Planning a trip to Hawaii can be a lifelong dream, but deciding where to go in Hawaii can be overwhelming. After all, the small state in the middle of the Pacific Ocean actually consists of 137 recognized islands.
Of course, not every island is for tourists, nor will you find the best hotels in Hawaii, but each island has something unique.
Big Island, Maui, Kauai, and Oahu are the four main ‘tourists’ islands. So, if you are looking for lush greenery and lots of exceptional natural beauty on your vacation, Kauai is the one to focus on.
Read Next: What to Do on Every Hawaiian Island
Why You Should Visit Kauai
Besides having the best hotels on Kauai, it is Hawaii’s third-largest island. Yet, it has the largest number of beaches than any other island. Kauai also carries the nickname Garden Isle because it is lush with green and floral scenery.
Kauai has the most rainfall of all the islands. As a result, the island has more waterfalls and streams than any of the other islands in Hawaii. The wettest month is December, with 5.2 inches of rain on average.
April through September are the driest months, with only 2.3 inches of rainfall. However, don’t let the rain scare you off from having a majestic vacation because, in Kauai, most rain falls in the overnight hours, leaving the day with overflowing waterfalls.
The rainiest season in Kauai is also most alluring because December through March is prime humpback whale season.
So, planning a trip to see the whales while getting away from the colder temperatures of the north will have you sitting only on the north side of the island in 78 degrees, witnessing one of nature’s most incredible creatures.
But, of course, the westside has amazing humpback sightings as well. Whether it’s north or west for humpback Whales or south or east for the falls and ziplining, there are incredible resorts and the best hotels in Kauai.
Here is a look at some of the hottest spots to stay when vacationing on the island of Kauai.
The 5 Best Luxury Hotels In Kauai
Do you want to go all out on your vacation? These luxury hotels are for you.
- Location: 2641 Poipu Road, Poipu, Koloa, HI 96756,
- Average Price: $629
Only minutes from the beach, this resort has suites and villas available. For $929 a night, get a private 2-bedroom villa with a coastal view on the southern tip of Kauai. Windows are floor to ceiling in villas and suites to capture outstanding views.
Full kitchens and private laundry allow the comforts of home, while the spa brings relaxation and pampering to guests. Sit on a private balcony each morning before indulging in the Continental breakfast.
Local restaurants and shopping are only a short 10-minute walk from the resort. As if Kauai didn’t have enough water to offer, Koloa Landing has four swimming pools on the property.
Only 13 miles from the Port Allen Airport, Koloa Landing Resort is conveniently located for tourism and nature. All rooms offer free wi-fi, in-room coffee, and parking.
- Location: 1571 Poipu Road, Poipu, Koloa, HI 96756
- Average Price: $901
Surrounded by a tropical paradise, among river pools and a sandy beachfront, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is a luxurious getaway. Each room provides cable, free wi-fi, a workspace, a charging station, and a beverage refrigerator.
Rooms also have spacious marble bathrooms with double vanities, and if that isn’t relaxing enough, each room has a private balcony. Start the day with a breakfast buffet.
Then, hit the golf course for a round or spend the day at the Anara Spa and Salon. The spa offers massages, Hawaiian body treatments, facials, and hair care.
Lounge by the 24-hour swimming pool complex, featuring waterfalls and slides. The resort has 7 restaurants on the property, including the golf clubhouse and fine dining.
In addition, 6 lounges offer specialty drinks and fine wines. The Luau Show happens every Wednesday and Saturday and includes a Hawaiian buffet and a Polynesian dance show.
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort is family-friendly and has selected areas for adults only. It has been named one of the top resorts for couples. Reviews reveal the resort is ‘gorgeous’, ‘excellent’, ‘comfortable and clean’, and ‘felt like a nice country club’.
- Location: 4-820 Kuhio Highway A103, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $460
Location is everything at Aloha Beaches! It is luxury at a very reasonable price. Suites have a dishwasher, microwave, safety deposit boxes, and laundry.
The critically acclaimed winding pool complex is surrounded by tropical beauty, and a hot tub is available for guests to relax.
Aloha Beaches! is a beachfront property with amazing views of the beach and mountainside. An on-site waterpark is available for guests, as well as snorkeling equipment and beach toys.
- Location: 3610 Rice Street, Lihue, HI 96766
- Average Price: $460
Resting beside Kalapaki Bay, this luxury resort features 5 restaurants, a spa, 2 swimming pools, and an 18-hole golf course. There is a fitness center and hot tub for guests to gear up and relax.
If there is a need for work during play, there is a full-service business center on-site. The picturesque views of the beach or gardens are breathtaking. The sandy beach is mere feet from the resort, and the nightlife offers live music on Friday and Saturday.
Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue has received raved reviews on its location and excellent service. There’s also a special mention of Duke’s restaurant being a specific highlight of the resort.
