Just got back from Maui and Kauai – Here are my notes from Kauai!
Sunday – It was off to the airport – Flew Island Air from Maui to Kauia – only an hour flight – got our rental car and were off to our first of 2 hotels in Kauai – When I booked the honeymoon I couldn’t decide on staying on the northern or southern part of the island so we did 3 nights in each. About an hour from the hour from the airport we arrived at the St. Regis in Princeville – what a beautiful hotel – rooms definitely better than the Westin and it definitely was more laid back (which is what we were looking for at this point of the trip). Nice hotel but definitely the priciest of the places we stayed. After we checked in we got some lunch at the poolside restaurant Nalu Kai Grill & Bar – Cobb salad’s both good, My husband also tried an Aloha Mary – its their version of the Bloody Mary and it was great!!! We got some more pool time in. Then went to the cocktail lounge to watch the sunset, have some drinks and listen to the live music. We wanted to try out Kauai Grill the Jean-George restaurant but it is closed on Sunday and Monday (so we are doing it Tuesday night). Instead we ate at the other hotel restaurant Makana Terrace – our expectations weren’t that high, so we were pleasantly surprised with some of the dishes –They have something called a Market table special that changes every night. The night were were there it was $60 per person and included an appetizer (Lobster over Macroni and cheese), dinner (Seabass) and a dessert . We got one of those – the lobster over mac and cheese was one of the top 5 things I tasted on the trip. My husband got the Rack of Lamb – another winner!!
Monday – Pool time at the St. Regis for some relaxation! Around lunchtime we drove the coast (very beautiful) and stopped in the small town of Hanalei to go in some shops and for lunch. We ate at Bouchon. The Lava Flow drinks weren’t as good as the ones we ordered when on Maui so skip that. However the Tropical Thunder drink was very good. Also, skip the ribs – not great. What was good was the turkey and bacon Panini – yum!. After lunch back to the pool. We hit up the cocktail lounge again for the amazing sunset, and then got back in our car for dinner – We drove 10 minutes to The Dolphin Restaurant Sushi Bar and Fish Market – We got there at 7:30 and there was an hour wait on a Monday night! They don’t take reservations though. Luckily a couple got up from the bar and we were able to sit there for dinner so we didn’t have to wait. The food was great!!!!!. For appetizer we got the parmesan crusted stuffed mushrooms – try these!!! And some ceviche. Then we got a California roll, spicy tuna roll and the Hanalei Roll – the Hialeah Roll was great too!! We rented a movie that night and stayed low key!
Tuesday – On Tuesday we relaxed around the hotel. We went to the gym and then rented snorkeling equipment – the St. Regis rents it for $5 a person and then you can go in the ocean around the reef right in front of the hotel 0 – we weren’t up for another big snorkeling excursion, so this worked out perfectly. Saw another great sunset at the St. Regis Bar and then went to Kauai Grill in the St. Regis for dinner – it is on of Jean Georges restaurants and living in NYC it didn’t disappoint. The tuna tar tar, filet mignon, mushrooms and potatoes were all amazing – best meal we had on the honeymoon..the food, 2 cocktails and then 2 glasses of wine came to $275 with tip but it was well worth it!
Wednesday – Woke up, packed and it was off from the St. Regis to the Hyatt on Poipu Beach (the Southern part of Kauai). When we got to the Hyatt, they let us check in early – We were AMAZED by the grounds – its on the ocean on a total of I think 52 acres! Another free bottle of champagne and the Hyatt offered some other things for honeymooners too (free dessert at a restaurant, discount at the spat). The grounds were sprawling and beautiful We immediately went to the pool, which was bar far the best pool of the trip – There were a bunch of different sections and a slide (which was fun!). We went to the adult pool section and ordered lunch and drinks (Wednesday’s is .50 cent wing day so it worked out perfectly). One of the first thing we noticed is that the pool was pretty empty – There were people there but nothing like how crowded the Westin and St. Regis were – of course the Hyatt’s pool was much bigger, but we did find out that the hotel was under renovation and 2/3rds of the rooms weren’t being utilized – Fine by us – we like the peacefulness of it. For dinner that night we decided to eat at Tidepools – the restaurant in the Hyatt (its build right over a little pond which is nice) – Food was great here as well – Tuna Tar Tar and Mini Crab cakes for appetizers and then for dinner I got the seabass and Jeff got the Opa – both great! They make a good vodka dirty martini too!
Thursday – Woke up super early this day (6:30am) to go ziplining. We signed up for one of the 6 hour ziplining tours through Outfitters – and I think it was actually one of the best ones. There was a total of 5 ziplines – some of them we did twice and one of them was the highest and longest in Hawaii. It was awesome – ran $150 per person. We also were able to swim in a watering hole which was amazing! The land that we ziplined on is actually private land that the general public has no access too, so it was cool to see – Movies like Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean and a bunch of others were filmed there. After ziplining we headed to Puka Dog – a recommendation by our zipline guides, it’s the best place to get a hotdog – it actually was on one of the Travel Channel specials about best hot dogs – different from a regular hotdog but pretty good! – We also drove into Old Koloa town to see what it was – not a lot going on there and the stores were just okay. After that we went back to the hotel and had some drinks at the pool bar – ended up getting a little tipsy so we took a cab to dinner – We were supposed to do Donderos the Italian place in the Hyatt, but felt like going more casual, so we took a cab to Keoki’s Paradise – cool laid back outside bar/restaurant.
Friday – Slept in – breakfast for room service! We didn’t do much of anything today. For dinner we went to the Beach House which has been ranked one of Hawaii’s best restaurants for the past 10 years. For appetizers we got the ceviche and seafood corn chowder – both good. Our main meals were just okay – truffle crusted ono – We were so sick of eating and drinking by this time, that it could just been us being sick of food. The best thing about going to the Beach House is its write on the water and the sunsets are amazing. We made a 6:30pm reservation (at the beginning of September) and it was the perfect time to see the sunset.
Saturday – Last day in Hawaii! Jeff wanted to watch a FSU football game so we found a place right near the Hyatt – Kalapaki Joe’s that opened at 7am (6am starting the weekend after Labor Day). It’s a sports bar with good drink and food specials. After that we packed – We had to check out of the hotel at noon, but they Hyatt held our bags. We were also allowed to use the pool facilities for the remainder of the day and the spa to shower at no charge. Jeff took one more surfing lesson. Later that day it was off to the Lihue Airport. One thing to mention is that if you are renting a car and use National or Enterprise, their offices aren’t in the airport but a little ways down the road – We didn’t realize this but luckily were able to find it quickly – Dropped off the car and were shuttled to the airport and we were off!
All in all it was an amazing trip. My husband Jeff and I couldn’t have asked for a better honeymoon!!