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gretsch Jun 29th, 2006 03:59 PM

Kauai or Maui?
I have been to Oahu and The Big Island, so this time it's Maui or Kauai. I just can't decide between the two! I like that most likely there will be a snorkeling beach (or nice swimmable beach) right in front of the hotel in Maui, but I like that Kauai may be more beautiful and less crowded (traffic, etc). We are planning to go end of Sept or Oct. Do I have to worry about rain in Kauai? Due to budget, I am thinking for Maui the Napili Kai Beach Resort and for Kauai the Kauai Hotel and Beach Resort. Any thoughts on those? They are about the same price. I would love to stay at the Grand Hyatt Kauai but it's a bit too pricey. If we choose Kauai, can snorkeling be easily found? How does it compare to Maui? Thanks!

MBnancy Jun 29th, 2006 04:47 PM

I don't know your budget, but check out the Kauai Grand Hyatt's Stay Certificates for $249 a night, garden view room, off their web site. It says good for three nights, but people on this board have bought two sets of them for a longer stay.

egret Jun 29th, 2006 05:20 PM

I love Maui, especially the Kaupalua and Napili area. That would be my first pick.

Ag3046 Jun 29th, 2006 05:38 PM

The beach in front of the Kauai Hyatt is not swimmable. They have an extensive fancy pool system, but the beach is a big disapointment. Too rough for swimming. Only for experienced, tough bodyboarders.

I far prefer Makena Beach on Maui. I like the Maui Prince Hotel.

gretsch Jun 30th, 2006 12:59 AM

the hyatt link did not work....can anyone use a stay cert? do you need to belong to hyatt's program?

LordBalfor Jun 30th, 2006 07:27 AM

Stayed at the Kauai Hotel and Beach Resort in beachfront 2-bedroom/2-bathroom condo unit back in 2000 and enjoyed it very much. The beach there however is generally NOT safe to swim because of heavy surf. It is a very nice beach to walk (with usually no one on it - especially to the north up behind the golf course) but not good from swimming.

Also, nearby Kapaa has pretty horrid traffic (even back in 2000 - and probably much worse now). In general, the Lihue/Kapaa area is good because of it's central location (ie fairly easy access to both the north and the south - though as I mention, rush hour traffic is pretty bad) and it's proximity to loads of shopping, dining, and entertainment choices. However, as I've mentioned, the beaches there are not that great and the scenery only so-so (for Kauai).

When we return to Kauai (probably year after next) we will head to the north shore where there are some nice reef-protected locations (Anini Beach is our favorite) and incredible scenery.

Was in Maui last year and while it does offer some very nice beaches and a really good balance of development and quietness, Kauai is still our favorite because of he incredible lushness and ruggedness of the nearby mountains.

We are South Pacific fans, and the north shore of Kauai is the closest we've seen in Hawaii to the beauty and general atmospher of the South Pacific.

To save some cash you may want to consider renting a condo (say in Princeville or so) through VRBO.COM or other "by owner" website. We did that on Maui and got a great little condo for under $100/night. Was just a garden view ground floor unit, but was across the street from a great beach (Kamaole 3) in a great (though developed) location.


MBnancy Jun 30th, 2006 10:47 AM

Did you copy and paste the whole link...the one I pasted did not have the http included in blue ink.

Yes, anyone can use the certificates, but you might want to sign up for Gold Passport club if you stay there, for perks during your stay.

Snorkeling can be found a few minutes down the road at Poipu Beach Park.

gretsch Jun 30th, 2006 01:30 PM

I got the page to i simply buy the certificate and then I can use as long as there is availability at the hotel? can i buy online? do you happen to know if it includes taxes? Thanks!

SandratheGardener Jun 30th, 2006 04:27 PM

Kauai is absolutely wonderful. Went there last October for our honeymoon. We bare going to Maui this fall (where we have never been so I can't give input on Maui yet!).

The north shore of Kauai is absolutely amazing. We stayed in a condo ( for the first part of our trip and then at the Hyatt in Poipu (south side of the island) for the latter half. Limahuli gardens on the north side were wonderful, as was the Kalaulau trail hike. My favorite town in Kauai is Hanalei (on the north side). Get the Kauai and/or Maui revealed books - more information than you know waht to do with! Very useful for planning.

