When looking for accommodations on Kaua‘i, you can choose from three main areas of the island: the more populated eastern shore; the lush, tropical North Shore; and the arid southern shore. Along the entire western coast of the island are the plunging cliffs and isolated beaches of the infamous Napali Coast; no lodging options are located there.
Also called the Coconut Coast, Kaua‘i’s eastern shore is home to the island’s most populated towns Kapa‘a and Lihu‘e. Kapa‘a’s central location offers quick access to the scenic sugar country of the south shore, or the taro fields of the northern coast. Lihu‘e is Kaua‘i’s main traffic junction, with the island’s largest airport just a few minutes east of town. Accommodations here include a mix of luxury and economy hotels, with the latter dominating the coastline.
The luxuriously green North Shore combines rural charm with world-class resorts. On the one hand you’ll find bird sanctuaries, taro fields and breathtaking views of the famous Napali Coast; on the other, first-rate resorts in Princeville and Hanalei featuring golf courses, tennis facilities and fine dining. Included in the mix are cottages and a sprinkling of bed & breakfasts.
The South Shore has it roots in the sugar era, thus maintaining a quiet, rustic air that is accentuated by the flourishing artist’s communities of Koloa, Kalaheo, Hanapepe, Waimea and Kekaha. Home to some of Hawai‘i’s most beautiful beaches, this area also features a mix of luxury resorts, economy hotels, condominiums and even a charming set of former plantation cottage rentals in Po‘ipu.
Try a Vacation Rental
On Kaua‘i you’ll find more than 2,600 homes and condos listed as “available” through private owners and management companies. Vacation rentals are tailor-made for families, groups of friends, weddings, honeymoons or visitors looking for a secluded place to leave the world behind. You can do your own cooking, and you may even get a rare opportunity to dip into the local culture.
Vacation rentals are popular because Kaua‘i offers a wealth of wonderful locations. These properties can be found throughout the island on oceanfronts, in resorts, in neighborhoods and in secluded rural settings. In the upscale market expect magnificent views, at least five bedrooms, elegant decor and top dollar rates. On the other hand, if a one-bedroom unit is all you need, you can likely find one for $100 to $125 a night.