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Kauai Vacation Rentals

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Hawaii is more than the 50th US state. It is a family of 8 inhabited islands and over 100 uninhabited ones. Like all families, each island has a certain amount of similarity with its siblings. Most importantly, each island is a distinct and unique entity offering a memorable experience to any lucky guest.

With its 750 miles of ocean coastline, Hawaii is the only island state of the US, and its location in the heart of the vast Pacific ensure it looks and feels unlike any other corner of North America.

Kauai Beach

The gorgeous Kauai, the fourth largest and oldest of the islands, has appeared at the top of many recommended travel lists for a multitude of reasons. Its beaches. The unspoiled natural beauty of the island. The climate. The natural world. Sealife. The list goes on and on. To distil it down into specifics, let’s take a trip around the island, focusing on the many facets of Kauai that have charmed and captivated guests for decades.


An Overview

Before you commence a search for the ultimate in Kauai vacation rentals, let’s look at the island as a complete package. What, for example, differentiates it from the Big Island, Maui or any of the other destinations within Hawaii.

First off, it’s the most northern of the inhabited non-private islands of the Hawaiian archipelago. This slightly removed position has meant that it has become one of the last islands to embrace tourism.

This doesn’t mean it is in any way lacking in all of the valuable aspects of technology and modernisation that can enhance a holiday, but that some of the more intensive parts of global tourism haven’t fully established themselves on this island.

In many ways, Kauai’s late arrival on the tourist trail behind, say, Big Island, Oahu or Maui has meant that the local residents and governing bodies have been able to make informed decisions on how to protect the island. The wisdom employed in the development of the coastal areas as well as the protection of the stunning landscape means that Kauai can welcome guests to its shores in a way that benefits everyone.


The Garden Island

With a population of under 70,000, Kauai is an island of wide, open unpopulated spaces. These spaces are lush, green and floral. It is known within Hawaii as “The Garden Island”, and once you step into any of the beautiful Kauai Villas, you will be greeted with views across verdant hills that sweep down to the surrounding ocean.

Kauai Garden Island

One of the fantastic by-products of all this foliage is the oxygen-rich air that swirls across the island. The atmosphere is clean. You will feel super-charged each day as you set off to swim, hike or sail around the island. Sleep at night is deep and reviving, directly correlated to a day spent up close to the natural world.

The island is almost circular in shape, being no more than 33 miles at its widest point. This may seem pocket-sized to the blasé world traveller, but with the undulating mountain terrain and the 10 mile Waimea canyon dominating the centre of the island, it could take a lifetime to explore every cove, hill or forest of Kauai.


Beaches

The very idea of Hawaii conjures up beach life. With more beaches than any of the other Hawaiian islands, Kauai offers a unique beach experience. Here are just a selection of some of the noteworthy beaches that you can visit during your vacation.


Hanalei Bay Beach

Hanalei Bay Beach in North Kauai is that versatile, all-rounder for everyone. It is a very wide sandy beach that runs in an attractive crescent shape for two miles. The movement of the water varies from one end to the other – you can surf at one end of the beach, enjoy some paddle boarding in the middle and just potter around in the calm waters at the other end.

Hanalei Bay beach on Kauai

With a backdrop of green mountains, it’s a picturesque and perfect beach for all. Check out Hanalei Bay Villa No. 8. A two-bedroomed property with lovely views.

For self-contained homes dotted along the magnificent sweep of Hanalei Beach you can choose from Hanalei Nalu, Haena Beachfront Villa or Red House in Hanalei, to name a few. These homes are stepped back enough from the beach to ensure a good measure of privacy, yet with that perfect accessibility that allows you to stroll straight to the beach for an early morning or late evening dip.


Tunnels Beach

Makua Beach, known as Tunnels Beach, is also located on the North of the island. With interesting underwater caves created centuries ago by lava, it offers an underwater paradise for snorkelers.


