Kauai: Stay on north or south coast?

Old Aug 28th, 2009, 05:21 PM
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Hi James, We were their in late April/early May and the weather was fantastic. Not that I would say this will always happen and we are going back in late September. WE are Princeville fans.
I find myself asking you this-Do you want awesome, spectacular, a little bit of peace and quite, or are you up to crowds, hotels, condos, timeshares right on top of one another, and traffic? If you chose the later you are going to stay in Poipu.
My husband and I travel quite a bit and we love the islands. We go to Maui for activity and Kauai for relaxation and stay in Princeville. Both trips to Kauai we were not impressed with Poipu, it reminded of us of just another crowded over populated beach we could find in the US.On the otherhand, Princeville was quiet, beautiful and the swimming/snorkeling was fantastic. From Lihue airport, Princeville is only 25 minutes away and Poipu with the congestion was about the same in the other direction. We took a day trip to see if things had changed and it took us 45 minutes to get from Princevile to the beach/resturant in Poipu, it hasn't, just the same... I hear you are not into condo's, but I might suggest the following idea. Call the sales desk for both the Marriott in Poipu and the Westin in Princeville and ask them about their special, the one they offer for prospective owners, tell them you want to look at ownership at their properties. I know, I know, the question comes to mind, do we want to sit for 1.5 hours through one or two presentations? The cost for your stay warrants a YES. I do not work for either organization, but when I travel I find the most bang for my dollar. I stayed at the Westin, both in Maui and Kauai, and have referred about 30 people on this offer. My sister recently went to the Westin, stayed 5 nights/6days,for a whopping $760.00, which included a credit voucher for a car, and resort credit for $75.00, this was in Maui, Kaui has the same sales offers but may be a bit higher. Her villa had a kitchenette, full size fridge, sitting area, king bed, car and she added daily maid service for less than $160.00 per day! Plus she saved on the excise hotel tax, resort fees,or parking fees. Everyone I have referred to the Westin have been impressed with their accomodations and said the price was fantastic! I would venture you could stay at both the Westin in Princeville and the Marriott in Poipu for 10 nights for about $1600.00
Or you could skip these resorts and go for the hotels. A few suggestions would be: St.Regis in Princeville (opening end of Sept.2009 (used to be Princeville resort and is now going through a major upgrade),we will visit during our upcoming trip in Sept/Oct. dtsy away from Haneli Colony it is an armpit from my point of view... or go down to Poipu and stay at the Hyatt or Marriott.
I like to have my coffee in the morning on a balcony and cocktails with a nibble before dinner, staying at the timeshares in Kauai and Maui affords me to really enjoy my trips vs. a hotel with a bed, maybe a balcony and no fridge for the little stuff, plus resort fees, parking fees, and that extra hotel tax.
Trust me I don't always stay in this type of property, we have spent many nights in overwater bungalows in the South Pacific and in hotel rooms in the Carribean and Mexico. Hawaii we want to enjoy ourselves, golfing, zodiac trips up the Napili coast, and maybe take a helicopter ride (especially for first timers) and cut down some costs with eating out 2-3 times a day.
AND yes getting around Kauai (which you cannot drive around the island, is not a big deal!
You really can't go wrong, enjoy your trip!
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Old Aug 29th, 2009, 11:33 AM
  #22  
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Wow, lot's of helpful suggestions here! Great to know so many people are willing to be so helpful. We'll take another look at the St. Regis, although it's not open yet. Does have a web site, however. I understand the previous Princeville hotel was falling apart. Would love to hear from TahitiGirl once she has visited there in Sept/Oct.
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Old Aug 31st, 2009, 03:30 PM
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When we were there in late April/May the place was in a definte remodel and you could tell it was falling apart at one time, even the golf course is being redone! And we did not think they would be ready by the end of September. If it is anything like their other resorts it should be fabulous. We stay at the St. Regis in Laguana Beach every year for our anniversary. Will let you know what we think in October
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Old Aug 31st, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Just up the path from new St. Regis is the Hanalei Bay Resort. Condos and time shares. Our one bed one bath was perfect for us. Absolutely drop dead views, mountains, bay, flowers. Balcony for every morning coffe, most evening cocktails. Manicured grounds, pools, tennis. Bali Hai Bar now reopened. We drove a lot, but got to see everything. Here's our unit: http://www.summitpacificinc.com/9222.html
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Old Aug 31st, 2009, 08:46 PM
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The Princeville Hotel's interior decor was dated and in need of a new look, but I don't think I would say it was falling apart. That's a bit of an exaggeration.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2009, 10:33 AM
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We've been to Kauai twice - once in the winter (February) and once in the summer (August). It rained our entire trip in February, including in Poipu. In August, the weather was phenomenal around the whole island. Both times we stayed in a condo/resort on the Coconut Coast and found the location to be great for traveling to both the South and the North. The next time we go back, I want to rent a cottage in Hanalei though. To me Poipu felt very upscale, with a lot of very nice condos. That's not bad, it's just not what I'm looking for in our next trip. I imagine at some point I will stay there though.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2009, 11:48 AM
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Yah really can't lose.....
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Old Oct 28th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Hi James,
We made it back from Kauai and had another wonderful time. Rented our car from National this time they are owned by Enterprise and less expensive from the rest. Although you do have to drive to their lot which is about 5-10 minutes from the airport on a bus.
Once you are there, depending on where you are staying you could do a Costco run, very close...
Weather in late September was not too hot, actually perfect temperature. It did rain for one day and sprinkled us with quick showers but we are used to this happening.

Beaches were fun to visit, high tides due to the 2 sunami warnings we had so we could not do much snorkeling this trip.

Update on the St.Regis. Remember I am prejudice when it comes to paying big bucks for a hotel. The St. Regis had a soft opening on the 27th and then their grand opening on the 1st of October. The entry is spectacular, the view when entering the main lobby is fantastic. The pool area is really cool with lounge chairs sitting right in the shallow end and the staff was on its best behavior.
They did have an dress attire for guests entering main areas, as they wanted guests to feel they were in a upscale resort,no bathing suits without a cover, men had to have shirts on and no barefeet.
The beach is small and not so good. You can swin around the tip and get some better snokeling.
We did not have a chance to check out a room, from what we heard were tastefully done and they used to have a shower wall with clear glass through to your bedroom and with a touch of a button it turned opaque so no one could see in, so hopefully that is still there.
Most rooms do not have a balcony which is important to us as we like to sit out and have our morning coffee, but to others maybe not so important.
Prices are a bit high, but you are paying for a 5star St.Regis resort, and I am sure they will have packages with one night free with so many nights paid.
Their main dining room was not open yet so we did not celebrate my girlfriends or my birthdays there which we hoped to do, but went to a resturant called The Dolphin and had a great dinner instead.
Sunsets from the resturant and ocean view rooms could be spectacular.
Our driver from National has his son working their and said that the two choices for great hotel/resorts on Kauai would be the St.Regis and the Grand Hyatt which is in Poipu.

We did more exploring this trip and suggest you do the drive to Waimea Canyon it was spectacular. We also visited many waterfalls and it is really amazing the amount of water the island gets at top to create these falls.

Last note, if you get to Costco on your way out of the airport, purchase the travel book on Kauai it was the best travel book we have purchased.

Enjoy your trip, we are already planning next years back to Maui and Kauai.
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