Of all of the islands of Hawaii, Kauai is an outdoor lover’s paradise. Nicknamed “The Garden Island”, 97% of Kauai is undeveloped mountain ranges and rain forests. With stunning natural landscapes like the Na Pali Coastline, Waimea Canyon, Mount Waialeale, Hanalei Bay, and Wailua Falls, visitors from around the world flock to the island of Kauai. As an Oahu local, I love visiting this neighboring Hawaiian island!
With beautiful beaches and miles of tropical rainforest, there are hundreds of fantastic vacation rentals around Kauai from which to choose. You’ll find unique Airbnbs everywhere from the surf town of Hanalei to the luxurious neighborhood of Koloa. As a matter of fact, there are so many cool vacation homes that you’ll probably find it difficult to choose!
To make planning your Hawaiian holiday a breeze, I have hand-selected 12 of the best Airbnbs on Kauai. Read on to discover some of the island’s coolest holiday rentals – from rustic jungle bungalows to luxurious beach villas. Aloha!
- Top 10 Things To Do on Kauai
- Why Stay in an Airbnb on Kauai
- Best Kauai Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
- Best Kauai Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
- Best Kauai Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events
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Top 10 Things To Do on Kauai
- Spot a rainbow at Wailua Falls. The best time is early in the morning when the sun hits this 140-foot waterfall just right!
- Marvel at Waimea Canyon, nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Make sure you stop at the Waipoo Falls Lookout for a view of the incredible 800-foot waterfall on the opposite side of the canyon.
- Visit the striking Na Pali Coast. While you can’t get there by car, you can hike part of the Kalalau Trail, take a boat tour, or fly over in a helicopter.
- Soak up the sun at Hanalei Bay, one of the best beaches on Kauai.
- See Opaeka’a Falls from afar. This 150-foot waterfall breaks into three separate cascades and creates a stunning visual.
- Watch local wildlife including turtles, monk seals, humpback whales, and Nene geese (the endangered state bird of Hawaii) at the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
- Take a peek at the captivating, geometric landscape from the Hanalei Valley Lookout. This setting is actually one of the largest taro patties in the Hawaiian Islands.
- Sample locally grown coffee at the Kauai Coffee Company. This local farm has dozens of coffee types for you to try.
- Visit the iconic Hawaiian town of Hanapepe. While this tiny town is just over one square mile, it’s home to many landmarks and events, including the Hanapepe Swinging Bridge, the Talk Story Bookstore, and Hanapepe’s Art Night.
- Explore Kokeʻe State Park. While you can see a corner of the Na Pali Coast from the lookout points, consider taking a hike deeper into the mountains. If the weather allows, you might even make your way to Mount Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on the planet!
Why Stay in an Airbnb on Kauai
There are numerous advantages to staying in an Airbnb on Kauai. For starters, you can choose the exact area of the island that you want to stay in. You can stay in luxurious Koloa, the surfer town of Hanalei, or totally off-the-grid in a remote jungle cottage.
Plus, there are so many fun and unique Airbnbs to choose from on Kauai! Stay in a traditional Hawaiian-style cottage, a modern eco-chic jungle villa, or a luxurious contemporary home. You can pick a Hawaiian vacation home that perfectly fits your vibe and style of travel.
And if you need another reason, most Kauai Airbnbs are significantly more spacious than your average hotel room in Hawaii. And they often offer cool extra amenities like private pools, bikes, and beach supplies.
Staying at an Airbnb is also a wise way to spend your money. It’s typically much more cost-effective to stay in an Airbnb than at a hotel, especially on Kauai, where the prices of hotels can be quite high. As an example, if you’re traveling with friends or family, you’ll find yourself paying for multiple hotel rooms. But with an Airbnb, you and your group can split the price of a single large vacation home.