Happy planning :)

MBnancy Jun 30th, 2006 04:41 PM

Do a search, "Hyatt Stay Certificates" and you will see the various posts this past year from people who were happy with them. Off hand I believe $249 is the cost for the garden room.
We use the Sunshine on Sale package, because it gives you the daily buffet breakfast and one free night with 5 paid ones. But it is more expensive.

I believe people call the Hyatt and ask about their dates first, and if they are available they order the coupons. When making reservations, you have to give the code off the coupon. Apparently the coupons come within the week to your house.
But do a search if you want more info.

nancy1013 Jun 30th, 2006 04:58 PM

Have been to Maui 4 times, and Napili is by far my favorite part of the island. We just had our daughter's wedding at the Napili Kai Beach Resort. It was beautiful. The beach there is wonderful. Our friends snorkeled with sea turtles there. Our other guest traveled to several other beaches, and thought the snorkeling was better right in front of our room. This time of year would be great there. We always go in Sept. Oct also. They have just remodeled the units that directly face the beach, although they do not have a/c. Don't know if that would important to you. We are also of thinking about Kauai, I have done a lot of research on it recently, just couldn't decide which part of the island to stay. Don't miss the Maui Swap Meet held only on Saturdays, if you decide to go to Maui. Good Luck.

echolynch Jul 6th, 2006 11:22 AM


Kauai is beautiful and as you say, less crowded. It is lush, with excellent hiking and good beaches. It can be a bit rainier than the other islands, but that is what keeps everything green and gorgeous. It is much more laid back and similar to the BI in the local feel and flavor.

Maui is like the Disneyland version of Hawaii, if you can think of it, someone is selling it. There are thousands of condos to chose from and development that rivals Oahu. There is more nightlife on Maui than on Kauai and more shopping. Maui would be more expensive in general than Kauai.

I guess this would be a good yard stick: if you liked Oahu, check out Maui. If you liked the BI, check out Kauai.

Good luck and happy travels!

dee_wallisany Jul 10th, 2006 11:49 PM

If you decide on Maui and want a direct beach front condo where you can snorkel or swim right in front of it, you might think about looking at this 2 bedroom condo in Maalaea. The web site is It isn't a Grand Resort, but has a nice pool, tropical grounds, air, beachside shower, miles of private beach, a huge lanai only 17 steps from the sand and 180 degree views of the entire South Maui Coast. It is pretty booked up because of the location. Good luck

Kal Jul 11th, 2006 06:18 PM

Maui all the wayyyyyy. :-d

gretsch Jul 12th, 2006 11:10 AM

Thanks everyone! I have decided on Kauai and everything is booked. I am staying at a Kuhio Shores condo for 4 nights and Hyatt for 2 nights (with stay certs). Got great airfare. I am really excited, and only wish I didn't have to wait until Nov! I can always do Maui next year, right? :)

MBnancy Jul 12th, 2006 04:08 PM

gretsch, give us your experience with the Stay Certificates so we can stay updated. How long did the certificate take to get to you? Did you have your first choice of dates? Like to keep passing on the information of $249 a night at the Grand Hyatt to others, and want to make sure it is not so difficult.

trippinkpj Jul 12th, 2006 06:18 PM

Echo- I think a lot of us will disagree with you on Maui being like HI version of Disneyland. Upcountry, Haleakala, Hana, Makena, Kahalui, Wailuku and the west end road are not like Disneyland, LOL. I stay out of the resort areas and have plenty of fun and a very "un Disney" experience. Sorry for the soapbox all. Anyway Gretsch, I love Kauai too, and you'll have a great time. :-)

Ruth50 Jul 12th, 2006 07:49 PM

I think both islands are great. In Kauai, Poipu Beach is great for snorkeling as well as the public beach area at the Princeville Resort.

bartorlando Jul 13th, 2006 11:31 PM

Saving the best for last.

First of all you can't go wrong with either Kauai or Maui.

My favorite if Kauai.

Both are beautiful, but Maui is a much more crowded, touristy island (I guess it would be hard to appreciate with out going to both) and Kauai is a very relaxed, local island.

Considering getting the Wizardpub books (, they're really good.

Regardless, you'll enjoy.


susan217 Jul 14th, 2006 10:16 AM

You made the right decision. If you haven't left yet, don't forget to follow the road around the island northward to where it ends at the Na Pali cliffs. There you will find Ke'e beach, one of the loveliest in the world.

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