“Hawaii is not a state of mind, but a state of grace.” American travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux so simply, yet eloquently, reminds us that our 50th state is more than just a faraway travel destination—albeit a beautiful and exotic one. Rather, it has the power to transport you to a place beyond where your imagination can take you. With feet firmly on sandy soil, you are delivered someplace unfamiliar yet comforting—someplace magical. And, perhaps no island in the state encapsulates this otherworldly quality quite like Kauai does. A vacation in Kauai—the Garden Island—will put you in places that were previously reserved for daydreams and fantasies. Hike along a cliff-side trail, high above terrain that can best be described as a marriage of the Grand Canyon and the Amazon Rain Forest. Trade the adrenaline rush for a relaxing day on the cinnamon sand with the surf kissing the shore serving as your soundtrack. No matter your “adventure,” your Kauai getaway will introduce you to things you may have never thought possible. And, when you bundle your airfare and accommodations into a vacation package in Kauai through Travelocity, you’ll enjoy the island’s “no worries” attitude before you even leave your home.
Whether you are on a romantic vacation in Kauai watching the sunset from the rare black sand on Waimea Beach, have the family in tow and are discovering the island by horseback, or are seeking adventure in the form of a helicopter tour above the rugged terrain, having the right hotel to serve as your home base can make all the difference. Here are some of our favorite places to stay on the Garden Island:
Sheraton Kauai Resort – Overlooking Poipu Beach on Kauai’s south shore, the Sheraton is an immaculate property that is a destination in its own right. The private bungalows cradle you in comfort as the gentle ocean breeze delivers plumeria-scented dreams. Have a side of a breathtaking views with your meals at one of two oceanfront restaurants. When the day ends, the king bed in your stately guestroom will help you recharge for tomorrow.
Kauai Marriott Resort – Take your pick of the spectacular outdoor activities located near this equally spectacular resort. Explore the wetlands in Huleia National Wildlife Refuge, tee-off at Hokuala Golf Course, or simply watch the clouds roll by from your beach blanket on Kalapaki cove. After you’ve experienced the surrounding beauty, enjoy a rejuvenating treatment at the on-site spa, refuel at one of the resort’s six eateries, and rest-up in your spacious, comfortable guestroom.
Kauai Beach Resort – As the sun rises from the east, be the first to greet it as you practice the traditional sunrise chant from the lush green hotel lawns with the staff and fellow guests. Fill your days sunning by one of the four pools, being entertained by traditional music and dance, or by exploring the towering mountains to the north and rugged canyons to the south. No matter what your day holds, be sure to include a Ko’s shave ice as a proper cooldown.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa – Situated above Shipwreck Beach on Keoniloa Bay, the 50 oceanfront acres of the Grand Hyatt plays host to one of the best traditional Polynesian Luaus on Kauai. The colorful costumes of the dancers mirror those of the property’s décor, and their dynamic energy is mimicked by the resort’s gracious staff. Enjoy the balance and harmony of lokahi—another island tradition—with a day amongst the lush gardens, waterfalls, and pools at the 45,000-square foot Anara Spa.
Like every island in the Hawaiian archipelago, Kauai is full of hidden gems and natural wonder that beg to be explored. Your time on the Garden Island will be made even more memorable with stops at these major attractions:
Napali Coast – Whether it is from sea-level in a boat or from above in a helicopter, the rugged beauty of Napali’s green pinnacles rising above the shoreline is 17 miles of staggering awe. No matter the perspective, witnessing a brilliant waterfall cascade over verdant velvet cliffs into the Pacific should not be missed.
Poipu Beach Park – Once voted “America’s Best Beach,” this strip of serenity along Kauai’s southern shore is the perfect place to sunbathe with monk seals, swim with sea turtles and colorful fish, and breathe in the same island air as the humpback whales breeching just off shore.
Waimea Canyon – It may not be quite as big or as old as its counterpart in Arizona, but the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” still offers visitors 14 miles of unparalleled panoramic views of gorges, buttes, and crags that descend 3,600 feet down to Koke’e Stream below.
Recurring Festivals and Events
The Garden Island is an outdoor feast for the senses, and Kauai’s annual events reflect that. If your Kauai vacation happens to occur when one of these festivals is taking place, be sure to include it on your itinerary:
Prince Kuhio Celebration of the Arts – Every March, learn about Hawaiian royalty through demonstrations and talk-stories by cultural specialists, and be entertained with live local music, artisan fare, and Taiko drumming.
Koloa Plantation Days – This ten-day festival in June pays homage to the many ethnic groups that came together to work on the island’s sugar plantations through dance, music, costumes, and food.
Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar Festival – Find your island groove at this festival dedicated to the mellow, iconic acoustic guitar style traditional to the Aloha State.
Let Travelocity help make your island dreams a reality. Your mind’s wonderland comes to life in this real-world fantasy island. And, when you bundle your hotel and airfare together with one of our Kauai package deals, you’ll save enough to explore every facet of the Garden Island like true Hawaiian royalty.
Nestled on the beach, this Wailua hotel is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Smith Family Garden Luau and 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Lydgate Beach Park. Wailua Golf Course and ...
Hotels location close to the beach was excellent.Room with Garden View,well no garden view.The only thing we did not like was the bathroom and definitely not for handicap people.The toilet very low with no handle bar and the sink inside a narrow opening with no room to move.The proximity of the Lava ...
Situated on one of the world's most beautiful sites, this new Kauai resort overlooks Hanalei Bay and the emerald Napali Coast. Ancient sea caves, lagoons, a ...
Fabulous hotel overlooking Hanalei BayWe had a wonderful two night stay at the St Regis Princeville. The amenities and hotel staff were great. The buffet breakfast was over the top. The only disappointment was dinner at the Makana Terrace but the manager did make it right for us. Our fish dinners were overcooked and not as described ...
3610 Rice Street Kalapaki Bch, Lihue 4.5 out of 5.0
4.3 out of 5 (101 reviews)
Just 1.5 miles from Lihue Airport on Kauai's east coast, this Hawaiian resort drops down a lush hillside to a crescent beach on Kalapaki Bay and is adjacent ...
Beautiful hotel close to beachI have stayed at a lot of Marriott Hotels and this has to be the best experience we’ve ever had. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous. The staff truly go beyond it ensure you’re comfortable.
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection
2641 Poipu Rd, Koloa 4.5 out of 5.0
4.6 out of 5 (8 reviews)
Located in Poipu, this spa resort is within 1 mi (2 km) of Shops at Kukuiula and Poipu Beach. Moir Gardens and Poipu Shopping Village are also within 10 ...
Very nice for KauaiPros: Newer facility, beautiful villas with full kitchens, washer/dryer. Great pool for kids, close to very nice off-premise shops and restaurants, friendly & professional staff, little noise but yet kid-friendly. Cons: Not actually "on the ocean", there is a frontage road and some buildings between ...
Located in Lihue, this beachfront condominium resort is next to a golf course and within a 10-minute walk of Nawiliwili Park and Kalapaki Beach. Port of Lihue ...
Good hotel ,lovely grounds, food ,drinks, viewHotel Heat generator broken causing frigid cold water in 36,000 sq ft pool. Asked desk about some consideration and was told sorry ! For northeast people to travel 1/3 across planet this was an important issue.What do you think?