Known as the Garden Isle, there’s a reason why Kauai is considered by many to be the most beautiful island in Hawaii. With its dramatic green mountains, pristine white sand beaches, and cascading waterfalls, it’s impossible not to fall head over heels for this beautiful corner of the world.
If you’re an outdoorsy type, Kauai is a dream come true! You can easily while away the days hiking along the lush Napali Coast, exploring the otherworldly Waimea Canyon State Park, and marveling at the majestic humpback whales frolicking in the ocean. Or if you’re visiting for a relaxing retreat or a romantic getaway, you spend your time lounging around the pool, getting beachfront massages, and sipping sunset Mai Tais!
If you really want to get into the Hawaiian spirit, it’s well worth visiting the magical little town of Hanalei. Located on the main road to the Napali Coast, Hanalei is home to some of the island’s best restaurants, art galleries, and Kona coffee shops. If you want to check out one of Kauai’s cutest towns, be sure to stop off in Old Kapaa Town or Old Koloa Town in the south.
No visit to Kauai is complete without soaking up the sun at Tunnels and Poipu beaches, marveling at the Waipo’o Waterfall and Wailua Falls, and going hiking along the popular Maha’ulepu Heritage Trail and Kalalau Trail.
After an adventure-filled day, be sure to reward yourself with a Mai Tai and a fresh seafood dinner at one of Kauai’s many oceanfront restaurants. It’s the perfect way to end the perfect day on Kauai!
If you’re looking for a place to stay, there’s no doubt that Kauai is brimming with stylish boutique hotels, lavish oceanfront resorts, and incredible family-friendly hotels. So many, in fact, that you might have a hard time choosing the perfect one. So we’ve created a list of the 12 best hotels on Kauai to help you plan your perfect getaway!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: 12 Cool Boutique Hotels on Kauai, HI
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Where to Stay on Kauai
It’s no secret that some of the best hotels on Kauai are clustered around the South Shore of the island. Home to Poipu Beach Park, the shops of Old Koloa Town, and plenty of excellent snorkeling spots, you’ll be spoiled with things to do. Plus, Waimea Canyon State Park and Lihue Airport are within easy reach so the location is incredibly convenient.
The North Shore is the second-most popular area to stay on Kauai. While the major draw is the white sand beaches framed by the towering green mountains, you can also explore all of the shops and eateries in the bustling towns of Hanalei and Princeville. And if you want to go hiking along the scenic Napali Coast, the Kalalau Trail is just a short drive away.
If you’re traveling on a tighter budget, the east side of Kauai has a wide selection of mid-range hotels. This is the most populous part of the island, which means you’ll have all sorts of options when it comes to dining and shopping. And if you really want to get away from it all, a hotel in the wild and remote West Coast is a convenient jumping-off point for excursions into Waimea Canyon State Park.
12 Best Boutique hotels on kauai
If you’re looking for an intimate resort, Ko’a Kea is one of the best boutique hotels on Kauai. Set on the beautiful Poipu Beach, Ko’a Kea is the closest resort to the ocean on the island. On warm days, you may even spot endangered Hawaiian monk seals sunbathing on the sand!
The ultra-friendly staff will go above and beyond to make sure you have the best stay possible. They even gift you with a complimentary bottle of wine, a box of macadamia nuts, and fresh orchids upon arrival! If you really want to get into the Kauai spirit, order up a Mai Tai and watch the hotel’s nightly tiki torch lighting ceremony.
Ko’a Kea has everything you need for a magical vacation. You can get pampered with a kukui coconut-infused hot stone massage at the spa, soak up the sun around the palm-tree studded pool area, or sip umbrella drinks at the pool bar.
For dinner, head over to the resort’s award-winning restaurant, Red Salt. Open for breakfast and dinner, the restaurant specializes in fresh seafood dishes. You can dine on lobster benedict in the mornings and Madagascar vanilla bean-seared mahi-mahi in the evenings.
After a sun-filled day, you’ll love relaxing in the beautiful rooms, which all boast private lanais, tropical decor, and marble-accented bathrooms with botanical bath products. If you want to go all out, the oceanfront rooms and suites are well worth the splurge!
With 602 rooms, The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa somehow manages to give off boutique hotel vibes despite its large size. The resort is nestled on 50 acres of land near Poipu Beach. Whether you’re looking for a romantic retreat or embarking on an epic family vacation, The Grand Hyatt is the perfect pick.
The resort has so many amazing amenities there’s no need to leave if you don’t want to. You can spend your days getting massaged at Anara Spa, exploring the hotel’s lush grounds, or hanging out around the pool bar. You’ll love splashing around the award-winning multi-level pools, saltwater lagoon, and lava rock lazy river!
When it comes to drinking and dining, you’ll be spoiled for choice. The hotel is home to six excellent bars and restaurants.
If you want to do something special, learn all about the cultural history of the Hawaiian people during the weekly luau. For a romantic night out, make reservations to have a lavish 4-course dinner on the beach and get waited on hand and foot by your private butler!
