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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 400490 times)

Offline MLM

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Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #420 on: July 19, 2012, 09:54:07 AM »
It seems like Blue Hawaiian had a crash in November. Anyone concerned about safety?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #421 on: July 19, 2012, 10:23:12 AM »
It seems like Blue Hawaiian had a crash in November. Anyone concerned about safety?

They still have the best reputation...

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #422 on: July 19, 2012, 10:38:35 AM »
looking to get a att cellphone far hawaii. is reception good?

Offline sky121

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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #423 on: July 19, 2012, 11:15:45 AM »
looking to get a att cellphone far hawaii. is reception good?

Except for way up in the mountains and by Ke'e beach my phone had fine service all over the island.
"Not all who wander are lost"

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Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #424 on: July 19, 2012, 11:30:51 AM »
They still have the best reputation...

For safety?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #425 on: July 19, 2012, 12:17:27 PM »
It seems like Blue Hawaiian had a crash in November. Anyone concerned about safety?
Blue Hawaiian carries about a million tourists a year on the tours in Hawaii.  It's been 11 years from this crash since their last crash.
I wouldn't hesitate to go.
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 #426 on: July 19, 2012, 12:28:35 PM »
I spoke with the head of Birds of Paradise when I flew with them last year, and addressed the accidents that previous members were concerned about. He said that those accidents were from other vendors(can be verified in the article about the crash) with less rigorous safety precautions. Indeed I can personally attest that there was a very thorough safety orientation before the flight, the pilots were extremely knowledgable, professional, and cautious, and that the equipment looked like it was in top shape(and I should mention that their gliders have their own parachutes should anything happen- aside from mentioning that even if there's engine failure there's the ability to glide for long distances).

Make your own decisions, but Helicopters can be dangerous as well, and honestly I felt safer on the gliders than I do flying AA's 25 yr old aluminum can's with wings. Just sharing my experience.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #427 on: July 19, 2012, 12:38:31 PM »
The crash rate for gliders is 1,000 times worse than helicopters.  Too risky for my blood.
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 #428 on: July 20, 2012, 02:05:00 AM »
At LIH waiting for my flight back... Just wanted to thank Dan and the DDFers who contributed to the Hawaii threads. My wife and I had an amazing time! The activities were unbelievable! We enjoyed every second of it and can't believe it's already over!!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #429 on: July 22, 2012, 10:48:59 PM »
Which Zodiac tour is the best. Looking for the half day don't need snorkeling. So far Kauai Sea Tours seems the best because they have smaller rafts with 14 people.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #430 on: July 22, 2012, 11:13:03 PM »
Which Zodiac tour is the best. Looking for the half day don't need snorkeling. So far Kauai Sea Tours seems the best because they have smaller rafts with 14 people.

Captain Andy's had around 10 people.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #431 on: July 22, 2012, 11:51:58 PM »
Captain Andy's had around 10 people.
But it may have up to 16...

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #432 on: July 22, 2012, 11:57:52 PM »
Same idea? More sturdy than the socks?
My wife bought the fila skeletoes for $30 and we were both incredibly impressed by the quality and comfort. I also had tabis from walmart but those fila are definitely worth the investment. During the wailea river hike to secret falls I had trouble with the mud but she didnt have any troubles! She would wear them for kayaking, hiking, waterfalls, horseback riding and even skydiving ;)
« Last Edit: July 23, 2012, 12:02:13 AM by Yossi. »

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Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #433 on: July 23, 2012, 09:54:45 AM »
Just wanted to run my plans by everyone:

Land Monday at 12 PM - helicopter tour and then check in to hotel.

Tuesday: makaleha hike (I hired a guide)

Wednesday: zodiac tour with captain andys half day then return to hotel chill there.

Depart at 9:30 pm

Do you think the GHK will give me late check out? 7pm?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #434 on: July 23, 2012, 10:04:28 AM »

Do you think the GHK will give me late check out? 7pm?

I also had a 9pm flight last week and was able to check out up to 4pm (keep in mind that they also told me that even diamond members dont get late check out guaranteed, it depends on the availibility and last week they were packed he told me. I called the day before and he told me I could only know the same day in the morning if i was approved. I told him that i couldnt wait to know since i also had a raft tour with captain andy early in the morning so he put me on hold and then finally approved me... I checked out at 4pm, had the suitcases dropped in storage and continued to enjoy the club and the pool.