East or South side of Kauai?


Nov 26th, 2007, 08:17 PM
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East or South side of Kauai?

My husband and I are going to Kauai in January. We would like to stay in a condo that is close to a swimmable beach. (great snorkeling a bonus)

My question is: is it better to stay on the east side, so that you can explore north and south or is it better to stay in the south due to weather? We love to snorkel, dive, shop, hike, explore sites, etc.

Also, any great condo recs? Our price tops out around $250-$300.
Amy_n_Chris is offline  
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Nov 26th, 2007, 11:33 PM
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My understanding is that the north has the swimmable beaches in the winter. We went in early summer and swimmable beaches were few and far between. Tunnels beach in the north is very good for diving, as is Sheraton caverns in the south (but unsure if this site is suitable for diving in the winter).
Odin is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2007, 04:12 AM
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I would stay on the south side. We've stayed at the Marriott timeshare near Poipu, and we really liked it. We've also stayed on the east side.

It is a little bit of a drive from the Poipu area to the north side, but I think in January you'd prefer to stay on the south side. From there it's also closer to the Waimea Canyon.

During the winter, you definitely don't want to swim on the northern beaches. It would be nice to watch the huge waves, but I would be very careful about swimming the northern beaches in the winter.
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Nov 27th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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Odin has it in reverse. If you want to be close to a swimmable beach in January, the east coast or the north shore are not good choices, to say the least. Surf will be up and dangerous in both locales.

South Shore is where you want to be.

Try Kiahuna Plantation in Poipu.
iamq is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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definitely south in january
kauai_aka is offline  
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Nov 27th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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In case you haven't seen them before, there are "candid traveler photos" of both Kiahuna Plantation and the Marriott Waiohai (the two resorts mentioned in this thread) on tripadvisor.

Caution as to room location in each:

1) Marriott has 8 2-story buildings, with units in each that face the center of the horseshoe and units that face the outside. Some of the outside units (Building 4 for sure) face the parking lot, so be sure you don't get those. Anything that isn't "oceanview" (for which you pay a premium, of course) is considered "garden view", and that includes the ones that are "parking lot view".

2) At Kiahuna, the main thing to concern yourself with is what you want outside your door. For example, when I had small kids, I loved a lanai that opened right onto the big lawns. Some of the buildings open onto lawns, some onto lagoons, etc. Some are closer to the ocean and some are far. (Same goes for the Waiohai).

Also, the Marriott property is more compact. The building are in a sort of horseshoe shape around beautifully landscaped grounds. There's a pool near the center, which is the "quiet pool". The bigger pool is right at the beach. When we were there this summer, we got chaises on the grass just a step back from the ocean. Kiahuna is more spread out (many more buildings), and the only pool is actually across the street at the tennis club.

Hope that helps.
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Nov 28th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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I recently returned from Kauai. You definitely want to stay on the South side. The Lawai Beach Resort condos are pretty nice, if you can get one. There is a small beach directly across from the Lawai. It is known for some of the best snorkeling on Kauai. Just be careful as it is very rocky and can be difficult getting in/out of the ocean. Poipu Beach is a lovely stretch of beach and very swimmable.
clrossi is offline  
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Nov 28th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Yes I'm sorry, I got it the wrong way round.
Odin is offline  
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Dec 2nd, 2007, 06:47 AM
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Yes, the Southside is definitely better IMO. We stayed at the Prince Kuhio Condos. Very laid back and comfortable. It's across the street from the ocean, but the complex is so small and the road is quiet, you don't even notice. Supposedly some of the best snorkeling is right there (although very rocky). Excellent restaurant (The Beachhouse) is also right there with magnificent sunsets. Poipu Beach is very close. It's a nice 1/2 day trip drive up to Princeville.


Ahhh, memory lane....

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