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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 199907 times)

Offline jmansour

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #525 on: February 01, 2013, 02:22:31 PM »
Am i in fact one of the last to take in shabbat in the world? I think sunset is later in bora bora by like 20 minutes or so.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #526 on: February 03, 2013, 01:24:53 PM »
Here is my trip report on the grabd hyatt in kauai.

Let me start off by saying the service there is outstanding! In my book in general nobody does service better than asia but the GHk is not far behind.

Accomodation
I was originally in a garden view room on points but was upgraded to ocean view. We were right above the library that had the band playing and quite honestly it was annoying. I shared my feelings with the manager and also handed him a nice tip ($50) and appreciated whatever he could do. H called 10 minutes later and had us in an ocean front suite! I couldnt beleive it, the room was perfect and spacious.


Food
One of the most kosher friendly hotels ive ever seen. They carry an assortment of meals from oahu kosher. The only issue is it takes them a while to cook, even with an hour notice. Make sure to give them time before you want to eat. They took way too long a few nights and without even asking they comp'd dinner for my wife and I 3 times! We ate most of the time at tidepools. I love the fact that they understand kosher so theres no awkwardness, we also brought our own wine (from home) and they were cool with it. We also went to the local supermarkets to stock up on junk, there are plenty of OU items. I reccomend the kinish (pretty decent) and the garden burger (my wife says it was very good) was pretty good, the chicken was fair and the spaghetti and meatballs were also fair but beggars cant be choosers.

Activities
We did the blue hawaiian helicopter tour and yes it was pricey but worth every penny. Most of us fly and stay for free so you might as well splurge, it was a true appreciation for hashems creations.

We also drove up north to thr st regis which was very nice but a little too serious for my taste. The drive is a good 80 minutes but as you drive stop along the little towns you see etc, driving there is so beautiful and easy, its impossible to get lost.

We snorkeled poipu beach which was absolutely awesome! I rented gear for $6 for the day from 1 of the shops right up the beach. A sea turle and monk seal also decided to swim up to the beach and take a nap, quite the site! We also drove to spout horn which is a few minutes away from there.

We drove to wamiea canyon which even if your taking thr helicopter is cool to see. We rented a wrangler so the driving was easier. A wrangler is not needed but its fun having the top off etc.
We managed to catch sunset one night while whale watching at 1 of the cliffs near th hotel which was priceless as well.

Overall
Except for the first day when we arroved when it poured all day, the weather was outstanding. I get hot very easily in general and for me it was an absolute pleasure being out all day, its only 80 and theres always a nice breeze so its super comfortable, it does get a bit chilly at night.

Just want to thank Dan and the rest of you for making this trip for my wife and I special, couldnt have planned it without you guys!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #527 on: February 03, 2013, 02:22:17 PM »
Thanks for the TR.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #528 on: February 03, 2013, 03:06:02 PM »
Great TR.
Def no need for a 4x4 in Kauai unless you are doing one of the several offroading trails in Waimea.  Otherwise Waimea is perfectly accessible with any car.
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 #529 on: February 03, 2013, 03:53:03 PM »
is there any way to ask for specific seating on blue hawaiian? also any discounts below their web pricing?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #530 on: February 03, 2013, 04:00:14 PM »
is there any way to ask for specific seating on blue hawaiian? also any discounts below their web pricing?
Seating is based on weight. You hop on a scale and the computer does the seating

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #531 on: February 03, 2013, 04:01:48 PM »
 :( :( :(

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #532 on: February 03, 2013, 04:03:42 PM »
I've done 2 BH tours in Kauai (Once by myself, once with my wife).  Requested front seats both times and was told it was based on the computer.  Ended up getting front seats both time.

I bet a $20 would do it also...
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 #533 on: February 03, 2013, 04:11:31 PM »
I've done 2 BH tours in Kauai (Once by myself, once with my wife).  Requested front seats both times and was told it was based on the computer.  Ended up getting front seats both time.

I bet a $20 would do it also...

Maybe when there are not so many ppl. When we went, it was packed, we were scheduled for a certain time and they had 2-3 groups of 6 ppl before and after us... I tried to ask in advance (on the phone as well as over there) and also after they assigned out seats but it was a no go.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #534 on: February 03, 2013, 04:14:58 PM »
Maybe when there are not so many ppl. When we went, it was packed, we were scheduled for a certain time and they had 2-3 groups of 6 ppl before and after us... I tried to ask in advance (on the phone as well as over there) and also after they assigned out seats but it was a no go.
And you tried including a $20 with your cc?
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 #535 on: February 03, 2013, 04:16:44 PM »
i see a lot on this thread about giving money (hotel upgrades etc). Does it really help or i might offend them

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #536 on: February 03, 2013, 04:36:41 PM »
is there any way to ask for specific seating on blue hawaiian? also any discounts below their web pricing?

Officially it's decided by the computer, but they're very open to accommodating you IME. I'm 265 lbs. (which is overweight in their books) so the computer put me in the back middle-left seat. I told them I'd rather sit on the right (far better views on that side), and they said fine, would you like the window or the right-middle? They didn't even check or put anything into the computer.

Also remember that their policy is that if you're a couple you're guaranteed a window seat for one of you at least.

Another tip which may be useful for some is how the overweight policy works. I did some digging and found that the main issue as far as weight is concerned is not safety, but the comfort of other passengers. That's why most companies call the overweight fee a 'comfort' charge - you're essentially buying another seat (usually at 50% of cost) which remains empty. If the issue is safety and balance, I'd think that a 300 lb person on one side and an empty seat on the other would be more of a balance problem than a couple of extra pounds on one side. Knowing this I called them up and explained that my extra weight is due to my height (I'm 6' 8"), and as such don't take up more seat space than anyone else, but their online reservation system insists on charging me 50% more. They then made the reservation for me over the phone (with the web discount, of course), and noted the weight issue in the reservation. They warned me that it's still not 100% guaranteed, but that I shouldn't have any issues. In the end it was a complete non-issue, as evidenced by the fact that they even let me have the window seat (my wife ended up sitting by the window in the end, but it was fully our choice).

TD;LR: Ask nicely and they'll probably accommodate you even if the computer says otherwise. And if you're over the weight limit but not too 'wide', call them and you might get the overweight fee waived.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #537 on: February 03, 2013, 05:14:21 PM »
i see a lot on this thread about giving money (hotel upgrades etc). Does it really help or i might offend them

Why would you offend them who doesnt love money? Lol
I always do it and it works more times than not

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #538 on: February 03, 2013, 05:14:58 PM »
I've done 2 BH tours in Kauai (Once by myself, once with my wife).  Requested front seats both times and was told it was based on the computer.  Ended up getting front seats both time.

I bet a $20 would do it also...

I sat upfront also, all i did was request

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #539 on: February 03, 2013, 05:21:41 PM »
Ask nicely and they'll probably accommodate you even if the computer says otherwise.

I sat upfront also, all i did was request

We requested very nicely IMO multiple times (plus used honeymoon card) and no I didn't offer a tip. But still it didnt work. Like I said, I m pretty sure it depends on how many ppl they have booked on that particular day/time frame.