And The Winners of the Three Sets of 22,000 Hyatt Points Are…

by on February 16, 2012 · 87 comments

in Free Miles/ Points, Hyatt

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This weekend I’ll be relaxing in a suite at the Grand Hyatt Kauai (thanks to a good rate and a confirmed Hyatt Diamond suite upgrade certificate I won in a charity auction on the Oneworld Mega Do).

I’ll be blogging about my trip, which is my first time to Kauai, but to add a little extra contest, feel free to comment below or Tweet me with me your best Kauai tip and one lucky tipster will get 10,000 Hyatt points transferred into your account.

Now, onto the winners of the three sets of 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points- there were three ways to enter and three ways to win:

Blog post comment winner: Todd
Twitter winner (that rhymes): Kate Rivas
Facebook winner: Robert Patton

Congratulations! I’ll be in touch to set you up with the PR folks running this promotion on behalf of Hyatt so you can get your points.

Time to board my flight to Lihue- Aloha and safe travels this holiday weekend!

Off to paradise

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Lesley

    walking the Kalalau trail is amazing!

  • David

    Kauai is my favorite island. Take a day and make the drive all the way out to Ke’e beach. Stop along the way wherever you feel like it, you won’t regret it.

  • Andy Pahwa

    Check out Tunnels Beach and Waimea Canyon.
    Dine at: Dani’s mixed Hawaiian, Japanese and Portugeuse menu (breakfast/lunch only) on Rice St and the legendary Hamura’s Saimin on Kress St.

  • J McL

    Walking trails!

  • Cathy

    Take a catamaran (not zodiac) trip to the NaPali coast. Beautiful landscape and great snorkeling.

  • Cathy

    Polihale Beach. A little difficult to get to but worth the effort. My husband and I were the only people on the beach for miles.

  • Trey

    Even though you’ll be at Hyatt, consider grabbing a drink at the Westin Princeville as there are spectacular views! And you can get a few SPG points :)

  • Helixcardinal

    use the Ultimate Kauai Guidebook and load up on the necessities (bottled water, snacks, etc) at Costco in Lihue.

  • Yoshapman

    Poipu Beach right near the Hyatt has great snorkeling in shallow water. We were there3 weeks ago and snorkeled with a turtle in 5 feet of water, it was amazing.

  • Amit

    Remember the opening scene of the movie Jurrasic Park? You can go on that same helicopter tour through one of the many companies offering it and land at Jurrasic Falls (ex: It’s simply one of the most breath taking tours I’ve ever done!

  • Seventoo

    Definitely eat at hamuras. Best sailing in the state, in my opinion. And I live in Hawaii, so that’s says a lot!

  • Seventoo

    Meant saimin, not sailing!

  • Jay

    Go check out Bar Acuda in Hanalei on the north side (near the amazing Kalalau trail). Awesome outdoor seating, great cocktails and food!

  • Andrew

    Since you’ll be there on a Friday, you should definitely check out the Hanapepe Art Night, which takes place every Friday from 6-9pm: There are great galleries, food trucks, music at the bookstore, and a wonderful vibe. I had a great time there after visiting the Waimea Canyon during the day.

  • CorinneL.

    I know there are a ton of adventures to go on while in Hawaii, but I recommend something relaxing to really take in all of the beauty of the islands. I would say to visit Hanalei Town. Go to an art gallery or two, grab a bite of the local cuisine for dinner and stroll on the Hanalei Pier…beautiful!

  • Lee Hardee

    Hit up the Shrimp Station (awesome shrimp truck) for lunch after driving up to Waimea Canyon (best to go in morning before it gets cloudy) and then Jo Jo’s Shave Ice nearby for desert. Hamura Saimin as others have mentioned is also a must. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the special saimin is excellent.
    Also, would highly recommend a helicopter tour (Blue Hawaiian does it well) as it’s the best way to see the more remote parts of the island.

  • Laura Winter

    I have to admit, I’ve never been to Kauai, but after reading all the comments below, I’m putting it on my list — right now! It sounds lovely and wonderful…and way less commercial than Oahu, which I have visited.

  • W Chris Burcham

    You MUST MUST MUST visit Polihale beach, it’s ~ 45 minutes from the Hyatt but it’s absolutely one of the most desolate, gorgeous beaches ever. Bring your own towel and some stuff to read.

