Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Pages: 1 34 replies

T

Hello everyone! My fiancee and I are planning our Kauai honeymoon and are looking for some tips! What are the must sees and the cool, out of the way gems!
Thanks!

M
Murph posted on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 4:27 PM

We just got back from a week in Kauai.

Get this book and the app for your phone.
http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/books-apps/kauai-revealed

We rented a car and drove the whole Island using the app to guide us.

Tahiti Nui in Hanalei-right on Kuhio Hiway. Dinner at the Blue Dolphin. Both best enjoyed at dusk.
Have fun!
Correction; the proper name is the "Hanalei Dolphin"

[ Edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2013-01-09 16:59 ]

[ Edited by: nui 'umi 'umi 2013-01-10 23:00 ]

4

What do you like to do? There's not much in the way of nightlife, but there's tons of outdoor activity. A rental car is a must regardless.

H

As people said, Hanalei (Tahiti Nui, Tiki Man pizza (awesome Huli Huli chicken pizza!), the bay and pier, and Havaiki Oceanic Arts for cool South Pacific art). Drive all the way to the end of the road to Ha'ena State Park for a beautiful beach and a view of the start of the Na Pali coast.

Waimea Canyon and further up the road to Kalalau Lookout. The Na Pali coast, either by boat or helicopter, depending on your budget. Kilauea Point lighthouse and bird sanctuary (on the way to Hanalei) for gorgeous views and great birds like the endangered nene goose and giant Laysan albatross. Kilohana Plantation and the Koloa Rum distillery and store, plus their great restaurant, 22 North (formerly Gaylord's) are definitely worth a visit, as is the aforementioned Hanalei Dolphin.

Go to Spouting Horn near Poipu just before sunset to see the blowhole turning pink and gold. Then turn around and see the amazing sunset behind you.

If you're staying in the south, Kalaheo Cafe does great breakfasts. Also near Kalaheo is the Trading Post, for all your souvenir needs. Plantation Gardens restaurant in the Kiahuna Plantation in Poipu is a perfect place for an excellent romantic dinner, set in an orchid garden. Highly recommended! Across the road is the little Poipu Shopping Center and Keoki's restaurant - not as fancy or excellent, but solidly good and with a nice tiki/Hawaiiana vibe.

The "Garden Island", as it's known, is green and lush for a reason - there's going to be rain at some point on your trip. No worries - hop in the car and drive about 15 minutes anywhere. Chances are it will be sunnier there. The winter months are generally wetter, and if hiking is in your plans, that's the one time the rain might affect you, as apparently some trails wash away.

As someone else posted, you're not going to get much in the way of nightlife beyond (sometimes very good!) local musicians playing at places like the Nui and other little bars and restaurants, but that's part of Kauai's charm.

Here's a thread from our last Kaua'i trip (scroll past the Maui info to get to it)...

http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=38587&forum=16&start=0&hilite=hibiscus%20kauai

Kaua'i is a magical place. Much more low-key than the other major Hawaiian islands and very special. I love it!

Awesome! Thanks for the help everybody. I will post photos when we return! Has anybody been to the Hindu Monastery? It sounds like it would be really cool!

In my earlier post I forgot to mention "Brennigan's" on the beach at Poipu. A little noisy at lunch but there is a beautiful view and the grinds are ono.
At the opposite end of the island (hour, hour and a half or so) is the beach at Hanalei. Gotta be one of the prettiest spots on earth. Swimming not so good but a short walk past the pier is the St Regis Princeville. A drink at the pool bar there and you might wanna stay on Kauai for a long long time

On 2013-01-11 08:19, Tikitrent wrote:
Awesome! Thanks for the help everybody. I will post photos when we return! Has anybody been to the Hindu Monastery? It sounds like it would be really cool!

The Hindu Monastery is a breathtaking place, once you find it. Although on the main hwy, there is no sign, and I turned into a private home, where the driver told me I was the 2nd that morning. The monastery is open for touring in the mornings and there are guided tours. There are breathtaking views of the river, a dramatic walk through the above-ground Banyan tree routs and a dazzling "chapel" area.

TM

In a word, Lumahai Beach and ke'e beach. Well, that's two words, innit?

4

On 2013-01-11 21:18, nui 'umi 'umi wrote:
In my earlier post I forgot to mention "Brennigan's" on the beach at Poipu. A little noisy at lunch but there is a beautiful view and the grinds are ono.

Did you mean "Brennecke's"? I don't know of a Brennigan's...

Z

If you qualify you can buy groceries at mainland prices at the Barking Sands Naval Base.
The Base club also has good eats.

