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15 Best Hotels in Kauai

Written by Lavanya Sunkara
Apr 2, 2019

From luxury hotels and resorts to quaint cottages, the island of Kauai has accommodations for varying needs, whether you are looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation. Known for the stunning Na Pali cliffs that line the Northwest Coast, this Hawaiian island is the oldest of the archipelago, and is known for its idyllic seclusion away from the crowded hotels of popular islands like Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island.

The South Shore is the sunniest part of the island and boasts 5-star and 4-star luxury resorts and hotels in Poipu along its beautiful beaches. Expect to find beachside bungalows, sand bottomed lagoon pools, golf courses, fine dining, and elegant spas.

The North Shore and its Hanalei Bay get a bit cloudy but the rainbows, adventure activities and indulgent accommodations make up for it. Budget-friendly and cheap hotels can be found along the Coconut Coast (east side) of the "Garden Isle" in areas around Wailua Bay, Kapaa, and Lihue, which are close to the airport and serve as perfect launching points for exploring Kauai's attractions.

Best Luxury Hotels in Kauai

1. Princeville at Hanalei, Princeville

Photo Source: Princeville at Hanalei

Overlooking the emerald sea cliffs of Na Pali, the 252-room Princeville at Hanalei is a sophisticated luxury property perched above Hanalei Bay in the North coast. Guest rooms accentuate the natural surroundings with rich, earthy tones and warm palettes. Even the bathtubs here have incredible views.

The resort's infinity pool is considered one of the most beautiful pools in the world, and the elegant Halele'a Spa was named one of the top spas in America. The on-site restaurants use ingredients and fish sourced from the island. Guests can book activities such as ziplining, hiking to Kalihiwai Falls, picnics, and off-roading adventures. Or play a round of golf at the award-winning Makai Golf Club.

Accommodation: Princeville at Hanalei

2. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Poipu

Photo Source: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

As one of the premier resorts in Poipu on the sunny South shore, the sprawling Grand Hyatt Kauai sets the standards high. The staff have an excellent reputation, and the immaculate gardens with koi ponds, waterfalls, and open courtyards are a welcoming treat.

The newly renovated 602 rooms and suites feature Hawaiian design elements and come with flat screen TVs, complimentary refillable water bottles, and private balconies. Relax in the sandy-bottomed lagoon pool; indulge in a luxurious open-air treatment at the Anara Spa, which uses fresh botanicals; or tee off on the gorgeous Po'ipu Bay Golf Course.

In addition to the saltwater lagoon, the resort has family-friendly freshwater pools and a lava-rock lined lazy river and waterslide. Keoneloa Bay/Shipwreck Beach is just steps away. The on-site 10 restaurants serve up a variety of cuisine, from Hawaiian and Italian to Asian. And the resort goes the extra mile to be eco-friendly, with much of the power coming from solar panels and the swimming pools heated with recaptured heat from the air-conditioning system.

Accommodation: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

3. Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort at Poipu Beach, Poipu

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

The upscale boutique Ko'a Kea is a delightful property on a spectacular stretch of Poipu beach on the South Shore. It has 121 contemporary rooms with private lanais; island decor; and amenities like flat screen TVs, Nespresso machines, marble showers, dual shower heads, high-speed Wi-Fi, and iPod docking stations.

The hotel is ideal for romantic getaways with offerings such as an intimate spa with five treatment rooms, a lagoon-style lava-inspired swimming pool, and oceanfront fire pits for evenings under the stars steps away from the beach.

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

4. Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay, Kapaa

Photo Source: Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

If you are looking for a family-friendly hotel, look no further than the Hilton Garden Inn, located on the scenic Wailua Bay near the Lydgate Beach Park. The completely renovated 216 guest rooms feature views of the ocean, garden, or mountains, and come with a microwave, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and Wi-Fi to make your stay with the family as comfortable as possible.

Two-room cottages with separate living and sleeping areas and outdoor patios are also available. The property features two outdoor pools, a hot tub, fitness center, walking and biking path, and 24-hour convenience store.

