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In addition to its enticing beaches, Hawaii's "Garden Island" is known for its lush, tropical, mountainous terrain (which means great hiking and kayaking).
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But while Kauai has thrived over the years, thankfully it still retains that Old Hawaii feel.
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You'll find the best Kauai hotels for couples, family-friendly resorts, luxury condos with kitchens, great places to stay on Kauai, and Kauai beachfront resorts.
Simply put, the Grand Hyatt has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best Kauai hotels - something for everyone.
Treat yourself to a massage at the Anara Spa (the island's largest spa), then soak in the outdoor lava rock shower.
Daily parrot talks are fun – a wildlife handler takes a macaw from the lobby atrium for a daily show-and-tell on the beach.
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A walk along the towering red cliffs along the historic Mahaulepu Trail, starting at the edge of the property, is a great way to start the day.
You'll find complimentary water bottles in your room, which you can refill with chilled filtered water throughout the property.
The beach is too rough for swimming. (But there is a large saltwater lagoon with an artificial beach, which is especially popular with young children.)
After shelling out big bucks for a room here, you'll have to pay an additional $40 USD in daily resort fees.
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In return, you get self-parking, use of a self-service washer and dryer, and activities like guided sunrise walks and fitness and yoga classes. (WiFi is included in your stay.)
(Poipu is a favorite vacation spot on Kauai. Along with the sun, you'll find restaurants, shops selling cute Hawaiian souvenirs and authentic Hawaiian gifts, and a farmers market nearby.)
The hotel's 121 rooms feature Nespresso machines, marble showers with dual shower heads, deluxe bathroom amenities and free Wi-Fi.
When it comes to luxury hotels on Kauai, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better small hotel than Koa Kea.
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Planning a honeymoon or romantic getaway? Check out Koa Kea, one of the best Kauai hotels for couples (Credit: Koa Kea)
Most guests are couples - children are discouraged. This is the place to book a casual luxury adult vacation.
The intimate experience is especially appealing – it's just steps from your room to the pool and sandy swimming pool.
And the hotel's renowned Red Salt Restaurant serves delicious, fresh, locally sourced seafood in a casually elegant setting.
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Hanalei Colony Resort is a condo-style property set on secluded manicured grounds on the island's north shore.
It has 48 units — each with two bedrooms and 850 square meters of space — scattered among several low-rise buildings.
Guests come for the old-time laid-back Kauai vibe – to de-stress, enjoy peace and quiet, connect with nature and their loved ones, and unplug.
(This is a good time to mention that there are no TVs or phones. But you do get free WiFi!)
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Bright full kitchen with lanais makes vacationing as a family easy. (Be sure to stock up on lots of Hawaiian fruit! Mangoes, pineapples, and lychees are super fresh, sweet, and delicious.)
But if you manage to score a premium oceanfront suite, you can watch the beautiful blue Pacific roll in on a golden sand beach just feet from your lanai. Precious.
Instead of floor-to-ceiling paneled walls, they're divided by louvered pony walls — so light sleepers can't all get their zzz's when the kids are up early and playing in the living room, for example.
Who wants to go SUP? You can walk to Kalapaki Beach right in front of this luxury Kauai resort.
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This large, beautifully landscaped, 356-room resort is on the east coast of the island. It's very close to the airport (but don't worry, you'll never hear planes take off or land).
Formerly the Kauai Marriott Resort, the hotel division is now managed by Sonesta, which is currently updating its rooms.
Sonesta shares the property with Marriott Vacation Club, which has timeshare units at the resort under the name of Marriott's Kauai Beach Club.
Marriott accommodations range from rooms to one- and two-bedroom units with kitchenettes. They are also available for booking.
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Return to Sonesta. Their rooms are spacious and all have a balcony. (Ask for an ocean view as not all rooms have it.)
The renovated rooms feature elegant, custom hardwood finishes, Keurig coffee tables and pops of bright orange and burgundy in the fabrics.
