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Kauai Overview/DansMeals:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39185

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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 396514 times)

Offline robi

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #300 on: May 02, 2012, 10:17:22 PM »
Are there any areas or beaches that have super clear water like Bahamas/Grand Cayman type?
never been to Bahamas, but poipu beach was incredibly clear
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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #301 on: May 02, 2012, 10:23:04 PM »
never been to Bahamas, but poipu beach was incredibly clear

Thanks.  Everyone should check out some Cayman island type water once in their life. :)

From the pictures it looks pretty clear but not Bahama clear. Oh well. Looking forward anyways!
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #302 on: May 02, 2012, 10:31:20 PM »
For the clearest deep blue water in Hawaii consider Maui (Makena/Ahihi/Molokini, etc) or the Kohala coast of the Big Island.

But Poipu Beach is a great, if sometimes crowded, beach.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #303 on: May 02, 2012, 11:12:44 PM »
I have an award ticket on UA to Maui and was wondering if I would get a change fee if I decided to go to Kauai instead? Sorry if off topic this is where the Hawai talk is!

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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #304 on: May 02, 2012, 11:17:01 PM »
I have an award ticket on UA to Maui and was wondering if I would get a change fee if I decided to go to Kauai instead? Sorry if off topic this is where the Hawai talk is!

And I was just thinking of doing the same(for about 5 seconds) in reverse. The clear beaches of Maui are tempting. But Im going to stick with Kauai.
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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #305 on: May 02, 2012, 11:24:55 PM »
And I was just thinking of doing the same(for about 5 seconds) in reverse. The clear beaches of Maui are tempting. But Im going to stick with Kauai.
I am actually not sure I want to switch. Have not been to either yet and I am sure will get to both iyh. Just not sure which first and was curious what would happen if I try to switch it.

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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #306 on: May 02, 2012, 11:44:55 PM »
I am actually not sure I want to switch. Have not been to either yet and I am sure will get to both iyh. Just not sure which first and was curious what would happen if I try to switch it.
Someone CMIIW but I think you would be hit with the fee..better to take an inter-island flight.

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Re: Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #307 on: May 03, 2012, 12:20:19 AM »
Someone CMIIW but I think you would be hit with the fee..better to take an inter-island flight.
It would probably end up costing the same. Why would you want an extra flight
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #308 on: May 03, 2012, 12:23:24 AM »
For the clearest deep blue water in Hawaii consider Maui (Makena/Ahihi/Molokini, etc) or the Kohala coast of the Big Island.

But Poipu Beach is a great, if sometimes crowded, beach.
+1 molokini was awesome and extremely clear
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Re: Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #309 on: May 03, 2012, 12:52:41 AM »
It would probably end up costing the same. Why would you want an extra flight
Someone CMIIW but I think you would be hit with the fee..better to take an inter-island flight.
Either way if I would have to pay more I would keep it. I just noticed there was lousy C and P avail in Maui but that can change.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #310 on: May 03, 2012, 10:00:40 AM »
+1 molokini was awesome and extremely clear
Never been, but one of these times I'll make it out there.
Found it hard to go through the hassle and pay to go out there when there's so much to see for yourself right off the Makena and Ahihi coastline.

Remember if you're after clear calm sees in Hawaii-go in the morning!  Afternoons can much windier and cloudier.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #311 on: May 05, 2012, 11:43:12 PM »
I wonder if anyone has ever tried Priceline to get the Hyatt? From what I could tell it is the only `resort` hotel as defined by Priceline in the Poipu - Koloa section of Kauai. In theory that means when using Name Your Own Price you will get the GHK if they accept your bid. Using some Priceline tricks I can see they will probably accept my offer of $150 a night when the cheapest published rate for my dates is $330.

Even though I'm Diamond and can use upgrade certs to get a suite if I book directly through Hyatt, I can`t justify paying more than double when there is a possibility I`ll be upgraded anyway. Maybe not to a suite, but I`ll get something.

Please let me know if anyone has been successful.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #312 on: May 05, 2012, 11:51:49 PM »
I think the Sheraton used to also be called a resort, but was downgraded to a 3.5*.
Looks to me like you should be good, though there's always going to be a risk!

If you do it let us know what happens!
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #313 on: May 11, 2012, 12:05:46 AM »
Glatt kosher in Kauai (Costco)
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #314 on: May 11, 2012, 12:25:13 AM »
where are the rib steaks?