Hawaii

Showstopping Kauai Resorts for a Calmer Hawaii Vacation

Oahu and Maui might be popular with tourists, but for a nature-filled Hawaiian vacation, these Kaui resorts have your name written all over!

Kauai comes swathed in natural beauty – from a backdrop of lush mountain vistas and fragrant frangipani flowers to fringing of crystalline waves and pristine beaches, everything here is a feast for the senses.

Ease into island life with time at a beachside spa hotel, or set down your bags in a charming plantation cottage for a truly authentic experience. Whatever your needs, this list of tantalizing Kauai resorts will acquaint you with some of the best places to stay in Kauai and get you ready to realize your Hawaiian dream.

A beach resort in Kauai for total relaxation

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Gaze out over mountains and ocean from the luxury confines of Courtyard Kaua’i at Coconut Beach. This dreamy Kauai hotel is right on the beach, meaning you’re just moments from the glittering ocean and soft golden sands at all times. Slip into the aloha spirit with a spot of surfing, or simply enjoy a sun-drenched nap next to the rolling waves.

Rooms here are geared towards optimum comfort. Stretch out across your plush king bed and welcome the day with complimentary coffee before relaxing with a soak in your ensuite’s generous tub. The on-site fitness center will entice you in for a rejuvenating workout, while the hotel’s exquisite spa is a soothing place to unwind with a Lomi Lomi – also known as ‘loving hands’ – massage.

If you’re keen to explore more of the island, a range of biking and hiking trails are easily accessed from the resort. Scale some of the nearby peaks for views over the shimmering Pacific, returning to the hotel in time for sundowner drinks. Start at Makai Lounge for malahini mojitos – drool-worthy concoctions made of dragon berry rum, strawberry and mint – then migrate to the main restaurant for cheese-swathed lobster gnocchi.

Highlights

Pua Day Spa

Exclusive packages specialize in massages, facials, and aromatherapy.

Sparkling pool

The open-air swimming pool is the idea place to cool off while enjoying the sun.

Courtyard Kaua'i at Coconut Beach

8.1 Very good (5671 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
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Cultural activities on Kauai's eastern shore

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At Kauai Beach Resort, you get the chance to immerse yourself in ancient Hawaiian culture. This resort on Kauai’s arresting eastern shore blends luxury amenities with traditional activities, making it a calming and comfortable space for discovering your spiritual side.

Greet the rising sun with a beachside yoga session, or kickstart your day in one of the hotel’s four swimming pools. If you’re looking to soak up the island lifestyle, onsite ukulele lessons and games of Hawaiian checkers will soon have you feeling like a local.

There’s fun to be had on the palm-fringed waterslide, and you’re never far from the poolside bar – just the place for cooling off with a frozen cocktail. Alternatively, take advantage of exclusive two-for-one green fees at nearby Hokuala Ocean Golf Course before winding down in the hotel spa. After a tailored facial using locally sourced products, you’ll be more than ready to devour the crab buffet that awaits at Naupaka Terrace Restaurant.

Highlights

Island-inspired menus

Exquisite dining spots showcase the flavors of Hawaii.

Rooms with private lanais

Guest room balconies, known locally as lanais, make the most of mountain and sea views.

Kauai Beach Resort

8.3 Very good (7976 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 8.8 / 10
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Indulgent Kauai resort for Hawaiian healing

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For five-star decadence, look no further than Princeville Resort. This elegant retreat on Kauai’s northern tip is an oasis of luxury amenities. If you love the water, you’re in for a particular treat – you can pad down to the sandy beach, float in the hotel’s acclaimed infinity pool or sink into the adjoining rock-lined whirlpool to soak away your cares.

Perched atop Hanalei Bay, this resort puts you right in place for ocean-based activities. Grab a snorkel to seek out tropical marine life, or hop aboard a boat and cruise out onto the sparkling water for a different view of the island. Poolside eatery Nalu Kai awaits on your return for a satiating lunch of Kilauea fish tacos and a fresh cucumber margarita.

Holidays were made for indulging, so hit the hotel’s retail gallery and stock up on fine jewelry dotted with shimmering South Sea pearls. Your deluxe Princeville Suite will be the ideal venue for an afternoon siesta, where you can lounge on a cushioned window seat with a cheeky tipple from the minibar. Come nightfall, put the gleaming in-room telescope to good use with a bit of stargazing.

Highlights

Halele’a Spa

The on-site spa draws on Hawaiian healing rituals to inspire indulgent pamper treatments.

Two on-site fitness centres

Both fully-equipped gyms are open 24 hours a day.

Princeville Resort

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (4414 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.4 / 10
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A historic Kauai resort with traditional charm

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Adventurers seeking that back-to-nature experience should head to Kauai’s west coast and Waimea Plantation Cottages. Styled after traditional Hawaiian abodes, this welcoming resort is set in the lush grounds of a former sugar plantation.

