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Lihu‘e Area

Banyan Harbor

(800) 422-6926 or (808) 245-7333
3411 Wilcox Rd, Lihue
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Many of the condos here are long-term rentals and some are timeshares, but there are still lots of vacation rentals at this property. Few pay the rack rate we list, so check for packages. On the 2/2 units, the single-level layouts (ramblers) are better because they have a full second bathroom instead of a half-bath. Building B can be noisy since it is by the main entrance. The ocean views feel pretty industrial here. There are no tropical grounds but lots of stairs. Housekeeping is every third day from the agent listed. The a/c units are on a 6 hour timer, so you may need to wake up and reset it for a full night’s rest. Ultimately, not very compelling. 1/1 units (600 sq. ft.) are $155–$255, 2/2 units (840–920 sq. ft.) are $185–$285. 2-night minimum.
2020-07-10T11:10:42-10:00 Rating: No Award

Garden Island Inn

(800) 648-0154 or (808) 245-7227
3445 Wilcox Rd, Lihue
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This pretty and colorful inn (all doors and art on the walls are original art pieces) located near Kalapaki Beach in Nawiliwili is spotlessly clean with lots of nice touches around the place, such as fresh flowers, free use of their boogie boards, snorkel gear, beach mats, DVDs and daily housekeeping. The staff exudes the aloha spirit here. They provide a nice complimentary continental breakfast in the lobby with plenty of places to sit and enjoy it in their colorful garden. This is a good place to stay for those seeking a place to sleep in a central location for exploring the island. It can be noisy on the main road, but rooms numbered 3–7, 8–14 and 17–20 face a manmade waterfall that helps drown out the traffic sounds. We also like the large lanai on room 21. The bathrooms have showers, no tubs (except room 20). Rooms (approx. 225–400 sq. ft) are $175–$230. Only wish they had some sort of laundry facilities.

2020-07-10T11:11:18-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kaua‘i Beach Resort

(866) 940-2782 or (808) 245-1955
4331 Kauai Beach Dr, Lihue
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We just like the feel of this place on every visit. It’s relaxing, laid back and not too big. This resort has been through many management changes, but its latest is one of the better ones. They renovated most of the rooms, lobby and common areas. The new room decor (now called “Deluxe”) is modern and makes the space feel much larger than its 320 sq. ft. They have left some rooms unrenovated, but those are still very well-maintained and can be had for a better rate. Renovations are planned for sometime in 2020. The lanais are small here, just barely room for chairs. If you opt for ocean view, ask for one of the ocean-facing end units in Bldg. 4. Otherwise, spring for a pool view, most of which can catch a view of the ocean. Adjoining rooms available.

This resort, located between Lihu‘e and Wailua, is near a pretty but relatively unswimmable beach. (A short walk farther north leads to better parts of Nukoli‘i Beach.

2020-07-10T11:16:03-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Kaua‘i Beach Villas

(800) 367-5025 or (808) 245-8841
4330 Kauai Beach Dr, Lihue
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Though these condos vary in decor, we found them to be overall in good condition. We especially like the layout of the 2/2s. The bedrooms are very well separated, making it a good value for two couples. Buildings G and H have the best views. Much of the resort is timeshare, but there are many rentals here. There is a dirt motorcycle track nearby, which may bring some added noise on some weekends—especially near buildings B to E. Located on a less swimmable part of Nukoli‘i Beach. If you would like to use the pools at the Kaua‘i Beach Resort next door, they now offer this through this rental agent at no extra charge. However you have to get the wristband from their office in Lihue (across from Walmart), pay $50 deposit per wristband (so don’t lose ’em) and sign a waiver. 1/1 or 1/2 units (684–810 sq. ft.) are $145–$265, 2/2 units (1,185 sq. ft.

2020-07-10T11:16:30-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kaua‘i Inn

(800) 808-2330 or (808) 245-9000
2430 Hulemalu Rd, Lihue
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Located in Lihu’e in an out-of-the-way residential area, they may tell you that this was the first hotel on the island (from 1890), but it wasn’t these buildings, and it wasn’t at this spot. Regardless, it’s a simple, clean hotel with comfortable rooms, nice grounds and very pleasant staff. The hotel has been for sale for as long as we can remember and it finally found a new owner. Renovations were planned at press time to turn this into a boutique-type hotel. The pool is only 3 feet deep, so you might want to pass on those high dives. No lanais on upper floor rooms. Avoid building 100—it’s across the street from a public park that may get noisy at night. Coffee and tea available all day by the pool where they serve a continental breakfast in the mornings. An acceptable place if you get good deal. $205–$253 for the (approx. 125–200 sq. ft.) rooms. Ask for discounts and specials.

