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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 390614 times)

Offline lpass

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #330 on: June 08, 2012, 09:30:40 AM »
Sorry if this has been rehashed before. Did a search and couldn't come up with anything concrete. Thinking about planning a trip to Kauai. Are the UA IAH-HNL BF seats lie flat? If not, are there any plans to make them so? Also if not, is BF worth it?

Thanks.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #331 on: June 08, 2012, 11:16:58 AM »
Sorry if this has been rehashed before. Did a search and couldn't come up with anything concrete. Thinking about planning a trip to Kauai. Are the UA IAH-HNL BF seats lie flat? If not, are there any plans to make them so? Also if not, is BF worth it?

Thanks.
They are sometimes, depends on the exact aircraft.  There are plans to go all lie-flat.
Either way it will be much better then domestic first.
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 lpass

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #332 on: June 08, 2012, 12:04:58 PM »
Thanks for the reply. If I do go ahead and book BF, are we entitled to lounge access? I was doing forum searches, I came across a post that seemed to suggest that flights to HI we're not eligible for lounge access (no idea why that might be)...

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #333 on: June 08, 2012, 12:05:37 PM »
There is no BF service to Hawaii anymore, thus is not eligible for lounge access.
Get the United Club card if that's important to you.
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 lpass

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #334 on: June 08, 2012, 12:15:48 PM »
Interesting, so do they call it J class? Is that why there's no club access. B/c, in theory, a general domestic first ticket would get you the club access wouldn't it? Kind of obnoxious as either way you're spending at lot of $ or miles for that route. Seems pretty shabby to not offer the club as well, but I digress.

At any rate, thanks for the heads up.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #335 on: June 08, 2012, 12:23:33 PM »
B/c, in theory, a general domestic first ticket would get you the club access wouldn't it?
It would not, except for on United PS flights.
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 #336 on: June 11, 2012, 06:28:43 PM »
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.)

Did that list ever get posted here?  ;)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #337 on: June 11, 2012, 06:47:11 PM »
Did that list ever get posted here?  ;)

When I went and asked about Kosher items I received no list. But I did learn the bagels were OU- The specific bread I checked had nothing on it.
The yogurts also didn't have a Hechsher. They had Carr crackers that had a hechsher and potato chips. Also, butter, margarine, cream cheese and jams all with a hechsher. They have coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Also they have packets of Oatmeal with a hechsher.

They also have fruit and veggies but they are all cut up there.
Plus an assortment of nuts. And soft drinks and seltzer.

That's all I saw while I was there.
But I didn't investigate too much into it.
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline youthink

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #338 on: June 11, 2012, 09:44:46 PM »
Returned last week from 4 nights at the GHK. Not having any free nights (got AAd by Chase) I bid on Priceline. If you choose the 'Poipu - Koloa' area of Kauai on Priceline and select resort as the hotel type you're pretty much guaranteed to get the GHK. Priceline currently has no other hotel in the area classified as resort. Using free rebids I got what I know is the absolute lowest price of $145 per night + $25 daily resort fee - definitely the lowest possible one could pay (other than free of course). I'm sure this varies based on availability and season but the lowest published rate was $330 for our dates - so I'm happy.

As a diamond (thanks to the 60 day diamond challenge which I got matched from  Hilton Gold which I got from the Visa infinite promo thanks to the great info on DD) I asked at check-in for a suite. Originally they booked us in a club ocean view, but she offered to use my 4 suite upgrades for a suite which I'm pretty sure is only for Hyatt booked eligible stays...but I'm not complaining. I was told I could get a garden suite  but an Ocean suite would be $300+. I'm not sure where that logic came from, but when we saw the suite, the ocean was quite clearly visible along with lots of garden. That's ocean view enough for me. I think an ocean view is technically on one of the higher floors but if you're room/suite faces the ocean you'll be able to see it from any floor AFAIK. Either way, I actually preferred our ground floor suite as you can walk right out of the 3 walk-outs without going into the corridors or using the elevators. The suite was huge and very impressive to say the least.

The GC gave us the kosher list, sorry did not keep a copy. Had things like hard-boiled eggs, salmon and other stuff, use your own judgement. The staff said they put it together as a courtesy for their kosher guests. There's plenty of drinks, cereal, whole fruit and bagels plus paper and plastic utensils. They're very accommodating, just ask and they'll find a way or at least act very apologetic if they can't.  You won't starve. We vacuum-packed and froze our own food and they provided us with a microwave (easily kosherable) to warm everything up.

I won't review the GHK as there is not much I can add to everyone else, but it truly is a unique property on a unique island. The service and grounds are just different. As soon as you arrive you'll know why Dan has been promoting this hotel. Thanks to him and the others who brought it to our attention. We hope to be back.

To top it off, somehow my 4 suite upgrades now say 5 with one used. So I still have 4. Does this take time to be updated?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #339 on: June 11, 2012, 09:49:50 PM »
Well done with priceline!
And on using a suite upgrade on a priceline stay!!

Glad you enjoyed, what else did you do on the island?
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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #340 on: June 11, 2012, 09:51:02 PM »
Well done with priceline!


+1 great price!!
"Not all who wander are lost"

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #341 on: June 12, 2012, 03:43:56 AM »
Is priceline for sure going to give the grand hyatt? I dont mind trying it, but dont want to be stuck somewere else later

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #342 on: June 12, 2012, 03:59:49 AM »
Is priceline for sure going to give the grand hyatt? I dont mind trying it, but dont want to be stuck somewere else later
Your question is kind of oxymoranic. If you don't mind trying it then you would assume that you understand the risks that it's not a guarantee.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #343 on: June 12, 2012, 06:10:51 AM »
Returned last week from 4 nights at the GHK. Not having any free nights (got AAd by Chase) I bid on Priceline. If you choose the 'Poipu - Koloa' area of Kauai on Priceline and select resort as the hotel type you're pretty much guaranteed to get the GHK. Priceline currently has no other hotel in the area classified as resort. Using free rebids I got what I know is the absolute lowest price of $145 per night + $25 daily resort fee - definitely the lowest possible one could pay (other than free of course). I'm sure this varies based on availability and season but the lowest published rate was $330 for our dates - so I'm happy.


He said priceline has no other resort in the area, so I just wanted to ask if thats true, then why did he say pretty much guaranteed?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #344 on: June 12, 2012, 07:51:42 AM »
He said priceline has no other resort in the area, so I just wanted to ask if thats true, then why did he say pretty much guaranteed?

If you use the regular priceline search (not 'name your own price') and sort by resort, you'll notice there are none other in that area. Priceline does say that the hotels in NYOP are not necessarily the same as the regular search but I think it is. Before I bid I live chatted with Priceline to ask if I get a resort property that they do not consider a resort on the regular search would they refund my money and was told they will. In other words, the property ranking on regular search is the same as NYOP. There also are not a whole lot of properties in Poipu. The area is not heavily populated so its not that hard to know what else you might get and there is nothing else in that level. In fact there are only 3 'resorts' on the whole island (Mariott, Kauai Beach Resort and GHK) and only GHK is in the 'Poipu - Koloa' area). The risk is that Priceline can change rankings (it happens). Before bidding I would suggest double-checking the regular search to make sure the GHK is still a resort and nothing else is in that area.