kauai trip

Old Aug 9th, 2005, 10:42 PM
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kauai trip

Just got back from Kauai. Beautiful! Just what I envision a tropical island should be. Stayed at the Islander--got a great deal through Entertainment. Having stayed at big, fancy-pool resorts in the Big Island and Maui, the Islander was a different experience. But we like how we could just hop in the car easily and not have to wait for a tram to take us to the lobby and for the valet to get our car. And how the pool and beach were just steps from our lanai and we didn't have to walk 15 minutes to get there. I like big posh resorts, but I figured in Kauai we'd try something different since the garden isle is meant to be explored--not stay cocooned from. North side was breathtakingly beautiful--and cheesy as it sounds, I couldn't help but break out into song, "Bali Hai," of course. Everyone was nice and friendly. Thanks everyone who helped with suggestions.
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Old Aug 9th, 2005, 10:58 PM
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Did the Wailua River/Fern Grotto boat trip, Smith's luau (kids loved the special effects), snorkeling sailing with Captain Andy's, Lydgate/Poipu/Anini beaches, shave ice, Lappert's, Waimea Canyon, National Botanical Garden up north, caves, Koloa, lighthouse, Hawaiian Village, waterfalls...

Regret not buying Ultimate Kauai guidebook. Missed out on Hamura Saimin noodles, Beach House restaurant, swimming at waterfall lagoon, movie tour, north shore sailing, all the other snorkeling beaches. Regret not taking off my sunglasses so I wouldn't have a "raccoon" tan.
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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Mahalo for your Trip Report!

Can you share what you saw with regard to snorkeling while sailing with Capt. Andy
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 06:54 PM
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First, let me say the crew at Captain Andy's were really nice and helpful, the food good, the scenery nice. But having done the Tradewinds snorkeling tour at the Big Island, I would say that the Tradewinds experience was a lot better--clearer water, more fish. The snorkeling at the Captain Andy's spot was about the same as what we saw at Lydgate, so we could have just rented snorkeling gear and stayed at Lydgate. The Ultimate Kauai book, which we did not buy, advice taking snorkeling trips from the north shore, where the route is better. Captain Andy's and others come from the south shore. That said, we did see dolphins and a sea turtle up close from our Captain Andy's boat enroute to snorkeling, something that never happened at Tradewinds.

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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 07:05 PM
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No bad weather and madd chicken and monster bugs in your report???? You know they won't let you back if you keep adding to this kind of island propaganda. "Northside was breathtakingly beautiful..." Everyone knows it's the rainiest place on earth!!!

Counting the hours until we check into Islander before our flooded northshore beachhouse!!! There's something to say about those 10 minute walks to get sprayed in the face with Evian. We love it all!

Cheers!
G'lou
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Old Aug 10th, 2005, 07:16 PM
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Another Mahalo for the trip report.;S- We went to Kauai in April 03 and absolutely fell in love with it.We stayed in Kapaa' at Rosewood's B&B..very nice place that was beautifully landscaped.

We have been to Kauai,St John,and Aruba.Out of the 3..Kauai is our favorite..with St John not far behind Negril Jamaica is next in September.

By the way..if you ever go back to Kauai..you must go to Queens Bath..it's a natural pool near Princeville that was awesome.We had an advance when we went..one of my best friends lived in Kauai for 5 years and gave us all of the *must-see's*.

Anyways..glad to hear that you enjoyed Kauai.

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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 01:30 PM
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Don't set your expectations too high for Negril, Jamaica - there is no comparison to Kauai or St. John. There are some nice resorts, but I would not leave it. I was there March '98 so maybe things have changed, in Kauai Sep '00, and St. John Mar '03 and by far the favorite is Kauai. Going back Mar '06!!
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 03:17 PM
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What town is "The Islander" in? Does the hotel have a website? Or how did you book it?
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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g'lou,

Flooded beachhouse? Do tell.

-Bill
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 03:46 PM
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Hey I'm like a prepared little girlscout. I'm just ready to open the door during torrential downpours and start bailing out the beach house......since we know....all it does is rain, rain, rain on that godforesaken, madd chicken bug infested sorry excuse for an island.

Thanks for your updates!!!!
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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mlm,
I know that Jamaica is going to be a totally different experience.
I have gathered alot of good info. from the Jamaica experts on this forum.
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 05:27 PM
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The Aston Islander is on the east shore--which is not in the main resort areas of the south or north shores. It depends on what you want. As I said, we did the big resort area thing (Kona Coast and Kaanapali Beach) in the other islands, so we wanted to try something different in Kauai. The beach is not swimmable, but the location is central to everything. There is one good beach in the east shore, though, 5 minutes from the Islander, which is perfect for families like ours with little ones--Lydgate Beach.

