The 8 Best Resorts in Kauai, Hawaii

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We’ve always considered Hawaii to be a very special corner of the globe—even long before our first visit to these magical islands. And when Lori and I think of some of the most enchanting, untamed corners of America’s 50th state, we can’t help but think of Kauai.

Dreaming of a truly wonderful island escape to one of the very best resorts in Kauai, Hawaii? This personally crafted guide to the top Kauai Resorts will supercharge your vacation planning for 2024 and beyond!

luxury Kauai resorts on the beach
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

The Best Resorts in Kauai, Hawaii

Welcome to the Garden Island of Kauai, an unspoiled paradise that will blow you away at every turn with its super stunning beauty and unmistakable Aloha spirit.

From the sparkling shores of Poipu to the lush jungles of Hanalei Bay, Lori and I have scoured the island to bring you these truly spectacular Hawaii resorts.

So get ready to pack your bags as we jet off to discover the best resorts in Kauai, Hawaii for an unforgettable vacation in paradise!

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu

Our Top Pick

best Kauai resorts
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu

Why Koloa Landing is Our #1 Pick

Kicking off our list of best resorts in Kauai, Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu Beach is a veritable paradise-on-earth offering a dizzying assortment of top-notch services and amenities.

But first, we have to mention the pool. You’ve got to see Koloa Landing’s 350,000-gallon main pool to believe this thing. It’s incredible! And, not surprisingly, voted best pool in America for three consecutive years.

Now, if you’re looking to relax and lose yourself in the island’s legendary beauty, we recommend bee-lining it to one of the ultra relaxing private cabanas at the resort’s adults-only pool. Snag Cabana No. 8 and all proceeds from your rental go back to the local community.

Take your rejuvenation a step further with sumptuous spa treatments that incorporate natural elements of the island.

As far as room options go, choose from super comfortable and lavishly appointed Deluxe Suites, spacious 1-, 2-, and even 3-bedroom Luxury Villas, or splurge for the truly envy-inducing Penthouse Suite.

And be sure to take advantage of Koloa Landing’s location near the Shops at Kukui’ula Village, where you can shop, dine, and enjoy live music.

Hot Tip Before you book, be sure to check out Koloa Landing’s current Vacation Packages and Specials for all sorts of discounts and perks for your stay.

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

  • Location: Koloa, 30-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 bubble rating 3,360 reviews
  • Google: 4.5/5 • Hotels: 9.2/10 • Booking: 9.1/10

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Our Pick for Luxury

luxury resort in Hawaii
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa/Grand Hyatt

What’s Special About Grand Hyatt Kauai

Nestled between the emerald mountains and the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is a dream destination that encapsulates the essence of paradise.

In addition to killer ocean views, the resort also sports a long list of amenities, like the world-class spa and award-winning restaurants all at your fingertips. Golfers will love the championship golf courses nearby. Oh, and let’s not forget about the onsite waterpark with lagoon pools, waterfalls, and even a lazy river.

And we can’t forget to mention Grand Hyatt Kauai’s notable commitment to sustainable tourism. The resort partners with local artisans, farmers, and fishermen, and runs a volunteer program so you can get involved as well.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

  • Location: Koloa, 30-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 bubble rating 9,865 reviews
  • Google: 4.7/5 • Hotels: 9.4/10 • Booking: 9/10

Koa Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

Our Top Boutique Pick

best resorts in Kauai HI
Ko’a Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

What’s Special About Ko’a Kea

Situated in the heart of Kauai’s sunny south side, the Ko’a Kea Resort on Poipu Beach is a slice of paradise that offers a one-of-a-kind boutique experience without sacrificing amenities—making Ko’a Kea one of the very best resorts in Kauai.

With its newly renovated 121-room oceanfront property, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean from the comfort of your modern and stylish room.

Ko’a Kea also offers a variety of outdoor activities, including surfing lessons, paddleboarding, and access to some of the best snorkeling beaches on Kauai.

