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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 519779 times)

Offline mokellman

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1020 on: July 18, 2014, 04:21:56 PM »
Going with my wife from Sunday to Sunday in the end of August.
1) current rate for HNL-LIH with Island Air is 144 + bag fee and Hawaiian 185.
What is the best way to fly? With miles or use the corporate account for free baggage?

2) We are looking for a relaxing vacation. As of now, we are staying for 5 days in South Kaui and debating if we should stay for Shabbos in Princeville or should we fly to a different island?
Thanks

Offline alpicone

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1021 on: July 18, 2014, 05:49:24 PM »
Going with my wife from Sunday to Sunday in the end of August.
1) current rate for HNL-LIH with Island Air is 144 + bag fee and Hawaiian 185.
What is the best way to fly? With miles or use the corporate account for free baggage?

2) We are looking for a relaxing vacation. As of now, we are staying for 5 days in South Kaui and debating if we should stay for Shabbos in Princeville or should we fly to a different island?
Thanks

I booked my Hawaiian flights using miles. It was 10k RT using unites miles and I was able to add a stop over so it was HNL-OGG-LIH-HNL. For the first leg I was able to have delta interline the bags to avoid the fee. When I booked it was $17 per bag. Now its $25 so you need to do the math.

I dont think its worth switching islands for one week. You loose too much time traveling. If you can try out princeville for a couple of days. It is beautiful there and also much closer to all the north side activities.

Offline Mocha

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1022 on: July 18, 2014, 06:02:59 PM »
Left a small suitcase at the andaz maui and they shipped it back free of charge!
Grand Hyatt wants to charge me. anybody going to be there over the next few weeks?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1023 on: July 20, 2014, 12:45:21 AM »
I booked my Hawaiian flights using miles. It was 10k RT using unites miles and I was able to add a stop over so it was HNL-OGG-LIH-HNL. For the first leg I was able to have delta interline the bags to avoid the fee. When I booked it was $17 per bag. Now its $25 so you need to do the math.

I dont think its worth switching islands for one week. You loose too much time traveling. If you can try out princeville for a couple of days. It is beautiful there and also much closer to all the north side activities.


Thank you

Is an hour enough time between flights HNL to LIH. I'm going to be checking in my bags to LIH

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1024 on: July 20, 2014, 12:35:22 PM »
I'm working on my Kauai trip for late August...  I've gone through the Kauai Revealed app multiple times and tried reading through most of this thread. Here's what I've come up with.

We're leaving early Sunday morning and coming back Thursday night (from LAX). We didn't want to stay shabbos since the psak I got was to keep two days. So we've got three full days and two half days on the island. I know it's not enough according to most of you, but it's gonna have to be :)

Hotel: two nights at the GH and two at the Sheraton
Car: still working on, can't decide how worth it a convertible really is since it looks like it's close to double the price.

Day 1- we land around 2. I figure by the time we've gotten the car, gone to pick up some food and snorkeling kits, and driven to the GH we'll probably just want to stay on the grounds and relax, maybe go to Poipu beach for sunset

Day 2- helicopter ride, Wailua Falls and ‘Opaeka‘a Falls Lookout, Queen's Bath and Ke'e Beach

Day 3- Snorkeling on Poipu beach, Spouting Horn, Tunnels Beach

Day 4- Waimea Canyon, Pu‘u o Kila Lookout

Day 5- we have a 2 pm flight back to LAX  so I'm not sure what to do that morning

Am I missing anything major or is anything on my list not worth it?

Offline Something Fishy

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1025 on: July 20, 2014, 12:57:33 PM »
I'm working on my Kauai trip for late August...  I've gone through the Kauai Revealed app multiple times and tried reading through most of this thread. Here's what I've come up with.

We're leaving early Sunday morning and coming back Thursday night (from LAX). We didn't want to stay shabbos since the psak I got was to keep two days. So we've got three full days and two half days on the island. I know it's not enough according to most of you, but it's gonna have to be :)

Hotel: two nights at the GH and two at the Sheraton
Car: still working on, can't decide how worth it a convertible really is since it looks like it's close to double the price.