The dreamy rooms are all outfitted with private lanais, plush beds, and Hawaiian decor. You can brew your morning coffee with the Nespresso coffee maker, luxuriate in the marble ensuite, or get cozy in your bathrobe and have a relaxing movie night with the 65-inch flat-screen.
Hanalei Bay Resort is an amazing option if you’re looking for your home away from home on the North Shore of Kauai. Set on 22 tropical acres in Princeville, the 98 condo-style units boast either one or two bedrooms. So this is a great option if you’re traveling with a group of friends or with family!
You can prepare meals for the group in the fully outfitted kitchen, have a movie or game night in the spacious living room, or take a seat on the balcony and enjoy the ocean and mountain views.
Explore the stunning property and you’ll find a lagoon pool overlooking Hanalei Bay, a spa in the volcanic rock grotto, and an adorable ukulele bar. The resort offers a long list of activities – from wine tastings to movie nights to tennis lessons.
If you feel like cooking a meal at home, there’s a Foodland Princeville grocery store just two miles down the road where you can pick up supplies. If you’d rather dine out, head over to Happy Talk Bar & Lounge. This casual hotel restaurant serves up something for everyone, including pupus (Hawaiian-style appetizers), pizzas, and sandwiches.
If you’re looking to stay in a quintessentially Hawaiian hotel, Waimea Plantation Cottages is one of the most unique hotels in Kauai.
Located on an old sugar plantation in western Kauai, this is the perfect location if you’re planning to explore Kauai’s most famous natural attraction, Waimea Canyon. Kauai Coffee Estate is also a mere nine miles away. You can sample some local coffee during a tour of the plantation and pick up a couple of bags of freshly roasted beans to bring home with you!
Depending on how large your group is, you can choose from a range of one- to five-bedroom cottages. The 59 charming cottages were built between the 1880s and 1930s and are set right on the beach. Inside you’ll find casual Hawaiian decor, classic rattan and wicker furniture, and fully outfitted kitchens.
The spacious front porch is the perfect place to sip your morning coffee. If you feel like hosting a barbeque for your friends and family, you can use the grill in the backyard to prepare a seafood dinner. There is a fantastic Japanese market right down the road where you can pick up a variety of fresh seafood!
Hanalei Colony Resort is Kauai’s only beachfront hotel located on the North Shore. Not only will you have panoramic views of Hanalei Bay but the towering mountains serve as an incredible backdrop. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Hanalei Colony Resort was designed for guests to truly unplug from everyday life and appreciate all of the island’s natural beauty. So don’t expect to find TVs, radios, or phones in the apartment-style suites.
Housed in plantation-style buildings, each condo has two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a private lanai. Large picture windows offer sweeping views of either the shimmering ocean or the lush mountains.
The hotel offers complimentary transport to the nearby beaches and the towns of Hanalei and Princeville. When you’re not adventuring around town, you can get pampered at the on-site spa, explore the hotel’s five tropical acres of land, or frolic in the ocean. The hotel is also home to the beachfront restaurant Opakapaka Grill and Bar, where you can sip sunset drinks and dine on sea-to-table dishes.
The sprawling Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort has everything you need for the ultimate Hawaii vacation. Whether you’re visiting with your little ones or in town on a romantic retreat, Royal Sonesta won’t disappoint.
The resort is set right on the picture-perfect Kalapaki Beach. Not only does Royal Sonesta boast the largest one-level pool in Hawaii but you can take in ocean and mountain views while floating in the pool!
The hotel also has five bars and restaurants, including Toro-Tei Sushi Bar and a branch of the iconic Hawaiian eatery Duke’s. If you happen to be in town during the weekend, you can sip cocktails and listen to live music at the hotel on Friday and Saturday nights. The hotel also hosts a weekly luau if you really want to get into the Hawaiian spirit!
You’ll love relaxing in the modern rooms. You can wake up in the comfy beds, brew your morning cup of coffee with the in-room coffee maker, and take in the ocean or garden views from the spacious balcony. If you’re in town for a special celebration or traveling as a group, the Ocean View Suites boast separate bedrooms, stylish living rooms, and wraparound balconies with gorgeous views.
If you’re planning a luxurious Hawaiian vacation, Timber’s is one of the best hotels on Kauai. The hotel’s 47 multi-bedroom residences are scattered across 450 oceanfront acres on the South Shore of the island. Plus, Lihue Airport is just two miles away, so the location is super convenient.
You can choose from two- to four-bedroom luxury residences. Each home is completely unique but expect to find modern amenities, tropical decor, and all sorts of dreamy added touches. You can cook up family meals in the gourmet kitchen, luxuriate in the deep soaking tubs, and enjoy unreal ocean views from the multiple lanais. Each residence comes equipped with an iPad concierge service in case you need anything!
Explore the property and you’ll find 13 miles of scenic trails, two infinity pools with stunning ocean views, an award-winning Jack Nicklaus signature golf course, and a luxury spa. There is also an organic farm, where the hotel’s restaurant sources its fruits, veggies, and sugarcane from.
Hualani’s farm-to-table restaurant serves up some of the best food on the island. Think ahi tuna sashimi tataki, summer squash “spaghetti” with an herb emulsion, and pan-seared market fish with an orange saffron cream sauce.
