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 491419 times)

Offline AJK

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 20K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 25379
  • Total likes: 400
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 15
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Concierge Key; Delta Global Services; American Chairman; US Airways 1K; Hilton Sapphire; Hyatt Tritium; Marriott Californium; Starwood Kryptonium; Hertz Plutonium; National Adamantium, Avis Executive Proactanium
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1275 on: January 18, 2015, 11:53:35 AM »
Does Hyatt guarantee you'll get a suite if there's one available the day you request it? Can't the owner technically just push you off until they're all sold by cash and then say sorry no more available?

If you book a suite, you get a suite. If there is none available in your category, you get upgraded. If there is none available at all, you'll be nicely compensated.
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

Offline Joe4007

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 3896
  • Total likes: 72
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1276 on: January 18, 2015, 11:54:56 AM »


Does Hyatt guarantee you'll get a suite if there's one available the day you request it? Can't the owner technically just push you off until they're all sold by cash and then say sorry no more available?
A DSU confirms you into a suite. It's not like a request that gets noted on the account.

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9816
  • Total likes: 162
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1277 on: January 18, 2015, 11:56:06 AM »
If you book a suite, you get a suite. If there is none available in your category, you get upgraded. If there is none available at all, you'll be nicely compensated.
Aha.
A DSU confirms you into a suite. It's not like a request that gets noted on the account.
Now I understand.

Just bringing this conversation over here:
I enjoy HNL more when there's a pile of snow at home :)
After almost finishing Kauai Revealed on Shabbos, they sure scare you into not swimming in the winter. Anyone else feel that way after reading?

Offline Ergel

  • Dansdeals Lifetime 10K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 12346
  • Total likes: 586
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 3
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1278 on: January 18, 2015, 11:57:01 AM »
That's for the people who don't go on roller coasters
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 58802
  • Total likes: 6292
  • 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 #1279 on: January 18, 2015, 11:57:23 AM »
Aha. Now I understand.

Just bringing this conversation over here:After almost finishing Kauai Revealed on Shabbos, they sure scare you into not swimming in the winter. Anyone else feel that way after reading?
I think you misread it.
Only the north shore isn't swimmable in the winter.
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 Joe4007

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Feb 2013
  • Posts: 3896
  • Total likes: 72
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 11
    • View Profile
  • Location: NY
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1280 on: January 18, 2015, 12:00:05 PM »
I think you misread it.
Only the north shore isn't swimmable in the winter.
+.5

When I was there the south shore wasn't really swimmable either. Had to stick to the protected beaches.

North Shore had 20-25 ft waives

Offline Something Fishy

  • Global Moderator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: Jan 2011
  • Posts: 7149
  • Total likes: 2253
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 44
    • View Profile
    • Kosher Horizons
  • Location: Not Brooklyn
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1281 on: January 18, 2015, 12:01:23 PM »
Was there in the winter and had a glorious time. Some north shore beaches were even officially swimmable (lifeguards and all).
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

Offline @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9816
  • Total likes: 162
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1282 on: January 18, 2015, 12:05:04 PM »
That's for the people who don't go on roller coasters
AMAZING At least I know someone's reading my TR.

I think you misread it.
Only the north shore isn't swimmable in the winter.
I saw that the north shore is what they warned about, but I still got the impression that any beach that doesn't have a reef is not so safe to swim in. Perhaps I just got the wrong impression. I also found it funny that the beaches that have official lifeguards are the ones they warn the most about not to swim in.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 58802
  • Total likes: 6292
  • 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 #1283 on: January 18, 2015, 12:23:17 PM »
I've snorkeled at Poipu Beach in the winter 5 times. No issues whatsoeever and always have seen amazing fish, turtles, monk seals, etc.
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 @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9816
  • Total likes: 162
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1284 on: January 18, 2015, 12:30:56 PM »
I've snorkeled at Poipu Beach in the winter 5 times. No issues whatsoeever and always have seen amazing fish, turtles, monk seals, etc.
Great. Will keep reading. And checking availability every day :-\ although I'm fine with going in the summer  :D

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 58802
  • Total likes: 6292
  • 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 #1285 on: January 18, 2015, 12:35:08 PM »
Summer brings rougher waters to the south. Also less magnificent waterfalls and no whales.
But it does rain less.
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 @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9816
  • Total likes: 162
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1286 on: January 18, 2015, 12:36:35 PM »
Summer brings rougher waters to the south. Also less magnificent waterfalls and no whales.
Alas, I just want to get there (especially before kids; and no, I'm not expecting a kid just yet ;)). If a trip works out in the summer, I think I'll jump on it.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 58802
  • Total likes: 6292
  • 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 #1287 on: January 18, 2015, 12:37:07 PM »
Alas, I just want to get there especially before kids. If a trip works out in the summer, I think I'll jump on it.
Lol, no doubt about that!
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 @Yehuda

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: Oct 2013
  • Posts: 9816
  • Total likes: 162
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1288 on: January 18, 2015, 12:38:10 PM »
Lol, no doubt about that!
Man, replying so fast I didn't even get a chance to edit my post before you replied.

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 58802
  • Total likes: 6292
  • 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 #1289 on: January 18, 2015, 12:41:29 PM »
Sounds like you and your wife need to have a little talk ;)
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.