Day 1- we land around 2. I figure by the time we've gotten the car, gone to pick up some food and snorkeling kits, and driven to the GH we'll probably just want to stay on the grounds and relax, maybe go to Poipu beach for sunset

Day 2- helicopter ride, Wailua Falls and ‘Opaeka‘a Falls Lookout, Queen's Bath and Ke'e Beach

Day 3- Snorkeling on Poipu beach, Spouting Horn, Tunnels Beach

Day 4- Waimea Canyon, Pu‘u o Kila Lookout

Day 5- we have a 2 pm flight back to LAX  so I'm not sure what to do that morning

Am I missing anything major or is anything on my list not worth it?

Pretty good itin, but your day 2 and 3 are a bit mixed up IMO as far as running back and forth between the north and south sides. Here's what I would do:

Day 2 - Heli, the two falls, then Poipu beach and spouting horn. This would keep you in the south/east parts all day.

Day 3 - The north side: Queen's Bath, Tunnels, and Ke'e. Also do the first part of the Kalalau Trail (it starts off Ke'e Beach). It's stunning and could take as long as you like, up to a couple of hours. Also remember to stop by the Hanelei Valley Lookout just past Princeville.

If time is an issue, you could really do the two falls either day, as they're pretty much on the way.

Also make sure to check out Polihale Beach.

BTW, if you're switching hotels anyway, why don't you stay on the north side instead? It's a completely different experience, not to mention much closer to the north shore activities and sights.
Check out my site for epic kosher adventures: Kosher Horizons

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1026 on: July 20, 2014, 01:58:20 PM »

Pretty good itin, but your day 2 and 3 are a bit mixed up IMO as far as running back and forth between the north and south sides. Here's what I would do:

Day 2 - Heli, the two falls, then Poipu beach and spouting horn. This would keep you in the south/east parts all day.

Day 3 - The north side: Queen's Bath, Tunnels, and Ke'e. Also do the first part of the Kalalau Trail (it starts off Ke'e Beach). It's stunning and could take as long as you like, up to a couple of hours. Also remember to stop by the Hanelei Valley Lookout just past Princeville.

If time is an issue, you could really do the two falls either day, as they're pretty much on the way.

Also make sure to check out Polihale Beach.

BTW, if you're switching hotels anyway, why don't you stay on the north side instead? It's a completely different experience, not to mention much closer to the north shore activities and sights.
Good call on days 2 and 3. I just mapped it out and your suggestions make a lot more sense.

I wish we could stay on the North side but I just don't have enough points. I'm still relatively new to this game, and most of my points have been well spent traveling back and forth between coasts. So staying on the south side and making a full day trip out of the north side seems my best bet for now. And I'll save the St Regis for when I go back on my honeymoon iyh ;)

Has anyone tried ziplining in Kauai and able to report back?

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1027 on: July 20, 2014, 02:28:50 PM »
Good call on days 2 and 3. I just mapped it out and your suggestions make a lot more sense.

I wish we could stay on the North side but I just don't have enough points. I'm still relatively new to this game, and most of my points have been well spent traveling back and forth between coasts. So staying on the south side and making a full day trip out of the north side seems my best bet for now. And I'll save the St Regis for when I go back on my honeymoon iyh ;)

Has anyone tried ziplining in Kauai and able to report back?

There is a Westin in Princeville also that is cheaper than the St. Regis (which is stunning) but still more than the Sheraton.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1028 on: July 20, 2014, 02:31:44 PM »
Did you consider a condo?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1029 on: July 20, 2014, 02:53:02 PM »
There is a Westin in Princeville also that is cheaper than the St. Regis (which is stunning) but still more than the Sheraton.
I only have the bonus from my recent SPG sign up which is still not enough for the Westin.
Did you consider a condo?
Yes, but it's not worth it for just two people IMO. I'd rather spend the $ on activities.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1030 on: July 20, 2014, 03:04:15 PM »
Sell the SPG and use it to buy someone's free nights at the GHK.
Sheraton Kauai isn't worth category 5 points.

