The Hawaiian Island of Kauai
When choosing which island to visit in Hawaii, it has got to be the Kauai island. It is best seen from the air, as most of the island is either inaccessible by road or privately owned; plus, it’s a lot more decadent to get around in a chopper!
Island Helicopters is the only operator allowed to land at Manawaiopuna Falls, a stunning location that appeared in the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park.
Officially known as the ‘Garden Island’, locals have their own name for Kauai. As you discover chooks at every turn, you’ll realize why it’s colloquially referred to as ‘Chicken Isle’.
Grande Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa
Rest assured, when you glide in to the luxurious Grande Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa on Kauai’s south shore, you won’t have to contend with any chickens. There are none to be spied on the well-manicured lawns, nor in the lush tropical gardens, or on the 18-hole golf course. There certainly aren’t any by the lavish lagoon and pools.
When you enter the main lobby, you will be blown away by its incredible view out to the ocean. The building is open and airy, with ceilings reaching up to the heaves, allowing the sea breezes to flow through. The ocean, a pretty shade of blue, and framed by vibrant green gardens, is hard to differentiate from the man-made lagoon and pools.
The resort boasts 600 rooms, but its spacious design makes it easy to find a quiet corner to call your own. There are several restaurants and watering holes, including Stevenson’s Library, which is reminiscent of a Victorian-era Gentleman’s club, ensuring that you don’t need to venture outside the property if you prefer not to.
When you do make your way out of the hotel and down the beach, you can add a touch of indulgence to an otherwise ordinary day on the sand by hiring a Maharaja-style private beach cabana.
And when you tire of the good life on the sands, you can easily whittle away half a day in the island’s largest spa, Anara Spa. Including a well-equipped fitness center, lap pool, saunas, spas and a plethora of tempting spa treatments, relaxation, rejuvenation, hydration or detoxification are guaranteed. For a soothingly authentic Hawaiian experience, try the traditional Lomi Lomi Massage in one of the open-air thatched roof treatment rooms.
Koa Kea Hotel & Resort
Just down the coast is Koa Kea Hotel & Resort, a much smaller property with only 121 rooms and one small pool. The understated luxury doesn’t cry out ‘look at me’, and feels more homely, making it a favourite with members of our group. The Red Salt restaurant, the only one on site and named after the well-known Hawaiian red salt, has some of the best food and service you will ever experienced in Kauai. The menu offers plenty of seafood dishes, including popular local fish Mahimahi, Ahi and Ono.
Activities on Kauai island
In addition to its decadent digs, Kauai is also an island for thrill seekers. As well as the usual suspects – surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and snorkeling. You can also try Zip Lining (aka ‘flying fox’!) across the lush cattle ranch. And not for the faint-hearted or seasick-prone is the mighty Na’Pali coast kayak that’ll have you marvelling at the famous cliffs from the water and using some serious muscle power to paddle the 35km journey.
Back in the air, the helicopter tour can take you to Mt Wiaaleale Crater – the geographical heart of the island. You can hover just below a shroud of mist and watch waterfalls cascade down lush fern-covered cliffs as the sounds of Enya flood through your headsets.
Must-Do Activities on Kauai
|Jurassic Falls Helicopter Landing Adventure||www.islandhelicopters.com|
|Zip N’ Dip||www.princevilleranch.com|
|Sacred Secret Falls & Wailua River Kayak||www.kayakkauai.com|
|Waimea Canyon Cycle||www.outfitterskauai.com/waimea-canyon-bicycle-downhill.php|
|Na’pali Coast Sea Kayak||www.seakayakkauai.com|
|Na’pali Coast Hike||www.kalalautrail.com|
|Surfing and Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons||http://www.hawaiiansurfingadventures.com/paddleboarding.html|
|Robert’s Hawaii Movie Tour||www.robertshawaii.com/kauai/hawaiimovietour.php|
|Backcountry Tubing Adventure||www.kauaibackcountry.com/tubing.html|