- Location: 2251 Poipu Road, Poipu, Koloa, HI 96756
- Average Price: $699
Koa Kea is a pet-friendly luxurious setting. The small boutique resort has a spa, pool, on-site restaurant, furnished balconies, upscale décor, 24-hour room service, oceanside massages, and private room massages. There is direct access to the beach as well as a poolside bar.
Guests agree the food is delicious, and the service is excellent. Koa Kea is more famous for couples, but is still child friendly. The resort is only 3 miles away from the National Tropical Botanical Garden.
The 5 Best Mid-Range Hotels In Kauai
Do you want to save a bit on your hotel accommodations? No worries, these moderate resorts have you covered.
- Location: 2440 Hoonani Road, Poipu, Koloa, 96756
- Average Price: $431
According to guests, the Sheraton Kauai Resort has been called ‘Perfect in every way’. The resort offers suites and villas in the upper echelon of mid-range hotels. The rooms are above standard, and the villas are welcoming as a temporary home away from home.
The beach is a few steps away, or there is a pool option for guests. There is a gym to stay fit after indulging in the spoils of the resort’s restaurants. Auli’i Luau offers a dinner show featuring Hawaiian dancers and fiery excitement.
- Location: 420 Papaloa Road, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $299
Kauai Shores is an oceanfront location, offering a pool, oceanfront restaurant, The Lava Lava Beach Club, and a 6-acre tropical courtyard. It’s only 6 miles from Lihue Airport and minutes from local attractions, including helicopter tours.
The guest rooms are brightly decorated in a tropical vibe and feature free wi-fi, LCD television, Keurig, and a refrigerator.
In addition, there are private balconies to breathe in the mountain, ocean, or garden view. Guests have sung praises over the convenient location, excellent food, and cleanliness of the rooms.
- Location: 4331 Kauai Beach Drive, Lihue, HI 96766
- Average Price: $299
Kauai Beach Resort is a full-service resort located closer to the airport than the beach, but it is still only a 10-minute walk to the sand. The beautiful resort is luxury on a budget as it features private balconies, a spa, fitness center, 2 hot tubs, and 4 pools, covering 25-acres of beachfront property.
The resort includes 2 restaurants, bars, and live entertainment on a regular schedule. Guests continuously applauded the staff, calling them ‘wonderful’, ‘courteous’, ‘helpful’, ‘incredible’, and ‘made the stay even more enjoyable’.
- Location: 4-796 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $289
The ISO is an oceanfront hotel conveniently located near downtown Kapaa. The rooms are quaint and clean, but you have to keep them that way since there is no daily housekeeping service.
However, the rooms offer free parking, free wi-fi, coffee in the room, and an oceanfront view from a private Hawaiian-style patio. There is a swimming pool, firepit, and restaurant on-site.
In addition, there is a snorkeling beach, tennis court, shuffleboard, and a putting green on the premise for even more fun. Guest have claimed, ‘You can beat the price!”.
- Location: 650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $399
Sheraton does it again! Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort is budget-friendly glamor, featuring a spa, swimming pool, hot tub, and beachfront access. It’s only 6 minutes from downtown Kapaa and the golf course.
All rooms are brightly colored to match the tropical ambiance while offering balconies, free wi-fi, cable, coffee in the room, and priceless views.
Room service is available, or there are 3 dining options on-site. Off-site restaurants and shopping are also within walking distance. Guests loved having the option of being close to the beach without sacrificing the convenience of town life.
The 5 Best Budget Hotels In Kauai
Want to spend as little as possible on your accommodations? We understand. These resorts are affordable as well as comfortable for those wanting to explore Kauai on a budget.
- Location: 3-5920 Kuhio Highway, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $339
Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay is budget with a bang. The hotel has a selection of rooms, suites, and cottages available, surrounded by gorgeous settings near the beach, next to the Wailua River.
Guests receive an authentic Hawaiian welcome with a lei. In addition, the hotel has a business center with currency exchange. There is a fitness center, outdoor pool, hot tub, and a restaurant on-site.
Guest rooms feature a television, coffee maker, refrigerator, and work desk area, while the location has a 24/7 pantry mart. The Hilton is only 5 mi away from Lihue airport, 1 mile from a golf course, and a short drive to Sleeping Giant Trail.
The guests loved the ‘extras’, like free bike rentals, sunrise ceremonies, and grabbing drinks at the tiki bar. The breakfast was beyond many guests’ expectations.
- Location: 525 Aleka Loop, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $270
Plantation Hale is located in the center of everything. It is a taste of luxury that meets a budget-friendly wallet. The suites are feet from the beach and Coconut Plantation Market Place while having barbeque facilities are on-site, along with 3 swimming pools and shuffleboard.
