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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, CGR

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

« Last edited by cgr on February 24, 2022, 09:16:59 PM »

Author Topic: Kauai, HI Master Thread  (Read 806897 times)

Offline an613

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #860 on: February 13, 2014, 08:20:12 PM »

O. M. G.
http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/07/kalalau-trail/
http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/07/kalalau-moonrise/
http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/07/kalalau-camping/
http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/08/kalalau-valley/
http://www.unrealhawaii.com/2011/08/kalalau-beach/

I saw that when researching the trail and that pretty much convinced me it's worth the hassle and risk of doing it in the winter. On my honeymoon. I'm really hoping the weather holds out and they don't close it

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #861 on: February 13, 2014, 08:23:33 PM »
I saw that when researching the trail and that pretty much convinced me it's worth the hassle and risk of doing it in the winter. On my honeymoon. I'm really hoping the weather holds out and they don't close it
Wow. Brave.
But that is the time to do it if you're planning on having kids quickly.
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 #862 on: February 13, 2014, 08:28:34 PM »

But that is the time to do it if you're planning on having kids quickly.

Lol. Not necessarily planning on it  but btwn two working ppl with limited vacation and a whole lot of places around the world to visit, no telling if I'll ever have the chance again

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #863 on: February 13, 2014, 08:29:58 PM »

Wow. Brave.

I'm hoping 5 nights at the GHK afterwards will help alleviate any pain that's due to the hike :)

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #864 on: February 13, 2014, 09:51:30 PM »
I'm hoping 5 nights at the GHK afterwards will help alleviate any pain that's due to the hike :)
Depends how much you're planning on dropping at the awesome spa there.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #865 on: February 13, 2014, 10:30:21 PM »

Depends how much you're planning on dropping at the awesome spa there.

Probably as much as we spent after running a marathon two weeks ago...$0 :)

Don't I get some sort of benefit/freebie at the spa if I'm diamond? I thought I read earlier in this thread but can't find it now

Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #866 on: February 13, 2014, 10:37:39 PM »
You get free access to the spa facility.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #867 on: February 13, 2014, 10:57:19 PM »

You get free access to the spa facility.

Do you normally have to pay just to get in?! Can we actually do anything inside for free or its all treatment that costs extra?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #868 on: February 13, 2014, 11:01:55 PM »
Do you normally have to pay just to get in?! Can we actually do anything inside for free or its all treatment that costs extra?
Looks like you get free access to fitness (more exercise) and apparel (borrow), but the spa treatments and massages cost $:
http://kauai.hyatt.com/hyatt/pure/spas/about/fitness.jsp
$575 specials: http://kauai.hyatt.com/hyatt/pure/spas/specials-packages/packages.jsp
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #869 on: February 13, 2014, 11:03:16 PM »
Got it. That makes sense. Thanks

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #870 on: February 13, 2014, 11:06:01 PM »
Got it. That makes sense. Thanks
+1
Sometimes when you arrive at a location, they have exclusive on-site offers.
Either a discount, or maybe a free 'sample', trial treatment. IMO, it's worth asking when you arrive.

In the SPG hotel chain, they let you 'buy' spa treatments or in-room massages with SPG points. (usually not worth the $, but it's available w/points.)
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #871 on: February 13, 2014, 11:08:59 PM »
Spa access means sauna, outdoor lava showers, etc.

GHK had an unadvertised 20% off massages on super bowl sunday for example.  They're pretty cool, take you to a secluded outdoor open-air bungalow.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #872 on: February 13, 2014, 11:14:22 PM »

+1
Sometimes when you arrive at a location, they have exclusive on-site offers.
Either a discount, or maybe a free 'sample', trial treatment. IMO, it's worth asking when you arrive.

Thanks, very good to know. Will be there next week so will definitely ask

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #873 on: February 16, 2014, 01:23:05 PM »
Thanks. I think I'll stick with Kauai. This was more of a trip for others. And going to Maui would also end up costing quite a bit more. 
I would have loved to go whale watching.

Maybe a different day. :)

Was in kauai last week you could see whales jumping clear out of the water from ghk ocean front suites. I was sold by people here they have been seeing more whales this year then in past years.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #874 on: February 16, 2014, 01:25:52 PM »
Was in kauai last week you could see whales jumping clear out of the water from ghk ocean front suites. I was sold by people here they have been seeing more whales this year then in past years.

Yup, saw a good share of whales and even a pod of dolphins right near Spouting Horn. :)
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #875 on: February 16, 2014, 02:02:17 PM »
Yup, saw a good share of whales and even a pod of dolphins right near Spouting Horn. :)
Do you still need the offroading videos? I have them on youtube, but it's a personal channel so won't be posting them here. If you want them PM me.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #876 on: February 17, 2014, 11:10:28 AM »
Do you still need the offroading videos? I have them on youtube, but it's a personal channel so won't be posting them here. If you want them PM me.

Thanks for the videos. I'm going to get to my comp soon. I couldn't see em on my phone.


Anyone have any decent hikes to do in the potentially heavy rain? Did part of  the  Ke'e beach trail in the rain which worked out great.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #877 on: February 17, 2014, 11:13:00 AM »
Rarely is it raining everywhere in Kauai.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #878 on: February 17, 2014, 11:23:34 AM »
Rarely is it raining everywhere in Kauai.

It's been exceptionally rainy. Even the staff confirmed that it's crazy weather and not usually like this. We did have sun here and there but the rain keep returning pretty quickly. Even though the weather on my phone shows some sun.   There hasn't been consistent sun anywhere. And it's been like this and going to be like this my whole stay. Don't want to miss out just cuz of the weather. I'm glad we headed North yesterday even with the weather. It was another great (and wet) day over here. :)
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #879 on: February 17, 2014, 11:40:30 AM »
Were you on the west side yet (Polihale, Waimea Canyon)? It very rarely rains out there.
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