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Kapa‘a Area

Fern Grotto Inn – Hawaii Resort – Kauai

(808) 821-9836
4561 Kuamoo Rd, Wailua
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Most locals don’t know this small inn exists—you can blink and drive right by the simple mailbox entrance—but we hope you won’t do that because you’d miss a true Hawaiian-style experience. This inn was originally built by a Japanese widow in the 1940s after the war. It was called Fujita Camp back then. She used wood from old cargo ships to build the units that still stand today. There are five buildings that were added throughout the 1950s. In the 1980s, after her passing, the property fell into disrepair until the current owner picked it up in 2005. He slowly started to polish what was worth saving, renovate areas that needed it and reopened in 2007. A second-story was added to one building in 2017.

This is a quiet place with lovely, peaceful gardens all planted by the owner. Many varieties of fruit trees are scattered about, and you are encouraged to partake of the bounty. (They even have a fruit picker for those juicy mangoes too high to reach.

2020-07-09T13:44:05-10:00 Rating: No Award

Hilton Garden Inn Kaua‘i

(844) 672-2149 or (808) 823-6000
3-5920 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
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Located adjacent to Lydgate Park (the safest place to swim on the island—it also has a playground), this resort is great for families with small children. This 1968 property, after going through many changes (not all of them good), was finally reborn as the Hilton Garden Inn to much success. The renovations are remarkable in the interior areas and rooms. The rooms are modern with touches of purple (the color of Kaua‘i) and soft greens. Only two room categories have a lanai (besides cottages)—the Ocean View Lanai rooms and the one-bedroom suite. No rooms have an in-room safe, you will have to use the front desk safety deposit boxes.  Rooms in Pikake Wing are larger (402 sq. ft.) than the Maile Wing (363 sq. ft.). Some rooms have bathtubs. If you want a place to sit outside, opt for a room on the first floor facing the pool.

2020-07-10T11:17:36-10:00 Rating: No Award

Honu‘ea International Hostel Kaua‘i

(808) 823-6142
4532 Lehua St, Kapaa
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This hostel can accommodate 38 people in their dorms or rooms (just a full- or queen-size bed) with shared baths, kitchen (very clean) with free coffee in mornings. Not a bad place to stay, if you are on a budget and this is one of the friendliest hostels we’ve seen. The vibe is more family-feel than party-hearty. The people who run it are very warm and welcoming. They have quiet hours from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m. Bedding is provided, you bring the rest (including padlocks). WiFi is only available in common areas, which encourages people to get out of their rooms and socialize. Fans can be borrowed, if you need one, with a $25 cash deposit. No laundry or phone on site. The office is open from 11 a.m. (gotta catch the early morning surf) to 9 p.m. $30–$40 for the dorms, $65–$95 for the semi-private or private rooms. 2-night minimum. You must have a return plane ticket or international passport to stay here.

2020-07-10T11:46:56-10:00 Rating: No Award

Hotel Coral Reef Resort

(800) 843-4659 or (808) 822-4481
4-1516 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
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Most of the rooms at this hotel have a fresh, tropical feel with newer rooms feeling more modern. The main oceanfront building’s bathrooms have deep Jacuzzi tubs. Good location with the grounds looking great on our latest visit. They’re right on the beach path for your morning stroll or bike ride. You can even arrange a massage near the ocean in their cabana there. Free coffee, fruit and pastries in the lobby in the mornings where you can “talk story” with other guests and staff. Free bikes, beach gear, coolers and DVDs available on site. A third story was added to the oceanfront building with an elevator. Lanais on all but some suites. Microwaves in all but economy rooms. Overall, a friendly place to stay. Rooms (approx. 200–600 sq. ft.) are $129–$349, 1/1 suites with full kitchens (676 sq. ft.) are $289–$499. Discounts available if you call direct at certain times of the year make this a Solid Gold Value.

2020-07-10T11:35:02-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Islander on the Beach

(855) 747-0763 or (808) 822-7417
440 Aleka Pl, Kapaa
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Wonderful open, plantation-style resort adjacent to Wailua Beach with very relaxing grounds. The Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau buildings are fairly close to the ocean, allowing you to fall asleep to the sound of the surf. Grab a beverage from the poolside bar (2–9 p.m.) and sip it at the beach, or enjoy live music some nights. A relaxing thatch-covered daybed by the pool is free. The resort was converted to a condotel (meaning the rooms are all individually owned), but décor is consistent, pleasing and well-maintained. Rooms are smallish at 372 sq. ft. and go for $169–$346. 1/1 suites at 529 sq. ft. (with full kitchen) are $279 (very limited availability). They have lots of specials. 5-night minimum stay required at Christmas.