One of the standout amenities of this resort is its on-site spa, where you can indulge in a range of relaxing treatments inspired by Hawaiian healing traditions.

And foodies will appreciate the resort’s two award-winning restaurants, where you can savor delicious Hawaiian and Pacific Rim cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.

Ko’a Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

  • Location: Koloa, 30-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 bubble rating 2,917 reviews
  • Google: 4.6/5 • Hotels: 9.4/10 • Booking: 8.6/10

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

Top Wellness Stay

beach hotel in Kauai
1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

What’s Special About 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay in Kauai is nothing short of a luxurious haven for wellness enthusiasts seeking a transformative experience, or anyone searching for what is, quite possibly, the best new Kauai resort to open in years.

Formerly the iconic St. Regis Princeville, this wonderful property recently underwent a spectacular $300 million renovation and reopened in March 2023 as the sustainability-focused and wellness-centered 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay.

The hotel takes an eco-conscious approach with their sustainably-sourced food, eco-friendly bedding, and carefully-selected spa treatments and classes. Along with LEED certification and a rainwater harvesting system, the resort is designed to promote intentional living and connection to nature.

Insider Tip The hotel’s newly opened restaurants have proven quite popular. Be sure to make reservations in advance.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

  • Location: Princeville, 50-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 bubble rating 213 reviews (newly opened)
  • Google: 4.7/5 • Hotels: 9.6/10 • Booking: 9.5/10

Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons – Kalanipuu

Top ApartHotel

luxury Kauai resorts
Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons/marriott

What’s Special About Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons

Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons Kalanipuu is a unique take on the modern resort, offering a comfortable and luxurious home-away-from-home experience in 2- and 3-bedroom premium apartment-style villas.

Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Garden Island, Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons Kalanipuu beckons travelers seeking a quintessential slice of paradise without the resort vibe.

Simply one of the top Kauai resorts for extended stays on the island, family get-togethers, those looking to sample the area’s local cuisine or prepare their own meals (no onsite restaurants here), or travelers wanting to stay close to Lihue Airport in style.

Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons

  • Location: Lihue, 8-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 bubble rating 525 reviews
  • Google: 4.7/5 • Hotels: 9.2/10 • Booking: 9.3/10

Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa

Top Stay for Families

best resorts in Kauai
Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa

What’s Special About Waipouli Beach Resorts

There’s something for everyone at wonderful Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa Kauai by Outrigger. But families, in particular, will love this fun-filled, amenity-packed beachfront stay.

The resort boasts a heated lazy river pool with waterfalls, serpentine waterslides, and three hot tubs, making it a kids paradise.

Comfortable and beautifully-designed 1- and 2-bedroom suites featuring modern amenities and stunning ocean views provide lots of room for the entire family.

For those seeking relaxation, the world-class spa provides a range of treatments that will rejuvenate your body and mind.

Add to that award-winning Oasis on the Beach Restaurant serving up delicious meals that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.

Hands down, one of the very best Kauai resorts for spending time together and enjoying lots of fun in the sun!

Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa Kauai by Outrigger

  • Location: Kapaa, 15-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4.5 bubble rating 1,690 reviews
  • Google: 4.6/5 • Hotels: 8.8/10

The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue

Shortest Travel Time to Paradise

sunset over water pool view
The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue

What’s Special About The Royal Sonesta

Hot off a $50 million upgrade across all their rooms, suites, and restaurants, The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i features an impressive range of activities, a top beach location, and close proximity to the 18-hole Jack Nicklaus championship Kauai Lagoons Golf Club.

It’s also one of most convenient Kauai resorts to reach from Lihue Airport, offering complimentary airport shuttle service and an average door-to-door transfer time of just 7 minutes!

As a result, The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i is our top choice among Kauai resorts for those seeking a quick transition from their flights to the tranquility of a beachfront resort.

Once you arrive, enjoy the resort’s ideal location on calm and stunning Kalapaki Beach, along with a wide array of water sports and recreational activities.

