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, Wizmanison 2017

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).

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


Author Topic: Kauai, HI Master Thread  (Read 531412 times)

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 60303
  • Total likes: 7558
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1080 on: August 12, 2014, 01:01:09 PM »
considering the awa awa puhi is easier and is 1.4 miles shorter (meaning more time on the other lookouts ect in the canyon), is the Nualolo significantly better or only a lil better?
Significantly IMHO.
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.

Online arid

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 498
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1081 on: August 13, 2014, 11:38:54 PM »
OK so I told my wife that i planned for us to do 2 4+ hour hikes (Nualolo Trail and first 2 miles of Kalalua trail +2 mile addition to waterfall) and she tried to stab me in the face. true story. So i can only do one hike. which should i do? Kalalua Trail or Nualolo Trail?
If you think i should do Kalalua trail, is it worth it to hike the extra (hard) hour or two to Hanakapiai Falls? Has anyone does this part of the trail? I'm reading that it can be though. plus if i do the 2 mile extension, then it will surely take up the entire day, which would eliminate one of the other hundred things i can do once im up north.....
thanks

Offline an613

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Apr 2010
  • Posts: 324
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1082 on: August 14, 2014, 09:39:22 AM »

If you think i should do Kalalua trail, is it worth it to hike the extra (hard) hour or two to Hanakapiai Falls? Has anyone does this part of the trail? I'm reading that it can be though. plus if i do the 2 mile extension, then it will surely take up the entire day, which would eliminate one of the other hundred things i can do once im up north.....
thanks

The falls are very cool but hard to say whether it's worth it or not. Large part of the enjoyment for us was the hike itself - it's much quieter and more secluded than the first part. If the hike itself won't be enjoyable and you've got other things you want to do up north, it may not be worth it.

We did the detour to the falls on our way back from kalalau beach (after a day and a half of hiking) and we didn't regret it for a second. Will try and post pics of the falls when I get home

Online arid

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 498
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1083 on: August 14, 2014, 02:56:10 PM »
Can anyone elaborate on what they received in the regency club at GHK with the diamond status? They give you a full blown breakfast (from oahu kosher) ? Can you request what you want? Do they have frozen meals in the hotel or do you have to order in advance and pick what you want?
Thanks

Offline shmu1

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 40
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1084 on: August 14, 2014, 08:30:26 PM »
we booked a grand club room with points (we dont have diamond status), before we did it we were in contact with the food dept and they said if our room gets a complimentary breakfast, you can choose something from the kosher menu for breakfast, either waffles or pancakes, which they did in fact honor (not sure if the agent was correct or not), you also get a kosher bagel every morning and there is kosher lox as well (which was served on a platter, they showed us a closed package that they use), they also have little boxes of cereal (we brought a frozen bottle of milk with us...which we found very helpful, for coffee and cereal).
This was just for having grand club access room (no status).

Online arid

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 498
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1085 on: August 14, 2014, 11:58:41 PM »
we booked a grand club room with points (we dont have diamond status), before we did it we were in contact with the food dept and they said if our room gets a complimentary breakfast, you can choose something from the kosher menu for breakfast, either waffles or pancakes, which they did in fact honor (not sure if the agent was correct or not), you also get a kosher bagel every morning and there is kosher lox as well (which was served on a platter, they showed us a closed package that they use), they also have little boxes of cereal (we brought a frozen bottle of milk with us...which we found very helpful, for coffee and cereal).
This was just for having grand club access room (no status).
thanks. the pancakes or waffles any good? also why'd you bring milk? cholov yisrael or is there a problem with milk there?

Online arid

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 498
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1086 on: August 15, 2014, 12:00:13 AM »
The falls are very cool but hard to say whether it's worth it or not. Large part of the enjoyment for us was the hike itself - it's much quieter and more secluded than the first part. If the hike itself won't be enjoyable and you've got other things you want to do up north, it may not be worth it.

We did the detour to the falls on our way back from kalalau beach (after a day and a half of hiking) and we didn't regret it for a second. Will try and post pics of the falls when I get home

did you also do Nualolo Trail? if you did, can you compare it with first 2 miles of kalalua?

Offline an613

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Apr 2010
  • Posts: 324
  • Total likes: 1
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1087 on: August 15, 2014, 07:19:16 AM »

did you also do Nualolo Trail? if you did, can you compare it with first 2 miles of kalalua?


