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8 Very Best Kauai Resorts & Hotels for 2023

Discover the best Kauai resorts or an unforgettable couples retreat, family vacation & beyond—the very best places to stay in Kauai right now!

Dreaming of a truly remarkable Hawaiian escape surrounded by exceptional beauty and an unmistakable aloha spirit? Look no further than these spectacular Kauai resorts!

Welcome to the Garden Island of Kauai, an enchanting paradise that’s sure to capture your heart with its stunning natural beauty and warm, welcoming spirit.

Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway, a family vacation or a solo adventure, Kauai’s top-rated resorts offer luxurious accommodations, world-class dining, and endless activities to satisfy your travel desires.

From the sparkling shores of Poipu to the lush jungles of Hanalei Bay, we’ve scoured the island to bring you the very best resorts that Kauai has to offer.

So sit back, relax, and let us be your guide to an unforgettable Hawaiian vacation.

Can’t wait to dive in? Here’s a quick look at the list to jump-start your travel planning!

Koloa Landing Resort Poipu • OVERALL TOP PICK! •$$$Koloa
Grand Hyatt Kauai • TOP LUXURY PICK •$$$$Koloa
 Koa Kea Resort Poipu • TOP BOUTIQUE PICK •$$$Koloa
 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay • TOP WELLNESS STAY •$$$$Princeville
 Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons Kalanipuu • TOP APARTHOTEL •$$$$Lihue
Waipouli Beach Resorts • TOP FAMILY STAY •$$$Kapaa
Royal Sonesta Kauai • SHORTEST TRAVEL TIME •$$Lihue
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas • TOP PICK FOR GOLFERS •$$$Princeville

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu

best Kauai resorts
Photo credit: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu

Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection

  • Location: Koloa – 30-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$
  • Loyalty Program: Marriott Bonvoy – earn points by booking direct.
  • Ratings: 9.2/10 (1,003 reviews) on Hotels.com; 4.6/5 (1,367) on Google; 4.5/5 (3,360 reviews) on TripAdvisor; 9.1/10 on Booking.com.

Kicking off our list of best resorts in Kauai, Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu Beach is a paradise on earth offering luxurious amenities and top-notch service for an unforgettable vacation experience.

The resort boasts a spectacular 350,000-gallon main pool, which has been voted the best pool in America for three consecutive years.

For those seeking to relax and surround themselves with the majestic beauty of the island, there is a tranquil pool that is limited to adults only, as well as a number of private cabanas. Better yet, snag Cabana No. 8 and all proceeds go back to the local community.

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

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.

Additionally, Koloa Landing is located near the Shops at Kukui’ula Village, where guests can shop, dine, and enjoy live music.

With its extensive list of amenities, top-rated service, and spectacular location, it’s no surprise that Koloa Landing at Poipu Beach made our overall top choice for Kauai resorts!

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.

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

luxury resort in Hawaii
Photo credit: Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

  • Location: Koloa – 30-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$$
  • Ratings: 4.7/5 (3,627 reviews) on Google; 4.5/5 (9,865 reviews) on TripAdvisor; 9.4/10 (1,004 reviews) on Hotels.com; 9.0/10 (185 reviews) on Booking.com.

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.

With its breathtaking ocean views and lush tropical gardens, this luxurious resort offers an unparalleled experience that is both captivating and rejuvenating.

The resort boasts an array of exceptional amenities and services, including a world-class spa, award-winning restaurants, championship golf courses, and a water wonderland complete with lagoon pools, waterfalls, and a lazy river.

Grand Hyatt Kauai also has demonstrated a strong commitment to sustainability. In addition to supporting local artisans, farmers, and fishermen, the resort offers volunteer opportunities for guests interested in giving back to the local community and learning more about the culture and traditions of the island.

Undoubtedly one of the best resorts in Kauai for a true luxury stay on this spectacular island.

Koa Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

Kauai resorts
Photo credit: Ko’a Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

Ko’a Kea Resort on Poipu Beach

  • Location: Koloa – 30-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$
  • Ratings: 4.6/5 (698 reviews) on Google; 4.5/5 (2,917 reviews) on TripAdvisor; 9.4/10 (1,002 reviews) on Hotels.com; 8.6/10 (48 reviews) on Booking.com.

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.

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

beach hotel in Kauai
Photo credit: 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

1 Hotel Hanalei Bay

  • Location: Princeville – 50-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$$
  • Ratings: 4.7/5 (295) on Google; 4.5/5 (112) on TripAdvisor; 9.6/10 (14) on Hotels.com; 9.5/10 (13) on Booking.com.

