Where to Stay in Kauai, Hawaii

Relax at Marriott's Kauai Lagoons' two-level pool
Relax at Marriott's Kauai Lagoons' two-level pool | Courtesy of Marriott's Kauai Lagoons / Expedia
Photo of Siobhan Grogan
7 January 2021

Say aloha to the oldest and least developed Hawaiian island – used as the idyllic location for Hollywood blockbusters including South Pacific and Avatar – that is a natural wonderland of remote vanilla beaches, tropical valleys and cloud-nuzzling mountains. Hotels are largely scattered along the coast, from the sunnier south to the scenic and, often, pricier north. Choose between large resorts with plenty to do, beachfront boutiques for laid-back days or historic inns for a warm Hawaiian welcome.

Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy

Apartment
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Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
Courtesy of Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy / Expedia
Don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere? This beachfront resort, on the east side of Kauai, is the perfect compromise. Coconut Marketplace is just steps away from the hotel with more than 30 shops, galleries, restaurants and even a farmer’s market. The hotel itself has a large swimming pool and separate children’s pool, ocean-side spa, fire-pit area and fine-dining restaurant with Pacific Ocean views.
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Kauai Shores Hotel

Independent Hotel
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Kauai Shores Hotel
Courtesy of Kauai Shores Hotel / Expedia
Lazy days on the beach are a doodle at this boutique property in Kapa’a. Golden sands are moments from the bright, budget-friendly bedrooms, splashed with lime-green accents. Guests can enjoy two swimming pools, a hot tub, bicycle rentals and daily outdoor yoga on a seafront lawn. If you really can’t leave the sands, the hotel’s beach club restaurant is right by the waterfront, serving up ahi burgers and coconut shrimp.
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Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay

Chain Hotel
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Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay
Courtesy of Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay / Expedia
This Hilton hotel, adjacent to the family-friendly Lydgate Beach Park and just 15 minutes from Wailua Falls and Lihue Airport, is ideal if you have extra needs on holiday. The hotel’s impressive list of accessible features include adapted rooms, wheelchair ramps for lobby access, accessible public areas and a swimming pool hoist. Elsewhere, the hotel offers a 24-hour mini market, car rental desk and two restaurants including a poolside tiki eatery serving handcrafted cocktails.
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Kauai Inn

Bed and Breakfast, Inn
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Kauai Inn
Courtesy of Kauai Inn / Expedia
Welcoming guests for over 100 years, the family-owned Kauai Inn offers a traditional Hawaiian charm unrivalled by any of the big-name hotel brands. The hotel is located three miles (4.8km) from the airport near Kalapaki beach, where Nawiliwili Bay meets the Huleia River. Some rooms come with private balconies, kitchenettes or soaking tubs – but all include complimentary continental breakfast, parking and use of the tranquil, palm-lined outdoor pool.
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Marriott's Kauai Lagoons

Chain Hotel, Resort
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Marriott's Kauai Lagoons
Courtesy of Marriott's Kauai Lagoons / Expedia
Boredom is not an option for guests at Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons. This ideally located oceanfront resort is a short drive from stunning Kalapaki Beach, while three top golf courses are moments away. Fern Grotto, Huleia National Wildlife Refuge and Opaeka’a Falls are also on the doorstep. If a lazy day is in order, lounge by the resort’s own two-level pool, before retiring for cocktails on the private balcony of your two- or three-bedroom villa.
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  • Kauai Beach Resort

    Independent Hotel, Resort
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    Kauai Beach Resort
    Courtesy of Kauai Beach Resort / Expedia
    There’s no need to leave the 25-acre (10ha) Kauai Beach Resort if you don’t fancy it. The oceanfront hotel gives guests a taste of the island without the hassle of travelling by offering complimentary classes in everything from hula dancing to ukulele playing. It’s easy to sample the finest Hawaiian produce at the resort’s excellent restaurants too, including fish tacos and local beer at Shutter’s Lounge.
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    Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort

    Chain Hotel
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    Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort
    Courtesy of Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort / Expedia
    A resort with added wow factor, this Kapa’a property is built around a show-stopping infinity pool that leads straight to a vast expanse of ocean past fire pits and a seafront café. Once the sun goes down, sample locally caught fish at the al fresco Moamoa Hawaiian Fish House or celebrate island culture at the twice weekly Luau Makaiwa; guests can watch Hawaiian music performances and dancing before a banquet of local dishes, including green coconut curry.
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    Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort

    Boutique Hotel, Resort, Luxury
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    Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
    Courtesy of Koa Kea Hotel & Resort / Expedia | Courtesy of Koa Kea Hotel & Resort / Expedia
    Steps from Poipu Beach, voted one of America’s best beaches, it’ll be hard to find a better location on Kauai than Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort. The resort is close to the ocean with a coastline peppered with unique reef formations, yet close to attractions including a shopping village. For guests who want to stay within the resort, there’s a blissful pool, spa, yoga and fitness studio, plus a restaurant and watersports hut.
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    These recommendations were updated on January 7, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.