Nicknamed the “Garden Island,” Kauai is about 6 million years old, making it the geologically oldest main island in the Hawaiian archipelago. A captivating land with tumbling waterfalls, jagged coastlines, 50 miles of pristine beaches, and picturesque bays, the island provokes a sense of prehistoric wilderness. But, among the canopies of verdant trees and brooding mountains, luxury abounds. While the weather is warm all year round, the best times of year to fly to Kauai in a private jet is from April to October, when the weather is drier. If you don’t mind the rain, you can catch pods of humpback whales migrating through the waters in February. As you prepare for you trip, know that you don’t just go to Kauai—you absorb it with all your senses.
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa | Koloa
A handsome hotel that recalls the tropical glamour of the 1920s, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa is the island’s best megaresort. While the waters at its beach might be too rough for swimming, you and your family can safely splash in the waters of the fresh- and saltwater-swimming lagoons. Send the kids off to Camp Hyatt while you pamper yourself with a spa treatment, relax in the old-fashioned reading room or shop in nearby boutiques.
Koa Kea Hotel & Resort | Koloa
A small boutique hotel known for its excellent five-star service, the Koa Kea Hotel & Resort on Poipu Beach is perfect for a romantic getaway without the crowds found at other resorts. Lavishness abounds throughout the property, including first-class amenities, such in-room espresso makers. Enjoy the view of surfers riding waves from an oceanfront room.
St. Regis Princeville Resort | Princeville
Located on the island’s northern shore, nestled in the cliffs above Hanalei Bay, the St. Regis Princeville is the epitome of luxury. The resort offers panoramic views of the ocean and mountains, including the iconic Makana. The rooms feature original artwork and marble bathrooms with privacy windows. Enjoy the nightly entertainment at the bar and traditional Hawaiian healing techniques in the spa.
Bar Acuda | Hanalei
A high-end tapas bar, owner-chef Jim Moffat brings you a taste of the Mediterranean at Bar Acuda. The casual atmosphere is perfect for relaxing after a day out. The menu items change regularly and include items like Ahi tuna, salad Lyonnais with confit duck, and chocolate pot de crème.
The Beach House | Koloa
Complete with a dreamy ocean view, the Beach House offers one of the most delightful dining experiences on the island, regardless of the time of day. The menu features Asian-inspired dishes along with classic favorites, such as the fire-grilled filet mignon with blue cheese. The Beach House also offers vegan and gluten-free options.
Kauai Grill | Princeville
Located within the St. Regis, the Kauai Grill brings you artistic meals by renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who uses local ingredients. The richness of the dining room’s décor gives the restaurant a feeling of exclusivity, and the attentive service that you’ll receive is unmatched. Kauai Grill also offers diners a selection of vegetarian and gluten-free options.
Get the best view of Kauai’s beauty with a helicopter tour that swoops down into Waimea Canyon State Park, over red lava beds. Be on the lookout for waterfalls.
Hike around Wailua Falls and take a dip to cool-off. As you explore the coastline, keep your eye out for monk seals that like to rest or take care of their pups on the shore. (They’re cute, but don’t touch.) While you’re at the beach, rent masks, fins, and snorkels to watch colorful fish dark past sea turtles. Don’t forget to try some shaved ice from a beachside food cart.
Sure, your resort has luaus with beautiful hula dancers. Catch more authentic experience at the Coconut Marketplace on Kuhio Highway (Highway 56), which hosts free shows on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m. Dance styles include kahiko (ancient) and auwana (contemporary) hula. You can also see Larry Rivera perform authentic Hawaiian music live on Fridays at 5:00 p.m.