Accommodation: Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

5. The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, Princeville

Photo Source: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

If you are traveling with a large family or getting a group of friends together, the Westin Princeville is ideal, with 1,310-square-foot villas that could accommodate up to eight adults. The villas have living and dining areas and come equipped with kitchens, washers and dryers, whirlpool baths, flat-screen TVs, and Bose stereos. Complimentary dish soap, laundry detergent, dish towels, and supplies to make coffee are also provided.

Although the property is not located on the beach (it sits on a picturesque cliffside), the beach area of Hanalei Bay is nearby, along with opportunities to go snorkeling and ziplining.

Accommodation: The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

6. Aston Islander on the Beach, Kapaa

Photo Source: Aston Islander on the Beach

Tucked away on the Coconut Coast on the east side, the Aston Islander makes for an ideal romantic getaway. Sitting on six acres surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens and swaying palms overlooking a beach that's popular with Hawaiian monk seals, this plantation-style property caters to both nature lovers and those seeking solitude. Nearby, the Coconut Marketplace beckons with 60 boutique stores and restaurants.

Included in the daily amenity fee, you can rent DVD movies and Playstation 3 games, get the daily newspaper, take advantage of shuttle rides to and from the airport, and use the Wi-Fi. The outdoor pool area features charming cabanas, and there are stations on the beach to grill your own catch of the day at sea.

Accommodation: Aston Islander on the Beach

7. Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection, Poipu

Photo Source: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

Koloa is a luxury condo-style resort with deluxe studios and multi-bedroom villas, with the largest villa coming in at 3,600 square feet. The studios are equipped with a kitchenette and full-size washer and dryer, while the villas have full kitchens, large lanais, washers and dryers, and attached bathrooms for every bedroom.

Located on 21 acres near the famous Poipu Beach and surrounded by tropical foliage, the resort features a spa; 24-hour fitness center; and three pools, including a family lagoon pool and an adults only pool, waterslides, and poolside cabanas. A free shuttle to nearby Poipu shops and restaurants is available.

Accommodation: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

8. Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai, Kapaa

Photo Source: Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai

On the east side of the Garden Isle in Kapaa is the premier condo property of Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai. This deluxe oceanfront property has luxurious units with hardwood furnishings, gourmet kitchens, and large bathrooms. The one- and two-bedroom suites feature full kitchens.

Kauai's only heated, saltwater river pool meanders through two acres of the property, surrounded by black lava rock, hibiscus and plumeria blossoms, and dreamy waterfalls. The area also has a cave, three sand-bottom whirlpool spas, and two waterslides, which make it fun for both kids and adults. Pamper yourself at the Spa by the Sea, where therapists practice techniques ranging from traditional Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and Pohaku hot stone to deep tissue massage.

Accommodation: Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa Kauai

9. Sheraton Kauai Resort, Poipu

Photo Source: Sheraton Kauai Resort

Sitting on a golden stretch of Poipu beach, steps away from turquoise waters, the 4-star Sheraton Kauai Resort is a gem when it comes to experiencing beach life in Kauai. Guests can swim, snorkel, or look out for sleeping monk seals that visit the beach.

The property's 394 rooms and suites are spread out across multiple buildings, giving the feel of a boutique hotel, but you can still get the best of the resort amenities, with a fitness center, full-service Hawaiian Rainforest Spa, and two swimming pools.

Guest rooms feature wood furnishings, flat-screen TVs, and private lanais. The eight luxury poolside bungalows come with cushioned lounges, TVs, coolers, and table service.

Accommodation: Sheraton Kauai Resort

10. Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort, Poipu

Photo Source: Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

Whalers Cove Oceanfront resort offers a relaxed setting for a quiet getaway. Each of the luxe condo units offer full or partial ocean views that you can enjoy from the private balconies. From the months of November through March, keep a lookout for migrating whales from the comfort of your room.

Units feature full-size kitchens and laundry facilities, perfect for extended stays. The deluxe condo comes with a Jacuzzi in the master bath. On the property, you can also enjoy the heated oceanfront pool, hot tub, spa, and a community barbecue area.

