Where to stay on Kauai? Good question, and luckily compared to the other islands, it's a fairly simple answer. Kauai gives you four major geographic areas to select from. In order of popularity (by our account), they are as follows:
1.) The south shore including Koloa, Lawai, and Poipu. 2.) The north shore, including Princeville, Hanalei, and Kilauea. 3.) The east side, including Kapa`a, Wailua and the county seat of Lihue. 4.) The west side including the towns of Waimea and Hanapepe. It's worth noting that staying on the west side is much less popular than the other locations.
OK, that may not seem that simple, but it really isn't that bad because it's honestly hard to make a bad choice. Reviewing our Kauai weather article and knowing when to visit Kauai will also help you. But each area on Kauai has its own unique 'flavor' and atmosphere - including its own attractions and sights to be seen.
If beaches are your scene, then you'll be happy almost anywhere on Kauai, the entire island is full of them - more (arguably) than any other island in the state. If lush scenery is what you are looking for, again, it's hard to go wrong since the entire island is known as, "The Garden Isle." Though the north and east coasts are considerably more lush and verdant than the south or west coast. But beyond beaches and lush scenery you're probably wondering what the highlights () and detractions () are for each of the areas we noted above; so let's take a look.
(Koloa, Lawai, and Poipu)
Good selection of beaches available.
Many good restaurant and dining options.
The beaches are more crowded than on North Shore.
A great alternative to the south side hotels are the numerous vacation rental properties which often offer an excellent value for first class accommodations. For Poipu Vacation Rentals we recommend that you check out Kauai Exclusive Management; they offer excellent rates, top of the line customer service and a broad selection of vacation rentals to choose from. Another great choice is the premier boutique resort, The Villas at Poipu Kai. At The Villas at Poipu Kai you will find 3-5 bedroom villas that are beautiful and ideal for families or a group of friends.