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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 375448 times)

Offline Elgnt

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #555 on: February 12, 2013, 12:02:34 PM »
I'm only going to be in kauai from sunday to wednesday does it pay to go north and stay in st regis for one day and then go south and stay by hyatt or sheraton?  Really upset my hyatt cc hasnt come yet

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #556 on: February 12, 2013, 12:13:36 PM »
Last I checked Chabad is only on the island for special occasions (i.e. Yomim Tovim). I know there were plans to establish a more permanent Chabad House but I don't believe that has happened yet.
You sure about that? i know the Shluchim live there all year. Maybe they don't have Minyanim always but they probably have Shabbos meals etc.
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline YankyDoodle

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #557 on: February 12, 2013, 12:24:35 PM »
You sure about that? i know the Shluchim live there all year. Maybe they don't have Minyanim always but they probably have Shabbos meals etc.

Which shluchim are you referring to exactly?

Offline momo

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #558 on: February 12, 2013, 12:29:10 PM »
I'm only going to be in kauai from sunday to wednesday does it pay to go north and stay in st regis for one day and then go south and stay by hyatt or sheraton?  Really upset my hyatt cc hasnt come yet
No checking in and out will kill a lot of a day.Why not just take a day trip. Leave in the morning to Kee Beach and then work your way back to poipu

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #559 on: February 12, 2013, 12:35:20 PM »
Which shluchim are you referring to exactly?
The Schustermans
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline Yellow

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #560 on: February 12, 2013, 01:01:32 PM »
You sure about that? i know the Shluchim live there all year. Maybe they don't have Minyanim always but they probably have Shabbos meals etc.
That must be new (and awesome!), when I went last year they were only there for special occasions

Offline Achas Veachas

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #561 on: February 12, 2013, 01:03:06 PM »
That must be new (and awesome!), when I went last year they were only there for special occasions
I personally was never there, but I happen to know them a little and that was my understanding.
Curiosity made the cat smarter.

Offline Elgnt

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #562 on: February 12, 2013, 01:25:48 PM »
Any advice whether to stay north in St. regis? or stay south near hyatt and Sheraton?

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #563 on: February 12, 2013, 01:43:58 PM »
Any advice whether to stay north in St. regis? or stay south near hyatt and Sheraton?

How long are you going for? Maybe split your time between north and south.
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline Elgnt

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #564 on: February 12, 2013, 01:45:12 PM »
Landthing in LIH at 6am sunday and leaving LIh at 245 wednesday

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #565 on: February 12, 2013, 01:47:12 PM »
Landthing in LIH at 6am sunday and leaving LIh at 245 wednesday

Hmm, and what are your plans while you're there? Since you're going for a short time I'd stick to one side. Depending on what your plans are I'd stay closer to where you'll be spending most of your time.
"Not all who wander are lost"

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #566 on: February 12, 2013, 01:48:54 PM »
Hmm, and what are your plans while you're there? Since you're going for a short time I'd stick to one side. Depending on what your plans are I'd stay closer to where you'll be spending most of your time.
+1
I happen to think the south is nicer
I stayed in poipu and was very happy

Offline Elgnt

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #567 on: February 12, 2013, 02:00:57 PM »
Plans are undecided yet just booked tickets yesterday. I would like to go on a hike try to find a private beach maybe do the helicopter tour. Not so into snorkeling or sitting at the beach.

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #568 on: February 12, 2013, 02:16:38 PM »
Plans are undecided yet just booked tickets yesterday. I would like to go on a hike try to find a private beach maybe do the helicopter tour. Not so into snorkeling or sitting at the beach.

I'd take a bit of time to see what your plans look like and then decide. The St. Regis is def a nicer hotel. As to which is nicer everyones opinions differ on that.

If you're planning on going to more beaches/places up north I'd stay there. If most of your time will be at places down south and on the west you'd be better off staying on the south. That's all just to save time from having to drive back and forth.

You can't really go wrong either way. You just may have to take a longer drive each day.
"Not all who wander are lost"

Offline YankyDoodle

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #569 on: February 12, 2013, 03:39:25 PM »
The Schustermans
I personally was never there, but I happen to know them a little and that was my understanding.

That's the problem! The Schustermans are on Maui not Kauai.