I noticed this holiday season that there was a lot of press about the Obama’s holiday retreat to Hawaii. The President is from Hawaii and so am I, originally. Although I have never been to the islands during the winter holiday, I have been many, many times and thought it was a good time to share my love of one of the quieter islands: Kauai.
The Garden Isle
It is evident why Kauai is known as “The Garden Isle.” It is lush, tropical and green. It is a quiet island, more noticeable for what it is not than what it is. It is not the hustling, bustling Honolulu. It is not the towering hotels or towering anything. There is a building code that limits buildings to three stories. It is not a party mecca. It is not a city crammed on a small island. It is a beautiful natural landscape with gorgeous beaches, jungles and coastlines. It is an island of small, local towns where everybody knows everybody. It is a place where you never need take off your flip-flops nor wear long pants. It is a place I could see living out forever.
Where To Stay
The island of Kauai has distinct weather patterns – the north part being much wetter than the south. The favorite place to stay on the south side of the island is Poipu Beach.
There are many accommodations of many types: condos, small hotels, homes, luxury beach hotels. Our go-to is The Kauai Grand Hyatt which has everything you could ever need and is large enough to offer a range of arrangements and prices. It combines old Hawaii charm with modern facilities, numerous pools, gorgeous gardens, a luxury spa, sports facilities, beachfront and a central location. The service is impeccable.
An indispensable guide to Kauai is, “The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook/Kauai Revealed.” It takes you to the noteworthy sites but also the less-known and unique places Kauai has to offer. From waterfalls to natural slides in the jungle, this book is a great investment in making the most out of a trip to this unique island.
As a foodie, I would be remiss not to mention a truly noteworthy restaurant for this small island that could be put up against any worthy establishment in the biggest cities in the country: The Beach House. Consistently crowded (tip: you need a reservation) but always mind-blowing – the atmosphere literally takes your breath away. Waves crash next to you in the open-air dining room. The staff are quintessentially, genuinely old Hawaiian who know their food and their culture. The food is locally sourced and clearly indicated by boat, name and captain on their menu. And the food is not only delicious, it’s beautiful. My picture does not do it justice.
Do Not Miss This Island
Kauai is a must-see if you are visiting the Hawaiian islands. It is the perfect antidote to Oahu, which I equally love. It is what most people who have never been to Hawaii envision. It is the place to relax and regroup. It is heaven on earth. Paradise.