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Kauai hotels

When choosing a hotel in Kauai, it's important to consider the vibe of each resort area. Poipu is a family-friendly stretch of mostly chain hotels (Hyatt, Sheraton) on the south shore; Hanalei, on the north shore, is a moneyed hippie enclave; Kapaa is a booming town on the eastern side, where you'll find the Outrigger Waipouli hotel.

Short-term private-home rentals are a popular option on Kauai, and in some cases a better value than a hotel. Plus, they give you a chance to live like a local. One rental property is Kauai Chill, a two-bedroom modern Hawaiian home right on the beach at Hanalei Bay with glass-tile bathrooms, an outdoor shower, a sleeping loft, a lanai, and an excellent view of the area's surfers. Maid service, catering, and massages can be arranged, but you'll need to book six months to a year in advance (4378 Hee Rd.; Hanalei; 808-826-7244; www.kauaichill.com). Another great rental is the Secret Beach Hideaway, three one-bedroom retreats, set well apart from each other on 35 acres, surrounded by another 60 acres of state-protected ironwood trees, ravines, and waterfalls. You're on your own for housekeeping and meals, although there is a gourmet kitchen (and catering can be arranged). The same company owns a three-bedroom villa with a media room, pool, and spa on five acres of land (2908 Kauapea Rd.; Kilauea; 808-635-6184; www.secretbeachkauai.com). Those who want the services of a hotel, but the privacy of a home should book instead with Pure Kauai.

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Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa, Koloa

The Grand Hyatt is easily the most extravagant resort on Kauai's always sunny south shore, with 602 rooms and amenities that make it family-friendly yet elegant...more

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Editors' Pick
Hanalei Colony Resort, Haena

This collection of 48 condos in Haena (a 15-minute drive west of Hanalei) has one major draw: views so idyllic that they almost look Photoshopped. From...more

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Editors' Pick
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Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club, Lihue

The Marriott is a place even locals choose for a honeymoon, because of its authentic Hawaiian style and desirable location on the golden sands of Kalapaki...more

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Editors' Pick
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Koa Kea Hotel & Resort, Koloa

Located between several large chain resorts on Poipu Beach, the 121-room Koa Kea hotel is a partially hidden gem. (It can be hard to find if you don't know that...more

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Editors' Pick
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Outrigger Waipouli, Kapaa

Opened in 2006, this 190-room condo resort on the beach in Kapaa, a budget-friendly local's town on the east coast with a slightly bohemian vibe, is remarkable....more

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Editors' Pick
Pure Kauai, Hanalei

You can't control which direction the trade winds blow, but you can specify almost every other aspect of your Hawaiian vacation when you're working with this...more

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Editors' Pick
Sheraton Kauai, Koloa

The Sheraton Kauai, the first resort built on Poipu Beach, is often overshadowed by the much larger Grand Hyatt Kauai nearby. But there is a lot of charm in the...more

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Editors' Pick
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St. Regis Princeville, Princeville

The crowning glory of the St. Regis Princeville hotel, located in the private community of Princeville, near groovy Hanalei town, is the breathtaking view of...more

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Editors' Pick
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Waimea Plantation Cottages, Waimea

Composed of 62 individual cottages built in the early 1900s for plantation workers, this 30-acre property is a great alternative to frenetic resorts. There's...more

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Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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