Accommodation: Whalers Cove Oceanfront Resort

Best Budget Hotels in Kauai

1. Garden Island Inn Hotel, Lihue

Photo Source: Garden Island Inn Hotel

The family-owned artsy Garden Island Inn Hotel is one of Kauai's best bargains. Located in Lihue on the western side of the island, the hotel has extraordinary service and doesn't charge resort fees or fees for parking.

The 21 rooms include a kitchenette, wall mounted TV, sound machines, free Wi-Fi, tropical artwork by local artists, and fresh cut flowers from the hotel's garden. Two of the condos come with full kitchens, two bedrooms, and 1.5 bathrooms. Rental of beach chairs, snorkel gear, and boogie boards are all included. The crescent-shaped Kalapaki Beach and many restaurants are located within walking distance of the hotel.

Accommodation: Garden Island Inn Hotel

2. Hanalei Colony Resort, Hanalei

Photo Source: Hanalei Colony Resort

Set against the magnificent mountains of Kauai's North Shore, the intimate Hanalei Colony is a perfect hideaway for those looking for solitude in a spectacular natural setting. Located minutes from the island's best beaches of Ke'e and Haena Beach Parks, the hotel allows you to experience tranquil island life to the fullest.

In the rooms, don't expect to find any telephones, TVs, or stereos. The goal here is to unplug, and the resort does a splendid job of helping you do that. Sit back and relax on the private balcony, make a delicious meal in the fully equipped kitchen, and take a stroll on a golden beach. The resort has spacious two-bedroom, 1.5-bath suites, a day spa, pool, hot tub, and coffee shop.

Accommodation: Hanalei Colony Resort

3. Aqua Kauai Beach Resort, Lihue

Photo Source: Aqua Kauai Beach Resort

Aqua Kauai Beach Resort is a plantation-style property located on 25 acres of Kauai's longest strolling beach in Lihue. Conveniently located near the airport, this budget hotel has 350 stylish rooms with modern amenities. The property features two restaurants, four pools, a 75-foot lava tube waterslide, a spa, and 24-hour fitness center. One of the pools is half lined with sand.

Wi-Fi access comes with the daily resort fee. The resort also offers excellent kama'aina rates for residents of Hawaii. There is also a $100 dining credit for every four nights booked.

Accommodation: Aqua Kauai Beach Resort

Best Bed & Breakfast in Kauai

1. Marjorie's Kauai Inn, Lawai

Photo Source: Marjorie's Kauai Inn

Marjorie's Kauai Inn is among a small group of B&Bs on the island, and it stands out for its green touches, with energy-efficient appliances, eco-friendly cleaning products, and use of local organic produce in their lavish breakfast buffet that changes daily.

Though not on the beach, the rooms offer sweeping Lawai valley views and kitchenettes. The largest room, Sunset View, boasts its own hot tub in a gazebo and a pullout couch. Enjoy the 50-foot-long saltwater pool and hot tub, and take advantage of free bike, surfboard, boogie boards, and kayak rentals.

Accommodation: Marjorie's Kauai Inn

Best Airport Hotel in Kauai

1. Kauai Marriott Resort, Lihue

Photo Source: Kauai Marriott Resort

The large hibiscus-shaped pool is a highlight of the 356-room Kauai Marriott Resort, and it's also the largest single-level outdoor pool in the state. The resort's grounds are impressive, with flowing fountains, manicured lawns, lagoons, waterfront fire pits, and a pristine stretch of Kalapaki Beach.

Accommodations feature red- and orange-hued decor and come with flat-screen TVs and high-speed internet access (for a fee). Not all rooms come with a balcony, but views from the rooms are still gorgeous. The property has the Alexander Spa and Salon, 18 holes of championship golf, and five restaurants. Lihue Airport is two miles north of the property, so it's not the best place for a quiet getaway but sure makes it easy to get to when you are island hopping.

Accommodation: Kauai Marriott Resort

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