D
Dagg posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 6:56 PM

sweet just booked our hotel and flight there (cant book return for a week)

My Kauai to do wish list

Coco palms tour (if possible)
Havaiki
drink
Tiki Iniki if its open
the blue room
drink
tube down a ditch
snorkel & hike & kayak
get a sunburn while drinking
shop
drink
maybe surf (its been a while)
drink
and drink some more

4

Dagg, when are you coming?
Coco Palms tours are at 2PM daily, it's $20 which seems totally worth it to me. Maybe I'll go, I still haven't gone yet!
For hiking, I highly recommend the first two miles of the kalalau trail. It doesn't get any better! Bring actual hiking shoes if you gottem.
Blue room...? Do you mean the blue hole?

D
Dagg posted on Mon, Jan 28, 2013 9:26 PM

Hey Bill
Get there on Feb 25 and leave for two days on Oahu on March 3rd

Blue room is supposed to be a cool cave on the North end.
at about a min 33 of this vid, but I recommend watching the whole thing :wink:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YljMbYXbjXE

i think this is the trail head to the cave (its not the cave on the road)


[ Edited by: Dagg 2013-01-28 21:33 ]

[ Edited by: Dagg 2013-01-28 21:45 ]

COMING July 2013


Bamboo Ben
Custom Tropical Decor
I build Fun for you!
http://www.facebook.com/bambooben

[ Edited by: revbambooben 2013-05-10 19:40 ]

T

Damn! Tiki Iniki isn't opening until Apri1?! It says February on the website!! Too bad we are going in March!

Smiths Family Luau.
Ono buffet
And this morai:

[ Edited by: christiki295 2013-02-15 21:24 ]

D
Dagg posted on Fri, Mar 8, 2013 11:11 AM

On 2013-01-09 16:27, Murph wrote:
We just got back from a week in Kauai.

Get this book and the app for your phone.
http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/books-apps/kauai-revealed

We rented a car and drove the whole Island using the app to guide us.

We too just got back from Kauai, this app was AWESOME! Used it daily for navigating and restaurant reviews, every meal was great!
If you are going to Kauai you MUST get this app.

Thanks for the tip Murph

M

Tunnels Beach - North Shore

4

My Public Service Announcement:

Somebody drowned here yesterday, a tourist from California.

From an online report: "More drownings occur on Kauai beaches than on any other Hawaiian island. During the last decade, Kauai has averaged 11 drowning deaths per year. Visitors comprise three quarters of the drowning fatalities."

This is the 13th week of 2013, and we've already had ELEVEN drownings. Almost one a week. Most have been tourists, but a couple have been longtime residents.

All of last year there were 8.

If you come here, PLEASE be way more cautious than you think you need to be, while in the ocean or even on the shore. Only 7 of the 58 beaches on the island have a lifeguard.

M
Murph posted on Fri, Apr 5, 2013 2:52 PM

On 2013-03-08 11:11, Dagg wrote:

On 2013-01-09 16:27, Murph wrote:
We just got back from a week in Kauai.

Get this book and the app for your phone.
http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/books-apps/kauai-revealed

We rented a car and drove the whole Island using the app to guide us.

We too just got back from Kauai, this app was AWESOME! Used it daily for navigating and restaurant reviews, every meal was great!
If you are going to Kauai you MUST get this app.

Thanks for the tip Murph

Darren you're welcome. It really is an awesome app!

We visited Kauai earlier this month, so figured I'd post our Mai Tai findings.

Last time I was there, about 6 years ago, the best Mai Tai I had was actually at the Smith's luau (walk the pre-made drink over the the bar and have them put a float of dark rum on top; makes all the difference.) This time we did better.

Mahiko Lounge at Gaylord's, Kilohana Plantation, Lihue. This was the best we found for a real/Trader Vic's style. No screwing around! Pay the extra buck or two for them to use Koloa rum. They do add a little fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, which worked. We went here twice - the bartender the first time made them best, but they were easily worth drinking on the second visit, too.

Feral Pig, Lihue. These guys also make a nice from-scratch drink. They make their own orgeat and were maybe a little heavy-handed with it - the drink had kind of a thick texture. But a good drink, and kept consistent between different bartenders. Worth repeating.

Oasis on the Beach, at Waipouli Beach Resort, Kapa'a. This is fairly similar to the Feral Pig's drink, but a notch below, and missing mint. They also make their own orgeat and their drink also has that thicker texture. They also add a little bit of passion fruit. They used Whaler's for the float - wish we'd thought to ask whether they had Koloa. I thought the drink had a little bit of an odd flavor at first, but overall a better choice than you'll find most places.

Tiki Iniki, Priceville. Sadly, a huge disappointment. On paper it's a Trader Vic's recipe, but it was terribly executed. I don't know how they got that result out of those ingredients - it just tasted like Sprite. They were by far the most generous with the mint, but I couldn't smell or taste it (I posted more in the Iniki thread in Locating Tiki.)

