Classic Kauai

Tours to feed the traveler’s soul

By: Marty Wetnzel

p>As director of Hawaii product development for Classic Custom Vacations, Lisa Morrill needs to keep current with all island activities.

Although she appreciates each destination, there’s something about Kauai that especially calls her name.

“I keep going back to Kauai for the raw, pristine beauty of the island,” she said. “I believe that Kauai is what people envision when they close their eyes and think of Hawaii.”

Small wonder, then, that Morrill relished the 12 years she lived on the Garden Island.

“Every day I awoke to views of Hanalei Bay,” she recalled. “Every morning I saw waterfalls and rainbows.”

Following Morrill’s example, Classic is encouraging clients to get out and explore the time-honored natural splendors of the island by constantly reviewing and refining its list of activities.

“One of my favorite things to do on Kauai is the Na Pali Coast Expedition in an inflatable zodiac,” she said. “The coastline is uninhabited, unspoiled and the most beautiful in Hawaii. Dolphins follow your boat, and you can jump in and swim with them.

“After a great lunch on the boat, you can swim with turtles and snorkel with all sorts of fish.”

For 2005, Classic added Blue Hawaiian Helicopters’ Kauai Eco-Adventure to its activity roster. A whirlybird wings your clients over such island landmarks as Waimea Canyon and the cliff formation nicknamed Bali Hai, culminating in a foray into Waialeale Crater.

“With its 5,000-foot walls towering above you and its 3,000-foot waterfalls surrounding you, Waialeale is a truly awe-inspiring finish to the tour,” Morrill said.

Another Classic suggestion, Princeville Ranch’s Zip n’ Dip Expedition has become one of Morrill’s all-time favorites.

“I did it last fall and I’m still blown away by the zipline experience,” she said. “There I was, harnessed in something best described as an adult leather diaper, zipping across a cable hundreds of feet above a ravine through the rain forest.”

When friends and clients ask Morrill what to do during a Kauai visit, she always mentions golf at Princeville Resort on the island’s dramatic North Shore.

“Princeville is fortunate to have 45 of the most beautiful golf holes in the world,” she said. “The course runs along bluffs that skirt the mountains and the ocean with stunning views.”

A bike ride with Outfitters Kauai is another distinctive island activity available through Classic. On two-wheelers, clients coast from the 3,600-foot rim of Waimea Canyon down 13 miles of winding blacktop, ending at the ocean.

“Along the way, bikers stop to hear narratives of Hawaii’s history, culture and folklore,” Morrill said.

For travelers looking to be pampered, Morrill recommends the 25,000-square-foot ANARA Spa at the Hyatt Regency Kauai.

“The spa has been designed as a lush, open-air setting with lava-rock showers, sparkling pools and manicured gardens,” she said. “It’s the perfect ambience for experiencing native Hawaiian treatments like lomi lomi massage.”

While Kauai’s activities keep visitors busy by day, island accommodations are undergoing significant upgrades or renovations to satisfy clients between adventures, Morrill said.

“There’s also a growing number of fun restaurants and shops to explore on Kauai these days,” she noted. “My favorite destination is the town of Hanalei on the North Shore because of its variety of local art, gifts and food.”

While Morrill now lives and works in the Honolulu area, Kauai continues to beckon her, and she’s been there more than 50 times for business and pleasure.

“Kauai appeals to me because of its small-town charm,” she said. “It simply nourishes my soul.”


Classic Custom Vacations is currently promoting spring travel offers on Kauai.

Clients booking a minimum five-night stay at Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort and Spa get a reduced room rate, upgrade based on availability and daily buffet breakfast for two. Rates for a five-night stay start at $1,014 per person (through June 4).

At the Aston at Poipu Kai, clients staying at least four nights get the fourth night free, a two-for-one luau certificate, coupon booklet and free parking. Rates start at $330 (through June 9).

Other properties in Classic Custom Vacations’ Kauai portfolio include Princeville Resort, Kauai Marriott Resort and Beach Club, Sheraton Kauai Resort, Whalers Cove, Kiahuna Plantation and Beach Bungalows, Lanikai Resort, Outrigger Lae Nani and Radisson Kauai Beach Resort.



Following are per person rates for a few of Classic’s commissionable Kauai activities:

Na Pali Explorer’s Na Pali Coast Expedition: $84

Blue Hawaiian Helicopters Kauai Eco-Adventure: $229

Princeville Ranch Zip n’ Dip Expedition: $120

Outfitters Kauai Waimea Canyon Bicycle Downhill: $94

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