The difference is at the Hilton Waikoloa in the Big Island, the pools were fabulous (waterfalls, caves), but we realized our little ones would be happy in any body of water that wasn't too deep. And we had to wait 10 minutes for the tram/boat, add 15 more for the trip, and maybe some more for the valet. Once I forgot to bring the floaters, and by the time I went back to the room and brought them, the kids were done swimmiing. But we had a great time at the Waikoloa, it's a nice resort--we just wanted to try something new, and not having to wait for anything was refreshing.

Yes, it rained when we were there--it wasn't that bad, the showers were short and it wasn't cold or anything. The kids loved swimming while it was raining. We didn't stay in the north shore, just visited--perhaps it rained there a lot more.
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Old Aug 11th, 2005, 05:45 PM
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gyppielou, those beachhouses on Anini are beautiful--is that where yours is? The bugs didn't bug me--we have them here in California--I see little spiders in my house now and then, and there are ladybugs in our garden. And the chickens didn't harrass us--as far as my kids were concerned, they were part of the special sights to be seen.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Aloha anne,
We've been with The Islander thru thick and thin almost every year since our first trip over in '89.

How was the remodel. We could have got a new room last Dec/Jan but wanted our old, run down bug infested, rooster crowing, pigeon cooing room.

Too bad the Sand Bar was still closed as it's a lot of fun. We've met and stay in touch with a lot of the locals there. Learned a lot of "secret stuff" by being quiet and just listening...hard to believe, I know.

Ahhhhhhhhh....138 mo' days!!!!
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 07:23 PM
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anneofingleside, I saw you mentioned you used your Entertainment book for your hotel. We just bought the book online too based on other fodor's posting. We are going to Kauai in 9/14/05. We were wondering if you used any other coupons/deals from entertainment in Kauai that is worth the visit, such as restaurants in particular or any other use? Also, other insider tips on visting Kauai would be appreciated. This forum has been great. Thanks.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 08:11 PM
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Kal, unfortunately the pool bar was not open yet when we were there. I had to walk to the Coconut Marketplace to get food to eat poolside. I figured it'll be done in a month. You should get a remodeled room next time because they're all finished. I was expecting the room to be tiny because of comments I've read, but it wasn't at all and there were lots of storage space. We got upgraded to a pool/ocean view because they ran out of garden views. Those pool cabanas--perfect for reading and napping...

I like how centrally located the Islander was. Everything was there--food, shopping, sights, and not too much of a drive to the north or south. And the price for a newly remodeled room with a view was a third of what we paid for in the other islands--which is what my husband loved best of all.
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Old Aug 12th, 2005, 08:27 PM
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Avs, the only other coupon we used the Entertainment book for was the rental car. There are very few Kauai dining coupons in the book--they're mostly Oahu-based. But the hotel and the car coupons made the book worth it for us. There's a luau coupon in there, but we instead went to Smith's luau, where we got a AAA discount.

For tips--my husband suggests renting snorkeling gear from Snorkel Bob's and exploring the various snorkeling beaches instead of paying hundreds for a snorkeling tour. If sailing, take Dramamin (sp?) or you will suffer if the waters are choppy. For souvenirs, buy chocolate macadamia nuts at drugstores instead of tourist stores--they cost much less. Don't miss out on Limahuli Gardens--that made the trip for me. Listen to a Hawaiian CD while driving to sights--cheesy, but adds to the experience. Kids liked Keoki's Paradise restaurant, shave ice. Read up on Hawaiian legends...
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Old Aug 13th, 2005, 04:05 AM
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Avs19..there is a coupon bogo for Aloha Pizza, I think it is called..in the Coconut Marketplace

And, the best coupon for Kauai is 25% off with Holoholo Charters.

 
Old Aug 14th, 2005, 07:32 PM
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Thanks for the tips. We are using the coupons for car rental. As for the snorkeling eqpt. we decided to buy them as we'll be island hoping and prefer to have our own. We plan to do the helicopter tour in Kauai and have gotten some great tips from this forum on which company to use. We are considering Air Kuai, Jack Harter's or Blue hawaiian? Also good tips on the motion sickness remedies.
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Old Aug 14th, 2005, 11:17 PM
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Avs19,
We just got back from Kauai. We had a dinner at Joe's on the Green in Poipu last Thursday evening. Only open on Wed. and Thurs. for dinner. We had great cocktails, beautiful sunset, delicious food and the treat was the entertainment, live Hawaiian music.
Make reservations for around 6 PM.
8-)
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