The Best Resorts in Kauai, Hawaii

The spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai
The spa at the Grand Hyatt Kauai | Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa / Expedia
Siobhan Grogan

More than a million tourists are wowed each year by the hidden bays, cloud-scraping mountains and dense rainforests of Kauai – the northernmost inhabited island in Hawaii. Though much of Kauai is only accessible by boat or air, these blissful resorts give honeymooners, hikers and vacationing families the chance to discover their own small corner of the Garden Island. To help you find your paradise, here are the top resorts in Kauai.

1. Koa Kea Hotel & Resort

Boutique Hotel, Resort, Luxury

Wooden deck chairs surround firepits in the ocean-side grounds at Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Courtesy of Koa Kea Hotel & Resort / Expedia

Sun seekers will be in heaven at this Kauai resort, just steps from Poipu Beach. Waft between the glorious golden sands and an oceanfront pool or sample watersports – everything from paddleboarding to a traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe is on offer. At night, dine in the award-winning Red Salt restaurant and join the staff for the nightly ceremonial lighting of the Tiki torches, with a fruity Hawaiian mai tai in hand.

2. Kauai Beach Resort

Independent Hotel, Resort

A common space at Kauai Beach Resort with four armchairs and indoor plants
Courtesy of Kauai Beach Resort / Expedia

Relaxation is king at the Kauai Beach Resort, located in 25 acres of sweet-smelling tropical gardens leading straight to the ocean. The mellow hideaway has four pools – three with their own waterfalls – two hot tubs, and oceanfront cabanas for massages to the sound of crashing waves. When you fancy a little local flavor, the hotel offers complimentary classes in everything from paper flower making to the Hawaiian language.

3. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

Resort, Chain Hotel

A dining space at Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa looking over the ocean and manicured gardens
Courtesy of Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa / Expedia

Those hoping for quiet family time may want to give this mammoth resort at Poipu a swerve. Once the children clock the vintage surf shack serving ice cream and the kids’ club offering activities including movie nights and hula lessons, they may have other plans. Meanwhile, the whole family will love days spent at the sprawling swimming pool complex, including a 150-foot water slide, lava-rock lined lazy river and its very own saltwater lagoon.

4. Princeville Resort

Resort, Chain Hotel

A guestroom at Princeville Resort with sliding doors leading to the gardens
Courtesy of Princeville Resort / Expedia

Named after Hawaii’s Crown Prince Albert, who visited the area in 1860, Princeville is surrounded by the soaring green sea cliffs that loom over the North Shore’s idyllic Hanalei Bay. It offers more than knockout ocean views, though: visitors can ride horseback through 2,500 acres of rolling pasture to an 80ft (24m) waterfall, fly through the sky on a range of ziplines, hike to a hidden valley or hit the resort’s shopping center, to buy everything from locally made soap to Hawaiian art.

5. Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

Resort, Chain Hotel

A sea-view balcony at Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu with a barbecue and eight-person dining table
Courtesy of Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu / Expedia

Water babies won’t be disappointed by the staggering pool at this huge resort in Poipu Beach. Voted the best pool in America, the 350,000-gallon main pool is a fun-filled playground packed with waterslides, swim-through waterfalls and several Jacuzzis. Back on dry land, there’s a putting green, expansive spa, complimentary yoga lessons and a further 600 island adventures on offer through the dedicated activity concierge.

6. Sheraton Kauai Resort Villas

Resort, Chain Hotel

A pool-side seating space at Sheraton Kauai Resort Villas
Courtesy of Sheraton Kauai Resort Villas / Expedia

Enjoy a little more space at this resort in the heart of Poipu Beach, on Kauai’s south shore. The Sheraton property offers guest rooms and studios – but also one- and two-bedroom villas for those looking for a home from home on the island. Villas have well-stocked kitchenettes, for cooking up fresh Kauai produce, but it’s well worth visiting the resort’s RumFire restaurant too. Every seat has 180-degree ocean views for lingering over Hawaiian seafood banana curry and misoyaki butterfish.

7. Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa Kauai by Outrigger

Resort, Chain Hotel

A suite at Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa Kauai by Outrigger with sliding doors opening to the garden
Courtesy of Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa Kauai by Outrigger / Expedia

This stylish oceanfront condominium property – in the island community of Kapaa, which is filled with boutiques and restaurants –is a great base to explore Kauai. Some of the island’s best beaches, including the family-friendly Lydgate Beach Park, are also close at hand. Afterwards, head home to a plush studio, one- or two-bedroom property on this resort, all set around a heated river-pool with flume water slide and three whirlpool spas.

8. Marriott's Kauai Lagoons

Chain Hotel, Resort

A living area at Marriotts Kauai Lagoons with a seating space, four-person dining table and garden-side patio
Courtesy of Marriott's Kauai Lagoons / Expedia

It’s tempting to go nowhere once you’ve checked into one of the Marriott’s spacious two- or three-bedroom villas, with spectacular ocean or garden views. Spend days lazing by the two-level pool or sampling the exercise classes in the fitness center before sipping sundowner cocktails on your private balcony. If you can bear to leave, stunning Kalapaki Beach is close by while Fern Grotto, Huleia National Wildlife Refuge and Opaeka’a Falls are all must-dos.

Want more inspiration? Check out our expertly curated guide to the best hotels in Kauai for every traveler or, for something extra special, read our rundown of the top luxury hotels on the island. If you’re looking to stay on a different Hawaiian island, check out our guides to the best luxury hotels in Maui or resorts in Oahu – all now bookable on Culture Trip.

For more places to stay on Hawaii’s least-developed island, see where to stay in Kauai and book with Culture Trip.

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