    There’s also Salt Pond Beach ~ 20-25 minutes west. Pretty as well:

    If you want to, combine both of those with a drive up through Waimea Canyon. However, instead of taking the 550 (Waimea Canyon Dr) up from Waimea, pass it and take Keokee Rd up from Kekaha. then, when you are driving down, take 550/Waimea Canyon Rd down (or do this vice versa).

    This means you’ll have 2 views of the scenery versus just one. Take the drive all the way till the end but stop at the lookouts on the way up or down, it’s breathtaking. If you want to get adventurous take a 5 – 10 minute walk at the end in the lookout. There are some cool trails that are easily accessible from there and not hard.

  • Goosh

    Mark’s Place for plate lunch…

  • Jessica

    Since your motto is go big or go home, take a helicopter tour over to Niihau (the forbidden island) and along the Napali Coast!

  • Heather

    Oh, this is so exciting for you! I really hope you have a lovely time of fun and relaxation! On Kauai’s peaks, you  can trek along the Napali Coast on the 11-mile Kalalau Trail to see incomparable views. Kokee State Park also has some of the island’s best hiking trails. On Kauai’s shoreline, you can discover a bunch of hidden beaches. From Mahaulepu Beach east of Poipu Beach Park, where George C. Scott portrayed Ernest Hemingway in the film “Islands in the Stream.”

    Sail the Napali Coast or explore its hidden sea caves by zodiac.  Or to really try something new, go on an outdoor adventure by ziplining above Kauai’s rainforests or mountain tubing in Lihue’s irrigation channels. ENJOY!!!

  • Anonymous

    Sample the many varieties of poke at Ara’s Sakana-ya in Lihue

  • Rebecca Carvatt

    Take the leisurely drive around to the southwest corner of Kauai, to spend an afternoon at Polihale State Park. It is

  • Reginald

    Drive to the top of Kokee and enjoy the views of Waimea Canyon along the way and the Kalalau lookout when you get there

  • David

    Just came back from a 2-week vacation in Hawaii, and stayed 3 nights at the Hyatt too. You must dine at Tidepools restaurant, as well as at the Beach House in Poipu a couple of miles away. Also, you must book a helicopter tour, which is the only way of really seeing the island. In this regard, I would recommend Blue Hawaiian Helicopters company, which has the best reputation, as they operate on all the islands. I also found them to be super professional. Enjoy! -david

  • Reginald

    The next day, drive the other direction past Hanalei and hike (2 miles) to the Hanakapi`ai valley

  • Jack

    You are very close to Koloa at that hotel, so go to the Koloa Fish Market and get some fresh seafood caught that same day!

  • Chris H

    If you like malasadas (and who doesn’t?), there’s a tiny shack outside of the front door of the K-Mart in Lihue that sells the best malasadas I’ve ever had. (4303 Nawiliwili Road, Lihue, HI)

    Also, if you have a free evening, check out the St Regis in Princeville. Grab a drink on the terrace and watch the sunset and then have dinner at the Jean-Georges restaurant. GDIFC baby

  • Jared

    Try the shave ice at Jo Jo’s Shave Ice on the south side of the island, or at Wishing Well Shave Ice up in the north. Shave ice is a Kauai tradition. Try it with some cream on top.

  • Reginald
  • Michael

    ask for room 5016!

  • BBL

    The best meal one could have on Kauai is grabbing a variety of poke from Pono Market in Kapa’a with some rice, a bag of potato chips and beer. You’re all good.

  • Kate Lazarus

    Tidepools at your hotel is wonderful. Waimea Canyon is worth the drive (45 minutes or so). For something different, Tortilla Republic has surprisingly good Mexican (and there’s great shaved ice next door).

  • David Adams

    The Hyatt’s a good choice because the beach there, Shipwreck Beach, is one of my favorites on the island. Also, make sure you visit another nearby beach, Maha’ulepu, which you will probably find mostly deserted and fun to explore.

    I took an ultralight flight over Waimea canyon, down the cliffs, and along the Na Pali coast that was absolutely amazing. I think it beats a helicopter tour. We even buzzed a whale.

    I’ll also second the suggestion to eat shave ice. Last time we were on Kauai, we tried every single shave ice place on the island. The best one is in Waimea (stop there on the way to the canyon, which is a must-see), though the one in Koloa near the Hyatt is also good. Also in Koloa there’s a little fish market that makes an awesome mix plate that you can take out to the curb and eat.