2020-07-10T11:21:44-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kaha Lani

(800) 367-5004 or (808) 822-9331
4460 Nehe Rd, Lihue
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These condo grounds are well-tended, and the area is less built up than some places on the east shore. The buildings themselves feel cheaply built (and sound carries pretty efficiently), but they are well-maintained. Most of the units are reasonably decorated, though you still have lots of variation in terms of updating. However, all the units are very clean. We prefer units on higher floors for a better ocean view, though views still feel a bit distant. Adjacent to Lydgate State Park and the beach path. Rack rates have a large spread, so we hope you got a good deal. The staff is helpful here. Housekeeping on stays of 10 or more days from main agent. Room safes (if in unit) are $2.50 per day. 1/1 or 1/2 units (627–739 sq. ft.) are 1/1 or 1/2 units (627–739 sq. ft.) are $139–$329, 2/2 units (996 sq. ft.) are $189–$419, 3/2 units (1,183 sq. ft.) are $279–$519.

2020-07-10T11:17:00-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kapa‘a Sands Resort

(800) 826-7782 or (808) 822-4444
380 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa
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This is a good bargain condo property. They have oceanfront studios (some have a pull down Murphy bed—these are recommended for more living space). Small, but they make good use of the space. You are as close as 30 feet from the water on a small beach (down some steps) in the oceanfront units. The beach may have large driftwood on it. Resident offshore turtles will keep you entertained at dusk. The property feels very intimate and tropical. Nice BBQ area with picnic tables. Some of the oceanfront units (numbers 1–2) are partially blocked by trees. Some units could use updating. Studios (approx. 380 sq. ft.) are $135–$206 (definitely spring for the oceanfront), 2/2 units have a two-story layout (728 sq. ft.) and are $185–$255. 3- or 7-night minimum.

2020-07-10T11:19:14-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Kaua‘i Kailani

(800) 367-5004 or (808) 822-3971
4-856 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
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These two three-story buildings were gutted and converted to condos in 2015. The front building (A) consists of units surrounding a small pool and overlooking the ocean. There is not much beach here, and most of the time the swimming is marginal, so plan that activity elsewhere. The units don’t feel very well-built to us, but they are updated and fresh. We’re just not sure how they will hold up over time. They also have a very cramped feeling with small square footages of 635 sq. ft. for the 1/1 units, which use the den (closed off by a sliding glass door) with a sofabed for an extra sleeping area. The 2/3 units give you a bit more room at 925 sq. ft., but the design feels awkward with doors opening into (and sometimes blocking) hallways. You still have a den in those units with the sofabed and sliding glass door. There is no room for a dining table in either unit, just a kitchen bar.

2020-07-10T11:27:04-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kaua‘i Shores

(800) 222-5642 or (808) 822-4951
420 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa
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A trendy boutique hotel that is popular with young travelers. It has a nice oceanfront location next to the Coconut Marketplace, though you don’t really get a feel for the ocean here the way the buildings are oriented. Their beach is not a great swimming beach, but it’s a great place for a beach walk. Rooms are bright and modern with shades of green and orange. Their pools aren’t much to speak of, and there is a fire pit on property. Their beachside restaurant, Lava Lava Beach Club, has tables literally in the sand. The prices have come down from our last review, so that makes them a Solid Gold Value now. Rooms (313 sq. ft.) are $179–$319 for studios, $229–$329 for 384-sq.-ft. studios with kitchenettes (only in the Maile building). Lots of discounts and packages available make it an even better value.

2020-07-10T11:20:32-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Lae Nani

(800) 688-7444 or (808) 823-1401
410 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa
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Pleasant grounds and a very nice oceanfront location at this gated condo property. They have a Hawaiian heiau on the premises, as well as a wonderful boulder–enclosed ocean pond for the keiki (kids). Building 5 has oceanfront units. There is no WiFi at this property and they like it that way, so leave your iPad at home. Free room safe from main agent listed and their check-in is at Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa a few minutes farther north in Kapa‘a. 1/2 units (808 sq. ft.) are $209–$280, 2/2 units (1,072–1,368 sq. ft.) are $299–$358. 3-night minimum. The agent listed below has some cheaper prices.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T11:20:04-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem


(808) 821-9555
390 Papaloa Rd, Kapaa
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Small but lush, manicured grounds, high-quality rooms and lots of living space at this condo property. The oceanfront units are most desirable, and we prefer the units where the bedroom also faces the ocean (but there are only a half-dozen of those). Only a few units have a/c. 2/2 units (1,445 sq. ft.) are $275–$450. 3-night minimum.

