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 177533 times)

Offline askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1529
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #705 on: August 01, 2013, 03:48:26 AM »
Pick this up in the airport, it can save you quite a bit...
Yes thank you RJ898. Saved us $15 per person for the Hola Hola sunset cruise. They came nicely recommended in KR, and we had a great time! Couldn't eat the food obviously but had unlimited drinks and was a great ride up the coast for part of Na Pali. The charter companies from North south weren't going and I can't understand why as the surf wasn't so bad. Either way had a great trip and I would certainly recommend. It's not the same as the charters that include the snorkeling but a great and relatively (compared to similar cruises) inexpensive outing.

Offline Amusch

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jan 2013
  • Posts: 392
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Queens, New York
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #706 on: August 09, 2013, 04:49:23 PM »
TRIP REPORT:

Just got back from a week in Hawaii. I hope my story serves as inspiration to all those who feel overwhelmed by this website. I was that guy a year ago who only knew of SPG (and got 85,000 free SPG points which helped fuel two AA flights to SD and five nights at the US Grant two summers ago) and no more, but with reading the forums and talking to friends just a little bit, a trip to Kauai was ready to go.

I want to first thank Dan and all the loyal forum members who made this trip happen. As a token of my appreciation, Dan, I would like to make a donation to the tzedaka of your choice.

Now for our trip:

BACKGROUND: I had a conference in Honolulu, so I went from Tuesday to Sunday, paying for my own flight (since the school compensated that much) and using Priceline for hotels. Didn't do much in Honolulu by myself. Anyway, after Kauai, Honolulu looked more like Long Beach. My wife joined me in Honolulu on Sunday where we stayed for the night (Hyatt Regency), which worked out since the GHK was full Sunday night, and we couldn't get a cross-island flight Sunday night.

CARDS: I got the Hyatt, Sapphire, and two Uniteds which was more than enough for my wife's one-way first-class ticket, two cross-island tickets, and two return tickets (though those were 40K in coach as no Savers were available and dates weren't flexible), and three nights at the GHK and the first night at the Hyatt Regenecy in Waikiki. Not to mention the cards' perks of free bags, Platinum status for free spa access at the GHK, and United Club Lounge passes.

HOTELS: As mentioned, we started at the Hyatt Waikiki which was really nice and we got a great ocean view, but we were too tired to enjoy. They had no idea what to do with our Kosher food, but they tried their hardest to accommodate us. Good news, heated the food for free; bad news, half the stuff was frozen. Oh well. On to Kauai. My expectations for GHK were very high based on reading this website. Somehow the hotel still exceeded my expectations. Pools were amazing and hard to describe, with the excessive waterfalls and caves. Salt water lagoon was very pleasant. Water slide was super fun. Only two "downsides": did not upgrade us due to high volume  :( and charge a lot for heating up Kosher food ($20 per night). We were going to complain about the latter until we discovered that they gave us a $25 hotel credit when we checked in, so the three nights cost $40; no big deal.

FOOD: We packed our own Kosher food, and picked up some more groceries in Walmart Honolulu. We ate twice in our room and the third night at Tidepools, a hotel restaurant. They gave us a window seat. With the stars above us, the torches next to us, and the water filled with fish below us, I can confidently say that this was the nicest setting we have ever eaten in by a lot, even if we were having chicken hamburgers on whole wheat Thomas bread thins. We also found a bottle of Bartenura wine in Walmart Honolulu, so we had that too!

ACTIVITIES: It was three days, so we kept it simple.
Day 1 - Waimea Canyon, with stops at the 10 and 18 mile points (pp. 90-91 KR). We were too tired/lazy for a real hike, so we wandered along the Pihea Trail (p. 139) until the Pihea Vista. I also slipped on the way, decreasing my motivation to continue. One cool thing was that per the advice of other hikers, we walked back the entire mile plus barefoot, allowing our feet to walk the soft mud terrain of the wettest spot on earth. Spent the rest of the day at the pools/spa.

Day 2 - Na Pali Catamaran (p. 167) afternoon tour. No chance of making it north before 7 am on vacation, and Wendel said pm tours are good during summer. Boat was pricey ($350) but amazing. Took us into one cave, nice tour, and really fun snorkeling. Came back late, hit up spa.