Royal Sonesta Kauai features Romanesque columns and fountains, one of the largest pools on the island
This is a luxury condo-style resort development in Poipu, ranging from deluxe studios (500 square feet) to large four-bedroom villas.
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Families who enjoy dining and travelers who want all the comforts of home will feel right at home at Coloa Landing.
Sometimes you just want to retire after a day at the beach. You don't want to dress up and go out to dinner.
At Coloa Landing, kitchens (in studios) and full kitchens (in one-bedroom and larger units) give you this option.
With an oldie-but-goodie Hawaiian (but slightly dated) feel, the 4-star Sheraton underwent a "soft" renovation in 2017 and early 2018.
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Almost all 394 rooms have been upgraded with new low-noise air conditioning, soft blue-grey colors for furniture, in-room refrigerators and coffee tables.
A major renovation was completed later in 2019. The lobby has also been remodeled along with the garden wing of the resort.
Prices here are more affordable than the more upscale Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa (see #1).
Sheraton Kauai is best suited for families and couples who love a fun and active environment - and those looking for a great beach stay.
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You can swim, snorkel, body surf and sometimes see monk seals sleeping on the beach.
For a quiet spot to nap or reflect, slide over to the side of the hotel or sink into a rocking chair (Credit: Sheraton Kauai)
Fees cover self-parking, standard WiFi (which should be free, right?), local phone calls, use of the gym, and access to activities like yoga and hula classes.
But you can rent one of eight luxurious poolside bungalows with cushioned loungers, TVs, coolers and table service.
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Located on the west coast of the island near the town of Waimea, this Kauai resort has 61 cottages ranging from one bedroom to three bedroom cottages.
Originally built from the late 1800s to the 1930s, the cabins have been renovated and restored. Even if they are not good. Decorated in floral patterns, these will give you a more homely feel.
But we do know that sunsets on the west coast are incredible. Here you will fall asleep to the sound of crashing waves.
Psst! Here's a fun Hawaii fact for your collection: Waimea Canyon is known as the "Grand Canyon of the Pacific."
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The on-site restaurant — Chicken in a Barrel BBQ & Bar (weird name!) — donates all of its profits to a free camp for underprivileged youth in Hawaii. Great!
Now there are two resorts - Castle Kiahuna Plantation & Beach Bungalows and Kiahuna Plantation Resort by Outrigger.
But both share the same sprawling manicured grounds that slope down to the dazzling expanse of Poipu Beach on Kauai's south shore.
So you could end up with a beautiful renovated condo with wood floors and granite counters in the kitchen. Or... you might be disappointed to find that you're staying in outdated accommodations on Kauai.
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You should read reviews to get a better idea of Kiahuna Plantation. We want you to go and be disappointed!
There you will find a wide selection of units. Many are 5-star reviewed, fully renovated and owned by premier hosts. Cleaning and management are usually handled by Castle Resorts.
Both management companies offer the same configurations – so one-bedroom units are 880 square meters and two-bedroom units (split) are around 1,600 square meters.
Ceiling fans and lots of windows keep it cozy and cool. (Not having air conditioning was never a problem for us.)
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Poipu Beach (also known as Kiahuna Beach) and the lawns here are very family friendly, making Kiahuna Plantation suitable for all families – from babies to teenagers.
We have stayed here several times (once for a babymoon) and love the "gite rural" feel, the old Hawaiian vibe, the lush lawn, and of course the great location on Poipu Beach.
Last time we stayed, we agreed that the condo we were put in was tired. For us, the space outgrew the current unit.
They are completely renovated. They look great from the photos and Vrbo reviews from other guests give the units high marks.
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Tip: When booking a Vrbo, we always filter by "Premier Hosts" and "Highly Rated for Cleanliness" to remove properties that aren't a good fit for us.
Tennis courts, indoor/outdoor soccer courts, athletic club and pool are located across Poipu Road so you'll need to stretch your legs.
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