Families particularly appreciate the resort for its kid-friendly atmosphere and expansive pool area.

The Royal Sonesta also receives high marks for its comfortable and well-appointed rooms and suites, luxurious Halele’a Spa featuring locally-sourced ingredients and traditional Hawaiian healing practices, and the resort’s generally excellent service.

The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue

  • Location: Lihue, 7-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4 bubble rating 3,406 reviews
  • Google: 4.5/5 • Hotels: 8.8/10 • Booking: 8.4/10

The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort

Our Top Pick for Golfers

kids pool at resort
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas/westin

What’s Special About The Westin Princeville

The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, poised on a 20-acre cliffside in Kauai, is an oasis of tranquility and luxury amidst the lush tropical landscape of Kauai’s stunning North Shore.

It’s also a golfer’s paradise!

The resort’s proximity to some of the best golf courses on Kauai (including the spectacular Princeville Makai Golf Club), coupled with its exceptional service, sets it apart as one of the very best Kauai resorts for golf enthusiasts.

Post-golf, relax by the two-level main pool or enjoy award-winning dining options made with fresh local ingredients from the island.

But the resort doesn’t cater to just golfers. Couples and families will also find plenty to love in the suite-style villas (equipped with washers, dryers, kitchens), open-air massage facilities, quiet pools, and even a waterslide and Kid’s Club for the younger set.

The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

  • Location: Princeville, 50-minutes from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • TripAdvisor: 4 bubble rating 2,602 reviews
  • Google: 4.3/5 • Hotels: 8.6/10 • Booking: 8/10
rugged Kauai coastline
Karsten Winegeart/Unsplash

Top Tips for Booking Kauai Resorts

Thinking of booking one of the top resorts in Kauai, Hawaii? Here are five no-nonsense tips to ensure you nail it:

  1. Timing is Everything: Kauai’s a hot spot, literally and figuratively. Score the best deals by dodging peak seasons. Think about booking in the shoulder seasons when the weather’s still great, but prices take a friendly dip.
  2. Location Vibes: Be picky about where you want to chill. If you’re a beach bum, nab a spot on the south shore. Adventure junkie? North shore’s your play. Research the vibe and make your move.
  3. Reviews Are Your BFFs: Don’t gamble with your vacation. Hit up those online reviews. Real people spill the beans on what’s awesome and what’s not. It’s like having a cheat sheet for your Hawaiian getaway.
  4. Bundle Up for Savings: Some ninja-level savings? Bundle your flight and resort. Travel websites love when you do this, and your wallet will too.
  5. Perks Matter: Resorts aren’t just about beds and a pool. Check for perks like free breakfast, airport transfers, or even complimentary activities. Little extras can make a big difference.

Remember these tips when booking Kauai resorts, and you’ll be sipping a tropical drink by the pool in no time. Aloha!

Best Resorts in Kauai FAQs

What side of Kauai is the best to stay on?

Choosing the best side of Kauai depends on your vibe. North for lush beauty and laid-back feels, South for sunny beaches, and East for a mix of both. Each has its charm, so pick what suits your style.

Can I get around Kauai without a car?

While Kauai’s not huge, having wheels is ideal. Public transport is limited, and taxis can add up quick. A rental car gives you the freedom to explore hidden gems and remote beaches at your own pace.

How many days do you need for Kauai?

Three to five days can give you a taste, but a week in Kauai what we recommend. That amount of time lets you soak in diverse landscapes, hit top attractions, and still leave room for spontaneous island adventures, not to mention kicking back and soaking up the sun.

What is the main part of Kauai?

Lihue is considered the main hub of the island of Kauai. That’s where you’ll mostly likely land at the airport, and where you’ll find many of the best Kauai resorts and hotels. From there, you can easily branch out to other parts of the island, making it a convenient starting point for your Kauai adventure.

Thanks for reading this handcrafted guide to the best resorts in Kauai!

Don’t forget to share this bucket list of Kauai resorts with your travel crew! Found this guide helpful? Let us know in the comments below.

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