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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 394938 times)

Offline dhalpern1

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #495 on: January 24, 2013, 10:20:28 AM »
Need to figure out how to get best rates for Hertz in February in Kauai. Any one have any clues?

I did well with priceline (got Alamo).

Offline MLM

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Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #496 on: January 24, 2013, 11:53:43 AM »
for the time i am going to kauai the GHK has only ADA double rooms for award stays. is it worth it or not?

It is an amazing hotel. Far better than any other on Kauai except maybe the SR princeville

Offline Londoner Rebbe

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #497 on: January 24, 2013, 02:44:44 PM »
Thanks... I am trying to work on getting Avis Presidents Club.

Offline jmansour

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #498 on: January 28, 2013, 12:36:49 AM »
In kauai at the hyatt, place is awesome but the weather was brutal today

Offline Dan

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #499 on: January 28, 2013, 12:36:55 AM »
(debating if purim is a good place to party in HI :) )
BTDT
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 Dan

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #500 on: January 28, 2013, 12:37:15 AM »
In kauai at the hyatt, place is awesome but the weather was brutal today
So drive to Waimea/Polihale, almost always dry there.
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 Cbs

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #501 on: January 28, 2013, 12:51:13 AM »
BTDT
and what can u tell me about that experience? i see that was the first time u were prob there.
was it worth it, in the sense that you had a nice purim? how long did u stay on that trip?

Offline jmansour

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #502 on: January 28, 2013, 12:57:38 AM »
So drive to Waimea/Polihale, almost always dry there.

We just got in this afternoon settled in and planned our stay so we werent overly concerned but the locals say it was a huge storm for them.
Im pretty pumped i booked the helicopter tour based on your reccomendation and they say with all the rain the falls are going to be amazing. Also going to take a drive up north to the st regis area.
Tomorrow were going to take a ride to the canyon with pur wrangler.

We also booked the luau, is it any good?

I booked on pts (22k a night) and was supposed to have a garden view, i slipped a 20 in between my license and credit card an they put me on a top floor ocean view which is perfect.
Weve only been here a few hours and are blown away by this hotel.

Offline Dan

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #503 on: January 28, 2013, 01:00:53 AM »
We just got in this afternoon settled in and planned our stay so we werent overly concerned but the locals say it was a huge storm for them.
Im pretty pumped i booked the helicopter tour based on your reccomendation and they say with all the rain the falls are going to be amazing. Also going to take a drive up north to the st regis area.
Tomorrow were going to take a ride to the canyon with pur wrangler.

We also booked the luau, is it any good?

I booked on pts (22k a night) and was supposed to have a garden view, i slipped a 20 in between my license and credit card an they put me on a top floor ocean view which is perfect.
Weve only been here a few hours and are blown away by this hotel.
I hope you're brave enough to do the 4WD Miloli Ridge drive, pics and TR if you do!
Never bothered with the luau, you can just watch for free if you're so inclined.
Nothing really to see in Princeville, though Hanalei and the caves are neat.
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 jmansour

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #504 on: January 28, 2013, 01:06:35 AM »
I hope you're brave enough to do the 4WD Miloli Ridge drive, pics and TR if you do!
Never bothered with the luau, you can just watch for free if you're so inclined.
Nothing really to see in Princeville, though Hanalei and the caves are neat.

Begging my wife to do it, lets see maybe il send her to the spa and than see what she says lol..
They told me they can hook up kosher food for the luau, i guess il decide later on..
We brought food with us but im checking to see what they have here, they seem very helpful here..
Now i see why you loved it so much..
That automatic toilet is top notch lol

Offline Dan

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #505 on: January 28, 2013, 01:11:08 AM »
They told me they can hook up kosher food for the luau, i guess il decide later on..
Beg your wife? Just do it ;)
Or offer her the choice between the all-day hike we did or the 4WD...

Kosher food? In that case go for it and let us know how the food is :D
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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #506 on: January 28, 2013, 01:58:51 AM »
For all those curious here is their menu

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Re: Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #507 on: January 28, 2013, 05:25:05 PM »
I was at the GHK a few weeks ago. It was amazing. Thanks Dan!

In regards to the Luau- Do not do it. It was probably the only activity on our trip that wasn't amazing. You are basically paying $200 ($100pp) to watch everyone eat pig.  The kosher meal is from Oahu Kosher. My wife and I got steaks which we could barely eat with the plastic cutlery. Some of the dances, like the fire dance at the end, are pretty cool but, in my opinion, still do not make it worth the money. Also, when the forecast is for rain they move the Luau inside which may change the show a bit.


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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #508 on: January 28, 2013, 05:28:30 PM »
For all those curious here is their menu
Great to see they now have a kosher menu.
Can you try to upload a better picture?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #509 on: January 28, 2013, 07:08:24 PM »
Great to see they now have a kosher menu.
Can you try to upload a better picture?
they had that menu  when I was there 2 summers ago
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