Where Should We Stay On Kauai?

by joeheg

Now that we’ve booked flights to Hawaii, it’s time to look at hotels. We’ve been twice before so we’re not rookies.

20 years ago, on our honeymoon, we visited Maui and Hawaii. Originally we were going to go on a cruise around the islands but because of 9/11, our cruise line went bankrupt. We had to find last-minute plans and our travel agent was able to get us a reasonable rate at the Marriott in Wailea and I found a nice place in Volcano Village on the Big Island.

a car parked outside a building

We went back 10 years ago for our anniversary. We started the trip on Oahu and used our Disney Vacation Club points for a few nights at Aulani. While there, we had one of our best sushi meals ever, in Honolulu, and we’ve been trying to get back ever since. We went back to the Big Island for the rest of the trip and stayed at Kona and Volcano Village.

a beach with palm trees and people on it

We’re back to planning our once-a-decade trip to Hawaii and we want to visit Kauai, the one major island we’ve never been to.

As a point and miles geek, there’s only one hotel property that comes to mind, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa. It’s one of the most popular Hyatt hotels in the US. I have a decent amount of Hyatt points from the World of Hyatt credit card that could pay for a few nights.

Every review I read says how unique the resort is and that it’s THE place to stay in Kauai. However, we’re not the type of travelers who like to stay at our resort all day. Also, our experience might not be as great as others’ reviews, since I’m not a Hyatt Globalist and have no chance of getting a suite upgrade and lounge access without paying for it.

When flying to Hawaii, we probably will spend the first day sitting around the hotel and reading while adjusting to the new time zone. After that, we’re going to want to get out and explore.

Is it worth the cost and is the Grand Hyatt the best place to explore Kauai considering a three-night stay would cost $2233.36 or 75,000 World of Hyatt points?  That’s a 3 CPP redemption but is it worth it?

a screenshot of a computer

Should we spend a few days there and then head out to a different hotel when we want to explore a bit either because of a lower cost or better location? We have enough points with Marriott and Hilton to stay at one of their properties or we could use Ultimate Rewards to stay at a non-chain property.

I could look for these answers myself but our readers gave some great tips for places to stay in Munich and I trust you all more than I do TripAdvisor reviews.

So what do you think? Is the Grand Hyatt Kauai the place to stay or is there somewhere else on the island better suited to getting out and not staying the entire time at the hotel?

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


ADam October 13, 2021 - 7:10 pm

I would stay wherever is cheapest – where you guys are currently (health wise) not really worth it to waste the points or money – grand Hyatt might be a bit too upscale for your tastes

Kim October 13, 2021 - 9:19 pm

We loved renting a condo at Kapaa sands.

No October 14, 2021 - 12:10 am

You can’t go wrong with the Hyatt in Kauai. My family has stayed there 4 times in the past. The property is great, the pool is unbeatable, shipwreck beach is fun and there’s a good hiking trail that starts at the hotel. Poipu is mostly sunny even when it’s raining on the rest of the island. Cute Koloa town. It’s expensive though. So another option is to stay 2-3 nights at the Hyatt and then spend a few days on the North Shore.

Cali October 14, 2021 - 1:25 am

We’re about to go and stay at the Royal Sonesta in Lihue. We got a Costco package that included the rental car because there has been a major shortage of rental cars and that was the way to get the best deal. Priority should go to reserving your rental car!! Last time we stayed in Poipu at the Koa Kea, which was nice, but didn’t seem worth the price. Also, it was a bit far from Hanalei, which we’ll be spending more time at this time.

T E October 14, 2021 - 1:50 am

So, its not the fanciest resort, but anywhere around Poipu Beach will be really nice. its quiet and there’s always turtles and fish if you like to snorkel. i stayed at the Sheraton Kauai Resort, and i wouldn’t recommend it personally, it was very plain, no breakfast and no perks, it had a good location. Marriott’s Waiohai Beach Club is right on the beach nearby and much nicer. its only a short distance from the hyatt so its easy to go check it out.

On the other hand, if you have kids, the hyatt is much nicer with its mini water park.

MICHAEL JOLLEY October 14, 2021 - 5:23 am

While staying at the Grand Hyatt, get in a day or two of hiking (as my favorite hikes are all closer to that side of the island, but I prefer to stay towards Princeville and Hanalei). I’d hate to go to Kauai to sit at a resort all day, so I’d just stay at the Hyatt for a few days, then go grab a condo in Princeville (so you can explore the north shore). While I’ve been to Kauai close to a dozen times, it’s been a few years, so some things have changed on the north shore (and access to their beaches), so research in advance.

Robert October 14, 2021 - 9:14 am

You are able to leave the Grand Hyatt btw. Self parking isn’t awful. Plus in the south shore you’re closer to Waimea canyon and to Kapaa the other direction. The points use at the Hyatt is very tolerable… So much so that we’ve returned to Kauai for the hotel as we much prefer Maui.

Vivi October 14, 2021 - 1:32 pm

Grand Hyatt Kauai is fabulous…beautiful views and perfectly kept landscaping. Enjoy pools, jacuzzis, spa and walking paths throughout the property. Dining at Tidepools and Seaview Terrace is amazing! Staff always gracious and helpful…Aloha, have a great vacation.

Michael October 14, 2021 - 7:41 pm

If you don’t have Globalist status, then the main reason to stay at GHK is to enjoy the pools and the beautiful landscaping. The resort has a one-way lazy river, 2 small adult pools, 2 jumbo- and 1 regular-sized perfectly heated hot tubs, a large family pool, and (my favorite) the 1.5 acre saltwater pool (referred to as the lagoon, but not actually attached to the ocean). Almost half the lagoon is 6 – 9 feet deep, a rarity in Hawaii. The pools and hot tubs are open 24/7 and security are ever-present, patrolling the ground at night to make a night swim feel safe. I’ve typically gone during less busy times of the year when there were no more than 7 to 12 people using the lagoon. Before noon and after 4 p.m. you can often have the lagoon all to yourself. The resort has a very relaxed vibe. Despite having about 600 rooms, it’s spread out over a large piece of land and so it never really feels crowded. Don’t plan on swimming in the ocean at GHK, though. The water’s too rough year-round. That said, if you are not planning to make much use of the pools, then I couldn’t justify using points to stay there.


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