2020-07-10T11:09:58-10:00 Rating: No Award

Kaua‘i Marriott Resort & Beach Club

(800) 228-9290 or (808) 245-5050
3610 Rice St, Lihue
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From the immaculate, garden-like grounds (complete with birds and koi) to the smashing pool area, this place works. The overall feel is calming. They have tons of artwork strewn around the Kauai Marriott resort. Marriott has an unbelievable circular pool with a bridge to the center island and spas along one edge. What strikes us as most impressive about the Marriott is the service. They obviously take great pains to provide whatever the guest wants and employees seem to show a lot of aloha spirit here. The rooms feature modern furnishings with a good use of colors and even though it’s been a number of years since their last renovation, the rooms are immaculately maintained.

They organize many activities, such as scuba diving in their pool, beach massages and private poolside dinners.

2020-07-10T11:11:58-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Kaua‘i Palms Hotel

(808) 246-0908
2931 Kalena St, Lihue
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This is probably your best bet in Lihu‘e for a small hotel (but it is a bit pricier). It has small, clean rooms and few amenities, but the present owner has made an effort with the décor and property. They provide free coffee and tea in the mornings in the lobby. No phones, no lanais. Rooms (108–250 sq. ft.) are $95–$105, kitchenettes (250 sq. ft.) are $115. Larger rooms (275 sq. ft.) with full kitchens are $125. Only rooms with kitchenettes or full kitchens have a coffee maker. The $95 rooms do not have a/c and are on the second floor, but they do have ceiling fans. In summer you will probably want to spring for a room with a/c to sleep comfortably.

2020-07-10T11:12:46-10:00 Rating: No Award

Marriott’s Kaua‘i Lagoons Kalanipu‘u

(800) 845-5279 or (808) 632-8202
3325 Holokawelu Way, Lihue
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Though opened as timeshares in 2010, this condo property often has vacation rentals available. These buildings sit overlooking very pretty mountains, golf course and more distant ocean views. Overall, the views are best from higher floors. The units are modern and spacious with high-end appliances, granite counters and large lanai. The two- or three-bedroom units (all have king beds) can accommodate two or three couples nicely as each room also has a TV, and the kids can use the pull-out sofa in the living room. Bathrooms have large showers and separate tubs. The two-level pool by Building C has a nice layout, but may become crowded when all the units are booked. There is a small convenience market on site. Their fitness center rivals the larger resorts.

2020-07-10T11:15:07-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Motel Lani

(808) 245-2965
4240 Rice St, Lihue

They claim this “was probably the first hotel on the island.” Maybe it’s true. It’s pretty disheveled with old furnishings, and it’s on a busy intersection. They were renovating rooms on our recent visit (something they always seem to be doing). Rooms are small (most under 200 sq. ft.), have bathrooms and fridges but no phones or TVs. $65–$75. Cash only in advance. The folks who run it are always pleasant. The reason for the Solid Gold Value is there are not many places with a private room, a/c, and bath for this kind of money on the island, but don’t expect much more than that.

2020-07-10T11:13:13-10:00 Rating: Solid Gold Value

Timbers Kaua‘i Ocean Club & Residences

3770 Hoolaulea Way, Lihue
(844) 465-8252 or (808) 320-7400
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From the moment you enter the lobby of this luxury condo property, you feel how truly lovely Kaua‘i really is. The setting is breathtaking with expansive views of the ocean and mountains. Lovely artificial waterfall ponds, lagoons and the golf course on site adds to the open green feeling here. The only possible spoiler is the occasional airplane flying overhead because you’re so close to the airport. The resort is not overly large, making it easy to get from parking to your unit to all the facilities on site.

This is a part timeshare (truly one of the nicer ones in all of Hawai‘i), part wholly owned by individuals, and part vacation rental property. There is a hotel planned in the future nearby, as well. It’s a combination of townhomes (with their own dunking pool) and condos.

2020-07-09T13:42:24-10:00 Rating: A Real Gem

Tip Top Motel

(808) 245-2333
3173 Akahi St, Lihue
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Let’s face it, the name Tip Top Motel does not exactly instill confidence. The rooms are very basic (hard beds, linoleum floors) and have not changed in all the years we’ve visited. However, they did reopen the rooms directly above the restaurant. They could use some new furnishings. Be warned—if you arrive late at night, there may be no one there to check you in. The restaurant on site is a good bargain. Parking may be hard at busy times because of the restaurant patrons. Owned by the same family since 1916, and not much has changed on our many visits. No refrigerators, phones or place to do your laundry. Rooms (approx. 120 sq. ft.) are $104–$130. Credit card only. They charge you $100 or more if you smoke, leave a room really dirty or lose your key. So follow the rules or things can get pricey. You may be better off at the Kauai Palms Hotel.

2020-07-10T11:13:44-10:00 Rating: No Award
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