On-site kitchen facilities let you cook your own island-inspired meals, though if you’re after a treat you should visit Chicken in a Barrell BBQ & Bar. Open daily between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., this is the spot for pulled pork and chilli cheese fries – and, of course, a selection of ice-cold beers.

In the morning, you’ll wake to the sound of gently lapping waves in an Oceanfront Cottage. Savor a cup of coffee on your quaint wooden porch, then slip on your swimmers and make the short walk to the waiting waters of the Pacific.

After a refreshing ocean dip, you might migrate to the Activity Desk to book an adventure or two. Experience ziplining thrills, enjoy a whale-watching boat tour or even take to the skies for a jaw-dropping helicopter ride over the island.

Highlights

Traditionally decorated rooms

Period-inspired furnishings and polished wooden floors lend a warm and welcoming touch to all rooms.

Open-air pool

A charming swimming pool lends itself well to sunshine-filled days.

Waimea Plantation Cottages, a Coast Resort

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (990 reviews)
Excellent Service 8.8 / 10
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South coast luxury at this resort in Kauai for couples

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Hugging Kauai’s south coast is the luxury Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. This is the place for guests who keep wellness high on the agenda; boasting a full-service spa and 24-hour fitness center, the hotel’s focus is on helping you find your inner calm.

Likely to be your first port of call is Anara Spa. Enjoy nurturing treatments that encompass ancient Hawaiian healing rituals like the Lilikoi Body Polish. Afterward, stretch your pampered limbs with open-air yoga or simply recline in a soothing Relaxation Room.

The hotel’s lively lobby is a daily hub of cultural activity. Mingle with local artisans and learn about traditional practices, or attend one of the twice-weekly luaus to hear stories of ancient Polynesia.

On-site eateries will welcome you in for à la carte treats such as sushi and sizzling fresh-seared steak before you retire to your spacious suite. You can unwind amid the Hawaiian décor, or drift out to your private lanai for a nightcap beneath star-studded indigo skies.

Highlights

Interconnected pools

A series of lagoon-style pools feature secret caves, a lazy river and a waterslide.

Nine on-site eateries

Varied bars and restaurants plate up international cuisines and local favourites.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Top rated
9.3 Excellent (2261 reviews)
Excellent Service 9.2 / 10
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The place to stay in Kauai for fun on the water

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If you’ve got a penchant for all things water-based, then Koa Kea Hotel & Resort will surely appeal. Swing by onsite Hoku Watersports to arrange an ocean excursion in a traditional outrigger surfing canoe, test your core strength with stand-up paddle boarding or catch a wave during a surfing session.

However you choose to work up your appetite, the pool bar will be ready to supply you with Hawaiian lobster rolls. Keep your swimmers on so you can plunge right into the tropical pool, Island Mule cocktail in hand, to take in incredible views over the bay.

All accommodation here is adorned with luxury extras such as plush custom robes and exclusive FRESH bath products. Revive yourself for the evening in your marble ensuite, then wander down to Red Salt restaurant for miso butterfish and passionfruit cheesecake. Afterward, you can welcome the night from the lava rock hot tub or by the flickering flames of an oceanside fire pit.

Highlights

The Spa at Koa Kea

Candlelit rooms and oceanside cabanas set the scene for island-inspired treatments.

Pretty Poipu Beach

Sandy shores are ideal for observing surf culture or enjoying a blazing bonfire.

Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

Top rated
9.6 Excellent (3717 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.5 / 10
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Kauai family resort to entertain all ages

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Every inch of Koloa Landing Resort exudes that tropical aloha spirit. After checking into your luxury villa, put your feet up on your sheltered lanai to take in the exquisite sea views. Linger among Hawaiian-accented furnishings and use the fully-equipped gourmet kitchen to treat your brood to daily breakfasts.

Mornings are easily spent in the 350,000-gallon main pool – speed down waterslides, dive through tumbling cascades or bliss out in a temptingly bubbly Jacuzzi. There’s a volleyball net for those with a competitive streak, while the putting green provides relaxing outdoor fun for all the family.

The resort is just a 10-minute walk from Poipu Shopping Village, so you can easily spend a chilled-out afternoon browsing the local wares. Be sure to call in at Holoholo Grill on your return to refuel with bacon-topped burgers or a slab of Aunty Wendy’s Banana Bread. Alternatively, stop off at the Gourmet Marketplace to pick up something indulgent for later.

Highlights

Relaxing spa

The sanctuary boasts the island’s only Japanese Ofuro soaking tub.

Plentiful food choices

Options include private cooking facilities, an inviting onsite restaurant and local eateries nearby.

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

Top rated
8.6 Excellent (306 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
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