Or priceline 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.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1031 on: July 20, 2014, 03:18:14 PM »

Sell the SPG and use it to buy someone's free nights at the GHK.
Sheraton Kauai isn't worth category 5 points.
I like that idea, gonna work on that.

Offline shmu1

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1032 on: July 21, 2014, 04:57:04 PM »
Just came back from Kauai...
here is my 2 cents...

we booked a car through priceline name your on price, we got a midsize from hertz - when we got to the counter they offered us an upgrade either 75 a day for suv or or 50 for convertible - we negotiated and got a convertible for an extra 20 dollars a day - best 80$ i spent - you feel like you are part of the scenery, it was amazing (thanks dan for recommending the convertible).

- if driving up north to princeville stop at the fresh fruit stand on the way its in the book (obviously there are others...), if mixed swimming is an issue queens bath is small, even if only 15 people there might be uncomfortable..also its about a 10 minute trek down to queens bath, if it just rained can be slippery and muddy, (we got soaked, starting raining as we were making our way up) the drive from the east shore to the noth shore is great.
- if you want secluded beach polihle is great for that...although sand was boiling hot (maybe get water shoes). we were just there and seems like they just filled in the potholes so we had a very easy ride.
- Grand hyatt was great, beautiful grounds very helpful staff, we had ocean view (dont think it compares at all to garden view) we had grand club and they let us order complimentary pancakes or waffles each day for breakfast, besides for the kosher bagels and lox. (although not sure would recommend them - the pancakes and waffles).
- we brought pomagrante meals with us and they heated it up (each dish 10$) and we had them serve it to us in the tidepools restaurant - was pretty neat.
- the pools at the GHK are open 24/7....
- we didnt find the heli. worth the money, 210 each, but most people think its amazing so....we were not so impressed with blue hawaiin they switched the times of our flight on us and then switched it back (could be that also influenced the negative experience).
- we missed sunset on the west, but from spouting horn on the east side it looked like it would have been beautiful.
All in all great island has plenty of beaches and plenty of beautiful gorgeous natural sights. Highly recommend.

 

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1033 on: July 21, 2014, 05:17:33 PM »
Did you consider a condo?

I've stayed at the Bali Hai in an upgraded condo down the block from the Ali Kai. Also a nice property.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1034 on: July 22, 2014, 12:43:00 AM »
Sell the SPG and use it to buy someone's free nights at the GHK.
Sheraton Kauai isn't worth category 5 points.

Or priceline it.

really? i booked it with the 5th night free so it comes out to 9600/night. it's really not worth it? seems like all the buyers are offering peanuts nowadays and im getting a good value per points.......
is it not a nice hotel ot you think i could do better than it for $150-180 a night.... Also i have gold status so there is a decent chance well get a better room....
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 12:46:51 AM by arid »

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1035 on: July 23, 2014, 08:05:13 PM »
Has anyone gone to the Kilauea Lighthouse?

Offline Tzadik Nistar

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1036 on: July 23, 2014, 08:25:27 PM »
Has anyone gone to the Kilauea Lighthouse?
Yes, when I was there there was 20 ft. Waves then and that was one of the nicest places to see the waves crashing into the bluff, but in general its nothing special just a nice view

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1037 on: July 28, 2014, 05:52:31 PM »
really? i booked it with the 5th night free so it comes out to 9600/night. it's really not worth it? seems like all the buyers are offering peanuts nowadays and im getting a good value per points.......
is it not a nice hotel ot you think i could do better than it for $150-180 a night.... Also i have gold status so there is a decent chance well get a better room....

bump

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1038 on: July 28, 2014, 05:52:59 PM »
anyone gonna be in Kauai 8/17-22?

Offline arid

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #1039 on: July 28, 2014, 06:04:38 PM »
will the hyatt concierge book excursions for you if you are not a guest there?