Located on the North Shore of Kauai, Hanalei is a cute little town that’s absolutely perfect for a quiet Hawaiian getaway. In Hanalei, there are no buildings taller than the palm trees (as per Kauai law) and none of the crowds that you’ll find in the more touristy area of Poipu. During your stay, you’ll likely find yourself slipping into the relaxed pace of island life.
As a Hawaii local, I’ve been lucky enough to visit Hanalei a few times and I always find it hard to leave this peaceful corner of Kauai.
And don’t worry about getting bored in Hanalei – there are plenty of fun things to do. You can spend your days enjoying the famous Hanalei Bay, you can hike the strenuous Kalalau Trail for views of the Na Pali Coast, or dine on some of the best food on the island from one of the many local restaurants.
There are also plenty of fun vacation rentals to choose from in Hanalei. Whether you stay in a secluded jungle cottage for two or host a dozen people at a luxury beachfront estate, there are so many cool Hanalei Bay Airbnbs to choose from! And picking the perfect one is half the fun of planning your holiday.
Here you’ll find my list of the 12 best Airbnbs in Hanalei Bay to help you get started. Read on to discover some of the most unique vacation rentals on the north shore of Kauai and start planning your perfect island getaway!
Note: If you’re still deciding where to stay on the island make sure you check out my list of the best Airbnbs on Kauai.
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Top 10 Things To Do in Hanalei
While staying in Hanalei, be prepared to spend a lot of time in nature, whether that’s hiking challenging trails, wandering through botanical gardens, or relaxing on sunny beaches.
- Spend the day enjoying the sun and sand at Hanalei Bay. Many people believe it’s the best beach on Kauai.
- Hike the Kalalau Trail (or at least part of it). This 11-mile trail will give you unparalleled views of the Na Pali Coast, as well as access to hidden beaches and waterfalls.
- Relax at Ke’e Beach. With golden sand and turquoise waters, what more could you ask for?
- Explore the wet and dry caves – officially called the Waikanaloa and Waikapalae Wet Caves and the Maniniholo Dry Cave. While you can venture into the depths of the Maniniholo Dry Cave (with a strong flashlight, of course), the water is stagnant in the wet caves so, unfortunately, there is no swimming allowed.
- Watch the sunset at the historic Hanalei Pier. During the early 20th century, this pier was used to export sugarcane and rice, two major Hawaiian crops at the time.
- Stare in awe at the geometric landscape seen from the Hanalei Valley Lookout. Hanalei Valley is one of the largest taro patties in the Hawaiian Islands.
- Buy a box of Holey Grail Donuts. This local donut establishment makes their flavorful donuts from taro grown in Hanalei.
- Swim through the underwater tunnels at Tunnels Beach. Make sure to bring a mask and snorkel so you can experience a breathtaking underwater world!
- Find the hidden gem known as Lumahai Beach. Not many visitors know about this expanse of golden sand.
- Wander around the Limahuli Garden and Preserve. This ocean view garden is filled with Polynesian plants and a bit of Hawaiian history.
Why Stay in an Airbnb in Hanalei Bay
There is really just one single hotel in Hanalei – the Hanalei Colony Resort. While there are several more hotels and resorts in nearby Princeville, it’s much busier and doesn’t offer the same laid back vibe as Hanalei Bay.
Luckily, there are plenty of fun and unique Airbnbs to choose from in Hanalei! You can stay at an adorable ocean-front bungalow, a secluded jungle cottage, or opt for a luxurious 5-bedroom villa. You’re sure to find a vacation home that perfectly fits your vibe and style of travel.
It’s also worth noting that Airbnbs are more spacious and a better value than hotel rooms. And they often offer lots of free beach gear such as lounge chairs, ice chests, boogie boards, and even standup paddleboards.
Finally, one of the greatest perks of staying in an Airbnb in Hanalei Bay is the fact that you can connect with a local before you even arrive in Kauai. Airbnb hosts are typically quite friendly and love to share local tips. You can find out about hidden beaches, secret hikes, and the best restaurants and food trucks in the area.
