A team of Oyster reporters spent weeks exploring Kauai’s top resort hotels. We slept in the beds, lounged on the beaches, ate in the restaurants, and even danced some hula, all with an eye toward selecting the most distinguished properties. Here’s a list of our favorite romantic hotels. Less developed than other Hawaiian islands, Kauai represents authentic, unspoiled Hawaii. Its lush flora and rocky cliffs create a romantic backdrop for any vacation.
At the biggest and most luxurious resort on Kauai, couples can get massages together in open-air, thatched-roof bungalows with private gardens and lava-rock showers, rent a private cabana on the beach, sunbathe by the adult-only pool, swim at any hour in one of the hotel's four 24-hour pools, or wander through the secluded gardens. For a romantic dinner, try the hotel's Tidepools restaurant, where diners eat in huts suspended over a koi pond.
Whalers Cove is home to arguably the most romantic views on Kauai. The spacious suites at this quiet condo hotel all have huge balconies overlooking the rocky southern coast, perfect for sipping wine as the sun goes down. The decor of the individually owned units varies, but they're all luxury level. The trade-off is that guests must venture off-site for a restaurant, spa, or sandy beach. But for many, the breathtaking scenery is worth it.
With a chic design, sumptuous rooms, doting service, and an elegant restaurant, this boutique hotel, located yards from the water, is perfect for a stylish romantic getaway. Cozy, modern rooms have Italian marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, Egyptian linens, bathrobes, and L'Occitane toiletries. With only a small pool and few kid-friendly features, Koa Kea maintains an adult vibe. From the moment the front desk staff escorts you to your room, the attentive staff keeps up the pampering with 24-hour room service and porters, twice-daily housekeeping, and poolside drink service.
At the Spa by the Sea at the Outrigger Waipouli, spa lovers can steer clear of the hubbub and crowds of the Grand Hyatt yet still enjoy top-notch treatments. The "Romantic Retreat" spa package includes a side-by-side papaya and pineapple scrub exfoliatiation followed by a volcanic clay body wrap and completed by a warm coconut milk massage. When you're not soaking in a sand-bottom hot tub or relaxing on your balcony, the hotel's immaculate, luxury condos are a great base for exploring Kauai.