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!
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
This 52-acre bluffside compound above Keoneloa Beach (Shipwreck Beach) in Poipu may be the largest on the island with 602 rooms, but it hosts many garden nooks where you can enjoy the sweeping ocean views in relative tranquility. It also boasts lively gathering places. Kids of all ages will enjoy the best pool complex on the island — including a lazy river, 1.5-acre saltwater lagoon with its own beach, multiple tiers and a 150-foot water slide — while grownups will appreciate the sushi and spirits at Stevenson’s Library.
The quieter expanse and expertise of Anara Spa draw patrons from all over the island, as does the 18-hole championship Poipu Bay Golf Course next door. Good to know: With such a big footprint, the resort makes serious efforts to reduce its carbon emissions.
- Besides the all-day fun at the swimming pool, families will enjoy the convenience of an onsite luau as well as several casual cafes and restaurants. Although Keoneloa isn’t typical swimmable, you will see adventurous locals boogie boarding and body surfing at the eastern end, close to where the spectacular Maha‘ulepu coastal trail begins; don’t be surprised if you spot a monk seal en route, but do keep your distance from these rare endemic mammals.
Sheraton Kauai Resort
- The onsite, beachfront luau is a fun way to spend an evening with the family. Don’t miss an opportunity to book a surf or scuba lesson, because the area is great for beginners.
Kiahuna Plantation and Beach Bungalows
- 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.
Royal Sonesta Kauai Resort (formerly Kauai Marriott)
- It’s just 2 miles south of the airport, so your vacation starts quickly. From your balcony, the beach or the pool, watch massive ships navigate Kalapaki Bay, guarded by distinctive green mountains, as they head for Nawiliwili Harbor, the island’s main port. The nearby Hule‘ia River allows for easy kayaking and other excursions.
Hanalei Colony Resort
The winding drive across one-lane bridges below emerald hills laden with lush foliage prepares you to slow down for this serene enclave of vacation condos, almost at the end of the road in Ha‘ena. A handful of two-story buildings offer suites with a full (if dated) kitchen, 1.5 baths, a king bed and a living room, separated by sliding doors, with a double sofa bed; the tropical furnishings have been recently updated by a top Hawaiian design firm, with luxury bedding and bath amenities. There’s Wi-Fi but no TV, for added tranquility.
Large picture windows provide sweeping views of the ocean, miles of beaches and verdant peaks. The onsite Opakapaka Bar & Grill (open for lunch and dinner), Hanalei Day Spa and Na Pali Art Gallery & art gallery/gift shop with coffee bar provide reasons to linger, especially on rainy days.
- Kepuhi Beach may not be safe for swimming, but it makes for wonderful strolls and the sounds of crashing waves makes for great sleeping; there’s also a small pool on the property. Make a morning reservation to park at Haena State Park and you’ll have a terrific jump-start on hiking the Kalalau Trail or snorkeling at Ke ‘e Beach at the actual end of the road; the resort also provides shuttle service to Hanalei and other North Shore destinations.