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The 12 Best Airbnbs in Hanalei Bay
Best Hanalei Bay Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
Nestled in the mountains of Kauai and surrounded by jungle, Nico Hale is undoubtedly one of my favorite Airbnbs in Hanalei! With an abundance of natural light and an array of greenery placed both in and around the home, Nico Hale is guaranteed to put you in vacation mode.
This secluded cottage consists of two bedrooms (one king bed and one queen bed), a well-appointed kitchen, a cozy boho-chic living area, and a spacious screened-in lanai. And then there are the bonus amenities, like an open-air balcony, outdoor shower, relaxing hammock, and an expansive array of beach gear.
Located on the border of Hanalei and Haena State Park, Nico Hale manages to feel remote, but still be close to all the best things to do on the North Shore of Kauai. It’s the perfect place to stay if you want to hike the Kalalau Trail, visit Kee Beach, or stroll through Limahuli Garden and Preserve.
This ocean-inspired cottage is one of the top-rated Airbnbs in Hanalei. And with the fantastic amenities and amazing location, it’s easy to see why. This cute little guesthouse includes a cozy living room, full kitchen, a comfy king-sized bed in the bedroom, and a covered lanai surrounded by trees for privacy.
You’ll also be provided with all of the beach gear you could ever need including the bikes to get there! And you can even request to borrow a stand-up paddleboard. Once you’re finished at the beach, you’ll love having the outdoor shower so you can avoid tracking sand into your home away from home.
This guesthouse even has air conditioning which is not as common in Hawaii as you might expect and is a welcome bonus after a hot day at the beach.
With so much beach gear it should be no surprise that this cottage is just steps away from the famous Hanalei Bay. You can easily spend your entire trip soaking up the sun, swimming in the Pacific Ocean, and surfing the waves of this iconic beach.
Of course, you’re also just a short drive away from the rest of Hanalei’s attractions, as well as those in Princeville.
This secluded Hanalei cottage the perfect accommodation if you’re looking to get off the grid and enjoy a bit of rest and relaxation. Situated on a bluff overlooking the Wainiha River and surrounded by tropical plants, this Hanalei Airbnb offers a truly unique vacation experience.
While the home has a spacious living area, a fully-stocked kitchen, and a comfy queen bed, you’ll probably spend all your time outdoors, sitting on your Lanai or swimming in your private pool. You can pluck bananas and papayas right off the trees in your backyard and spend your evenings gazing at the stars while soaking in the hot tub.
As for the location, this garden cottage manages to feel totally secluded while still being within a 10-minute drive of Hanalei Bay, Tunnels Beach, the Kalalau Trail, and most other Hanalei attractions.
Best Hanalei Bay Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
Due to its Hawaiian-style architecture, Hale Kamapua’a is one of the most unique Airbnbs in Hanalei. The Hale Kamapua’a is designed in a plantation-style that was popular in Hawaii during the late 1800s. The home has an open floor plan, exposed wood beam ceilings, and wicker furniture.
In addition to the history-inspired architecture, Hale Kamapua’a has a huge open living area, a chef’s kitchen with stainless steel appliances, a master suite with a plush king-sized bed, and two additional bedrooms with queen-sized beds. The real highlight of this villa is the beautiful oceanfront lanai complete with BBQ and outdoor shower.
The location of Hale Kamapua’a easily makes it one of the best Airbnbs in Hanalei. You are literally steps away from the North Shore of Kauai and you can even watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean while sipping coffee on your lanai. It’s also just a short stroll along the sandy shoreline to reach Tunnels Beach – one of the best snorkeling sites on Kauai!
One of the best perks of staying in Hanalei is the potential to have views of both the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean and the lush jungle of Na Pali Coast. This lovely plantation-style home has both, making it one of the coolest Airbnbs in Hanalei.
With cozy furniture, vaulted ceilings, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, and loads of natural light, you’ll instantly fall in love with this plantation-style home. After a day of exploring Kauai, you can whip up a delicious meal in the luxurious kitchen, dine alfresco on the huge lanai, and then snuggle into one of the two king-sized memory foam beds.