Tahiti Nui, Hanalei. Everybody knows this isn't a 'real' Mai Tai, but had to admit it was pretty tasty.

For excellent beer, we highly recommend Kauai Beer Company on Rice Street in Lihue. Their beers were all good, and their porter (KokoBoPo) was phenomenal! Right now they're only open Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, with food trucks available at 5 on Thursdays. They expect to have their own kitchen open in a few months, though. NOT to be confused with Kauai Island Brewing in Port Allen (they were OK, but their beers were more average.)

Kauai's Kekaha Beach has the most white sand in the state.
http://www.kauai.com/beaches/kekaha-beach

Z
zond2 posted on Sun, Apr 13, 2014 8:33 PM

If you got privilages you can buy groceries at the Barking Sands Naval Base for mainland prices, the base club, Shenannigans, isn't bad and you can rent a 2 bedroom bungalo for 60 to ~100 a night pending on your status and pay grade. We plan on heading back in 2015 for 2 weeks.

On 2014-02-26 21:12, bamalamalu wrote:
We visited Kauai earlier this month, so figured I'd post our Mai Tai findings.

Last time I was there, about 6 years ago, the best Mai Tai I had was actually at the Smith's luau (walk the pre-made drink over the the bar and have them put a float of dark rum on top; makes all the difference.) This time we did better.

Mahiko Lounge at Gaylord's, Kilohana Plantation, Lihue. This was the best we found for a real/Trader Vic's style. No screwing around! Pay the extra buck or two for them to use Koloa rum. They do add a little fresh-pressed sugar cane juice, which worked. We went here twice - the bartender the first time made them best, but they were easily worth drinking on the second visit, too.

My Wife and I visited in 2012 and I will second the fact that Gaylord's makes a fantastic Mai Tai. We are big fans of Koloa Rum as well. Also I don't know if they are still doing them with the recent ownership change over and all but take the tour of the Coco Palms! Was a really cool experience.

4

On 2014-04-15 15:32, Mockingbird wrote:
Also I don't know if they are still doing them with the recent ownership change over and all but take the tour of the Coco Palms! Was a really cool experience.

Bob is still doing the tours, Monday through Friday at 2PM. He has said they will continue until (re)construction starts up, probably early 2015.

And it's a steal at $20!

We're recently back from another trip, so just adding some new Mai Tai notes. I'm glad to report that there are a couple more non-OJ options out there (though most places do seem to be a bit float happy.)

Overall, I'd say Gaylord's / Mahiko Lounge was still the best. Unfortunately, there was again inconsistency between bartenders on our two visits - people always seem to walk up and distract them right when they're making our drinks. But still a good option, and was the best when it was created without distraction. They now just automatically make them with the Koloa. (Again, it's very convenient to the Koloa Rum tasting next door.)

Oasis on the Beach, Kapa'a - this was OK but they add passion fruit juice and were extra heavy with it. So not my favorite.

Tiki Iniki - I wanted to give it another try here, but again the bartender was a very new employee. And then he started doing his flair moves. So I just had some El Dorado and left it at that. Place still looks good, though!

A couple new spots we tried this trip were:

Hideaways Pizza Pub at Pali Ke Kua condos in Princeville. This place opened a few months ago and I noticed at "1944 Mai Tai" on their menu. Again, a pretty good option. Could have used more mint, but no big complaints. This isn't far from Tiki Iniki - we went straight from there. (Bonus: great Bali Hai sunset views from just outside Hideaways.)

and

Merriman's in Koloa/Po'ipu. Also a pretty good drink! They add lilikoi foam on top similar to Tiki's in Waikiki - except they use a TON of it. Looks like a big mound of whipped cream on your drink. It does dissipate after a bit so you don't feel so silly. They normally use Old Lahaina White & Whalers dark in these; I asked them to substitute Koloa rums on the second round which we thought was an improvement. They also make a separate "Kauai Tai" with OJ & pineapple juice - nice that they use a different name for that.

Sadly, The Feral Pig has closed permanently. We missed them!

The Feral Pig closed? Bummer, I was thinking we would go there next month. My experience with Tiki Iniki was to go there in the evening, the night bartenders followed their recipes, and they were good, (so were the ribs) but the guy bartending during the day was just putting in time. A Lot of good rum hidden behind the other rums also.

aloha, tikicoma

[ Edited by: tikicoma 2015-09-11 23:45 ]

Apparently I haven't updated for a couple trips, don't think there were many changes. But we're back from another visit, so here's a November 2019 update.

Overall, we were happy to find more places at least attempting a '44 / Vic's style Mai Tai. Most places use Koloa Rum and almost everyone uses a float of the Koloa Dark (which is super sweet to me,) but at least you can find a non OJ/Pineapple/POG option. Nice to see. Only one place used mint. Bring your metal straw if you don't want a soggy paper one.

