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Where to stay in Kauai
So you’re planning a Kauai vacation. You’re going to love it! One of the first questions to ask is, where to stay in Kauai?!
If you’re looking for the best resorts in Kauai, you are likely torn between the South Shore and the North Shore.
I have compiled a list of the 7 best resorts in Kauai. Two are located on the beautiful North Shore, and four are located in the sunny resort area on the south side of the island.
One is also in Lihue (where the airport is located, also on the south side) and one honorable mention in Kapa’a on the east side.
Is there a bad time to visit Kauai?
I always tell people not to shy away from Kauai in the winter. Yes, it rains more often, but not everywhere!
Even on the North Shore, it does not rain all day, every day. You’ll find plenty of sunshine on the south shore in the winter if that is a concern.
You can learn more in my blog post about the “worst” time to go to Hawaii.
Do I need a rental car in Kauai?
Although the island is small, everything is very spread out. Public transportation is next to non-existent, so you’ll definitely need a rental car. I recommend Discount Hawaii Car Rental. You’ll find the best prices, and you can reserve now and pay upon arrival.
Where to stay in Kauai
If you’re trying to decide which Hawaiian island to visit, you can check out which Hawaii island is best.
1. Koloa Landing Resort
If you want to stay in a luxury resort but love condo-style accommodations, you’re in luck! The Koloa Landing Resort has the perfect mix of resort amenities and large luxury villas.
The pools are some of the best on the island. While it is not beachfront, you can quickly walk to shops or the beach.
The Koloa Landing Resort is my top recommendation for families staying in Kauai. It’s near the beach and shopping, has options for studios, 2 and 3 bedrooms, and amazing pools.
What more could you ask for? Prices start around $300/night; you can check current pricing here.
2. Hanalei Bay Resort
In Kauai, it rains a lot in the winter, especially on the North Shore. The resort’s grounds are beautiful, and it’s a quick walk down the hill to the beach.
We tend to choose ocean view rooms, but choose a mountain view at the Hanalei Bay Resort; it’s stunning!
3. Princeville Resort
Also located on the North Shore, the Princeville Resort (formerly the St. Regis Princeville) is one of the best resorts in Kauai.
It has some of the most stunning views of any resort on this list and is one of the most luxurious.
If you’re a golfer, you’ll love the Princeville Makai Golf Club, one of the highest-rated golf courses in all of Hawaii.
The other public and resort courses in Kauai include:
- Ocean Course at Hokuala (Lihue)
- Wailua Golf Course (Lihue)
- Puakea Golf Course (Lihue)
- Kiahuna Golf Club (Koloa)
- Poipu Bay Golf Course (Koloa)
- Kukuiolono Golf Club (Kalaheo)
- Princeville Makai Golf Club (Princeville)
Check prices for your travel dates at the Princeville Resort here.
4. Sheraton Kauai
Located on the island’s sunny south side, the Sheraton Kauai is located on the famous Poipu Beach.
If you’re traveling in the winter and worried about rain, the south side of Kauai is the perfect place to stay. You’ll also enjoy the resort’s signature restaurant, RumFire Poipu Beach.
5. Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort
Also located on Poipu Beach, the Ko’a Kea Hotel and Resort is one of the island’s highest-rated resorts.
This is the #1 resort that I recommend to my honeymoon clients! If you’re looking for an intimate and romantic beachfront boutique resort, I highly recommend the Ko’a Kea.
This resort is perfect for honeymoons, anniversaries, babymoons, and more.
6. Grand Hyatt Kauai
At 604 rooms, the Grand Hyatt is the largest resort on Kauai and the third largest on all of the Hawaiian islands.
Located in the popular resort area of Poipu, the Grand Hyatt has the perfect mix of resort amenities but is close to many adventure activities on Kauai.
About half of the rooms have some ocean view, which is a bonus.
The Grand Hyatt has the best kids club on the island and is home to four birds, including three macaws and one parrot.
With several on-site restaurants and nightly entertainment, you won’t have to leave the resort often, although you should because it’s Kauai and you’ll want to explore.
The Grand Hyatt has three pools, two larger pools, including a lagoon pool and one adults-only pool with a nearby bar.
7. Kauai Marriot Resort
Located in Lihue, the Kauai Marriot Resort is beachfront with stunning views. They have one of the largest pools in Hawaii, and it’s heated!
You might not think that a pool needs to be heated in Hawaii, but it can get a tad chilly (by Hawaii standards) in the winter, so this is a great feature.
The Kauai Marriot Resort also boasts the longest golf course in Hawaii, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course.
The resort is also conveniently located near both the port and the airport. The resort also has an airport shuttle if you don’t rent a car.
I highly recommend renting a car in Hawaii, but it’s nice to have a shuttle if you haven’t rented one yet.
Honorable mention for where to stay in Kauai: The ISO
While it’s not technically a resort, we stayed at the ISO once on a last-minute trip. My first choices weren’t available, so we decided to give the ISO a try.
I read in Hawaii Magazine that it was the editor’s choice for the best boutique hotel, so I wanted to check it out.
You can read my full ISO Kauai review or know that it’s a great place to stay if you’re on a budget and looking for a clean, comfortable oceanfront place to sleep.
You can check current pricing here; most dates are very reasonable at around $200/night.
Even though they call it a resort, it’s more of a hotel with a few small resort amenities. I love the daily yoga (included in the small resort fee), and they had free breakfast.
As far as breakfast, we skipped it because it was minimal, but it might be helpful to grab and go if you’re traveling with kids.
More Kauai Vacation Ideas:
- 7-day Kauai Itinerary
- Maui vs. Kauai
- 4-day Kauai itinerary
- How to plan a Kauai vacation
- 10 best adventure activities on Kauai
- Best Hikes on Kauai
- 25 things to do on Kauai
- 100 things to do in Hawaii | Hawaii Bucket List
Where to stay in Kauai
I hope that this list of the 7 best resorts in Kauai helps you. Have you stayed in any of these resorts? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!
Although I am a Hawaii Travel Agent, I am only taking on a few clients for 2021. You can contact me if you’d like more information. I would recommend starting with my Hawaii travel guide if you plan to DIY your vacation!
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