As for the location, you can easily walk to the golden sand of the famed Hanalei Bay. And while you’re in the area, stop by the Hale Halawai’s Farmers Market and grab a delicious local treat from Wishing Well Shave Ice.
From the outside, The Bay Bungalow doesn’t look like much – just an unassuming, white, one-story home. But step foot inside this beachfront bungalow and you’ll see that the modern design and thoughtful touches truly make this Hanalei Airbnb stand out from the crowd.
Thanks to a recent remodel, The Bay Bungalow boasts an open floor plan, brand new kitchen, and large sliding glass doors that open straight out to the world-famous Hanalei Bay. Outside, you’ll find even more things to love about this vacation home – a large covered lanai, two outdoor showers, and, of course, million-dollar views of Kauai’s North Shore.
True to its name, The Bay Bungalow is just steps away from the famous Hanalei Bay. If you’re coming to Hanalei to surf then this is one of the best Airbnbs you could choose.
And if you want to explore further afield, Hanalei Pier, Hanalei Valley Lookout, and Holey Grail Donuts are also all very close by The Bay Bungalow.
Many past guests of this bright, inviting home have claimed that it is a hidden gem of Hanalei. And between the stylish interior and prime location, I think you’ll agree.
This Hawaiian-style home includes three bedrooms, a spacious kitchen with granite countertops, an adorable dining area, and a sunny lanai. Between the vaulted timber ceilings, whitewashed walls, hardwood floors, and pastel furnishings, it absolutely picture-perfect.
As with many of the best Airbnbs in Hanalei, this inviting home is just a short walk from Hanalei Bay. It also happens to be a 10-minute walk from some of the best restaurants in Hanalei, including Ama, Bar Acuda, and Wishing Well Shave Ice. And the owners have provided bikes so getting anywhere in Hanalei is a breeze!
Best Hanalei Bay Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events
With pristine white countertops, vaulted ceilings, and modern furnishings, this luxury beachfront home is one of the most luxurious vacation rentals in Hanalei.
This Airbnb has three bright bedrooms, two stocked kitchens, two large dining areas, and multiple welcoming seating areas. It sleeps 8, but if you need even more space you can rent the Modern Hanalei Cottage next door which has room for an additional 4 people.
In a luxurious vacation home you should expect a lot of extra amenities, and this Airbnb definitely delivers! You can enjoy a private lanai off of the master suite, a well-equipped outdoor kitchen with ample seating, a sumptuous soaking tub in the master bathroom, a large backyard, two outdoor showers, and incredible views of Hanalei Bay.
As for the location, it should be no surprise that this luxury home snatched up a prime piece of real estate. As already mentioned, it’s right on the shores of Hanalei Bay. But even better, it’s directly in front of the Pine Trees surf break so you can watch surfers while relaxing on the second story lanai.
Have you ever wanted to rent not just one Airbnb but two? Maybe you wanted to go on a trip with close family friends but didn’t want to share the same vacation rental? Then the Haena Hale Estate is perfect for you. This unique Hanalei Airbnb has a main house and a guest cottage – two Hanalei Airbnbs fo the price of one!
Between the two homes, there is space for 14 people. You’ll have access to two well-appointed kitchens, numerous cozy seating areas, an outdoor shower, and a big wrap-around lanai with a covered outdoor dining area. The Haena Hale Estate sits on a half-acre lot surrounded by tropical foliage which ensures your group will have complete privacy.
Both of the homes utilize nature-inspired design elements in the green-hued walls, exposed wood beam ceilings, wicker furniture, and plant-bedecked bedding. It’s hard to tell where the Hawaiian jungle ends and your vacation home begins.
The Haena Hale Estate is only steps away from Tunnels Beach. Don’t forget to bring snorkel gear so you can explore the natural underwater tunnels beneath the surface. Of course, the homeowners have provided plenty of beach gear from towels to lounge chairs.
