Couples can find romance at the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas // © 2013 Starwood Hotels and Resorts
Couples who visit Kauai are captivated not only by each other but by the island’s waterfall-laced mountains, immaculate beaches, flourishing forests and azure seas. Add a dreamy resort to the mix, and the result is an idyllic his-and-hers getaway.
Thanks to a county ordinance, buildings on Kauai rise no taller than a mature coconut tree, or four stories. Consequently, the island feels more rural than big city, and its resorts offer a relaxed, rejuvenating ambience without the hectic vibe sometimes found in other destinations.
“The views from the majority of our properties are probably the best selling point for couples,” said Sue Kanoho, executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau (KVB). “At most resorts, you can just open your window or take a short stroll and find amazing vistas that help you connect with your loved one.”
Seasoned travel agents know how to help couples pinpoint their goals in order to find the right Kauai resort for their romantic escape, said Kanoho.
“Once agents have helped clients pick where they’re staying, they can work with the property and KVB to design a perfect trip,” Kanoho said. “We send out regular updates, answer agent questions and make suggestions for creating a memorable itinerary.”
KVB’s travel agent website provides professionals with inviting photos, and its Kauai Travel Planner shares tips on weddings, honeymoons and romance travel.
While dozens of Kauai accommodations ooze romance, Kauai Master Specialist Catherine DeMichiel of Above and Beyond Travel has found particular success sending couples to St. Regis Princeville Resort. The luxurious 252-room north shore hotel boasts breathtaking panoramas of Hanalei Bay and Mount Makana, better known as Bali Hai from the movie “South Pacific.”
“The St. Regis staff is very experienced at setting up romantic touches,” said DeMichiel, who spends half of each year in Arnold, Calif., and the other half on Kauai. “My clients have enjoyed unforgettable amenities such as a bubble bath turndown.”
The St. Regis’ Luxury Romance package from $605 per night includes a bottle of champagne, flowers upon arrival and breakfast for two. Additionally, the staff can arrange a private dinner for two in a secluded cabana.
For Kauai Master Specialist Kristi Emo of Winsome Travel in Fresno, Calif., the 602-room Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa does a terrific job of making couples feel exceptional despite its size.
“While there are lots of families at the resort during peak season, in the off-season, the Grand Hyatt Kauai is high on my list of romantic resorts,” said Emo. “Couples like its adults-only pool, a peaceful place to soak up the sun.”
She praised its Tidepools restaurant for its enchanting open-air hale (huts), waterfalls and lagoons.
Both DeMichiel and Emo singled out Koa Kea Hotel and Resort, a 121-room boutique beachfront oasis in Poipu, as a fantastic option for couples.
“Koa Kea doesn’t cater to families, and it doesn’t offer group space, so the clientele is almost entirely couples who enjoy the intimate atmosphere,” said DeMichiel.
Koa Kea’s Tropical Desire package, from $615 per night, provides breakfast with mimosas, a dinner, a rental car and a choice of either a massage or off-property adventure.
Among the many other romantic resorts around Kauai, a west side standout is Aston Waimea Plantation Cottages. Set in a 27-acre coconut grove, the cottages were created from restored sugar plantation homes, and they blend nostalgia with modern comforts. It’s ideal for hand-in-hand walks on the beach, stargazing and seasonal whale watching. The property can also line up his-and-hers dinners and spa treatments.
Equally remote and romantic is Hanalei Colony Resort, a tranquil low-rise vacation condominium on the north shore. With no phones, stereos or televisions in the rooms, couples can focus on each other in a spectacular seaside environment. Its Incredible Romantic Vacation package comes with a welcome basket, a dinner, a couple’s oceanfront massage and a horseback ride to a waterfall (from $3,500 for five nights).
At another alluring north shore accommodation, Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas, the Suite Life package sets up couples in a deluxe one-bedroom villa and lavishes them with champagne and strawberries, breakfast and a five-course dinner (from $550 per night).
That’s just a sampling of the romantic resorts awaiting on Kauai, a destination dear to Emo’s heart.
“Kauai is magical for couples, with its lack of crowds, lush nature and genuine spirit of aloha,” she said. “Add a beautiful sunset with a glass of champagne, and it doesn’t get much better than that.”