Nualolo was very muddy when we were there so we only did the Awa'awapuhi part.

Offline shmu1

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 40
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1088 on: August 15, 2014, 09:23:21 AM »
The pancakes were ok, the waffles we had were not. bagels with lox were great. milk was for cholov yisroel.

Online arid

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 498
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1089 on: August 17, 2014, 02:22:31 AM »
So i called the grand club in GHK to ask if i need to pre-order breakfast from Oahu kosher. at first the lady told me if i want the pancakes/waffles, i'd have to pay until she spoke with her manager and he said that we indeed do get the breakfast free of charge.
but not only that: she asked me if i want accommodation for horderves hour. she said they would order me food from the dinner menu, FREE OF CHARGE . seems like i can order rib-eye etc for free. anyone do this? now im rethinking bringing all the food i froze if 2 nights im there, i get free supper.
also do they ever check ID or just ask for room number and name? im going as a "second guest"

Offline mokellman

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2014
  • Posts: 34
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: United States
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1090 on: August 17, 2014, 01:18:04 PM »
On my way to kaui from JFK. At JFK I asked them to send my bags straight to kaui but the lady at the counter said I'll have to pick up my bags St Honolulu and recheck to kaui. Is that true, do I have to go to baggage claim? Thanks

Offline Tzadik Nistar

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Gold Elite
  • ******
  • Join Date: Nov 2011
  • Posts: 938
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1091 on: August 17, 2014, 01:31:22 PM »
You need to find a knowledgeable agent that could do it

Offline mokellman

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Jul 2014
  • Posts: 34
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: United States
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1092 on: August 17, 2014, 01:33:27 PM »
Thanks, got it fixed.  I got someone with more knowledge. 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 01:58:26 PM by mokellman »

Offline MC

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1743
  • Total likes: 46
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1093 on: August 17, 2014, 02:12:16 PM »
Can anyone recommend a pretty but not-too strenuous hike? (And by that I mean easy, considering it's taken weeks of persuading to convince my sister to do a hike instead of sitting at the beach all day!)

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 60303
  • Total likes: 7558
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1094 on: August 17, 2014, 02:15:02 PM »
The kayak/hike to secret falls.
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 shmu1

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 40
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1095 on: August 17, 2014, 03:47:18 PM »
cool about the supper...will def. look into that for our next summer trip back to kauai;)....to get into the grand club room you use your key to your room (nobody asks anything) not sure how it works for your situation (if you get that key), however we were able to have the waffles and pancakes brought up by room service to our room free of charge.

Online arid

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 498
  • Total likes: 4
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: ny
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1096 on: August 17, 2014, 04:30:31 PM »
cool about the supper...will def. look into that for our next summer trip back to kauai;)....to get into the grand club room you use your key to your room (nobody asks anything) not sure how it works for your situation (if you get that key), however we were able to have the waffles and pancakes brought up by room service to our room free of charge.
i wonder if they would bring up the meat meal if we request. im just hesitant getting greedy for the dinner if it will draw too much attention to me .....
WWDD

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 60303
  • Total likes: 7558
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16442
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1097 on: August 17, 2014, 04:34:47 PM »
I wouldn't push for dinner.

Let's not kill a good thing like people did in CDG and EZE among many others. Kosher breakfast flown in from another island is more then generous.  I didn't hesitate to spend the money buying the dinner one night.
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 YankyDoodle

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Gold Elite
  • ******
  • Join Date: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 799
  • Total likes: 43
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 6
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1098 on: August 17, 2014, 04:46:22 PM »
Can anyone recommend a pretty but not-too strenuous hike? (And by that I mean easy, considering it's taken weeks of persuading to convince my sister to do a hike instead of sitting at the beach all day!)
I'll never understand why someone would go from LA to kauai (or the like) just to sit on the beach!!

Offline MC

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1743
  • Total likes: 46
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1099 on: August 17, 2014, 07:28:34 PM »

I'll never understand why someone would go from LA to kauai (or the like) just to sit on the beach!!
Sitting on the beach in LA when you live 10 minutes away and can be called home any minute isn't nearly as relaxing as sitting on a beach on an island where no one's bothering you since you're "on vacation."
Obviously I intend to do a whole lot more than that in Kauai (as per my itin planning above) but a vacation HAS to include some relaxing time IMHO.