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 beautiful textures, colors, and eco-friendly materials that make up the hotel’s new design are striking and designed to leave a lasting impression.

From sustainable dining options to eco-friendly bedding, the hotel’s eco-conscious approach to hospitality is another standout feature of 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay.

With LEED certification and a rainwater harvesting system, every element of the hotel is designed to promote intentional living and connection to nature.

The Bamford Wellness Spa is a tranquil oasis that offers an array of sustainable treatments and classes, while the outdoor activities and live entertainment provide endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.

All this and much more add up to make 1 Hotel Hanalei Bay truly one of the very best Kauai resorts for 2023 and beyond.

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

Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons – Kalanipuu

luxury Kauai resorts
Photo credit: Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons

Marriott’s Kauai Lagoons

  • Location: Lihue – 8-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$$
  • Ratings: 4.7/5 (592) on Google; 4.5/5 (521) on TripAdvisor; 9.2/10 (109) on Hotels.com; 9.3/10 (3) on Booking.com.

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.

Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa

best resorts in Kauai
Photo credit: Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa

Waipouli Beach Resorts & Spa Kauai by Outrigger

  • Location: Kapaa – 15-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$
  • Ratings: 4.6/5 (845) on Google; 4.5/5 (1690) on TripAdvisor; 8.8/10 (897) on Hotels.com.

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!

The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue

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

The Royal Sonesta Kaua’i Resort Lihue

  • Location: Lihue – 7-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$
  • Ratings: 4.5/5 (2996) on Google; 4.0/5 (3406) on TripAdvisor; 8.8/10 (1003) on Hotels.com; 8.4/10 (291) on Booking.com.

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 Westin Princeville Ocean Resort

kids pool at resort
Photo credit: Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

The Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas

  • Location: Princeville – 50-min. from Lihue Airport (LIH)
  • Price: $$$
  • Ratings: 4.3/5 (1023) on Google; 4.0/5 (2602) on TripAdvisor; 8.6/10 (961) on Hotels.com; 8.0/10 (79) on Booking.com.

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 veritable 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.

The resort not only caters to your golfing needs but also ensures a luxurious stay with its suite-style villas, equipped with all necessary amenities, such as washers, dryers, and kitchens.

Additionally, the resort’s multi-faceted appeal, with features like open-air massage facilities, quiet pools, a waterslide, and a kids’ club, caters to both couples and families.

Post-golf, you can relax by the two-level main pool or enjoy award-winning dining options that showcase the freshest local ingredients from the island.

rugged Kauai coastline
Photo credit: Karsten Winegeart / Unsplash

5 Tips for More Sustainable Travel

It’s always a good idea to consider the impact your visit may have on a particular travel destination. Here are some easy tips for making travel more mindful and sustainable:

  1. Pack Eco-Friendly Travel Items: Bringing items like reusable water bottles, food containers, and shopping bags and avoiding single-use plastics and disposables help to ensure less harmful wastes makes into into the local environment.
  2. Reduce Energy Consumption: Reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and air conditioning in your hotel room when not in use. Consider public transportation or walking instead of renting a car. These small changes can go a long way in reducing your travel footprint.
  3. Choose Sustainable Travel Destinations: Pick sustainable travel destinations instead of popular ones. Look for destinations that have eco-friendly accommodations, practices, and transportation options, such as many Kauai resorts mentioned above.
  4. Support Local Businesses: When traveling, always support local shops instead of buying from large chain stores. This helps to reduce the carbon footprint of your travels and supports the local economy.
  5. Buy Carbon Offsets: Though not a solution to high carbon emissions, purchasing carbon offsets can help balance the emissions produced during your trip. They involve investing in projects that reduce carbon and other greenhouse gases.

Thanks for reading this hand-crafted guide to the best Kauai resorts!

And don’t forget to share this bucket list of Kauai resorts with your travel crew!

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Cover image: Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu

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David and Lori from AwayGoWe Travel and Adventure Blog

About David & Lori (AwayGoWe)

For over two decades, Lori and I have lived and traveled extensively throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and the U.S.—with no plans to slow down.

We created AwayGoWe in 2010 to document our ongoing journey and provide reliable first-hand information to fellow travelers—drawing on our experience and personal knowledge of the places we visit and call home.

Today, AwayGoWe is a trusted source for thoughtfully-crafted guides to bucket list destinations and adventures around the globe, written and vetted by travel planning experts with 20 years of real-world experience.

We are currently based—along with our two curious and energetic sons—on Mexico's beautiful Baja Peninsula. Learn more about us on our About page.

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