Day 3 - Poipu Beach. Morning boogie boards, picnic lunch (with leftover spaghetti and meatballs Labriute from Honolulu), and afternoon snorkeling. All wonderful and cheap rentals available across the street. Then hit the pools, slide, and spa again. Our Tidepools reservation was late, so we zipped over to Spouting Horn for sunset.

Day 4 - One last trip to the slide and spa before heading to the airport. Also, my wife did fitness classes at the spa on two of the mornings.

CAR: I originally could not find cheaper than $300 for a four-day rental, then after Googling as per a friend's recommendation, I found Discount Hawaii Car Rentals for $170. Regular car, but I'm fine with that.


All in all this was the most amazing week ever. I never so appreciated the inadequacies of the man-made camera until I spent time in Kauai. We are so grateful to Hashem for the immense hashgacha involved (trust me) and to all of you for your help.

Can't wait until next summer!

Offline Yellow

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Dec 2009
  • Posts: 1287
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: Starwood Gold, Hertz #1 gold, Accor Platinum, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Diamond
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #707 on: August 09, 2013, 06:32:21 PM »
@amusch
Love the tr!
It's cool that u got to eat in tidepools!

Offline Tzadik Nistar

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 748
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #708 on: August 11, 2013, 08:45:09 PM »
Is there any airlines that offer direct flights from NYC - LIH?

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4351
  • Total likes: 69
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #709 on: August 11, 2013, 08:49:25 PM »
Is there any airlines that offer direct flights from NYC - LIH?

No.
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Tzadik Nistar

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 748
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #710 on: August 11, 2013, 09:10:31 PM »
What will be the best route with premium business seats NYC - LIH?

Offline jmansour

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Mar 2012
  • Posts: 704
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Brooklyn, New York
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #711 on: August 12, 2013, 10:50:02 AM »
What will be the best route with premium business seats NYC - LIH?

probably on united via denver on the 777

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4351
  • Total likes: 69
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #712 on: August 12, 2013, 11:03:08 AM »
What will be the best route with premium business seats NYC - LIH?

This may be somewhat outdated, but may still be applicable:

+1.  Or ORD.

The best will be CO from EWR-HNL or IAH-HNL in BF.
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline gswannabe

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 133
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA plat, united gold, spg gold, Delta silver,Hyatt plat, Hilton Diamond, Avis PC, Hertz PC, flying blue gold
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #713 on: November 20, 2013, 01:09:19 PM »
Can anyone recommend a good photographer for family pictures, that will come to the GHK ?

Offline gswannabe

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 133
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA plat, united gold, spg gold, Delta silver,Hyatt plat, Hilton Diamond, Avis PC, Hertz PC, flying blue gold
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #714 on: November 21, 2013, 12:56:59 PM »
anyone ?

Online Something Fishy

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 4351
  • Total likes: 69
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 34
    • View Profile
    • My Flickr Page
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #715 on: November 21, 2013, 01:07:16 PM »
anyone ?

I'll do it, for the right price ;).
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 40K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 45139
  • Total likes: 177
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 14379
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, UA 1K+Lifetime *G+Lifetime UC, DL Dirt, WN A-List, Airtran Lifetime Elite, Flying Blue Plat, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #716 on: November 21, 2013, 01:10:43 PM »
Can anyone recommend a good photographer for family pictures, that will come to the GHK ?
We loved our photographer in Maui. Are you just going to Kauai?
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.

Offline gswannabe

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 133
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: AA plat, united gold, spg gold, Delta silver,Hyatt plat, Hilton Diamond, Avis PC, Hertz PC, flying blue gold
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #717 on: November 21, 2013, 06:45:25 PM »
Just Kauai

Offline Amusch

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jan 2013
  • Posts: 392
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Queens, New York
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #718 on: November 26, 2013, 01:21:31 AM »
Quote
Can anyone recommend a good photographer for family pictures, that will come to the GHK ?

I remember (over the summer) there was a professional service based out of the hotel. I may have taken a business card; I'll have to check, but I'm sure if you Google around you can find him.

Offline askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1529
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #719 on: November 26, 2013, 04:18:14 PM »
I remember (over the summer) there was a professional service based out of the hotel. I may have taken a business card; I'll have to check, but I'm sure if you Google around you can find him.
Seems like every hotel has a photog they are in bed with. I might be wrong, but I have a feeling 3rd party companies you don't pick up through the desk in the hotel will be cheaper.