The matriarch of the Hawaiian chain, this jewel bedazzles with beauty so breathtaking that Hollywood covets it for one blockbuster backdrop after another.
Kauai is also a natural for corporate gatherings, with staffs creating anything imaginable, all with that signature Hawaiian flair. The 552-square-mile island offers some 3,000 hotel rooms and 3,000 condominium units in five areas: Poipu Beach Resort, Princeville/North Shore, Kalapaki Beach, Royal Coconut Coast and the West Side. Part and parcel of that experience is the welcoming climate. Like Oahu, the daily averages range form a low of 75 to a high of 85 degrees year-round. The Kauai Visitors Bureau can advise. (kauaidiscovery.com)
At Kilohana Plantation (kilohanakauai.com), the expansive manicured grounds of the Tudor-style estate handle up to 800 under tent for theme parties that run the gamut. For smaller retreats, Kilohana offers access to intimate Ihiahi. Once a plantation manager’s home, the secluded 18,000-acre setting is an ideal executive escape for up to 80.
Further north off the quiet, plush greens and fairways of the Princeville Resort’s Prince Course (princeville.com), the 60,000-square-foot Princeville Golf Club features full banquet facilities, a restaurant for up to 150, and a pair of meeting rooms with capacities up to 260. Related properties include the Princeville Hotel Hawaii at Princeville Resort, in Hanalei. (princevillehotelhawaii.com)
An option in full bloom, 240-acre Na Aina Kai Botanical Gardens (naainakai.org) in Kilauea thrives for events up to 200. Also in nature’s arena, the National Tropical Botanical Garden (ntbg.org) accommodates up to 150 in its lush McBryde Garden.
Home to Hawaii’s only navigable rivers, the island amply rewards kayakers with the jungle-like beauty of its tropical interior. Check out Kayak Kauai (kayakkauai.com), Outfitters Kauai(outfitterskauai.com) and Princeville Ranch Adventures (kauai-hiking.com).
Witnessing the Na Pali Coast is mandatory. But the hike is rigorous. Best bets are via Blue Hawaiian Helicopters (bluehawaiian.com), Will Squyres Helicopter Tours (helicopters-hawaii.com), Blue Dolphin Charters (kauaiboats.com) and Captain Andy’s (napali.com).
Golfers wanting to experience the best of Kauai can tee off to the “Kauai Golf Challenge.” The package provides a round at Poipu Bay Golf Course, Kiele Course at Kauai Lagoons Golf Club and the Prince Course at Princeville.
Other top Kauai properties include the Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club at Kalapaki Beach, Lihue, (marriott.com); Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Poipu Beach Resort, Koloa, (kauai.hyatt.com); Kauai Beach Hotel & Resort, Lihue, (kauaibeachhotelandresort.com); Sheraton Kauai Resort Poiupu Beach Resort, Koloa, (sheraton-kauai.com).