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Choosing a Place to Stay
Resorts: All the big resorts make kids' programs a priority, and it shows. When you are booking your room, ask about "kids eat free" deals and the number of kids' pools at the resort. Also check out the size of the groups in the children's programs, and find out whether the cost of the programs includes lunch, equipment, and activities.
On the North Shore the best bet is the St. Regis Princeville Resort, where kids can spend the day (without their parents) exploring local sea life with a marine biologist. The Kauai Marriott Resort is a good choice on the East Side, and on the South Shore both the Grand Hyatt Kauai and Sheraton Kauai Resort have kids' programs.
Condos: Condo and vacation rentals are a fantastic value for families vacationing in Hawaii. You can cook your own food, which is cheaper than eating out and sometimes easier (especially if you have a finicky eater in your group), and you'll get twice the space of a hotel room for about a quarter of the price. If you decide to go the condo route, be sure to ask about the size of the complex's pool (some try to pawn a tiny soaking tub off as a pool) and whether barbecues are available. One of the best parts of staying in your own place is having a sunset family barbecue by the pool or overlooking the ocean.
On the North Shore, there are numerous condo resort choices in Princeville, including Hanalei Bay Resort with eight tennis courts and two pools. On the South Shore, Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation is a family favorite, with an excellent location that includes a swimmable beach adjacent to a grassy field great for picnics.
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