Anini Beach

Two miles of perfection, this beach is protected by a reef that keeps the waters calm all year round. Located on the North of Kauai, it’s a beach that really suits those who prefer to stay on dry land. Lots of exploring without getting one’s feet wet. The Anini Beach Front Home is just one of the stunning vacation rentals Kauai has to offer.


Ke’e Beach

Chicken on a beach. No, it’s not a food shack. Ke’e Beach, on the North shore, is a small beach with gorgeous views of the dramatic Na’Pali coastline. It famously has wild chickens that like to stretch their feathers along the coast. A novel experience.


Po’ipu Beach

This quintessential Hawaiian beach, fringed by pretty palm trees, is one of the star beaches of South Kauai. It is divided by a sandbar into two bays, each offering a different experience.

Surfer on Poipu Beach

One is calm and suited to children, while the other, when the surf is up, offers a more vigorous workout. The endangered Monk Seals like to come ashore and sunbathe along the sandbar.


Polihale Beach

Heading West is one of the longest sweeps of beach in all of Hawaii. At 12 miles, Polihale is the perfect beach to visit if you want to enjoy a picnic away from the bustle on some of the more accessible beaches. You will need a four-wheel-drive to navigate the rough road to get to the beach, and the waters are pretty wild, so it’s not ideal for swimming.

Polihale Beach on Kauai

Regardless of these obstacles, the views of the cliffs of Na’Pali and the miles of sand make this one of the destination beaches to visit while on Kauai.


Anahola Beach

This is another beautifully formed crescent beach. Located in the East of the island, it is half a mile long and protected by a reef. A wonderful beach for families with smaller children as the waters are more placid.


Lydgate Beach

A family-friendly beach located in East Kauai. It has rock enclosed pools for swimming so the less experienced or younger water babies can enjoy the delicious saltwater but in a safe setting.


The Castaway Experience

With miles of beaches all around Kauai, there’s always a golden sandy corner waiting for you and your group to establish base camp. Even at the busiest of times, the beaches are never jam-packed. Yet, for all of this, there’s something about the whole Pacific island idyll that makes everyone long to find that empty beach, without a footprint, waiting for you alone.

At Exceptional Villas our wonderful Kauai Concierge Team can arrange for an experienced captain to sail you to a quiet beach, accessible only by water. You can swim ashore, picnic, explore and enjoy the incredible views of Kauai from the ocean.

One of the most memorable boat trips that you can enjoy is to view the Na’Pali coastline. Dramatic cliffs and coves. Sit back and enjoy the view.


Hiking

Kauai is a hiker’s paradise with trails that weave throughout the island. The most challenging is the Na’Pali trail at 11 miles. It traverses the steep and rocky coastal cliff. This is for experienced and fit hikers only.

One of the more gentle hikes in the South of Kauai is the Makawehi Lithified Cliffs Trail that is a treasure trove of limestone caves carved by the waves and other geological marvels. It’s an easy hike for kids and really fun to explore.

Kauai Cliffs

East Kauai’s Kuilau Ridge Trail is another family-friendly hike that takes walkers through tropical forests. It’s green and lush with perfect views over the verdant heart of Kauai.

Canyon Trail allows experienced hikers to get an excellent view into Waimea Canyon. The red lava rocks and sheer drops make this one of the most unique views in all of Hawaii.


Rainbows to Waterfalls

The movement of light mists and water across the coast and hinterland of Kauai, create magical rainbows and dramatic waterfalls. As you hike, you will find around every corner some natural phenomenon to captivate the imagination. A memorable activity is to kayak along the Wailua River, either guided or alone. Waterfalls, hikes, flowers and birds all await as you meander along this beautiful waterway.


Delicious Kauai

Fresh is the word that accompanies most dishes served on Kauai. Fresh fish, fresh fruit, fresh ingredients and so on. Not surprising, as most of the food you will consume while you luxuriate in one of our spectacular Kauai rentals or in one of the luxurious condo rentals Kauai has to offer is grown or harvested from the land or ocean around Kauai.

