Kauai is known as “The Garden Isle” due to its lush garden forests and pristine sandy beaches. It is one of the most stunning places on Earth, with lush rainforests, spectacular beaches and breathtaking mountain scenery. The island offers plenty of activities for all types of travelers – from snorkeling and surfing to hiking and kayaking. Kauai also has some of the best golf courses in Hawaii, perfect for those who want to hit the links during vacation. The shopping and dining scene is vibrant and diverse, ranging from local farmers’ markets to fine dining restaurants offering gourmet cuisine. With its stunning beauty and wealth of activities, Kauai is a great place to visit no matter what type of vacation you’re planning. Here are some of the coolest hotels on Kauai to spend the night in between adventures.
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We hope you agree that these are the coolest hotels on Kauai! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.
This hotel is set on Kauai’s Royal Coconut Coast, boasting six beachfront acres complemented by six acres of lush green gardens for you to explore. The groovy decor and retro design make this property stand apart from other upscale resorts, showing off its authentic sense of character. Enjoy fresh fish and food at the on-site restaurant, lounge by one of the two property pools, hit the beach, or sign up for one of the free yoga classes hosted by the hotel. It’s exactly what you’re seeking if you’re a traveler on a budget who wants a genuine island experience at a safe, vibrant place to spend the night.
Bright, modern rooms, furnished balconies with ocean views, and amenities that go above and beyond the traditional resort offerings — including a large beach, several on-site eateries, multiple pools, a gym, and a sprawling lagoon — make this spot a tranquil and romantic place to set as home base. This property is located close to Lydgate Beach and Lae Nani Beach and is even in close proximity to the airport. It also offers more seclusion than many of the other island resorts (perfect for an intimate retreat). Be sure to schedule a beachfront massage at some point during your stay, and set aside some time to watch the magic of the sun rising over the sea in the morning (even if you’re not usually an early riser).
This property is located on an enormous stretch of sandy beach on Kauai’s south shore (perfect for starting your day with morning yoga on the sand or just soaking up the Hawaiian sun). If you want to get active, work up a sweat at the 24-hour gym, set a tee time at the nearby Kiahuna Golf Course 18-hole golf course, or play tennis at the on-site courts. If you want to relax, you can lounge at one of the two pools with beverage service or sign up for a relaxing beach massage. Then, dine al fresco at one of the on-site restaurants and cozy up for the night by one of the firepits. This property is a solid fit if you’re seeking somewhere that offers all the amenities of a traditional beach resort with a more spirited atmosphere.
Koʻa Kea Resort on Poʻipu Beach is set in an oceanfront location that feels hidden away from the bustle of the neighborhood’s main drag, making it a great place to spend time for couples seeking an intimate escape by the sea. Lounge at the poolside bar, indulge in a body treatment at the spectacular on-site spa, The Spa at Ko’a Kea, get active at the spacious fitness center, or dine at the on-site restaurant, Red Salt, which features fresh fish and ocean views. The property’s interior design feels contemporary and sophisticated, with an island twist (think: stylish leather couches and sparkling chandeliers with dark wooden accents). It’s a boutiquey, beach-y resort that’s so close to the shoreline you might even be able to spot some of the sea life below from up on your balcony.
This property is perched on Kauai’s south shore, offering guests accommodations set in spacious upscale villas with breathtaking ocean sights. Staying at this property means enjoying the amenities of The Club at Kukui’ula — including access to 18 holes of golf, a poolside bar, an on-site adventure guide and outfitter, a 10-acre farm, and more. Spend time at the spa getting a relaxing treatment, or dive into the local cuisine with ocean views and al fresco dining at one of the two property restaurants. Take a yoga class or pilates class at the on-site gym, play in the arcade room, or relax in the library. This hotel boasts five outdoor pools (and a children’s pool with a waterslide) and is an excellent spot for families, couples, and groups of friends who want to enjoy their own space with the larger accommodations of a villa (but don’t want to worry about the hassle of cooking, cleaning, or entertaining).
This enormous property is surrounded by lush greenery and boasts many upscale amenities — including four on-site restaurants and the largest one-level pool in Hawaii. You can set a tee time at The Ocean Course at Hokuala (less than a mile from the property), work up a sweat at the 24-hour gym, relax at the poolside bar, or retreat to one of the bright, clean rooms, which are decorated in shades of white, green and blue (which seemingly usher the outside seaside scenery inside). Enjoy a friendly volleyball game or take a relaxing stroll down Kalapaki Beach. This property even offers the bonus of a complimentary shuttle service between the resort and the Lihue Airport.
This 20-acre cliffside north shore resort features spacious, condo-style rooms separated between seven different low-rise buildings that feel more like deluxe apartments than hotel rooms. The property is large enough to feel quiet and private but offers the amenities you want at an upscale hotel. The lush landscaping is colorful, and the atmosphere is a balance of casual but elegant — feeling luxurious but not pretentious. Spend time at one of the four pools, or browse the monthly “activity calendar,” which hosts a unique set of activities for you to enjoy each week — from sand art to lei classes and nature walks.
Visitors can enjoy a wide range of outdoor experiences in a relaxed setting on this quiet, romantic island. Embark on a zipline adventure or a kayaking excursion before laying low for a relaxing day at the beach. Visit a museum or educate yourself with a visit to a historical landmark. This island is truly a nature lovers’ paradise.
How many people live on Kauai?
Kauai has a population of just around 70,000 regular residents, with thousands more who live on the island part-time. More than 100,000 people visit the island each month.
How many days should I spend in Kauai?
If you want to fully experience Kauai’s culture and offerings, it’s best to plan for an absolute minimum of four days of exploring. If you do have more time to spare, you won’t run out of things to do even if you’re planning to stay a week to ten days on the island.