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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, 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 386041 times)

Offline lechaim2life

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #210 on: February 28, 2012, 11:32:58 PM »
Diamond trial only confirming Garden View Suites. Plan of action?

Try calling closer to date and ask to verify that you have been confirmed to an Oceanfront Suite. I went in January and had no problem with them confirming that before I went and even upgrading me to the suite on reward nights. If not, you may be able to change on check-in.

Offline westman812

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #211 on: February 29, 2012, 04:49:01 PM »
I went in January and had no problem with them confirming that before I went and even upgrading me to the suite on reward nights.

How about a trip report about your amazing trip?

Offline Mocha

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #212 on: March 13, 2012, 11:19:19 AM »
Dan I noticed on your last trip you went CLE-IAH-HNL-OGG with HNL-OGG on Hawaiian that was paid. Why not have the whole trip straight using CO award and have one long award?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #213 on: March 13, 2012, 11:29:49 AM »
A. There were no interisland awards with good times, and there rarely are.
B. CO charges 5K per interisland leg.
C. I get free baggage on HA via the corporate site.
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 Mocha

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #214 on: March 13, 2012, 11:36:00 AM »
A. There were no interisland awards with good times, and there rarely are.
B. CO charges 5K per interisland leg.
C. I get free baggage on HA via the corporate site.

A - Aha got it.

CMIIW but...

B - 5k at 1.6 (which ain't so bad) is $80 which is around where the price hangs for those inter-island flights.

C - When flying in J your bags will be checked through giving you the same amount of bags allowed as your CLE-IAH-HNL flights.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #215 on: March 13, 2012, 12:04:18 PM »
Correct, B and C are secondary to A.  But personally I don't redeem under 1.8 and you also need to calculate lost miles on flown flights to make that equation.  And the baggage issue is for the return flight.
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 sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #216 on: March 14, 2012, 10:34:35 PM »
I started reading Kauai Revealed and the whole Hazard section is enough slightly scare the pants off of anybody.  6 inch centipedes that bite? Infections you can get from fresh water? The Portuguese man of war sting? Etc etc. I have to hide some of those pages from the women. 
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #217 on: March 14, 2012, 10:41:41 PM »
Lol...spent months in HI and have yet to see any of those hazards.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #218 on: March 15, 2012, 04:51:50 AM »
Try calling closer to date and ask to verify that you have been confirmed to an Oceanfront Suite. I went in January and had no problem with them confirming that before I went and even upgrading me to the suite on reward nights. If not, you may be able to change on check-in.

On site now at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Booked 2 suite upgrades: one into a garden suite and another into an ocean suite. The garden suite we're in is actually a bit larger than the ocean suite and happens to also front out to the ocean. The main difference is that there is no window in the bedroom portion of the suite, but the slifiding doors of the bedroom open up to a nice view out the living/dining room sliding door.

The Grand Club now publised a list of all the kosher items that they serve, and will show you the label to anything that comes in a package. This development I'm sure is in no small part due to the requests of DDF members :-)


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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #219 on: March 15, 2012, 11:04:48 AM »
Can you post a list of the kosher items?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #220 on: March 16, 2012, 01:29:34 AM »
Can you post a list of the kosher items?
When I get back, Ill scan it and publish it on here if that works. There are also many items not on the list that have certification. Additionally, some of the items on the list are either not cholov yisroel or not pas yisroel. (bagels, yogurts etc.)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #221 on: March 16, 2012, 01:30:54 AM »
Take pics of the GC spread as well if you can.

Do they still offer free scuba lessons in the lagoon?

BTW don't miss the Friday afternoon farmers market in Lihue if you'd like to try some exotic fruits.
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 #222 on: March 16, 2012, 03:55:15 AM »
Take pics of the GC spread as well if you can.

Do they still offer free scuba lessons in the lagoon?

BTW don't miss the Friday afternoon farmers market in Lihue if you'd like to try some exotic fruits.
I am reluctant to go in there with a camera just to take pictures of the food. I think thats not too classy, particularly in view of the fact that I don't eat most of the food there.

Actually did the scuba lesson today in the lagoon. It was great. I definitely see why it is offered for free. THe outfit that does it is not Hyatt. Rather, its a private company that tries to sell you on doing one of their boat or beach ocean dives after you get your initial certification in the Hyatt pool. Honestly, it worked on me! I would go were it not for the fact that many locals have told me that scuba and snorkeling is not great lately due to muddy rain run off into the ocean from the record rain they've been having here lately.

I did get some good snorkeling in at Poipu 2 days ago and today. Saw lots of fish, a turtle, and of course a monk seal napping on the sand.

Yesterday we hiked an excellent 3 hour hike on Waimea. Truly breath taking when you walk out on those ridges. Its so much cooler than just standing with a bus-load of geriatric tourists at one of the look outs, who seem more interested in photographing the chickens than the canyon. :-) I think the hike was the 2nd pr 3rd one in the hiking section in Kauai Revealed and involved a good deal of climbing.

Also, we brought along some Jack's Gourmet Kosher Sausages (Italian and Polish) and had a great BBQ this afternoon after the scuba lesson. We had a free cabana on the beach from the Hyatt in honor of our anniversary, and confirmed in advance that BBQs are allowed on all beaches in Hawaii. The BBQ cost about $11 at Walmart and the coal and lighter brought the total to just $15. To really enhance our experience, the Hyatt provided us with 4 ice cold bottles of Kona Beer (to replace the non-kosher Champagne that had been left in the room upon arrival). We really enjoyed the lager and the pale ale.

All in all, its been a great stay. We did one night at the Westin to see the north shore, but hands down, the place to stay on Kauai is the Hyatt! They know hospitality.

Maybe we'll check out the farmer's market tomorrow.


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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #223 on: March 16, 2012, 04:01:21 AM »
Been out to Polihale yet?

One day I'd love to do the famous Kalalau Trail and camp out under the stars though that day will probably never come.

Worth noting that the markets in Ka'paa are the best place to buy some neat souvenirs and stuff and to window-browse local stores.  Don't overpay for worse stuff on the south or north shores.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #224 on: March 16, 2012, 04:32:38 AM »
Been out to Polihale yet?

One day I'd love to do the famous Kalalau Trail and camp out under the stars though that day will probably never come.

Worth noting that the markets in Ka'paa are the best place to buy some neat souvenirs and stuff and to window-browse local stores.  Don't overpay for worse stuff on the south or north shores.
Havent made it to Polihale yet, and not sure if we will on foot/car at least. I was there yesterday in a helicopter.

We were thinking of doing the first mile or so of Kalalau Trail from Ke'e beach, Unfortunately, as I noted above, the road was flooded and the trail was washed out in numerous places from the heavy rain fall lately. Our helicopter pilot, a native kauaian, told us that he'd never seen hail before last week. (And he was here in the 1992 Hurricane which ripped off the roof of his house.)

I find the hardest thing about vacationing here, is striking the balance between just kicking it back at the resort and adventuring out to the beautiful sights.

Tomorrow's our last full day before Shabbos. We check out on Sunday. what should we do? Another hike, a scuba trip, Hiking on the east side or back on Waimea, Polihale? bike rental (free courtesy of Diamond membership in Hyatt)? Decisions decisions!