Traveling to Hawaii is a mixed blessing. When you get there it is amazing but the flights are long, especially for those on the East Coast like me. This trip was the most unexpected. A booking became available, and the flight was not an arm and a leg. Off I went to start another trip to Hawaii.
Video by Flying The Nest
Day One Travel and Arrival
As with any trip to Hawaii, it all starts with a flight. The question is for you how long of a flight it will be. My time for the flights this time was the shortest I have ever experienced. Normally with a connecting flight from the East Coast, I would have been looking at 15 or more hours in the air. This trip was only 13, and that was a nice time saver.
What is special about this resort too is its location. Just 3 miles from the airport helped the entire trip seem shorter, and easier as well.
As you arrive at this resort, you know you are in Hawaii. By that I mean it just looks the part. Even if you have never been to the islands before you likely have an idea in your mind from TV, or the Movies of Hawaii and how it will be. Kauai Beach Villas does not let you down in that regard.
Here everything from the grounds, and lush vegetation, to the buildings themselves all just shout Polynesian. I am a complete and utter fan from the time I turn my rental car into the resort. Even the office here makes me think about a location from Magnum PI or an older movie. Just a neat structure that has that amazing island feel.
The staff here is amazing, and check-in was a breeze. After traveling for 13 hours if you can’t sleep on a plane the last thing you want is a hassle. It was so nice to have people greet you with a smile and have everything ready for you.
The resort has over 1,300 reviews and a great rating of 4.1 at the time I write this. I can tell why; the staff is great.
Just read a few reviews here yourself.
A place for a family vacation. Lots of fun. Gorgeous view of the ocean. Good food and good service. We will consider it again for our next vacation next year. We will recommend it to our friends. Hopefully, the ground floor of the villas will be available.
The rooms were very clean and well-furnished. The front desk staff is amazingly friendly and always available to help. A great location for our first trip to Hawaii. The grounds are well-kept. The maintenance staff is always cleaning and picking up anything that blows.
This whole blog will be my review in part so keep reading and I will share with you my story and vacation.
Villas here offer 1 or 2 bedrooms. They are a generous size of 800-1,400sq feet. Which for anywhere in the islands is nice and large.
My villa was a 1-bedroom but at over 800sq ft, it feels like most resorts’ 2-bedroom villas. The unit had more than you could ask for.
- Cable TV
- Coffee Maker
- DVD Player
- Ice Maker
- In-Room Safe
- Jetted Tub
Then the resort itself offers all of these options.
- Activities Center/Desk
- BBQ Grills
- Tennis Court
- Business Center/Fax
- Swimming Pool (Outdoor)
- Fitness Room
- Concierge Services
- Hot Tub
- Internet Access
- Kid’s Activities
- Computer With Internet (Shared)
- On-Site Security
- Beach Access
Once I was in and the bags hit the floor, I hit the bed. It was 5 PM island time, so I thought I would set the alarm on my cellphone for a 2-hour nap then get up, hit the showers, and go get something to eat. I was hungry, but not as hungry as tired at the moment.
The Coconut Coast in Kauai (as it is lovingly referred to) is home to many great restaurants, and I was ready to check one out. I also wanted a few adult beverages. Often after a long trip via plane or car, I do like 1-2 drinks to stop that feeling of constant movement.
For dinner, I landed at the Lava Lava Beach Club Restaurant. Not only does it have views that will break and make your heart at the same time, but the food is also great.
I had a 5-spice rub Ahi that was life-changing. OK, maybe some of it was because I had not eaten in 16 hours but it was good, very good. That and a few Mai Thais that were done the right way, and I was on my way. Great meal, great service.
Day Two at Kauai Beach Villas
I started the day right by staying at the resort for the entire morning. You would think just reading this that I am being bored. But the views of the water here are worth it. Sure, you can mark me up as lazy, but this is a vacation (even if I am writing about it).
I have a friend from Japan that tried to explain to me just how much the Japanese love Hawaii. It was an interesting conversation. Especially when he started off the conversation saying before he came to Hawaii, he did not understand at all.