Finally, one of the greatest perks of staying in an Airbnb on Kauai is the fact that you can connect with a local before you even set foot on the island. Many Airbnb hosts are very friendly and love to share local Hawaiian tips! Find out about hidden beaches, secret hikes, and local grindz (Hawaiian slang for delicious food).
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The 12 Best Airbnbs on Kauai
Best Kauai Airbnbs for Couples and Solo Travelers
Nico Hale is a secluded jungle cottage on Kauai’s North Shore. With a boho-chic style, tons of natural light, and a stunning natural setting, you’re guaranteed to fall in love with this cool Kauai Airbnb.
The Nico Hale has two cozy bedrooms, an adorable living room, a rustic dining area, and a full kitchen. And don’t forget to enjoy the balcony, screened in lanai, and the outdoor shower. This vacation home also comes with snorkel gear, beach towels, and bodyboards – everything you need for the beach!
Situated in the laid back town of Hanalei, this home definitely snagged a prime piece of real estate. It’s close to the start of the famous Kalalau Trail, as well as three of the island’s best beaches: Hanalei Bay, Tunnels Beach, and Kee Beach. This quaint little cottage is definitely one of the best Airbnbs in Kauai.
Another totally unique Airbnb in Kauai is the Ka Hale O’Luina. Situated 20 minutes north of Poipu on 11.5 acres of private land, this remote jungle villa is one of the most peaceful and romantic accommodations on the island. As a matter of fact, it was featured by Forbes as one of the “10 Top Romantic Getaways from Around the World”.
With exposed wooden walls, floor to ceiling windows, and a setting overlooking the rolling green Kalaheo hills, it has an almost treehouse-like vibe. The remote setting of this luxurious villa allows guests to embrace nature and simply relax. It is a great place to turn off your worries and escape the hustle and bustle of life.
You’ll love the cozy four-poster bed, enormous crushed stone soaking tub, 800-square-foot covered lanai, and the beautiful new infinity pool.
It will be hard to leave this jungle hideaway, but should you decide to venture out you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that the location of Kauai Airbnb is actually quite convenient. Situated in Kalaheo, you’re about halfway between bustling Poipu and the laid back surfer town of Hanapepe.
In Hanapepe you can dine at the adorable Japanese Grandma Café and peruse the artwork at Hanapepe’s Art Night. Or, in Poipu you could hike the Mahaulepu Heritage Coastal Trail or watch the Spouting Horn blowhole shoot water into the sky. The choice is yours!
Hale Minoaka is an adorable one-story cottage located in the elegant Poipu Beach Estates neighborhood. The Hale Minoaka incorporates nature into every aspect of its design – from the light flower print comforters to the river rock accents in the shower. Plus you’ll find dozens of small potted plants throughout this charming Kauai Airbnb.
This home has all of the essentials and more. In addition to a comfy queen-sized bed, a bright cozy sitting area, and a full kitchen, the Hale Minoaka also boasts an outdoor shower, a pair of bikes, and all the gear you could ever need for the beach!
Situated in the busy town of Poipu, the Hale Minoaka is right in the heart of the action. From the lovely beaches to the delicious local restaurants, you’ll be just a short drive from it all. Spot some Hawaiian green sea turtles at Brennecke’s Beach, admire the local greenery at Allerton Garden, and try a scoop or two of delicious ice cream from Lappert’s Hawaii.
This nature-inspired beachfront condominium has so many perks – the best of which is being just steps from Poipu Beach. It’s been recently remodeled with new furniture, kitchen appliances, and a heavenly king-sized bed.
The condo is tastefully decorated with leafy green pillows, framed photos of taro leaves, and live potted monstera plants. These touches of nature add a bright burst of life into every corner of this cozy Kauai Airbnb.
As an added bonus, guests who stay here get access to the Poipu Beach Athletic Club. This includes a fully equipped gym, a swimming pool, and even a waterslide which is perfect if you’re visiting with kids!
