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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 177916 times)

Offline avi h

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #735 on: December 17, 2013, 01:47:39 AM »
Assuming you don't have kids yet go back now! Won't be the same for many many years.
Fly her in first so she's comfortable :)
I bh have two already but not taking any along (and didnt to HI either)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #736 on: December 17, 2013, 02:04:10 AM »
I bh have two already but not taking any along (and didnt to HI either)
Wow, you've got a brave wife!
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 #737 on: December 17, 2013, 09:15:10 AM »

Offline sam28

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #738 on: December 17, 2013, 02:54:50 PM »
so what the place u can do with a 7 year old kid and a 5 month old baby

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #739 on: December 17, 2013, 06:05:42 PM »
So does anyone have any ideas for me?!!!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #740 on: December 18, 2013, 01:02:34 AM »
Flights
Flew United from EWR through ORD and LAX in J – no kosher meals on any flights (except cereal)
Return flight from LIH – LAX both upgrades cleared.  Kosher meal was short ribs.  Not very good but was edible.
LAX – EWR only one cleared so my wife sat up front and had French toast for breakfast which she said was decent.
Left NYC early Sunday morning and returned Thursday afternoon.  It is a relatively short trip for the distance traveled but we felt like it was enough time.

Grand Hyatt Kauai
Overall this property is fantastic.  The grounds are meticulously maintained, staff is great, the pools are great, and water slide is fun.  The open air concept is just plain awesome.   
Had one regular night and two suite nights – currently Hyatt Diamond.  When redeeming gold passport awards you don’t need to pay the $25/day resort fee.
Regular night turned into oceanview and suite nights turned into corner oceanview.  The suite had a Toto washlet (toilet with a built-in bidet), 3 tvs, couches, nice art, a very large balcony in the living room area and a small balcony in the bedroom.  There were blackout shades which are opened and closed with a remote. 
I called the chef on the second day there and mentioned that many of the items on the kosher listing for the Grand Club were not on hand and he offered to give us a Kosher lunch or dinner.  They delivered dinner to our room later that night.  I got the rib eye with mashed potatoes and my wife got the grilled chicken with sautéed vegetables.  Neither were very good, though edible.  The next morning the chef had sent two sealed bagels from Oahu Kosher to the club for us for breakfast.  Considering they were complimentary, it was overly generous of the staff.
The chocolates they leave on the bed which are branded “Grand Hyatt Kauai” have an OU on the back. 
The Grand Club had a bunch of Kosher food. Yoplait yogurts with a K (not sure on if or what the real hechsher was), fresh fruit, lox (saw the package), Philadelphia cream cheese packets, peanut butter packets,  and mini cereal packages.  I was pleasantly surprised to see how accommodating they are to Kosher requests. 
There is a concierge desk in the club which is where we met Laura who was extremely helpful and helped us plan and book our activities.  I had them bill the activities to the room and that way they posted on my cc bill as a charge from the GHK.  Used my Barclay Arrival card to cover ~475 of those charges and that’s how I justified splurging on Blue Hawaiian.

Helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiin 5/5
 My wife and I got “seats 1 & 2” which are both in the front, 1 is a window seat and one is closer to the pilot.  I tipped the lady who checked us in $10 when making the request for the front row.  Not sure if the concierge got us a real discount (she said she did) but we booked it day of and it was 430.  This is an absolute must if you are only on the island for a short period of time and won’t be driving/hiking /sailing the coast. 

Snorkling at Poipu Beach 4.5/5
We rented gear down the street from Kimo’s surf shop for $5 per set.  While we were snorkeling a giant sea turtle weighing 400 lbs washed up to shore and so did a couple seals.  The beach is rly nice and we saw thousands of fish while snorkeling.  In the distance, there were whales jumping in and out of the water.   

Luau Kalamaku 4/5.
 A lot of fun and definitely an experience but not the most tznius activity.  The GHK concierge got it for $50/ticket because we didn’t eat dinner there (usually $100 including dinner).

Mahaulepu Hike (near the GHK) 4/5
Really beautiful and relatively easy hike.  Considering how close it is to the hotel, makes it an even better activity.  The hike is along the coastal cliffs and it is really beautiful.

Spouting Horn 2.5/5
A cool site though not worth driving more than 20-30 min to see.  It is down the street from the GHK so if you stay there, it is definitely worth checking out.

Captain Andy’s Poipu sunset whale watching sail 2/5
We saw a bunch of dolphins swimming alongside the boat but no whales.  The crew was nice but we just didn’t enjoy this that much.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 01:28:55 AM by dealvr »
Hey there! I am using WhatsApp.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #742 on: December 18, 2013, 08:17:02 PM »
Since no WIKI:

How much is the minimum amount of time for which I need to set aside to do LIH?

Thinking about a last minute trip...
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #743 on: December 18, 2013, 08:32:54 PM »
Since no WIKI:

How much is the minimum amount of time for which I need to set aside to do LIH?

Thinking about a last minute trip...

I'd say 5 days.

I have half a wiki written up, if only I had the time to finish it...
Check out all my Trip Reports here!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #744 on: December 18, 2013, 08:40:46 PM »
Five days on the ground?
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #745 on: December 18, 2013, 08:43:32 PM »
5-8 nights for LIH.
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 #746 on: December 18, 2013, 08:52:48 PM »

I have half a wiki written up, if only I had the time to finish it...
Post what you have written so far and well help finish it up

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #747 on: December 18, 2013, 09:59:21 PM »
Post what you have written so far and well help finish it up

It's not really useful to anyone but me, as it's more of a hodgepodge of notes and links. I'll see if I could turn it into something useful (or at least semi-useful) over the next couple of days and put it up.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #748 on: December 18, 2013, 10:05:07 PM »
I have concierge packets I made back in 2011 for each island.
As I'm well out of that business I'll dig them up and post them if people would like, though it may be out of date.
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 #749 on: December 19, 2013, 12:09:46 AM »
Please do.
2015: 116K bkd | 1.6M brnd | F: OZ,NH,AA,EK | J: UA,CA,TK,DL,TN,AF,VA | LIH,NRT,ROR,PEK,CNS,BOB,MEL,TLV & Pacific Hopper