Topic Wiki

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 427632 times)

Offline RJ898

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 669
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Asleep at my desk.
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #675 on: July 26, 2013, 03:01:38 AM »
First impression of the service at the amazing ghk, they give you a keurig with a drawer full of pods, some of which are not kosher. We called and asked if something could be done and they brought us a brand new machine.
Part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Offline RJ898

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 669
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Asleep at my desk.
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #676 on: July 28, 2013, 03:27:02 AM »
Does anyone here have a recommendation for a na Pali cruise?
Part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Offline Amusch

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2013
  • Posts: 597
  • Total likes: 32
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Queens, New York
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #677 on: July 28, 2013, 11:29:40 PM »
Quote
Does anyone here have a recommendation for a na Pali cruise?

The top three (in order) according to Kauai Revealed (p. 167) are Na Pali Sea Breeze, Na Pali Catamaran, and Captain Sundown.

It seems that they believe during the summer, you must go from the North and not from the West.

Offline RJ898

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 669
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Asleep at my desk.
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #678 on: July 29, 2013, 02:52:56 AM »
Thanks. Just got back from Hola-Hola cruises (as recommended by the ghk concierge) and it was a great cruise. Details coming soon.
Part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Offline askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1623
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #679 on: July 29, 2013, 05:26:56 AM »
Thanks. Just got back from Hola-Hola cruises (as recommended by the ghk concierge) and it was a great cruise. Details coming soon.
How was GHK concierge? Was the Hola Hola a north south tour or vice versa?

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 55227
  • Total likes: 3195
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #680 on: July 29, 2013, 09:20:14 AM »
The north is where you want to leave from.
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 askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1623
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #681 on: July 29, 2013, 10:12:32 AM »
The north is where you want to leave from.
Saw that in the revealed book but then earlier upthread someone posted that south to north is worth it on the right tour. I just need to justify the extra traveling as I really wanted to do the drive North once and if I do the tour from the North will probably need to make the drive twice. Still if the better tours are from there I'll do it.

Dan, other then Poipu Beach, any other great snorkel spots near the GHK?

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 55227
  • Total likes: 3195
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #682 on: July 29, 2013, 10:18:18 AM »
Saw that in the revealed book but then earlier upthread someone posted that south to north is worth it on the right tour. I just need to justify the extra traveling as I really wanted to do the drive North once and if I do the tour from the North will probably need to make the drive twice. Still if the better tours are from there I'll do it.

Dan, other then Poipu Beach, any other great snorkel spots near the GHK?
Not even comparable, make the drive twice.

I've always snorkeled at Poipu Beach, check the book for other good spots.
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 askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1623
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #683 on: July 29, 2013, 10:33:20 AM »
OK thanks

Got the Helicopter tour booked for today, thinking about kayaking to secret falls afterwards. A decent days "work" or doesn't make sense logistics wise? I didn't have the time to itinerary plan Kauai the same way I did Maui, but Revealed book has been very helpful.

Offline westman812

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Sep 2011
  • Posts: 159
  • Total likes: 2
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: NYC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #684 on: July 29, 2013, 10:50:49 AM »
OK thanks

Got the Helicopter tour booked for today, thinking about kayaking to secret falls afterwards. A decent days "work" or doesn't make sense logistics wise? I didn't have the time to itinerary plan Kauai the same way I did Maui, but Revealed book has been very helpful.

Very doable- you don't need more than 4 hours at Secret falls including kayaking and hiking.

Offline RJ898

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite + Lifetime Silver Elite
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Posts: 669
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: Asleep at my desk.
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #685 on: July 29, 2013, 03:06:11 PM »
So what did I miss by leaving from the south Shore? Is it just being further from the sunset?
Part of the vast right wing conspiracy.

Offline askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1623
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #686 on: July 29, 2013, 05:55:19 PM »
http://m.usatoday.com/article/news/2595393
Cancelled our heli tour for today. All boat tour Na Pali also cancelled. Kauai is supposed to only see remnants... Ah mentch tracht...

Offline askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1623
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #687 on: July 30, 2013, 05:58:48 PM »
Not even comparable, make the drive twice.

I've always snorkeled at Poipu Beach, check the book for other good spots.
Due to the surf conditions no boats leaving from North Shore for the cruise. Going to take the sunset cruise tomorrow out of Port Alan as I figure it's better then not seeing Na Pali at all.
As far as Poipu for snorkeling, did it yesterday in the most ridiculous surf conditions. Visibility was so so, but was cool to see the fish getting thrashed around (like I was). Lifeguards had to come rescue at least 5 ppl that I saw and would let anyone on the sandbar. A cop there told me he never saw the waves at Poipu the way they were yesterday. They were huge and a beauty to watch.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2013, 06:05:01 PM by askmoses »

Offline Dan

  • Administrator
  • Dansdeals Lifetime 50K Presidential Platinum Elite
  • **********
  • Join Date: May 2008
  • Posts: 55227
  • Total likes: 3195
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 16441
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Location: CLE
  • Programs: UA Global Services, AA Lifetime Plat, DL Dirt, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, Hilton Diamond, Priority Club Plat, Avis Chairman, National EE, Hertz PC
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #688 on: July 30, 2013, 07:51:36 PM »
If the surf is that bad the boatride will be nauseating and it's a long time from PA until Na Pali.
Far better to rent a 4WD and do the Waimea/Na Pali drive I wrote about in my Kauai trip notes.  Or the Waimea/Na Pali hike I wrote about.

Those are experiences you'll truly never forget, I guarantee it.
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 askmoses

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 1623
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 8
    • View Profile
Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #689 on: July 31, 2013, 03:21:10 AM »
If the surf is that bad the boatride will be nauseating and it's a long time from PA until Na Pali.
Far better to rent a 4WD and do the Waimea/Na Pali drive I wrote about in my Kauai trip notes.  Or the Waimea/Na Pali hike I wrote about.

Those are experiences you'll truly never forget, I guarantee it.
Not gonna do the hike (I remember your post and how sore you were, I'll pass on it thank you) and we already did quote a bit of touring. .. Booked the sunset cruise bc it really the only way I might make it to Na Pali practically. Got a coupon so it's actually about $60 cheaper then the others listed in KR and I'll take advantage of the unlimited drinks. Bh I don't suffer from motion sickness and my wife will take dramamine. I know it isn't the ideal trip north to south with snorkeling and caves, but I'll take what I can get and be happy with it. Secret falls also couldn't happen due to weather and crazy mud on the trail so at least now I'll have some new things for next trip iyh!