Looking for a big oceanfront resort where your kids can build sandcastles on the beach and splash in the pool all week? Kauai has that. Or would you prefer a secluded B&B where you can sip your morning coffee on a private lanai overlooking a lush tropical valley? Kauai has that, too. From glitzy resorts and luxury condos to oceanfront cottages and intimate inns, Kauai hotels span the gamut of travel styles and amenities.
Below are 10 of the best hotels in Kauai, with options for every price point. When evaluating the properties below, keep in mind that Hawaii is an expensive place to visit, and Kauai is no exception: At busy times of year, even a “budget” property will cost nearly $200 a night.
Where to Stay in Kauai
The South Shore is the sunniest part of the island and has some of the best beaches and biggest Kauai resorts, especially in the area around Poipu. Meanwhile, the spectacular beauty of the North Shore makes up for its slightly rainier weather. You’ll find many of the more affordable Kauai hotels on the busy eastern coast, which has plenty of restaurants and shops, and makes a good base to explore the island’s many attractions.
Can’t find a hotel you like? Consider vacation rentals instead.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa
If your vacation philosophy is that “bigger is better”—and you don’t mind “bigger” also applying to the price tag—you’ll love the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Stretching over 50 beachfront acres on the sunny south side of the island, the resort boasts more than 600 rooms, a spacious spa, 10 restaurants, two tennis courts, and an 18-hole golf course with views of the ocean. But the showstopper is the property’s sprawling network of gardens and pools, which includes a saltwater lagoon, an adult-only pool, a lazy river, and multiple family-friendly freshwater pools, all fringed with colorful tropical landscaping.
Garden Island Inn Hotel
The family-owned Garden Island Inn Hotel in Lihue is one of Kauai’s best bargains. Each of the 21 rooms includes a kitchenette, free Wi-Fi, artwork by a local artist, and freshly cut flowers from the hotel’s own garden. The hotel also has free beach chairs and towels, snorkel gear, boogie boards, and other gear available for guest use. Kalapaki Beach is within walking distance, and the airport is a short drive away.
Makai Club Resort
For a mid-priced option on the North Shore, consider the Makai Club Resort. Located right next to an award-winning golf course and just a short drive from the beach, the resort offers one-bedroom condos and two-bedroom cottages, all with full kitchens, laundry facilities, and private balconies overlooking gardens or the mountains. The resort also has a pool and hot tub for guests to use.
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Every one of the luxe condo units at Whalers Cove offers a full or partial ocean view, which you can enjoy from your own private balcony. Units also feature full-size kitchens and laundry facilities, ideal for long-term stays. Upgrade to a deluxe condo for perks like a Jacuzzi in the master bath and sweeping ocean views from the living and dining rooms. All guests can enjoy the on-site pool, hot tub, and BBQ area. Poipu’s shops and restaurants are a short walk away.
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If your idea of luxury involves seclusion, gorgeous views, good food, and attention to detail, give The Palmwood a try. This intimate guesthouse is located on a hill overlooking the mountains of Kauai’s North Shore and offers three airy rooms with private hot tubs and balconies. Past guests rave about the homecooked breakfasts, which feature local and organic ingredients.
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Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy
The moderately priced studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom condos at the Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy overlook the ocean along Kauai’s east coast. The rocky shoreline here isn’t ideal for swimming, but the views are beautiful (especially at sunrise), and the resort has a pool area and sun deck where you can relax and go for a swim. The property is located next door to the Coconut Marketplace’s shops, restaurants, and farmers’ market.
Marjorie’s Kauai Inn
Odds are you won’t miss the ocean when you’re marveling over the views of the lush, green Lawai Valley from the balcony of your room at Marjorie’s Kauai Inn. But if you do have a hankering for the beach, Poipu is just a short drive away. The breakfast menu changes daily but might include frittata with roasted potatoes, puff-pastry quiche with blueberry muffin bites, or eggs Benedict with Canadian bacon—alongside plenty of fresh fruit from the B&B’s own garden. Each of the three moderately priced rooms has air-conditioning and a comfy queen-sized bed.
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St. Regis Princeville Resort
One of the most luxurious Kauai hotels, the St. Regis Princeville offers dramatic views over Hanalei Bay and the jagged green cliffs of the North Shore. Upscale amenities include the Halele’a Spa and an infinity pool overlooking the sea. There are five on-site dining options at this Kauai beach resort, as well as 24-hour room service. The hotel has its own stretch of sand, but there are numerous other beaches within easy driving distance that are well worth exploring.
A historic parsonage converted into a guesthouse, Inn Waimea is a good option for budget travelers looking for no-frills accommodation in the southwestern part of Kauai. Within easy walking distance are a beach and the restaurants and shops of Waimea town. Just a short drive away are the hiking trails and dramatic lookout points of Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park.
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Hotel Coral Reef
A small, laid-back property in the historic town of Kapaa on Kauai’s east coast, Hotel Coral Reef is a convenient and moderately priced base for exploring the island. The hotel offers complimentary bikes for use on a nearby path that runs along the ocean. A waterfall spills into one end of the pool, which overlooks the sea. For less street noise and a better view, upgrade to an oceanfront room.
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More from SmarterTravel:
- The 10 Best Things to Do in Kauai
- What’s the Best Island in Hawaii for You?
- The Essential Hawaii Packing List