Kauai is an island of great beauty. They call it the Garden Isle, because it is so lush and green. Many movies like Raiders of The Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and Tropic Thunder have all filmed there because the island can double for Vietnam, and South America very easily. The last time I was in Kauai was September of 1992, while they were filming Jurassic Park. I had an amazing vacation and nine days after I flew home the infamous INIKI Hurricane hit the island head on causing massive damage. For two years no Hotel on the island was open. Some like the Sheraton were fighting insurance companies didn't reopen the beachside rooms for up to five years. I was very excited to return and I wasn't dissapointed, Kauai is as beautiful as I remember it. For a family vacation you can't do better than to stay at an Outrigger run property, they have 3 on the island.
I chose the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort and Spa. Just a 15 minute drive from the airport this resort features luxurious one and two bedrooms residential style vacation rentals.
We had a beautifully appointed two bedroom suite, with 3 flatscreen TV's. One bedroom had a king bed the other a queen and we each had large bathrooms with wonderful roomy tubs and seperate enclosed showers. We had very nice full kitchen, sub zero refrigerators, washer/dryers and balconies. When traveling with a family having a great kitchen to make breakfast and snacks through out the day can save you a lot of money as opposed to a Hotel stay.
The super market has local fruit that is so good, add some ice and guava juice and blend your family some amazing smoothies, can add ice cream if you don't mind the calories. I love having a dryer to throw the wet towels and bathing suits in as well.
One of the main reasons I picked the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort is their amazing swimming pool. Very rare amoung Kauai resorts this two acre fantasy swimming pool has 2 water slides, 4 cascading waterfalls with a hidden cave inside one falls.
My 6 year old little girl Tehea just loved this pool, and your kids will as well.
Each day first thing after breakfast we hit the pool which always put a smile on Tehea face. The pool sits just feet from the ocean and the Oasis On The Beach Restaurant, which is great for lunch and dinner. Directly across the street from the property is a super market, starbucks and Longs drug store. A two minute drive and you are in the quaint town of Kapaa with shops and restaurants. The location of the Outrigger Waipouli Beach Resort and Spa rivals the best Hotels on Kauai. After a morning dip in the pool head to one of the many terrific beaches.
If you have little kids Lydgate State Beach and Park is ideal. Just a few minute drive from your condo this beach has a rock wall protected cove where there are no waves and you can snorkel with dozens of beautiful reef fish. The Longs drug store has $10 mask and snorkel kits so make sure you pick one up.
This was Tehea first real snorkeling adventure and she loved it.
We brought from the market frozen peas to feed the fish, and we had a dozen beautiful blue tang reef fish swimming around us. Tehea just couldn't stop smiling. After you take a break from swimming there is a nice fort shaped playground with swings and slides for the little ones.
The island is filled with great beaches and waterfalls, lots of hiking trails, so get out and explore.
There are zipline tours, snorkel boats, helicopter rides, scuba diving, golf, fishing and many other excursions to fit your tastes. A rent a car is a must if you want to explore the island. The Shrimp Station was my favorite place for casual lunch. This roadside eatery with picnic tables with just a one minute drive from the Waipouli Beach Resort.
Their world famous Coconut Shrimp is dipped in a secret batter covered in coconut flakes then fried to perfection, and comes with a great dipping sauce. It was the best shrimp I ever had.
Kintaro is a japanese restaurant with great sushi and tempura. But I picked Kintaro because they are the only restaurant in Kauai that offers Teppan Yaki (japanese steakhouse style where they cook at your table) always a kids favorite. Here you get a show as well as a nice steak, chicken and shrimp dinner.
The Teppen Yaki tables are limited so do make a reservation.
We started with a Bali High Bomb Sushi Roll (California Roll topped with Salmon and a special sauce.) We also loved the Hani Lei Roll, ahi, avacado, samon, onion, dipped in tempura. Then it was time for the chef to put on a show.
This was little Tehea first time and she loved how the chef lit the table on fire tossing the food in the air as he cooked away. If you love japanese food this is the place for you, they have something for everyone. They also have a large private room for parties.
Save room for dessert, Mud Pie with Vanilla and Green Tea Ice Cream is a winner.
The only dinner that we ventured to that was not minutes from the resort was Roy's Poipu Bar and Grill. In Poipu Beach about a 40 minute drive from our resort condo. They have a great beach so i reccomend you spend the afternoon there and get ready for a special dinner. Everywhere in Kauai is casual dress so don't worry about shorts and sandals here. I was excited to come to this Roy's Restaurant beacause I have eaten in their Maui, Big Island, and Oahu locations. Roy's combines the freshest local ingredients with European sauces and Asian spices. Each Roy's will have their famous signature dishes along with chef specials from local caught fish that will change day to day.
We started with some Blackened Ahi, melts in your mouth, and some nice Dumplings. Then we had the Mongolian spiced Baby Ribs, one of my favorite signature dishes.
For our main courses we had Lamb Shank, and a chef special for the day- Mahi Mahi in a Coconut Curry Sauce.
Save room for they have 2 signature desserts, Chocolate Lava Cake (chocolate souffle) and an Upside Down Pineapple Cake, each served with local made ice cream. Get both and share them, they are the bomb. Whether you want fish, shrimp, lamb or beef, Roy's won't dissapoint.
For me a stop at Roy's on any of the Hawaiian Islands is a must. We had great service at every restaurant we went to. The Aloha spirit is strong here in Kauai. So take a romantic holiday or bring the kids but get yourself to the Garden Isle of Kauai soon.
Go now and rent George Clooney film The Decendants, it was mostly filmed here. I like to avoid November to March which is the rainy season but even in September we had a little showers each day. That's why it's the Garden Isle after all. The best part was little Tehea had a smile the entire trip. Aloha and Mahalo from paradise.
WAIPOULI BEACH RESORT AND SPA- www.outrigger.com 808-823-1401 or 1402
OASIS ON THE BEACH -[email protected] phone 808-822-9332
SHRIMP STATION - www.shrimpstation.com Kapaa location 808-821-0192,Waimea phone 808-338-1242
RESTAURANT KINTARO- phone 808-822-3341
ROY'S POIPU BAR AND GRILL - www.roysrestaurant.com phone 808-742-5000