The rainbows you admire around the island are matched to perfection by the rainbow of fruits and vegetables that will grace even the most modest of tables.

Some of the most memorable restaurants on the island have captured the essence of Kauai and devised delicious dishes that unite Kauai’s Polynesian past with its Asian and American influences.

There are plenty of dining choices that are strictly American, and you can find those throughout the island. Here is a list of the best choices if you want a more authentic local flavour.

Tidepools Restaurant on Poipu Road is hands down the most romantic setting for dinner. Thatched bungalows appear to float above a lagoon with a waterfall to complete the breath-taking experience. Local meats and fish are prepared to the highest standards. A delicious feast for the eyes and taste buds.

A couple sit by the waterside at the Tidepools restaurant in Kauai

Lava Lava Beach Club in Kapa’a is that ideal lunch location where you dine on the beach. A very stylish Club that sits on the beautiful Coconut Coast, it offers evening dining with live music. A nice gentle party atmosphere.

Lava Lava Beach Club Restaurant in Kauai

Red Salt on Poipu Road offers fabulous dining all day long. The native award-winning chef has created a menu that is both creative and flavoursome. The best of Hawaii on a plate. Breakfast has such treasures as Lobster Benedict. On select evenings, the restaurant offers a Sushi Bar with a celebration of seafood all locally sourced.

Food Trucks Hawaii is world-famous for the standard of its food trucks. These small restaurants allow customers to pick from a small and very fresh menu, eating at picnic benches or drifting onto a nearby patch of perfect sand. Nourish on Hanalei is the go-to for Vegans.

Salads, falafel, smoothies all simply scrumptious, followed by a Nice Cream Cookie Sandwich. It’s very easy to be a vegetarian or vegan in Kauai. Most every restaurant has choices that suit the most restrictive diner.


Who goes to Kauai

Everyone! It works for honeymooners, families with young children or young adult kids, retired couples, groups of singles. It’s the perfect combination of laid back and easy-going but with a limitless array of activities for all ages and stages of life.

For multi-generational family vacations, why not consider the Hale Ae Kai villa in 15 acres of beautiful gardens. It commands a position above Secret Beach on the North shore with its own pool and unimpeded views across the Pacific.

This Balinese inspired home is hard to improve on. Another impressive property is the Anini Vista Drive Estate. This is a luxurious compound sitting in the heart of a manicured garden estate: incredible views plus exceptional privacy.


Conclusion

You will note that I’ve used the term ‘guest’ to denote the lucky traveller who visits Kauai. It is quite intentional. Any person who decides on a vacation to Kauai instantly feels like a guest of a most gracious and welcoming hostess. Like all guests, you are invited to enjoy every facet of Kauai: explore the diverse landscape, frolic in the sea, indulge in the rich abundance of her table. Each night, you will retire to sleep feeling like the most spoiled and cherished friend.

At Exceptional Villas we’ve been introducing our clients to the most idyllic vacation villas around the world. Our informed Sales Team visit every property in Kauai personally, familiarising themselves with the key features, really getting that personal ‘feel’ for each home. In this way, we are best placed to match you with the Kauai Hawaii vacation rentals that not just meet but exceed your needs. We specialise in sourcing accommodation that works across all the key criteria: amenities, location, functionality, beauty, views, romance – the list is endless.

As well, our Concierge Team will work closely with you to devise a bespoke and memorable vacation for you. With established relationships with so many service providers across Kauai, they are best placed to unlock many extraordinary and secret experiences for you.

Kauai sees guests return year after year. The old tradition of throwing your lei into the water to see if the flowers flow back towards shore, an act that symbolises you will again return to Hawaii, need not be carried out. Once you’ve visited Kauai, its allure will ensure you return.

If Hawaii is paradise, then Kuaui is at the very heart of the experience. Aloha!

We also provide Big Island villas and Villas in Maui.

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