New contender -
The Crooked Surf at the Sheraton Kauai Coconut Beach Resort (formerly Courtyard by Marriott Kauai Coconut Beach.)

This hotel was recently remodeled and rebranded as a Sheraton. The bar now has some nice cocktails and a surprisingly good rum selection for a hotel pool/beach bar. As far as I know, they're the only place to make a Mai Tai with rum other than Koloa - they use Appleton Estate & Clement VSOP. They also win the Most Authentic award for not adding a dark rum float. We sampled here a couple times and they were fairly consistent, but I found the Mai Tais best when made by Bill. It's basically the pool bar, so not a ton of atmosphere, but you are right by the ocean.


Mamahune's - at the Hilton Garden Inn
Reviewed separately in the Mamahune's thread. I forgot to the a clear picture of the menu, but their version is the Ali'i Tai. I preferred their other drinks (Painkiller, Shipwrecked), but this certainly wasn't bad and they were the only place to use mint. NOTE - quality varied a lot by bartender, go when Tom is working. (Also note, they use plastic cups here, but it's OK.)

Avalon Gastropub - Wailua
This wasn't open yet last during our last visit. Down side: they only had Koloa Rum. Upside: they did make a good attempt at a Vic's style Mai Tai with it. They have several other nice drink options as well (many smoked, that gimmick seems to be gaining in popularity all over.)

Oasis on the Beach - This was never my favorite due the passion fruit juice, but on our latest visit it was especially bad. We think the bartender may have actually forgotten to add all the rums. It was extremely heavy on the juice and nearly undrinkable. If we go back, I'll stick to a happy hour special or a can of Coconut Porter.

Gaylords Mahiko Lounge - still good, same recipe with Koloa as previously noted. Newest Bartender (but with good experience) Shannon did a really nice job.

Tiki Iniki. Past experience taught us to start with a neat shot of rum and observe. Glad we did - watching the bartender was a horror show. Order rum neat or a beer and enjoy the decor.

Pietro's Poipu. Their online menu lists a Vic's Style Mai Tai. Bartender looked at me like I had 3 heads when I tried to explain what that was and that I didn't want orange juice. Or pineapple juice, or POG. He attempted to please me (despite my polite refusal) by pouring some Koloa into about 12 oz of lime juice. Dreadful. This wouldn't have been surprising if the drink I ordered weren't ON their menu.

PV Eats - Princeville. This is a fancy market with a restaurant inside the old Prince golf course clubhouse. I picked something else, but they do have a '44 Mai Tai on the menu. Oddly, they use Koloa aged in the drink but Kraken for a float. Food and drinks we had were good and prices were surprisingly good compared to other establishments (they also had good prices on bottles in the market.) Nice views of the mountains, Bali Hai, and the ocean (across the golf course.)

Hanalei Spirits is now in existence and makes a decent rum. No tours or tasting room open yet, but you can find their bottles in shops around the island.

In non-alcohol related updates:

You now have to reserve a parking pass to visit Kee Beach. Do so 30 days in advance for the best options for a day at the beach/trail. If you miss out on parking, there's a shuttle.

Limahuli Gardens - you also now need to reserve a parking space here. It was easy, I booked online the morning we decided to go. They don't rush you out at all, just book in advance and you're set. Highly recommend this place.

I forgot to post this earlier. Somebody who gets it is building a house in Ha'ena. Can't wait to see it when it's finished.

Update as of November 2021

House doesn't look a whole lot different. To be fair, it's been a rough couple of years.

HaenaHouseSmHaenaHouse2Sm

For your drinking pleasure...

The Crooked Surf at the Sheraton Coconut Beach is sadly no longer a contender. The bar/restaurant is still there, but no more extensive rum list or '44 Mai Tai.

PV Eats closed.

Hanalei Spirits is still working on building their tasting room on-site, but if you contact them in advance, they'll set up a private tour/tasting.
https://hanaleispirits.com/

Mamahune's - I still recommend going when Tom's working, if you can find out. Drink menu was updated, my favorite new drink was the Navy Pog. In November, itl ooked about the same as last time we were there, but Bamboo Ben recently went back for an update; I believe they added some more covered space in front of the bar.

Tiki Iniki - yes, gave them yet another shot as we were with friends who'd never been and wanted to see it. I'll stick by my advice to just order rum neat or a beer. If you do order a drink, be sure to tell them - In Advance - NOT to add soda water to your drink.

Cheers!

[ Edited by bamalamalu on 2022-03-22 21:04:19 ]

Looking forward to a trip to Kauai in June. We're staying at the Hilton Garden Inn adjacent to Mamahunes where I will spend a great deal of time doing..., um, research.

Nice! Be sure to catch some sun rises.

And check if Bob is doing tours of Coco Palms, just across the bridge

http://www.cocopalmstour.biz/

Pages: 1 34 replies