In addition to being so close to Poipu Beach, this Airbnb is just a short drive from many of Kauai’s top attractions. Visit Shipwreck Beach for some great waves, Little Fish Coffee for delicious acai bowls, and Mahaulepu Heritage Coastal Trail for stunning views.
Between the lovely interior design and perfect beachfront location, it’s easy to see why this condo has an almost perfect rating on Airbnb. You’d be hard-pressed to find a vacation rental in Kauai that offers a better value than this bright and airy condo.
Best Kauai Airbnbs for Small Groups and Families
The Surf Shack is undoubtedly one of the best Airbnbs on Kauai, even if only for the fun and thoughtful touches throughout. You can enjoy a cocktail in one of the colorful vintage tiki mugs at the “Thirst Aid Station”, the bathroom is stocked with aloe spritzer to help soothe a sunburn, and a curated newspaper is left for each guest – it’s filled with all of the best beaches, hikes, and eateries on the island.
This surf-inspired condominium has everything you need and more including two beautifully decorated bedrooms, a kitchen filled with all of the essentials, a welcome package to get you in the vacation spirit, and a balcony with a stunning ocean view. You’ll want for nothing while staying at the Surf Shack.
In addition to all the unique touches, this Kauai Airbnb also has a fantastic location. It’s just a short walk to Hideaway Beach, one of the best beaches on the island.
A stay at the Surf Shack also means you’re just a short drive from the Kilauea Lighthouse and Wildlife Refuge, the Kalalau Trail, Hanalei Bay, and Hanalei Valley Lookout. And make sure you stop by the nearby Holey Grail Donuts to try their unique taro-based donuts!
This mountain view vacation rental is actually part of the Waipouli Beach Resort, which means that you’ll get to enjoy both the condo and the resort property.
The condominium itself is sleek, clean, and modern with a well-appointed kitchen, sleeping arrangements for six, a living room, a dining area, and a mountain-view balcony. It’s already amazing but you get to add the fantastic resort amenities as well! Wind your way around the pool’s lazy river, soak the stress away in one of the three sand-bottom hot tubs, and take advantage of the air-conditioned gym.
Out of the many cool Kauai Airbnbs on this list, this mountain view condo is the only one in the lovely town of Kapaa. Thanks to its ideal location, this accommodation is just a few miles from two of the most popular waterfalls on Kauai – Wailua Falls and Opaekaa Falls.
And, if that isn’t enough, you can also ride down the Kapaa Bike Path, devour some delicious burgers at Street Burger, and even go mountain tubing down a series of historic irrigation canals with Kauai Back Country Adventures.
Hale Kamapua’a is one of the most unique Airbnbs on Kauai thanks to its Hawaiian-style architecture. With warm wood, nature patterns, and wicker furniture, there’s no question that this is a Hawaiian home. And for visitors to the island, this style of architecture is a welcome surprise.
Not only does this home have a beautiful Hawaiian-style interior design, there’s also sleeping arrangements for six, a well-appointed kitchen, a living area, and a dining area. And don’t forget to make use of the oceanfront balcony and outdoor shower!
Situated in the town of Hanalei, you’ll have easy access to all of the things to do on Kauai’s North Shore. Dive through the underwater tunnels at Tunnels Beach, start your trek on the Kalalau Trail, or relax at Hanalei Bay.
The thoughtful touches of The Bay Bungalow in Hanalei are what truly make this home stand out. With the recent remodel and modern amenities, you’ll have everything you could want and it’s undoubtedly one of the best Kauai Airbnbs!
First, there’s the interior design – the matte black pieces and distressed wooden furniture scattered throughout the bungalow provide an eye-catching contrast. The beachy white and blue color scheme is especially suitable for the setting. And the warm wood and lava rock outdoor showers (yes, there are two!) are an amazing added bonus.
All of these wonderful features are in addition to the two cloud-like beds, an ocean view deck, crackling firepit, luxury kitchen with Wolf appliances, and a scrumptious basket of welcome snacks.