    I’d also recommend Hamura’s Saimin in Lihue. It’s a hole-in-the-wall Japanese noodle joint that’s mostly locals. Not luxurious, but yummy and a cultural experience.

    I’d also recommend driving all the way around the island to Ha Ena state park to see the beautiful beach there, and the scenery along the way, and hike at least the first little bit of the Kalalau Trail. If you’re a big hiker, consider making a day of it.

  • Scott Bernard

    Great! Just got back yesterday from 5 nights there. I was upgraded to a ocean suite even though it was listed as garden suite in my reservation. Overall a fantastic property – also spent a few nights at the St. Regis. If you can work that in, it’s absolutely worth the trip and the expense.

    Couple recommendations:
    1) Do everything in your power to avoid being placed in the Shipwreck wing; it’s about a 15 minute, non-scenic walk from everything you’ll want to do (beach, spa, parking lot, Grand Club, lobby, pool, etc.) and it gets annoying pretty fast. Call ahead and request a room in the Poipu Wing.
    2) Absolutely take the doors off helicopter tour through Inter-Island (even though it’s $$), but do it early in the morning to get the best photos (and least chance of rain); don’t book through the hotel because they charge more and it’s billed through Expedia (i.e., no Hyatt points anyway). Plan it early in your trip in case it gets postponed due to whether. Sit in the back right to get the best views of Na Pali and the most legroom for your tall frame (I’m 6’5″ and was totally comfortable back there).
    3) Swells are enormous right now so you’ll be lucky to find a catamaran to take you up to Na Pali Coast– helicopter is likely the only way to see it and it’s one of the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen. We had four different boating trips get either canceled or changed so they were only visiting the south shore, which while great, is not really even close to the sights of Na Pali.
    4) Great surfer watching on both Hanalei Bay in Princeville — Tunnels beach was far too dangerous when I was there
    5) Snorkeling is really only available on the southern shore right now due to the swells
    6) With the Hyatt, be sure to take advantage of the free spa usage as a Diamond member — Turkish Bath was amazing (and free!).
    7) Tidepools was really great if you’re a foodie – I had the Ahi Tuna and can’t remember having a better meal while I was on the island.

    Have a great trip!!

  • Matthew Smith

    Looking forward to your trip report as I’m booked in the GH Kauai in August!

  • Nathan

    Check out one of the almost daily farmers’ markets around the island. Everyone lines up behind a rope until the market opens and then sprints for the stands when the rope is dropped. At the one we went to, the man with the rope used a pot and a wooden spoon as his starter’s pistol, and then it was a mad dash to the starfruit and passion fruits!

  • Jedi Jood

    Four words: Po’s Kitchen Box Lunch

    For roughly $8 you will experience “locals” lunch. Has everything you can imagine to give you the energy to enjoy Kauai at it’s fullest. It’s right by the airport if you want something off the beaten track which it being too hidden. It would be cool if you could do a review of this place and your experience of an authentic box lunch on the islands. I loved it!

  • Djsinger

    On the east side of the island, about 5 miles before Princeville, is Banana Joe’s. They make amazing desserts using only bananas. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience: delicious, healthy, and VERY Kaui!

  • Ryan Charles

    While in Kauai, you need to get some shave Ice!

  • Shawna

    If you’re driving to Waimea Canyon (and you definitely should) be sure to grab some coconut shrimp at the Shrimp Station. But if you plan on hiking in the canyon like I did, beware that the lodge restaurant there in the park closes early, so don’t plan on eating there without checking the hours first! Or, you’ll finish a grueling hike and be starving :) There is also a sandwich shop in the little strip mall near the airport that has the best (and cheapest) lobster roll on the island.

    And don’t forget ice cream at Lappert’s in Princeville!

  • Susan

    Lucky you! Definitely try to get out to Princeville. The sunset on the porch at the St. Regis is to die for…overlooking Hanalei Bay and Bali Hai. Lunch at the Garden Cafe at the Common Ground, also, excellent! Great pomegranate mojitos! I took the helicopter tour of Waimei Canyon and the coast offered by Sunshine and it was outstanding. If you are lucky and can have a walk on the Makai golf course at Princeville, you may get to see the nesting albatross with their chicks. I was there when they lay their eggs in December and it is a once in a lifetime thing to get to see. Get yourself a little nihau shell bracelet as a souvenir. They can be quite elaborately made and are stunningly beautiful….red is more rare than the beige.
    3 minutes ago · Like

  • Dallas

    If you make it up to Kilauea (on the way to Priceville/Hanalei), grab an ahi wrap at the Kilauea Fish Market. They are the best food item we had on the island – super fresh.

