Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort
Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii
Tropical Tradition, $$$
Part of the charm of spending time on the Hawaiian island of Kauai (one of the lushest and least developed in the Hawaiian chain) is getting to know its weather zones. The western region of the island, much of which is inaccessible by car, receives significantly less rainfall than the verdant interior rain forests. The North Shore, notable for its adorable towns, great hiking, and cool vibe, is generally the rainiest and yields the most rainbows. If it's the sun you seek, head to the sandy South Shore. As you can imagine, the surf culture is strong and the açaí bowls are delightful around here.Ko'a Kea Hotel & Resort, a classic Hawaiian accommodation — relaxed, romantic, with an attentive staff — refurbished in 2022, is located on one of the sunniest, most swimmable beaches on the island of Kauai.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Traditional Hawaiian hospitality (warm but chill).
Standout Detail: You won't find a guest room on the island that's closer to the water.
This Place Is Perfect For: Honeymooners and babymooners who want to make the most of their moana (ocean) vacay.
Rooms: All 121 rooms and suites (all king beds) are on the shoreline and include a balcony (upper floor) or lanai (ground floor), some with tranquil garden views and some with splurge-worthy ocean panoramas.
On Site: Oceanside massages, an on-site water sports hut, fitness classes, fire pits, and an outdoor pool.
Food + Drink: The minimalist lounge offers Hawaiian-crafted cocktails (like a blueberry açaí martini) and local fish and fresh. At the special occasion spot Red Salt, Kauai native Noelani Planas infuses heritage flavors with international techniques. Let them know ahead of time if you are celebrating ... and they'll treat you to a sweet surprise at the end of your meal.
What to Do Nearby
Utilize all the transport methods you can get a hold of: feet, surfboard, car, boat, helicopter. The island landscape is gorgeous and varied and a site to behold from all angles. Close to home base, Poi'pu Beach is a national treasure. Visit the natural phenomenon known as Spouting Horn and the hidden Lithified Sand Dunes. The gorgeous Allerton Garden has a fabulous history and takes the idea of a botanic garden to the next level. Weather you're heading to Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific), hiking the Queen's Bath Trail, or trekking the Nā Pali Coast, be mindful of the weather, which can change rather quickly along with the trail conditions. Don't be afraid to abandon plans and make new ones (like chasing rainbows).