Kauai: Garden Isle Escape

Meeting on Kauai is the stuff of earthly paradise

On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, there is no big city, or even very large town. Kapaa, as big as it gets, has about 10,500 residents. Charming Hanalei, gateway to the untamed, immensely beautiful North Shore, has fewer than 300. Poipu, on the southern coast, has about 900. No building is higher than the tallest palm tree. Which is why the Garden Isle richly deserves its nickname—it’s lovely and largely unspoiled, green and natural, dramatic in tropical splendor.

As Hawaii tentatively reopens, meetings-goers instinctively feel more secure in the state’s less touristed and underdeveloped sanctuaries. Just like Kauai.

Arrive

Book a direct flight from the mainland to Lihue Airport (LIH), available using major air carriers from several West Coast cities, to avoid the possibility of having to quarantine or be retested for COVID-19 after an interisland flight. At press time, all Hawaii visitors from the mainland were required to pass an FDA-authorized Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from specified labs or airline partners no earlier than 72 hours prior to departure.

Meet and Stay

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Meetings resorts operated by major hoteliers have stringent protocols and cleaning procedures in place, as well as offering the largest indoor and outdoor spaces in which to distance. Planners can also rely on their staff to advise on the safest choices for activities, CSR and team-building providers.

In Koloa, much-lauded Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa offers digital check-in with the World of Hyatt app. Ideally situated in the sunniest part of the island, this luxurious beachfront oasis with 604 guest rooms offers acres of pools and lush grounds, as well as 45,000-square-foot Anara Spa (closed at press time) in a natural outdoor setting and championship golf. When fully operational, 25,500 sq. ft. of meeting space is available.

Nearby, 206-room Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, a Marriott Autograph Collection property, is resplendent after its recent $100 million expansion that included a new 18,000-square-foot conference center, bringing total indoor/outdoor space to 39,000 sq. ft. The resort also has a 350,000-gallon pool, the state’s largest.

Kauai Marriott Resort sits on an all-but-deserted, swimmable beach minutes from Lihue Airport. It offers 356 guest rooms to complement 27,758 sq. ft. of meeting space. It boasts a golf course and spa, as well.

Do

Getting outdoors never looked better. Among the many options, a unique experience awaits with the Mountain Tubing Adventure by Kauai Mountain Adventures, which has exclusive eco-tourism access to the 17,000 acres of Lihue Plantation. Get refreshingly wet by grabbing a tube and headlamp and gliding down canals—hand-dug more than a century ago—that once irrigated the sugar crop. Dark tunnels, exhilarating flumes and a natural swimming hole included.

Minutes from the sugar-sand beaches of the Poipu resort area, Kauai’s newest zipline, Skyline Hawaii, gets your attendees’ hearts in their throats with eight spectacular ziplines that soar over lush mountain valleys (tours temporarily suspended at press time) and give elevated mountain and ocean views.

As Hawaii’s largest tour and transportation provider, Roberts Hawaii has thorough safety and hygiene procedures in place and a fleet that ranges from full-size motor coaches to vans and school buses. Options include taking your attendees right up to the rim of Waimea Canyon, the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” and Spouting Horn, where ocean water sprays 50 feet in the air; and a Hawaii Movie Tour that visits locations for the more than 60 movies that have filmed on the island, including Pirates of the Caribbean and Jurassic Park.

Need to Know

  • 90%: Land used for conservation and agriculture
  • 2,500 ft.: Cliff height on rugged Na Pali Coast
  • 6 million years: Age of Kauai Island
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