    In Hanalei, check out Tahiti Nui, a kitschy Hawaiian bar with a following of regulars that is definitely worth seeing.

  • Aurelien Windenberger

    Great Choice!! I was in Kauai for almost 3 weeks in January for my wedding! We spent our time mainly on the north side, but did go down to the Poipu area a couple times. Once was to go whale watching and snorkeling with sea turtles, which was a great experience. We went with this outfit: and enjoyed them tremendously. The captain is a marine biologist and on our tour she took us to about 50ft away from some whales. She has a nice small boat thats allowed to get closer then the bigger boats. We also got snorkel face to face with some sea turtles, then watch them dive majestically down to the ocean floor. Overall a great day!
    Afterwards, I def recommend grabbing a Pukadog like one of the other readers suggested!

  • Brown

    Robert H. Trust me on this. I have stayed at the Hyatt in Kauai and there is a hot dog shop up the street called Puka Dog that has the best hot dogs you ever ate. Also, get the Kauai Revealed travel guide

  • Trent

    Sign up for the free scuba lesson at the Hyatt. Especially if you have never done it. Then sign up to scuba in the ocean. It is great! I swam with turtles saw trumpet fish, eels, and a ton of other tropical fish. Dosn’t cost that much, I paid under $100.

  • pianodude

    Buy the Kauai Revealed guid book. Available at Lihue Costco and other retailers.

  • missmagoo

    Wings Over Kauai offered a reasonably priced way to fly over the island. The owner-pilot and his wife are great people

  • Jon

    If you like sushi, don’t miss Sushi night (Friday and Saturday night only – dinner time) at the Koa Kea Resort’s restaurant, Red Salt, in Poipu. Amazing sushi! Have fun in Kauai!

  • Vishal Gupta

    Just got back from Kauai 3 days ago, so these tips are still fresh in my mind!

    1) Definitely need a rental car to maximize your experience of the island
    2) Costco in Lihue (on the way towards the Hyatt) is great if you are planning long-term stays or have a condo with kitchen. Also, if you buy chocolates as gifts, buy them here! The Hawaiian Host chocolates you see in gift stores for $5-8 each are bought at costco for $15-18/box of 6!
    3) Bring shoes! Kauai has some of the most amazing trails for all levels. The Pihea and Alakai Swamp trails are nice. They lead to overlook the Wainiha Pali which is beautiful! Another trail we did is the Kuilau trail which overlooks the East shore. The Kalalau trail we did not do, but is known to be quite strenuous and at times over narrow cliffs.
    4) Get the book “The Ultimate Kauai Guidebook: Kauai Revealed” by Andrew Doughty before your trip ($13 at Amazon) or on Amazon Kindle.
    5) Helicopter tours – great views but pricey. Are generally 55-60 minutes. Most companies use A-star helicopters which are a little smaller and cramped. Blue Hawaiian uses Ecostars which are roomier and newer but cost slightly more. Wear DARK clothing on the tour, as light clothing reflects more when you take pictures (not important if you do a doors off tour though).
    6) Napali Cruises – we did this, was not cancelled and were pretty solidly booked. Multiple companies with different vessels. We did a catamaran sunset cruise during the “swell” and it was choppy but tolerable. Not for everyone though – 1 guy got off before departure. Some meclizine (Dramamine) which is OTC will go a long way! Our sunset cruise we saw turtles, spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, humpback whales, and orcas and baby orcas! Right now is the time for viewing whales. We saw >5 different whale sightings with an orca and baby orca following us for about 5 mins. A few dolphins did this as well right next to our boat. Also saw a whale “breaching” (when they jump out of water!). The morning cruises at 730am apparently have more ocean wildlife, but we saw plenty! You won’t see any of this during a helicopter tour!
    7) Do the drive through Waimea Canyon (make sure you have enough fuel!). Kalalau Lookout is most popular, but if you continue on the road to Pu’u O Kila Lookout, it is much better!
    8) Eat shaved ice – never thought such a simple thing would be so good. Jo Jo’s Shaved Ice (near the Hyatt) was our favorite.
    9) Kayaking! Rent a kayak or go on a tour. The Wailua Kayak is one of the better ones, however you cannot do self-guided and have to go on an official tour.
    10) Enjoy, you’re on vacation!