Each room is bright with free wi-fi, cable, DVD player, coffee maker, a full kitchen, and a terrace or balcony, depending on the floor.
The reviews praise the ample space and clean atmosphere. The staff is friendly, and the location is super convenient to everything guests might need, like the beach, supermarket, and local shopping.
- Location: 440 Aleka Place, Kapaa, HI 96746
- Average Price: $269
Aston Islander On The Beach has an oceanfront pool and hot tub. If that’s not enough, it has just a short walk to the white sand beaches or local shopping complexes. Every guest is offered a tiki drink and drink voucher upon arrival.
The pool bar has live entertainment each day. Looking for more play, the Aston Islander On The Beach also offers access to the tennis court and golf course. Guest rooms are tropical tiki-inspired.
Each room includes free wi-fi, cable, microwave, refrigerator, private balcony, and a PlayStation 3.
In addition, guests have free parking, access to barbeque facilities, and free bike rentals. Previous guests loved the staff and the fantastic location. The rooms are clean and comfy, and the views are outstanding.
- Location: 2931 Kalena Street, Lihue, HI 96766
- Average Price: $155
Kauai Palms is conveniently next to the Lihue Airport. The facility has been rated as clean and comfortable while in a great location. Shopping and restaurants are nearby. The beaches are only a short drive and other fun activities, like snorkeling, golfing, hiking, and fishing.
The guest rooms are basic, with television, cable, a fan, and a refrigerator. However, air conditioning is an upgraded charge. Free wi-fi is available in common areas. Guests will also get free parking.
- Location: 2430 Hulemalu Road, Lihue, HI 96766
- Average Price: $293
The Kauai Inn has a charming plantation vibe next to Niumalu Beach Park. It has a pool with a beautifully landscaped property and pavilion. See green views of the Hula’eia Mountains in the distance.
The beach is a 20-minute walk from the inn, but is a short walk to the Nawiliwili Bay’s surfing and fishing. The guest rooms are tropical, offering television, cable, a refrigerator, microwave, and free local calls.
Although, free wi-fi is available only in common areas. There are barbeque facilities and complimentary coffee and tea accessible to guests.
Previous guests loved the majestic views and the friendly staff. The inn is clean, comfortable, and above expectations. The gardens are exceptional, with livestock and peacocks roaming freely.
Making the Most of Your Kauai Hotel Stay
Making the best of your stay in Kauai starts with the front desk of your hotel. Most hotel concierges love helping guests find exciting things to do on the island. Some hotel locations will even place the activities booking for you.
When in Kauai, take advantage of water activities, like fishing or snorkeling. Helicopter tours can let you experience the island from a different vantage point. There are also plenty of hiking options to visit the most remarkable falls on the planet.
Getting to the Hotel
When booking your trip, find out if your hotel offers shuttle services when you make your reservation. Another option is to book an airport shuttle or a shared shuttle service.
Don’t rely on alternatives like Uber the further you get from the airport. If you plan on actively traveling around the island, it might be best to rent a car.
Crime and Safety
Kauai County is in the 61 percentile regarding safety, meaning 39% of other counties in the US are safer. However, crime does happen in Kauai, with the highest crimes being burglary and theft. So be sure to lock your doors and don’t walk alone in an area you don’t know well.
- Many airlines offer direct flights to Lihue airport.
- The weather is always warm.
- Book a hotel that will accommodate you on your travels.
- Ensure the hotel has air conditioning since not everyone offers it free.
- Find out if your hotel offers shuttle service or if you should rent a car.
- Take advantage of booking activities to experience Kauai fully.
- Stay safe, lock doors, and remember that there is safety in numbers when touring around.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions? We have answers.
Where is the best area of Kauai?
The best areas of Kauai are
- South: Koloa, Lawai, and Poipu
- East Coast: Kapaa, Wailua, and Lihue
How many days should I spend in Kauai?
When vacationing in Kauai, it is best to plan a trip for 7-10 days, depending on travel time. Therefore, you should have 7 full days to experience the island of Kauai.
What side of Kauai is the Grand Hyatt on?
The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is on the south side of the island in Poipu. It is considered the sunny side of the island.
Which side of Kauai is best to stay on in December?
It is nicer weather on the south side of Kauai in December unless you plan to watch the humpback whales. The humpback whales are seen best on the north and west side of the island.
Do I need a car when visiting Kauai?
When visiting Kauai, it is best to have a plan for your transportation. Shuttles and taxis are available, but rideshares are scarce. If you plan to travel a lot, it’s best to rent a car.
So, What’s the Best Hotel In Kauai?
The best hotel in Kauai has to be Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue. It is luxurious and affordable, with an average price of $460; it’s on the beach, packed with complementary entertainment, and offers free shuttle service to its guests. You couldn’t ask for more.