Kauai Lodgings: I need your help

So this last Saturday, I got married. :smiley:

My wife and I are planning to go to Kauai in November. We have never been to this island (We have been to the Big Island, Oahu, and Maui).

We are thinking about renting a condo and need to know, Dopers, which condos you have stayed in, and if you liked them for their

a) views,
b) access to the beach,
c) privacy (hint hint, wink wink), and
d) looks.

We could always stay in a hotel, but I would like to catch and cook for of the local fish, and most hotels won’t let you do that in the room…

Thank you in advance!

You’re a man after my own heart. We had the same idea the last time we stayed in Kauai, and I did a lot of internet research to look for a condo. We stayed in the Princeville (near Hanalei, on the north side of the island) area.

Here’s the website for the condo we stayed at.

It was a wonderful place and I recommend it highly. There’s one downside: it’s not within walking distance of a beach. However, there are two glorious beaches within a few minutes’ drive, and the condo comes equipped with beach chairs and a cooler. It’s also on the jungly, drizzly side of the island. But the sun is out just as often as it drizzles, and we enjoy the humidity and the tropical greenery and flowers.

The kitchen was great, and we bought fish from the side of the road from guys who had caught them that day in the sea. There’s also a farmer’s market in Hanalei with an impressive selection of tropical fruit. Bring your camera. Princeville also has a grocery store and gas station.

I think I want to go back.


You will find a lot of condos in and near Princeville and Kapa’a. There’s some good deals to be had around there, but generally… er, how shall I say this, you get what you pay for. For example, the Princeville condos can be nice, but aren’t really that close to the beach; at Kapa’a the beach is somewhat closer, but the condos tend to be not quite as nice.

Bottom line: you get what you pay for.

If I can make a suggestion, I’m a big fan of staying in Poipu on the south/west side of the island. The weather is consistently better, and there are two really nice resorts: the Sheraton Kauai and the Grand Hyatt. The Sheraton is smaller and more intimate, the Grand Hyatt is huge and opulent. Both are right on the fantastic beach and are just wonderful places. I would suggest checking them out, maybe after you stay at a condo a few days.

ETA: Teela: I have some friends of friends who live in that area half the year, and it is indeed lovely.

We usually go through Prosser Realty. They have a website with lots of rental houses, on both the North and South shores.

Teela, Ravenman, Morbo: Thank you very much! I will get to work on my research!

The heck of it is, that condo I linked to is rather luxurious, and under $200 per night except during winter holidays. It’s amazing. I only now noticed ministryman’s caveat about privacy, however. I don’t think there are any private outdoor areas for what you have in mind, but the condo does have three bedrooms.

Yeah, it’s pretty idyllic in and around Princeville and Hanalei. So many movies have been filmed in that area when a “tropical paradise” setting is called for. Hanalei Bay only needs a vintage big sailing ship anchored out there to look like a setting for Captain Cook making a landing. And of course Hanalei Valley looks more like a location in Bali.

My wife and I honeymooned in Kauai back in 2007. We stayed at a condo near Poipu in the Kuhio Shores condo building. Here is the website for our actual room:

(He was great, by the way. Mailed us our key weeks in advance of the honeymoon, and the condo was very well maintained and as advertised. And no, I am not Mike Galvin, nor am I related to him in any way.)

One downside to this location is there is no direct beach access; the nearest beach is the one adjacent to the beach house restaurant (which is 1 minute away by foot), but it’s not a great swimming beach and only a passable snorkeling beach. The building itself overlooks a lava flow beach (for lack of a better term) which is not swimmable.

The Beach House restaurant is one of the best on the island as as mentioned before, it’s 1 minute away by foot.

I would recommend saying on the southern side of the island, as there are things to do on the western side (Barking sands, Waimea canyon) which would require driving around the entire island if you’re staying in Princeville. There are good restaurants interspersed around the island so food shouldn’t be much of a factor.

My wife and I loved Kauai and I would be glad to answer any questions you might have.

That looks a lot like hwere I got to stay, but I am not sure to be honest. It was ten years ago and it was piggybacking on my sister’s time share or something.

But Princeville is a very nice place to stay. The only problem with it is if you want to go to the other side of the island it takes quite a while. But still there is a ton ofgreat beaches and other things on that side I would totally recommend it.

Another vote for Poipu. I stayed a couple of years ago on a girls trip and had a wonderful time. I’d have to look up the location tonight however.

One thing I can 100% recommend is the guide book from Wizard Publications. We visited 3 islands had the books for each one and every time we followed their advice it was a hit. Restaurants, hotels, attractions - we had a 100% success rate with these guys.

North Shore redefines the word “lush”. It does rain, but mostly for 20 minutes then it’s sunny again, and the area has some of the nicest beaches on the planet. I live in California, and South Shore looks somewhat like where I live (minus beaches) - dry, almost arid in spots, so I like North Short better. But if you’re coming from a cold weather area in November you’ll find South Shore very nice and practically rain-free, with great beaches and snorkling. Poipu is nice, but quite a lot of the shore is tumbled lava, not beaches, but there are some standout good beaches even in town.

Anyway, we’ve had good luck using VRBO to rent houses and condos in the Hawaiian islands, so I’d start there. Also take a look at this guide, which has detailed rundowns on the many of the resorts (which includes condo/apartment complexes), including aerial views and lots of detailed info. Here’s a sample complex from that site, the Po’ipu Palms in Poipu, and here are three listings on VRBO from that complex.

ETA: I see Moonlitherial also likes the Wizard Pub/Doughty guides. They really are very good.

Markdash, Gangster Octopus, Moonlitherial , and squeegee:

Thank you for your input and links!

Oh yes, another vote for the “Ultimate Kauai Guidebook” by Wizard publications. Extremely informative, and we agreed with most of their assessments of restaurants and the like.

Here’s one tidbit about the island you should know about: Wailua falls is swimmable if you hike down a slope, but don’t try to swim near or under the waterfall. My wife and I tried it and were only able to swim to shore after great effort. :slight_smile:

Also, Kipu falls is awesome, assuming you are not infirm or otherwise physically challenged.