    We enjoyed our trip so much we even looked at a few open houses we saw in the North Shore! haha
    ok phew, I’m done

  • Vishal Gupta

    I know you said best tip….but 1 just isn’t enough for this island!

  • Jon

    Oh and I forgot!

    You MUST must MUST have some of the best pie I’ve ever had in my life now that you’re in Kauai. It was recommended to me by MANY friends and colleagues, and it’s truly a can’t miss.

    It’s at Hamura’s Saimin (a little hole-in-the-wall but very popular Saimin noodle place in Lihue, right near the airport) – and it’s their signature Lilikoi (passion-fruit) Chiffon Pie. You can order it by the slice, but I guarantee that after you try it, you’ll want more. It’s so light and heavenly – not too sweet – just perfect.

    Go now! :D

  • Gumbo Cook

    I second Koloa Fish Market. On the North Shore at the entrance to Princeville is the North Shore General Store. Yes its part of the Chevron but the Garlic Chicken is great and decent pizza.

  • Scott Bernard

    re: #4 – it’s also available in an iPhone app that has the entire guidebook plus a ton of location based stuff for only $5. Much better deal if you don’t mind reading off your iPhone.

  • Cliburn

    Zodiac trip up the Napali coast….

  • Chris G

    Just got back from the Grand Hyatt. It was our first time to Hawaii. Lots of great advice here. My advice is simple – grab a cappuccino (or your beverage of choice) and a light breakfast from the grand club around 6:30am when they open. – exit the club, go up two flights of stairs that are immediately in front of you. Go out on the lanai and have breakfast while watching the sunrise and the whales spray. My wife and I did this most mornings. We never saw a soul out there our entire trip. It was like our own private large lanai. We also loved walking out to the beach and hiking up the cliffs to the east of the resort. There are some cool sandstone formations here.

  • Patmom4

    Snorkeling at Ke’e Beach Park!! (Remember the sunscreen and have fun :-)

  • Bluelobster

    Drive all the way up Waimea Canyon to the little museum and restaurant. If the weather is clear (and it often is not), you can hike a bit and then look down over the Napali Coast. Totally awe inspiring. Help me out – I even guessed correctly where you were going!!

  • David

    Spend one evening at The Beach House for dinner.

    Amazing views and food,

  • worldtraveller2

    Ke’e beach, go there!

  • The Shiz Niz

    Tip 1)
    The absolutely most amazing thing my wife and I did was…. Drove up to Hanalei for the day and on the tip of a local, drove all the way (about 30 minutes) to Ke’e beach (means the end of the road, it literally is – you cannot drive any further) for the most amazing Hawaiian sunset ever. Make sure it’s a clear evening and you will not be disappointed.

    Tip 2.)
    Also, as a travel blogger, I suggest you visit the Westin Kauai, just to see it… It’s not the most stunning place in the world (it is beautiful) but it is such an deal for anyone going to Hawaii. Cheap point starwood redemptions AND inexpensive to stay if you pay outright. (and in my opinion, the best area of Kauai)

    Tip 3) Earn points on vacation!!!
    Lastly, at the Westin, if you simply sit through the time share sales pitch they have there (about an hour or so) you get 7,500 starpoints!! (it is a hard sell, but sit through it and pass and you get 7,500 starpoints!)

  • Jennifer

    I love Stevenson’s Library at the Hyatt for appetizers and drinks before dinner, or for just a light dinner – make sure to sit on the balcony – sweet views. Also, there is a great lunch place/coffee shop on the way back/to the Waimea Canyon (a must do) called Kalahea Cafe & Coffee Co. – delicious desserts. Oh, almost forgot – definitely do the morning all you can eat breakfast at the Hyatt – delicous omelets and all sorts of other goodies (ask for a table near the koi pond).

  • Nadine

    Definitely go to the outside bar in the Hyatt that overlooks the gardens and have some appetizers and a lava flow – a delicious mixed drink. We stayed there on our honeymoon 10 years ago and loved it. The spa was also fabulous.

  • CU

    I’m going in 2013 so I haven’t been yet, but my understanding is that you MUST go see the Na Pali coast… people say it’s breathtaking… Great comments — now I’m even more excited (if that’s possible!)

