Discovering hidden beaches, gorgeous rainforests and insanely good restaurants is all well and fine, but as most people come to realize, they’re even better experiences when they’re shared with our loved ones. Whether you’re planning a family reunion, milestone birthday, bachelorette party or work off-site, we’ve done the homework for you. Here are our favorite hotels on Kauai for group getaways.
Feature photo: Koloa Landing Resort Facebook
TIP: Most hotels have 4 pm check-in. Ask for an early check-in.
If they can’t accommodate, they will let you store your bags so you can head to the beach!
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu
A short walk to the rocky coastline, this South Shore enclave makes up for not being directly on the sand with its award-winning signature pool, thoughtful spa and spacious villa-style lodgings that range from fully furnished studios (500 square feet) up to luxurious three-bedroom suites (2,000-2,500 square feet).
The triple-tiered central pool starts with a cabana-lined sun deck and infinity-edge pool that cascades into an all-ages playground with water slides, whirlpools and a swim-through waterfall grotto; below that is a shallow area with beach entrance, playful fountains and more cabanas. It’s part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection and worth the points, if you’ve got ‘em.
- Besides the signature pool, a smaller family pool and a “tranquility” pool, the 25-acre grounds include a volleyball net, putting green area, soccer area, poolside BBQs, Jacuzzis and fire pits (ask about S’mores kits.)
- A partnership with celebrity chef Sam Choy has created a hidden gem in the poolside Holoholo restaurant.
Timbers Kauai Ocean Club & Residences
A brief ride from the airport in Lihu‘e, this oceanfront community benefits from its unrivalled setting on 450 acres overlooking Ninini Point and Kalapaki Bay as well as its modern, expertly furnished two- to to four-bedroom vacation villas, which you can buy or rent. Golfers will want to hitthe Jack Nicklaus Ocean Course, while others will want to lounge in the two-tiered oceanfront infinity pool (one of two pools), partake in a spa treatment, bike the miles of trails or shuttle over to Kalapaki Beach. Dining at Hualani’s restaurant is casual but not forgettable, showcasing local ingredients, including many from the resort’s own farm.
- Between the children’s programs and concierge-designed excursions for adults, every age can enjoy unique experiences on the Garden Isle.
The staff is eager to make sure your stay is exceptionally comfortable, too.
Kiahuna Plantation and Beach Bungalows
Next to the Sheraton Kauai, the 35-acre Kiahuna Plantation is dotted with cottage-style vacation condos amid lush tropical landscaping and a lawn that runs down to the cream-colored sand of Kiahuna Beach. All the units are privately owned, with some managed by Outrigger Hotels & Resorts or Parrish Kauai (both recommended); they’re not air-conditioned, relying on breezes for cooling, so book in winter and spring for best temperatures. The resort includes community laundry and barbecue facilities. Guests also receive free use of the Poipu Beach Athletic Club, which features a swimming pool, tennis courts and restaurant.
- Kiahuna Beach typically has good conditions for swimming, beginners’ surfing and snorkeling year round, although waves are higher in summer.
Enjoy a variety of cactus, orchids and bromeliads in the resort’s Moir Garden.
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
It’s a trek to the beach from any resort in Princeville, thanks to its scenic setting on a massive bluff overlooking Hanalei Bay and the Pacific Ocean, but many don’t mind the short drive to Hanalei beaches to the north or ‘Anini Beach to the south. That’s in part because of views of green mountains and waterfalls, and in the case of this vacation-ownership resort, lovely amenities like multiple pools, hot tubs, three island-style restaurants and bars, and easy access to golf, tennis, zip lining, kayaking and horseback riding.
The villas include full modern kitchens, living rooms with contemporary decor and up to two bedrooms with two additional sofa beds, accommodating up to nine guests — plenty of room for your group to gather.
- Solos and couples in a group can book a studio and join larger parties in their units’ living rooms.
The four outdoor pools include one designed for kids, and all are heated. Hawaiian Rainforest Spa will provide spa treatments in your villa or oceanside massages.
The Cliffs at Princeville
Like other Princeville resorts, you’re not on the beach here, but the Cliffs — a mix of 202 timeshare and vacation rental condos in eight three-story buildings — is unique in providing so many facilities perfect for group activities. Besides the lagoon-style swimming pool and two whirlpools on its 22 acres, the Cliffs offers two tennis courts, pickleball, bicycle rentals, a mini putting green, kids’ playground, fitness center and a half-court basketball court; most equipment is complimentary.
One-bedroom units are a roomy 917 square feet, and sleep four; two-bedroom units add a 314-square-foot loft with double beds (note that they’re on the third floor, with no elevators.) Ceiling and portable fans help trade breezes cool the condos, which are not air-conditioned; all have full kitchens, washer-dryers and two spacious lanais (patios or balconies.)
The Cliffs feels secluded, but it’s also close to the numerous activities offered by Princeville Ranch (hiking, horseback riding, zip lining) and Hanalei outfitters (kayaking, surfing, snorkeling); the onsite concierge can help craft an ideal itinerary for your gang.
Casual and fine dining and groceries are also close at hand in Princeville and Hanalei.