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10 Best Resorts in Kauai

Written by Carri Wilbanks and Becca Blond
Oct 7, 2021

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Often referred to as the "Garden Island" for its lush scenery, Kauai is stunningly beautiful and home to a number of excellent resorts catering to various budgets and styles of travelers. Quieter than other Hawaiian destinations like Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island, Kauai is a great choice if you are looking for more seclusion and less crowded beaches.

The island's Northwest Coast is home to the magical Na Pali cliffs, with some of the island's best scenery, while Kauai's South Shore sees the most sunshine. This is where you'll find many top 5-star and 4-star luxury resorts set around Poipu and its pretty shoreline. These properties feature everything from golf courses to gourmet restaurants and posh spas.

Head to The North Shore and Hanalei Bay for adventure activities and a few more top resorts. The Coconut Coast on Kauai's east side is close to the airport and where you'll find more resorts, especially around Lihue. Although this area has luxury resorts it also has more budget-friendly accommodations. Here we list our choices for the best resorts in Kauai.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
Photo Source: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

The only 5-star resort on the island, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is on the sunshine-graced South Shore in Poipu. The resort sits on a beautiful stretch of white-sand beach that guests have direct access to. The grounds are impressive, with beautifully maintained gardens featuring koi ponds and waterfalls.

Rooms and suites at the Grand Hyatt have a bright and airy feel with Hawaiian-style design elements, unique wood-carved furnishings, and ocean-inspired colors. The private furnished balconies are lovely, and the complimentary refillable water bottles are a nice eco-friendly touch.

Amenities here are plentiful. There are acres of swimming pools, including a sandy-bottomed saltwater lagoon pool and a lava-rock-lined lazy river. The resort is family friendly, and kids will love the waterslide. If you want some time on the fairways, you can tee off at the Po'ipu Bay Golf Course. The Anara Spa offers a full range of treatments and massages that make use of fresh botanicals.

For dining, take your pick from 10 restaurants serving everything from Italian and Asian cuisine to local Hawaiian specialities. Finally, the staff here get high marks for attentiveness.

Address: 1571 Poipu Road, Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

2. Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach

Photo Source: Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach
Photo Source: Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach

Perfect for honeymooners or couples looking for a romantic getaway at a smaller resort, Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort is set right on a stunning section of Poipu beach on the island's famed sunny South Shore.

It has a romantic ambience throughout and 121 stylish rooms and suites. Expect warm hues and island style along with luxe cons like Nespresso machines and marble showers designed for two. They also come with private, furnished lanais. If you book one of the suites, ask about the in-room bathing experience using local flora that the spa offers for an extra fee.

Have dinner at Red Salt, the house restaurant that focuses on Hawaiian seafood specialities and other locally sourced produce in casual oceanfront environs. The lagoon-style, lava-inspired pool is another on-site perk. There is also a spa with two outdoor cabana treatment rooms on the sand, as well as indoor candlelit treatment rooms, including one designed for couples. The fire pits on the beach are another romantic touch.

Address: 2251 Poipu Road, Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach

3. Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

Photo Source: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection
Photo Source: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

Set on 25 acres in Poipu, Koloa landing is a good luxury choice if you are looking for multi-bedroom villas with lots of space – the largest villa here is 3,600 square feet and has four bedrooms. The resort is not directly on the beach; however, Koloa Beach is within walking distance.

Villas here have full kitchens, washers and dryers, bathrooms for each bedroom, and large furnished lanais. If you don't need a full villa, there are also deluxe studios with kitchenettes and a washer and dryer. All have luxe, modern decor.

While Koala Landing isn't oceanfront, it does have some of the best pools on Kauai. The three pools include a family lagoon pool with shallow entry, another with waterslides, and an adults-only pool if you are traveling sans children. Poolside cabanas and sun loungers are also plentiful. There is also a large day spa offering a full range of treatments, a 24-hour fitness center, a putting green, and a volleyball court.

Grab a bite to eat at the poolside Holoholo Grill, which serves American and Hawaiian fare curated by James Bear award-winning chef Sam Choy. You can also catch the resort's free shuttle to the shops and restaurants in Poipu.

Address: 2641 Poipu Road Koloa, Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

4. Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipu'u

Photo Source: Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipu'u
Photo Source: Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipu'u

Kids stay free at the family-friendly Kauai Lagoons in Lihue. Choose from two- and three-bedroom villas at this oceanfront property. These feature plenty of space to move around with separate living and dining areas. The furnished balconies have great views. Villas also come with fully equipped kitchens, allowing you to save on eating out expenses by cooking some meals in.

The resort has a swimming pool and hot tub, as well as direct beach access. Other amenities include BBQ facilities, outdoor fire pits, and a fitness room. There is no restaurant on-site, but the concierge can assist with nearby suggestions and reservations. Car hire is also available here.

Address: 3325 Holo Kawelu Way Marriott Vacation Club Hawaii, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Marriott's Kauai Lagoons - Kalanipu'u

5. Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue

Photo Source: Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue
Photo Source: Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue

Just a few miles from the airport, the Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue is on a pretty stretch of golden-sand beach. The 4-star resort is a great choice for families. It offers interconnected rooms, as well as sofa beds in the suites and dedicated family rooms. There is also a kids' club and one of Hawaii's largest family-friendly swimming pools.