And when you want to head into the town of Hanalei, it’s just a 10-minute drive away.
This beachfront home is an alluring combination of modern features and traditional Hawaiian design. Sink into the bamboo furniture while enjoying the ocean view out the floor-to-ceiling glass.
Hale Mo’olelo has three plush king beds, a stocked kitchen, a beautiful dining area, and a spacious seating area. And don’t forget to make use of the two large lanais – one oceanside and one mountainside! They’re the perfect place to sip your morning coffee, read a good book, or simply admire the breathtaking views.
The location of Hale Mo’olelo is practically perfect. Situated on the sandy shores of Tunnels Beach, you can wake up in the morning and jump into the Pacific Ocean within minutes. Direct beach access is a convenience you simply can’t beat in Hawaii. You’re also just a short distance from Kee Beach, the Waikanaloa and Waikapalae Wet Caves, and the Maniniholo Dry Cave.
As if that wasn’t all already enough reason to rent the Hale Mo’olelo, you’ll also love the generosity of the host, Holly. Not only does she have fantastic communication, but she also offers to get groceries ready for her guests’ arrivals and recommends the best local activities and tours. It’s just the icing on top of this amazing Halanei Airbnb!
As with many of Hanalei’s best Airbnbs, the Hale Haena has high vaulted ceilings, beautiful hardwood floors, and a calming ocean color palette of blues and greens. It’s also filled with bright natural light thanks to an abundance of large windows. It’s certainly one of the most welcoming Hanalei vacation rentals.
At Hale Haena, there are two king beds, two single beds, a galley kitchen with upgraded appliances, extremely spacious bathrooms, a beautiful seating area, an island-inspired dining area, and two balconies. There are also many bonus amenities, including a pair of bikes, tons of beach gear, a jetted whirlpool bathtub, and an outdoor shower.
This wonderful vacation home is right in the middle of all of the best Hanalei attractions. The hikes of the Na Pali Coast, the sights of Hanalei Bay, and the restaurants of Hanalei town are all within a short 10-minute drive.
This elegant beachfront estate is undoubtedly one of the coolest Airbnbs in Hanalei. While staying at this 7,000 square-foot beachfront home, you’ll feel like a millionaire!
Between the gated entrance, vaulted ceilings, surfboard wall hangings, unique tree trunk coffee table, and the views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Na Pali Coast, this vacation home looks like it belongs on Netflix’s The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes.
This massive home includes two master suites with four-poster king beds, an additional 2 guest rooms with queen beds, and a bunk room with 3 bunk beds. You’ll love the expansive indoor seating area with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the big dining area with its beautiful rough-hewn table, and the big lanais that are perfect for soaking up the fresh sea breeze.
The best feature, however, might be the luxurious standalone kitchen and bar, complete with a large gas grill, broiler, fridge, and seating for 10. It’s the perfect place to drink and dine with family while enjoying an island sunset!
As an added bonus, this estate also includes all of the beach gear you can imagine, and not just beach chairs and beach towels. You’ll also find hammocks, stand-up paddleboards, boogie boards, and even a sea kayak!
Last but certainly not least, this oceanfront home boasts a fantastic location on the shores of Hanalei Bay. It’s near all the best restaurants in town as well as all of the things to do in the neighboring town of Princeville. Try out your skills at the Makai Golf Course, find the secluded Hideaway Beach, and wander around the exquisite Princeville Resort.
If you want the best Airbnb in Hanalei for a wedding, family reunion, or just the Hawaii trip of a lifetime, then this is it!
That’s it – 12 of the best Airbnbs in Hanalei! Do you have a favorite vacation rental in Hanalei? Let us know in the comments below.
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Sarah Etinas – About the Author:
Sarah is a travel writer based on the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. When she’s not enjoying the stunning beaches and hikes of her home island, she’s going on exciting adventures all around the world. A few of her most thrilling adventures have included snowshoeing in the Swiss Alps, kayaking through a river of jellyfish in the Caribbean, and sleeping in a sandstorm in the Sahara Desert.