Koloa Landing boasts so many cool amenities you’ll never have to leave this luxurious resort if you don’t want to. Accommodation options range from luxurious studios to three-bedroom villas. But if you want to go all out, the Penthouse Suite is absolutely incredible.
One of the coolest things about this resort is its three spectacular pools. You can also splash around in the waterfalls, go for a soak in the Japanese tub, or sip cocktails at the poolside bar and grill. Wander the grounds, and you’ll also find an on-site spa, a gym, and a volleyball court.
If you want to cook meals in your chef’s kitchen, you can pick up supplies at the nearby gourmet farmers’ market. Or you can arrange to have your pantry fully stocked with everything you need – from pancake mix to wine – during your stay.
Kukui’ula Village is just a short stroll away and is home to over a dozen casual and upscale eateries. On certain weeknights, you can gather around the fire pit and enjoy complimentary s’mores. It’s the perfect way to end a fun-filled day on Kauai!
Set on 25 palm tree-studded acres of land, Kauai Beach Resort & Spa is one of the best hotels on Kauai. Not only is it perched right on the beach, but Lihue Airport is conveniently located just three miles down the road. And if you want to play a round of golf or two, Wailua Golf Course is next door.
The resort is the perfect mix of traditional Hawaiian culture and modern amenities. You’ll love soaking up the sun around the four lagoon-style pools, stargazing from the two hot tubs, and sipping Mai Tais on the beach. If you want to explore the nearby attractions, Hanalei Bay, Waimea Canyon, and Poipu Beach are all within easy reach!
Fill up for an adventure-filled day with the lavish breakfast buffet at Naupaka Terrace. You can also grab bar bites and drinks at the poolside bar during the day. For dinner, head over to Shutters Lounge, which serves up everything from burgers to tacos.
The bright and breezy rooms all boast mid-century modern decor, plush beds, and floor-to-ceiling windows leading to private lanais. The mini-fridge, coffee maker, and iPod docking station are handy added touches. If you’re willing to splurge, you can’t go wrong with the ocean view suites!
If you’re looking to base yourself on the North Shore, the Westin is the perfect pick. This sprawling resort is perched on the cliffs overlooking the shimmering ocean. Plus, you can easily have a beach day at nearby Anini Beach, take in the views from Hanalei Valley Lookout, and go zip-lining at Princeville Ranch Adventure.
But if you’re in full vacation mode and don’t want to leave the resort, you don’t have to! You can easily spend a week working on your tan at one of the pools, grilling up burgers for the group at the outdoor barbeque station, and enjoying sunset drinks with an ocean view. Once you work up an appetite, head over to Nanea Restaurant & Bar for fresh local seafood dishes or stop by Wailele Bar for a poolside snack.
The beautifully decorated studios and suites are all outfitted with kitchens with dishwashers, electric ranges, microwaves, and full-size fridges. You can shop for groceries at the on-site market if you want to prepare your own meals. The stylish rooms also boast super comfy Heavenly mattresses, large flat-screens, and furnished lanais.
11. The ISO
The ISO is set right on the ocean in the east coast town of Kapa’a. Not only is the Lihue Airport just seven miles away, but you’ll have easy access to attractions like Opaeka‘a Falls and Sleeping Giant Trailhead.
When you’re not out exploring this incredible island, you can float in the oceanfront pool with a cocktail in hand, go snorkeling at the beach, or get competitive at the tennis and shuffleboard courts.
You’ll love dining on fresh surf and turf dishes at the hotel’s oceanfront restaurant, The Bullshed. The restaurant also hosts a traditional Hawaiian pau hana (end of work), where you can mingle with fellow guests over drinks and live music!
The newly renovated rooms are outfitted with shabby chic decor, pillow top beds, and large flat-screen TVs. You can brew your morning cup of joe using the in-room coffee maker and free Hawaiian coffee, hunker down with a good book on your private lanai, and sip sunset cocktails on your balcony.
If you’re planning an epic family vacation, the Sheraton Kauai Resort is an excellent option. You can choose from chic studios and spacious one- and two-bedroom villas, so there’s enough room for everyone. Plus, you’ll have all the creature comforts of home!
The oceanfront resort is located on the South Shore, just one mile from the popular Poipu Beach Park. Explore the lush grounds and you’ll find two inviting pools, a hot tub, and a fully outfitted fitness center. If you really want to tap into the hotel’s Hawaiian spirit, be sure to attend the traditional luau or make reservations for a romantic Halelani Dinner.
You can get your morning Starbucks fix and pick up grab-and-go snacks at the [email protected] Cafe or hang out poolside and order umbrella drinks and light bites at Lava’s on Po’ipū Beach.
The hotel also happens to be home to one of the most buzzing eateries in town. RumFire Poipu Beach features 180-degree ocean views from every seat in the house and serves up excellent locally sourced, globally-inspired dishes. Think Japanese pear flatbread, Hawaiian seafood banana curry, and misoyaki butterfish!
That’s it – 12 of the best Kauai hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels on Kauai? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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