Looking at things from his perspective you have to wonder why they love Hawaii as much as well. I mean there is the history of Pearl Harbor is not an easy thing for anyone to process, then also they are an island nation. So, they are going from one tropical island-like location and flying a great distance to vacation in Hawaii. It makes sense to wonder why.
My good friend explained in part it is the weather, Hawaii just has an amazing climate. Very near what we all feel as humans are perfect. Sure, you have rain that happens almost every day, but it is tropical rain that just cools things off and then goes away. But the vegetation here, the beaches, the ocean, and the people all are special to Japanese tourists. These are also the reason people from all over love the islands as well.
To any visitor, it is hard to imagine how nice things are until you get here to the islands. Each time when my vacation ends, I feel I leave a little of my heart behind in Hawaii. Likely the only reason I have not moved to Hawaii myself is that I never met a girl from the islands. That would be the missing link that would make me stay.
As my friend talked about his love for Hawaii before my trip, you could see in his eyes that he had the Hawaii bug. He had caught that love for the islands that so many share. It was nice to see someone as excited about the Hawaiian Islands as I am.
Today, after staying at the resort in the morning, I wanted to get out and visit some of Kauai again. It has been a while since I have been around the island. Kauai is nicknamed “the Garden Isle” thanks to the tropical rainforest covering much of the island. If you love rainforests and getting to be one with nature, this is the island in the Hawaiian Islands for you.
Even the Government website has some of the most amazing photos of any website online. They could have been taken with a disposable camera because the natural views here are that amazing.
This is one of the most viewed islands in Hawaii because the cliffs here and ocean scenes have been in so many movies over the last 70 years. Take a look at this list and I know you will see many you have seen possibly not even knowing it was Kauai.
Kauai has 7 beaches that are easily accessible and managed at least in part by the State. Today I was going to Lydgate Pond. Which was in part constructed in 1970 the year of my birth.
From the Government Site: One of the park’s major attractions is its large, double-sectioned saltwater pool. The pool was constructed in 1970 by placing huge boulders in a semicircle facing the beach. The interior of the boulder breakwater is divided into one large, deep pool and one small, shallow pool. Local residents consider the sand-bottomed pools to be one of Kauaʻi’s safest year-round swimming sites. The breakwater offers good protection from the prevailing currents and from the seasonally high surf.
What this means to you, the visitor is that you have an area to swim in the ocean and not get hammered by the large waves on the islands. It also has that soft sand bottom and none of the tough coral you find at other beaches. So, you can swim and feel like Magnum PI without getting taken under by a giant wave.
It is an amazing location to visit and if you get to come to Kauai do check it out for yourself for swimming in the ocean.
After checking out the pond, I was ready to eat a water buffalo (hungry). This meant it was time with salt water still damn on my swim trunks to grab something to eat. I chose to try a local sandwich spot since I still felt I was carrying the ocean around with me. Kapa’a Beach Sandwich Shack was where I landed. The food was great and fast. They offer Deli Sandwiches, Healthy Salads, Wraps, Hot Dogs Chips, Sodas, and Bottled Water. It was affordable for the islands and the meat tasted fresh. Hard to remember that there are farms on the islands for some fresh meat options.
After the meal, it was back to the resort.
Day Three: oh the Kauai vibe
I already have changed my approach to living. I am moving at a slower pace. For me, on this trip, it felt like visiting the Caribbean times two. With that I mean I was twice as relaxed and twice as fast. The setting here is just that amazing.
I have stayed at some of the nicest resorts in the World. I have even had the honor of staying at some of Hawaii’s very best locations. But I do love this resort. Location, location, location. The views here are just that good, and the central location to all things near the Coconut coast is great too.
Tonight I had a dinner cruise booked that included a buffet dinner so I was excited about both parts of that. But until that time I was going to get out and see more of the island.
Even though I had the dinner cruise booked, I love history so I booked a boat tour for the first thing this morning. The trip is about 1.5 hours or a little less and includes music and a tour guide that tells you about local history and legend. That was right up my alley, so I just had to go.