Rooms and suites are modern and comfy, and many have ocean views from floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto private balconies.

The aforementioned swimming pool forms a circular center point and has potted palm trees on a landscaped concrete center. Sun loungers and cabanas surround the pool, and you'll find more on the beach.

There are five dining options, including Duke's Kauai, which serves Hawaiian and American fare, from steaks to seafood, with ocean views. Every Monday there is a traditional Hawaiian luau (make a reservation with the concierge).

You can also book a treatment at the full service spa on-site. Or play a round of golf at the adjacent Kauai Lagoons Golf Club with an 18-hole Jack-Nicklaus-designed championship course.

Address: 3610 Rice Street, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Royal Sonesta Kaua'i Resort Lihue

6. The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Photo Source: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas
Photo Source: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

Set on a cliffside overlooking the sea, but not directly on the beach, on Kauai's North Shore, The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas are a great choice for friends vacationing or working remotely together, or family gatherings.

The property has all-villa accommodation in one- and two-bedroom units that are quite spacious. Villas have separate living and dining space, full kitchens, washers and dryers, Jacuzzi tubs in the master bathrooms, and Bose sound systems.

Although the location is not on the ocean, the beach at Hanalei Bay is not far away. There are three pools on the grounds, including one for children. There is also a hot tub and a 24-hour fitness center.

Grab breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Nanea Restaurant, which features a locally inspired menu. There is a second dining option by the pool serving light fare from 11am to 6pm daily.

If you want to explore the island, from snorkeling to ziplining, the concierge can set you up.

Address: 3838 Wyllie Road, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

7. Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai

Photo Source: Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai
Photo Source: Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai

On the east side of Kauai, Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa features some unique amenities. Here, you'll find the Garden Island's only heated, saltwater lazy river swimming pool, which meanders around two acres on the grounds. Surrounded by black lava rock, flowering bushes, and manmade waterfalls, it even has a cave and a couple of waterslides. There are three sand-bottom jetted hot tubs as well.

Right on the beach, guests can also lay out on sun loungers facing the ocean or partake in a spa treatment like a traditional Hawaiian hot stone massage. For accommodation, there are one- and two-bedroom condo suites. These have stylish decor, hardwood furniture and full gourmet kitchens. There is also a restaurant onsite should you not wish to cook for yourself.

Address: 4-820 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai

8. Sheraton Kauai Resort

Photo Source: Sheraton Kauai Resort
Photo Source: Sheraton Kauai Resort

On a beautiful section of the gold-sand Poipu Beach, the Sheraton Kauai Resort has a fantastic location on the island's South Shore. The turquoise-hued beach is calm and great for snorkeling and swimming.

There are 394 rooms and suites set in multiple buildings across the lushly landscaped grounds here, so the resort feels smaller than it is, which is a perk, especially for couples on romantic vacations or honeymoons.

Accommodations are recently renovated and feature a beach-hued color scheme, as well as floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening onto furnished private balconies. Many rooms have ocean views. If you are traveling with kids, there are family rooms available.

There are two swimming pools on the grounds, and sun loungers and cabanas for rent with cushioned loungers, coolers, TVs, and table service.

There are a number of dining options, including a signature restaurant serving a Hawaiian-forward menu. You can also work out in the well-equipped fitness center, or book a treatment at the spa.

Address: 2440 Hoonani Rd, Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Sheraton Kauai Resort

9. Kauai Beach Resort & Spa

Photo Source: Kauai Beach Resort & Spa
Photo Source: Kauai Beach Resort & Spa

On the longest walking beach in Kauai, this resort sits on 25 acres. The landscaping is lush and well maintained. The Kauai Beach Resort & Spa is a stylish and tranquil retreat in a convenient Lihue locale near the airport. It is also close to championship golf courses, restaurants, and shops.

The resort offers luxe rooms and suites with mountain, pool, garden, or ocean views. The decor is modern minimalist, with lots of white and beige tones but pops of color in ocean-hued throw pillows and artwork. All but the standard rooms offer private lanais.

Amenities include a few different dining options, including a full-service restaurant serving American fare with an emphasis on Hawaiian specialities. There is also poolside service from a different dining space during the day.

Catering to couples and families, there are four swimming pool areas, and kids will love the 75-foot lava tube waterslide. There is also a spa with a full range of treatments and a fitness center. If you are planning a destination wedding, there is a ballroom.

Address: 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Kauai Beach Resort & Spa

10. Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

Photo Source: Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort
Photo Source: Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

Right on Poipu Beach, Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort is a great-value 3-star resort with a relaxed vibe.

The property has accommodation in one -, two-, and three-bedroom condos with luxe decor and either full or partial ocean views. These come with daily housekeeping, as well as full kitchens should you want to do some DIY cooking. The private furnished balconies are perfect for relaxing or, between November and March, looking for migrating whales. The master bath of each condo also comes with a Jacuzzi tub.

On-site amenities include an ocean-facing swimming pool, a hot tub, and a community BBQ area. If you are in need of a little pampering, there is a spa with a full range of treatments. Activities from horseback riding to snorkeling and golfing can be arranged

Address: 2640 Puuholo Road, Poipu, Kauai, Hawaii

Accommodation: Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

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