To view more agents’ units see:

2020-07-10T11:19:40-10:00 Rating: No Award

Plantation Hale Suites

(800) 775-4253 or (808) 822-4941
525 Aleka Loop, Kapaa
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No sounds of the ocean can be heard at these condos, but you may hear traffic from the highway in some rooms. The furnishings have been updated and they are pleasant, but the rooms still smelled musty to us. They used to have distant ocean views from some second-floor units, but a long-term construction project in front of them has blocked almost all the views. There are lots of packages available, so we doubt you’ll pay our listed rack rates. 1/1 units (635 sq. ft.) are $149–$299.

2020-07-10T11:22:07-10:00 Rating: No Award

Sheraton Kaua‘i Coconut Beach Resort

(808) 822-3455
650 Aleka Loop, Kapaa
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Nice centrally located resort with a good attitude, this is the most recently renovated resort on the east side. It has been through a lot of changes over the years, and this one makes all the others pale by comparison with its latest $28 million update completed in 2019. The feeling is mid-century modern meets Hawai‘i. (How’s that for a décor style?) They’ve opened up a lot of the areas that were closed in, like the ballroom and the restaurants, and it now embraces its ocean location well. This is not located on a swimming beach, but it makes for a great place to watch the waves roll in from on the many hammocks and chairs they have by the beach.

The pool courtyard boast 4,000 sq. ft of water features and has been completely redone. It now hosts a zero edge pool, keiki pool and a large spa.

2020-07-10T11:22:47-10:00 Rating: No Award


(800) 367-5004 or (808) 822-3971
4-796 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
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This property used to be called the Mokihana, and it was fairly run down, but in 2018, after $5 million worth of renovations to rooms, lobby and pool, it was reborn as a boutique-type hotel. You can tell they are trying to appeal to the young budget traveler and do a pretty good job of it with a relaxed lobby with a spot to plug in your laptop, free continental breakfast and morning yoga on the lawn (yoga mats are provided in your room). They give you a reusable water bottle and offer a filling station in the lobby. The breakfast room has a microwave that you may use at any time during your stay. Bicycles and helmets are available, too. There’s a fire pit on the lawn that draws an evening crowd and is a good place to share your day’s adventures with new friends.

The rooms have sort of a shabby, beach-chic decor that works for us. No a/c (but you have a ceiling fan, and the ocean breeze provides the rest).

2020-07-09T13:44:38-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Wailua Bayview

(800) 367-5242
320 Papaloa Rd, Wailua
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Very clean inside and out, adequately furnished for the money, with an excellent, elevated oceanfront condo location. It’s great to hear the roar of the ocean (and be so close to the beach). Units ending in 01–03 don’t have quite as good a view and can be noisier since they are closer to the main road and the 24-hour mini-mart across the street. Higher floors have better views, but lower floors are still admirable. Rooms farthest from the road have more private lanai. Most bedrooms have a/c. Surprisingly, though you’re so close to the water, there’s no path down to the beach. You’ll have to walk off the property first. Some discounts available online. Prices have crept up over the years, but are still a pretty good deal. Based on that, this could be considered a Solid Gold Value. There is no smoking allowed anyplace on the property. 1/1 units (686 sq. ft.) are $182–$232. 4-night minimum.

2020-07-10T11:18:16-10:00 Rating: No Award

Waipouli Beach Resort & Spa

(800) 688-7444 or (808) 823-1401
4-820 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa
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This condo resort has the most upscale rooms on the east shore. The area is very congested, and traffic into and out of the property may be an issue at times. Once you are within the grounds, you won’t notice that much, as most of the resort is oriented toward the pool and beach. The rooms are richly appointed and furnished. They include dark, imported hardwood trim, granite counters, oversized Wolf ovens, etc. On the plus side, the bedrooms and baths are large. The baths have deep tubs and separate showers. On the negative side, the living area is relatively small. They didn’t plan for a dining area, which is usually just a small table often shoved against a wall (an issue if you have more than three people staying in a room).

2020-07-09T13:55:09-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem
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