The Bay Bungalow is in the lovely North Shore town of Hanalei. Catch the sunrise at Larson’s Beach, pop into the wet and dry caves, and catch some waves at Hanalei Bay.
Best Kauai Airbnbs for Large Groups and Events
You’ve probably noticed that many of the largest and coolest Airbnbs on Kauai are located in Koloa, and this tropical paradise house is no exception.
This 6,000 square-foot home is filled with all of the necessities and lots of fun extra amenities. Wake up in one of the five bedrooms, relax on the recliner sofa, prepare a meal in the well-equipped kitchen, and spend a day enjoying the private hot tub and pool.
And all of these gorgeous rooms are united by the tropical flower patterns found throughout the house on the pillows, bedspreads, tablecloths, and paintings.
This Koloa home is near many of the best things to do on Kauai. Grab a scoop of ice cream from Lappert’s Hawaii, catch some waves at Shipwreck Beach, and keep an eye out for turtles at Brennecke’s Beach.
Kukui’ula is one of the most elegant retreats on Kauai. The entire area is filled with luxury vacation homes, and you have a chance to stay in one at the Kukui’ula Club Villa.
The interior design of this Kukui’ula villa is a combination of traditional Hawaiian and contemporary styles. With nature outside of every window and the warm wooden doors, windows, and cabinets throughout, this home has managed to seamlessly intertwine the interior with the exterior.
This Kauai Airbnb also boasts a whole host of fantastic amenities including an outdoor shower surrounded by a lava rock wall, an inviting outdoor patio area, a firepit, and a private pool. Outside the villa, but on the Kukui’ula property, you’ll find a large pool complex, a golf course, tennis courts, and a farm filled with bass and fresh produce for you to enjoy!
Situated in Koloa, this Kukui’ula villa is in one of the nicest parts of Kauai. You can embrace the high-class atmosphere of the area by wandering around The Shops at Kukui’ula or hitting some balls at the Kukui’ula Golf Course.
Or, if you’d prefer to do what the locals do, stop by the weekly farmers market at The Shops at Kukuiula, grab a tasty treat from the Kauai Juice Co., and try the shave ice from Waikomo Shave Ice.
Boasting a private pool with three waterfalls and sleeping arrangements for up to 16 people, Hale Kailani has secured itself as one of the coolest Kauai Airbnbs. This brand new home is the perfect place for you and your extended family or a big group of friends to spend your time on Kauai.
Enjoy all of the touches of this modern interior which features an open floor plan and vaulted ceilings. Wake up to natural sunlight in each of the bedrooms, whip up a delicious meal in the gourmet kitchen, and spend a few hours lounging in the private pool.
Hale Kailani also happens to be in a fantastic location. Peruse The Shops at Kukuiula, go for a swim at Poipu Beach, and dine at the fabulous fusion restaurant known as Eating House 1849.
Mahana Makai, which means “seaside retreat” in Hawaiian, truly lives up to its name. Situated in the Kukuiula Private Resort Community, this luxurious home will make you feel like a millionaire!
This wonderful home successfully merges the indoor with the outdoor. Many of the rooms completely open up to the landscaping and pool outside so you can breathe in that fresh ocean air all day long. While you’re dozing in one of the seven beds or eating at the hardwood dining table, you can enjoy the perfect Hawaiian weather.
Venture outside of this glamorous mansion and barbeque burgers for dinner, take a dip in the private pool, and wash off in the lava rock outdoor shower.
While you may be tempted to spend all of your time in Mahana Makai, be sure to experience what Kauai’s South Shore has to offer as well. Tackle the Mahaulepu Heritage Coastal Trail, try a few samples of locally grown coffee at Kauai Coffee, and relax at Poipu Beach.
That’s it – 12 of the best Airbnbs on Kauai! Do you have a favorite vacation rental on Kauai? 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.