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Kauai Overview/DansMeals:
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Dan 2014
Dan 2009, Auntiemus, Benarroc, Westman812, Hudi, Yellow, Lechaim2life, DanFan2010, Jmansour, Something Fishy, Rivky, chuchem, dealvr, Amusch,
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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 500757 times)

Offline Buruch

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #960 on: February 28, 2014, 01:43:09 PM »
http://kauaiwailuakayak.com/Rent.html  25 per day for singles or 50 for doubles - you can transport them and do multiple rivers in a day I think. When are you going?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #961 on: February 28, 2014, 01:55:38 PM »

What about the app? Yes/no for 7.99?
Is the 8th edition the latest for the book?

I got the app and found it useful, but mostly while I was there. It's helpful to read tidbits about a hike where there is no reception without having to bring the book along. we didn't have a rigid plan so it was also helpful to find things on the fly. I liked how it organizes items under diff lists and everything was links and easy to navigate. Eg, I could hit "best bets", then south beach, then best place for pizza or best beach for sunset, etc.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #962 on: February 28, 2014, 02:11:44 PM »
I really appreciate all the help and suggestions. Going to get the app since it is only a few bucks. Kayaking tour is going to have to be guided. Book does have a couple of suggestions. Is planning one major activity (helicopter, zip line, kayaking, horseback riding, ect) each day to much?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #963 on: February 28, 2014, 02:13:01 PM »
I really appreciate all the help and suggestions. Going to get the app since it is only a few bucks. Kayaking tour is going to have to be guided. Book does have a couple of suggestions. Is planning one major activity (helicopter, zip line, kayaking, horseback riding, ect) each day to much?

If you get an early start, more than one major activity per day should be fine.   At least that has been my experience.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #964 on: February 28, 2014, 02:37:49 PM »
Kayaking tour is going to have to be guided.
Why?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #965 on: February 28, 2014, 02:41:55 PM »
Why?
Can we bring the wives for the next DO this way you can ask her.  :)
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #966 on: February 28, 2014, 02:42:43 PM »
I got the app and found it useful, but mostly while I was there. It's helpful to read tidbits about a hike where there is no reception without having to bring the book along. we didn't have a rigid plan so it was also helpful to find things on the fly. I liked how it organizes items under diff lists and everything was links and easy to navigate. Eg, I could hit "best bets", then south beach, then best place for pizza or best beach for sunset, etc.
+1
Good to know...
The App and tips pages work over there without reception?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #967 on: February 28, 2014, 02:43:31 PM »
You could've brought her to the last one.
Really no need at all for a guide, esp from the village which is close to the fun spots to stop like Fern Grotto and Secret Falls.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #968 on: February 28, 2014, 02:47:36 PM »
She would have turned the light on when she went to the bathroom.  :-[

How is the hike to Secret Falls? The reviews say it is always muddy and real easy to slip/fall.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #969 on: February 28, 2014, 02:49:14 PM »
+1
Good to know...
The App and tips pages work over there without reception?

Yup
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #970 on: February 28, 2014, 02:56:51 PM »
How is the hike to Secret Falls? The reviews say it is always muddy and real easy to slip/fall.
Bit muddy, but not hard at all. Highly recommend.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #971 on: February 28, 2014, 03:07:10 PM »

The App and tips pages work over there without reception?

Yep. Basically anything in the book is available offline. Best part is that the gps works without service so it can find stuff near you. It will tell you where you are but redirects to apple maps for actual directions and that you need service for.  For most things in remote places like hikes, there is only one road to get there anyways and the books description usually has good directions. On the kalalau trail, that was actually the only way we knew where along the trail we were bc the distances weren't marked well on the trail itself.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #972 on: February 28, 2014, 03:09:07 PM »
On the kalalau trail, that was actually the only way we knew where along the trail we were bc the distances weren't marked well on the trail itself.
I'd buy it for that, but I don't really see the use for anything else.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #973 on: April 28, 2014, 09:35:33 PM »
We're booked at the GHK in June for 6 nights. 2 night's were DH's suite nights (Hyatt card when Diamond got suites), 2 nights are my free nights regular room, and 2 nights are cash and points, which we were planning on upgrading via suite upgrades.

We were originally booked for the 2 suite nights, but decided to stay on the big island during one of those days. When we called to switch the suite to another night, we were told there were no available suites (ie. no garden suites available. When we checked there were Ocean suites avail). The guy made a note on our reservation that it was supposed to be a suite night, and booked us in a regular room. I figured we would sweet talk our way into the ocean suite one we got there.

We're trying to figure out the best way to use the suite upgrades towards the ocean suites. Can anyone weigh in on whether its best to e-mail or call the hotel? It's a 5th year anniversary trip so I thought we could use that angle just to get the suite upgrades and hope they just keep us in the suite the rest of the stay. Thoughts?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #974 on: April 29, 2014, 02:17:04 PM »
App was best for me along the road to Hana. Whenever we had been driving for more then 3.5 min without stopping, I pulled out the app and found a place.
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