with a cooler filled with iced bottled water for the morning. In the afternoon we took 6 seater airplane tour of Kauai by Wings Over Kauai. First of all they're awesome. So nice, easy to talk to, good people. I sat up in the copilot's seat-that was fun. We were up for about 70 min with a great tour guide who knew a lot about the island(he must have read Kauai Revealed :-). Was pricey but totally worth it. $125 each.

We went straight from there up the 17 mile long Waimea Canyon Drive. Road is a bit windy but the views up top are amazing. Dont stop at Kalalua lookout though. Keep on driving till there is no more road-the views from there are much better.$0

The next morning we sadly had to fly out. Had a 12:40pm flight to HNL, but the HNL-EWR flight wasnt leaving till 7pm. So we took a $2.50 bus ride over to Pearl harbor/USS Arizona memorial. Its about a 15 min bus ride but make sure to have exact change. The memorial was really nice. You can prob spend about 2-3 hours going through the whole site, theres a submarine there and few other things besides the Arizona.
Then we flew home, and are now planning for the next vaca. Thanks again

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #462 on: August 28, 2012, 12:45:16 PM »
Awesome report
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #463 on: August 28, 2012, 02:09:29 PM »
Awesome report
+1 Also like the fact that his first post was "contributing" to the forum. Way to give back!

Love how the agents make up things. I had a similar issue with meals to/from Kauai and only got $25 dollars e-cert per person, so good luck with that.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #464 on: September 21, 2012, 12:45:35 PM »
I stayed here in the beginning of september. I stayed for a total of six nights. Did everything last minute and it all worked out amazingly. I booked a suite using Hyatt points mostly transferred from chase. In the end I only ended up paying: 99k for 3 nights in a suite 33k each. Then I combined a free night award from  Hyatt card, which by the way wasn't a free suite night just a regular free night, but they confirmed suite upgrade prior. Then one extra night in a suite which we tacked on mid-stay because we were having such a good time, which they forgot to deduct from my account! So essentially a freebie. And finally one adiitional regular night with points (no suites were available so we had to change rooms) for 22k.

Total: 121 k plus one regular night award=5 nights in a suite + 1 regular room.

Had them time of our life.
Thanks Dan.