  • Davetopor

    A number of tips–But first, the Hyatt is awesome.–stay in the pools as much as possible. (especially at night when it is quieter)

    dinner-beach house (previously mentioned-make reservations); puka dogs (previously mentioned);
    italian at pomodoro-call ahead of time and go early;
    donderos at the hyatt is good but expensive–we went after a big lunch and had the apps and wine for dinner;
    before the flight home we had pasta at kauai pasta lihue (near aiport–also get there early)
    for breakfast-joes on the green was cheap and decent and close to hyatt

    get to LIH early for your return flight..all the flights leave at the same time and there are long security lines
    finally, there is a walmart near the airport that sells flower leis for gifts when you return home.

  • Newton

    Visit Lydgate Park, near Kapa’a, for a wonderful snorkeling adventure for all levels of experience. There are man-made seawalls that create a nice calm lagoon with lots of fish. We even saw some sea turtles both times we were there. Also, try a Sunrise papaya (make sure it was grown on Kaua’i). Try it alone or with a squeeze of lime.

  • Steelcurtain59

    Up for some adventure while in Kauai? On each family vacation we rank our adventures. We have a now,18 year old son, who always wants to escape reality and venture out into the great unknown while vacationing. Overall our #1 ranked adventure was driving mud buggies in Kauai!! It was an absolute blast!! The day started off driving two man dune-like dune buggies on a bright sunny morning, we were all given ski-like goggles and one 4×4 swatch of fabric we were told was our windshield wiper. Our trip quickly began through this lush tropical island. Within 30 minutes we understood why Kauai was called the garden island and why we were given the goggles and the 4×4 swatch. We also learned that this dune buggy had holes drilled in the floor board. You see if had started to rain and the dirt quickly turned to mud and the valleys quickly filled with muddy water. Initially we tried going around the puddles and tried to stay remotely clean, but as time went on we became extremely adventurous, put our goggles on, gripped the steering wheel, jumped on the gas pedal all the while the passenger was in charge of using the windshield wiper to clean the drivers goggles off. This was an adventure of a lifetime. We traversed through sugr cane fields stopping regularly to be educated on the wildlife or geography .throughout the day we jumped in bodies of water and cleaned up under a multitude of waterfalls. In the end we truly experienced the real breathtaking beauty of Kauai, and had an adventure our family will certainly cherish for a lifetime.

  • Steelsnow

    Saw it below, but check out Ke’e Beach!

  • Wbruce

    The best place in Hawaii to do a helicopter flight, Waimea Canyon and Na Pali truly amazing! Safari Helicopters

  • Katie

    Pu’u O Kila Lookout, Napali Catamaran, Puka dogs (get the lemonade too!)

  • Guest

    Two restaurants you must try:
    Tortilla Republic- about 1-2 miles from your hotel. The best table side guac and margaritas I have had in a long time. And the “guac man” as they call him has awesome stories to tell.
    Oasis- a NYC style restaurant set on the beach. Just ask for the chef to choose your 3 course meal. Inexpensive <50 per person, eclectic and innovative.

  • Jackie

    I went to Kauai about 30 years ago with a friend and have a few memories that still stand out … and I’m sure these places are still there… Waimea canyon… The Squeaking Sands beach… and the beach on which From Here to Eternity was filmed…. Rent a car and just explore the island! Have FUN!

  • kimmy

    dinner reservations for sunset at beach house restaurant

  • Susan

    A Check in with the Social Ambassador, Josh, of the Hyatt Kauai is a must! Josh is the best tip for Kauai!
    He is so helpful and informed, and always keeps his guests in mind. He has an awesome, friendly, outgoing personality with a native love for the island. He simply just knows everything about everything. As we got to know him on numerous trips to the Hyatt, Josh became a friend because he truly cares and finds very special ways to connect with his guests. It is like you are visiting him in his home, and he wants to make you feel like the MOST welcome guest. As guests at the Hyatt, he always stops by to check on us. We even shared book ideas! On one recent trip, our dear, beloved dog passed away, on our 2nd to last day of our stay. Without us knowing what he was doing, Josh planted a Koa Tree in the Preserve area of the Moana Kea. Later, he told us about it, and gave us the coordinates. I would say that he touched our lives in such a positive way through this kind gesture and action.
    We can’t wait to go back again this year and see what Josh has in store for us and the other guests!
    D & J Holm- St. Louis

  • StM

    My best tip – If you absolutely can, don’t leave :)

    It’s a beautiful island, as others have noted, much of the island is not accessible even if you have an automobile. So, helicopter tours to see the interior, boat/cataramans to see the forbidden coast are nice. Stop by a couple of the waterfalls on your drive to Waiema, that view from the very top is gorgeous.

