About the hotel
The Grand Hyatt is set on the south side of Kauai known as the sunny side. This is the epitome of a five-star family resort with its huge pool, open air lobby overflowing with tropical plants, Camp Hyatt kids program, six restaurants and six bars, four tennis courts and world-class golf course. The hotel is set on 50 acres fronting a white sand beach which is not ideal for swimming, but if you know how to cut back and pull into a barrel then this mean shore break is for you. Two-thirds of the 602 rooms have views out over the ocean and sunny Keoniloa Bay, made possible by only building as high as the tallest coconut tree.
This is swimming pool heaven. There are five acres of heated, saltwater swimming lagoons with islands, a man-made beach, enchanting river pools, which wind through waterfalls and grottos in which you can hide as well as a 150-foot water slide. Your children will never ever want to leave.
The Suite Experience
There are 37 suites furnished with hardwood floors, soft rugs and rattan and wood furniture echoing the tropical feel of the island. The views out over the bay are incredible and your large lanai is just the place from which to stare out to sea.
The Ocean View suite is spacious, with minimal furnishings and has everything you could want for a family holiday. There is a main bedroom with huge marble shower and bath with a whirlpool, separate toilet with electronic settings for bidet and drying and double sinks. The separate bedroom features a king sized bed and a different view of the ocean.
With six restaurants and lounges, where do you start? There are two fine dining experiences at Tidepools and Donderos, both with lush, tropical surroundings. Tidepools serves contemporary Hawaiian cuisine in a thatched hut setting looking over the lagoon and cascading waterfalls and Donderos serves Italian cuisine either al fresco or inside the villa. However, my favourite was the slightly low key Stevenson’s library where you could sip a Mai Tai at the 25 foot long Koa bar and order some tasty sushi.
The resort’s Anara Spa is huge, 45,000 square feet to be exact and has its own lava rock shower garden, along with a 10-headed Swedish shower, and indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. The spa also includes a 24-hour StayFitTM gym and open-air yoga and fitness classes. The spa focuses on ancient healing traditions.
If you’d like an upgrade
The Presidential Suite is more than a whopping 2,800 square feet and comes with all the prerequisites such as a private terrace, top-level ocean views and a telescope for whale watching. The décor is Asian-inspired and adds to the exotic feel of this far flung island. Your first point of welcome is the entry foyer, which flows into a comfortable lounge room, dining area for six, kitchen, wet bar and a half bath. The king sized bedroom had an ensuite with private bath and four seat spa tub. It is also possible to organise an extra connecting bedroom for a fee. Prices start at $US2,500.
Sign up for the Voluntourism project at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. You will learn about what it takes to maintain the beauty of Kauai as well as helping out by pulling some weeds and re-potting ferns.