Also, it is not expensive at only $30 a person. Which for Hawaii is a great deal. I found out this same tour has been provided to guests since 1946. To me as a local nostalgia and history nut, that made it even more of an experience. To think that people from our greatest generation have been on this same tour, and heard much the same story and songs was neat.
If you love local history and people, I encourage you to try this one when you are here. I found Smith’s Kauai awesome at what they do. So much so that I changed my Luau from where I was booked to them right after the cruise. I was that impressed with their business and staff.
After my great little cruise, I was energized to see more of the island before my dinner cruise. I set a goal to see the other 6 beaches today, even if I just stayed a little while to check them out, I wanted to see them all before dinner time.
I started my beach journey at Hanalei Bay. Hanalei Bay, the largest bay on Kauaʻi, is bordered by a white sand beach approximately two miles long and 125 feet wide. Three rivers meet at this beach and it means you can find interesting shells and items just off the beach where the water goes to heights above your head if you walk on the sandy bottom.
Afterward, I headed to Kealia Beach Park since I realized one of the six other beaches was Lydgate, where I went to the pond yesterday. About 150 feet wide and half a mile long, Kealia Beach lies between two rocky points. It has a large ever changing sand bar as the beach bottom and this creates a beloved site for surfers and boogie boarders of all ages.
Poipu Beach Park was next to me today. I was not going in a strait drive from one to the next, more about just finding my way casually. Poʻipū Beach is a white sand beach approximately 1,100 feet long and fifty feet wide. The eastern half of the beach is backed by Poʻipū Beach Park and there to the West you find several resort hotels.
Kekaha Beach Park was my last beach for the day because I was running out of time before my dinner cruise. This is another surfing spot, so I may come back just to watch them do their stuff. Surfers probably make up the largest group of ocean users at Kokole Point. Some of the surfing sites they frequent are Rifle Range, Targets, and Whispering Sands. The beach itself is at the end of a stretch of 15 miles of continuous beachfront. So just an amazing site for one heck of a beach stroll.
At the end of the day, I made it to 4 out of the 5 remaining beaches so it was a great afternoon getting to see things. But now it was time for the dinner cruise.
The group I booked the dinner cruise with was the Blue Dolphin. They offer a 4-hour cruise and buffet for $155 so when a few hours’ luau is $125 that seems like a bargain to me.
Now one odd note not about them but me. Often on something like the cruise I am with couples from all over. Here I am like on this trip solo so I get a few funny looks. Sometimes though when you travel last minute given the costs of flights and the time involved not any friend or family member can jump on a plane with you. So, I explain it was last minute, and I just had to get away. I do not want to share I am a travel writer because (while fun) that is a small part of what I do.
Traveling as a couple this would be a little over $300 but worth it as a neat adventure on a once and a lifetime (for most folks) vacation. The cruise was nice, we had great weather, and the food was good too.
Day Four: the Final Day on the Island
I would like to stay longer, especially with the long flights to and from Hawaii. This was, after all, a last-minute trip and I do have work that I need to do back home, so all amazing things do have to come to an end.
My flight is at 1 PM island time so I have time in the morning to hit the beach again, go down to the water, and take it all in. Beach views here, even at the resort, are like few you can find at any beach in the world. There is just something so nature filled about Kauai that captures your imagination and fascination with each look at over the sea.
I instantly think of what it must have been like to sail here in the 1800s. A time before any resorts or large commercial buildings even existed. You get close to that feeling a lot on this island. More so than almost any other in the islands. As the garden isle, it truly lives up to its name. This is not New Jersey Garden State fake here folks. Tropical rainforests are close by and all around you on Kauai.
I wish I was a poet,, so I stood a better chance of sharing the beauty here with you. The local plants, the ocean meat, and the colors combined with the cool ocean breezes seem to lure you in for nature’s ultimate lullaby. Here you can turn a corner, or follow a bend in a road to a beach or place that looks like it has never been touched by man. Yet, it is all very close and within reach.
One of the recent movies that were filmed here was the Descendants. Most of the scenes and the amazing land that the family in the movie owned were near this resort and on this island. If you are on the fence about coming, watch that movie and imagine yourself here. If you are like me, you will save up for the trip and come as soon as you can.
Just do not forget to save with TZort.