    Since you will be at the Hyatt, you will get a good chance to see all the sights (and the blowhole) at Poipu. We saw seals at Brennecke beach and lots of nice restaurants in the area. Breakfast at Joe’s on the Green, lunch at Puka Dog (I don’t know why I love those so much), and dinner at Roy’s…. lots of stuff to do! For cheaper supplies we found a supermarket up in Koloa. The other suggestions for the fish market are excellent!

    Getting north to princeville and Hanalei bay (oh my god it is gorgeous but at dusk the locals get the heck out of the water quick sharks?) should be on your list BUT be careful of traffic. There’s only one way N/S really so don’t waste your time. If you’re not going to be there long, I think budgeting your time is going to be very important. I wouldn’t do much in the East/Lihue, mostly spend 1 long day on the North and the rest of time in the Poipu area.

    Must say I’m jealous – we LOVED Kauai. Such a green island.

  • Shalu

    You must check out Kilohana Plantation; best food ever! You may actually stop buying from local groceries stores after tasting their food, and start growing your own vegetables :)

  • con

    If you have time, stay at the St Regis Princeville for a few days and enjoy the infinity pool and butler service! Awesomeness all around starting from the valet service until the end!

    Visit the double waterfall (Wailua Falls) that is shown at the beginning of ‘ Fantasy Island’ where you can walk all the way down to the bottom of the fall and swim in the water!

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  • Lindsey

    Watch out for chickens! On some parts of the island (mostly the north) they roam wild – remnants from a hurricane years ago that freed them all. It’s actually pretty cool.

  • Yvonne (AKA Island Goddess)

    I live 5 minutes from the Hyatt on Kauai (I know, lucky me!!!)
    A couple of comments: when you drive up to Waimea Canyon (not if, when, as it is a must) go as early as you can. The far overview clouds up later in the day. Also, they serve good Portuguese bean soup at the little restaurant and the little museum is free and very interesting.
    Try to visit the National Tropical Botanical Garden. The entrance is across the street from the Blowhole ( right down the street from the Hyatt.) The tour is fantastic and if possible, ask for David who is the best guide there. Your entrance fee goes towards helping native species and other plants which are in danger of extinction survive.
    Rent bikes or take a kayak tour from Outfitters Kauai, which is located next to Kukuiula Mkt.
    In Koloa go to Koloa Fish House (across street from the post office) and have fish or better yet, kalua pig…the best on the island. Also in the supermarket (Big Save/Times) they make fresh sushi all day to order.
    The Koloa library (in the elementary school on Poipu Rd) has a huge collection of DVD’s for $1.00 rental fee. Great for your kiint or the evenings when they are exhausted and slightly sunburned.
    Which reminds me, the “winter” sun is stronger than you think. Slather on the sunscreen and wear a hat in the sun.
    Cheapest gas on the island is at the Coatco gas station in Lihue.
    Feel free to email me if you need anything or want to come over for a Mai Tai. I love guests! Aloha and have a great trip. The weather looks beautiful this morning!!!

  • Anonymous

    Nice tip- going there tonight!

  • Visioncareofmaine

    OK , here I go. I think we all can agree Kauai is really beautiful and there are loads of things to see and places to go, BUT, in spite of:
    The awso0me open door helicopter rides,
    The breathtaking ride up Waimea Canyon,
    The catamaran cruises to go whale watching,
    The drive to Princeville and Hanalei Bay,
    The blowhole at Poipu,
    The visit to squeeking sands beach, and
    The unique Puka Dogs and several excellent eateries,
    Nowhere else will you be able to experience what you see on this ride. It is a do not miss!!!!

  • Gpmorlock

    On the way out to Kipu ranch there is an area where u will see cars parked on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. There is a trail through the rain forest which leads u to a spectacular waterfall and lagoon. People were jumping from the waterfall into the lagoon. Better than anything we saw on the rest of the island.

  • Kathy K

    If you are there, and there’s a Hyatt there, it will be good, or rather, it will be Grand.

  • Pingback: Trip Report: My Favorite Kauai Experiences (And Hyatt Point Winner) | The Points Guy()

  • Todd

    I can’t believe I missed the post announcing I won! I got an email from Hyatt and came here to see it it was some kind of scam. I never win these things! This is great. Thanks Points Guy.

  • thepointsguy

    :-) Check back in more often!! Enjoy!

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